Skip to Main Content

The 8 Best Avalanche Beacons of 2022

Avalanche beacons are an important tool in the backcountry, just buying a beacon and heading out won’t keep you safe, however. A prerequisite to backcountry travel is knowledge and education. With that out of the way, whether you’ve signed up for your first avalanche class or are a backcountry veteran, you’ll need a beacon as part of your kit. Now, on to the tech nerdery. Avalanche beacons have come a long way in the past 8-9 years. Every year the tech gets better and the interfaces become more intuitive to use. If you’re still using your trusty Tracker DTS from a decade ago, or something even older without a digital display, now is a great time to upgrade and relegate the old guy to getting buried during early-season training sessions. Not only is the tech much better and easier to use, but beacons can lose accuracy and range over time and newer beacons usually have better range, too.

Three-antenna technology is pretty much standard these days, as it provides better accuracy and more range than the two-antenna tech of old. All of the beacons in this review have features to deal with multiple burial scenarios and a few of them can pair via an app on your phone for customization and software updates. Read some reviews to get into the nitty-gritty of what users like you like and don’t like about certain models. These are the best avalanche beacons for 2022, meaning they all will be great options, the most important thing is to learn the ins and out of the model you choose, so you’ll be ready to go when it matters most. Have fun and be safe out there, friends.


Mammut Barryvox

The best avalanche beacons of 2022
 

For those looking for a high-functioning avalanche transceiver but who like to keep things simple, the Mammut Barryvox is the ticket. A digital three-antenna device providing all the essential functions, this beacon is there when you need it with simple navigation and clear instructions. It features a large search strip width of 70 meters, and pairs this with a clean interface and intuitive operation. The display is easy to read while the buttons can be operated while wearing your gloves of choice. Finally, its shock and break-proof housing provide high durability, making sure the will be there for you no matter how dicey conditions get.

DimensionsUpgradable Firmware Original Price
115 x 67 x 27 mmYes$350

Shop Now >>>


Black Diamond Guide BT

The best avalanche beacons of 2022
 

Black Diamond is well versed in all things backcountry, and their beacons are no exception to this. The Guide BT Avalanche Beacon is a professional grade beacon enhanced with Bluetooth capabilities. Its 60 meter circular range provides a long reach for searching, while a mark and scan function assists in multiple burial scenarios. The self adjusting antenna also helps compensate for body position to make sure you’re always sending the strongest signal. What really takes this beacon to the next level is the added ease of managing settings, updating firmware, and optimizing the battery all through your phone with the beacon’s Bluetooth capability. This feature really helps the Guide BT stand out making it the best avalanche beacon for customization.

DimensionsUpgradable Firmware Original Price
4.5 x 3 x 1.1 inYes$449.95

Shop Now >>>


BCA Tracker 4 Avalanche Beacon

The best avalanche beacons of 2020-2021
 

Building off the success of their incredibly popular and easy-to-use Tracker 3 beacon, BCA’s Tracker 4 has a larger, brighter screen, a more durable construction, and the same fast, intuitive user interface BCAs Tracker lineup is legendary for. Tech aside, we kind of dig that the yellow and black color scheme, too, it harkens back to our trusty Trackers of old. For folks upgrading from older beacons, the smaller size will be noticeably smaller, too, at 4.7 x 3.0 x 1.0”, sitting less obtrusively in its included harness.

DimensionsUpgradable Firmware Original Price
4.7 x 3.0 x 1.0 inchesYes$389.95

Shop Now >>>


Shop All Avalanche Beacons
See All

BCA Tracker S Avalanche Beacon

The best avalanche beacons
 

BCA created the Tracker S as a more affordable, but stripped down, version of their top-of-the-line (at the time) Tracker 3. Basically, what you don’t get in the Tracker S (vs. the Tracker 3 and Tracker 4) is the ability to upgrade the firmware and a motion sensor. The former is not a big deal for most recreational users. The missing motion sensor is used in the more expensive beacons in a feature that will automatically revert the beacon back to “send” mode if it detects inactivity in the user after one minute. This is an extra measure of safety in the event a second avalanche comes down on you while searching. Like all BCA beacons, however, it will revert back to “send” after 5 minutes. All in all, it’s got all the basic features, and the excellent search performance anyone needs in a beacon.

