ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST AVALANCHE SHOVELSCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST AVALANCHE SHOVELSAVALANCHE SHOVELS REVIEWSBLACK DIAMOND EVACBACKCOUNTRY ACCESS B52VOILE TELEPROBACKCOUNTRY ACCESS BOMBER B1BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS RS EXTBLACK DIAMOND DEPLOYG3 AVITECHHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST AVALANCHE SHOVELSMATERIALALUMINUMPLASTICSTEELBLADE SIZEBLADE SHAPEFLAT BLADECURVED BLADESHAFTGRIP Have you ever wondered what you would do if a friend was swept away in an avalanche in the backcountry? Or how you could even prevent such a frightening, yet not uncommon, occurrence to begin with? Like with beacons and ski helmets, every backcountry skier should have a sturdy, reliable avalanche shovel. Beyond avalanche rescue missions, an avalanche shovel can be used as a preventative tool, allowing you to check the stability of the snow for avalanche danger and avoid catastrophe before it hits. But how do you know what the best avalanche shovel is for you? Here, at The Adventure Junkies, we want to help you limit your choices when selecting the best avalanche shovel. We’ll discuss the main features that you should consider, explain why those features are important, and review a variety of avalanche shovels to help you find the best one for you. For more of our top snow sports gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Skis | Ski Poles | Ski Bindings | Ski Boots Snowboards | Snowboard Bindings | Snowboard Boots Goggles | Helmets | Cameras | Bags Jackets | Pants | Socks | Gloves | Hats LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR AFELLOW SKIER?Check out our gift guide that includes 100 ideas to surprise your skiing friends.From big ticket presents to stocking stuffers, there is something for everyone. VIEW NOW QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST AVALANCHE SHOVELS 1. BLACK DIAMOND EVAC VIEW AT AMAZON 2. BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS B52 VIEW AT AMAZON 3. VOILE TELEPRO VIEW AT AMAZON 4. BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS BOMBER B1 VIEW AT REI 5. BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS RS EXT VIEW AT REI 6. BLACK DIAMOND DEPLOY VIEW AT REI 7. G3 AVITECH VIEW AT AMAZON COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST AVALANCHE SHOVELS PICTUREAVALANCHE SHOVELBEST USEHANDLEGRIPPRICERATING PICTUREAVALANCHE SHOVELBEST USEHANDLEGRIPPRICERATING Black Diamond EvacOverallTelescopingD-grip$$$5 Backcountry Access B52OverallCollapsibleD-grip$$$5 Voile TeleproBudgetTelescopingD-grip$5 Backcountry Access B-1 EXT BomberBudgetTelescopingT-grip$4.8 Backcountry Access RS EXTRescue/Snow Pit ComboTelescopingL-grip$$5 Black Diamond Deploy 7Rescue/Snow Pit ComboTelescopingD/T- hyrbrid grip$$4 G3 AviTech Rescue/Snow Pit ComboTelescopingT-grip but with D-grip attachment $$4 AVALANCHE SHOVELS REVIEWS BLACK DIAMOND EVAC Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry BEST FOR: Avalanche rescue, snow pits, backcountry jumps MATERIAL: Aluminum BLADE SIZE AND SHAPE: Large and Flat SHAFT: Telescoping HANDLE: D-grip PROS: Converts to hoe, lightweight, collapses small, good construction CONS: Gets stuck extending to full length occasionally, doesn’t fit in all ski backpacks BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS B52 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry BEST FOR: Avalanche rescue, snow pits, snow shelters, backcountry jumps, dig out snowmobile MATERIAL: Aluminum BLADE SIZE AND SHAPE: Large and Flat SHAFT: Collapsible HANDLE: D-grip PROS: Easy to use with mittens, durable, one of the largest blades available so moves lots of snow CONS: Bulky, heavy VOILE TELEPRO Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry BEST FOR: Avalanche rescue, snow pit MATERIAL: Aluminum BLADE SIZE AND SHAPE: Mid-size and Flat SHAFT: Telescoping HANDLE: D-grip PROS: Lightweight, slotted holds for rescue sled CONS: None could be found BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS BOMBER B1 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Avalanche rescue, snow pits, backcountry jumps, snow shelters MATERIAL: Aluminum BLADE SIZE AND SHAPE: Large and Flat SHAFT: Telescoping HANDLE: T-grip PROS: Lightweight, slotted holds for rescue sled, fits in most ski backpacks, durable, easy to breakdown CONS: Ice can get stuck in the locking mechanism BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS RS EXT Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Avalanche rescue, snow pits, backcountry jumps, snow shelters MATERIAL: Aluminum BLADE SIZE AND SHAPE: Large and Curved SHAFT: Telescoping HANDLE: