Arva is a snow safety company out of France that is breaking into the North American market. They have a large percentage of the market share in Europe when it comes to avalanche gear and now their quality products are available in the US. The Rescuer 27 backpack from Arva is a really outstanding backpack for single day backcountry adventures. I didn’t know if I liked its squared off shape at first, but it grew on me quickly and worked well for riding lifts.
There are a number of features that set this pack apart from other backcountry packs. First is the built in back protection (see above) that very few other packs have. Who couldn’t use a little more protection from rocks and trees while they are sending it in the BC. Second is two separate gear compartments in the main compartment of the pack. One is for all your Avi gear and the other is for your water, extra cloths, food, other “safety equipment”, ect…
My favorite feature it the quick tear open access to the Avi Gear compartment. In an emergency situation you can throw your bag down, grab the yellow tab at the top of the back of the bag and rip it all the way open in about .5 seconds. This can save precious time accessing your shovel and probe and keep anything from getting snagged on the way out.
In addition to the rip open feature the back flap has an 8 step process (see below photo) to keep you from blowing it when you are panic stricken because your best friend is 5 feet under the snow you were just skiing. Will these things make saving someone a lot easier, no, but they could help a little and definitely will not hurt, so I am a big fan. If you are in Utah you can see their products at the Lifthouse at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, or Check out their other vendors on the Arva website.