Safeback’s technology is designed with a unique and specific purpose: to continuously supply its user with breathable air during burial in an avalanche or tree well. The result of this air supply is that the potential window for live rescue is extended from today’s 15 minutes to over 90 minutes, delaying suffocation until rescue can be made.
Even before the product has reached the market, Safeback’s patent has been granted by the US Patent Office.
“Building a product which could help extend the burial victim’s rescue window and at the same time would be usable and practical enough to be adopted by backcountry users was always going to require us to think differently. In the last 5 years, we have discovered a huge amount about the needs of snow burial victims, as well as how we can create a modern technical solution to meet those needs. It is fantastic to have the recognition of the US Patent Office for the uniqueness of our solution. We can’t wait to take SBX to market,” said Sigmund Andreassen, Chief Product Officer and Co-founder of Safeback.
Patent number US 11,583,710 has been issued to Safeback on February 21st, 2023.
Safeback SBX is a fan-based air pump, which retrieves fresh air from the snow surrounding the user’s backpack and supplies it to the user’s breathing area through the outlet hoses mounted in the backpack’s shoulder straps. The system weighs 18 oz / 513g, and the control unit takes roughly 0.75 L in the main compartment of the pack. Like avalanche airbags, the system is activated by pulling on a T-shaped handle that mounts to the shoulder strap.
During burial, the air in the snowpack becomes the victim’s air supply. Snow is a porous medium, and even dense avalanche snow contains at least 50% air. The fresh air from the system replaces air that the victim is breathing out, resulting in a continuous supply of breathable oxygen, and reduction of CO2 in the breathing area. Safeback SBX can run for 90 minutes at -22°F / -30°C.
SBX is designed to be integrated into freeride and avalanche backpacks and can only be used in backcountry packs and vests which have been designed to meet its integration standards.
For the 2023/24 winter season, Safeback SBX will be exclusively available in the US in Db’s products, sold through their retail distribution network. Db is distributed in North America by Global Sales Guys.
MSRP for the Db Snow Pro Vest equipped with Safeback SBX will be $699.
Safeback SBX is also patented in Norway, with patents pending in Canada, the EU, Japan, PCT, and India.
Safeback was founded in 2016 by three engineers and backcountry enthusiasts in Western Norway – Tor Berge, André Mjølhus, and Sigmund Andreassen. After analyzing the avalanche safety equipment available today, they realized that there was a lack of innovation and investment in solutions for the avalanche victim under the snow. They then set out to create user-focused products that reliably get backcountry travelers home safe.
Safeback’s research and development has targeted the problem of asphyxia under the snow. Their initial product, Safeback SBX, is a breathing assistance system which actively provides clean air to the victim’s breathing area under snow, extending the survival window for up to 90 minutes.