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Gear Review

4 5

Good unit.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Shortly after purchasing the Ortovox Patroller, I participated in Level 1 avalanche training. During the training I had the opportunity to compare this unit to half a dozen different transceivers, including several units that are significantly more expensive than the Patroller. In single burial scenarios, the Patroller consistently picks up a signal at about 40m range regardless of burial depth (up to 5' in our simulation), and it will take you right to the transmitter. Certain more expensive units were able to pick up a signal at up to 50m range, but they were no more accurate in terms of locating the victim. In multiple burial situations, it can give conflicting directions. Following the signal to the general area of the burial, then searching in a spiral pattern resolves that problem. I think this unit is a good value, and I feel confident that it will perform well a real rescue situation. I'm not a fan of the harness system, but then again, I've never worn any transceiver that didn't shift around while I was wearing it. A leash would be nice to prevent dropping the unit while searching.