Best Avalanche Safety Gear

If you’re heading into avalanche country, you need the right knowledge and the right tools. Avalanche safety kits provide you with the necessary gear— shovel, probe, and transceiver—to help locate a friend buried in the snow. Having one on hand could be the difference between life and death, so choose the best one for you.
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Best Overall

Black Diamond BD/PIEPS Sport Avy Safety Set


Lightweight, High Performance. At just 2 pounds, this kit includes everything you need: a collapsible aluminum shovel, easy-to-deploy probe, and precision beacon.

What We Liked: 

It never hurts to make sure you are prepared for the worst mother nature could throw your way. Avalanches are a persistent threat in rugged backwoods of America. The Black Diamond BD/PIEPS Sport Avy Safety Set can make all the difference for survival in the event of an avalanche. The safety set includes a PIEPS DSP Sport Beacon in order to search a large radius. The three antennas designed on the system deliver pinpoint accuracy. The included QuickDraw Tour Probe can measure snow pits as well as locate trapped victims in a rescue. The lightweight shovel is constructed of aluminum and takes up little pack space yet can quickly extend with a pull of the handle. All three pieces of the kit combine to weigh only two pounds. One AAA battery is required to operate the beacon. Get it here.


BCA T2 Rescue Package


Learn Avalanche Safety 101. This avalanche kit is easy to use, so it’s great to bring to a safety course and effortless to use in the wild.

What We Liked: 

It is a reckless and horrible idea to travel into the backcountry, especially in the middle of the winter, without an avalanche safety kit. It is important to remember that winter arrives earlier in the mountains and lasts longer into the spring compared to lower elevations. Always make sure you are prepared and hope that you will never have a need for something like the BCA T2 Rescue Package. However, if the occasion calls for it, you'll be more than prepared with a beacon, probe, and shovel. The kit provides all the essentials to take your Avalanche 101 Safety Course and make sure you are prepared for rugged backcountry. The avalanche kit is relatively lightweight, a little heavier than the Black Diamond system yet still compact in order to take up less packing space. Two AAA batteries are required for the avalanche beacon. It's available here.

Best Value

BCA Tracker DTS Avalanche Beacon & Probe


First Digital Multi-Transceiver. Advanced beacon and probe technology make this a reliable kit, and you can save money if you don’t need a shovel.

What We Liked: 

Technology has made the world a safer place, even in a remote wilderness setting. Avalanche safety has come a long way as beacons and probes have become far more accurate. Kits are also much more compact, not a trouble at all until the moment an emergency situation arrives and you need it. This beacon is the world’s first digital multi-antenna transceiver. It set the precedent for a reliable tracking system in winter remote outdoors settings. BCA has an outstanding track record and has produced avalanche survival gear since 1997. The real-time, digital display presents information on both direction and distance from a probe once it is deployed. The two antenna system is reliable and dependable for accurate tracking. A purchase of the kit includes the beacon and small probe, however, unlike the other two products on the list no compact shovel. The transceiver also needs three AAA batteries for operation. Buy it today.