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Ortovox Litric recall

Slim

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They (Arc’teryx and Ortovox) have not sold any in North America yet, so here it is a ‘delay’, not a ‘recall’.

But yes, for the early bird buyers in Europe, time to send it back and find something else (or wait)
 

jmeb

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Many had been ordered by US agencies, companies, etc. But I don't believe any had been delivered.
 

Slim

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Well, they are back on the shelves again this season.

unfortunately, it sounds like they still have not addressed the issue with the Li-ion battery and air travel.

My understanding is this:
Because of the risk of fire of Li-ion batteries, for air travel they must either be small, or if they are over a certain size, they must be removed from the item. This is so that they can be immersed into a water bath in case of fire.
Although Litric (like Alpride’s E1/E2) uses super capacitROS to power the fan, those need ‘topping up’ (they lose energy over time) and also ‘refilling’ after a deployment.

E1/E2 uses AA batteries, but Litric uses a Li-ion rechargeable battery. And that battery is over the IATA max fixed battery size for ’smart luggage’ (carry-on bags with battery packs for charging laptops etc), yet it is not removable.

Orthovox/Arc’teryx are going with the statement that: “it’s not a smart bag, it’s personal protective equipment“.

This seems like trouble to me:
  1. The fire danger isn’t any different, regardless what bag it’s in
  2. airport security staff don’t know anything about technical stuff. They often misunderstand stuff they don’t know. Even if technically you are allowed to bring simething on a plane, it’s no use to you if the security staff stops you from taking it.
 

Tʌʏʟɵʀ

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Maybe I'm missing something, digging into this on mobile, but on first glance it seems that the IATA restricts lithium-ion batteries to <100 watt hours in smart luggage without pre-approval

The Ortovox Litric manual states that the battery size is 7.4 Wh, which is far below that maximum.
 

Slim

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Maybe I'm missing something, digging into this on mobile, but on first glance it seems that the IATA restricts lithium-ion batteries to <100 watt hours in smart luggage without pre-approval

The Ortovox Litric manual states that the battery size is 7.4 Wh, which is far below that maximum.
Are you sure you are looking at the non-removable size restrictions? That is what was the sticking point.

Here is the original article on Wildsnow (while it lasts):

In a document dated January 2021, the IATA states, “Baggage with installed lithium batteries non-removable batteries exceeding–0.3 g lithium metal or 2.7 Wh.” are “forbidden.”

The key language here is non-removable. The LiTRIC’s lithium battery is 7.4 Wh, which exceeds the limit as it is non-removable. Although WildSnow knows of several instances where individuals have flown with a LiTRIC pack, a strict interpretation and application of the IATA rules, would prohibit it.
 

Tʌʏʟɵʀ

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That was definitely the part I was missing when digging through this on mobile, thank you. I was primarily looking at this document, which makes no mention of the non-removable battery limitation for some odd reason: iata-guidance-on-smart-baggage-with-integrated-lithium-batteries-and-electronics.pdf (it is dated from 2017 though, older than your link)

I did notice that Ortovox is claiming:
a list of certain products that are authorized by IATA, and our avalanche airbag is included in this list. Every IATA member airline knows this list and can allow the backpack to be transported.
but that's obviously of little concern if the final decision is actually in the hands of whatever over-worked agent is checking your luggage.

Of note, Black Diamond has a couple page PDF covering their stance on flying with the Jetforce Pro. They seem to cite the 57th (not 62nd) edition of the dangerous goods regulation, which doesn't address non-removable lithium ion batteries in luggage. As a path of last resort, they offer instruction on how to disconnect their battery though, I wonder if the Litric has a similarly annoying way to disconnect.

In the end I think it comes down to this list that Ortovox claims to exist. Yes, individual agents can still misinterpret the rules, but they do that anyways with items that are clearly okay, we cannot eliminate that risk.
 

Slim

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Well that’s encouraging. Here is a link to that list, so one could print it out and at least try and have something to show to the agent checking the bag?

And the next question, TSA does not always follow IATA regulations (see: canister airbags), is there an official stance from the TSA on these yet?
I know it’s useless asking the TSA yourself. I did with a previous airbag, and just got a reply referring to the TSA website, which, surprise, surprise, does not mention avalanche airbags.
 
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Tʌʏʟɵʀ

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Your link to the list is actually the same list that you originally used to point out the 2.7Wh restriction, Ortovox just is hosting the newer 64th edition with the specific categories highlighted that they think the Litric system falls into. I'm not certain what is this "list of authorized products" they mention but it would make life a lot easier, flying internationally, if we could point to an IATA validated authorized list rather than rely on a random agent's interpretation if it is baggage or a personal safety device.

As for the TSA, I can't find any specific restrictions for baggage with non-removable lithium-ion batteries and only seem to have a general "carry-on only and <100Wh" rule.
 

James

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Can’t help but think this is a bad design choice to make it non removable if you intend to have it fly. For one, it cuts down sales tremendously. Counting on interpretation of technicalities at airports isn’t the smartest.
 

Slim

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@T That link I posted goes to the 64th edition for me. I got it from Othovox website Link you posted,
 
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Tʌʏʟɵʀ

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@T That link I posted goes to the 64th edition for me. I got it from Othovox website Link you posted,
Yes, I'm saying the list that you posted on Wednesday (Ortovox hosted, 64th edition) is the same list that you posted on Tuesday (IATA hosted, 62nd edition).

In otherwords, it is not the list of "approved devices" that Ortovox says exists but effectively the source of the concern in the first place. Both editions have the "baggage with a non-removable Lithium ion battery" category in them.
 

Frenchman

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Can’t help but think this is a bad design choice to make it non removable if you intend to have it fly. For one, it cuts down sales tremendously. Counting on interpretation of technicalities at airports isn’t the smartest.
Totally agree. They need to make the battery removable. As it is, it's a crap shoot whether you'll be allowed to fly with the bag or not. Anybody who cares about flying (though North America especially, where one has to empty cartridges, and therefore the capacitor bags are a huge thing) is going to be steered towards the Alpride system (and the E2 is much smaller than the E1 was). I love Ortovox products, but this is a total misfire (and maybe also a need to not infringe on Alpride's patents?). It's a backpack. It has a huge chance to be categorized as luggage and not "safety equipment," especially if it's stuffed with gear.
 

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