DISCOVER OUR HISTORY & TRADITION
1980 | FORMATION OF ORTOVOX
Gerald Kampel and Jürgen Wegner develop the first double frequency transceiver, ORTOVOX F2 for searching avalanche victims. Until then all avalanche transceivers in use would send and receive in different frequencies (2, 275kHz and 457 kHz). This would often lead to fatal avalanche accidents when victims could not be found quickly enough due to differences in frequency. The F2 can send and receive on both frequencies and is received with enthusiasm. Within 2 years it became number one on the market.
1985 | 1ST POWDER BACKPACK
The ORTOVOX powder rucksack and the ORTOVOX avalanche shovel are added to the legendary F2.
Even today – after more than 20 years – products from that time are still in use showing the exceptional quality they are made of.
1988 | WALK WOOL
ORTOVOX develops sophisticated sport fashion made of Walk wool. The touring jackets and sweaters, hats, gaiters, gloves and socks are made of 100% Walk sheep wool and, compared to synthetic fibers, gives natural advantages.
1989 | ORTOVOX F1
Brings the introduction of a completely new type of avalanche transceiver. The ORTOVOX F1 classic with flexible belt system, integrated speakers and optional earpiece is born.
1990 | ORTOVOX F1 PLUS
The companies name is changed to ORTOVOX Sportartikel GmBH.
The ORTOVOX F1 plus, the first avalanche transceiver with LED technique is introduced. An additional LED light, and the opportunity to search for friends as well as lost equipment is a distinct development on the transceiver market.
1993 | WOOL FLEECE
The first sweaters, hats and headbands made of cosy wool fleece are added to the range. The soft wool fleece is super light, comfortable to wear and, thanks to the integrated SUPERWASH, easy to care for.
1994 | ORTOVOX F1 FOCUS
The legendary F1 focus is presented. It breaks all sales records and becomes the most sold avalanche transceiver worldwide. The idea: To make a search easier by introducing an arrow made up of the three traffic light colours. This visual search aid significantly helps to “find a victim faster and more easily”.
1995 | FUNCTIONAL UNDERWEAR
The first functional underwear made of Merino wool is being introduced: Shirts, pants and turtle-neck tops for Alpine skiing, ski touring and mountain walking mean that the need to frequently change base layers has become a thing of the past.
1996 | ORTOVOX X-LIGHT
ORTOVOX starts working together with the extreme mountaineer Hans Kammerlander and together develop the ORTOVOX rucksack model “X-light”. Made of a combination of Ripstop Cordura and Powernet Thermolight, it is extremely tough but very light, weighing only 380g.
1998 | ORTOVOX M1
The ORTOVOX M1 – “a star was born”! It is the birth year of the first fully compatible, digital-analogue avalanche transceiver. The m stands for menu control.
1999 | ORTOVOX M2
Development is fast – the ORTOVOX M2 is even faster.
The avalanche transceiver with the fastest method of switching from send to search mode. It also features a unique innovative belt system and a function to reliably locate several victims. Until the introduction of the M2, no other ORTOVOX avalanche transceiver had ever been declared winner in as many tests worldwide.
2001 | 20 YEARS OF ORTOVOX
The M2 EXCLUSIVE EDITION is developed as a “birthday present” to celebrate ORTOVOX’s 20th anniversary. A fully compatible, digital and analog avalanche transceiver from the latest generation of devices in an exclusive transparent blue design.
2002 | ORTOVOX X1
ORTOVOX launches its first digital avalanche transceiver with direct direction display. With its two antennas, the X1 automatically regulates the reception volume from the first reception to pinpointing. The X1 boasts impressive ease of use, unsurpassed reach (up to 70m), high precision and a fully automatic search system. The search for several signals is automatic. For freeriders, we develop a special “POWDER PERFORMANCE” backpack line that combines trendy design with function. The premium model, the TOP RIDER, is equipped with special back protectors to protect the spine, and provides space for coordinated safety equipment.
2003 | Ortovox Netwool Light
Thanks to the huge success of the TOP RIDER model, further sizes are added to the line. From fall 2003, this freeride backpack is available in three back sizes to ensure it fits like a second skin, for women, too. An additional microprocessor in the 2003 version of the ORTOVOX X1 enables quicker display speeds. “Netwool light” is the name of the new line of 100% merino wool underwear. Developed by Ortovox, this way of processing merino wool is invigorating the underwear market.
