Mammut Light Removeable Airbag 30L & Ultralight Removeable Airbag 20L — Review

Post by blogger | February 24, 2016      

Michael Arnold
AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide

Mammut Ultralight Removeable Airbag 20L for fast and light ski touring objectives.  The versatility of the ski carry is handy when working ridges filled with rock, snow and ice.

Mammut 20L for fast and light ski touring objectives. The versatility of the ski carry is handy when working ridges filled with rock, snow and ice.

Mammut continues providing some of the best technology in the avalanche airbag world. We continuously see growth with products like the Light Removable Airbag 30L and Ultralight Removable Airbag 20L.

These two packs are the quiver for 80% of the backcountry users. The 20L is ideal for short “mini golf’ or light and fast objectives. The 30L fits the best in a everyday backcountry scenario. With the Removable Airbag System (RAS), it’s a no brainer to have two different packs with one airbag system. The RAS system is easy to change from pack to pack with the new color coated tabs.

30L left, 20L right.

30L left, 20L right.

Mammut 30L in Wildsnow's backyard.  Boot packing to skinning.  Another day enjoying backcountry ski touring.

Mammut 30L in Wildsnow’s backyard. Boot packing to skinning. Another day enjoying backcountry ski touring.

I first tried the pack out with a ski mountaineering objective in mind. I packed all the essentials and loaded the 30L to about 30 lbs. With the pack on I was immediately impressed with the carrying system. The lightweight aspect of the pack eliminates some of the bells and whistles, but does not sacrifice on comfort. The 30L pack fit could be to large for folks with a shorter torso.

We continuously see folks in the backcountry with improper fits with airbag systems. This tends to come from getting what is cheapest, since all these airbags do have a pricey tag on them. I can’t stress enough the necessity of a comfortable pack. Mammut’s technology has a way of shedding weight without compromising the comfort, usability and fit. The shape, size and fit of the airbag is crucial for the operation and deployment of the airbag. (I.e., Airbags that are too big can compromise many things when caught in an avalanche.)

When I received the packs I checked out the avalanche tool pocket immediately. Finally in the 30L, there is an internal pocket that separates the essential tools from the main compartment. (I did have trouble getting larger shovel blades and probes in the compartment.) Organization is key when traveling in the backcountry when light and fast objectives are in mind.

The 3/4 zip is not ideal when packing the pack. It limits the access to the base of the pack. The bonus to the 3/4 Zipper is all your kit won’t fall out when opening. Just like any pack, you will load it numerous times before it fits and works for your needs.

There is an external zipper with a micro pocket. This pocket is ideals for your communication, snacks etc. On the contrary, when the pocket is filled up, it tends to compromise the main compartment zipper and becomes harder to close.

The main compartment is sorted out perfectly with the Snowpulse components only taking up a small percentage of the volume and makes for easy packing. One issue I noticed was a place for the ice tool. Your typical external ice tool attachment is not ideal on an airbag (when in avalanche terrain) since you want to avoid puncturing the balloon. I was able to take a second pair of gloves and get the axe stowed and protected INSIDE the pack.

Guide’s note: Be aware of the items you attach to the exterior of avalanche airbags when in avalanche terrain. Sharp objects like poles, ice axes and A-framed skis could puncture the balloon.

Mammut Removeable Airbag System, RAS.

Mammut Removeable Airbag System, RAS.

Color coded tabs make it easy to install the RAS correctly.

Color coded tabs make it easy to install the RAS correctly.

The access point to deflate the airbag.  Quicker and easier than most avalanche airbags.

The access point to deflate the airbag. Quicker and easier than most avalanche airbags.

Interior of 20L pack.  Just enough space for the essentials.

Interior of 20L pack. Just enough space for the essentials of a short tour.

The guts of the Snowpulse system have been trimmed down from its previous models. The aluminum cartridge comes in at about 700g, where the carbon cartridge weighs about half of that. The aluminum cartridge is larger than the carbon due to the filling capacity and differing fill pressure. The aluminum cartridge has a “self-refillable” feature on the top so people can refill it on there own. I can’t forget to point out, the 20L with all its guts and glory — using the heavier cylinder — still comes in at about 4.5 lbs. Wow!

The ski/board carry is versatile when dealing with ridges and or climbing. The basic external straps allow you to configure the skis the way you need.


  • Mammut Airbag Systems are easy to transfer to other Mammut RAS backpacks
  • Tool compartment in the 30L is now its own pocket, making for better organization
  • Lightweight material allows you to use this pack for everyday BC touring
  • Volume and packability of the pack is not compromised by the Snowpulse system
  • Cons

  • Lightweight material could be problematic when using lifts, cats or heli
  • The unit could be difficult to travel with in regards to refill centers
  • Larger shovel blades and probes are unlikely to fit into the tool compartment
  • 3/4 zip makes it more difficult to pack
  • Lacks interior ice axe storage options
  • Weights from the WildSnow scale:

  • Ultralight 20L with full aluminum cartridge: 1908 grams
  • Technology 3.0 30L with full aluminum cartridge: 2446 gm
  • Weight of full aluminum cartridge: 694 gm
  • Note:As Lou saw during ISPO, a carbon cartridge (120 Euros) will be available in Europe and cuts the Removeable Airbag System down to 1 kilo. Due to transportation regulations the EU carbon cartridge is illegal to ship or fill in the US and in Canada. Someone might be able to “get” one into the US from Europe but there would be no way to refill it and no possibility of exchanging it, so it would likely become an expensive disposable cylinder (that is unless it was returned somehow to Europe, which actually might be possible as the empty cylinder might not be a big issue to postal mail or carry during air travel). Mammut is trying to get a lightweight carbon cartridge for North America. WildSnow fingers crossed.

    The EU carbon cartridge is not refillable “just anywhere” the way the North American cartridge is, but it is refillable. The N.A. cartridges can be refilled at nearly any scuba or paintball shop or by anyone with a 3300lb+ scuba tank using a standard paintball/airgun adaptor. The Euro cartridge requires 4500psi and some very specialized equipment to fill it, so it needs to go back to the euro refilling station to get refilled — they use an exchange system there similar to what ABS does in the US. The airbag and the trigger are the same, only the cartridges are different — this is to deal with the different laws regarding transport of pressurized cartridges between the US and Europe. A US pack WILL work with the euro cartridge, and vice versa.

    Pricing and availability

  • Ultralight Removable airbag 3.0 20l (includes airbag but not cartridge) 489.95
  • Light Removable airbag 3.0 30l (includes airbag but not cartridge) 579.95
  • 3000psi North American refillable cartridge 189.95
  • Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0 READY 20l (just the pack, no airbag, no cartridge) 139.95
  • Light Removable Airbag 3.0 READY 30l (just the pack, no airbag, no cartridge) 229.95
  • Removable Airbag System 3.0 (just the system, no pack and no cartridge) 399.95
  • Available fall 2016
  • Tester stats

  • Height — 6ft
  • Waist — 30-32in
  • Spine — 19in
  • Weight — 170lbs
  • (WildSnow guest blogger Michael Arnold is an AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide and co-founder of Vetta Mountain Guides. When he’s not sleeping in his Sprinter van or some hut above Chamonix, he lives in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado.)


    Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


    107 Responses to “Mammut Light Removeable Airbag 30L & Ultralight Removeable Airbag 20L — Review”

    1. Mammut Dave February 24th, 2016 1:18 pm

      Hey, Thanks for the review Wildsnow folks! I’ll stay tuned if there are any questions about the new 3.0 airbag system in the review.

