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The 6 Best Avalanche Beacons of 2023

By: Jordan Berde: Assistant Ski Buyer | September 27, 2022

 

Few pieces of ski equipment have as much of an impact on your safety as your avalanche beacon. Your beacon is quite literally your lifeline in avalanche terrain, it’s your only method for finding your friends, or being found by them if the worst happens. So it should come as no surprise that companies are always trying to improve and innovate their transceivers. We’ve come a long way from the days of clunky transceivers with poor battery life, that required the user to plug in headphones. The best avalanche beacons are quick, precise, and easy to use.

New This Year:

And this year’s crop of beacons is better than ever before. To make beacon searches easier and faster for less experienced skiers, Ortovox has introduced a beacon that quite literally talks you through the search process. And, for skiers looking to shave weight and move efficiently, the new Black Diamond Recon LT is the lightest beacon on the market, perfect for skimo racing and big traverses. Avalanche beacons are one of the most important gear purchases you’ll ever make, so it’s worth making sure you’re buying an avalanche beacon that perfectly fits your needs.

Ortovox Diract Voice

Ortovox Diract Voice

When it comes to avalanche rescue, simplicity, clarity, and ease of use reign supreme. The Ortovox Diract Voice Avalanche Beacon stands out with a unique voice navigation system that guides you during rescue with clear spoken instructions. Three Antenna search with a 50-meter search range lets you flag up to 4 people in the case of a rescue, and its single-button operation makes it easy to focus in the heat of the moment. Don't let stress fog your judgment, get the Diract Voice and know exactly what to do, every time. This is one of the absolute best beacons for beginners on the market.

Search RangeStand Out FeatureOriginal Price
50 mVoice Instructions$450.00

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BCA Tracker4™

BCA Tracker4™

The best in the business just got even better. The BCA Tracker4™ Avalanche Beacon takes everything you know and love about the Tracker3™ and upgrades it with a larger LED display and a rubberized over-molded case for better grip and durability. Featuring a fast, intuitive interface along with signal suppression and Big Picture modes for multiple burial scenarios. this workhorse offers is simple to use and dependable when you need it most. There’s a reason BCA has sold so many Trackers in the last decade. They’re simple, reliable, and they just plain work. The Tracker4 continues that legacy.

Search RangeStandout FeatureOriginal Price
55 m Auto Revert Mode$399.95

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Mammut Barryvox S

Mammut Barryvox S

A complete re-design of the industry-leading Pulse and Element beacons brings us the new Mammut Barryvox S Avalanche Beacon with improved performance, simpler operation, and better impact resistance. Improving on a great product is never easy, but Mammut's had the Swiss gnomes working overtime on the new Barryvox. With an improved, 70-meter recommended search strip (previously 50 meters), clearer visual interface, and better one-handed operation even with gloves on, the Barryvox sets a new standard in avalanche safety tools. The Barryvox S offers several useful features beyond those offered in the standard Barryvox, including a Smart Search function that interacts with the searcher's actions while in use, simplifying the search, the ability to "unmark" marked victims, "Vital Data" transmission via W-Link, and the ability to use Lithium batteries as well as Alkaline. The Barryvox S is the top choice of many professionals for good reason. It’s powerful and easy to use.

Search RangeStand Out FeatureOriginal Price
70 mSmart Search$549.95

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Black Diamond Recon LT

Black Diamond Recon LT

Ultra-light and ultra-functional, the Black Diamond Recon LT Avalanche Beacon features a three-antenna construction with Bluetooth capabilities, so you can alter settings from your smartphone without compromising on search functionality. The lightweight housing is grippy and easy to use, while a 50-meter range with multi-burial flagging capabilities has everything you need in rescue scenarios. This is a simple, easy-to-use beacon that saves a bunch of weight.

Search RangeStandout FeatureOriginal Price
50 m Lightest Beacon on the Market$349.95

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BCA Tracker3™

BCA Tracker3™

Known for its compact size and intuitive operation, the BCA Tracker3™ Avalanche Beacon is a reliable backcountry essential you can count on in an emergency. Designed to be "pocket friendly", the T3 is BCA's smallest and thinnest Tracker, and with advanced features like signal suppression and Big Picture modes for multiple burial scenarios, it's primed and ready to spring into action. The Tracker3 does everything you need, with no unnecessary fluff.

Search RangeStand Out FeatureOriginal Price
40 mBig Picture Mode$349.95

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BCA Tracker S™

BCA Tracker S™

The BCA Tracker S™ Avalanche Beacon is a new offering from BCA that incorporates most of the proven Tracker 3's capabilities but leaves off the motion detection and upgradeable software features for a more reasonable price. Max range and search strip specs are still top-notch at 55 meters and 50 meters, respectively, and as with other BCA beacons operation is simple and intuitive. It’s affordable, reliable, and easy to use. What’s not to like!?

Search RangeStandout FeatureOriginal Price
55 m Signal Suppression Mode$299.95

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The Selection Process:

Our ski buyers have an endless amount of knowledge on all things skiing stemming from years of experience in the ski industry in tandem with their countless hours spent on slopes everywhere from groomers to the remote backcountry around the world. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Jordan Berde

Jordan (she/her) is the Assistant Ski Buyer at evo. Before working in this role, she worked at the evo Denver store for two years, where she began as a bootfitter and quickly moved into Store Lead and then Store Supervisor roles. Prior to evo, Jordan worked as a bootfitter at other shops, a mountain bike instructor for kiddos in Colorado, a ski patroller in Alaska, and a liftie in Taos. She's an avid backcountry skier and ski mountaineer and recently summited Mt. Baker as a fundraiser for SheJumps, a non-profit committed to getting more women involved in the outdoors.

She started sliding on snow later than most (in her late 20s), but now she’s the friend getting up at 4 am to make sure she can get a dawn patrol lap in before work! Jordan is passionate about diversity and inclusion and making outdoor activities more inclusive to all genders, races, and ability levels. When she's not skiing, Jordan is likely on her mountain bike exploring all that Colorado and Washington have to offer with her wife. Some say she never stops moving…