BCA Float 36 and 18 First Look Review, Avalanche Airbag Backpacks


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Backcountry Access’s new avalanche airbag offerings recently showed up here at Wildsnow: Float 36 and Float 18. Each of these packs represents a significant improvement over BCA’s original Float packs — it looks like they have figured the airbag thing out. These backpacks are tailored to skiers, not sledders like the old pack. What’s more, you’ll now be able to find them in Europe, as BCA has just received TUV certification. The price is perhaps the best part: far below what most airbag packs are going for!

The new Float 36 is big enough for big days, with lots of features. The tall, narrow profile is a huge improvement over the Float 30, which tended to have a lot of 'swing weight' due to having so much mass off the back side.

Float 36 is designed for ski patrollers and snow professionals; thus it is big, burly, and has lots of features. Dual hipbelt pockets, goggle pocket, interior zip pockets, ice axe holders, helmet mesh carrier, insulated hydration bladder hose sleeve, vertical snowboard carry, vertical ski carry, and a sort of diagonal ski carry are among the myriad features. I’m not a fan of vertical ski carry, but it’s possible to push the skis diagonally a bit by being creative with the straps. Nearly all of the straps tuck out of the way, leaving a simple looking pack with clean lines. Gone are the ice and snow catcher ‘gap’ between the airbag compartment and the rest of the pack, and the velcro airbag closure, which has been replaced with a break away zipper.

Vertical or semi-diagonal ski carry doesn't interfere with the airbag.

Easy access 'under the hood' via the back panel, making it easy to deflate the pack without having to empty its contents. Also easy to check or remove the cylinder if needed. Another zippered back panel into the main pack storage compartment is below, in the hip area.

Getting to the stuff at the bottom of the pack is easy via this back panel.

The main compartment uses a zip that runs the entire length, so you can open it like luggage. If you only open it partway at the top, it can be hard to reach in as the pack is so narrow.

A sleeve for a bladder and an insulated, zippered sleeve for the hose are provided, however no good way to route the hose is provided. You have to run the hose all over the place and run out of length.

Hopefully this explains the hose routing problem. Easily solved by cutting a small hole between the engine compartment and the main. Or just don't even bother and bring a water bottle.

Dual ice tool holders are provided, just beware of deploying the airbag when you've got a mountaineering axe point sticking up. That's a 60 cm axe, so I'd probably only be comfortable with shorter, technical ice tools on there. Also note the helmet mesh carrier. It stows out of sight and is easy to deploy. Two options for attachment locations, one at the top as shown, and one in the middle. Fits big helmets no problem.

New release handle design is easy to grab with gloves, doesn't flip out of your hand like the old one sometimes did, and is very easy to stow in the zippered shoulder strap.

BCA has done an impressive job of providing clear and concise directions. Everything is clear, from how to use the various features, to the methods of air travel. BCA’s float packs are IATA certified to fly with the cartridge filled internationally. If flying to, from, or within North America, however, you will need to discharge the cylinder and remove the cylinder head. See the bottom of the refill post on how to remove the cylinder head.

The new buckle design is awesome. Easiest to clip and unclip of all the ones I've tried. One handed release can be done as shown.

The Float 18 is small, light, and geared towards mechanized and slackcountry skiers. It fits close to the back and has a shorter back length than the 36. You get a solid, dedicated diagonal ski carry system, which easily tucks out of the way. For snowboards, you can purchase a $35 accessory which clicks into some webbing loops on the pack to give you horizontal snowboard carry–great for snowmobiling. You won’t fit much inside besides the bare essentials, but that’s the point. In our review testing, skiers such as Louie Dawson are saying they’re indeed using the Float 18 for true backcountry skiing, but only for short trips where they can take minimal equipment. Take care with this issue. When using heavy airbag backpacks, it is tempting to leave essentials behind to save weight. The mountains don’t like that kind of false economy and might tell you so.

Both the 18 and the 36 are one size fits all, which is billed as 17-22 inches. The 18 is shorter, but since you won’t have much weight in it, it shouldn’t matter if you’re tall.

The Float 18 also carries skis without interference with the airbag. The 18's diagonal system is solid, and the straps tuck out of the way when not in use for the chairlift ride.

Float 18's clam shell zipper opens up to a small main compartment with a small pocket (on left) and a zip to access the innards. This means you have to take everything out to deflate the airbag.

A separate pocket for shovel handle and probe. Max would be about 19 inch shovel handle.