      One thing to note right off–the review samples were from a sample production. One change that’s already happened is that the internal shovel/probe compartment in the 30l Light model will be made a bit bigger–it still will not fit an extra large shovel easily, but it should provide better access for small to medium size shovels.

    2. See February 24th, 2016 1:30 pm

      What’s the problem with an airbag pack that’s too big/small when caught in an avalanche? If it carries comfortably, could it still be a problem? (Sorry about the double post)

    3. Chris February 24th, 2016 1:44 pm

      Hi Mammut Dave, I have an ultralight but it is a bit different from the I in the review (the airbag mechanism is not plastic)

      What are the differences between ny ultralight and the one in the review?

    4. Mammut Dave February 24th, 2016 2:23 pm

      Chris, the Mammut airbag packs up until now use a trigger and ventouri we call the “inflation system 2.0” (1.0 being the old Snowpulse trigger system). Both the Removable and Protection systems use this same apparatus, the only difference being the shape of the airbag and the associated fittings in the pack. The review is for the new 3.0 airbag system which will be available in September of 2016. It uses the same cartridge, but the airbag is completely redesigned along with the pack fittings. It will still be available in both the Removable and Protection shapes, the reviewed packs are the 2 models most focused on lightweight touring.
      *The airbag material is the brightest most fluorescent orange you can imagine for low-vis settings so it’s easier to see poking out of a debris pile.
      *The airbag material is significantly more tear and puncture-resistant, as well as takes up less space thanks to a different construction technique.
      *The airbag ventouri and trigger is one unit made from molded fiber-reinforced polymer with metal fittings–it’s “plastic”, but it’s kind of like plastic on steroids, so in this case I prefer the fancy-boy name :). It also weighs significantly less and is simpler to arm, simpler to handle.
      *no re-arming tool is necessary–screwing in the cartridge arms the trigger. The test sample did not come with it, but they will come with a “dummy” practice tool so you can test-fire the airbag any time without needing to refill, to ensure you have the muscle-memory to trigger it in an emergency. You can also practice with a full or empty cartridge.
      *the trigger handle is redesigned for more positive gloved open/close, and the trigger is height-adjustable to get a good fit for different sized users. (Both this point and the last are a direct result of Haegeli’s research showing practiced airbag users are significantly less likely to be unable to deploy an airbag in an avalanche–so we want people to be easily able to and practiced at triggering their airbag).
      *the connection into the pack is simpler
      *size/weight–the RAS system comes in about 20% lighter and takes up 30% less space in a pack than the 2.0 version. By my conversion the Ultralight 20l RAS will come in at 4lb 3oz including the cartridge, the Light 30l at 5lb 6oz. The RAS system and cartridge takes up 2.2l of space in a pack, while the protection system takes up 1.7l of space.
      *Fit–In the Protection system, in the past fitting smaller people was an issue and many people complained about the wide shoulder straps. The new version of the protection system is designed to fit from XL down to a 16.5″ back-length, and the width and feel of the shoulder straps is much closer to a regular pack.
      *a couple new or slightly different pack models to go with the airbags–the two packs reviewed here, the 20l ultralight is totally new and the Light model is totally redesigned based on user feedback.

      *Also, North America can look for a more user-friendly system of renting cartridges to facilitate air travel.


      That’s really all just to say it’s a new system that’s smaller, lighter, and easier to use than in the past. That help?

    5. Mammut Dave February 24th, 2016 2:32 pm

      So that’s the company line–Wildsnow folks have arranged to have some packs next fall for a more in-depth look, and we can certainly add one of the 2.0 packs to compare and contrast–then you’ll get the no-BS unbiased answer!

    6. Anders February 24th, 2016 3:00 pm

      I own 2 Mammut airbagpacks with the PAS system, a 35L Pro and a 15L Rocker. Just like the reviewer the main thing that impressed me is the carrying system and the fit of the packs which is superior to any of the other packs I tried on, especially if you are a tall guy like me (190cm). As we all know the major drawback with any cannister based system is that it’s a gamble to travel with due to erratic enforcment of airline regulations. I havn’t had any issues while traveling in Europe using the sealed EU cartridge. But when visting British Columbia last year I had to leave my cartridge behind at the Calagary airport because the airline refused to let me take it aboard the flight (thanks for that one United ?) despit the fact that i purchased a North American refillable cartridge in Canada (cheaper then renting for 3 weeks), emtying it, taking it apart before going to the airport and carrying all the documentation provided. This is of course not a Mammut specific problem, same thing goes for all canister based systems, but it makes a pretty strong case for getting a battery driven pack if you travel for your turns. Now if only the weights and prices could come down….?

    7. Justin February 24th, 2016 4:33 pm

      Does the 30 have a spot in the shoulder strap for a hydration hose?

    8. GeorgeT February 24th, 2016 8:23 pm

      Is the RAS 3.0 airbag system system compatible with my 2015 Light RAS 2.0 bag?

    9. Quasimoto February 24th, 2016 8:26 pm

      How’s the crotch strap attachment system? Louie did a piece a few weeks ago on how many designs are poor. What’s the system here? Hard to tell from the photos.

    10. Robert V. Coppolillo February 24th, 2016 8:45 pm

      Great post, Mike–and thanks for the add’l info, Dave!

      I typically have at least one locking carabiner with me for my rescue sled, so I’ve been rocking that on my crotch loop—makes it easier to clip to the waist belt of the pack, rather than re-threading the crotch strap/waistbelt every time I put on the pack. I figure if i’m already carrying it, why not use it to streamline my off/on with the backpack?

      I’m psyched to get my hands on a 30L come fall and hopefully/ideally the carbon cartridge. A sub-5-lb 30L balloon pack? Oh yeah!

    11. Ivar February 25th, 2016 12:46 am

      Nice pack, I still sort of want to upgrade to a lighter pack next year.
      The only thing that puzzles me is the lack of a handy solution for poles on most packs. Surely there are now enough splitboarders to make this happen, we need a way to quickly attach poles and take them back off the pack without taking the pack of our back. A simple set of loops and magnetic buckle at the top would be enough. Not even Jones figured this one out, it’s pretty simple really.

    12. Mammut Dave February 25th, 2016 7:26 am

      George T, the 2.0 system and 3.0 system components are not compatible with each other–only the cartridge itself is the same. We tried to make some compatibility but doing so meant really compromising on many of the changes we wanted to make.

    13. Jules February 25th, 2016 3:06 pm

      Mammut Dave,
      Can the 3.0 system be purchased separately in 2016 and put into a 2015 or older pack?

    14. Rob February 26th, 2016 12:10 am

      Just commenting for followup posts purposes.

    15. Buell February 27th, 2016 9:18 pm

      Mammut Dave, I have the 30L 2.0 Light RAS and have found it to be a great pack. Do you have any idea if / when we might see the Ultralight 20L RAS pack and carbon cartridge in the US? Can a US approved cartidge be used in the new Ultralight 20L RAS pack? Thanks

    16. Mammut Dave February 29th, 2016 8:19 am

      There were a couple questions on compatibility–I thought these were already answered but hopefully this makes it clearer for everyone.

      Currently-available Mammut packs use the 2.0 airbag system.

      The 3.0 airbag system will be available in September of 2016.

      Packs and airbags designed for the 2.0 system are NOT compatible with either packs or airbag systems using the 3.0 system. We tried to engineer some compatibility but it necessitated too many compromises.
      This means:
      *a 2.0 airbag system cannot be used in a 3.0 pack
      *a 3.0 airbag system cannot be used in a 2.0 pack

      The only thing that will remain the same is the cartridges–these are the same and can be used on any 2.0 or 3.0 airbag system.