2004 | O-FLEX FRAME
Two completely new backpack lines are developed in addition to the five-backpack POWDER PERFORMANCE LINE. Cooperation with sports orthopedists leads to the new “O-Flex-Frame” back and carrying system, which guarantees an optimal fit and minimizes strain. New standards are set with the 100% merino wool functional underwear. Even finer merino wool and a thinner yarn allow for a lighter quality that ensures improved wellbeing both in winter and in summer. This comfort is underpinned with fresh colors. Ines Papert wins the Ice Climbing World Cup for the third time in a row, wearing ORTOVOX merino functional underwear, which is available in four different qualities and in special cuts for men and women.
2005 | 25 YEARS OF ORTOVOX
ORTOVOX turns 25! The new logo makes it clear that ORTOVOX is far from outdated. ORTOVOX stands for products that ensure more safety and fun for physical activities out in nature. The direction is clear: Maintaining the position of global market leader for avalanche safety equipment and expanding the backpack and clothing segments. You can look forward to the next 25 years with ORTOVOX.
2007 | ORTOVOX S1
With the introduction of the S1, the world’s first ever sensor-controlled avalanche transceiver, ORTOVOX succeeds in reaching another safety product milestone. The new Grizzly shovel helps to uncover avalanche victims more quickly and safely. The Freeride backpack from the Powder Performance line impresses with its optimal fit and a TÜV-approved SPS back protector. In addition to these spectacular product highlights, the new website (www.ortovox.com) is launched in October 2007. Here you can find all the relevant product information and numerous useful tips on the topic of safety in meter-deep snow and on untouched steep slopes.
2008 | SAFETY ACADEMY
Since it was founded, ORTOVOX has been dedicated to PROTECTION. Influenced by the company’s alpine origins, it develops emergency products. But in addition to having the right gear, knowledge of the dangers is crucial for reducing risk. That’s why in 2008 ORTOVOX worked with mountain guides and experts to establish the SAFETY ACADEMY avalanche courses for beginners and advanced mountaineers. The courses are conducted by the most renowned ORTOVOX mountain guides across the entire Alpine region using state-of-the-art training materials and products.
Since it was launched in 2008, the scope of the SAFETY ACADEMY has been continuously expanded. Today, it stands for comprehensive alpine safety training, whether online or with the SAFETY ACADEMY LAB, in print or in the form of various training tools such as SAM, our 3D mountain.
2009 | MERINO COMPETITION LINE
By launching the Merino Competition line, ORTOVOX makes high-performance sport possible all year round. Circular knitting technology helps create an anatomical fit that guarantees maximum use of muscle power. The revolutionary functional underwear is presented with the European Ski Award for clothing at ISPO 09 at the beginning of the year, and then with the Outdoor Industry Award 09 in summer. The development of Merino 320, the warmest merino line of all time, rounds off the range. Made using double-sided fleece with stretch inserts, the products guarantee warmth and unlimited freedom of movement on icy days!
2010 | ORTOVOX 3+
We revolutionized the 2010/11 winter season! The new 3+ avalanche transceiver improves the user’s personal safety for the first time. Integrated Smart Antenna technology simply eliminates bad reception orientation. The user is easier to find, no matter which device is being used to search! And we’ve turned the world of merino on its head! For the very first time, we present a complete outerwear collection. The interior of the new hardshells and softshells is made using the finest merino wool, which greatly supports the functionality of the outer material. The skin’s microclimate is incomparable!
2011 | SWISSWOOL AND THE NEW S1+ AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER
An important year in the company’s history. ORTOVOX presents itself in typically innovative form at ISPO 2011. A new professional device, the S1+, is showcased. The revolutionary Smart-Antenna technology is now used in this new high-end device, too. You’ll not only find others more easily – you’ll also be easier to find. The S1+ first appears in stores in fall 2011. In the sportswear segment, ORTOVOX develops an absolute novelty as a third layer. Its SWISSWOOL insulation receives the ISPO Award for its functionality, design and sustainability concept. Warming Swiss wool is stitched into insulation chambers inside the jacket. The material mix of nylon micro ripstop and wool makes this product, which is manufactured completely in Europe, a highly functional must-have. An era comes to an end, and a new journey begins. Company founder Gerald Kampel leaves the company to retire. ORTOVOX is taken over by the internationally successful Schwan-STABILO group. ORTOVOX thus joins Deuter Sport GmbH & Co. KG as the second company in the group’s Outdoor division.
