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Gear Review

2 5

Dangerous beacon

I bought one of these for ski mountaineer racing because it was so small and light. However, I often use it along with my Tracker and Ortovox S1 to perform practice scenarios. This beacon is often hard to find for both my other beacons. The range is terrible and the ability of the other beacons to detect it efficiently is very dependent on the orientation of the the Freeride when it is buried. In some instances, especially when the Freeride is buried more than a meter deep, it gets really hairy. I also get frequent Error messages and the beacon stops transmitting all together for periods of time. Please, spend a little more money and buy a more advanced beacon with multiple antenna and a better range. I've lived and skied in the mountains my entire life and, in my opinion this is a dangerous product with no place in the avalanche safety world. You owe it to yourself and especially your ski partners to equip yourself with a beacon you can rely on. I love the simplicity of my Tracker and I love the cutting edge technology of my Ortovox S1. I also have some experience with the Pulse Barryvox and, though complicated at first, I also found it to be very good once I familiarized myself with it.
Owe ya, and its also poorly constructed

Responded on

I 2nd this comment. Spent a good deal of time doing search scenario's using my tracker as the searching beacon and burying this and another beacon. After multiple practice scenarios we consistently found the other beacons much faster than this one. I would definately not want to be in a real situation where either beacon was a Pieps freeride. As for the marketing of this to people who ski just out of bounds. Last I checked out of bounds is the backcountry and is not controlled therefore there should not be a lower standard of beacon acceptable if you are just outside the boundary ropes.

Responded on

Good review. I hope it deters people from thinking "it's better than nothing". The false sense of security a poor beacon will give may lead to more deaths not less.

The cost of safety equipment can be measured in beers. Drink less beer for short while, live to drink more beer in the long run!

Responded on

Bought 4 of these for my family. Two were faulty and incessantly beeped. One was worse than the other and we exchanged it. Never got around to changing the other so it just gets left behind. Now have an Ortovox and also getting a Tracker or two.