Backcountry Access Float 22 Airbag Pack

Priced: $399.93 - $499.95 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 10 reviews.
Backcountry Access Float 22 Airbag Pack
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Backcountry Access Float 22 Airbag Pack -

Because of its minimalist design, the Float 22 Airbag Backpack feels light on your back, and this pack carries just enough for an afternoon sidecountry mission, helicopter or sled-accessed powder laps, or a quick dawn patrol. And like all of BCA's Float backpacks, this pack offers the protection of a trigger-activated airbag that helps you stay on top of sliding debris should you find yourself suddenly caught in an avalanche. At just five and a half pounds, the Float 22 pack barely weighs in much heavier than some backpacking bags, and it offers a compressed-air system that can drastically increase your chances of surviving an avalanche when you're on skis or a snowboard. Stash your shovel, probe, lunch, and a spare layer in the main compartment, and shred your favorite powder stash with extra peace of mind.


  • The Float 22 is compatible with all probes, although only partially compatible with the Stealth 300. The Stealth 300 only fits in the main storage compartment.

Lining and Layers:

  • The Float 22 does not have load lifters, ice axe loops, lined goggle pocket and is not hydration compatible (no designated sleeve for hydration hose).


  • Visit the Backcountry Access website at to find an authorized retail location to fill the cylinder


  • Zippered pockets on the waistbelt keep energy gels and bars within reach


  • Features new dedicated shovel/probe pocket
  • Waist belt pocket
  • Dedicated pockets hold your shovel blade, shovel handle and avalanche probe (all sold separately)
  • External shovel and probe pocket give you a place to store your avalanche survival tools for quick access


  • Airbag is designed to not only help prevent burial, but also protect the head, neck and upper body from trauma


  • Highly-durable, single-chamber airbag inflates via a 2,700 psi compressed air tank operated by a trigger that can be placed on either the left or right backpack shoulder strap
  • Backcountry Access recommends wearing the included leg straps to ensure the Float 22 backpack stays securely attached to your body during airbag deployment in an avalanche
  • Pull the trigger located on the right shoulder strap to deploy the airbag; airbag inflates in 3 sec. and is positioned so that it won't interfere with your vision or movement
  • Includes straps for carrying skis diagonally; an optional snowboard attachment accessory can be purchased separately from Backcountry Access


  • Both have designated avalanche tool compartments.
  • Compressed air cylinder (sold separately) inflates the 150 liter airbag; after deployment, cylinder must be refilled by Backcountry Access or an authorized retail location
  • 22 liter (1,342 cu. in.) capacity has enough space for rescue tools, lunch, water, skins and some extra clothes; great for out-of-bounds skiing and short backcountry trips
  • Follow this link to enter your area and see a full list of cylinder refill locations near you:
  • The Float 22 is 5.6 lbs and the Float 32 is 6.5 lbs.
  • Diagonal ski carry frees your hands on steep slopes so you can lean into the slope and dig with your ice tools
  • The trigger on the Float 22 is on the left side (intended for right hand use) and cannot be switched to the right side.
  • BCA Float cylinder required for use
  • Airbag and engine included. Does not include air cylinder (sold separately)
  • Helmet carry keeps your brain bucket secure so you can take it off for the heli or the tram ride
  • Easy-to-operate airbag system uses a compressed air cylinder to inflate a large synthetic airbag behind your head and shoulders in order to increase your overall buoyancy and decrease your likelihood of full burial if you're caught in an avalanche
  • BCA recommends that you deploy your airbag at least once per year. Once you have discharged the compressed air cylinder, you need to bring it or send it back to BCA, BCA Canada, or to an authorized BCA Float cylinder refill station
  • 3 Year warranty
  • Venturi inflation system is TUV and CE certified
Oregon Mountain Community
At 22-liters, the BCA Float 22 Airbag Pack is day trip size, and when the 150-liter airbag is deployed, creates buoyancy and helps you float to the surface decreasing your burial depth. The airbag also protects your head and neck from trauma in an avalanche. The Float 22 has a thin profile and enough volume to carry rescue tools, lunch, water, and extra layers. BCA has 165 certified refill locations, around the world, making it the easiest refillable airbag system on the market. (2014)

The Backcountry Access Float 22 Pack is a backpack and airbag combo that was designed specifically for skiers. Featuring 1343 cubic inches of space for your belongings this lightweight pack has multiple pockets for storing additional gear such as shovel and probe pockets, waist belt pockets and a lined goggle pocket. The Float 22 pack from BCA also features an E-Z Pull trigger that is located on the left shoulder strap that allows you to deploy the airbag with your left hand while still controlling the throttle with your right hand.


Preventing or minimizing burial depth is the key to reducing avalanche fatalities. That’s because the majority of time in an avalanche rescue is spent on excavating the victim. An airbag is designed to keep you at or near the surface, minimizing excavation time. BCA's Float avalanche airbags are the first airbags that are both affordable and easily reusable. A wide network of BCA-authorized refill centers provide unmatched service to Float purchasers. A small 2,700-psi (186 bar) compressed-air cylinder (sold separately), single-chamber 150-liter airbag, and super efficient venturi system make the Float systems easy to refill, light and affordable.