2012 | MERINO COOL WITH TENCEL
ORTOVOX further enhances the combination of wool and summer The brand presents MERINO COOL, a novel and innovative material combination for summer sport that adapts to the wearer’s needs in high temperatures. Finest merino wool is combined with TENCEL™, a natural eucalyptus wood fiber. Due to the properties of the fibers, TENCEL™ not only has a cooling effect, but also scores highly in terms of sustainability. You can find more information on Merino Cool in the ORTOVOX Fiber World.
2013 | MERINO GUARDIAN SHELL
ORTOVOX defines a new level of comfort in the hard shell market with the MERINO GUARDIAN SHELL. The first 3-layer jacket, in which the inside is completely lined with merino wool, is an absolute world first and brings optimum comfort and function all the way to the outermost layer of clothing. In 2013 ORTOVOX underlines its safety expertise by completing its range for winter sports enthusiasts who are at home off piste with its own avalanche backpacks. ORTOVOX presents the first collection of its own avalanche backpacks, which are equipped with ABS technology and a removable airbag system (M.A.S.S. unit), providing not only a very high degree of safety and comfort, but also maximum flexibility.
2014 | ROCK'N'WOOL
A quarter of a century ago, ORTOVOX used felted sheep’s wool in its clothing collection for the first time. Many generations of development later, wool types such as Swiss wool (SWISSWOOL) and superfine merino wool from the natural paradise of Tasmania are now used and combined with various other innovative materials. Over 25 years, a system of wear comfort has thus evolved that has been optimized in terms of functionality and comfort in every layer. In the fall of 2014, to celebrate this jubilee, ORTOVOX launches a limited edition of what is probably the craziest item in our company’s history. The ROCK’N’WOOL OVERALL LTD.
2015 | ORTOVOX SUMMER COLLECTION
It’s ORTOVOX’s very first summer collection! From mountaineering, to alpine climbing, right through to alpine tours – ORTOVOX now develops clothing and safety products for summers among rugged rocks. Just as in winter, every item of clothing in ORTOVOX’s summer line makes use of wool and combines it with intelligent high-tech fibers selected for the product’s specific purpose. For increased protection in rocky terrain, strong Cordura® fibers or cooling TENCEL® yarns are used. And it’s all about protection when it comes to hardware too: whether it’s first-aid products, bivi bags or the Recco reflectors on our mountaineering backpacks.
2016 | SWISSWOOL BACK SYSTEM
ORTOVOX PEAK stands for fully-equipped alpine tour backpacks. The SWISSWOOL back system made from pressed Swiss wool is unique. As with the clothing, mountaineers benefit from the wool’s perfect moisture and microclimate management, making it feel comfortable and dry on the back. In addition to the innovative back system, the PEAK offers everything that you could need 365 days a year on glaciated terrain – from crampon fasteners to fastenings for emergency equipment.
2016 | AVABAG AIRBAG SYSTEM
AVABAG – the ultra-light ORTOVOX airbag system
Ultra light, super compact, designed for simplest operation. At just 690g*, ORTOVOX is meeting the requirements of all weight-oriented winter sports enthusiasts for whom a high degree of safety is important. The ORTOVOX-developed cartridge, along with the accompanying ski touring and freerider backpacks were awarded “Product of the Year” at ISPO. It finally allows ski tourers to carry an airbag more safely and yet still at a low weight.
*Weight fluctuations of +/- 4% may arise during manufacturing.
2021 | DIRACT VOICE
With its DIRACT VOICE, ORTOVOX heralds in a new era for emergency avalanche equipment. It is the world’s first ever avalanche transceiver with voice navigation and directs search parties to the avalanche victim with reliable speed using clear, plain voice commands. Thanks to its logical, streamlined design, the DIRACT VOICE is particularly easy to use. The innovative avalanche transceiver was awarded Product of the Year and also received the Public Choice Award at ISPO 2021.
2022 | AVABAG LiTRIC
A new benchmark in avalanche safety: ORTOVOX and the Canadian outdoor brand Arc’teryx present a groundbreaking new avalanche airbag technology that is lightweight, intuitive and reliable all at once: LiTRIC technology allows both brands to produce new airbag systems that weigh just 1100g and work using an electronic system with enough charge for at least two activations. The LiTRIC system was crowned ISPO Award Winner 2022 and also received a Red Dot Design Award (2022).