      As far as North American VS European cartridges, the ONLY difference functionally is the size/weight and the DOT/TC certifications. All Mammut cartridges, regardless of their size/construction or transport certifications are 100% interchangeable and will function with both 2.0 airbags and 3.0 airbags.
      A Euro steel or carbon Mammut cartridge will work in all Mammut airbag packs regardless of where they are from or their vintage. The US/Canada cartridge will also work in all Mammut airbag packs regardless of same. Fittings and function are exactly the same. This means if you are in the US and you fly to ski in Europe, you can leave your cartridge behind and rent a European cartridge. For Europeans, it means you can leave your cartridge behind and rent one in the US.

      We’re working on getting a carbon cartridge that can pass the certifications in North America but it’s a slow process–I can’t promise a timeline so I don’t want to speculate on when that would be.

      Yes, the 20l Ultralight 3.0 airbag system–along with all of the other airbags–will work with both the EU and the North American cartridges–the weights given above (4lb 3oz for the 20l Ultralight and 5lb 6oz for the 30L Light) are weighed using the North American cartridges. You can subtract about half a pound for a carbon cartridge if you are in Europe.

    17. Lou Dawson 2 February 29th, 2016 10:26 am

      Nice Dave, thanks for being here! Sometimes all the airbag permutations cause one to feel like their brain is on fire.

    18. mikey1299 March 10th, 2016 12:32 pm

      Any updates/changes to the rest of the RAS or PAS packs like the Pro 35 or Ride?

    19. Mammut Dave March 17th, 2016 11:51 am

      mikey, the layout on most of these packs is the same or very similar as before, but with the changes noted above plus a few exceptions–the biggest exceptions being the improved fit on the PAS packs and the Light 30l model in both RAS and PAS which has changed to a bit more of a panel-loading design with a more dedicated shovel/probe compartment. I personally tend to gravitate to more of an old-school top-loading pack, but given the airbag needs to be worked around I actually think in both cases this is an improvement that most people will appreciate. The Pro 35 and 45l and Ride models are essentially the same packs as the previous versions as far as pack layout, materials, etc. I have a solid handful of days using all of these packs now and I just spent a couple days skiing after a meeting and took a few pictures to answer some of the questions here regarding attachments for poles, etc. I’ll put some up on the mammut avalanche safety blog as soon as I can manage and that should hopefully help people wrap their heads around them as well.

    20. Brian Lindahl July 22nd, 2016 3:04 pm

      It looks like the 20L model can’t use the refillable cannister. The cannister is too tall for the backpack:
      [[ Note: The shorter back length means that the Cartridge Refillable 207 Bar Alu / empty is not compatible with the backpack. ]]

    21. Brian Lindahl August 2nd, 2016 1:43 pm

      Looks like despite Mammut’s marketing material, that the refillable cannister is compatible with the 20L? It looks like you took a photo of it inside?

    22. harpo September 24th, 2016 11:30 am

      Hi Wildsnow, I think you indicated in the comments that you would be doing a wildsnow post this fall on many of the Mammut airbag offerings? When will this happen?

    23. Lou Dawson 2 September 24th, 2016 1:34 pm

      Hi Harpo, we’re working on a lot of things, not sure exactly when that will get done, but Mike’s review is pretty good. Is it lacking something?

    24. Harpo September 24th, 2016 6:01 pm

      I wanted a longterm review of the Light Removable including how the light weight fabric holds up to wear. I would also like a comparison to other mammut packs including the Light Protection? which is about half a pound heavier.

    25. Lou Dawson 2 September 25th, 2016 7:26 am

      Hi Harpo, I can tell you that when we tested the Mammut packs, the light fabric indeed required more care. We easily wore some holes in it when carrying skis without taking extra care how they were attached. The fabric is not anything special and will wear just like any other pack made with lighter stuff, for example the CAMP lighter weight packs. Reality is the vast majority of the European ski touring market is comprised of folks who rarely (if ever) strap skis to their pack, same with North America probably. Yeah yeah, I know, every photo you see in advertising is some guy on a ridge with skis on his pack… that’s the marketing image, but it’s not the most common reality. So companies like Mammut don’t obsess on making bulletproof pack sacks. Lack of weight is what sells, and clean looks with current color ways. Besides, if you take an extra moment to lash carefully you can haul skis and sharps on a pack with thinner fabric without damaging it, and if you do, a quick hit on a sewing machine can usually effect an easy repair.

      In my opinion, the best design philosophy idea with Mammut and other airbag packs regarding fabric is that ideally the airbag is integrated with the shoulder straps and overall body harness system, so even if the cargo sack gets torn away, the airbag still works. That’s normally how it’s done, and is indeed configured that way with Arcteryx and Mammut. When I was in Vancouver last winter they showed us the test tower at Arcteryx where the test how well the pack stays attached to your torso under huge loads on the balloon. Impressive, and said to be a requirement of the CE directives.

      The Arcteryx is made from astoundingly heavy fabric, with bottom and back panel made from double or triple thickness. I’d estimate that with the 30 liter Voltair you’re hauling at least a half pound extra weight in fabric compared to a Mammut. For guys who abuse their packs on rocks, or carry skis and sharps quite a bit, in my opinion the Mammut fabric is indeed nice, but for me it’s overkill and I wish Arcteryx would make a Voltair pack version that was more minimalist. Like I said before, I’m pretty tired of airbag packs having to be clunky.

      The Arcteryx system could easily be made removable, though the wire and cable routing is a bit convoluted in the present design (I considered modding to make removable, but it looked like a time consuming task with no real purpose.)

      Arc’teryx has the resources and knowhow to make an RAS system and provide a more minimalist pack to accept it. Let’s encourage them to do so. I really like their electric pack componentry, but I don’t personally like the pack bag.

      That said, the pack bag is incredibly well made using beautiful fabric, so I waxed positive about it in my reviews. One can read between the lines, as you have.

    26. Mammut Dave September 29th, 2016 9:39 am

      Harpo and Lou–a bit of info on the light fabric from Mammut. These two packs, as well as the Light Protection Airbag 3.0 30l, are the models most-focused on light weight. They all use the same fabric–it’s a combination of 100 denier and 210 denier nylon ripstop fabric, which is quite a bit more durable than the paper-thin stuff you find on many rando-race and trail-running packs. In our testing, and in my own personal use, the fabric is plenty durable by itself if you are talking about general abrasion, krumholz punctures, etc. This particular fabric tests very well in durability against other similar-weight fabrics. Where it is lacking is when there is a hard object on both sides of the fabric–say a shovel inside and a ski on the outside, with the fabric sandwiched in between, or where you have a hard shovel inside and you then get abrasions on the outside from scraping against rocks or rolling around in the bed of your truck–in this case, it will wear quickly. In cases like this it is extremely difficult to find any fabric that will withstand this type of abuse, even the really heavy 400-500 denier triple ripstop fabrics we use on our other airbag pack models. The 100/210 D fabrics used in these light models is the best compromise we have found between retaining reasonable durability and still retaining light-enough weight. It’s worth noting that even if one of these is your only pack, it’s not going to be any less durable than a similar non-airbag pack, and when it eventually wears out you can simply replace only the pack, and transfer the airbag to a new pack. This is a heck of a lot cheaper than replacing the entire airbag just because there’re a few tears in the fabric.

