Backcountry Access Float 32 Avalanche

Priced: $466.94 - $550.00 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 9 reviews.
Backcountry Access Float 32 Avalanche
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Color: Red
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Backcountry Access Float 32 Avalanche -
Backcountry Access Float 32 Avalanche:  The Float 32 is designed for pros, guides, and dedicated backcountry skiing and snowboarding junkies carrying the full quiver of essentials. Creating boyancy and helping you float to the surface, the 150-liter airbag not only decreases your burial depth but also protects your head and neck from trauma in an avalanche.
The Float 32 will carry all the common winter backcountry tools while supplying ample space for a first-aide kit, glacier travel equipment, and even supplies for extended multi-day trips. The trigger can be set in either the left or right shoulder strap, it is hydration compatible, and the airbag system is removable, making the Float 32 the most versatile airbag backpack on the market. BCA's 165 refill locations around the world make it the easiest refillable airbag system available. The Float airbag system does not guarantee survival in an avalanche incident. Educate yourself, make good decisions, and know before you go. Float cylinder must be purchased separately.
32 liters / 1950 cubic inches.
5.2 pounds / 2360 grams (whole system not including cylinder)
150-liter airbag.
3 Year Warranty.
18-23 inch / 45.72 cm - 58.42 cm torso length.
Highlights: Designated shovel/probe pocket, helmet and diagonal ski carry system, padded waist belt pockets, hydration compatible sleeve ice ax loops, load lifters, lined goggle pocket, and optional snowboard attachment (sold as accessory)

Lining and Layers:

  • The Float 32 has load lifters, ice axe loops, lined goggle pocket and is hydration compatible (designated sleeve for hydration hose).
  • Lined goggle pocket keeps your eyewear handy and protected from scratches


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


  • Hydration sleeve holds your choice of hydration bladder to make sipping easy


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


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


  • External shovel & probe pocket gives you a place to store your avalanche survival tools for quick access
  • External shovel & probe pocket makes getting gear out in an burial situation quick
  • Dedicated pockets hold your shovel blade, shovel handle and avalanche probe (all sold separately)
  • Waist Belt Pocket


  • 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
  • Backcountry Access recommends wearing the included leg straps to ensure the Float 32 backpack stays securely attached to your body during airbag deployment in an avalanche
  • 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


  • Airbag and engine included. Does not include air cylinder (sold separately)
  • 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 in the event that you're caught in an avalanche
  • The Float 32 is 6.5 lbs and the Float 22 is 5.6 lbs.
  • Both have designated avalanche tool compartments.
  • 32 liter (1,952 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:
  • 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
  • The Float 32 is compatible with all BCA shovels except for the B-52.
  • Helmet attachment
  • Compressed air cylinder (sold separately) inflate the 150 liter airbag; after deployment, cylinder must be refilled by Backcountry Access or an authorized retail location
  • Venturi inflation system is TUV and CE certified
  • Helmet carry keeps your brain bucket secure so you can take it off for the heli or the tram ride
  • BCA Float cylinder required for use
  • Diagonal ski carry frees your hands on steep slopes so you can lean into the slope and dig with your ice tools

Designed for pros, guides, and dedicated backcountry junkies the Backcountry Access Float 32 Pack carries all the essentials. 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, single-chamber 150-liter airbag, and super efficient venturi system make the Float systems easy to refill, light and affordable.
Air Cylinder sold separately (2014)

Designed for pros, guides and the backcountry fanatic the Backcountry Access Float 32 Pack also comes with tons of features you are sure to enjoy. This pack features 1593 cubic inches to store all of your gear you need and also features a new external shovel and probe pocket, waist belt pockets, lined goggle pocket, hydration sleeve and a diagonal ski carry with a helmet carry. You can set the trigger to the left or right shoulder strap to release the airbag on the Backcountry Access Float 32 pack.


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 32 vs. Float 22: 

BCA Probe and Shovel Compatibility:

Skiing in the backcountry comes with the inherent risk of exposure to avalanche terrain. Should you find yourself caught in a slide, the BCA Float 32 Airbag Backpack is a tool that offers a drastically increased chance of survival. Pull a trigger on the shoulder strap, and a highly durable airbag quickly inflates behind your head, decreasing your odds of burial in avalanche debris by increasing your overall buoyancy. Even with this technology, the Float Backpack still offers all the storage you need for your shovel, probe, goggles, and other gear—here's to the evolution of safety beyond the rope.

