Avalanche Airbags Market Latest Trends, Business Strategies and Competitive Outlook

Avalanche airbags are safety gear used while skiing and mountaineering. The avalanche airbags system consists of an airbag incorporated in the backpack, which inflates when the user encounters an avalanche. Avalanche airbags are designed in a way that enhances their functionality of uplifting the user, maintaining his/her position above snow surface. There are different types of avalanche airbags available, including mono and dual avalanche airbags and are used across recreational activities such as skiing, hiking and ski-jumping.

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Top five companies involved in the manufacturing and distribution of avalanche airbags account for a significant revenue share of the overall avalanche airbags market. ABS Protection GmbH (now a SPIN Capital company), K-2 Sports (Backcountry Access), Mammut Sports Group AG, Arc’teryx and Black Diamond Equipment Ltd. – tier one manufacturers of avalanche airbags – collectively account for more than 40 percent share in the avalanche airbags market. Of these, ABS Protection GmbH and Mammut Sports Group AG are the top two players accounting for 13.2 percent and 10.2 percent share in the market.

Government regulations on testing of avalanche airbags have become more stringent in a bid to reduce operational failures of avalanche airbags and reduce fatalities. Field testing of avalanche airbags has become mandatory in some countries, apart from regular lab testing during manufacturing. For instance, European Union has initiated a mandate of testing of avalanche airbags under natural environmental conditions under its DIN EN 16716 regulation. Manufacturers of avalanche airbags are required to follow this regulation and avalanche airbags need to be certified with DIN EN 16716 standards.

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This aspect is complemented by mandates regarding use of mountaineering equipment such as avalanche airbags while skiing and hiking. Regulatory authorities such as the International Skiing Federation has made it compulsory for skiing participants to wear avalanche airbags, particularly during national winter sports. This factor is expected to influence the demand for avalanche airbags in the forthcoming years.

Rising fatalities associated with avalanche mishaps have caused major concerns among mountaineers and enthusiasts. This factor has pushed the use of various safety gears such as avalanche airbags. In United States, more than 925 fatalities due to avalanche mishaps were recorded during the 1951-2013 timeline, according to Colorado Avalanche Information Center. This count is likely to increase in the coming years on account of increasing utilization of backcountry, says Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Likewise, avalanche fatalities in Europe, in particular the Alps, have risen steadily. On an average, more than 26 individual fatalities occur every year in Austria alone, which has increased to 37 deaths.

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There has been a steady increase in skiing and snowboarding activities across the globe, which is expected to translate into an increase in demand for avalanche airbags. According to NSAA (National Ski Areas Association), 2017-2018 (Q3) timeline reflected participation of about 9.2 million people in skiing and snowboarding million, which is likely to increase in the coming years. Likewise, in EU, participation in skiing is likely to cross 6 million by 2018 end owing to skiing championships held in the region. For instance, the upcoming 2018/2019 Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Austria has attracted more than 200 participants, which is expected to augur well for the growth of the avalanche airbags market.

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