      Regarding the Light protection versus the Light removable models: The RAs (removable) system is focused on being as light and low-volume as possible. The Protection system is focused on providing maximum protection, including some protection from trauma. Either pack is very suitable for ski touring in my own mind, it’s simply a question of whether the increased protection from the PAS system is important to you when balanced with the additional weight, the actual function and intended use of the two models is virtually the same. I just put a full detailed rundown of the new system including a description of all the pack models, some info on the trauma protection claim, etc on our avalanche safety blog–you can check that out here:
      (Lou, hope it’s OK to post that–I put it together specifically to answer some of the questions on this thread, but if you prefer please just delete the link)

      Hope this helps,

    27. Mammut Dave September 29th, 2016 9:44 am

      Forgot to mention–regarding durability, with any of these light packs you can really help add to the durability by putting something soft between the hard stuff inside the pack and the front of the pack where ski’s would be carried–this padding prevents the metal-on-metal sandwich that will cut the fabric. I am not really a race guy and I try to avoid carrying my skis, but a set of spare gloves or a sweater behind your shovel blade when carrying skis makes a huge difference. Obviously not a perfect solution, but it does help.

    28. Lou Dawson 2 September 29th, 2016 10:01 am

      All fine Dave, appreciate the industry voice chiming in here with useful stuff. Agree that the lightweight fabric is fine if a person uses it correctly. The fabric on the Arcteryx is incredibly beefy and thus requires a lot less thought on how the pack is loaded. Me, I’d prefer less weight and more thought, but each to his own. Main thing is that the airbag stays attached to your body in a slide, what happens to your sandwich in the pack is secondary. Lou

    29. Topi September 29th, 2016 10:32 am

      I have used Mammut RAS Light 30 for two past seasons (Euro). No durability issues to report. (current model, not the new fall 2016 model). I really like the pack. It is my “go-to” rucksack for skiing.

      In my experience, diagonally ski carry will easily damage your rucksack no matter how strong the fabric is. I manage to create holes on Salewa and even on Exped rucksack due to diagonal ski carry. Exped rucksacks use a really thick and strong rubberized fabric. The reason is simple, like Dave said, when placing the shovel blade directly underneath where the skis, edge or binding rubs and bounds against the pack – then, in the worst case the holes will appear just after few minutes of walking.
      Myself, I started using non brained A frame carry again.

    30. harpo October 1st, 2016 9:13 pm

      Thanks for that info Dave. Another question I couldn’t find an answer to is how the RAS Light 30 is sized for different torso lengths? It seems to come only in one size?

    31. Mammut Dave October 3rd, 2016 2:14 pm

      Harpo, the Protection (PAS) airbags rely on getting a good torso-length fit in order to provide the desired level of trauma protection–for that reason these have an adjustable back length, my measurements have these fitting from about 16.5″ up to over 20″.
      The RAS system packs are indeed one back length–we dont have enough volume in these to do too many sizes so we are forced to make it a pretty universal fit. The RAS packs are built around an 18″ back length, but there is enough adjustment so they fit fine about an inch smaller than this and up to 2″ or a bit more larger than this, depending on the pack style. A jacket-fit harness on a small pack such as the Ultralight 20l in this article will fit almost any adult, while a more involved harness with load-adjustment straps and a frame will be a bit less flexible. On the Light 30l I’d be comfortable fitting it to back lengths from 17″ to about 20″ without fudging it. Anyone who hasnt been measured for a pack keep in mind back length is only correlated with height, so many shorter people and very tall people will still fit into this range comfortably.

    32. See October 3rd, 2016 8:29 pm

      How about Cuben fiber/Dyneema for durable, light material?

    33. Eric B October 4th, 2016 1:52 am

      Dave, will a larger pack (35L+) be available in the lightweight 3.0 removable range for 2016/17? The weight savings Mammut have made are impressive and it would be great to have it in a multi-day touring pack for hut to hut trips. Ideally I’d like to have a lightweight system I could move between the 30L bag for day tours and a 35-45L bag for multi-day.

    34. Mammut Dave October 4th, 2016 11:00 am

      Eric B, at the moment the 30l size is as large a pack as we make that I would call a true “lightweight”. Keep in mind that our “heavyweight” packs are as much as a pound or even a bit more lighter than many other airbag packs of comparable size, this is due to the weight of the airbag system being lighter even though the pack itself is not particularly light weight and is made with very durable fabric, heavy zippers, etc. Example, our Pro 45l RAS pack weighs only 6lb 14oz including the airbag system and the full North American cylinder–so if you are comparing to many of the other airbag packs out there, that actually IS light weight! If you are looking for a lightweight pack in the 4-5.5 pound range similar to the models detailed in Lou’s article but larger, then 30l is as big as we make for now. For background, lightweight equipment and larger-size (40l+) ski packs both actually make up a pretty small % of the total in each category, and in order to hit the minimum quantity necessary to produce this type of product in a cost-effective manner we need to concentrate that volume in fewer options. It’s frustrating if ultra light weight is your thing, but unfortunately it’s reality. The same goes for the cuben fiber mentioned above–it’s certainly possible, but as far as the logistics of producing a pack like this in a way that works financially for us, you’re talking about a niche within a niche within a niche…the air is just too rarefied there for us to do this. If you look around at airbag packs in general and count the “ultralight” packs offered you’ll see there are very few options–this is exactly WHY there are so few options. The good news is that both of these systems are removable from the pack in just moments, so for the price of 1 airbag and 1 additional pack you CAN have a sub-5.5lb 30l day touring pack AND a 45l hut-to-hut airbag pack that, while not an ultralight isnt a monster in terms of weight. Hope this helps!

    35. harpo October 4th, 2016 8:44 pm

      I just received in the mail and then returned a Mammut Light Removable Airbag 30l. The avi tool pocket looked totally inadequate. It was tiny (I didn’t try to fit a shovel blade in there because I didn’t want to damage anything before returning it) nor did it have sleeves for organizing probes or shovel handles. If i understood how it was supposed to work, the blade was supposed to fit on the inside of the back panel next to the canister. I couldn’t see how it was all going to fit. I am used to the BD Alias which has pretty minimalist avi tool storage, but the Mammut was way more minimalist than that. Did I receive an older version of this pack? Is the Mammut Light PAS 30L tool pocket any bigger? Very disappointed.

    36. Lou Dawson 2 October 5th, 2016 5:22 am

      Harpo, airbag packs tend to be smaller than you’d expect, especially the European ones. Keep trying, you’ll find one you like. I was looking at the new Arvas just yesterday, they appear quite nice and they’ll be providing a smaller cylinder (high pressure argon) option that saves weight and volume! The Arcteryx electric 30L is quite large, as are the Black Diamond and BCA.

      I was looking at the Mammut options yesterday as well, they have a new airbag fabric that saves a bit of weight and is easy to manufacture (keeping the price from getting ever higher?) and the small lightweight carbon cylinder available in Europe is impressive, and I’m told very easy to have friends bring back over here in luggage, though it can’t be sold here due to some kind of nefarious weirdness.

      There are an amazing number of airbag pack options now, it’s actually a bit of a chuckle. Good for the consumer, though I’d expect prices to drop at some point.

    37. Eric B October 5th, 2016 5:37 am

      Thanks for the helpful reply Mammut Dave, I will check out the packs and thanks particularly for the detailed weight figures. I realise that touring is a niche and multi-day touring is a niche within a niche, but we all appreciate manufacturers who help us save the grams and have enjoyable and safe adventures in the backcountry!

