The North Face declares Avalanche Airbag Security System (ABS) vest and pack, we go arms-on (video)

The North Face announces Avalanche Airbag Safety System (ABS) vest and pack, we go hands-on (video)

Think about hitting the slopes for the last word free experience down the sting of a cliff. Now image being caught in an avalanche with solely a shovel to free you from lots of of kilos of snow — the chances do not look too good. The North Face hopes to vary all that by integrating an Avalanche Airbag Security System (ABS) into its tried and true backpacks with the launch of its ABS Patrol 24 Pack and ABS Vest, two new physique-worn fixtures that inflate to guard your from falling snow very similar to the airbags in your automotive. Add two new materials into the combination, FlashDry and Thermoball, and it looks like we have come a great distance because the days of understanding in our school sweats. We go palms-on with professional snowboarder Xavier de Le Rue after the break to see the way it works.%Gallery-139505%

The North Face is shifting past primary chilly climate clothes and backpacks to combine Avalanche Airbag Security System know-how into its ABS Vest and ABS Patrol 24 pack. The request got here from professional snowboarder and The North Face staff member Xavier de Le Rue, the free rider who discovered himself caught in an avalanche 4 years in the past. After dealing with dying, de Le Rue demanded the ABS be constructed into his pack — pushing the security development ahead into the mainstream.

It really works like this: if a skier or snowboarder finds themselves trapped underneath heavy snow, the system will inflate to offer pinned athletes one hundred fifty liters extra physique quantity, equalizing a number of the excessive density and serving to to convey the physique in the direction of the floor because the snow good points velocity. In comparison with airbags in your automotive, this physique-worn selection makes use of nitrogen canisters quite than CO2, a fuel that is protected to hold round or journey with so long as TSA provides you the go-forward.

Strapping the backpack on, it was surprisingly mild, comparable in weight to a traditional pack full of a e-book or two. That includes the identical chest clip as the usual selection, the ABS Patrol 24 has a further between-the-leg and waist clips to assist it keep put. Earlier than the experience, athletes screw the pull lever into the left strap, connecting it to the nitrogen canister inside. Within the case of an emergency, riders can pull the lever, which can inflate the pack right into a full-sized physique buoy.

The North Face announces Avalanche Airbag Safety System (ABS) vest and pack, we go hands-on (video)

Together with its moveable ABS, The North Face is introducing two new materials referred to as Thermoball and Flashdry. Considerably harking back to down, Thermoball is an insulate that makes use of small balls of artificial fiber to offer light-weight heat together with moist-climate safety. FlashDry then again, makes use of micro-porous particles to extend wicking and breathability — making it very best for clothes throughout the corporate’s numerous sports activities choices.

Each the vest and pack are slated to launch by fall 2012 in specialty shops solely, so you will not have the ability to buy these greater-finish merchandise in your native sporting items store like that puffy jacket that retains you heat round city. The vest is at present in testing so there isn’t any phrase but on how a lot it can value, however the pack will set you again $900 plus a further $one hundred fifty for a nitrogen tank and starter lever. In fact, if you must deploy the system, a brand new nitrogen tank will value round $50 — a small worth to pay for security. Combining clothes experience with ABS physique airbag know-how, The North Face simply made shredding your method down a ledge slightly bit safer.

Zach Honig contributed to this report.

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