Traveling in snowy terrain is inherently dangerous, but there are things you can do to minimize risk, like wear the ABS Vario 40 backpack when you're moving in avalanche terrain. The Vario has independent twin airbags, one on either side of the pack, with a combined volume of 170L to help you rise to the top of the debris when caught in an avalanche. An included adjustable activation handle comes with a small, internal pressurized release capsule and can be set up on the left or right shoulder strap for easy access, and safety bracket zips into a compartment on either shoulder strap to prevent accidental releases. When pulled, the activation handle punctures the small internal trigger capsule, which in turn activates the piercing unit, puncturing the main canister (also included) to fill the airbags within seconds, helping to keep the wearer on the surface of the slide.The shoulder straps, waist belt, and secure leg strap work together to ensure that the pack stays securely attached and correctly oriented, because it's no good to have an airbag that ends up 30 yards uphill from where you do. Once you've deployed the airbags, you must replace the trigger handle and the airbag-inflating canister (replacement must be done through ABS). The other parts of the system are reusable—just fold up the airbags according to the instructions and re-pack them in the hook-and-loop side panel compartments, attach the new canister and trigger handle, and you're ready to ride.
The Vario 40 is actually a combination of ABS's Vario Base Unit, which holds the airbags and trigger system, and 40L zip-on outer pack, meaning that you can switch the outer pack for any number of different-sized options (from ABS or other approved manufacturers) to dial up the perfect package for any given day. The 40L is perfect for long days or short overnights, and has tour-ready features like a special shovel/avy gear pocket, pole carry, and more gear loops than you can shake an ice axe at. For easy access to all your buried treasure, it has top and side-panel access, and a hydration-compatible pocket and sleeve to keep you from getting thirsty while you're on the hunt for perfect pow.