Avalanche backpacks are much more than just portage; they're lifesavers - the only thing that really protects against burial is buoyancy. Many avalanche backpacks already have an integrated airbag that inflates automatically and at lightning speed via a 'trigger' on the strap. So-called zip-on backpacks don't have integrated airbags but can be attached to a base unit (backpacks that contain the integrated airbag system) via a zip to expand their volume for longer expeditions. In the event of an avalanche, these inflated air cushions provide the necessary buoyancy to avoid being covered by masses of snow. Additionally, the large volume and bright colours of these airbags offer you a good chance of being spotted as quickly as possible in the snow. However, no matter how good your equipment is, risk-conscious behaviour is still the most important thing.