SBX — Avalanche Survival System

SBX actively supplies fresh air to the breathing area when buried in an avalanche or tree well, without requiring a mouthpiece.

3 of 4 avalanche fatalities are due to asphyxia under the snow.

The SBX Solution

Safeback SBX is designed to keep the air quality in the breathing area as normal as possible until the victim is rescued, by continually supplying fresh air to the breathing area through the porous crystal structures within the snowpack. This extends the potential survival window for a buried victim by delaying suffocation – for at least 90 minutes.

Step 1

In case of an avalanche, activate the system by pulling the T-shaped handle on the shoulder strap

Step 2

During burial, SBX uses the air in the snowpack as the victim’s fresh air supply, continuously pumping up to the breathing area for the duration of burial. SBX pumps air through the intake window on the backpack, up to the outlets on the shoulder straps.

Step 3

The airflow created in the snow delivers fresh oxygen to breathe in and pushes away the CO2 that has been exhaled. SBX runs for 90 minutes at -30°C, giving the victim breathing room to be rescued alive.

Only certified use in backpacks that follow our integration guidelines.

Already have an SBX-compatible backpack?

While we cannot sell SBX as a loose system to be installed in any backpack, we're happy to sell SBX to any user who has an SBX-compatible backpack and is missing SBX.

Get to know the SBX

Battery-powered Fan System

Safeback SBX is powered by 6 Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries - chosen for their high performance at low temperatures. The fan and the electronics which control it have been optimized to supply air to the breathing area for the maximum amount of time. On a full charge, Safeback SBX will run for 90 minutes at -30°C / -22°F.

User Friendly Interface

Safeback SBX does not require the use of a mouthpiece in order to keep the breathing area clean under the snow. The system is activated using a handle similar to those found on avalanche airbags. The handle is ready for integration with a second activation wire, meaning avalanche airbags and SBX can be activated with a single pull.

Compact and Lightweight

SBX Control Unit is roughly the size of an avalanche beacon and is stored in a dedicated pocket in a Safeback-compatible pack. In-pack volume: 0.75 L System weight, with batteries: 523 g / 18 oz.

Rather listen and learn?

We've sat down with thought leaders in avalanche safety and equipment to talk about our product, and how its been developed.

Limitations of Safeback SBX

SBX won’t turn you into Iron Man.
Safeback has spent the past five years researching ways to combat the problem of oxygen deprivation after burial in avalanches, which has been the cause of death for 75% of cases worldwide.

SBX and Avalanche Rescue Equipment

Not a Replacement for Beacon, Probe, and Shovel
SBX is designed to supplement existing rescue equipment: beacons, shovels, probes. The extra time SBX can give you under the snow is worth nothing if you don't have a beacon to be located with and if your party does not have a shovel and probe to rescue you. SBX should never be used without standard rescue equipment.

Airways and Breathing

SBX is designed to help victims who can breathe under the snow — meaning that their airways must be at least partially open during burial. Victims whose airways are fully blocked cannot benefit from SBX's air supply. 9 out of 10 avalanche burial victims survive to 15 minutes (Proctor, Strappazon, Brugger,, 2016). In situations where the human body no longer can breathe in any additional oxygen, suffocation will take place over the course of 5-12 minutes. With that knowledge, our interpretation of this data is that roughly 10% of buried victims have no ability to breathe under the snow.


Avalanches generate powerful forces which can inflict a high degree of trauma if users are not careful of terrain traps which may be present. Roughly 25% of avalanche deaths are due to trauma. SBX will not be able to protect the wearer from the trauma of being caught in an avalanche.

Who SBX Can Help

Based on these two factors, we estimate that 10% of burial victims will not be able to breathe under the snow, and 25% will die of trauma. As such we estimate that 65% of those caught in avalanches will benefit from SBX. Victims in tree well and deep snow accidents will also benefit from the system, so long as they are able to activate the SBX after falling into the tree well itself.


EPO3710120 (Patent pending)
Canada3082462 (Patent pending)

Only certified use in backpacks that follow our integration guidelines.