We put together a list of the best avalanche beacon for skiing, splitboarding, and snowmobiling tested in the Tetons, British Columbia and more while recreating in the backcountry.
Keep in mind, the following beacons DO NOT give you the green light to go out on days when you shouldn’t be in the mountains.
Best Avalanche Beacon 2020
The Pieps DSP Sport is one of the best avalanche beacons that includes many more advanced features at a price similar to some of the more basic beacons on the market. Its straightforward and simple intuitive use makes for a short learning curve and reliability while under the pressure of a search scenario.
Coming from the Tracker 2 to the BCA Tracker 3, I was really looking for some cons in the Tracker3, simply because I don’t want to always write about how awesome every product is. Unfortunately for me, BCA did an amazing job at refining the size and making the BCA Tracker 3 Avalanche Beacon is even easier to use than the T2. I would recommend this beacon to anyone in the market, from beginner to pro. I don’t think there is more bang for your buck than the BCA Tracker3.
If you’re a guide, experienced backcountry skier, or total tech junkie then the Mammut Barryvox Beacon is one of the best avalanche beacons designed with you in mind. In that same vein if your someone who knows how to use this beacon then your also someone who “hopefully” knows how to prevent having to use it.
Another top-of-the-line avalanche beacon, the Arva Evo4 Beacon also features a 3 antenna system that automatically switches to the best transmission. A simple and intuitive display with an audio alert option makes using the Arva Evo 4 Beacon easy.
There is even a mark/unmark feature available so you can find multiple people in the unfortunate instance of multiple burial scenarios.
An amazing tool in every sense of the word, the Ortovox S1+ Beacon offers Smart-Antenna technology once again, a key component in its design. The coolest thing about this beacon is its Auto Scan and Navigator function. All you have to do to find your buried comrades is flip the baby open and go from there. It automatically goes into search mode when opened and is incredibly easy to use. The Ortovox S1+ shows instructions on the illuminated Real-Time display so that you can get to work and save a life, no questions asked. One of the best avalanche beacons for people working in the field concerned about multiple burial situations.
Before buying an avalanche beacon, please be sure to signup for an avalanche course, as a beacon alone will not save your life or your partners. Once you purchase a beacon you’ll want to learn how to use it by practicing.
Need some practice or refreshers on how to use your beacon in an avalanche? We put together an article on how to use a beacon, probe, and shovel for skiing in the backcountry.