    38. Mammut Dave October 5th, 2016 5:43 am

      Harpo, if the pack you received looked exactly like the one reviewed in this post, i.e. red and gray with a zip top opening,it was a new one–although it does not sound like it. The pocket next to the cylinder is for a water bladder or small stuff like a first aid kit.If The pack you received was modtly gray or orange and didn’t prominently say “3.0” it was an older model. We have just started shipping the new packs, so very few retailers will have them for sale yet. These ultralight packs have never had much in the way of a specific shovel and probe compartment. You want ultralight, you get a bare-bones pack. Large shovels are much more normal in North America then in Europe, I’m not sure why that is but the zippered shovel pocket in the new light airbag will be too small if you have a 12 inch wide shovel, but the one I used, which was admittedly pre-production, fit my smaller shovel fine. Again, it’s an ultralight pack, so It does not have sleeves for probe and shovel handle, although personally I’ve never seen the need for these. The heavier weight packs, which, again, are still lighter than most alternatives, all have these features.
      Regarding size, we actually measure the internal volume of the packs so they should be accurate to the stated size. We measure them without the airbag (other companies may measure the size including the airbag, I don’t know) , so in the RAS system the airbag will take up 2.2 L of usable space, and in the protection system it will take 1.7 L of space.

    39. Mammut dave October 5th, 2016 6:41 am

      Lou, the “nefarious wierdness” regarding the carbon cylinders is that they dont have a Dept of Transportation stamp or a Transport Canada stamp–this makes them illegal to ship, to fill and I believe to sell. We have not been able to find a suitable carbon cylinder that carries these certifications, and getting them certified is a multi-year and very $$$$$ process–working on that.

    40. Lou Dawson 2 October 5th, 2016 7:16 am

      Thanks Dave, really appreciate you being here.

      All, please do realize that the European idea of a lightweight pack definitely does NOT include much in the way of internal partitions, slots for probes, and that sort of thing. The bare-bones idea is you simply pack everything in one compartment. I’ve never had a problem with that, but do see the use of having partitions and slots, especially for folks who use their tools and need storage that keeps wet away from pack contents.

      Partitions add more weight than one would sometimes think, due to additional zippers and often fabric that’s heavier than really necessary. They also add cost.

      While it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks (smile), I’d encourage anyone to experiment with different styles of rucksack loading.

      Also important, as I alluded to above, you’ll generally get more in the way of slots and partitions if you trend to the North American balloon pack offerings: BCA, BD, Arcteryx. But you never know, the partitions come and go like the winds of december….


    41. Mammut Dave October 5th, 2016 8:28 am

      All–I just went in our warehouse and took some pictures of a production-model Light RAS 30l so you could see the shovel pocket–I have updated the post on the Mammut Avy Safety blog to show this feature. There ARE minimal partitions inside the shovel pocket for a shovel handle and probe. The zippered shovel Pocket on the Light PAS is external, and is quite large similar to the ones on our Ride and Pro model packs–I think most folks will be very happy with this pocket. The pocket on the Light RAS is internal, and zips closed. The pocket is a bit wider than on the samples I used, and is barely wide enough to accommodate our largest shovel, and fits our smaller shovels comfortably. The zippered pocket is not long-enough to easily zip closed over the very long D-handle on that big shovel, but it was plenty long for our other shovel handles. (The pack itself closed over the long handle fine, it is only the internal shovel-pocket zip that did not close).

      Hope this helps, and you can now see photos that I added of the shovel pocket, partitions and the fit of the big shovel into the pocket on the Mammut Avalanche Safety blog post that’s linked above.

    42. Rob Coppolillo October 6th, 2016 10:27 am

      Ah, all this lightweight balloon-pack talk has got me jonesing for winter! I must say–having tried a bunch of these packs…as Lou and Dave point out, the lightweight thing requires some compromises—but I think what we’re hearing from guides and pros using airbag packs day-in and day-out, the weight savings is tremendous in terms of reduced wear/tear on our aging knees and backs, not to mention removing some “swing weight” from one’s body. I’ve tried more fully featured packs and the weight penalty is just too much. I’d rather get a silnylon stuffsack for my shovel blade and stash it inside the main compartment, rather than lug a bomber dedicated tols pocket around. Sure, for teaching an avy course it’s probably worth it…but most days, the shovel stays in the pack. The Mammut 30L superlight option looks like a reasonable compromise—a minimalist tools pocket without a full-on option. I tried one on last year, so psyched to get the real thing this winter. As for this rumored carbon cylinder…I refuse to incriminate myself or anyone else…but a little bird says those things are small, CRAZY-light, and can be, er, “imported” to the States with a little strategery. Game on!

    43. Gordon King October 7th, 2016 9:27 am

      Can the cylinder for this pack be refilled at any scuba shop? Or where else? Also, there is a new generation of bicycle pumps designed for use with tubeless bicycle tires (there is a large air reservoir which is filled by pumping and then the air in that tank is released in a burst all at once to seat the tubeless tire). Could this pump be used to refilll the cylinder? Thanks for all the great information!

    44. Rob Coppolillo October 7th, 2016 9:50 am

      Yo Gordon–Perhaps Lou and others have monkeyed with some of these pumps—we had a gent bring one of them to Kokanee last year, just in case someone needed to refill a cylinder and to avoid stopping to fill cylinders after our flight…it seemed to work pretty well, took a few minutes to get cylinders up to 2800psi, etc. The pump he had was marketed towards paintball enthusiasts. About $110 as I recall.

      When you ask “can the cylinder for this pack” be refilled–you’re referring to the hallowed carbon version or the regular steel one? The steel ones certainly can, no sweat! Carbon is a one-shot deal in the US–not sure about Europaland, maybe it’s refillable?

    45. Mammut Dave October 7th, 2016 10:13 am

      Hey guys–
      I’m not aware of the bike pump mentioned, the pumps I am aware of are designed for paintball guns and air rifles, and are capable of pumping up to well over 3000psi. I am days away from publishing a new blog post detailing a pump that can be used to fill our North American air cylinders. The issue is that these pumps use atmospheric air, not dry air like you’d get at a scuba shop, and there are some very serious problems with using air that has too much moisture in it–this can cause icing on the sudden release of the pressure during deploying the airbag, and the moisture over time can cause corrosion that can lead to very slow leaks in the cylinder. since this is safety equipment we have to be very, very careful of stuff like this. We found that the Hill brand pump was the only one we could find where the company was able to quantify exactly how dry the air was through their desiccant, so that is the only pump we are recommending people use to fill Mammut cylinders. It’s still way easier to have it filled at a scuba or paintball shop for most people, but this makes travelling to remote areas, fly-in lodges or huts, japan, etc a lot easier for many people. We are in the final tweaking stages of adjusting our refill instructions to include this, so look for this on our blog in the next couple weeks.

      The Euro cylinders (both carbon and steel) can be refilled only at the factory–the geography isnt nearly the issue in Europe that it is here and there seems to be a ski shop that sells airbags in every village in the Alps, so they use an exchange system there. The North American cylinder is aluminum, and can be refilled anywhere that can fill to 3000psi with DRY air using a paintball adaptor–this includes most scuba shops and paintball shops, a few outdoor shops, a few fire departments allow this, some fire-extinguisher testing companies, some snowmachine shops especially in Canada, etc.

    46. Rob Coppolillo October 7th, 2016 10:19 am

      Mammut Dave has spoken!

    47. Trent October 7th, 2016 10:23 am

      MammutDave, which shops carry your packs in Alta Badia? I’ll be staying along the Sella Ronda over Christmas if that broadens the numbers. Same question for New Hampshire. Looks like EMS? Thanks.

    48. Mammut Dave October 7th, 2016 11:22 am

      Trent, the dealer locator on the Mammut site should show you that. I think this link should show you Italy>Alta Badia…then on the left under “services” select “Avalanche Safety center”, and that should give you the list you want.

    49. Mammut Dave October 7th, 2016 11:24 am

      Oh…in NH there isn’t that much. In New England I would recommend The Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington, VT, they’ll have the best selection. Basecamp in Killington, VT can order for you if you call ahead, and The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, NY can help too, but it’s the east so not a ton of avy gear to be found anywhere.

