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Mammut Ride Short Removable 3.0 Review

Ride short Removable Airbag
Top Pick Award
Price:   $600 List
Pros:  Modular airbag system, best airbag pack for shorter framed people, lightweight, basic yet extremely functional pack design, durable, simple but effective ski-carry system is sweet
Cons:  Small avy gear pocket, can be hard to pack tightly
Bottom line:  If you have a slightly shorter than average torso, narrow shoulders, or are under 5'4", this lighter than average pack will not only fit you well, but you'll be pleased with its well thought out design.
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Mammut

Our Verdict

The Mammut Ride Short Removable Airbag 3.0 is a shorter framed airbag pack that is designed to fit women, kids, and shorter framed men. While we didn't include a few of the other women's specific airbag packs in our review, we checked them out and both because of the fit and the overall backcountry utility the Ride Short Removable Airbag was our top pick. The Ride Short Removable Airbag 28 liter has a near identical layout as the popular Mammut Ride Removable Airbag 3.0 pack; that version features a longer frame, wider shoulder straps, and is 2 liters bigger.

The Ride Short Removable Airbag back panel is comfortable, using conforming and supportive foam with a cozy fabric. The shoulder straps are also nicely articulated. We didn't like the RAS airbag system quite as much as Mammut's PAS system or the ABS system, but it's still a solid and dependable modular system that most people will be more than happy with.


New Version Available - 2017
Mammut has updated this bag to the Ride Short Removable 3.0! Read on for more details about the updates.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Avalanche Airbag Pack Review


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Saturday
April 8, 2017

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The Old Ride Short Removable Airbag Vs. the New Ride Short Removable 3.0


The Ride Short has undergone a few changes since we last reviewed it. In addition to new fabric and a sleeker new design, there is now an extra gear loop and a zippered pocket on the hip belt.

Check out the comparison photos below. The updated version is pictured on the left and the older version we reviewed is shown on the right.

Ride short Removable Airbag
The Mammut Ride Short RAS
 

Here's a summary of the key differences between the new 2017 version and the older version we tested:
  • Sleek New Look — As seen in the comparison photos above, the Ride Short Removable 3.0 now has an updated design with a more sleek, polished look.
  • Material Change — On this model, Mammut has used a more abrasion-proof triple Ripstop nylon fabric and a water-resistant DWR treatment.
  • New Pocket Added — The new pack now features a zippered hip belt pocket.
  • Gear Loop Added — A single gear loop has been added to the side of the hip-belt without the pocket.


A Note from Mammut about Airbag Compatibility
"Our new Airbag 3.0 bag does not function with generations 1.0 and 2.0. The 3.0 backpacks will not function with the old Protection Airbag systems from generation 2.0, including 2011/2012 up to and including 2015/2016. The new 3.0 system can only be implemented in 3.0 packs from seasons 2016-2017 and on. Do note that the 2.0 cartridges remain the same and can be used with any system, including older and the 3.0 system."
-Mammut


Airbag Features


The Ride Short Removable Airbag uses a single 150L bag that inflates above your head through a break-way zippered pocket. This size and shape is more or less the "standard" among avalanche airbag packs and is the most common. While it doesn't offer anything special like two bags for redundancy or a head/neck wrap shape like Mammut's PAS system, it is still incredibly effective and there are exceptionally few cases of one bag failing.

On the left  a deployed RAS system on the Mammut Ride Removable. On the right  the RAS unit.
On the left, a deployed RAS system on the Mammut Ride Removable. On the right, the RAS unit.

The RAS: Removable Airbag System vs Other Modular Airbag Systems
Mammut's RAS or Removable Airbag System is the least expensive modular airbags on the market. With the RAS, you can buy one airbag system ($450) and move it among multiple packs that cost all around $260-$300. This is by far and away the least expensive modular system available.

Trigger Mechanism
Unlike the ABS packs, the trigger is not interchangeable between shoulder straps and is fixed on the left side. We thought the actual trigger mechanisms themselves were not as important a factor to consider when buying an airbag pack, with that the trigger mechanism on the Mammut Ride 3.0 itself isn't the best but is still highly reliable.

