Outdoor Retailer Reveals – Arva, BCA, K2


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 13, 2016      

The Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake is a healthy blend of excitement, exhaustion, and networking opportunities. Of course, with the focus of backcountry skiing and splitboarding here at WildSnow, it helps to narrow down our persistent search for what’s new in a convention center packed to the brim with innovation.

Despite the relatively small sector of the Outdoor Industry that we focus on, we barely have time for a lunch break time with all of the new products and updates hitting the floor. Thankfully, we hit the Salt Palace in SLC with a small crew of energetic, happy-hour attending, fun-hogging bloggers to bring you the most interesting and relevant happenings we find.

ARVA –- new airbag system

Arva releases their line of airbag packs, featuring 150L balloons.

Arva releases their line of airbag packs, featuring 150L balloons.

ARVA has been around for a while in various capacities from distribution to original products. For fall 2016 they have developed a new airbag system that utilizes the pre-existing nitrogen based canisters. A number of features make this a noteworthy pack.

Arva system features dual valves (for redundancy and increased capacity) to fill each side of the balloon. The size of the apparatus and how much room it takes up inside the pack is noteworthy as it is considerably smaller than others.

Arva system features dual valves (for redundancy and increased capacity) to fill each side of the balloon. The size of the apparatus and how much room it takes up inside the pack is noteworthy as it is considerably smaller than others.

This small scale model of the balloon shows the internal separation of the balloon’s chambers. Part of this was to skirt around the patent that ABS has for dual balloons. The other benefits are in redundancy in case of puncture and absorbing impact.

This small scale model of the balloon shows the internal separation of the balloon’s chambers. Part of this was to skirt around the patent that ABS has for dual balloons. The other benefits are in redundancy in case of puncture and absorbing impact.

Another innovation is the “safe-locking and retractable handle”, said to prevent accident inflation.

Another innovation is the “safe-locking and retractable handle”, said to prevent accident inflation.

All the ARVA airbag packs are adjustable. They are also available in a wide variety of sizes and colors.

All the ARVA airbag packs are adjustable. They are also available in a wide variety of sizes and colors.

One of the many updated and newly released innovations from OR 2016. BCA’s Shaxe Tech.

One of the many updated and newly released innovations from Outdoor Retailer 2016. BCA’s Shaxe Tech.

One of BCA’s newly designed stash packs.

One of BCA’s newly designed stash packs. Comes in 20, 30, and 40 liter sizes -– all with back panel access.

Backcountry Access keeps up the innovation with a number of updates and new designs. As most of you know, BCA is owned by K2, and for the future they are absorbing some of K2’s Backside Line. This undoubtedly makes perfect sense, allowing BCA to continue to do what they’re good at.

Some of the more noteworthy things from BCA are a new Shaxe, rescue sled components, software updates for the Tracker3, and new Stash packs.

The Shaxe (ice axe, shovel handle combo) was a great innovation a few years ago at K2. For fall 2016, the original Shaxe, with an aluminum head, has new colors and a movable grip to protect the pin mechanism.

The NEW Shaxe Tech is a redesigned tool with several features making it viable in more technical terrain. First off, the head is steel and the pick has a few degrees more curvature. This allows for more effectiveness in steeper terrain and more durability for swinging on steep snow and ice. As you can see in the photo, the shaft Is also curved to give you more clearance on your hand, and for a more aggressive approach to steeper terrain. Coupled with these two features is a steel spike for a more durable and effective plunge in cane mode. The shovel blade attachment is similar to the original Shaxe, obviously with a curved shovel handle now.

The new Shaxe Tech.

The new Shaxe Tech.

BCA rescue sled converters for use with skis that feature tip and tale holes. The user provides their own duct tape, p-cord, etc.

BCA rescue sled converters for use with skis that feature tip and tale holes. The user provides their own duct tape, p-cord, etc.

K2 – Splitboard Mountaineering Boot

K2 Aspect Boot for splitboard mountaineering.

K2 Aspect Boot for splitboard mountaineering. K2 stock photo on right.

We are seeing more and more companies making mountaineering specific splitboard gear – specifically boots. We have seen Fitwell, and Deeluxe for a few years, with the addition of ThirtyTwo last year, and now K2. A noteworthy development, as the latter two companies are mainstream boot makers in the snowboard world. The Lucas Debari-influenced model has a heel welt for a semi-automatic crampon and a full blown vibram mountaineering sole. Soft boot trend?

Then there’s the displays that force you to stop, laugh, and go face-down on to a toboggan. Haha!

Then there’s the displays that force you to stop, laugh, and go face-down on to a toboggan. Haha!



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Comments

8 Responses to “Outdoor Retailer Reveals – Arva, BCA, K2”

  1. Shane January 13th, 2016 12:19 pm

    Any info on what the Tracker3 software update is intended to do and when will it be available for download?

  2. Devin January 13th, 2016 1:06 pm

    Any specifics regarding the Tracker 3 software update? Thx

  3. Steve January 13th, 2016 3:58 pm
  4. Lisa Dawson January 13th, 2016 5:28 pm

    Thanks Steve!

  5. VtVolk January 14th, 2016 6:43 am

    That K2 boot looks interesting, but appears well shorter than a standard soft boot. Is it just the camera angle, or is it actually shorter? I could see the potential benefits for maneuverability when climbing more technical terrain, but I imagine it would have tradeoffs for riding back down said technical terrain. Did K2 provide any info on this?

  6. Zach Winters January 15th, 2016 1:25 pm

    Nice Coop – also interested in those K2 boots. The K2 T1 was probably my all time favorite performing boot. Stiff. Light. Stiff. Intuition came standard. Full vibram sole. Come to think of it, what makes these new ones a better mountain boot? Just the semi-auto compatibility? In terms of features, it sounds a lot like my Deeluxe XV’s. A soft boot with full auto pons would sure be neat.

  7. Lisa Dawson January 15th, 2016 4:17 pm

    VtVolk and Zach,
    Coop is out of reach traveling for the next few weeks so I’ll fill in. Here are the specs from K2:

    MSRP $449.95
    Vibram Mountaineer Outsole, crampon compatible with climbing grip
    Boa Conda liner tightening that dials in fit and heel hold
    Intuition Pro Foam 3D Liner – heat moldable custom fit
    Leather upper
    Size 7-13 (1/2 size in 8,9,10,11)

    I contacted K2 to see if someone can cut thru the marketing spiel and send answers.

  8. Mitch Dreyer January 16th, 2016 2:56 pm

    I’m wondering if the new firmware on the tracker 3 extends the multiple signal suppression at all? 1 minute seems a bit short to me as you might not be able to get to victim 1’s beacon that quickly and turn it off, i’m not an avy rescue pro but that’s the only thing about this beacon that seemed like it could be interesting.

    Also, I live in Carbondale and would love to grab a bite with some local back country folk and discuss our situation here. Love this website and am very grateful for all of the awesome info shared!!!

    Mitch





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