Model: Barryvox S
Our take In an avalanche, any equipment advantage is a good one, which is why our testers lauded the receiving range of the Barryvox S. At 70 meters, it covers a wider area than any other transceiver in its class. Most other beacons that deliver this performance are professional-grade, but the Barryvox S is recreationist-friendly: It has a smart feature that essentially coaches the user through a search (where to go along the grid pattern and, eventually, “probe here”). While we never used the Barryvox S in an emergency situation, we appreciate that it provides clear direction in what would likely be a chaotic rescue effort. (Of course, don’t mistake this beacon as a substitute for proper training.) The unit operates on three AAA batteries, and Mammut says it can last at least 300 hours on send mode. Bonus: You can read the backlit screen while wearing polarized shades.
Trail cred “This beacon is extremely fast,” says one tester who took the Barryvox S on a sidecountry tour around Solitude Mountain in Utah. “It enabled me to move quicker through beacon drills because it never had to stop to ‘think’ or load. The processes are instant.”
$490; 7.2 oz.