Re-filling Options
Mammut uses compressed air canisters in the airbag system. Compressed air, while slightly lower in performance compared with compressed nitrogen, is much easier and cheaper to re-fill. Mammut's cartridges use a pretty standard fitting and can be refilled at most scuba shops, paintball shops, some outdoor gear stores for a cost of around $5-$20. If you own a scuba tank, have a glass blowing set-up or anything else that uses compressed air you can buy an adapter from BCA and refill your own canisters.

Travel Considerations
This is a big advantage of Mammut using compressed air over compressed nitrogen. TSA and the FAA allow you to fly with an empty compressed air canister as long as it's in your checked baggage. A good tip is to keep your the box that your canister comes in; then, when you fly, put it back in this box, it clearly defines what your canister is and helps to make sure TSA doesn't take your canister away from you. I always go one extra step and make sure to put a note on mine, saying its empty and that it's for an avalanche airbag pack.

Comfort


The fit of this pack is why most people buy it. We didn't include many other women's specific airbag packs like the Women's Ortovox Free Rider 24 or the Women's Tour 32 + 7, partiality because those two packs are that much smaller than their male counterparts. So ladies and short framed men, if you have a hard time finding an airbag pack that fits you, then the Ride Short Removable Airbag could be your answer. As far as comfort goes, the Ride Short Removable Airbag 3.0 received top marks, earning an 8 out of 10. The pack panel uses a comfortable and supportive foam that feels great even when we didn't have many layers on.

The shoulder straps are nicely articulated and like the short frame, work well with narrower-shouldered people. Another feature that helped the Ride Short fit smaller people was the waist belt - a lot of waist belts are too big for petite people, but the Short Ride Removable should fit just about anyone. Other top scorers in this metric included the Arc'teryx Voltair 30 and Black Diamond Halo 28, though they are a larger frame size.

Showing the super comfortable back panel of the Mammut Ride RAS.
Showing the super comfortable back panel of the Mammut Ride RAS.

Backcountry Utility


We felt that is was a over-all solidly designed pack with very functional easy-to-use features and a shape that was respectable easy to pack for a clam-shell design (a design shared by a majority of airbag packs). The Ride Short's snow safety pocket is well laid out, and decently sized; though it is a little on the small side. It will fit all your snow safety gear and a saw or skins, as long as your shovel handle or probe isn't too long (for the most part most 270cm length and under probes work as well as average or smaller shovels). The RAS part of the pack or Removable Airbag System is great because it means you can drop around a pound and a half from your pack if you go out on a lower danger day, spring skiing, or to use it as a more traditional pack in the summer. This pack is tough: it features durable fabrics, well-placed reinforcements, and larger gauge zippers. It is also one of the more weather resistant packs we tested with the only pack being more water resistant was the Arc'teryx Voltair 30.

Showing the zippered snow safety gear pocket on the Mammut Ride Removable Airbag. This pocket was among our favorites and could fit bigger than average probes and shovels. We could fit our skins in this pocket too  but it was more challenging.
Showing the zippered snow safety gear pocket on the Mammut Ride Removable Airbag. This pocket was among our favorites and could fit bigger than average probes and shovels. We could fit our skins in this pocket too, but it was more challenging.

Carry Skis/Snowboard


The Ride Short 3.0, along with the slightly bigger Mammut Ride Removable 3.0 is probably the best pack to carry a snowboard, being just a little bit better than the Backcountry Access Float 22. For skiers who like A-Framing their skis, the Ride Short 3.0 excels. While there is some debate as to carrying them in this style possibly effecting airbag deployment, the Mammut Ride Removable 3.0 gives you the option. The Ride Short 3.0 was a little below average at carrying skis diagonally did an okay but not great job, offering slightly awkward to use straps that allowed for the skis to slip down after long booters.

The Mammut Ride Removable and the Ride Short Removable use three points of contact: a big loop at the bottom and two straps that come across the pack. This basic but very functional design was easy and worked the best of packs that had similar systems.
The Mammut Ride Removable and the Ride Short Removable use three points of contact: a big loop at the bottom and two straps that come across the pack. This basic but very functional design was easy and worked the best of packs that had similar systems.

