When you venture out in the backcountry, you need specific gear. An avalanche airbag is a great piece of gear that every freerider should carry when skiing or snowboarding out of bounds. Check out the Mammut Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0, one of the lightest airbags around.
The main difference between a backpack with the Mammut Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0 compared to the standard gear of a freerider (avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe) is the preventative function. You use the avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe when a member of your group is caught by an avalanche and buried under the snow. You have around fifteen minutes to find him and dig him out. The Mammut Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0 will help you avoid being buried under the snow, improving your odds for survival when caught by an avalanche. Look at this like driving a car. Here, too, an airbag increases your chance of survival, but it is better to not get into an accident in the first place.
The Mammut Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0 weighs the same as a 1.5 liter bottle of water. There is space for everything you need on demanding ski tours. When you take out the Airbag System 3.0, the airbag only weighs 0.5 kg! Still, it's big enough to carry the most vital equipment. With a volume of 18 liters, it's big enough to pack your shovel and probe and you can also find a drinking system inside. When you use the carbon cartrigde in the airbag, the system only weighs 1010 gr.
When you notice you are being caught by an avalanche you activate your airbag. This will inflate one large balloon above your head. You increase your volume (by 150 liters) and thus stay near the top of the snow. Simply put, an avalanche works as a sieve. Smaller parts are pushed to the bottom of the snow and the larger parts stay on the surface. By activating your airbag you increase your volume, making you a larger part and improving your chance of ending on the surface when the avalanche comes to a stop. Bear in mind, while this increases your chances of survival, there are examples of people with an airbag still getting buried. Also, an air bag doesn't protect you against hitting trees or rocks while being dragged down by an avalanche, or from being flushed over a cliff.
The Mammut Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0 is one of the lightest airbags available, but also very comfortable. All kinds of straps ensure a perfect fit. Another smart feature is the padding on the back of the airbag which can be taken off and used as a pillow to sit comfortable during a break.