March 7, 2012

Airbags are not for cars anymore!

Float Bag

Gear of the Week Review!

Having a small pressurized air canister with large balloons on your back has been added to the new recipe for better luck, while traveling avalanche prone terrain. The BCA Float 36 is a new addition to the backcountry checklist, through a rigorous gear checklist. This week presented a good start to our Gear Review at West Elks Project.

Check it out for yourself and now to the review.

Safety features are at a premium when you buy a backpack with survival in mind. The balloon volume is 150 litters and pulling the mechanism is pretty idiot proof so long as you remember to remove it from the protective sleeve. The protective sleeve for the trigger cable is very helpful with the accidental pull. An under appreciated heavy-duty buckle allowing a sturdy platform for its leg strap was not as cumbersome as one envisioned. Making tele turns was a concern and this feature is a great amenity. Ensuring the pack has a hard time being ripped form your body is a comforting thoughts.

Storage is a must with the additional securities. The Float 36 version has 2197 cubic inches of room. Strapping on the back has enough features you can pack for a couple hut days. There are great storage areas for you probe, shovel, while allowing enough capacity to bring your medical and repair kits.

Added plusses include; trigger sleeve hip pockets, top loading goggle pocket, and the mesh helmet-carrying compartment. The protective sleeve for the trigger cable is very helpful with the accidental pull. Hip pockets are clutch for your daily items including the multi tool and snacks. The exchange between goggles and sunglasses can occur quickly under the right conditions and having this close fleece pocket was easy. The helmet cover was an added touch. The protective sleeve for the trigger cable is very helpful with the accidental pull.

Gripes – The trigger handle could be larger with potential wings to increase the pull area. With the additional weight comes the need for better ventilation, and this pack lacks this completely. Sweaty and backcountry do not always mix so your back would be appreciative. Reflective material is always a bonus when it involves being seen. These straps are large with plenty of extra room which became a hassle when tightening up.

Backcountry Access is a Colorado company with roots tied to Boulder. Creating the world best selling transceivers has allowed the company to put some thought into this bag. The Float 36 features are nice while keeping the price tag is reasonable. Blowing up balloon is not a new technology and these folks added some great backpacks features.

Having since added this to my backcountry tours all while hopefully never having to use it is good insurance. Try some airbag system pack on as the spring snow pack will be terrible like the early winter. Travel safe and within reason and have fun out there!

About the Author

4. Seth Tucker
Seth Tucker has called Crested Butte home for some time learning the skills to explore the West Elk Mountains, whether it be mountain biking single track, hiking peaks or enjoying backcountry powder. Get out there and enjoy your mountain surroundings!