Features


The Ride short looks like most like normal ski packs. It has a nice fleece-lined goggle pocket as well as a zippered internal pocket for keys or other easily lost items. We like this contender's small waist belt pocket which was great for snacks or a camera. Some small downsides though are that the airbag system eats into this pack's advertised volume (26L of usable space). The Mammut Ride short Removable only felt a little more spacious than the Backcountry Access Float 22 and fairly similar to the Black Diamond Halo 28. It does not feel nearly as big as the Arc'teryx Voltair 30, the BD Saga 40, or the Backcountry Access Float 32. Our testing team really liked the basic but functional and easy-to-use stowable helmet attachment and found it one of the better designs among models we tested. This pack is hydration system compatible and features a gear loop on the waist belt opposite the zippered hip-belt pocket, which was a great place to store gear so it wouldn't get pinched under the wearer's waist belt while clipped to our harness.


Downhill Performance


The downhill performance or "Ride-ability" of each pack is how we felt they carried and moved with us while skiing and snowboarding. We thought the back panel and Y-shaped support stay offered a nice combination of freedom of movement and support. The Ride Short Removable did have one drawback - we didn't like how far out the pack stuck from our back, which made the pack feel more cumbersome than several other packs we tested, like the Black Diamond Pilot 11 Jetforce, the BCA Float 22, or the Arc'teryx Voltair 30. The shoulder straps fit most of our users okay - they weren't bad, but they weren't great. The rideability and the small safety gear pocket were the issues that did not allow it to win an award, taking home an 8 out of 10 in this category.

Overall Cost Breakdown


The cost of airbag packs can be confusing because some manufacturers include the cartridge in the price. Some companies sell options without the airbag system or base unit, so make sure you know what you are buying. With the Ride Short Removable, the pack is $600 and the canister is $190. Buying them together you will often see it priced to offer a small discount. The advantage of the RAS system is once you have the canister and the airbag system, each additional pack is only around $250-300. If you already own a system you can buy this pack "Ready" for

Weight


The Ride Short Removable Airbag 3.0 checks in at 6 lbs 6 oz, exactly the same as the standard Ride Removable Airbag 3.0. That is certainly on the lighter side of airbag packs on the market and is lighter than average for the 30-liter volume range, especially when you take into consideration it has a modular airbag system. That was nearly a pound lighter than our Editors' Choice the Arc'teryx Voltair 30 (7 lbs 9 oz) or Top Pick the Black Diamond Halo 28 JetForce, which checked in at 7 lbs 8 oz.

Best Application


The people who will enjoy the Mammut Ride Short Removable Airbag 3.0 the most are shorter-framed men and women, and kids who struggle to find an airbag pack that fits them. The Ride Short Removable Airbag 3.0 is a versatile pack that will perform well both as a day touring pack or for a lightweight hut-to-hut trip, but also rides well enough that it is a solid heli, cat and side-country pack.

Value


This pack is an exceptional overall value. At $600, this pack is slightly less expensive than many other compressed air canister options, but significantly less expense than compressed nitrogen (ABS), or battery powered models. For example compare the Mammut Ride Short Removable to the battery powered the BD Halo 28 ($1100) or Arc'teryx Voltair ($1300). Addionally because you can buy Mammut's other Ready models you can buy 2-3 airbag packs for the price of one Fan-powered pack. It is pretty comparable in price to the BCA Float 32 and only marginally more expensive than the smaller volume BCA Float 22. We think when comparing the Mammut Ride Short Removable to the Float packs the price is close enough that features and fit will likely dictate most peoples decisions.

The Bottom Line


For folks under 5'6" particularly with slightly narrower shoulders, the Mammut Ride Short Removable is likely the best fitting all-around airbag pack for you. Our review team found this pack to be very functionally designed, lighter-than-average (8-16 ounces less weight than most other models) with a simple and effect ski-carry system, that still has nearly all the features that most folks want in a touring pack. Functionally this pack gives up almost noting, other than it doesn't fit most larger-than-average probes (300cm) and shovels, but uses comfortable fabrics, padding and is articulated nicely for narrower shouldered and shorter torso-ed users. The BCA Float 22 also works respectable well for shorter torsoed and narrower shoulder people but its use-able volume is what kept it from being our top pick for the best all-around airbag pack for shorter users as its volume is just a little on the small side for most people for an all-day touring pack.
Ian Nicholson

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