DimensionsUpgradable Firmware Original Price
4.5 x 2.8 x 1.0 inchesNo$299.95

Shop Now >>>


Arva Evo5

The best avalanche beacons of 2022
 

While small in size, the EVO5 packs a big punch. Leaning on their 35 years of transceiver experience, Arva’s newest beacon had design and ergonomics as the focus during development. It comes in at a tiny 11 cm in height, 7 cm in width, and 170g in weight. However, it boasts an extra large screen compared to its overall size, and with a 3 position slider and central marking button operation during search comes with little effort. A 50 meter search strip width covers adequate ground and you are able to mark multiple burials. The beacon also features an automatic switch back to emission, essentially if during a search a secondary avalanche occurs, it will start transmitting again, keeping that much more safe.

DimensionsUpgradable Firmware Original Price
11cm x 7cmNo$319.95

Shop Now >>>


Mammut Barryvox S

The best avalanche beacons of 2022 
 

The Barryvox S from Mammut is a high-end transceiver with animated instructions that professionals like guides and patrollers will really appreciate. First and foremost, it has a 70-meter search strip width, which you can extend to a massive 100m by switching it to “analog mode” and searching audibly. This beacon includes a Rescue SEND function to protect non-searching rescuers. If a secondary avalanche happens to occur, the device automatically switches to SEND in order to locate buried rescuers. The Barryvox S is also equipped with a Smart Search function, which interacts with the actions of searching rescuers.  And while most of the beacons here have the ability to “mark” a signal during a multiple burial scenario, the Barryvox S really nails this technology and makes it very intuitive. It’s not, however, just for professionals. Less experienced backcountry travelers will find the interface and functions easy to use—it will even tell you when you’re searching in the wrong direction. With these leading features, the Barryvox S is one of the best avalanche beacons of 2022.

DimensionsUpgradable Firmware Original Price
4.5 x 2.6 x 1.1 inchesYes$499.95

Shop Now >>>


Ortovox 3‚Äč+

The best avalanche beacons of 2021
 

Ortovox has long been a leader in the avalanche safety space, creating some of the most easy-to-use and trusted avalanche beacons on the market. Since these are likely the two most important factors when choosing an avalanche beacon, we could stop there, but we'll dig in. One of the best features of the 3+ is its simple and minimalist design, featuring a large display that is easy to read. Aside from the smart design, it's got all of the features that you'd expect in a modern 3-antenna design, like upgradeable firmware and an intuitive multi-burial function. Overall, this stalwart remains one of the best avalanche beacons for 2022.

DimensionsUpgradable Firmware Original Price
122 x 73 x 27 mmYes$309.95

Shop Now >>>


Pieps Micro Beacon

The best avalanche beacons
 

Again, like the Arva, size is the story with the Pieps Micro. It’s roughly the same size as the Arva, making it one of the smallest and most pocketable avalanche beacons on the market. It does, however, come with a big set of features. One of the most unique is a sensor that automatically detects when you pull the Micro from its harness or a pocket and automatically switches it into search mode. This may seem like something simple and unnecessary, but making things easier becomes incredibly beneficial in the high-stress scenario of a real life burial. Additionally, it’s got Bluetooth functionality that allows for easy preference setting and firmware upgrades. Like the Arva, a single AA battery powers this little guy, so it’s easy to keep a spare in your pack. This is a fully-featured beacon at one of the smallest, lightest sizes available. The Pieps Micro is one of the best avalanche beacons for fast and light backcountry skiers and snowboarders.

DimensionsUpgradable Firmware Original Price
4.0 x 2.8 x 0.7 inchesYes, via Bluetooth$389.95

Shop Now >>>