The North Face Powder Guide ABS vest: Peak performance

American outdoor outfitter The North Face and German manufacturer ABS collaborate on the first-ever avalanche airbag system for backcountry skiers.

Thrill-seekers choose backcountry and sidecountry skiing as winter sport, but rugged climbs and steep slopes in uncharted territory can be dangerous without the right gear. The North Face offers a life-saving tool packed into a vest.

The Powder Guide ABS vest is a nitrogen-based avalanche airbag system that the American outdoor apparel company designed with German manufacturer ABS. When deployed, the vest's two airbags help keep you at the surface when you're in danger of being buried in tumbling snow. The bags also act as buffers, protecting your head, neck and back from trees or large rocks if you're swept off your feet.

The vest has eight front pockets to fit all of your gear, and it's big enough to wear over your ski jacket -- just in case you want to turn an Alpine vacation into a real adventure.

The Powder Guide ABS vest can be purchased in partner sporting goods stores, official The North Face locations throughout the U.S. and Canada or through the company's website. $1,199.

Photo: The North Face

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