Oregon Mountain Community
Sized for extended tours and more gear, the BCA Float 32 Airbag pack acts like a normal, well-appointed backpack, until the hillside drops around you and you need to pull the trigger, on your shoulder strap, and an airbag blows-up above your head. The airbag is designed to keep you at or near the surface, minimizing excavation time, and it also protects your head and neck from trauma. This pack doesn't insure your survival in an avalanche. Avalanche awareness education, the proper equipment, and a healthy respect for the mountains is still the best way to avoid danger.


The Backcountry Access Float 32 Avalanche Airbag pack incorporates an inflatible airbag that is designed to keep you at or near the surface of the snow during an avalanche.


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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Activity:Backcountry skiing
Bag Depth:6.5 inches
Bag Height:23 inches
Bag Width:11.5 inches
Capacity:1950 cu in / 32 L
Cylinder Weight:1.38 lb / 626 g (full)
Dimensions:20 x 11 x 8 inches
Fits torso:17 - 22 inches
Fits waist/hips:24 - 56 inches
Frame type:Frameless
Gear capacity (L):32 liters
Gear capacity (cu. in.):1,593 cubic inches
Hydration Bladder Compatible:No
Hydration Bladder Included:Not Included
Material:Polyurethane-coated nylon
Materials:330 double rip stop nylon and 840 ballistic nylon
Model #:FL-16000
Number of exterior pockets:3 + main compartment
Pack Features:Top Loader
Pack Size:1000-1999 cu in
Pack Volume:1593 cu in.
Pack access:Panel
Warranty:3 Years
Weight:5 lb 3.2 oz / 2.360 kg (does not include cylinder)
Weight - metric:2.3 kilograms
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Subcategories of Backpacks, Daypacks & Bags:

Backcountry Access Float 32 Avalanche Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

I purchased this pack prior to last season and used it every day I went. I wouldn't quite say it's been through the wringer, but I have definitely become comfortable using it.
The size is perfect for me and worked for every day I went, from hot laps with almost no extra gear to overnights in a lift shack. I would not use it for true winter camping tours, but it's the best I've used for day trips.
-The pocket layout is well thought out. The 'wet' pocket is great for avi gear (when needed) and skins, while the main pouch can hold layers, water, med kit, and anything else one would need.
-Going from an older pack to this one with an external helmet net is also extremely convenient. The helmet always takes up too much space inside the pack and can be awkward if it dangles on the outside.
-The removable airbag and engine is the best feature on the pack. I live in Vermont, where avalanche conditions are essentially nonexistent. Therefore, I don't need to carry the extra weight around for the days that I ski in Vermont, and can just install the system back in for trips to avalanche terrain. This is a versatile pack.
-The clasp for the waist strap is ingenious and I love it, but it does take some getting used to.
-The adjustment straps feel like they gradually loosen over each day, but I have no specific evidence to support this.
-The hose routing for a bladder is a pain. I don't use a bladder for water, but my friend had some trouble setting his up.
-The cost is a deterrent ($550 + 100-175 for cylinder).
The bottom line is that this pack works and is the best backcountry skiing pack I have used.

Harrison Gatos at on 08/21/2013

Great Pack, REI shipment failure

In my opinion, this pack is pretty much the best compromise of comfort, price, airbag action and ease of finding places to reload the compressed air tank. The airbag function is smooth and reliable, the 32 L capacity is more than I need for single-day backcountry, but even when only partially filled, the pack keeps things nicely in place and I haven't felt much jostling. Conversely, the space is also sufficient for me on 2-3 day trips (if only just), and this lets me have only one pack for nearly all of my backcountry trips.

The pack fits my back quite nicely (I'm 6'3", 190 lbs), and stays in place very nicely on my back through the motions of both up and downhill movements. I'm a skier and when I'm bootpacking, I mount my skis diagonally across the pack. I find that they stay relatively seated with minimal shifting while I hike, but strong wind does lead to some bouncing.

