The Mammut Ride RAS system consists of a durable and functional 30-liter backpack based on (but not identical to) the popular Mammut Nirvana Ride, paired with a lightweight and removable Snowpulse airbag system designed to prevent the user from being buried in an avalanche. This package includes the backpack and airbag, and requires a refillable air canister (sold separately here on GearX.com) to operate. The backpack and airbag system are also available separately.
There has been a lot of interest in avalanche airbag systems over the past few years. The national media has reported on some high-profile incidents in which skiers' lives have been saved by these devices, and they do have an impressive track record of preventing burial and aiding rapid search-and-rescue efforts after being deployed in real-world emergencies. As a result, they can be a worthwhile investment for committed backcountry enthusiasts - but remember, they aren't a license to ignore the danger signs of avalanches. Even if you buy an airbag system, you should still be knowledgeable about avalanche dangers, avoid high-risk areas and conditions, ski with a partner, and carry a beacon, probe, and shovel.
With that said, let's talk about this particular Snowpulse airbag system. It's self-contained and easily removable, which means you can leave it behind when you don't need it, or transfer it into another RAS compatible pack. Once you arm it and pull the attached t-handle, a bright red 150-liter airbag blows up behind your head to help keep you on top of the snow. Hang on, buddy - help is on the way.
The pack the airbag comes in is important too, because a crappy backpack is a crappy backpack, airbag-equipped or not. Fortunately, the Ride RAS pack is based on a proven performer, the Mammut Nirvana Ride. The 30 liter volume of the Ride RAS is enough space for avalanche gear, lunch, your jacket, and some extra layers - plus a little extra, for those longer days when you're not sure how many layers you'll be needing or how much food you will end up eating. It could also mean the difference between strapping your helmet on the outside on the way up, or being able to shove it inside so it's not as frozen when you hit the top. The space of the pack is divided into a large main compartment, a smaller second compartment with some organizational sleeves, and a smaller still fleece-lined third pocket that works well for goggles. Note that the Ride RAS doesn't do the whole A-frame ski carry thing like its sibling, the Nirvana, because the airbag needs to be able to come out of the sides.Backpack feature list from Mammut
- V-frame 6 mm aluminum, adjustable
- 2-layer, high-density EVA back padding, hip and shoulder belts with stretch fabric cover
- Front pocket for avalanche safety equipment
- Diagonal, stowable ski attachment
- Snowboard carrier
- 2 front gear loops for helmet fixation
- Padded goggle pouch
- Zipped inner compartment with key clip
- Removable, padded hip belt
- SOS label with emergency instructions
- Hydration system compatible
- Safety leg loop.
- Integrated Removable Airbag System R.A.S. - one system for different backpacks (wide selection of backpacks for each application from autumn 2012)
- Easily stowable deployment handle.
- Additional Information