5 years ago, one of the last remaining questions in mountain safety remained unsolved: the short window of survival for victims buried under an avalanche – only 15 minutes. At the heart of a new solution to this problem lies a fruitful collaboration between Eker Design and the Safeback team. Together, we have developed Safeback SBX, an innovative piece of avalanche equipment designed to increase the margins of survival for individuals trapped under snow.

Video: Safeback

During a ski trip in the mountains of Reimegrend, Norway, the seed of this life-saving invention was planted. That’s where Tor Berge, CEO and Co-founder of Safeback began to ponder what would happen if he were to be caught and buried in an avalanche.

I have been skiing there since I was little and have always been exposed to avalanches as a real risk. I use equipment like shovel, probe, and transmitter/receiver, but if you’re caught in an avalanche, you should be rescued within fifteen minutes in order to ensure you are still breathing. The most common cause of death for avalanche burial victims is lack of oxygen, because the person often doesn’t have an air pocket in the snow. After fifteen minutes, they will have used up their air supply, and the survival rate drops drastically. If we could extend the survival window for those caught in avalanches, it could help save lives.

Tor Berge – CEO, Co-Founder Safeback and explorer.

Collaboration with Eker Design

Through a close partnership, the Safeback idea transformed from a simple sketch on paper to a tangible product ready for the market. This process involved insightful work, critical evaluation, design and development, and importantly, testing, verification, and adaptation based on user feedback.


The development process has been a combination of Eker Design’s extensive expertise in design, construction, prototyping, testing, simulation, and production, along with the Safeback team’s knowledge of avalanche dynamics and survival. The goal has been clear: to develop a product that can make a real difference in the safety of mountain enthusiasts.

Innovation and Development


Eker Design’s role in the development of Safeback SBX has been significant.

– Through our expertise in process understanding, design, and development, we have played a key role in bringing the product idea from the conceptual stage to a functional prototype ready for testing and ultimately production. Our approach to the problem has been characterized by innovation, creativity, and a deep understanding of users’ needs and challenges.

Victor Rosenvinge, COO in Eker Design.

The Safeback project was incrementally developed through digital evolution and into physical prototypes for verification — from the initial “brick” weighing 1200 grams to a much lighter and more practical version at 480 grams. Adjustments were made to ensure the product’s functionality under extreme conditions while integrating it into a backpack for maximum user-friendliness. This journey from idea to finished product became not only a technical challenge but also a learning process for the three founders about product development, market adaptation, and the importance of user-centered design.

Every detail counts. Image: Safeback

By winning various awards even before its launch, along with positive media reviews, Safeback SBX has already established itself as a significant innovation in avalanche safety. Behind this achievement is a team of dedicated entrepreneurs, supported by a strong team in Eker Design.

Video: Safeback
Through a collaboration between Db and Safeback, we truly see how functional and practical SBX is for its users. Image: Safeback and Db
Image: Safeback and Bergans
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