When is it time for new Avalanche Airbag?

Erm, just how old IS that airbag? How long do airbags last? When is it time to replace your airbag? Didn’t you just spend a thousand bucks on one a couple years ago?

Rather than tell you that you need a new airbag, let’s dive in to see if it really is time.

Finding manufacturers’ recommendations on “how long an airbag lasts” is pretty tricky – not many publish an expiry date on packs, nor do they advise how long your pack is good for. This is because there’s not much research into this – packs are still a relatively new safety item and because there are so many variables at play when it comes to pack – amount of use, type of technology, storage, etc.

So, let’s dig in – here’s our Top 5 Tips on How To Tell if it’s Time for a New Airbag


1. Wear and Tear

It happens – you take tumbles, you scrape trees, you throw it in the back of the truck, it gets put away wet for the winter, these things happen. However, when you do, your pack (of any brand) risks getting brittle, losing its water-resistance and getting mildew-y and mouldy. It happens all the time. However, if after a couple years of this, your pack looks more like your Work Carhartts than your Date Night Carhartts, it’s time for a new pack.


2. Age

Ok, this is obviously the big one. GENERALLY speaking, if your pack is 10 years old, it’s definitely time for a new one. If it’s between 5-10 years old, it’s probably time for a new one. If it’s less than 5 years old, you’re probably good (provided you meet the other requirements!).

As a general rule, think about replacing your airbag as often as you replace your helmet.


3. Tech Sometimes manufacturers change tech and it’s time to jump on board with newer, faster, better.

With specific reference to Highmark, packs that are 10 years old or more are “1.0” packs, meaning they’re non-current tech, really hard to get refilled and shouldn’t be in your fleet anymore.

Snowpulse 1.0 Cylinder vs. 2.0 Cylinder

Packs that are between 5-10 years old use something called Snowpulse 2.0 Tech, which you can identify by their RED (not ORANGE) handles and airbags. They use the new air cylinder and a just fine but know that you should start thinking about a new pack. You can keep your old cylinder (yay!), but could invest in a much lighter 3.0 pack.Snowpulse 2.0 vs .1.0


4. You’ve Changed, Man

Maybe you bought the pack with the least volume possible back in the day because you didn’t want to feel like you’re wearing an airbag, but now you’re into multi-day trips. Maybe you’ve got a shoulder injury and need a weight-dispersing vest? Maybe you gained/lost a bit. Maybe you’re hucking cliffs now and need more protection. Regardless of what’s up with you, your airbag should keep up.

5. You don’t own one 

Ok, so this is a cheap shot (how can you buy a new one if you never had an old one?), but know that it’s time. You invested in the sled, you got the deck/trailer, you go to the mountains every weekend, you’ve either rented before or just been doing your research (like this email!), but it’s time. We know it’s expensive. We know it’s a serious investment. Know that we’re here for you and we stand behind our product. And remember – you can’t take it with you, so make the investment.


Hope this helped and answered what you’ve been asking yourself and your buddies. If you do discover that it’s time for a new airbag, we hope you’ll consider a Highmark Airbag and #gethomesafely.
When is it time for new Avalanche Airbag?