Float 18 also gets a helmet carrying mesh.

All of BCA’s Float series packs use the same user refillable airbag system, which is super easy, just follow our refill instructions. I just spent two minutes getting a cylinder ready to refill, now I just need to run to the refill center of my choice (fire station), and get it done. BCA has done an outstanding job of setting up refill centers throughout North America (and to some extent in Europe). But, if you don’t want to bother, just mail the empty back to exchange for a full one.

The Float 36 weighs in at a fairly standard 7.93 lbs, while the Float 18 is a svelte 6.63 lbs. So, the 36 is a little on the portly side for backcountry skiing, but you get a “ton” of features in what appears to be a very durable package. For more than we can fit in this airbag backpack review, see BCA’s videos on the Float 36 and the Float 18. To see these stack up against other airbag packs, see the Wildsnow airbag overview page, prices are listed there as well. Stay tuned for full reviews of these packs as we get a chance to ski with them.

Purchase the Float 36 or the Float 18.

Comments

59 Responses to “BCA Float 36 and 18 First Look Review, Avalanche Airbag Backpacks”

  1. AP November 4th, 2011 9:50 am

    I heard they will be changing the ski carry system for these packs in the updated model that ships in a few months. Can you confirm this? I have heard the current ski carry system results in serious calf bang.
    Thanks!

  2. Hugh November 4th, 2011 10:39 am

    As taken from a previous comment, “The Snowpulse Airbag has been designed to leak air directly through the material. So as you struggle, you push air out of the airbag. This creates space for you, and it also helps flood your environment with breathable air. ”

    Does the BCA Float line offer the same benefit as noted above?

  3. Mike November 4th, 2011 10:41 am

    Is there any info on the waist belt size for any of these airbag packs? I have trouble finding packs that fit my 28″ waist. On many packs I’ve tried, I use up all the slack in the belt and it is still not tight enough. I like to put all the weight of the pack on my hip bones, with the shoulder straps a bit loose to prevent shoulder strain and overheating. I’ve used an ABS bag and I had to add foam padding to the belt to get it to fit (and it still didn’t work as I would like).

    Do any of these airbag packs have smaller waist belts? I noticed in a previous review of the new snowpulse, that a female was involved in the testing. Did she have any trouble with the waist belt on that bag?

  4. Edge November 4th, 2011 11:11 am

    Thanks for the review, Nick. There actually is an easy way to route your hydration tube from the main compartment through the engine compartment to the shoulder strap. There are already openings on either side of the “hinge” at the bottom of the engine compartment. Not sure why you needed to cut holes in yours.

    AP, we won’t be making any changes to the Float 36 until next season. But you’ll find that if you set it up like Nick, you can carry the skis diagonally enough to avoid calf bang.

    I’ll check this blog periodically in case anyone has more questions. Generally, skiers and boarders will really like the way the new packs carry, it’s a quantum leap from the Float 30, which is now our dedicated sledding pack.

  5. Jon November 4th, 2011 11:22 am

    Does the deployed air bag keep you upright at the bar?
    ;)

  6. Nick Thompson November 4th, 2011 12:30 pm

    Thanks for chiming in Bruce,
    I’ll have to take another look at my pack for the hydration routing.

    Hugh-
    I let both BCA packs sit while the airbags were filled. They did not let air out at any appreciable rate, only what was escaping through the fabric. After maybe 15 minutes, they were a little bit saggy. So no, not the same situation as Snowpulse, which actively lose air to create a void. This is probably a pretty minor issue, as it is very rare for a deployed airbag user to be completely buried. However, it could come in handy if a second slide came down or if you were deposited in a terrain trap and snow continued to come down on top of you.

  7. Bryce November 4th, 2011 12:43 pm

    Mike,

    I just tried on the Float 18 and 36 to check the waist belts. You might be able to max out the 36 hip belt, but the 18 will cinch down as tight as you need to. My waist is 30 inches and I had at least 4 inches left on each side of the Float 18 belt strap when I had it cinched as tight as I could get it.

    I had no trouble cinching the Float 36 belt tight, either, but it was getting closer to the end.

    http://www.randogear.com

  8. jharrski November 4th, 2011 1:17 pm

    wonder how many (more) airbags I’ll be seeing in & around the bridger sidecountry, definitely on my wishlist now-18 looks perfect for yo-yo’n saddlepeak laps- and with dangerous traffic and snowpack I’d love the added peaceOmind… guessing the mysteryRanch blackjack is bigger and heavier than these(?) great to see the iterations of this ever-increasingly mando piece as the companies push each other for the dollas I am likely to spend…

  9. Shred Head November 4th, 2011 1:48 pm

    Are there any mods that one can perform to get the packs lighter? These packs seem to be built in a very burly manner. Can plastic frame sheets and stuff like that be removed?

