Jan 26th 2023

Best Avalanche Beacons (2023)

Avalanche rescue beacons and transceivers are proven to provide the quickest, most reliable method to locate an avalanche victim in time to save their life—which is why they are our #1 recommended piece of gear to carry in the backcountry. Although most avalanche beacons work in tandem, each has its own particular use case and set of features. We've compiled a list of the best avalanche beacons for winter 2022-23 to help you find the one that fits your needs.

Best Overall: The BCA Tracker 4

The Backcountry Access Tracker 4 Beacon lives up to the legacy of the original Tracker Beacon (The first multi-antenna digital avalanche transceiver). The Tracker beacon family carries a worldwide reputation for ease of use and simplicity. The Tracker 4 fits the mold and builds upon the successes of its predecessors. Its durability, simplicity, and mid-level price point make it our choice as the best avalanche beacon available.

Target UserPriceType
Most UsersMid-Range $$Digital Multi-Antenna
Best Avalanche Beacon: BCA Tracker 4
BCA Tracker 4 Beacon


  • Most Durable Beacon on the Market – Features a rugged and ergonomically comfortable rubberized housing.
  • It's Simple – BCA focuses primarily on making vital beacon functionality easier to use without the complications and distractions of vanity features.
  • Largest & Brightest Display – The extra large screen displays vital information clearly without distraction in any weather or lighting condition.
  • Competitive Price Point – The Tracker 4 retails at $399.95, making it one of the best-valued avalanche beacons on the market—balancing price and features.


  • Lacks U-Turn Alerts or a Turnaround Indicator – Users must observe whether distance readings are increasing or decreasing.
  • No Group Check – Group Check allows users to conveniently test their beacons' functionality and performance. This can still be done by setting one beacon to transmit and searching for it with your other trackers.

Easiest: The Ortovox Diract Voice

The Ortovox Diract Voice Avalanche Transceiver is the first beacon to feature integrated voice navigation. Clear vocal guidance provides calming instruction for every phase of a search. The Diract Voice provides increased confidence and ease of use, ideal for new and inexperienced searchers.

Target UserPriceType
Novice & NewcomersHigh-Range $$$Digital Multi-Antenna
Easiest Avalanche Beacon: Ortovox Diract Voice Transceiver
Ortovox Diract Voice Transceiver


  • Easiest Beacon – Features clear spoken navigation, delivering calming instruction during every search phase, distraction-free. This single feature makes the Diract Voice the best avalanche beacon for newcomers.
  • Audio Feedback – Vocal Guidance allows users to maintain focus on the search zone.
  • Smart-Antenna Switching – Changes transmitting antenna based on beacon orientation for optimum transmission range.
  • Built-In Battery – The Diract Voice is the only beacon on our list with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery making maintenance effortless and limits the risk of corrosion.


  • High Price Point – The Diract Voice retails for $450. Considering this beacon features basic functionality standard among most beacons, the price point is a bit steep for vocal guidance.
  • Some Settings Only Accessible Through App – You can adjust the auto-revert timing and other settings but only through a bluetooth connected smartphone app.

Most Safety Conscious: Arva Evo 5

The Arva Evo 5 Avalanche Transceiver packs maximum performance and expert functionality in an incredibly compact size. The Evo 5 offers many intuitive features ideal for backcountry experts, guides, and avalanche safety trainers. This transceiver is designed to eliminate accidental power-down requiring users to confirm their actions.

Target UserPriceType
Professionals & GuidesMid-Range $$Digital Multi-Antenna
Most Safety Conscious Avalanche Beacon: Arva Evo 5 Transceiver
Arva Evo 5 Transceiver


  • Low Profile – The Evo 5 is extremely lightweight and compact able to fit in most snow pant/bib pockets.
  • Interference Management – Allows users to adjust their search technique for areas with high signal interference.
  • Competitive Price Point – The Evo 5 retails at $339.95, giving users advanced functionality at an affordable price.


  • Harness Sold Separately – The Evo 5 does not include a harness. This is mildly annoying as holsters are a standard inclusion with most transceivers. Fortunately, the Evo 5 is so low-profile that you can stash it practically anywhere.
  • Warranty Information is Difficult to Locate – To the best of our knowledge, Arva does not publish warranty information on its website. Users will need to contact Arva directly for warranty inquiries.

Most Advanced: Mammut Barryvox S

The Mammut Barryvox S Transceiver provides the largest selection of features and settings ideal for experienced guides and trainers. Analog mode enhances range for those experienced beacon users. Its extra functionality, modes, and advanced settings make this one of the best avalanche beacons for professional users.

Target UserPriceType
Professionals & GuidesHigh-Range $$$Hybrid Digital/Analog Multi-Antenna
Most Advanced Avalanche Beacon: Mammut Barryvox S Transceiver
Mammut Barryvox S Transceiver


  • Digital & Analog Mode – The Barryvox S is the only beacon listed with both digital and analog modes. Analog mode is a welcome addition for experienced beacon users.
  • Smart Search – Smart Search adjusts the beacon search width and signal strength as you narrow your search. This allows for greater range at a distance and precision when nearby.
  • Largest Range – Analog mode allows for nearly a 20-meter increase in usable range.


  • Expensive – The Barryvox S is our line-up's most expensive avalanche transceiver at a whopping $549.95. The price reflects complex functionality like analog mode and smart search.
  • Complex – The Barryvox S is packed with highly specialized features and functionality with multiple levels of settings. This beacon is not ideal for the average person and is best for backcountry experts.

Most Affordable: The BCA Tracker S

The Backcountry Access Tracker S Beacon provides essential technology at the lowest price point available. The Tracker family carries a worldwide reputation for ease of use and simplicity, which the Tracker S meets perfectly.

Target UserPriceType
Most UsersLow-Range $Digital Multi-Antenna
Most Affordable Avalanche Beacon: BCA Tracker S Beacon
BCA Tracker S Beacon


  • It's Simple – BCA focuses primarily on making vital beacon functionality easier to use without the complications and distractions of vanity features.
  • Large Bright Display – Information is displayed distraction-free with large luminous LED indicators that can be seen in any lighting conditions.
  • Affordable Price – The Tracker S retails at $299.95, making it one of the most affordable avalanche beacons on the market.


  • Lacks U-Turn Alerts or a Turnaround Indicator – Users must observe whether distance readings are increasing or decreasing.
  • Lacks the Durability of the Tracker 4 – The Tracker S and Tracker 4 beacons are practically identical in functionality; however, the Tracker 4 features a more comfortable and durable housing.

Each of these avalanche beacons (along with most others) communicates seamlessly with one another. However, each beacon offers functionality for different skill levels and price ranges. The best avalanche beacon is dependent on your experience and knowledge. It is vital that you choose a beacon that is easy and comfortable for you—given that you will be using it in a high-stress situation. Avalanche beacons cannot help save a life without proper training and practice operating them. Check out our avalanche safety blog for valuable training and avalanche awareness information.

Avalanche Safety Guide