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Lauded with awards from Outside Magazine and Popular Mechanics, The North Face Powder Guide ABS Vest provides serious backcountry enthusiasts and ski patrollers with the airbag avalanche protection they need without having to carry a pack. In the event of a slide, two ABS airbags can be quickly deployed by pulling an activation handle, ultimately increasing flotation to keep you on top of the snow and improving visibility to expedite a rescue. Eight zippered front pockets and specific avy gear pockets stow all your essentials and evenly distribute weight for a balanced skiing and riding experience.

  • Adjustable side panels allow you to size the vest for a perfect fit
  • PU foam panels in the back and shoulders provide the support and comfort necessary for backcountry excursions
  • ABS avalanche airbag system can be quickly deployed by pulling the activation handle
  • Handle activates two ABS airbags that inflate to keep you on top of the snow and improve visibility for rescue
  • Includes one air canister for practice deployment only (practice canister is designed for a single deployment, refillable canisters sold separately)
  • Leg and body harness system utilizes an under-the-crotch strap and hip-belt to keep the vest on your body during an avalanche situation
  • Constructed from bombproof ballistic nylon for top-tier durability
  • Eight zippered front pockets keep all of your backcountry essentials organized and evenly distribute weight
  • Probe-specific pocket, shovel-handle pocket, and an exterior shovel head holder stow your necessary avy gear
  • External ski and snowboard straps securely carry your ride
  • Internal goggle and stash pocket provides additional storage space
  • Editor’s Note: wearing this airbag system does NOT guarantee that you will survive an avalanche burial or a slide amidst avalanche debris; get educated, get the right tools, travel with partners, and be smart out there
  • The ABS Vest can be shipped via air to the lower 48 states only; no air shipping available to AK, HI, or international addresses
  • The North Face Summit Series

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5 5

Picture of the vest blown up

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Attached is a picture of the vest blown up. (it was very easy to fold back up and put away) and here is the link to me blowing it up.


Picture of the vest blown up
5 5

Must have for any backcountry skiier

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Here is a video of me deploying the vest:

I've had this vest for a couple months and used it several times. Its great. Perfect pockets for every single thing you need in the backcountry and more. With all the gear i'd say it weighs 7-13 pounds. But, there are plenty of straps to distribute the weight. You would have to bring up all that gear anyways, so in my opinion the weight is somewhat irrelevant.

The zippers are extremely well made, no worries about them ripping. As seen in the video, they deploy pretty quickly. A little smell came out, but there was no backlash of the explosion. I highly recommend this to everyone, it can even come in handy in bounds.

Must have for any backcountry skiier

Does the weight of 1145g for the vest...

Does the weight of 1145g for the vest include all the abs equipment installed? ie - nitrogen canister, etc...

Best Answer Responded on

Since the nitrogen canisters are sold separately I believe that the weight given will be without the full reusable canisters.

Responded on

I believe that is the weight without the canisters and surely without all the backcountry gear. When I put my probe, shovel etc into the vest it indeed felt much heavier. However, The weight brings the front of the vest down to fit you securely and safely. With the leg strap and other straps to distribute the weight, I haven't noticed it to be an issue - I've even hiked around with the vest on to test it. The only annoying part of putting your gear into the vest is your skins. They take up a ton of room and somewhat make you feel clumpy. Avalung and camelback bladders fit as well. Keep in mind, this vest is only designed to fit backcountry gear and some personal times. If you're looking for something to fit more items or plan on a multi-day touring trip, I would recommend an ABS Backpack such as:


4 5

Feels nice

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I got the large and it is plenty big for me. This is one item I hope I never have to use but if i do, i feel it should work.

Responded on

Can you comment on the weight? Is it indeed light? 1145g to me seems like the weight without the canister, etc..

I heard some ABS products have an explosive...

I heard some ABS products have an explosive in the handle, which makes taking them onto planes troublesome. How about this one?

Also, is it a compressed air cartridge?

Best Answer Responded on

Its a compressed Nitrogen canister and you can bring them on a plane but you have to empty and disassemble them first, once you get to where you are going you can have them refilled. Most big resorts will have at least one place that can refill it for you.

Is there a water bottle pocket or a camelbak...

Is there a water bottle pocket or a camelbak sleeve? how do you carry water? and what ski carry method does it use? diagonal? A-Frame?

Responded on

There is a water bottle pocket on the back (top center) of the vest. You can easily fit a bottle in there, and I managed to fit a bladder in there as well. It just took some moving around. There are other pockets you can place the bladder as well. In addition, the avalung fits fine under the vest.

Can I wear a pack with this vest?

Can I wear a pack with this vest?

Responded on

I would say not, you could, but it would defeat the purpose. Why don't you get an ABS backpack???

Responded on

Would be great to have a system that is backpack independent.

Responded on

It is not backpack independent. I fit a backpack over my vest. It will cause problems with the fitting, and ABS systems (from the side straps). However, for longer tours it is nice to be able to bring extra gear and leave the backpack somewhere else while you ski.

If you do wear a pack with this vest does...

If you do wear a pack with this vest does the airbag system still deploy properly?

Thanks mike

Responded on

I would assume no, just get an ABS for the same price roughly.

Responded on

The only reason I would get this vest would be that I can carry a pack with it. It would be great to have the option of being able to choose different packs for different trips. Getting an ABS pack limits the options.

Best Answer Responded on

The ABS vario airbag system has packs that zip on and off of the actual airbag and harness to allow for those different trips. If anything get the vest without the ABS and a separate pack with the airbag. There are a few manufacturers that make a zip on pack for the ABS harness (Dakine and the North Face for sure)

Get your airbags on!

Brief but helpful overview of the The North Face Powder Guide Vest.

Responded on

you this vest hold skins? I am also looking at packs, what do you think?

Responded on

With eight front pockets to distribute weight and a design made specifically for Backcountry skiers this will work.

Responded on

Additionally, this vest has a double sided pocket designed specifically for skins.

Responded on

Yes you can fit skins in here. I put my skins in the long vertical pocket on the left and right side. They fit snugly, but they still fit.