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Not that wearing an airbag suddenly gives you a green light to center-punch any line in sight, but with the Black Diamond Halo 28 JetForce pack on your back, you will have some added security when you venture into the backcountry. Made through a collaboration between Black Diamond and PIEPS, the Halo 28 marks a departure in the world of avy airbags by utilizing a battery and fan-based system. Being the in-between model in Black Diamond's JetForce line, the Halo 28 is ideal for one-and-done dawn patrols, full days tours, and technical ascents in the alpine.
JetForce technology is unique in the sense that it abandons traditional canister deployment systems by utilizing a lithium ion battery-powered jet fan. Since the system is rechargeable, it eliminates the cost of expensive canisters and refills, and it gets rid of the added hassle of trying to travel with compressed air or nitrogen. Not only that, but the battery will support at least four deployments on a single charge. The bag itself is made of a puncture-resistant Cordura fabric and is designed to automatically deflate after three minutes in order to potentially create an air pocket in the off-chance of a full burial.
The pack itself maintains Black Diamond's popular backpack design by utilizing the skiing-friendly ReActive suspension system and SwingArm shoulder straps, designed to provide a high level of comfort on the descent. A dedicated avy tool pocket keeps your shovel and probe close at hand, while the tuck-away diagonal ski carry system lets the bag to deploy while your skis are attached. A zippered back panel allows for quick access to your snow study tools and a down jacket, and the Hi-lo helmet holder keeps your brain bucket on board for technical ascents and well-earned descents.