COMMUNICATION Most beacons can only transmit from one of their three internal antennas, but if that specific antenna isn’t aligned with the searching beacon, its signal will be weaker and less efficient. Ortovox solved this dilemma by enabling each of the three antennas to transmit. In Transmit Mode, the beacon identifies and transmits from the antenna that will provide the best signal based on its position (through proprietary “Smart-Antenna Technology”). “This beacon basically has a built-in Plan B and Plan C,” an editor says. “It consistently transmitted the strongest signal to the other beacons in our tests.” Amazingly, there’s no battery-life tradeoff. In fact, this beacon only needs a single AA battery, one or two fewer than most.
EASE OF USE You don’t want a complicated dashboard when you’re in a hurry. The 3+ sports an on/off switch, a Transmit/Receive switch, and a single button to mark burials. Defined arrows (rather than blinking lights) direct you in Receive mode, while the beeping cadence and pitch increase as you zero in on a burial.
$369; 8 oz.; ortovox.com