Style, Storage, Safety- it’s extremely hard for a brand to master all three in an avalanche airbag. But Black Diamond has solidly done it with the $1349 Jetforce Pro 25L Avalanche Airbag Pack. This bag has a low profile and great features, coupled with proven technology, making it a major winner in our book. It’s also made it the winner of Freeskier Magazine Editor’s Pick Award. Read on to find out why this is the perfect airbag for you in the backcountry this winter.
The bag itself is constructed from ultra strong 210d (denier- the density/thickness of the fabric) Dynex and 200d polyethylene. Dynex is the brand name for “high-molecular-weight polyethylene” which is the same material BD uses for their climbing slings. This material keeps the bag at a stock weight of around 6 lbs. 5 oz. for the small size.
Airbag System - Avalanche Airbag Review
The 200L airbag is run on an electric fan system which means it doesn’t require any gas cartridges or fill-ups before a day in the backcountry. It also means you can easily test the bag at home whenever you’d like. Because the bag has a lithium battery it can continue to pump air into the airbag well after being deployed to give you ample space in the snow while awaiting rescue.
The bag has an easy to reach airbag deploy handle in the upper part of the strap that comes with a couple of cool features. The first of which is an on/off switch that allows you to stop the airflow to the airbag without needing to go into the bag itself. The second major feature of the handle is the status lights which give you insight into whether or not the airbag is on, how much power it has, and whether or not there are any problems with it.
The airbag can easily be deflated with a button near the bottom of the fan without having to reach into the bag as well which is nice for test deployments. If you happen to be a lefty, the bag is easily able to be reconfigured to have the handle on the right strap, something not commonly seen. One of the coolest features of the airbag system is the fact that the JetForce bag has bluetooth connectivity. That means it can connect to the PIEPS app and let you update the fan and battery if improvements are made to the software. It also means you can check on the status of things to make sure the bag is functioning properly.
Our Favorite Features
- Modular Design- with the additional purchase of booster packs, the bag can be transformed into a 10 or 35 liter pack to carry the right amount of gear no matter what kind of adventure you’re getting into.
- Backcountry Specific Storage- the bag comes with an avy tools specific pocket that is perfect for holding a shovel and probe.
- HiLo Helmet Holder- a specially designed nylon cover that holds your helmet firmly in place during skinning or hiking.
- Ski Holder- the bag has special diagonal ski holding straps that keep your skis firmly and evenly in place while you boot up steep sections.
- Even with skis strapped in, the airbag is still fully deployable.
- Ice Axe Loop- no backcountry bag would be complete without a loop for storing an ice axe.
- Retractable Leg Loop- This carabiner-style clip can connect you to the bag so the bag isn’t tossed away during a fall or slide.
All in all the $1349 Black Diamond JetForce Pro 25L Avalanche Airbag Pack is a clear winner. It combines durability and safety in a sleek package and has all the features you would expect from Black Diamond. Though the price may be somewhat steep at around $1400, we are certain it will be worth it if it ever comes time to pull that handle on the mountain.