In 1980, Gerald Kampel developed the first avalanche transceiver that could transmit and receive on a double frequency, thus saving numerous lives – and laying the cornerstone for our ORTOVOX brand. Ever since we were founded, we have been shaping the mountain sports market with our pioneering alpine equipment and with our values: We develop products that make mountain sports safer while also protecting nature and animals. This mission has been defining our actions since 1980 – and will continue to do so in the future.

design changes.

our story

milestones and innovations

Since 1980, we have been following our inner voice – and it has led us down a path all our own. For 40 years we have been developing pioneering products that make mountain sports safer – while also protecting nature and animals.

Join us on a journey back in time and discover our innovative products and milestones.


the f2 safety revolution

The avalanche transceivers that were used before 1980 transmitted and received on two different frequencies. This led to (often fatal) delays in searching for avalanche victims. Gerald Kampel’s F2 functioned on both frequencies, thus becoming the clear market leader – and a life saver many times over – within just a few years.


more safety off-piste

We launch our first deep-snow backpack, the TOURING PACK, which has been specially developed for use off-piste. Other specialist ski touring and freeriding backpacks follow, sustainably shaping the market. One of these is the FREE RIDER, with its TÜV-approved SPS back protector.
Avalanche shovels are also added to our range of emergency equipment. The development of a clearing function helps rescuers to gain decisive seconds when searching for avalanche victims.


trust in wool

In 1988 synthetics are an absolute must for functional clothing – but we choose to use natural materials such as virgin wool. In 1995, we become one of the first to use merino wool, thus redefining the world of these fine fibers from highland sheep.


regional wool supplier

For almost 10 years, we’ve used swiss mountain wool from the Swisswool initiative. These natural insulating fibers protect the wearer – while also preserving alpine farming culture.



In 2016, we introduce the extremely lightweight AVABAG avalanche airbag system. The claim that an avalanche airbag backpack is too heavy for a ski tour is now no longer valid. Our ORTOVOX-developed cartridge system is promptly awarded “Product of the Year” at ISPO.
Of course, even now our whole ORTOVOX team is still working day in, day out to fine-tune ideas and innovative products to protect mountain athletes – and the mountains.

values do not.

we protect alpinists

then and now

The protection of people and nature was our brand promise from the very start, and continues to be to this day – and includes the imparting of alpine safety expertise. In 2008, we launched the ORTOVOX SAFETY ACADEMY and began offering avalanche courses taught by mountain guides and experts. Later, we also added alpine climbing courses and alpine first aid courses.

At the same time, we developed online platforms that make essential alpine knowledge available for free in a digital format: our SAFETY ACADEMY LABs. LAB SNOW provides important information about avalanche safety, while LAB ROCK provides tutorials on alpine climbing and alpine first aid. The LAB ICE, our digital training platform for high alpine tourers, is launched in 2020.

To round off our offer, the SAFETY ACADEMY GUIDE BOOK is also available in print. The ORTOVOX SAFETY ACADEMY thus develops into a globally unique, comprehensive platform.


From the beginning

In 1988, when the market was backing synthetic materials, we discovered wool’s advantages as a functional fiber. A few years later, we expanded our range to include mountain sports apparel made from merino wool. And since 2010 we have been supporting the Swisswool initiative and using high-quality wool from Swiss mountain sheep as an insulation material. This initiative also secures the existence of alpine farming traditions in Switzerland.

In 2017, we took it one step further and developed our own wool standard: the ORTOVOX WOOL PROMISE (OWP). With wool produced fairly under strict animal welfare and sustainable farming standards, we join with our wool suppliers to take responsibility. This friendly partnership allows us to provide transparency along the entire supply chain.


While searching for clues about our company’s first few years, we discovered a folder full of old slides. Are you ready for a quick trip back to the 80s and 90s?



We’re celebrating our 40th birthday together with our long-standing retail partners – and a unique collection that can only be found in their stores! Friendship, function and expertise have been the bedrock of ORTOVOX since 1980. Click “buy local” (on the product page) to learn which retailers near you stock the product you’re looking for.