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The North Face Puts Airbags in Backpacks

Posted on November 16, 2011
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The North Face believes that even hikers face the same danger as drivers, so they integrate backpacks with Avalance Airbag Safety System (ABS). The ABS Patrol 24 Pack and ABS Vest from The North Face have airbags that protect you from in case of avalanches.

The idea came from a request by professional snowboarder and The North Face team member Xavier de Le Rue, who got caught in an avalanche four years ago. He was even present during its hands-on demonstration with Engadget. They find it “surprisingly light.”

The vest and backpack work when a skier or snowboarder gets trapped under heavy snow. The airbags inflate once the lever in the left strap is pulled, giving them 150 liters more body volume, thus equalizing the density that would help the body bring towards the surface as the snow accelerates. The airbags also works as full-sized body buoys in case you find yourself in the middle of the sea.

These body-worn fixtures uses nitrogen canisters compared to carbon dioxide found in traditional airbags, making it safe to travel around but you might need some clearance from authorities.

Both the ABS Patrol 24 Pack and ABS Vest are groomed for a fall 2012 launch in specialty stores. While the vest remains under testing so no word yet on its cost, the backpack is expected to cost you $900 plus additional $150 for the nitrogen tank and starter lever. Replacement nitrogen tanks, meanwhile, will cost about $50.

Source: Engadget

 
 

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