At $1,200, the fully-equipped Ortovox Avalanche Airbag M.A.S.S. system is definitely not cheap. However, it is the absolute best in avalanche safety and a must for riders that regularly head way, way up into the backcountry where accidents are commonplace.
I’ve never had an avalanche safety system of my own before though I have tested out one other offering from a separate company in the past. All that I can say is that the Ortovox is leaps and bounds better. Now, I obviously haven’t tested the M.A.S.S. in an actual avalanche – that’s just crazy – but it is nice to know that you have something on your back just in case.
Ortovox M.A.S.S. Airbag Review
While I can’t attest to how well the M.A.S.S. works in an emergency setting, I can say that it is amazingly comfortable and functional. Fitted into a backpack, the TwinBag ABS system can be installed in a number of different backpacks (going with one of the certified Ortovox bags is your best bet).
The coolest part about the Ortovox M.A.S.S. is that there are just so many options available for it. In years past, snowboarders looking for avalanche safety were stuck with very few choices. The Ortovox set-up allows you to install the system in a number of different sized backpacks and even in bags aimed at different missions (like their Tour Series for skinning and splitboarding).
Furthermore, you can actually pull the entire airbag unit out of your pack and leave it at home on days when you’re not headed up into the unstable backcountry. This opens up quite a bit of extra room in the bag and sheds four pounds of weight. This way you don’t need a separate backpack for regular riding and another backpack for backcountry adventures. The system can be installed in under five minutes.
The Ortovox M.A.S.S. system also includes their X-Skifix Ski Fastening System. The system uses aluminum clasps to mount your snowboard to your pack. You can choose to either mount diagonal or crossed.
Like I said, I don’t know how well the Ortovox M.A.S.S. Avalanche Safety System works in an avalanche. I do know that the company has thoroughly tested it and that it is said to work like an absolute champ. Even though we’d rather that no one ever have to use an avalanche airbag in an emergency, it is good to know that there are safety options available. If you regularly venture into avalanche territory, then it is definitely worth considering this safety system or another similar one.
Ortovox has discontinued making the M.A.S.S. System. Instead there is now something similar on the market. Checkout our Dakine RAS Airbag Backpack Review to learn more.