Reviewing an avalanche airbag is like reviewing a helmet, the main purpose of the equipment is the one scenario you really don’t want to test and hope you never have to. So for the SCOTT Patrol E1 40 avalanche backpack, I’ll just have to tell you about how unbelievably light it is, tell you about the revolutionary battery technology, and how easy it is to use.
The main feature of the backpack is the E1 Supercap Avalanche Airbag System. SCOTT has teamed up with Alpride to bring the first avalanche airbag that does not use lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries for power. The biggest advantage of this passive system? The Patrol E1 40 can be taken on flights with no restrictions.
The supercapacitors the E1 system uses are unlike traditional batteries, there is no need to create a chemical reaction to generate energy, allowing the E1 system to release its power faster. The airbag deploys in 3-seconds, 3 seconds that could save your life.
E1’s supercapacitors also offer other advantages over regular cartridge airbags. They are not sensitive to changes in temperature, delivering the same performance at -30 degrees C and +50 degrees C. While batteries tend to wear out after repeated charges, the supercapacitors stay strong and are guaranteed for 500,000 charging cycles, pretty much an infinite lifespan. The charge can be conveniently reloaded in just 20-minutes, with 2 AA batteries, or over USB, without the need for a power supply.
The SCOTT E1 Patrol is the ultimate freeskiing avalanche backpack. It is noticeably lighter than any other electronic avalanche backpack system. The lightness, combined with the body-hugging fit, makes this backpack super comfortable, even when fully loaded. The whole pack has been designed to distribute the weight evenly across the back, and that’s noticeable. It makes a difference.
How light it is hasn’t come at the expense of quality. The backpack is made of robust material, unlikely to rip or snag when skiing through trees, or damaged when traveling. For me, it is the ultimate airbag for free skiing, off-piste runs, and tours within the backcountry.
The pack I have is the 40-liter version (SCOTT also offers 30l and 22l capacities). The airbag system takes up just 4l of this capacity, leaving plenty of room for layers, safety tools, hydration, and food. There is a separate front compartment for your safety tools, ensuring they’re as easily and as quickly accessible as possible should you need them.
Skis can be carried either diagonal or A-frame style, and neither way affects the operation of the airbag, meaning the pack is still fully functional while bootpacking. Other useful features include versatile daisy chain loops, ice ax/poles straps, helmet fixation, SOS label, safety leg loop, and much, much more.
With zero-cost user practice, you can train at home to make sure you know how to react on a bad day, the SCOTT Patrol E1 40 avalanche backpack is my new go-to skiing backpack. It’s so light, easy to use, and elevates my safety whether I’m backcountry, heli- or cat-skiing, and is even super-useful in the resort, that I rarely click into my skis without it.