Gear Review: BCA B1 EXT and Black Diamond Deploy 7 Shovels
Backcountry Access B1 EXT shovel
$50, 1 lb. 5 oz.
BCA’s light and compact B1 EXT has a great strength-to-weight ratio. Its small but solid aluminum blade chopped easily into consolidated snow and icy crust in test pits I dug while backcountry skiing in Idaho’s Boise Mountains. The two-section, straight shaft and blade assemble as quickly as most traditional shovels of similar design, and the shaft compresses short enough (16 inches/40.5 cm) to fit into a pack’s snow-gear pocket without separating its two sections. Extended, the shovel’s length (22.25 inches/56.5 cm) allows for digging without being uncomfortably hunched over.
Get My Free Email Newsletter
Enter your email address for updates about new stories, gear reviews, and expert tips!