Black Diamond AvaLung Recall — Limited Portion of 2010 Backpacks

Post by blogger | December 14, 2010      

Editor’s note: Some product recalls are kept on the down low so as not to generate bad PR for the company in question. But an AvaLung recall probably would have been media shouted no matter what. So kudos to BD for working with a variety of media folks to get the word out in bold print this morning, accurately. Thus, below I re-print their announcement and provide links to their recall website and PDF document. Oh, and my take? Read carefully; if your ‘Lung backpack falls under the parameters of the recall (based on a number you’ll find inside the pack) send it in. But know this is NOT all AvaLungs, only certain manufacturing runs clarified in BD’s recall document and on their website. BD’s document says the replacement will happen in March, so I’m assuming that means those of you whose packs do have the PO numbers dictating replacement will be without an AvaLung for 8 to 12 weeks. That’s a big downside of course, so please let us know via the comments if you do have a backpack that falls under the parameters of the recall, and how you’ll be dealing with that as a consumer.

December 14, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) – Black Diamond Equipment, a leading global climbing and freeride ski brand, is making a voluntarily announced recall of a limited portion of 2010 Black Diamond AvaLung Packs because of a possibility that the intake tubing may crack under cold temperatures.

Backcountry skiing Avalung recall.

AvaLung recall document page, see links above and below for complete document if you need it. Click image to enlarge.

“While we have not experienced a single safety issue related to this recall, we are aggressively pursuing the return of all potentially affected units,” explains Peter Metcalf, Black Diamond Equipment CEO. “The AvaLung has saved multiple lives over the years and we cannot accept a hint of doubt in its ability to perform when needed.”

The recall pertains to a limited manufacturing run of Black Diamond AvaLung Packs produced in 2010, which can be identified by a PO number and model combination presented on the Black Diamond website.

Any AvaLung Pack that falls within the announced criteria is part of the recall and contains and AvaLung unit that should be immediately returned to Black Diamond Equipment for inspection and/or replacement. Not all AvaLung Packs from these PO numbers have a faulty AvaLung unit, but this determination must be made in-house.

Instructions to identify AvaLung Pack PO numbers are available at After determining that a 2010 AvaLung Pack has one of these PO numbers, Black Diamond requests that consumers:
a) Print out the required return form from (or the PDF linked at the bottom of this blog post.)
b) Remove the AvaLung unit from your pack and return it to Black Diamond for inspection (see site for detailed video explanation)
c) Or, if do not wish to remove the AvaLung unit yourself, return the entire pack to Black Diamond to have the AvaLung unit inspected.

“We at Black Diamond apologize both for the inconvenience and the resource footprint of this recall,” says Nathan Kuder, Black Diamond’s Softgoods Category Director. “The mere possibility that the AvaLung could potentially fail makes this an easy decision for us. Because the AvaLung plays an important role in avalanche protocol we want this recall effort to be 100% successful.”

For help identifying potentially affected 2010 AvaLung Packs, return instructions or questions on the status of a replacement, please contact Black Diamond at  (801) 278-5533 
Avalung Recall PDF Document

Press release at Pitch Engine


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10 Responses to “Black Diamond AvaLung Recall — Limited Portion of 2010 Backpacks”

  1. Tuck December 14th, 2010 11:51 am

    Black Diamond is a class act. To paraphrase what one of their testers said, “My job is to keep my friends from dying.”

  2. Caleb P. December 14th, 2010 12:34 pm

    Well, I just checked my Covert and yes its one of the ones. I’ll be sending mine in right away. It wont change my skiing, I don’t think anyone should take greater risk just because they have more tools. Hey on the bright side I’ll be a bit lighter on the up now. Thanks to BD for catching this and taking care of it. Actually I wonder if this will fix my issue with the mouth piece. Its a bit crooked and doesn’t sit angled just right with my mouth. Its still usable, however I have to flex the tube and sort of crimp it rotationally to line it up. It’s like it needs a quarter turn or so. Perhaps this is the issue? Anyone know?