L-grip PROS: Converts to hoe mode, durable, lightweight CONS: None could be found BLACK DIAMOND DEPLOY Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Avalanche rescue, snow pits, backcountry jumps, snow shelters MATERIAL: Aluminum BLADE SIZE AND SHAPE: Large and Curved SHAFT: Telescoping HANDLE: D/T-hybrid grip PROS: Quick assembly, fits in most ski backpacks CONS: Handle too short for some skiers, slightly heavy G3 AVITECH Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Avalanche rescue, snow pits, snow shelters MATERIAL: Aluminum BLADE SIZE AND SHAPE: Large and Flat SHAFT: Telescoping HANDLE: T-grip but with D-grip attachment PROS: Quick assembly, lightweight, slotted for rescue sled CONS: None could be found Gear up for snow adventures, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on Snow GearSent right to your inbox...GEAR UP HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST AVALANCHE SHOVELS MATERIAL The material of shovel is one of the best ways to narrow down your options when selecting the best avalanche shovel for you. If the shovel is made of inferior materials, it will break and become useless during a rescue mission. Most avalanche shovels are made of one of three types of materials: aluminum, plastic, or steel. ALUMINUM Aluminum is—hands down—the best material for an avalanche shovel. It allows the user to engage in the chopping action that is essential for rescuing a victim of an avalanche. It is stronger and will last longer than plastic. It is also lighter weight than steel and is often fabricated from the same material that it used for bike frames and airplanes. PLASTIC In most cases, plastic avalanche shovels are not recommended. Plastic avalanche shovels have the tendency to break in extreme cold and when the blade hits debris while digging. The only benefit to carrying a plastic avalanche shovel is that it may be very lightweight, but in an emergency it will not be a good selection. STEEL Steel shovels are extremely durable, but they are also extremely heavy. Most backcountry skiers prefer the lighter weight of heat-treated alloys over the heavier weight of a steel shovel. BLADE SIZE Blade size is a key component to selecting the best avalanche shovel for you. Many backcountry skiers prefer a larger blade, so they can move more snow. The downside to that is that—in an emergency—the person shoveling may get tired faster. The alternative is a smaller blade that is easier to handle. While a smaller blade will let you shovel snow for a longer period of time without experiencing fatigue, it is also less efficient at chopping away at dense snowpack and removes less snow than a larger blade. It is also important that the blade’s size does not prevent you from storing your avalanche shovel inside your ski backpack. If it is attached to the outside of the pack, it will get torn off during an avalanche, making it useless. BLADE SHAPE The blade shape is a matter of preference. There are two main shapes—flat or curved—with benefits to each. Either shape of blade can also be serrated. A serrated blade will cut through cement-like snow, ice, and avalanche debris better. FLAT BLADE A flat blade is best for digging snow pits. Backcountry skiers dig snow pits to check the stability of the snowpack, letting them know the likelihood of an avalanche. The ability to take such precautions is as important as a good ski helmet. The cleaner and smoother the wall, the easier it is to see how stable it is. CURVED BLADE A curved blade is best for avalanche rescue since it will remove more snow with each scoop than a flat blade. SHAFT The shaft of an avalanche shovel can be extendable or telescoping, allowing for greater leverage, or it can be a fixed length. A longer shaft will give more leverage, while a shorter shaft will give greater maneuverability. GRIP There are three types of grips on the handle of an avalanche shovel: T-grip, L-grip, and D-grip. The T-grip is very effective and also most common type of avalanche shovel grip. The L-grip is the lightest and most compact type of avalanche shovel grip. The D-grip is the most ergonomic shovel handle grip. It is the easiest to hold when wearing mittens, but it also takes up the most space in your ski backpack because it is bulkier and heavier than the other grips. SNOW SPORTS RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSSNOW SPORTSTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BASICS 5. SKIING 2. SNOW CLOTHING 6. SNOWBOARDING 3. ACCESSORIES 7. SNOWSHOEING 4. SNOW SAFETY 1. BASICS 2. SNOW CLOTHING 3. ACCESSORIES 4. SNOW SAFETY 5. SKIING 6. SNOWBOARDING 7. SNOWSHOEING Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.