1970s

Background

In the 1970s, the Bavarian forest ranger Josef Hohenester made an interesting discovery. He realised that the slain game he often carried on his shoulders helped him stay on the surface of the snow during avalanches – the idea of the avalanche airbag was born.

1980s

Foundation of the company

The keen skier and entrepreneur Peter Aschauer acquired the patent. He founded the company ABS (“Avalanche Balloon Secutem”) Peter Aschauer GmbH and began developing the system.

1985

Premiere

The first fully functional airbag system was unveiled at the ISPO trade fair.

1989

The first followers

At the “Ski-Plus Wochen” event, the DAV Summit Club equipped all participating freeriders with ABS® systems – the first breakthrough.

1991

First press conference

Demonstration of the ABS® avalanche airbag to the press with dummy tests in Disentis/Switzerland.

1995

Cooperation

The Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) agreed to carry out several extensive series of tests.

1996

New system

Unveiling of the first ABS® system with two airbags (TwinBag). The system was also completely redesigned, with a pyrotechnic-pneumatic activation unit replacing the previous Bowden cable. The backpacks were produced by Vaude.

1998

New backpack partner

Deuter took over the further development of ABS® backpacks, helping to expand the system’s success.

2002

Distribution through Dynafit

Dynafit took over the worldwide distribution of ABS® backpacks. Following Dynafit’s acquisition by Salewa, distribution of the backpacks was transferred back to ABS®.

2003

Focus on Freerider

A special backpack was developed for freeriders.

2005

New material

A new material was selected to allow easier folding and housing of the airbag.

2008

Zip-on Principle

Launch of the ABS® zip-on principle. A system in which the storage volume can be changed quickly and easily.

2009

Wireless Activation

With ABS® Wireless Activation, one member of the group can activate the airbags of all the other members in an emergency.

2010

Lighter

Backpacks were fitted with the lighter carbon cartridge for the first time, resulting in a weight saving of almost 50 percent.

2011

Industrial partner

ABS® entered cooperation agreements with industrial partners who integrated the ABS® system in their backpacks (Inside Partners) or produced zip-ons for the base units (ABS® Compatible Partners).

2012

Protector

The Vario Base Unit was fitted with a certified back protector.

2014

Fully revised zip-ons

Launch of completely updated Zip-ons with improved functionality, more sizes and new design.

2015

30th anniverrsary

ABS is celebrating 30 years of research and innovation. With 50,000 systems produced this season, ABS® remains the market leader in this sector.