  3. Lou December 14th, 2010 12:54 pm

    Caleb, good you’re taking it like a man (grin). The issue is the intake tube possibly cracking when it’s quite cold. As for your mouthpiece, I’d imagine when they fix the ‘Lung you’ll end up with a new one of those, but who knows.

  4. Caleb P. December 14th, 2010 2:16 pm

    Lou, I just took the tube out and realized if I flipped the entire thing over (so the intake box is rotated 180 degrees from how i got it) the tube seems to line up properly. Maybe thats how it was supposed to be installed, I don’t know, but when I get it back thats how I’m going to put it back in. I wouldn’t think it would have any affect either way on the performance……

  5. Caleb Wray December 14th, 2010 5:19 pm

    Got my new Anarchist in the mail last week. Skied with it in Marble yesterday. Found out today that it’s recalled. Leaving for Ecuador on Saturday. Grrrrr! I think I will just risk it until I get back and then deal with the issue, since I don’t really have an alternative. I will let you know how the process goes.

  6. Scott December 14th, 2010 11:21 pm

    Just received my covert pack. I have been trying to make the investment into an avalung system for a couple years now and of course mine is also recalled. LAME! BD seems like an ok company and definitely has the market cornered with many of their products but this is not the first time i have dealt with quality control issues from BD. BD, get it together please.

  7. Pablo December 15th, 2010 4:20 am

    Hi Lou. ¿Do you know if this involves to the european stuff or only to the american? I ignore if BD manufatures in diferent countries for american and european market.

    Thanks a lot for all that important info.

  8. Bob Coleman December 15th, 2010 11:44 am

    Sent the avalung part back yesterday. Their instructions on removal of the avalung tube are clear and accurate. My guess is they have known about this for quite a while. My pack says made in Philippines, but I wonder where the avalung pieces are made? Upon receiving the pack a few months ago the potential brittleness of the blue tube seemed obvious to me…..

    Too, I wish they would have checked their web sales. They would know those purchasers off the top, saving the trouble of mailing either the pack or parts back. Since they aren’t replacing until March; any avalung part is better than none.

  9. Caleb Wray December 17th, 2010 1:53 pm

    Got this email from, the place I purchased my Anarchist. I have always had good experiences with, and I have had many. I thought this was a “go the extra mile” effort on their part.


    Hi Caleb,

    First of all, thanks for your order! Our job here, is to keep our customers just as informed as we are about the products we are shipping out.

    Today Black Diamond released a recall on select Avalung packs sold in 2010. Some of the packs that we have sold fall under this recall, so we need your help to keep you safe! Included below is a link to Black Diamonds website. There you will find information regarding the recall. *Please make sure to read this information carefully, as this is a very important matter regarding lifesaving products.*

    There are a few ways you can handle this situation. One is you can take/send your pack back to Black Diamond and they will test your pack, then either send it back if it’s uneffected or give you a refund for the pack. Another option is you can simply send your pack directly back to us, and we will issue you a full refund for the item in question. We have a limited amount of personally inspected Avalung packs that have been confirmed to not fall under this recall if you would like to exchange your recalled pack. The inventory is not much, and it will be on a first come first serve basis, but please get in contact with us if you would like to go about it this way.

    We apologize for bearing bad news, but we’re here to help. If you need any assistance getting your affected product back to us, please let is know. If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email us or call us at (800) 409-4502. You can also get live help by clicking on the “Chat Now” link in the upper right hand corner of our website.

    Also, your order number is XXXXX

    Have an awesome day, and we’ll see you when the next killer deal drops.

    We’ve created a service ticket ID XXXXX that will track our correspondence with you. That way when you hit us up in the future; we can answer your questions and actually know what we’re talking about.

    Casey M. – ORA
    Backcountry Gearhead
    (800) 409-4502
    “We Use the Gear We Sell”
    Think you or your friends have the right stuff to work for Click here to become a Backcountry Bounty Hunter and get the chance to earn some free gear by sending qualified job applicants our way.

  10. Lou December 17th, 2010 4:00 pm


    Now you know why I’ve got affiliate sales links to those guys all over this website…

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