Arc’teryx and ORTOVOX Join Forces to Create Innovative Airbag Pack for Backcountry Safety

Arc’teryx and ORTOVOX have both set their own standards when it comes to comfort and protection in the mountains, but some endeavors are too consequential to tackle alone. After one of the most deadly avalanche seasons in recent history last year, advances in snow safety equipment have a real chance to lower those numbers for the future. Research and development for backcountry gear has turned into a high stakes game with the potential to change the trajectory with the right designs.

But playing that kind of game means putting expertise to the test with lives on the line. The best equipment is the kind that people will actually use and use well, which requires the perfect combination of features for functionality, reliability, clarity, and style. Even the best technology won’t make a difference if it’s not simple to deploy, easy to carry, and – admittedly – attractive to wear.

To make sure that the next big piece of avalanche safety gear on the market would check all those boxes, Arc’teryx and ORTOVOX, two of the most acclaimed brands in the field of mountain adventure, have come together to create the LiTRIC airbag avalanche backpack.

The LiTRIC pack, launching this coming fall of 2022, represents the next iteration of the Arc’teryx Voltair made more practical and effective in collaboration with ORTOVOX. “The key to making significant progress in avalanche safety lies in collaboration,” said Gord Rose, Senior Industrial Designer, Arc’teryx. “From our first meeting with the ORTOVOX team in the Austrian Alps, the enthusiasm about the potential of working together was palpable. Our shared passion for backcountry skiing, the mountains, safety, and the obsession to build the best equipment possible transcended any other considerations.”

The airbag weighs in at a mere 2.4 lbs, eliminating any excuse for leaving it behind for the sake of minimalism, and boasts a Lithium-Ion battery that lasts for upwards of 60 straight hours. Ultracapacitor battery technology ensures utmost speed and power upon activation for quick deployment in dire circumstances. Plus, the airbag can withstand at least two inflations on the same charge so there’s no need to hold back on a test run before the drop. Expect the airbag to handle 50 activations over the course of its life.

The pack itself will come in three sizes: 16L, 32L, and 42L. A separate avy tool pocket and external helmet, diagonal ski, and vertical snowbird attachment systems keep the inside as organized as you’d expect from clean-cut Arc’teryx designs. The pack even considers the need for keeping your skin and circulation safe from the elements too, with easy-access pockets and large zipper pulls that don’t require the kind of dexterity you’d have to remove your gloves for.

This January, the collaboration effort won an ISPO Award for exceptional innovation in the pursuit of a transformative approach to mountain safety.

“It’s been such a unique process to partner with a great brand and competitor like Arc’teryx to rethink avalanche airbag safety for a greater cause. The LiTRIC airbag system is the product of two companies that are maniacally obsessed with building the highest quality equipment and ORTOVOX’s new collection establishes another milestone in mountain safety,” says Stefan Krause, Head of Product, at ORTOVOX.