Avalanche Safety

Recent Avalanche Safety Device Reviews

rated 5 of 5 stars
Grand Shelters IceBox Igloo Tool

I've been building with this each winter, 1-2 per season, since 2012 in Banff National Park. Great tool once you've learned the fine details! Ideally you'd build this with three people—a form packer, form loader, and snow supplier/conditioner. I've done it solo, but of course it takes much longer and requires some innovation. Most important notes I have to offer users of this: Build the 7-foot model for your first attempt. You can ELIMINATE snow condition issues by making piles of snow and packing… Full review

rated 4 of 5 stars
Grand Shelters IceBox Igloo Tool

An ingenious system that can be used to build igloos for up to five happy campers. Works as advertised, but using it efficiently requires a lot of experience, especially with difficult snow. I don’t recall when I first heard about the Icebox, but I do recall being pretty interested when an engineering-minded neighbor back in Vermont bought one. He built one igloo up in the fields behind his house, then promptly stashed the Icebox in his garage and more or less forgot about it. When he heard we… Full review

rated 4 of 5 stars
Black Diamond Deploy 3

It's a great portable collapsing aluminum snow shovel, that definitely more than pulls its own weight, while still being very robust and easy to use. Advertised primarily as a lightweight avalanche rescue shovel, it also functions very well for a winter camping, shelter building, and as an emergency backup in a motorized vehicle. Would definently recommend, especially for those looking for an extremely light and compact shovel for backcountry use. Included in this review is a short video of me constructing… Full review

rated 0.5 of 5 stars
Black Diamond Saga 40 Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Pack

A very expensive bag that lasted less than six weeks. Great components in an inferior bag. The pockets that held the components wore big holes in the fabric. The airbag is not transferable and Black Diamond did not uphold its warranty. Buy Arc'teryx for better quality. The components wore holes in the pockets where they were contained. I never put anything else in those pockets. Within six weeks huge holes appeared. I contacted Black Diamond who brushed it off as wear and tear. You cannot buy a… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Black Diamond Saga 40 Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Pack

Great high end avalanche backpack that can be deployed multiple times. Best for single to multi-day backcountry expeditions and ski tours in alpine, medium to high risk conditions. If you only do a few days a year in these conditions, renting may be a more rational option. Excellent fit and carrying system for an avalanche pack. I'm a longer dude and got the M/L version. The hip belt has a metal buckle and is comfortable during longer ski tours. The volume is not accurate. It can probably hold around… Full review

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Ortovox 240 HD PFA

This is a good stiff avalanche probe that has all the basic features you would expect in a backcountry avalanche probe. I have had the Ortovox 240 HD PFA avalanche probe for several years and carry it whenever I go into the backcountry here in the Cascades when avalanche conditions are present. The basic probe is 240 cm long (94.5 inches), 13 mm in diameter (.51 inches) and it weighs 12.5 ounces. The probe comes with a nylon case that has a unique closure system. The closure system is opened by… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Black Diamond Halo 28 JetForce Avalanche Airbag Pack

A great evolution on the airbag concept with terrific selection of features. So I got to take this pack out for a spin the other day on a Ski Mountaineering objective. It was a pretty short day and we didn't get into any terrain that we felt was particularly risky, so I never felt the need for its key feature. The pack is accurate to the rest of the BD M/L sizing. It's surprising comfortable, and breathable for a winter pack. I certainly found it rather enjoyable to wear. The bag is burly, and feels… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
SnowClaw Guide

It's easy to carry. It does work. I had two, gave one to another rescue worker. I like it very much. No problems, easy to carry, almost forget it's in my pack, but when I need it it makes any digging much quicker. Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
SnowClaw Guide

I find the Snow Claw an essential item for backcountry snow play. I am going to disagree with it not being an effective avalanche rescue tool. I researched these long and hard before buying one. Some rescue crews report having tested them directly against standard $75 portal avalanche shovels. They were in fact surprised to find them more durable, faster at moving snow, and easier to carry. Furthermore they were found to be the superior tool at getting cars and trucks dug out of snow banks. Typical… Full review

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