Thought I’d post this up as it might interest other folks. The Black Diamond Jetforce, like most of the avalanche airbag packs, comes with a fiddly metal-on-metal waist buckle and crotch strap. These are needed because an avalanche is going to be fighting to rip the pack off your bag as you tumble down the hill. The problem is they’re so fiddly to get on and off and for cat/heli skiing this is a problem because you’re taking the pack on and off 20-30 times a day.
So, I decided to try modding mine.
I replaced the two waist buckles with rappel rings; just cheap SMC ones…. there were nice annodized red ones available but the basic allow ones were bigger. Then I used a DMM Alpha Bent Gate carabiner (keylock and a big gate mouth) attached to the crotch strap using a rubber doo-hickey that I canabalized off a Petzl quickdraw. Net result is a waist/crotch strap combo that does up simply by swinging the crotch strap between your legs and clipping the two rappel rings. Yes, it’s not a locking biner and I guess you could replace it with a twist lock for a bit more safety. But, I think a good overall solution.
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