  10. Lou November 4th, 2011 2:11 pm

    Shred, to save weight I’d suggest shopping by weight, it’s hard to mod these packs and eliminate significant weight. Vote with your wallet for lighter airbag backpacks!

  11. Edge November 4th, 2011 2:33 pm

    Our sales director, Andy Wenberg, shaved almost a pound off his by removing some plastic and some fabric here and there. Personally, I just leave my Thermos at home :)

  12. Steve November 4th, 2011 3:03 pm

    You can also remove the single stay from the Float 18 to reduce some weight and make the pack a little more supple. Removing the stay does not affect the safety features of the pack at all.

  13. Stephen A November 4th, 2011 3:04 pm

    so does anybody know if the Float 30 will be getting modifications at some point to include the improvements that the new models have? it sounds like the new 18/36′s are far superior to the 30, but 30L is the perfect size for me to take out for a day trip.

  14. Lou November 4th, 2011 3:05 pm

    Edge, thanks. Truly revolutionary that you’d share about folks modifying your gear. Love it.

  15. Shoveler November 4th, 2011 3:12 pm

    What I don’t get, is if a pack this heavy can be modded to save a POUND, why not sell a lighter weight version? Just seems strange…

  16. Edge November 4th, 2011 6:51 pm

    You should see what Andy had done to his Osprey pack before he started working at BCA. It’s amazing what you can do if you don’t mind completely defacing the product.

  17. Mike November 5th, 2011 7:49 pm

    Thanks Bryce

  18. john November 6th, 2011 8:38 am

    is the retention strap designed to wrap around one leg or two? we sell these at skinny skis in jackson, great design, fit and function, curious about the smaller strap on the waist belt, how do you hook it up?

  19. Dan November 6th, 2011 8:45 am

    The avy gear in the main compartment is a serious negative. Most future pack owners will probably ski for years w/o ever having to deploy the airbag. Thus, the functionality of the pack is still the main concern (for most of us “average” skiers). Generally, I have to make myself stop and dig a pit…having to deal with exposing the main compartment to snow when removing/replacing the shovel, etc. and having to clean the snow off the shovel before returning it to the pack is another hurdle (my problem, I know). Also, it is really nice to be able to have the shovel blade and handle pre-assembeled in the “avy compartment” and easy to get to in an emergency…BD nailed this concept in the Revelation pack years ago and continues with the same approach in some of their other packs. Why is it so hard for other pack-makers to do likewise? Everything else about the Float 36 looks pretty good. I look forward to your field evaluations. Thanks for all your work and the effort that I know it takes to put a report like this together Nick.

  20. Edge November 6th, 2011 9:11 am

    John, we got rid of one of the leg straps this year (to save weight and cluster). Now there is only one and it goes through your crotch around the right leg. Just feed the waist belt buckle through the loop on the end of the leg strap, then snuck up both.

  21. Lou November 6th, 2011 4:14 pm

    Kudos for simple but effective leg strap. As for avy gear compartment, mixed needs out there. Main thing most makers blow is when they make the compartment, they do so in a way that adds too much weight to the pack. It can be done simply, with thin fabric divider etc… Personally, I’m on of the folks who doesn’t feel a need for it, and I cut them out of all packs that have them.

  22. Mark November 6th, 2011 8:45 pm

    The BCA packs are a great pricepoint, but I feel like they’ve skipped right over the regular backcountry skier market. You have a sidecountry pack that is 4-6 liters too small for a “regular” day kit, a 30 liter pack that is plenty big but weird and heavy, and seems marketed to snowmobilers, and a 36 liter ski pack that looks like a nice shape but is marketed to patrollers and guides and which I personally would leave 30% empty on 90% of trips – yet is a bit too small to do a few days at a hut. Where’s the basic 22-26 liter ski pack that one might use on a day outing?

  23. Toby November 7th, 2011 6:30 am

    Why these packs cannot be based on some light 800-1000g / 30 liter class of day touring packs. ?? I have new Deuter Space 28 that is 800g (or was it 900g) and it is totally comfortable to carry. I would never ever buy some 30 liter pack that weight 1500 – 1700 grams! It is simply insane, while it can be much lighter and as good to carry.

