Word is out on Black Diamond’s battery operated avalanche airbag backpack. Look for more details in this space, but for now PopSci has the scoop. In a one-page teaser they detail the Black Diamond “Jetforce” as having a two inch fan that spins at 60,000 RPM and fills the bag “instantly.” After three minutes the fan reverses to empty the airbag, and the rechargeable battery gives you 4 inflations so you can practice pulling the trigger, or if you’re not too lucky, repeat your latest avalanche ride.
In all seriousness, here at WildSnow we’re thinking this might be one of the most disruptive products to come along since the tech binding. Opinions, Wildsnowers?
(Note: Image enlargement is disabled with deference to PopSci.)
Click the read-more link to make comments.
Teaser factoids from the article:
– Fan is two inches wide and turns at 6,000 rpm.
– Airbag balloon is 200 liters.
– Bag constructed with some version of silnyl.
– Fan can keep bag inflated with some degree of tear damage.
– Fan reverses after three minutes to deflate bag.
– Battery is lithium, does 4 inflation cycles (obviously depends on temperature and age of battery).
– Euro style complex naming: “Halo 28 Jetforce.”
– In harsh cold down to negative 22 F, battery can still deploy bag one time.
– Weighs 7.4 lbs.
– MSRP $960.00 (Very preliminary).
(Note: A while back we published about an Arcteryx patent for a similar electric airbag product.)
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.