The next time I've got a friend coming from sea-level to Colorado who expects to climb a 14er or ski hard on his second day, I'm going to strap one of these oxygen backpacks on 'em. No more huffing, puffing, or excuses about "it must be the altitude" the next time they bonk ten minutes into a hike.
The Japanese company Ymup (not a typo) plans to release what they claim is the world's first oxygen-generating backpack on July 31st. A battery-powered generator supposedly provides climbers with 2 hours of oxygen at 30 percent concentration. In case your in a tight crag where you can't take off your pack, the manufacturers have thoughtfully provided a remote control to operate the pack. We don't really know much more than that, because the rest of the specs are all in Japanese.
The oxygen backpack is perfectly priced for the expedition set — models will range from $880 to $1,150. Still, I doubt these are quite ready to take a beating on big climbs in the Himalaya. But they look perfect if you want to be the first person to take your Trapper Keeper to the top of Everest.
— Ted Alvarez