The shipping from REI will require a signature for delivery, which was incredibly frustrating for me. No one thought to tell me that I would need to be present for the delivery (I ordered the pack from the service desk at an REI to be delivered to my house). If I had known, I would have ordered the bag for pickup at the store, because I have a job that prevents me from being home during UPS delivery hours in my area.
Ponderous Brad at REI on 12/12/2013

Backcountry backpack

I used this back pack all last season. If you are going to buy an avalanche float pack then this the one to get. Super easy to travel with if you fly. Just empty the cylinder and screw off the top. I put mine in baggies to keep them clean while travel. Then once you get to your location find a fill dealer which are in almost every ski town now a days. Plus airline security all know what they are now too so you won't get hassled. The pack has enough room for long day excursions and can be outfitted with a water sack. Has a separate goggle pocket to switch Between sun glasses when you are hiking. And when you go on longer hikes it has a helmet attachment that hides away. All the right stuff in all the right places. Lets not forget to price is something everyone can afford.
Jake miller at on 08/08/2013

This is my second BCA Float bag and I couldn't be happier with it. I had the Float 40 last year and it was just too much bag for most days. The user interface is intuitive (you just pull the handle)(if you need to)(i hope you don't ever need to) and I find that the 32 liters is perfect for all but big excursions. The separate shovel and probe pocket really frees up the main compartment for the stuff you need most. Like soup and whiskey. Or layers if the soup and whiskey don't cut it. It's comfortable to wear even on long days and your girl will be really happy that you're using protection when you're not with her.

Alex at on 07/01/2013

This pack has just about all the fixes the Float 36 needed. I hated the 36, but love this 32. The fit is great, plenty of room without a bulky feeling. I used it for an entire season of backcountry skiing and never had any hotspots or wish I had more room. I'm 6'3" 210lb and this pack fits and carries well.
If you need something for more sled assisted or other mechanically assisted skiing, get the smaller pack.
Lots of fill up areas around the US as I traveled.
My only complaint is the horrible compression feature. The straps need to be about double the width... really the whole compression system needs to be different.

JF at on 09/25/2013

I have been really happy with my Float 32. It has quite a bit of storage space in the main compartment and has a dedicated avalanche tool compartment. It has enough storage space to carry a lot of gear for a full day. My favorite features are the helmet carry and the lined goggle pocket. I considered the Mammut and the ABS packs as well but in terms of price and weight you really can't beat the Float 32. Also, the cylinder is really easy to refill because it is filled with compressed air. You can get it filled at paintball or scuba shops for about 10 bucks.

bru4668146 at on 06/11/2013

I bought this bag and then returned it for the Float 22. This bag is BIG. Not just in terms of what you can fit in it, but in the length/height of the actual bag. I am about 5'7" and it was from my neck to my butt, if not more. I just couldn't ski with a bag that big.
Hoping the Float 22 is a better fit, I will be posting a review soon. Besides the fit, this bag looked awesome so it could be 5 stars for the right person!

Brian Mehregan at on 11/06/2013

I love the added security this pack provides. Of course I do not ski anything I wouldn't have gone down without this pack, but I like knowing it's there. It has slightly less space then I am used to, but I like that it makes me only take what is necessary.

Joshua at on 05/06/2013

Neutral Reviews:

The BCA system where the bag inflates on top of the bag is appealing since the cushon sits in the neck/head area, like a gigant Dracula collar. The system with a rechargable float cylinger is pretty smart if you intend on bringing the backpack on an airplane. Not all airlines are happy about bringing charged cylinders onboard and it might cost some time in hassle and a small fortune in cash to be allowed onboard. Bringing an empty cylinder solves the issue as long as there is a refill opportunity where you are heading.
I have tested this backpack during a few thousand feet of skiascents over easter here on the northwest coast of Norway and have a pretty good feel for how well it performs as a pack. The float32 is easy, got good compartments, it is easy to seggragate safety/rescue stuff from your other normal gear like down jacket/food/goggles/... etc. It is spacious, maybe a bit too spacious for daytrips. I found that there was lots of spare capacity after packing all my gear. Not a problem though as it is pretty easy to compress the pack. One thing we couldn't figure out is why the helmet mesh on the outside is mounted top down rather than down up. Maybe it doesn't matter, but I personally feel better when my headpot lies safely in a meshbag with little ability to fall out. :)
This was the good side, what I'm not too happy about is the lower part of the carrying system. BCA could do some work on improving their cushoning, particularly in the lower back region. The float32 is a bit unstable on the ascent, moving about as you walk, which is uncomfortable. On the descent you can tighten the pack so it's not really an issue, but it still doesn't fit as snugle and comfortably as my favourite winter day pack. Adding some cushoning along the spine and hip region will make it into a daypack of choice. Having tried the pack my conclusion is that I'll use my float32 mostly for descents due to the comfort issue of carrying a load on the ascents.

Bjørn-Ovin Wivestad at on 04/04/2013