You just can’t afford to compromise on something as vital as an avalanche beacon. One person or several people’s lives will depend on avalanche beacons working properly. You should get the very best and most trusted avalanche beacons for anyone who goes to the snow slopes.
Features to look for in avalanche beacons
There are several main factors that determine the efficiency and effectiveness of an avalanche beacon.
Ability to find a single buried victim
Avalanche beacons show an arrow and the distance where the victim is buried. They also give out beeps that get faster as you approach the buried beacon. The most important factor is how good your avalanche beacon is at pin pointing and locating the buried beacon. This is the single biggest factor you should base your decision on.
How fast you can move while locating a signal
As you move in the pattern that you been taught to locate a victim, different avalanche beacons allow you to move at slightly differing speeds. Some beacons will work seamlessly even if you move fast, whereas some will not be able to keep up with your speed and give a slow down indication. This is one aspect of your avalanche beacon that you should be aware of. Find out what are the speed restrictions of your avalanche beacon and buy one according to your requirements.
The signal catching range of a beacon
The range of avalanche beacons start at around 20 meters and are usually in the range of 30-40 meters. There are beacons with wider ranges too, but when it comes to doing the avalanche search patterns, then you do it with a 30 meter width and 15 meter length to cover for beacons with the smallest range. Though it is good to have a beacon with a bigger range, but it is not something that you should base your decision on.
What are the 3 best avalanche beacons available in the market today
Since avalanche beacons are such life critical devices, we do not want to recommend anything, but would like to leave it to the experts. However, we would like to point out that Outdoorgearlab.com did an actual test of the best avalanche beacons in the market today and recommended a few.
Mammut Barryvox S
The best beacon overall according to them was the Mammut Barryvox S which scored the highest in all their parameters, range, speed, single victim search, fine search, multiple burials and features. You can check the Mammut Barryvox S here.
Backcountry Access Tracker 3
The next in their ranking was the Backcountry Access Tracker 3. Check it out here.
Their third ranked beacon was the Arva Axio. It has a 60 meter search strip width. Check it out here.
You may also want to look at the best avalanche air bags, which are also a very useful safety accessory for skiers and anyone who frequents the snow slopes.
Top 10 bestselling Avalanche Beacons
To help you with your search for a avalanche beacon that suits your needs, we bring you the top 10 most popular avalanche beacons today. These 10 bestsellers have been ranked according tot heir number and velocity of sales.
Take a closer look at all the 10 options below, and read about their features, check out their actual buyer reviews, and pick the avalanche beacon that fulfills all your need. Remember not to compromise on quality when it comes to a life saving device like an avalanche beacon.
- Unit weight with batteries: 7.6 ounces/215 grams, Harness weight: 3.5 oz/100 grams
- Frequency: 457 kHz, Batteries: three AAA alkaline
- Battery life: minimum 1 hour in search mode after 200 hours in transmit mode (approximately 250 hours in transmit only or 50 hours in search only)
- Range: 50 meters
- Certified to be in compliance with all applicable North American and European norms
- Includes BCA Tracker 2 Avalanche Beacon
- Includes SBD 260 centimeter Avalanche Probe
- 3-Antenna Digital Avalanche Beacon
- Includes BCA Tracker DTS Avalanche Beacon
- Includes SBD 260 centimeter Avalanche Probe
- 2-Antenna Digital Avalanche Beacon
- A real-time, digital display shows both direction and distance with bright red LEDs.
- Rapid deployment probe
- Three antennas Plus self-checking reference antenna
- Smart transmitter adjusts signal to allow for the easiest solution in a multiple burial scenario
- Circular range for extended, Symmetrical search area
- Mark function for multiple burial scenarios
- Beacon drift adjustment to pick up beacons transmitting drifted signals
- Rapid processor and simple user interface
- Backcountry Access
- Stay on the right path - revolutionary dual antenna technology follows a flux line directly to the buried transceiver
- When receiving equal signal strength, the antennas mounted perpendicular to each other on the tracker case create an "X" shape and the center search light illuminates when pointing toward the strongest signal
- Forget traditional "grid" and "tangent" searching, dual receiving antennas can be significantly faster for both novices and experts
- You'll by clued into your desired direction when the directional display on the case lights up
- Smart Antenna Technology - analyzes the positions of the antennas in the avalanche and automatically awitches to the best transmission antenna
- Secondary avalanche switchover: 120 sec. - If the transmitter registers no movement for more than 120 seconds while searching, it automatically switches back to transmission mode. Rescuers are thereby protected from follow-up avalanches at all times.
- Recco Reflector inside
- Visual plus Acoustic search - LEDs are used to show the distance to the victim, the direction using arrows and if there is more than one victim. Large LEDs are easy to read especially in poor visibility conditions and at night. The visual search mode is supported by intuitive search acoustics. Higher and fast sounds tell you that you are approaching the avalanche victim.
- Just two buttons make operating errors practically impossible. Once switched on, it is possible to switch between transmission and search mode using the safety switchover button
- Antennas: 3
- Digital Range: 60m
- Functions: Bluetooth, multiple burial and mark function, iProbe compatible
- Battery: 3 AAA batteries
- Battery Life: 200h in send mode
- Package of premium gear
- PIEPS DSP Sport Beacon
- Transfer 3 Shovel
- QuickDraw Tour 280 cm Probe
- The T3 Avalanche Rescue package is great for those looking to gear up for their first backcountry experience, or experienced backcountry travelers wanting to replace their old outdated equipment.
- The package comes with our industry leading Tracker3 avalanche transceiver, BCA's extendable B-1 EXT avalanche shovel, and quick deploying Stealth 270 avalanche probe.
- Package pricing on the core equipment you need to stay safe in the backcountry.
Last update on 2019-11-13 at 10:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API