While it is no substitute for proper training and decision making, an avalanche air bag can save your life in a slide. This system does more than keep you up above the snow – the inflatable bag cradles your head, protecting your skull from both the trauma of being dragged through trees and the violence of the slide itself. Big bonus: You can use the smart, 35-liter pack on its own when you're not traveling in slide zones. [$950, plus $200 air cylinder; mammut.ch]
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