Best Avalanche Shovel 2022

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Taking a backcountry winter or snowboard vacation and looking at all the exciting ski gear, and accessories? Don't neglect to carry your shovel! Avalanche shovels are indeed an indispensable piece of backcountry avalanche safety equipment. 

A backcountry shovel is essential if you are on an avalanche rescue mission, snow camping, or excavating snow profile. Consider how you might react if someone you love got caught in a backcountry avalanche. But then what would you do about preventing a terrifying, yet all-too-common, occurrence in the first place? A durable, dependable avalanche shovel, like beacons and ski helmets, must be packed by every backcountry skier.

Aside from avalanche rescue, an avalanche shovel can be helpful as a protective tool, aiding you to examine the safety of the snow for avalanche risk and avert tragedy before it occurs. But how do you determine which avalanche shovel is ideally suited to you? These packable tools are useful for many reasons, but they are especially effective in the event of an avalanche. In this review, we will go over the significant elements you must look at and illustrate the few reasons they are important. Then we shall go through a selection of avalanche shovels to ensure you pick the ideal one.

Let's start with our first vote for the best avalanche shovel of the season is the MSR Responder Snow Shovel. It is compact to carry strapped to your backpack yet gives a highly effective method to digging out heavy snow.

Best Avalanche Shovels

MSR Responder
Best Overall Performance
Overmount Folding Emergency
Best Low-Cost Option
Demon Escape Ally
Pro-adjustable
Yukon Charlie’s Collapsible
Best Low Profile
Backcountry Access T3
Best for Total Safety

MSR Responder Snow Shovel: Best overall performance

Our #1 choice for the best avalanche shovel of the season is the MSR Responder Snow Shovel. The effective accessory choice is also small and compact enough to simply connect to your backpack. 

I like the collapsible design, which allows you to reduce the already low profile even further. It is compact enough to fit within a large pack and also trim enough to get fastened outward when required.

Features

  • Features: Lightweight, small, robust, convenient to carry, and low-profile handle.
  • Weight: 1.31 pounds
  • Weight: 1.31-pound Collapsible design
  • Cost: $64.95

It has a sturdy and long-lasting build that will provide you exceptional digging strength when you need it the most. The T-handle creates a safe hold which allows you to gain a little more torque when you need to act quickly. While it may not have the largest razor sharpness, we think the portable and lightweight design compensates.

  • Serrated blade: With straighter geometry, it is excellent in moving snow in a rescue.
  • 6061-T6 high-strength: It has a hard-anodized aluminum blade that offers a traditional rectangular slicing face for steady attacks and a sharpened corner to blow up snow and ice beckless form: With its design and lower scooping angle, easier to store in a small touring pack; the neckless design also increases longevity.
  • T-shaped ergonomic handle: The handle is precisely developed to provide the same comfort and control as a D-handle in a tiny, low-profile form that fits with all gloves.
  • Telescope shaft: The fast lock pin and two-section nonrotational telescopic shaft allow for quick and easy release.
  • Length: The upper half of the shaft fits similarly well into the blade, allowing you to pick the right shovel length for you.

Overmount Folding Emergency Shovel

The Overmount Folding Emergency Shovel is a low-cost choice that delivers exceptional performance.

For easy transportation, the collapsible design folds up into a compact frame. This has a powerful blade that will easily cut even in hardpack snow.  The larger 32-inch handle provides more grip for plowing power.

Features

  • Best: Low-Cost Option.
  • Key advantages: cheap cost, a lightweight design, long handle, sturdy construction, and an ice-scraper.
  • Weight: 1.42 pounds.
  • Style: Collapsible design.
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Red
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 15.35 x 9.84 x 1.57 inches
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Cost: $16.95

With that said, it includes an ice scraper that you can keep in your pack for use in the car if necessary. It's not exactly as little as most people prefer for a backcountry shovel, but it's still manageable to travel.

  • Size and weight: The shovel's length may be modified from 26" to 32" to provide optimal power for your specific demands. 11*8 IN is the size of the shovel's surface. With a weight of only 1.3 pounds, this sporting shovel is simple to use for anybody of any size or strength, and it neatly packs away when not in use.
  • Collapsible aluminum material: The ideal snow shovel for your vehicle, SUV, RV, or snowmobile is this folding metal shovel. The compact snow shovel could be split into three pieces and stored in the included pouch, making it an excellent vehicle safety equipment or backpack equipment.
  • Multiple usages:  This aluminum sport utility shovel's small dimensions and light weight make it perfect for camping or backpacking, allowing you to easily move the shovel when scooping snow, dirt, and other debris. It should be on everyone's list of must-have hiking and camping gear since the possibilities are unlimited.
  • An advanced ice scraper included: Weather is unpredictable, so don't be taken off guard if you need to dig your car out after a winter snowstorm. We have a little ice scraper to effortlessly remove freezing snow from your car window.
  • Gleaming colors: Our shovels are anodized, not coated, are sturdy enough to operate well, and will never fade no matter how long you use them.

