For a “basic” (and reasonably priced) device, this Barryvox beacon has a lot of good features and it performed well on test. It’s easy and comfortable to carry, and relatively simple to use – perfect for everyone from beginners to more experienced backcountry skiers, boarders and explorers.
Advanced features for the price
Uses alkaline batteries only
Software updates aren’t user friendly
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Mammut Barryvox: first impressions
Essentially, the comparatively budget-priced Mammut Barryvox avy beacon looks and feels a lot like the Barryvox S, but it has a stripped-down set of features that makes it a great choice for many users, including those new to avalanche beacons.
• List price: $385 (US) / £290
• Weight (including batteries, but not harness): 205g / 7.4oz
• Range: 70m / 230ft
• Antennas: 3
• Battery life: 300 hours
The Mammut Barryvox has a wide sending and receiving range, and employs much of the same tech as used in the excellent Barryvox S. And, importantly, it provides simple navigation and clear instructions during a search. All great stuff to help keep you safe in avalanche terrain (see our feature on avalanche training for further advice).
Aside from the standard signal frequency used by all avalanche transceivers, the Barryvox operates on an additional communication channel called W-Link that can help it (and you) to be located more quickly and reliably in a search.
Mammut Barryvox: on the slopes
The shock-proof, break-proof Barryvox beacon is easy to read, easy to use (even with gloves), and is has all the functionality most users need to respond in an avalanche search.
The group search function is effective and comes with on-device instructions for users new to the process. I found the background-lit screen easy to read, even with polarized glasses. And as with the Barryvox S, the beacon shows the distance, direction and number of buried subjects.
A built-in auto self-test and function test runs when you turn the beacon on. It also auto-reverts to send mode if it doesn’t sense movement for four minutes, a feature that’s motion-sensor-controlled.
The Barryvox’s harness is hard plastic which protects the transceiver and specifically the transceiver screen from damage, but it’s not uncomfortable to wear.
The Barryvox software can be updated using another Barryvox beacon or at a Mammut service center or avalanche safety center. It’s the only thing about this beacon that’s not user-friendly and streamlined.
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.