SBX Receives Red Dot Product Design Award

June 19, 2023 | Essen, Germany

Safeback and Eker Design have been recognized for their work designing and developing the SBX system by this year’s esteemed jury at Red Dot.

This year, around 20,000 entries came from 60 countries, across 51 product categories. However different the products may be, all winners of the Red Dot Product Design Award demonstrate exceptional design quality, which has now been confirmed by an internationally respected and independent panel of experts.

SBX is the world’s first product that actively supplies air to burial victims under the snow, delaying suffocation and extending the possible timeline for rescue in snow burial accidents. After being evaluated alongside thousands of product submissions, Red Dot stated that the jury was impressed by the way the lifesaving SBX system works:

"Professionals developed this innovation to help people buried under masses of snow to continue breathing for up to 90 minutes without the need for a mouthpiece,” concluded the Red Dot Jury.

Early in SBX’s development, Safeback discovered that modern technologies could take advantage of the properties of snow to keep burial victims breathing for a longer amount of time. Because snow is porous and stores a high volume of air, creating airflow in the snow could improve the air quality in front of the user’s face, delaying potential suffocation, without requiring the use of a mouthpiece.

Since 2018, Safeback and Eker Design have been collaborating on how to turn Safeback’s research findings into a user-friendly and marketable product. Eker Design’s pedigree as industrial engineers and designers across product segments made them a natural partner for Safeback. Together, they worked closely to find solutions for how to design and manufacture a system that could meet user needs, while also being producible at scale.

“We greatly appreciate our collaboration with Safeback, where both parties have been able to contribute their specific strengths throughout the process. Together as a team, we have worked to ensure that both design and performance are optimized and that the product meets the users' requirements, needs, and expectations. For Eker Design, this Red Dot Award signifies confirmation of our ability to combine aesthetics and functionality. We look forward to our continued work with Safeback and with other innovators who are looking to bring innovative ideas to life,” said Victor Rosenvinge, COO of Eker Design.

The final product not only delivers the core function of creating this necessary airflow through the snow, but also delivers it in a robust, compact, and lightweight package. After the SBX has been activated using the T-shaped handle, the system draws in the ambient air and continuously pumps it into the victim’s breathing zone through outlet hoses on both shoulder straps.

Due to its special design, the system can only be used in certified freeride and avalanche backpacks. For the 2023/24 winter season, SBX is available in a ski mountaineering backpack from Bergans of Norway, and in a backcountry vest from Db .

Both products will be available from retailers across Europe, with Db’s vest being distributed globally.

SBX is patented in Norway, USA, Japan, with patents pending in the EU, Canada, and India.

About Red Dot Design Award

With around 20,000 entries per year, the Red Dot Design Award is one of the biggest design competitions in the world. In order to reach a professional verdict given the diversity of the design sector, the competition is divided into three disciplines:

  • Red Dot Award: Product Design
  • Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design
  • Red Dot Award: Design Concept

The Red Dot Design Award can look back on a more than 60-year history: 1955 was the first time a jury came together to evaluate the best designs of the time. In the 1990s, Red Dot CEO, Professor Dr Peter Zec, came up with the name and brand for the award. The coveted “Red Dot” award has since become the highly regarded seal for outstanding design quality that is recognised worldwide. Award winners are presented in the yearbooks, museums and online.

About Safebeck

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.