    50. See October 7th, 2016 7:29 pm

      Hi Mammut Dave. Thanks for all the useful information. I’m wondering if you’ve checked out the Benjamin pump . It also has a desiccant chamber. If so, is there some reason you don’t have confidence in it?

      I suspect that the achilles heel of this type of system is the desiccant. The effectiveness of the stuff I’ve been using is supposedly indicated by the color of the beads, but I’m not sure I believe that. I can definitely make them change color by sticking them in the oven, but does this really work? Would it be best to just recharge the tank when the weather is cold and dry and not depend on the desiccant? A blog post about this would be really helpful.

      (Incidentally, I’m pretty sure the bike pumps for tubeless tires just provide a high volume blast of air to seat the tire bead, and aren’t evenly remotely capable of achieving the sort of pressure required for a balloon tank.)

    51. harpo October 9th, 2016 10:46 am

      Thanks for that info MD. The online retailer sold me an older version of the pack without telling me it was an older version. I should have looked at it more closely, it was orange and grey with yellow straps. I probably won’t buy a pack without doing more research into the avi tools pocket, probably in person. I am not a pro but I do enough drills and I don’t want to have to invade my main compartment every time I pull out a probe or shovel. I am not too pissed, I am only out return shipping. Should I try to get the return shipping refunded as the retailer didn’t clearly say the pack was an older vintage?

    52. Mammut Dave October 10th, 2016 9:26 am

      See, all of these pumps have a desiccant chamber, the issue that the manufacturers are really making the pumps for non-critical uses which is very different from an airbag, i.e. if your paintball gun or pellet gun jams in use it’s a relatively minor inconvenience and you call the company monday morning and get a new one, versus if your airbag jams in use it could be fatal–BIG difference. Consequently, most pump manufacturers make a reasonable effort to ensure some degree of dryness to the air, but very few of them do the additional testing to actually QUANTIFY this since the typical consequences to most of their customers are minimal. This is a big deal not only for the freezing that can happen during a deployment, but also because the moisture that’s in the cylinder, over time, leads to corrosion that can cause slow leaks in the cylinder. The reason we are recommending only the Hill brand pump and not any others is that they are the only company we have found that was able to show us actual data as far as exactly how dry the air from their pumps & desiccant chamber is.

    53. Lou Dawson 2 October 10th, 2016 10:56 am

      I have to say that while I like the idea of DIY pump filling, and the WildSnow crew does use it, I’m very suspicious of doing this without huge attention to drying out the fill air. Thanks Dave for emphasising.

    54. Trent October 10th, 2016 11:21 am

      Thanks, MD.

    55. Matus October 18th, 2016 1:05 am

      Lou, could you post some pictures of the interior of the 30L version? I am hesitating between Avabag 30 from Ortovox and Mammut RAS 30 light. They seem to be quite similar but the devil is hidden in the details.

    56. Lou Dawson 2 October 18th, 2016 7:11 am

      We’re waiting here for our current review packs from Mammut, meanwhile perhaps Dave can send me a photo I can add to this review. What exactly do you want to see, the tool partition and pockets? And thanks for the reminder that we need better interior photos on these reviews. I’ll perhaps do some back editing this fall and add photos, we do have quite a few airbag packs here, just not the Mammut packs at this time. Lou

    57. Mammut Dave October 18th, 2016 7:32 am

      You rang?

      Matus, I can take a few pictures of the innards of these packs and add them to the blog link above, note that I did already add a couple pictures to show the shovel pocket on the Light 30 RAS. Let me know specifically what you want to see so I’m not chasing my tail, and I can update accordingly.

    58. Lou Dawson 2 October 18th, 2016 11:04 am

      Instead of doing a blog post today, I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with Mammut Dave, discussing the general state of the industry and specifics of Mammut. A couple of things occur to me. One, there is no reason to “purchase delay” your airbag in the hope that a quantum leap in technology occurs. The current state of art with Mammut and most of their competitors is quite mature, well tested, and conforms to what I feel are strong CE directives for personal safety gear. I’d just pick your price and weight class, and go for it.

      Two, there will be ongoing improvements to all this stuff, but many of those things will be retrofits, for example downsized or carbon cylinders.

      And the RAS system has the excellent advantage of being designed to swap into various packs. So buy it with a lighter pack, trash the pack, and simply get another pack after a few seasons of abuse.

      We’ve got some good plans for more reviews of this stuff, should be fun.


    59. Matus October 19th, 2016 9:54 am

      Hi Dave and Lou – thank you for answering me. Lou you must be superhuman to keep this web running, updating, reacting…and I do not mention all the work in the back-office (technical stuff we do not see).

      I would like to see the pack unzipped – to see if the interior is bright, if there are any pockets (even the tiny ones for e.g. keys). For example, Mammut has nice way how to keep the cartridge out of the way by hiding it behind some neoprene sleeve. Ortovox seem to be more simple.

      Also, is there any elegant way how to attach helmet to the backack? Ortovox has helmet net. And also heavier mammut bags have it.

      These kind of details may be probably better covered by the short video.

      As regards the purchase decisions and waiting for the development of technology: I have just sold my Snowpulse 30L backpack from 2012. In my view, it still is a good piece of equipment and I do not think that current backpacks are that much better.

    60. Lou Dawson 2 October 19th, 2016 10:43 am

      Thanks Matus, indeed, it’s a full time job in the definition of owning your own business full time job, meaning some pretty major hours of work. It’s going fine, but I’m sure will evolve over time as any successful business should. Having guys like Mike Arnold contributing is key.

      I’ll try to keep your ideas for pack photos in my mind, as they’re certainly be easy to get when we have samples here. I should probably make a shot list, hang it on the wall, and just stick with it.

      I’d agree the 2012 Snowpulse is still fine for someone.


    61. Mammut Dave October 19th, 2016 11:19 am

      Matus, I made a blog post that includes some of the info above but also new photos showing the inside of the Light 30 pack you asked for, that can be found here:

      Lou has a couple packs on the way to him to use and test, I have detailed the features in my post and I think you can look for some unbiased commentary from Lou after he’s put these though their paces.

      The original link I posted above has a very detailed explanation of the differences between the new 3.0 system and packs and the 2012-model pack you had.

      hope this helps!

    62. Trent October 19th, 2016 12:57 pm

      MD, great photos. I wonder if the next iteration will include the probe and shovel compartment as a zipper-less sleeve (for weight savings) instead of a separate, zipped pocket. What’s the model name of that red shovel? Thanks.

    63. Matus October 20th, 2016 2:03 am

      Mammut Dave, thank you for the detailed photo in your blog.

    64. Mammut Dave October 20th, 2016 8:27 am

      Trent the red shovel is our Alugator Pro, which is the largest shovel blade we make. For comparison to others, the blade is about 1.5″ deep, about 9.25″ wide x 11″ long.

    65. pete November 29th, 2016 8:05 am

      I have a BCA float pack and don’t like the way it sits on my back when I’m riding so looking a the mammut vest for more streamline riding my wife wants to know the difference between the 2.0 and 3.0 technology as I can only find the vest with the 2.0 can someone please help give me some information


    66. Mammut Dave November 29th, 2016 8:32 am

      Pete, the Alyeska Vest is only available in the 2.0 Protection Airbag system–you can probably find a good deal on one now, as it’s last seasons model. They fit fairly slim, but if that’s OK for you then it’s a nice option for skiing just off the ski area boundary, but it’s not enough storage for me for longer tours. You can also mix it with a 2.0 Protection system “ready pack” in a larger size for more versatility so you can move the one system between the two.