    I’m even willing to sacrifices all the fancy features and have it as pure as possible, just to have that airbag thing with me.

    I think we are going to see similar revolution here than we have seen on the AT boot evolution. (Read: TLT5 P ; ) It should be possible to make it light and strong! Make it hi-tech, hi-end and LIGHT !! Do you hear me??!!

    I agree with Mark. I would be happy with 26 maybe 28 liter to optimize the size for day tours plus some additional space for one hut night.

  24. Lou November 7th, 2011 7:36 am

    Toby, I was just looking at the BCA construction. Indeed, the way they’re working these things is that the pack sack is independent from the harness system, in that the shoulder straps, airbag, waist belt, or connecting with webbing. Thus, the sack could be minimalist. I have no idea why they have to build so heavy. Probably in part for shelf appeal. Also because they don’t want folks ripping and tearing lightweight sacks and needing to get them repaired. More, perhaps they’re building for commercial use, such as ski patrol every day of the winter, riding lifts and doing work.

    My opinion is that Cilogear should make a 30 liter minimalist Dyneema pack that has attachment for the WARY (Avi Vest) system. Plug and play. From what I’m looking at, building such a thing would not be rocket science.

  25. Dimitri November 7th, 2011 8:08 am

    integrated harness is also on my wishlist for future airbag systems..

  26. Feldy November 8th, 2011 9:16 am

    I didn’t see an answer to Stephen’s question above and I have the same one. Is the Float 30 not a good choice for skiing and am I better off getting the 36 even though it’s bigger than I need? The 18 is definitely too small.

    (BTW, on a lark I answered “3 pins” to the anti-spam quiz. Apparenrly, those aren’t allowed. :P “Binders” doesn’t work, either. Man, so old skool. :lol:)

  27. Edge November 8th, 2011 10:17 am

    Feldy, you’re better off with the Float 36 if you’re a skier (even if you’re on 3-pins). It’s narrower and has load lifters, which means it carries a load better. And it’s 64 grams lighter than the 30. You’ll also find that it’s about right for a day of touring; 36 liters is probably rounding up a bit.

    I’m surprised Lou’s required answer to the anti-spam quiz isn’t “Dynafits.”

  28. Lou November 8th, 2011 10:39 am

    Edge, when is the last time we did a Dynafit post! Where does this impression of bias come from!? (grin)

  29. Feldy November 10th, 2011 1:26 pm

    Thanks Edge. Good to know. I checked out the 18 and the 36 at a store that wasn’t carrying the 30. This perplexed me at the time, but since learning about the intended use (skiing vs sledding) I now understand.

    FWIW, I use 2 pins (dynafits) 95% of the time BC, but I thought it would be a funny comment

  30. DanP November 10th, 2011 10:08 pm

    I’m very excited by the innovation going on in the industry here.

    I like the fact that Mammut seems to be building a system that can be swapped out into different packs (compatible packs that is.) Am I understanding their system right?

    I like that because I usually have a quiver of packs and I don’t like to be locked into a single pack for touring. I’d love to have 3-4 packs that are compatible with an avy air bag that I can zip in and out.

    Light weight and lower prices are next!

  31. Jernej November 11th, 2011 1:41 pm

    On an slightly related note… something I’ve been thinking lately. Imagine you’re starting out buying touring gear and are on a serious budget (as it’s not a cheap sport). You’ve got the essential stuff – skis, boots, bindings. Now comes the time to think about safety.

    From everything I’ve read and seen about avy airbags (much lower risk of being buried), bearing in mind the above conditions, I’m seeing less and less reasons to buy a beacon. I’m not saying it’s irrelevant or that it doesn’t belong in your standard touring kit but… if it comes down to a simple budget decision, can’t afford both just yet, would you first buy a beacon or an airbag backpack?

    I’m leaning heavily towards burial prevention (airbag). Not that it’s easy parting with 800€/$.

    Just a thought experiment. Care to offer opinions?

  32. John Milne November 11th, 2011 3:22 pm

    Jernej, what happens if you’re knocked unconscious before you can deploy the bag? What happens if the bag fails to activate? I’d rather have the automatic beacon than totally rely on an active safety mechanism.

    That said, plenty of shops rent beacons, or you can borrow one from a friend. As a purchase, airbags could make more sense buying first and living off ramen for a couple months until you can afford a beacon too.

