13 Avalanche Transceivers For Skiing in the Backcountry

by Mike Hardaker

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 Beacons 2020

Pieps DSP sport transmitting with included wrist-strap Photo Jonathan Penfield | Mountain Weekly News

Pieps DSP sport transmitting with included wrist-strap Photo Jonathan Penfield | Mountain Weekly News


Pieps DSP Sport Avalanche Beacon – ($299.95)

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.

BCA Tracker 3 Beacon Photo Mike Hardaker | Mountain Weekly News


BCA Tracker 3 Avalanche Beacon – ($335)

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.

Mammut Pulse Avalanche Beacon

Mammut Barryvox Beacon – ($349.95)

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.

French Avalanche Beacon

Arva Evo 4 Beacon – ($289.95)

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.

Ortovox S1+ Beacon Photo Josh Carr | Mountain Weekly News


Ortovox S1+ Beacon – ($489)

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.

Avalanche Beacon Price Comparison

  1. Pieps DSP Sport Avalanche Beacon($299.95)
  2. BCA Tracker 3 Avalanche Beacon – ($335)
  3. Mammut Barryvox Avalanche Beacon($349.95)
  4. BCA Tracker 3 Avalanche Beacon($335)
  5. Arva Evo 4 Avalanche Beacon($289.95)
  6. Ortovox S1+ Avalanche Beacon($489)
Top 5 Avalanche Transceivers

4 Comments on "13 Avalanche Transceivers For Skiing in the Backcountry"

  1. Nathan Fochler | January 18, 2021 at 9:12 PM | Reply

    Never mind, I’m dumb. Just realized that previous comment was from 2019.

  2. Nathan Fochler | January 18, 2021 at 3:23 PM | Reply

    The barryvox s is mentioned, as are the multiple signal suppression capabilities of the barryvox basic model. I wrote this in not the most easily read way as I kept switching up my format depending on what main topics I wanted to hit on. Sorry for any confusion.

  3. This is a really poorly researched review. Mammut Barryvox S is out and not featured, the Barryvox featured also has multiple burial features and this is not mentioned when comparing it Arva ero 4. Barryvox S has been available since 2017.

    • We have not tried the Mammut Barryvox S so we can’t talk about a beacon without using it. paging Mammut, want to send us a beacon to test?

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