It’s evident that with every pow slaying winter season that passes, avalanche rescue gear is becoming more and more fine tuned and developed. It’s really cool to look back and see how far the industry has advanced in the last few years and the Kodiak 3.1 shovel made by Ortovox is perfect proof of that. Through innovation and design, the Kodiak 3.1 shovel could very well be the best shovel to have in your pack when you’re out skiing deep powder and searching for new lines in the backcountry.
Comfort in a shovel is extremely important and while we all hope not to have to dig a friend out of concrete like conditions for hours, in training or in the worst-case scenario, you won’t stop digging because your hands are uncomfortable. The D-shape handle is ergonomic and makes sense for efficient shoveling. The oval shaft of the shovel provides for stringency and better handling. Ortovox was also thinking when they covered the shaft in a non-slip rubber.
Comfort is essential but the ability for a shovel to hold up in crucial, life-saving moments is more than imperative. Ortovox strategically combined comfort features with the stability and strength of workhorse of a shovel. There’s not a doubt in my mind that this shovel would aid in the rescue of one of my friends.
The blade’s cutting edge will cut through even the hardest of snowpack and is made of a durable (yet not overpoweringly heavy) material. Included on the blade are non-slip ridges so if you’re working with your ski boot on the crest, you won’t repeatedly slip off.
Of course, I have to save the best feature for last and what ultimately impresses me most about the Kodiak 3.1 is the 90 degree clearing function for when you need to move a lot of snow fast. For some people, this is going to be a very comfortable way of moving snow. I’ve found that it is easier to use the majority of your body strength, without strain, when moving snow in this position. The adjustments are quick-release so everything is easy to adjust in short notice.
The Kodiak 3.1 will save you time, fatigue, and discomfort. It will hold up through even the toughest abuse. While you may think in your mind that it will be easy to skimp on a shovel while you collect your avy safety gear, think again as this shovel is well worth the money. The sharp blade, ergonomic d-grip handle, and 90 degree clearing function are what in my mind make this the best avalanche shovel to have in your pack.
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