  33. Greg Louie November 11th, 2011 7:38 pm

    What about when your friend who can’t afford an airbag gets buried?

  34. Dejra November 14th, 2011 1:20 pm

    Hi the thing I do wonder about with the airbag. if the snow is light powder then yes the bag would help immensely. What if it heavy with chunks of icy snow and debris? Probably not as much.

  35. Lou November 14th, 2011 1:48 pm

    Jernej, if nothing else it would be socially irresponsible to not ski backcountry with a beacon, and know how to use it. Also, you can still get buried while using an airbag, it’s not a 100% sure thing, just way better.

  36. Dejra November 14th, 2011 6:31 pm

    Lou, I love that double negative (smile). or you could say it would be socially responsible. In which i agree.
    Dejra

  37. Lou November 14th, 2011 6:39 pm

    Milne, when you use a beacon you are relying on an active and notoriously unreliable safety system, otherwise known as human searchers and shovelers. I would strongly suggest that system is less reliable than yanking on an airbag trigger…. grim stats bear that out…

  38. Jason November 14th, 2011 9:32 pm

    Just pulled the trigger on a 36. I’ll take the weight with the added safety.

  39. Lou November 14th, 2011 10:17 pm

    The 36 is the way to go. Like Edge said, hardly any more weight, carries much better, etc.

  40. David November 14th, 2011 10:45 pm

    Went to look at the float 36 in person looks like a great bag except for the frays on the airbag edges itself makes it look cheap with loose thread at the edges. Checked every little nook and cranny of the “hydration route” the only way I can see it work and fit into the hydration sleeve is by:
    From the bottom of your bladder run it up
    Once it clears the bags hydration “sleeve” run it back down
    Once you’ve found two of the only holes (about 3/4 near the bottom of the pack)
    and finnally straight up thru the shoulder.
    Yeah I can see plenty problems with length and kinks here.
    If there is a more direct way to route this I would LOVE to see pictures.

  41. Paul Brown November 15th, 2011 8:52 am

    I looked at the BCA packs in person last week. I asked about the hydration routing on the 36 – they weren’t sure either after a thorough examination so they called a BCA rep (I think). He said the intention was to use the Nalgene bottle compatible system. I guess the bottle would go at the bottom of the pack so the routing of the tube wouldn’t be so convoluted.

  42. Dave November 15th, 2011 8:56 am

    Doesn’t that completely go against their whole “hydration storage” sleeve, which is located near the top of the pack?

  43. Edge November 15th, 2011 9:36 am

    The Float 36 is indeed designed primarily to be used with our Nalgene-compatible system, in which you connect the hydration tube to a Nalgene bottle instead of a bladder. This comes standard with our Stash Alp40 packs and is what everybody here prefers in a larger volume pack (for the Float 36, you can order one directly from BCA). From the bottle, you can run the hose directly to the shoulder straps through the holes provided at the bottom of the compressed air compartment.

    If you prefer a bladder, there is a pocket in the main compartment where you can put one. If your hose is too short to come out the top of this, down, then up through the holes described above (yes, it can be convoluted), you can remove a couple stitches in the seam in the bottom corner of this pocket. Then run the tube straight from the bottom of this pocket, through the holes described above, then into the shoulder strap.

    Great to see so much interest in hydration! We can’t seem to get our European customers interested in drinking water (it’s more fun to stop for a beer at the alpine hut).

  44. Lou November 15th, 2011 11:53 am

    Yes, the Euro way: carry a (small) shovel and a cell phone, stop at a hut for a drink. I’ve seen it work.

  45. Mike December 6th, 2011 3:10 am

    Ok, so the 18 is for shred and the 30 is for sled while the 36 is for mega-shred. Which would you untimately suggest for sled/shred, or in other words, sled access to backcountry laps or ghost sledding. Being somewhat minimalist and cheap, I’m leaning toward the 18 but also consider the 36 to be somewhat of a “better to have space and not use it” choice. Everything about the 30 sounds like it won’t work well for skis.

  46. Edge December 6th, 2011 10:50 am

    Actually, the Float 30 diagonal carry system works really well. I would suggest the Float 18 or 30 for sled-skiing, then keeping any extra items in a tunnel bag. Both of these are very popular with sled-ski-heads. The Float 36 is a full-sized pack so rides a little lower. How are you carrying your skis on your sled?