      Differences between the 2.0 and 3.0 system are in excruciating detail at:

    67. Joseph December 2nd, 2016 2:35 am

      I just got my 20l Ultralight with carbon bottle in, the pack truly feels like half the weight of my previous Snowpulse 18L. It also fits a lot more gear, I can get away with a 2 day hut tour using this pack. It fits a pair of skins, thick gloves, goggle, probe and shovel, first aid kit with mask, puffy, small water bottle and a few bars. I could probably get an extra shirt/socks and sleeping bag liner in there too if I took the gloves out.
      I’d like to add that the 20L doen not have any pockets or zippers other than the main zipper that is on the back panel. I might add a small mesh pocket for some small stuff myself. I do like the back panel zipper more than I thought, you can even reach behind you back and open the zipper to get something out without taking the pack off. It’s a pretty neat design.

    68. justin December 2nd, 2016 9:48 am

      Joseph – are you in Europe? If not, how did you get the carbon canister?

    69. Lou Dawson 2 December 2nd, 2016 10:25 am

      Joseph, I’m using the 20 for review, likewise, I’d sure like a pouch on the wastebelt for my sunscreen and snack. Easy to add. Stay tuned. Lou

    70. Lou Dawson 2 December 2nd, 2016 10:26 am

      My understanding is that the canister can legally be brought from Europe on a direct flight. It is legal under European baggage regs.

      Furthermore, it is my understanding that a carbon cylinder could actually be shipped from Europe via air freight such as Fedex so long as it was packaged correctly and not for sale once it got here.

      Anyone work at Fedex in Europe and could help us accomplish this?


    71. Joseph December 2nd, 2016 3:29 pm

      Yes I’m in Europe.
      Why not try to buy the carbon canister online in Europe and have it shipped UPS or Fedex? Unless somebody opens the package it’s not very likely to be a problem right? I can think of a few online retailers that ship worldwide that would probably be willing to try that.
      Of course, pulling the airbag would mean you have no way to refill it in the US but until then it’s pretty light. 😀

    72. Matus December 2nd, 2016 10:56 pm

      I have just received new Light 30 RAS backpack from Mammut. First impressions after some carpet testing: my superlight ARVA shovel is too wide for the shovel pocket – surprise. The length of the backpack is rather extreme. I am 180 cm tall with normal torso and this backpack seems to be too long for me. The overall fit is rather strange – it is not very apparent at the first sight, but there is 10 cm stiff part of the backpack above the shoulder straps. This is very annoying as it is in the range of normal head movements. I compared the length of the back with my standard Salewa ski touring backpack. The difference in length is about 5 cm plus 10 cm of that strange stiff upper part.

      Overall, I cannot say I am impressed with this model – I think my old 2012 snowpulse had much better fit and there was no packing problem with any size of shovel.

      For my wife (she is 164 cm tall) the length of the back is just too long and we have to look for another option (probably woman oriented Avabag from Ortovox).

      I strongly recommend trying before buying or having the possibility to return the backpack if the fit is not OK.

    73. Topo December 4th, 2016 3:00 pm

      spare cylinder transport is not allowed according to IATA DRG.

    74. Rob Coppolillo December 4th, 2016 5:58 pm

      I can verify that some unnamed buddies got three carbon cylinders into the US by flying directly into their destination airport from Europe—not connecting thru another US city.

      First couple days in the 30L RAS…LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT!


    75. Mammut Dave December 5th, 2016 8:43 am

      Topo, I’m curious where you took that from the IATA regulation? My read of the regs say that you can carry one (or two as required) in the device and up to two spares (4 if they are mini-size)? Certainly the Europeans and others around the world I know who are flying with these have been doing this, anyway. I’m no lawyer though, are you reading a different section or did you just read it differently than I did?

      The part I’m looking at:

      “Gas cartridges, small, non-flammable containing carbon dioxide or other suitable gas in Division 2.2. Up to two (2) small cartridges fitted into a self-inflating safety device such as a life
      jacket or vest. Not more than one (1) device per passenger AND UP TO TWO (2) SPARE SMALL CARTRIDGES PER PERSON, not more than four (4) cartridges up to 50 mL water capacity for other devices.

      Also important: The individual airlines, as in the US, remain free to limit carriage of all sorts of things beyond what the regs stipulate, so there are exceptions and you should always check with the airline–this applies to all sorts of things beyond just airbags.

      The provisions of 2.3 and Table 2.3.A may be limited by State or operator variations. Passengers should check with their
      airline for the current provisions.”

    76. Mammut Dave December 5th, 2016 8:57 am

      Matus, the height above the shoulder harness is required for the load-adjust straps to function properly. It is a one-size fits most pack with a frame, so it’s entirely possible it will be long on some people–we generally say a measured 16.5″ back length is absolute minimum size for this pack, although personal preference may dictate a slightly different fit. Note that you cannot determine back length size by height–as an example I just measured and my female coworker who is 5’4″ (162cm) tall has the EXACT same torso length as me, and I’m 6’3″ (190+cm), so you need to measure torso length to determine fit. If you have a particularly short torso or the additional head-room is is a priority for you then a jacket-fit pack or a dedicated shorter torso-length pack would be a better fit. A jacket-fit pack (i.e. no functional load-adjust straps) wont allow a hipbelt to carry the load nearly as well, so we tend to limit that design to packs under 25l or so.

    77. Michael December 5th, 2016 9:25 am

      Man I wish the 30L had a helmet carry. Next season Mammut?

    78. Mammut Dave December 5th, 2016 9:30 am

      Michael–this work? We didnt want to add stuff that half the people would cut off, but this one works pretty well if you prefer a holder.

    79. Joseph December 5th, 2016 9:39 am

      Mammut has helmet net that they sell separately.

    80. Lou Dawson 2 December 5th, 2016 10:23 am

      Helmet rant #482, why not just wear it all the time, especially in avalanche terrain or while drinking in the Tirol in low ceiling farmhouse taverns where the owner will bean you just for glancing at his daughter?

    81. Rob Coppolillo December 5th, 2016 10:43 am

      Wise words about the farmer’s daughter, too, Lou.

      Another quick-and-dirty (though super functional) helmet carrier: get some 6mm shock cord/stretchy cord at your gear shop, carry a 24″ section of it, loop it through carry loops anywhere on the back of any backpack, up through the vent holes and tie the ends into an overhand knot. Removable, adapts to any pack, secure, light, strips down if you don’t need it.

      Helmet on the up is just too hot for me, but Lou’s suggestion works for me in cold weather–warmer, possibly safer…….


    82. Michael December 5th, 2016 2:18 pm

      sweet, wasn’t aware that was an option. Looking even more appealing. Now when can we get that carbon canister to the US?

      Ha, I run way too hot to wear even a light helmet on the up, but I’ll remember to use it the next time I’m in an Austrian farmhouse tavern

    83. Matus December 5th, 2016 10:58 pm

      Dave, thanks for clarification. If the backpack fits it is great. With carbon cylinder i will never thin twice if I take it or not. And the materials seem to be well chosen compromise between weight and durability.

    84. MikeW December 8th, 2016 8:36 pm

      Thinking light is right, I packed my Ultralight 3.0 with the following for full days out: shovel, probe, skins, puffy, 2L bladder, mirrorless camera, mittens, lunch (banana, toblerone, chocolate), small FA kit – woah! Goggles will have to go inside my helmet on the outside, but in a pinch skins could go on the outside none the worse.

      One thought, if I’m occasionally stuffing this back-zipper and one day it goes – I’ll likely have an unusable backpack and lots of stuff in my hands hah. Hope its not like my patagonia jacket zippers! 😳

    85. MikeW December 8th, 2016 8:42 pm

      Also I’m going to miss my hipbelt pocket and gear loop, off to the sewing machine I guess.

