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Gear Review: Black Diamond Revelation Avalung Pack

A backpack with built in Avalung technology for use in avalanche-prone areas.
FGG 2010 BD Revelation Avalung 445x260Black Diamond Revelation Avalung (Courtesy Photo)

[lifesaver]
Heading into avalanche terrain? Here’s one piece of safety gear that’s a category unto itself: The pack’s built-in Avalung enables a buried victim to draw air from the surrounding snowpack, while dispersing exhaled carbon dioxide. That allows up to 45 minutes more time for searchers to do their work. The pack itself, says our tester, is stable and well-organized, with enough space for big days and ultralight hut trips. “It held everything I needed (including an emergency bivy) for a trip up Eagle Cap in Oregon.”

Downside: In order for the Avalung to work, you need to keep a snorkel-like plastic mouthpiece in your mouth while in avalanche terrain. Will you do it? “It’s like stuffing a pair of rolled socks in your mouth,” says our tester, “so you get to the bottom of the hill gasping for air.” Of course, that’s not much of a gripe if air is what you need. $260; 2,013 cu. in./33 liters; 3 lbs. 12 oz. (for S/M); bdel.com

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