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Assess and react.
In the list of values for backcountry touring, staying safe and staying light are near the top, at least that's the case for Arva, because the Reactor 24 Backpack boasts an airbag for avalanches and maintains a lightweight, compact feel. More specifically, the Reactor is equipped with a dual-inflation system that features a wide surface area for stability and added upward motion, which ultimately pulls you above avalanche debris for higher float.
The lightweight airbag system weighs in just over five pounds, has a total capacity of 150 liters, and is fashioned with an ergonomic shape to protect your head from trauma. The safety system deploys with a quick twist and pull and features a locking mechanism to prevent the bag from deploying when you don't need it. The cylinder (sold separate) is single-use gas canister that can only to be refilled by Arva or exchanged at a Reactor exchange center.
Meanwhile, to ensure a comfortable fit, the Reactor has an adjustable 3D fit back panel and shoulder strap, which when combined with the adjustable harness and padded back panel, discourages uncomfortable hot spots and any discomfort that's often experienced with ill-fitting packs. Additionally, the 24-liter volume makes the Reactor ideal for full-day tours, and it easily accommodates necessities like additional layers and safety gear. A dedicated gear pocket safely holsters your shovel and probe, and it assures easy access when you need it the most. The ice axe, ski, and snowboard carrying options allow you to cater to your choice in vertical pursuits, and the hydration sleeve ensures you stay well saturated as you ski, climb, or schuss your way around the mountain.
Please note: this airbag system is NOT a guarantee that you will survive an avalanche; get educated, get the right tools, travel with partners, and be smart out there.
- Avalanche survival backpack for day-long backcountry tours
- Dual-chamber airbag with head protection and large surface area
- Gas canister deployment system (canister sold separate)
- Quattro Snow-Shield Air Intakes and Split Air Intake technology
- Ultra-compact cylinder with Automatic Reload System
- Safe-locking, retractable, adjustable deployment handle
- Stowable ski, snowboard, ice axe, and helmet carry systems
- Pockets for hydration reservoirs, avalanche gear, and more
- Q & A
Why Compressed Gas?
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Arva went with a compressed gas canister for a few reasons, the primary one being safety should not be compromised. The fact is the compressed, and sealed, gas canister is the most proven system on the market. Zero leaking, more stable at temperature and elevation than compressed air, less susceptible to corrosion, and more blasting power (4300 PSI) are some of the other benefits. Sure some arrangements need to be taken to travel, if renting or exchanging are not a convenient option, consider shipping a canister to your destination ahead of time whether a new purchase, or one of your own.
Last, the small size of this system allows for a lot of functional and packable space compared to other packs and systems. You can pack a load close to your back and balanced inside the pack.