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 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
|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|
|Gear capacity (L):||22 liters|
|Gear capacity (cu. in.):||1,343 cubic inches|
|Material:||330 double rip stop nylon and 840 ballistic nylon|
|Number of exterior pockets:||2 + main compartment|
|Pack Size:||1000-1999 cu in|
|Pack Volume:||1343 cu in.|
|Torso Length:||17-22 inches|
|Weight:||5 lb 8 oz / 2495 g (Entire system including cylinder)|
|Weight - metric:||1.9 kilograms|
|Backcountry Access Float 22 Backpack with Airbag and Engine||$499.95|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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