Putting on Airs

Reading Time: 2 minutes

from Ski Canada Buyer’s Guide 2015


Rather than follow, BD decided to reinvent the airbag packs designed to keep skiers on the surface in an avalanche. Like others, the rugged Black Diamond Halo 28 ski pack has a 200-litre airbag hidden inside and a trigger handle in the shoulder strap, but instead of using a canister of compressed gas, BD’s JetForce Technology relies on a battery-powered fan to inflate the system. The advantages are many: the fan is approved for air travel, the unit can be run over and over, and the bag maintains inflation even if it gets torn. In comparison, air canisters cannot be taken on planes, are one-time use and expensive to refill. Along with the 28-litre version (weighing in at just over three kg), the Halo comes in two other volumes and the technology can also be found on packs from BD’s sister companies, PIEPS and POC. ($1,360; blackdiamondequipment.com)

_Ryan Stuart

see photos below

1.  Mountain Hardwear’s über-successful Ghost Whisperer has a cozy cousin this season; the Phantom Hooded Down Jacket is both toasty warm and tightly packable, right into its own pocket. Its Q.Shield Down 800-fill resists moisture and retains maximum loft even when wet. $420

2.  Made in Canada, Westcomb’s Cayoosh LT Hoody is a hybrid down and Polartec Power Stretch Pro must-have. Under your shell or on its own, the Cayoosh’s stretch panels offer plenty of movement and breathability with premium 900-fill Canadian-sourced Hutterite down to keep you Westcomb-warm all day. $300 

 3. Scandinavian design, European goose down, slick-face fleece, microlight fabric…Helly Hansen’s got the combo with its Verglas Hybrid Insulator. Stretch panels offer freedom to move as well as a slimmer look under your shell or at après. Zip 700+-fillpower into other Helly Hansen shells as part of a 3-in-1 jacket combo. $220

 4. The Platinum 860 Turbodown Hooded Jacket uses  “performance-enhanced” down that combines Columbia’s Omni-Heat synthetic insulation with 800-fill goose down to keep you warm and dry. The water-resistant shell fabric and design says “sheen and clean” from mountain to street. $239

BG15 550

Ski Canada Staff
To top