The heart of the new Osprey Soelden Pro Avalanche Airbag Pack is the innovative Alpride E1 electronic avalanche airbag system that draws power from supercapacitors and not batteries. This makes the Soelden Pro easy to travel with, incredibly light and compact. Osprey wraps this in a high-quality pack design that provides all the features you could ever want. The future is here and it pretty darn cool.
The Backcountry Skiing Canada Team.
The Soelden Pro 32L Airbag is Osprey’s super-light day touring avalanche airbag. The bag offers 32L of usable space with the E1 system in the bag. The E1 system is the latest and lightest airbag technology on the market which uses supercapacitors to store energy to inflate the airbag rather than traditional batteries. We’ll discuss this in more depth below.
The Osprey Soelden Pro Avalanche Airbag Pack looks like a normal Avalanche Airbag but there is a lot of new technology under the hood powering it.
The main material for the bag is NanoFly, which is made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMPWPE), an abrasion-resistant ultra-light fabric.
The backpanel is made with a lightweight, thermoformed, die-cut EVA foam. The foam is protected by a snow shedding material in order to reduce the buildup of ice and snow.
The harness features contoured die-cut EVA foam and an adjustable sternum strap with a safety whistle. Both shoulder straps offer radio boom mic attachment points and multi-height airbag handle attachment points, so you can set the bag up as you prefer.
The hip belt uses 25mm webbing with EVA foam padded stabilizing hipwings with a zippered pocket on one side and a gear loop on the other. The two sides are joined by an aluminum safety buckle and the leg loop can be easily stowed when not in use.
The suspension system is 2.5mm LightWire frame threaded into 1.0mm HDPE framesheet and 1.5 mm HDPE stay.
The entire yolk is designed with gender-specific shaping, offering optimal fit—the womens version of the Soelden Pro is called the Sopris Pro.
Skis can be carried via the A-frame carry straps, both upper and lower straps are reinforced for protection from ski edges and are tied into the compression system to make sure everything is secure and not flopping around. A diagonal ski carry option is also available.
Snowboards can be carried in a vertical orientation, and the straps are lowprofile and stowable when not in use.
A secure ice tool carry sleeve minds the sharps while an attachment point up top makes for quick access.
There is also a goggle pocket on the Soelden Pro which is accessed from the side of the bag as seen below.
Main fabric: NanoFly 210D Nylon x 200D UHMWPE PFC Free DWR
Accent: Front panel shield 100% 210D UHMWPE
Bottom: 100% 200D UHMWPE
The Osprey Soelden Pro is a fairly slick-looking bag with a lot packed under the hood. Initially, I was excited about the supercapacitor technology but was pleasantly surprised with the functionality and comfort. The overall feel of the bag is streamlined simplicity without sacrificing performance.
A big plus for this bag is accessibility; large zippers maximize access to each compartment. The U-zip opens the main compartment up like a suitcase, allowing you to pack your bag in such a way that makes use of every inch, and the J-zip on the avalanche pocket offers more than sufficient access to the safety tools.
A common complaint with Osprey bags is that sometimes buckles must be undone in order to completely open zippers. It’s a small matter of convenience to avoid the buckle access situation, but I have to admit that the advantages that are offered under the current configuration seem like a reasonable trade-off. As the zipper covers 3 sides (2 sides with the avalanche pocket), the buckles need to cross zippers in order to achieve functional compression. In my opinion, quality compression is well worth the extra step to completely open and close pockets.
Speaking of pockets, I think this bag could use at least one more. I really appreciate a ‘small items’ pocket for all the little things, but unless you wanted to throw those items in with your goggles, they are going to be floating around in the larger pockets. The goggle pocket is also in an interesting place; the zipper is mid-way down the bag on the side of the bag. The advantage of this is keeping the top openings to the pack less crowded, but the disadvantage is that if the bag is full, you can't slide your goggles into the pocket without a fight.
The one pocket on the hip belt is nice and the gear loop is a welcome addition for certain adventures, but seeing as the bag is a bit small for gear laden adventures, I wonder if a second pocket might have been a better fit for the pack.
The suspension and compression systems on this bag are really dialled in. The Soelden offers all the carry options you look for, though the bottom A-frame carry loops are too small for some splitboards. The vertical snowboard carry is built into the compression system, so it does a great job of stopping any flopping around. It’s also nice to be able to stow these carry straps so that they don't get caught on anything when not in use.
The E1 system is awesome! It’s very compact and noticeably lighter than other avalanche bags I’ve used. The option to charge the capacitor with a USB cable makes practising and testing very cost-effective, not to mention providing the convenience of charging in a vehicle or from a battery pack, or literally anywhere you can plug a USB in for charging. The AA battery is also next-level convenience, allowing you to carry extra charges with basically no bulk or weight.
Overall I’d have to say I’m very impressed with the Soelden Pro. As a day pack, it provides all the features and then some, but it would fall short on bigger missions just due to the capacity limit. The cost will also be prohibitive to many, but as with all new technologies, the cost will come down eventually.
Price: $1,695CAN / $1,200US
Volume: 32L (1953 IN³)
Dimensions: 55 x 32 x 29cm / 21.65 x 12.6 x 11.42 in
Weight: 2.95kg / 6.505lbs
Load Range: 7-13kg / 15-30lbs
Airbag System: Alpride E1
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