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Weight (Full) ~510 grams

ABS Vario Base Unit Silver Edition



ITEM # VBU2013ST In Stock - Ships Immediately
Because the ABS Vario ships with a full nitrogen canister, a $30 hazmat fee will be added to your order. Must be shipped via ground service ONLY. Please allow 1-2 additional days for processing.

Many in the backcountry community are excited to see more airbag systems come to market in recent years, especially here in the US.

Backcountry skiing and riding is dangerous and shouldn't be taken lightly. Don't make the mistake of thinking an airbag works the same way in the backcountry as a parachute works in the sky. An airbag is NOT an "avalanche parachute."

Skiing or riding the backcountry with nothing more than an airbag is unacceptable, risky, and dangerous. When used with a shovel, probe, and beacon, an avalanche airbag could give you the edge you need to stay alive if worst comes to worst in the backcountry. Survival is never guaranteed in an avalanche, even if you deploy an airbag system.

The Bent Gate staff recommends monitoring your decision making constantly while wearing an airbag system. It's important to ask yourself "Would I ski or ride this line if I wasn't wearing an airbag?" If the answer is "NO!" you probably shouldn't ski or ride the line WITH an airbag. Airbag systems give their users a confidence boost in the backcountry. But there's a fine line between confidence that makes you a better mountaineer, skier, or rider, and confidence that makes you a danger to yourself and others. Bent Gate recommends being ever mindful of how close you get to crossing that line when you're in the backcountry. An airbag system is no replacement for good judgement. Don't go out on "red light" days simply because you have an airbag system on your back. Your brain is and always will be your #1 safety device. An airbag system is a poor replacement for good judgement and careful risk assessment.

ABS often claims a "97% survival rate" in its advertising. Although the stat is by all accounts true, by itself it doesn't tell the whole story. The rest of the story is 81% of all avalanche victims survive regardless of gear. Whether or not the extra 16% is worth the additional weight is a decision backcountry enthusiasts have to make now that airbag packs are widely available in the USA.

Unlike the other airbag packs we sell here at the shop, the ABS Vario Base Unit uses compressed nitrogen rather than compressed air to inflate its bags. It's one of the only systems on the market featuring two separate airbags, each 85 liters (L) in capacity for a total of 170 L. If one bag malfunctions, the second bag still has a fighting chance of keeping you on top and alive during and after a slide.

The Vario Base Unit works best when combined with a zip on pack specifically designed for it, like the ABS 15L, ABS 8L Ultralight, Osprey Kode, or the Salomon Quest 20. The Vario Base Unit is ready to go right off the rack with the stock cover.

The Vario Base Unit meets the requirements of the TÜV for extreme operational demands (PPE Directive 89/686/EEC).

Still have questions? Call the shop toll free and ask away. (877) 236-8428


  • ABS TwinBag system with buoyancy volume of 170 liters increases your odds of staying right side up and close to the surface during a slide.

  • A large, height adjustable activation handle ensures ease-of-access if the worst happens.

  • Zip-on cover comes stock, which means no additional purchase is necessary unless you need more storage space.

  • Light, elastic neoprene hip strap helps you achieve a perfect fit. Also helps keep you comfortable when carrying a full pack.

  • Ergonomic, adjustable chest and shoulder straps keep the pack stable on your torso when skinning up the slope.

  • Integrated leg strap ensures the pack stays put during a slide.

  • Water-repellent, padded back section keeps you comfortable

GEARED UP GALLERY Check out this product in action!

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