Note: The required Air Cylinder is sold separately, and can be found here. 


Float 22 vs. Float 32: 

BCA Probe and Shovel Compatibility: 


The innovative Backcountry Access Float 22 Avalanche Airbag pack features an inflatible airbag with a proven design to help keep you at or near the surface of the snow during an avalanche.


The BCA Float 22 is the minimalist model for out-of-bounds, off-piste, and mechanized skiing/riding. Thin profile and lightweight; enough volume to carry rescue tools, lunch, water, and extra layers. Features new dedicated shovel/probe pocket, helmet and diagonal ski carrying system, and waist belt pocket.
Cylinder sold separately

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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Activity:Backcountry skiing
Bag Depth:5 inches
Bag Height:19 inches
Bag Width:10 inches
Capacity:1342 cu in / 22 L
Dimensions:20 x 11 x 6 inches
Fits torso:17 - 22 inches
Fits waist/hips:24 - 56 inches
Frame type:Frameless
Gear capacity (L):22 liters
Gear capacity (cu. in.):1,343 cubic inches
Material:330 double rip stop nylon and 840 ballistic nylon
Model #:FL-10000
Number of exterior pockets:2 + main compartment
Pack Size:1000-1999 cu in
Pack Volume:1343 cu in.
Pack access:panel
Torso Length:17-22 inches
Warranty:3 Years
Weight:5 lb 8 oz / 2495 g (Entire system including cylinder)
Weight - metric:1.9 kilograms
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Subcategories of Backpacks, Daypacks & Bags:

Backcountry Access Float 22 Airbag Pack Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Have used this for a couple of months,now, and am very satisfied. It replaced an older Float 30, and is a huge improvement. Among other things, it is much lighter, and surprisingly, actually holds as much or more stuff. I easily fit in a down jacket in a stuff sack, a hat, skins and harscheisen, probe and shovel, lunch, 3/4 liter of water, a camera, spare gloves, and goggles, and there is still a little room to spare. It fits me well (5'8", 155 lbs) and carries comfortably on climbs and skiing. Nice roomy belt packet, too. Things I would improve: add an exterior strap or two to carry a jacket or sweater when it's warm; the metal waist buckle is finicky and hard to open and close with gloves on, making the thing a bit of a pain when taking off for lift rides; and the chest strap buckle proved to be flimsy and broke after just a few uses. (BCA promptly sent a new beefier one, but I have not yet figured how to remove and replace the slider device!). I have deployed this twice (in order to take on a plane) and it worked fine. My local scuba shop fills it for $5 (compare that to refilling / recharging an ABS bag!). But get this. I took it to the Alps for two weeks. I contacted BCA in advance for advice on refilling it upon arrival. They are just building a network there, and unfortunately, there were no stations convenient to my itinerary (Verbier, then Val d'Isere). At the last minute, I got a call from the European rep, based in Chamonix, saying he'll meet me at the Geneva airport. There, he filled my tank from his vehicle, and refused to take any payment. Talk about customer service! Buy this one now at a great price, or wait and see what further improvements they make next year...can't go wrong either way.

jwcate321292 at on 03/29/2013

Best bang for the $

My girlfriend and I both have these packs mainly use them for back country skiing and snowmobiling. I looked at every avy pack on the market and the BCA pack for me was the best one and happened to be the lowest cost one as well. Over all the pack is great; very comfortable, the airbag part is super easy to use and once deployed is very easy to put back. I also found that refilling the air tank to be one of the best features over all other packs. Though BCA does not recommend it most paintball shop (which are every where) will refill in for almost nothing. The store by me does if for $2.50. All the other avy packs you have to send in the tank to get refilled or buy there refill kit. Both are very pricy. Also we travel by plane a lot to ski and airlines only let you travel with empty air cylinders so being able refill them at local shops the same day is better than mailing air tank out and waiting for them.

BCA customer support is also first class. They are good people an take care of you. I had some issues with the Tracker 2 beacon sent it back to BCA and they 2 day shipped me a new one no questions asked.

Only Con I have for this pack (and this is the same with all other brands) is the weight. The air bag system (mainly the tank) is very heavy. I would think that BCA could use a fiber wrapped tank to cut the weight in half.
bdnumber6 at REI on 01/01/2014

Minimalist life-saving avalanche pack

I like having this one for being minimalist when I just want a 3 to 6 hour out of bounds mission, or just to have in bounds. (People die in bounds all the time from avalanches).

It actually would be nice to have a medium, 32 liter or 45 liter, which is about the maximum size that won't restrict your riding at all.

On the other hand, I'm waiting for a new, larger multi-day air-bag pack to come out (MAYBE FROM GREGORY?? Pretty PLEASE??) that has not only an airbag, but an ava-lung as well.

