ARVA Evo5 avalanche beacon review: very lightweight but still feature packed

Lightweight and easy to carry , the ARVA Evo5 is a beacon with a smaller footprint

Woman's hand holding ARVA Evo5
(Image: © Berne Broudy)

Advnture Verdict

If you’re a backcountry traveler who travels light and fast, and prefer to wear your transceiver in a pocket rather than a harness, this one is for you. It’s slim and trim, and the harness is sold separately.


  • +


  • +


  • +

    ARVA provide CO2 impact and single-use plastic calculation for its beacons and takes older beacons back


  • -

    Harness sold separately

  • -

    Smaller range

  • -

    Off / Send/ Search button not as intentionally separated as with other beacons

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

ARVA Evo5: first impressions 

For mountain explorers who like to travel fast and light, every ounce counts. The ARVA Evo5 is lightweight avalanche beacon with a broad suite of features to keep you safe in avalanche terrain.


• List price: $350 (US) / €264.90 (EU)
• Weight (including batteries, but not harness): 165g / 5.8oz
• Range: 50m / 164ft
• Antennas: 3
• Battery life: 200hrs

While the beacon has a smaller range than some others, it has a group check (to make sure your companions all have their beacons on, and set to “send”) and an auto-test diagnostic, so you can verify that yours is working properly.

The marking function and a multiple burial indicator are similar to those found in this beacon’s big brother, the Neo BT Pro. So is the return to transmit function, which puts the beacon back in 'send' mode if it senses a secondary slide based on info from a timer and also a motion sensor.

The Evo5 has interference management, which ARVA say maximizes the device’s performance in search mode when there’s electromagnetic interference by honing in on a single beacon. It’s a feature you can deactivate if you’re skiing with a posse.

ARVA Evo5: on the slopes

ARVA Evo5 on white background

The large red slider on the right of the ARVA Evo5 (as you look at it) toggles between Search and Send (Image credit: ARVA)

On test I found this flatter, wider beacon wasn’t boxy in my pocket. It slid in comfortably, and I forgot about it until I needed it in hand. At 11cm high and 7cm wide, it is one of the most compact detectors on the market. During practice searches, the screen, while small, was backlit so that it was easy to see. 

I was impressed with this beacon’s feature set, but the On / Off switch made me nervous. In most beacons, switching between Off, Search and Send is a two-handed affair; you never want to switch off your beacon by accident. With this beacon, a single switch toggled between Search and Send. To turn the beacon off, I also had to hit the Flag button. It didn’t give me the confidence of other beacons that it would stay in the mode I wanted it in.

ARVA Evo5 avalanche beacon with harness

The harness for the ARVA Evo5 is available separately (Image credit: ARVA)
Berne Broudy

Vermont-based writer, photographer and adventurer, Berne reports on hiking, biking, skiing, overlanding, travel, climbing and kayaking for category-leading publications in the U.S., Europe and beyond. In the field, she’s been asked to deliver a herd of llamas to a Bolivian mountaintop corral, had first fat-biking descents in Alaska, helped establish East Greenland’s first sport climbing and biked the length of Jordan. She’s worked to help brands clean up their materials and manufacturing, and has had guns pulled on her in at least three continents.