The most memorable lines are often the hardest to get to, but you don't want to sacrifice safety at the altar of ultralight and superfast travel. You won't have to with the ABS Vario Ultralight 8 Silver Edition Avalanche Airbag Backpack, which has just enough room to carry the essentials for a day in the backcountry and weighs in at just over six pounds, so you can bring lifesaving airbags with you without having to worry about getting too weighed down to accomplish your objectives.
ABS designed all their packs with transferable zip-on covers, allowing you to customize your pack volume. The Vario 8 comes with a cover that has 488 cubic inches of volume, but is compatible with all ABS Vario covers, giving you options from ultralight day packs to overnight gear haulers. The included cover is the most minimal available, but still offers ski and snowboard carry options, a stowable helmet net, and internal mounts for your shovel and probe. It's even hydration compatible, so you don't have to go thirsty just because you're going ultralight.
The foundation of this ABS system is the Vario Silver Edition base unit, which consists of the shoulder straps, back panel, and airbags. The Silver is narrower than the standard Vario base unit, providing a more ergonomic fit that makes backcountry travel, and backcountry sends, as easy as can be. It's also designed to carry lighter loads than the standard unit, with a neoprene waist belt that prioritizes speed and comfort over hauling capability, and a padded, water-repellent back panel that rides comfortable all day long. The chest strap is height-adjustable, and there's an integrated leg strap designed to ensure the Vario stays securely attached to you even if you get bounced and trounced in a slide.
Of course, the most important feature of the Vario 8 Ultralight is the airbag system itself. ABS uses two 85L twinbags, which inflate within three seconds to help keep you on the surface. Just activate the trigger handle, which mounts on either shoulder strap for ease of use, and the bags deploy. The bags are reusable—just fold them up and stash them back in the side panel pockets—but you need to replace the nitrogen-filled canister and activation trigger after use, which must be done through ABS or an authorized replacement agent.
Please remember, an airbag system is NOT a guarantee that you will survive an avalanche; get educated, get the right tools, travel with partners, and be smart out there.