Demon Escape Ally

The Demon Escape Ally Shovel is another excellent avalanche shovel with a few extra characteristics that set it apart.

The handle is entirely adjustable, and the shaft/blade is made of forged aluminum, making it sturdy and lightweight.

A thermometer, snow pick handle, and concealed snow saw are among the other features. This is an extremely effective multi-tool avalanche shovel alternative.

Features

  • Best features: Pro-adjustabe.
  • Key features: Powerful styling, snow pick, thermometer, adjustable handle, lightweight.
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds.
  • Style: Collapsible design.
  • Price: $69.99.

The extra features add some weight, which can be an issue if you're going on a long backcountry trip. An L-shaped snow pick and an integrated thermometer are integrated into the ergonomic handle of the snow pick. The blade and shaft are both constructed of forged aluminum. It features a telescopic shaft that may be adjusted in height.

A wood or snow saw may be simply stored in the shaft of the saw. To the farthest degree possible, collapsible. This is a product that is light, robust, and dependable.

Yukon Charlie’s Collapsible

  • Best for/: Low Profile.
  • Key features: Remote profile, lightweight, flexible.
  • Weight: 1.12 pounds.
  • Material: Aluminum.
  • Brand: Yukon Charlies.
  • Dimensions L x W x H:  33 x 15.2 x 33 centimeters.
  • Style: Collapsible design.
  • Price: $48.05.
  • The Yukon Charlie's Collapsible shovel is a fantastic option for anybody pursuing a standard with minimal expectations but maximal results. The ergonomic handle has an L-shaped snow pick and a thermometer incorporated in it.
  • The hovel is made of forged aluminum.
  • The wood/snow saw is easily inserted into the shaft.
  • Completely collapsible. Lightweight, durable, and dependable. This is the lightest shovel on the list, and it also folds up into a little package that can easily be stowed in a backpack or strapped to it.
  • The Yukon foldable shovel is a great tool for drivers and outdoor lovers who want to be ready for everything.
  • It's simple to carry on a trek or keep in the back of a car because of its lightweight, adaptable construction.
  • You won't want to be stranded in the snow without one of these, which are made of 6000 aluminum and have a slip-resistant ABS handle.

Backcountry Access T3 Rescue Package 

  • Best for: Total Safety.
  • Key feature: powerful structure.
  • Style: collapsible design.
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds.
  • Style: Collapsible design.
  • Cost: $434.95 (as per amazon)

The T3 Avalanche Rescue kit is ideal for people getting ready for their first backcountry trip, as well as seasoned backcountry travelers wishing to upgrade their outdated gear.

Our industry-leading Tracker3 avalanche transceiver, BCA's extensible B-1 EXT avalanche shovel, and the fast-deploying Stealth 270 avalanche probe are included in the bundle. Package deals on the essential backcountry gear you'll need to be safe.

How to decide

In the year 2022, how should you choose an avalanche shovel?

This section will outline some key factors to consider when selecting an avalanche shovel.

Size: While you could theoretically burrow through snow and trash with any form of shovel or digging instrument, the solutions you'll see here are designed expressly to be carried while skiing.

You don't want to be cruising down the slopes with a large shovel on your back. As a result, a shovel that is smaller in size and designed specifically for this function is excellent. The shovels shown below are all collapsible or portable enough to take skiing.

Strength: Although an avalanche shovel is modest in size, it must be powerful. The snow you'll find if you dig through an avalanche isn't the same as newly fallen powder. Digging through rock or concrete might be more difficult.

A weak little snow shovel will not suffice. The items on this list are made of robust, long-lasting materials that will last for years.

Adjustability: An adjustable handle is a great feature to look for in an avalanche shovel, similar to size concerns. Because you may make the shovel smaller for greater leverage when digging through the snow, it's easier to load and ski. To make packing easier, check for shovels with multiple handle size modifications or a retractable handle.

Features Not Included: Although you would not expect a shovel to offer extra functionality, some models do. Look for a shovel that can also be used as an avalanche probe or an ice pick if you want more tools in one. A thermometer or a snow saw is also useful.

