Product reviews/11/24/2023

The new MINI15+ avalanche airbag by Arva takes the ISPO Award 2023

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The MINI15+ avalanche airbag by Arva aims for the durability that is necessary for longtime rental and second-hand use but also impresses with eco-friendliness and flexibility. Thanks to this seminal combination, it won the ISPO Award 2023.

Arva’s new MINI15+ avalanche airbag is rent-ready and suitable for everyone, even children.

Freshies overnight, blue skies, and now it’s off to the backcountry–that’s a dream for many skiers and snowboarders who are hooked on freeriding. Unfortunately, a lot of fresh snow usually also increases the risk of avalanches, and that’s why no one should enter the backcountry without the knowledge on the dangers waiting there, information on the current avalanche bulletin, as well as safety equipment such as an avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe.

Plus, with an avalanche backpack, you can significantly increase your chances of survival in the event of an avalanche. They usually consist of a deployment unit and an airbag. With the deployment unit, the user triggers the deployment of the airbag in the case of an avalanche. It fills with air in just a few seconds to help you stay on the surface of an avalanche and avoid being buried.

The first-ever avalanche airbag crafted for rental purposes

But these backpacks are often expensive and sometimes difficult to maintain. Due to the ever growing freeride and ski touring trend, the demand for rental backpacks has also grown. With the MINI15+, Arva introduces the first-ever avalanche airbag crafted for both rental and second-hand purposes, easy to use and long-lasting. The goal of the French avalanche safety experts who have been developing avalanche safety equipment since 1984 was to promote a fresh approach to safety gear consumption and to take another step towards preserving our planet. The result is the MINI 15+, the first avalanche airbag designed with rental and second-hand use in mind. At their jury meeting at Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria, in October, the six jury members found this user-friendly kit worthy of receiving the ISPO Award 2023.

To provide the long-lasting quality that is required to withstand the high demands arising during rental use, the MINI 15+ unites durability, eco-consciousness, and adaptability. Regarding durability and sustainability, Arva focuses on heavy-duty and abrasion-resistant materials that are recycled, bluesign® certified, and dope dyed, which reduces water and chemical usage and ensures long-lasting color as the color integration is deeper than usual. The main material of the backpack is 100 % recycled P600D providing for extra durability. The thermoformed back panel and Cordura stretch material on the shoulder straps also ensure a long product lifecycle. According to Arva, the carbon footprint of the pack including the steel cartridge is less than a wool sweater.

With only 2.1 kg including the cartridge system REACTOR 2.0, the Arva MINI15+ is very lightweight.
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The airbag fits all body types, even children

Even about the style, Arva has paid attention to longevity. The airbag is only available
in one classic color, as black pleases everyone, is timeless, and thus reduces the will to update gear. For graphics, Arva uses embroideries rather than prints as they last longer. In terms of adaptability, the airbag fits all body types, no matter if tall, tiny, child, grown-up, male, female, left- or right-handed.

Powered by Arva’s refillable cartridge system REACTOR 2.0, the MINI15+ is particularly lightweight (2.1 kg), ensuring optimal portability even for children without compromising on reliability. To double the safety, it has 2 separate airbags that  are shaped as a ball to protect your head and maximize the rise-to-surface effect in an avalanche. The trigger handle is ergonomically positioned and designed, and you can practice pulling the trigger handle without canister. For rental shops, this system is also easier to check and maintain as there is nothing to recharge and it is quite low-tech, hence very easy to make quick inspection before renting.  Considering all these advantages, the ISPO Award jury decided to give the MINI15+ the coveted ISPO Award 2023.

The trigger handle for the deployment unit is ergonomically positioned and designed.
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This is what the ISPO Award jury says about the MINI15+ avalanche airbag by Arva:

"This avalanche backpack is a first. There is currently no airbag backpack available that is suitable for such a wide range of users, while at the same time being designed for durability and easy rental handling."
ISPO Award Jury

This is what Arva says about the MINI15+ avalanche airbag:

"We are proud to have developed the first avalanche airbag that can be used by children and renters. Our main goal is to ensure that everyone stays safe in avalanche situations. No one is left behind; everyone can use it."
Baptiste Idaszewski, Product Manager Arva

5 reasons why the MINI15+ avalanche airbag by Arva convinced the ISPO Award jury:

  • Rental-friendly: big focus on durability, fitting, and ease of use.
  • Eco-friendly
  • Dope-dyed coloration on black fabric and zippers
  • 100% recycled polyester bluesign® fabrics.
  • Easy to maintain

Key data:

  • Sizes: Unisize
  • Colors: Black
  • RRP: € 570.00
  • Market launch: September 2024
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