I’m excited that Mammut, a large and highly respected outdoor company, is creating an avalanche airbag pack of their own. They recently unveiled their Ride RAS 22 and 30 liter packs using the RAS airbag system licensed from Snowpulse (Mammut has since bought the Snowpulse brand). What you get is a solid pack along the lines of Mammut’s popular Nirvana rucksack combined with the excellent RAS airbag system. It works exactly like the previously reviewed Snowpulse RAS 35, but with different pack features. Mammut recently sent me the 30 liter model to try for a week. I only got out once with it, but I was able to get a pretty good idea of how much I like it: A lot.
At 6.83 lbs, the Ride RAS 30 is one of the lightest airbag packs available for its 30 liter size, and with a very friendly price point of about $874 (including cylinder), it is far less costly than some of the competition. The RAS airbag system is a favorite of mine. As I’ve already spent time explaining RAS in other posts, I’ll focus on the pack features in this quick review. For more info on the RAS, see the Snowpulse RAS 35 review. This is a self refillable system and very user friendly. See the Snowpulse/Mammut 2.0 refill guide for more info. The airbag can be swapped into other RAS compatible packs and the trigger handle and leg loop are similar.
The Ride 30 is a clamshell zip panel load style of pack, which is popular with many for ease of access. It’s easy to get to your stuff, as the main zip runs nearly all the way around, allowing for complete access. Points to Mammut for including a shovel and probe pocket that opens large enough to not have to struggle to get the shovel in and out. Also included is a goggle pocket, which is a little on the small side but still a nice place to put your goggles. Lined goggle pockets are showing up in more and more packs these days and I’m a fan. No hip belt pockets unfortunately.
The pack is supported by an aluminum v frame rod, which is separate from the airbag system and could probably be removed. The Ride 30 carries comfortably, keeping the airbag components close to your bag while also allowing you to pack other things close to your back. Many other brands also keep their components close to the back, but their design also leaves lots of empty space against the back. Skis can be carried with a dedicated diagonal system which tucks out of the way. Snowboards are carried vertically with the two horizontal compression straps. No ice axe holder, but I suppose you could carry your skis vertically using the snowboard carry system and use the ski carry loop for an axe if you really needed to.
While I only had this pack for a week, I’m confident that I would have been happy with it as a daily backcountry go-to pack. Hopefully Mammut will have another spare (if they don’t sell all these things as fast as I think they will) for us to perform a full review on over the rest of the season. For weight comparison and pricing on this and other airbag backpacks for backcountry skiing, see the Wildsnow airbag overview. Support Wildsnow and purchase the Ride 30 pack from one of our sponsors.
Nick Thompson brings an incredible amount of skiing and mountaineering experience to WildSnow.com. Nick grew up climbing and skiing in the mecca of Telluride. He has a super attitude and incredible drive, making Nick one of those people who is terrific to be in the mountains with.