It seems inevitable from reviews that there is demand for such a larger pack, even though it would be a bit restrictive to the ride.

A DETACHABLE DAY-PACK that still has the airbag and availing in it would be SO RAD! How about it? Someone is going to make some money when it comes out.

That you can cheaply and easily (or free from Backcountry in Trukkee) have it filled is MANDATORY.

To heck with trying to fly on vacation and have to hassle with anything but being able to fly with easily and have refilled easily.

If you B/C, you probably will want to fly somewhere exotic eventually.

Yeah, I do believe people are catching on as the world becomes increasingly difficult to face society, It's better to just hit the hills! (or MOUNTAINS!)
backcountry splitboarder at REI on 01/01/2014

I owned the Float 18 and this pack is a big improvement. There is now enough space in the pack for me to take it on day tours. I can fit a light down jacket, mittens, 32L Nalgene, goggles, skins, food, and a med kit. There is even a little extra room to spare. The biggest downfall of the pack is the ski carry strap. It is simply too large, and with no adjuster, your skis end up hitting rocks and your boots while hiking. I cut my strap in half, did a little sewing, added a buckle and now have an adjustable strap like the Float 30 did. Also, I still wish there was another external pocket (besides the hip belt), so I don't have to go in the main compartment, but oh well. The helmet carrier works perfectly. I can't wait til next year, when the "pack only" option will be available" and I can swap the system to the 32 pack if needed. Actually I'd suggest that BCA sell a 36 or 40, since the 32 is pretty damn close to the 22.

Matt Layne at on 01/25/2013

This is my go to pack. I've had the 30L and 18L Float Packs and I think the 22L is a happy medium between the two. It has enough room to fit your skins, trekkers, a small water bottle and food for the day. The majority of the skiing I do is off of the resort or off of the sled. I rarely do any multi day missions so this pack fulfills what I need it for. Any longer missions and you may want to consider the size up. Comfortable Pack with high quality straps and metal buckles. Lightweight and well thoughtout. Helmet bag on the back helps save space. Best money you can spend in my opinion, just another great tool on your side while you are out in the backcountry. And being that it is deployed with compressed air, it's less of a hassle to fly with.

Riley Leboe at on 06/12/2013

Best bang for your buck

The Float 22 is a sick avalanche airbag. Its big enough for half to full days in the backcountry. It is lighter and more affordable than the ABS and Mammut packs. I have been really happy with it so far. It has held up well and I have test deployed it a couple times. Its really easy to get the cylinder refilled because it is just compressed air. You can go to scuba or paintball shops and its only about 10 bucks. Before buying this pack I read about the ABS cylinders. They are much more of hassle to get refilled. They are filled with nitrogen and you need to send them back to ABS. Being able to fill your cylinder when your on a trip is way more convenient.
mike killin it at REI on 06/06/2013

This is my go to backpack everyday, whether I'm shredding resort laps or touring into the Backcountry. Having used the 18 I can say that this pack is a huge improvement. The placement of the motor has been redesigned so there's way more room in the pack and I can fit all my touring gear in it no problem. The pack is one of the lightest on the market which makes comfy and easy to carry all day. Overall this is an awesome backpack.

Mattias at on 06/13/2013

Negative Reviews:

There are a lot of things that make this bag great. I thought it was the perfect size for a day pack, it's light, and I found it very easy to rent a cartridge after a plane flight (was in Chamonix). However, I think the design of the air bladder release is poor and ultimately makes the pack useless for those who plan to hike with their skis tied to the back.
If you use the ski straps to hold your skis, the zipper along the top of the pack that keeps the compartment that holds the air bladder closed will release and your air bladder will spill out. Also, your skis will drop (imagine the top of the bag peeling open). You can get around this problem by tying your skis to the handle on the top of the bag. However, if you are in a slide while hiking and you?ve made this tie, the bladder will not function properly.
Also, on the second day I used the bag, the chest strap broke off. Also an easy fix if you?ve got some extra straps or line in your pack, but annoying for an item that costs around $500. I read another reviewer who had the same problem.
I?d suggest looking at a different bag.

pde4822054 at on 01/27/2014

Neutral Reviews:

I bought this bag to make my wife and mother rest a little easier while i was in Alaska Heli skiing. It certainly let them rest easier, and gave me some nice reassurance on some of the more exposed lines that i found myself on. While it was great for Heli skiing, when we went skinning it fell short. With the airbag it does not leave much room for storage,so i used the helmet holder to hold some excess gear outside of the pack. Unfortunately without good attachment points, gear would slip off, and i actually lost my skins as a result... The bigger issue however is that when i put my skis diagonal on the pack to bootpack up, the weight of the skis would cause the tear-away-zipper opening for the airbag to pull open which was annoying. So in summation, you can't beat the value if you are looking for extra security heli-skiing, but that savings can be felt with the issues it presents when skining or hiking

tim.dipiet2141467 at on 05/31/2013


Well made but not overly comfortable.
doc at on 05/05/2013