Resources & Helpful Hints: A shovel is something that everyone is familiar with. The avalanche shovels described above, however, aren't simply for digging.

You may also use them to monitor snow conditions, construct a shelter, free a stalled vehicle, and do other tasks. A nice video on how to conduct crucial snowpack tests to determine avalanche conditions using a shovel can be found here.

Being Original: Instead of digging up loose snow, you may use Hoe mode to pull it backward. Avalanche rescuers utilize it in the rear when digging snow profiles or during avalanche rescue. Keep in mind that this feature is not available on all shovels.

Non-slip rubber covering for enhanced grip or holes in a blade for making an emergency sled are other useful characteristics.

Shovels that are quick and easy to assemble and don't have a lot of little pieces that can get lost in the snow are preferred.

It's worth noting that there are two major sorts of handles available. Handles have a D-grip and a T-grip.

D-grips are larger, but they are also more ergonomic and convenient to use. T-grip is a little more difficult to get accustomed to, although it is lighter. 

With mittens on, some individuals find it difficult to use.

FAQs

What factors should I weigh before buying an avalanche shovel?

Avalanche shovels are blades that are versatile in shape and size. Smaller blades are less efficient in chopping and moving huge volumes of snow, but they are lighter and simpler to wield. Larger blades can move snow faster, but they need more muscle to operate and may tire you out faster.

What is the function of an avalanche shovel?

An avalanche shovel is a must-have item for every backcountry safety gear since it is used to dig victims out during avalanche rescue. A strong shovel and proper shoveling method can reduce recovery time in half and could also be used to check snow stability.

When it comes to shoveling snow, how often should you do it?

When it comes to shoveling snow, how often should you do it?

What is the best way to shovel snow without hurting your back?

The following are some tips to avoid a muscular strain or back injury while shoveling snow. Maintain a straight back always. Also, allow your hips to take the weight, not your lower back.

What is the weight of a shovel full of snow?

According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a shovel load of heavy wet snow weighs around 16 pounds.

When is the optimum time for snow shoveling?

Try to avoid snow buildup, shoveling should begin early in the morning and continue throughout the day. When there is only a little quantity of snow on the ground after a snowfall, the sun may swiftly melt it. You should shovel to one side and keep moving forward.

What we should all consider while choosing?

When looking for a new avalanche shovel for your backcountry trips, what we may consider before planning:

  • Durability: Durability and strength are the most critical characteristics to look for in an avalanche shovel. In difficult situations, the shovel must work flawlessly. You don't want your tool to ever fail. for your tool to fail. Even though everything seems to be lost at first, having reliable safety equipment might help you get through stressful situations.
  • Sharpness: Avalanche debris is extremely difficult to work with. As a result, the shovel's blade must be sharp and powerful. For improved stability, performance, and, of course, lifespan, it should be fused across the back.
  • Reliable: Avalanche debris is extremely difficult to work with. As a result, the shovel's blade must be sharp and powerful. For improved stability, performance, and, of course, lifespan, it should be fused across the back.
  • Quality: The shaft and handle should be composed of sturdy, high-quality material that cannot move.
  • Functionality: The primary purpose of a shovel is to shovel snowfall. It can be done with ordinary shoveling or by using a clearing function, known as hoe mode. Instead of digging up loose snow, you may use Hoe mode to pull it backward. Avalanche rescuers utilize it in the rear when digging snow profiles or during avalanche rescue.

    Instead of digging up loose snow, you may use Hoe mode to pull it backward. Avalanche rescuers utilize it in the rear when digging snow profiles or during avalanche rescue. Keep in mind that this feature is not available on all shovels.

    - Non-slip rubber covering for enhanced grip or holes in a blade for making an emergency sled are other useful characteristics (rescue sled function).

    - Shovels that are quick and easy to assemble and do not have a lot of little pieces that can get lost in the snow are preferred.

    - It's worth noting that there are two sorts of handles available. Handles have a D-grip and a T-grip.

    - D-grips are larger, but they are also more ergonomic and simplified use. T-grip takes some getting accustomed to.

The Final Word

Our vote for the best overall avalanche shovel of the season is the MSR Responder Snow Shovel. This is a straightforward yet powerful instrument that can save your life. It is simple to connect to your backpack and provides plenty of digging power.

All of the shovels on this list are suitable for use in the wilderness. They are powerful, long-lasting, and dependable. If you are in an avalanche country, it's better to stay safe, and these shovels can help you do exactly that.

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