Here is what Black Diamond has to say:
For rapid response and fast digging in emergency situations, the Deploy shovels are built for mountain professionals and serious backcountry skiers. Utilizing our trapezoidal, curved shaft design, they provide rotation-free, fast activation with the squeeze of a spring pin. The shaft slides into the metal blade for integrated storage. The exceptionally strong aluminum blade is made to move large quantities of snow quickly and create smooth pit walls. The ergonomic handle feels like a D-grip but packs like a T-grip. The Deploy 3 offers all the features of the Deploy 7 but with a smaller volume blade.
The 6000 series aluminum blade is ultra-strong and sized efficiently for maximum snow removal
The unique trapezoidal bent shaft will not rotate and collapses easily into the blade's pocket
Small, glove-friendly handle feels like a D-grip when handling, yet packs like a compact T-grip
Smooth, flat blade makes for easy pit analysis
Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz. (3), 1 lb. 9 oz. (7)
Blade volume: .3 gallons (3), .7 gallons (7)
Length (extended): 63 cm (3), 68 cm (7)
Length (collapsed): 44 cm (3), 46 cm (7)
This is not very different from most aluminum shovels out there, where it excels is its space saving design. This is a great shovel for smaller packs and makes it easy to take along in almost any backcounrty winter adventure. If you are willing to spend a little extra ca$h, you won't be disappointed with this shovel.