Best beacon on the marketQuick and Dirty: This is the go to avalanche beacons of all my friends and guides in Switzerland. It is simple (not too many features), accurate, and has excellent range. There is an updated version, but I will keep with the one I have for years to come! If you are playing in the backcountry, this is a mandatory piece of equipment, and there is nothing better than the Barryvox!
More detailed review:
How I tested it: I have owned this rescue beacon for 5 years. I use it every time I am snowboarding, whether on piste or in the backcountry. Total uses are probably around 400. I have never had to find someone in a serious avalanche, as the few I have been in have not buried anyone, but have used it in training many times.
Overall rating: I’d buy again. I’ve recommended to all my friends.
What I like about it:
-Simple to use screen
-Easy to use in multiple burial situation (easy “marking” function”)
-Range of 70m
-Great battery life
What I dislike about it: I struggled to find something to dislike, so the below is really splitting hairs.
- The chest holster is a bit lackluster. It doesn’t stay in one place that easily, although, I rarely notice it.
When searching “near”, less than 1m, you have to be careful not to move too quickly
Suggestions to improve it: Update the chest strap to be more solid.
The nitty gritty: I use this device every time that I am in the snow. In the resort or out, it doesn’t matter. Even if you are skiing/boarding in a resort and you are inbounds, avalanches can happen. I saw it this year in France and in Lake Tahoe. Further, I always want to be able to help search in an emergency situation, so I carry it with me. It is light weight and not cumbersome. There is no reason not to be prepared.
I’ve used the Barryvox for 5 years now, and before that, I had a Peeps. While the Peeps was not too bad, the Barryvox blows it out of the water. The construction of the Barryvox is very high quality. It is compact, has a solid hand feel, and can take a beating.
Turning on the Barryvox is a cinch. You choose between “Search” and “Send”. Immediately after turning the system to send mode, which is the mode you need to transmit your location, you’ll have about 3 seconds to choose whether or not to enter the group check mode. The system is quite simple, and works well for checking devices at the trailhead.
When in “search” mode, the onscreen demands are clear for pointing you where to find people who have been buried in an avalanche. I personally think that the flagging system for a multiple burial scenario is one of the best I’ve seen. As you lock onto a signal, a simple click of the one side button flags that person. It’s onscreen visuals also clearly show when you switch back and forth between one signal and another before locking it with a small icon.
The beeping system to help indicate whether you are further or closer is an amazing feature that gives you auditory responses so you can keep scanning the avalanche trail for clues. The beeps get faster as you get closer or slower as you move further away.
A nice touch on the back of the device is the graphics that remind you of the best practices of search techniques. It’s not a replacement for the classroom, but helps in a pinch. The device is also small enough to fit in your thigh pocket, if you prefer that instead of the harness (which I sometimes do).
All in all, this is a great beacon. I highly recommend to all my friends!