Open main menu

Arc'teryx Voltair Avalanche Airbag Offers Multiple Deployments

In joining the growing number of backcountry brands with airbag offerings for skiers and riders, Arc'teryx wanted to design a backpack specifically around its own airbag system, rather than stick an airbag onto an existing pack. 


Arc'teryx Voltair airbag system

Coming out fall/winter 2016, the Voltair airbag system can be deployed multiple times, unlike compressed air cylinder airbag systems, thanks to a 22.2V Lithium-Ion Polymer rechargeable battery. It's field rechargeable with a special adapter for portable power sources, solar panels, and wind turbines.

A centrifugal blower fills the 150-liter balloon with "more initial pressure than any other battery powered avalanche airbag system on the market," says Arc'teryx. And it continues to add air after deployment to offset potential small tears or punctures from hard objects like trees and rocks.

The Voltair features an "always available" manual trigger handle. It also has a one-handed, wire gate leg loop/harness system that secures the airbag to your body, much like a climbing harness, to keep you attached to the pack in an avalanche situation.

The Voltair also has its own check engine-style light that comes on after 50 deployments, after which "we want to see it back," says Pete Hill, Senior Designer at Arc'teryx. The brand will then review the Voltair's data logs, reset the system, and return it to the user.

Hill walked us through the Voltair avalanche airbag during Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2016.

The fully seam-sealed pack comes in 20-liter and 30-liter sizes and is made with waterproof N400r-AC² nylon 6 ripstop body fabric with WaterTight zippers for top and side access. It has dedicated compartments for shovels and probes and also ice/mountaineering tool loops. Skis and snowboards can be carried diagonally with front lash ladders and straps.

The Voltair, available fall/winter 2016, is made in Arc'teryx's Canadian manufacturing facility.

Arc'teryx Voltair 20L

  • Weight: 3,235 g / 7.1 lbs
  • MSRP: $1,650 (inclusive of bag, battery, and power)

Arc'teryx Voltair 30L

  • Weight: 3,465 g / 7.6 lbs
  • MSRP: $1,700 (inclusive of bag, battery, and power)

Comments

50 deployments before servicing? How many avalanches is the average backcountry skier in these days? I think I might be ready to look for a new adventure sport after one:)

Lah said:

50 deployments before servicing? How many avalanches is the average backcountry skier in these days? I think I might be ready to look for a new adventure sport after one:)

Yes, hopefully you would not face any avalanches, let alone 50, Lah.

However, there's more to it. Arc'terxy points out that one advantage of having multiple deployments is you can practice the deployment process and be prepared to act automatically should you ever need, or think you might need, to pull the trigger. That means having the process down automatically in case you're ever in an actual emergency.

Also, since a traditional compressed air cylinder can only be used once before needing to be refilled, they hope it means people won't hesitate to deploy if they think they might need it while in the backcountry, since it's not a one-and-done situation.

Hope that made sense.

This post has been locked and is not accepting new comments