Ortovox has announced plans to partner with ABS Gmbh, originators of the avalanche airbag pack system, to provide an Ortovox branded avalanche backpack. The new licensing agreement enables Munich-based Ortovox to integrate the ABS system into its own backpacks, further developing safety concepts with an eye on comfort and fit. The system will not be built on the popular Vario system. Instead Ortovox will be designing a complete pack which incorporates the ABS airbag components in the pack as a complete, stand alone pack.
The new Ortovox avalanche backpacks will be available Fall 2013, with a couple models aimed at skiers, to be followed by models for snowmobilers. The US sales manager for Ortovox, Marcus Peterson was characteristically enthusiastic about Ortovox’ decision to partner with ABS. In his words, “there’s no question ABS is the superior airbag system on the market, from using an inert gas like nitrogen, to offering radio controlled triggering in case a victim can’t pull the trigger themselves.”
“For more than a quarter century of backpack construction, many innovations can be traced back to us,” said Christian Schneidermeier, President of Ortovox. “Today, our backpacks stand for the highest level of quality, innovative details, functionality and unique design, based on a wealth of experience.”
The inclusion of an airbag system dovetails perfectly with that perspective, so it could be considered a natural development in the evolution of Ortovox safety equipment.
Editor’s note: Original version of this article stated “The system will be built on the popular Vario system which places all the airbag components on a backpack frame that different packs can be attached to with a circumferential zipper and reinforcing straps.” Turns out that was bogus information.