  47. John Gloor December 6th, 2011 11:48 pm

    I just saw this in the news. It is an airbag system for motorcycle racers. I am assuming the system uses a fast acting chemical reaction or explosive like automotive air bags. I wonder if this technology might ever cross over to skiing. There could be large hurdles to flying with it though
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/this-could-be-big-abc-news/step-towards-safer-motorcycle-riding-154804126.html

  48. John Gloor December 6th, 2011 11:52 pm

    I watched the video again and they mentioned using pressurized air.

  49. Mike December 7th, 2011 12:40 am

    Thanks for that info Edge. My mind is eased on the 30 but now I need to find a source that doesn’t have a $100 haz-mat shipping fee for Alaska or a store in Anchorage that stocks them. Yikes!

    My ’04 rev has a plastic rack contraption on the tunnel at the rear that I would ratchet-strap my boards to and it worked just fine but I just bought an 2012 XP that is thus far bare as I have yet to even ride it. I’m looking into the X-rack and CFR but I would probably prefer to fabricate something of my own device as that’s how I roll. I find that I can ride all day in my Garmonts with no problem at all if I duct tape the lower buckles down.

    I understand a lot of folks here dislike sleds but the roadside access in AK gets pretty thrashed from the Anchorage Suburu crowd and it is so sweet to be able to pick and choose which untracked paradise to pillage that the highway skiiers will never ever even see. The new etec motors are so clean and quiet and get better gas milage than the average Outback, and they are a lot more fun when driving in neck deep powder. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll park on the shoulder on any day that I can’t rally a crew for sled-shred but the goods are much better 20 miles back.

  50. scott December 7th, 2011 10:00 pm

    will the skicarry system accomadate k2 hellbent width ski?

  51. Frank K December 8th, 2011 12:20 pm

    Scott, it’s a big loop, I don’t think it would be a problem. Out of curiosity, I stuck my biggest pair of skis (Volkl Sumos) in there with plenty of room to spare. Now, someone with 70mm skis and tech bindings might have a problem, as they could conceivably go all the way through the loop. All the more reason for them to get a real pair of skis though :)

  52. Dom January 3rd, 2012 1:13 pm

    Curious to know how size of BCA Float 36 compares to Snowpulse RAS Pro 35. I’ve seen complaints that the “36 liters” of the Float 36 appears to be without the airbag system installed, and that in practice it works out about 10L less. Is this right? Is the RAS Pro 35 similar? Does it feel any bigger or smaller?

    I’ve been skiing for the last few seasons with a BD Anarchist Avalung 42L, and I wouldn’t want to go much smaller. I find the extra weight of a larger pack is pretty insignificant, and I like having the extra space for longer trips, carrying gear for others etc.

    Seems like closest airbag equivalents are: BCA Float 36, Snowpulse RAS Pro 35, Snowpulse Lifebag Tour 45L, ABS Vario 40.

  53. Lou January 28th, 2012 8:33 am

    Been testing Float 18. Totally too small for my “average” real backcountry skiing kit. Just wanted to get that out there. Would be fine for sidecountry with minimal gear. I couldn’t even fit my climbing skins in there. Lou

  54. Mike January 28th, 2012 8:56 am

    I agree Lou. I have to keep the shovel blade on the outside to get room for the basics (water, lunch, puffy, etc).
    I should have waited for next year’s bags.

  55. DM April 26th, 2012 4:03 pm

    I’m picking up a Float 36 and had a question about pulling the trigger. Is it best to use the hand on the same side as the trigger handle (e.g. using right hand for the handle in right shoulder strap), or the opposite hand? Also, can the trigger handle be mounted on both left and right sides, or is it fixed in the right shoulder strap?

  56. DM April 26th, 2012 4:05 pm

    Also, if one wanted to use the 36 for hut trips, is there room for a sleeping bag and inflatable thermarest, or would those need to be lashed to the outside?

  57. Edge April 26th, 2012 4:20 pm

    DM, you can use either hand to pull the trigger. Now that we have a stable, cone-shaped trigger rather than T-shaped trigger hanging on a cable, it is much easier to grab. In the Float 36, it is fixed in the right shoulder strap.

    If you’re like me and you bring a summer bag on hut trips, then you should be able to fit that in the F36 along with other gear. The T-rest should probably go on the outside. It will fit nicely under the snowboard/compression straps.

  58. DM May 1st, 2012 3:59 pm

    Thanks! Just pulled the trigger – pun intended! – on a Float 36 for a good deal. It seems really nice so far.

  59. Lou May 1st, 2012 5:34 pm

    Super well made, that’s for sure!

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

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