      Being able to reach your own back pocket is fun though.

    86. Tom December 12th, 2016 6:57 pm

      Mammut Dave (or anyone else) –

      If I buy the Mammut Light RAS 3.0 pack and airbag via the internet, do I have to buy the empty canister, or can Mammut’s full refillable canister be shipped within North America?


    87. Mammut Dave December 12th, 2016 7:14 pm

      You just have to buy it from a retailer that has a hazmat shipping certification– it’s a pretty good bet that if an online retailer has full cartridges for sale online, they can ship it. If you’re looking for one, try snobigdeal in Utah, that’s the only place i’m certain of off the top of my head.

    88. Aleksander December 30th, 2016 4:33 am

      Can anybody tell me if there is a rope strap on the outside of the pack?

    89. Mammut Dave December 30th, 2016 8:29 am

      Aleksander, there is no dedicated rope strap. a rope carried on the top of the pack would interfere with the airbag deploying, so we would not recommend this. If you need this, it could be possible to attach a rope to the front of the pack using the ski carry/compression straps. If that doesn’t work then you may be out of luck here.

    90. Neil January 10th, 2017 11:51 am

      Hi Mammut,

      I have just purchased the ultralight 3.0 pack for my wife and we have found that its is far too long so looks like being returned. Do you have plans for a shorter pack? It looks to me like it was designed for the old longer cartridge. I am in Europe so the carbon one fits very easily. If you have a shorted version due out you will have a guaranteed sale as its a much better weight than the ABS my wife currently has.

      Thanks Neil

    91. Mammut Dave January 16th, 2017 10:14 am

      Hi Neil,
      We do make both the Ride and Pro model packs in a shorter back length, but the ultralight packs are not as popular in general so we can’t reach the minimum quantities required to produce a shorter length. The Ride Short pack is similar size (28l) and adds 400grams to the weight of the Light 30, so depending on your needs it could be an option. Hopefully at some point in the future we can add a short in the light model as well, although it’ll be while. At the moment no specific plans.

    92. Robert V. Coppolillo January 16th, 2017 10:24 am

      Hey All—I’ve definitely heard of somebody successfully purchasing a carbon canister through a Euro website—maybe, if memory serves.

      Going into a three-day hut trip tomorrow, making it work with my 30L MegaSuperUberUltralight RAS….and no comment on if there is a carbon canister in there (but let me assure you—it is awesome, light, compact!)……

      Worth poking around the ‘net a bit!


    93. fel January 28th, 2017 7:40 am

      hi all
      does someone know if it is possible to remove the alloy frame in the back from the 30 l if needed ?
      thank you

    94. Neil February 1st, 2017 3:04 pm

      Hi Mammut Dave,

      Thanks for the reply. I decided to keep the bag for myself in the end, and would like to thank you for making a great product. Super light and comfortable. I will keep an eye out for a short version of the ultralight version.

      Regards Neil

    95. Mammut Dave February 2nd, 2017 10:04 am

      fel, it is pretty easy to remove the alumunium frame if that works better for you–the pack wont carry nearly as well without it and personally I think the pack may even feel a bit heavier without the frame as a result of this, but there’s a simple velcro flap that provides access to the frame.

    96. fel February 4th, 2017 2:18 am

      hi all

      @ Mammut Dave
      Thanks very much for the reply.


    97. Boris March 24th, 2017 5:04 pm

      @ Mammut Dave are you going to produce some 3.0. Alyeska Vest in the future, or is that product already discontinued (if so, why ?).

      The vest concept is awesome for freeriding and short tours IMO.

    98. Matus March 24th, 2017 9:59 pm

      The helmet holder from mammut is not good – too universal to be of any use. Use the straps of the backpack, they work great with helmet that has holes.

    99. Douglas November 16th, 2017 12:13 am

      Wondering if Mammut will ever make a go of a fan pack? Too late to ask on this thread? Thanks.

    100. Robert V Coppolillo November 16th, 2017 6:18 am

      Douglas—Dave, from MammutNA, occasionally lurks on these threads…let me know if you strike out here and I can connect you guys elsewhere. I’ve not heard of any Mammut fan packs…and I generally pester Dave with random questions and bug him at the trade shows…thinking he would’ve shown me something if it were in the works. But who knows? Those Swissies are always scheming!

    101. Lou Dawson 2 November 16th, 2017 8:19 am

      I think every company making airbag packs is considering electricity, they are watching Scott to see how the new Alpride capacitor system works to solve the weight problem. I’ve seen the functional pre-retail rig, it’s not vapor.

    102. Douglas November 16th, 2017 3:02 pm

      Cool, thanks for the info you guys.

    103. Mammut Dave November 16th, 2017 3:36 pm

      Hi everyone,
      Of course we keep an eye on and look at all of the various technologies. Several years ago we worked with an engineering firm we often partner with to do a feasability study on several different airbag technologies, including air and nitrogen like we currently use, batteries, as well as some others. All of the technologies have advantages and disadvantages, and at the time we felt no need to move away from our current system. Obviously batteries are great in terms of their ease of use in most cases as well as their ability to travel by air in the USA (the travel thing is strictly a USA issue since the rest of the world can pack a full cartridge in their luggage as long as it’s with their airbag). The downside is that batteries big-enough to have an acceptably safe reserve capacity are very heavy and the systems are still affected by cold and wet, and the batteries still need to be replaced every couple years to account for charge cycles and the battery losing power with age so there’s an additional cost-increase and hassle that many people aren’t taking into account. We still feel the above factors plus the reliability factor with compressed gas airbags is enough better that we have no plans to move to batteries within the next couple years. For sure the battery systems are popular with some people and I understand the reasons why, and this pressure is certainly forcing us to up our game too—so people have a choice as to what technology they are most comfortable with and as long as people have access to good info to make choices with that can only be a good thing.

    104. Robert V Coppolillo November 16th, 2017 7:04 pm

      Mammut Dave has spoken!

    105. Ritzyrocker December 1st, 2018 3:43 am

      Just bought the Light 30L 3.0, in red and grey. All works well. Well designed, rugged enough for the purpose. The only criticism is the avi rescue kit pocket, in which the zip opening is too narrow for a wide shovel, and the depth is short to get in a probe, also it is inside the main pocket so you need to fumble to zip that open first before you can access the rescue pocket. All takes valuable time. I also note comments about the risk of wear on the fabric if carrying skis diagonally. Solutions? Carry skis in A frame. Get a narrower shovel, or get a Grivel all in one shovel and use the snowboard carrying straps to strap it on the outside of the pack. Stick the probe down in the main pocket, next to the zip opening. Carrying the shovel on the back is not ideal since the handle could catch on snow if you fall backwards – so don’t! Improvement for the future? A net pocket on the lower back of the pack, for the shovel end or any other odd items.

    106. Ritzyrocker December 1st, 2018 4:57 am

      Can someone explain to me the purpose of the ‘extra gear’ (?) long strap with red loop which hangs down below at the back.. How do you stow it away ? How do you use it?

    107. Robert V Coppolillo December 2nd, 2018 11:06 am

      Ritzy—Mammut makes a durable little al/steel shovel, fits happily in tools pocket…heads up a-framing skis with a balloon pack, as it impedes deploying it….a consideration.

      If the “extra loop” is the one with a sewn loop on the end, that is your crotch strap… must be worn for the pack to work effectively! I use a locking carabiner clipped thru the sewn loop on the end and clip it (after dropping it and pulling it up thru my legs) to the waist belt. Easier than threading the loop over the waist strap each time…..

      Make sense? RC

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