An avalanche transceiver is an unusual bit of kit, because although you want to get a high spec model with as many features as you can afford, you also hope that you’ll never have to use any of them. It’s also completely essential for anyone who’s serious enough about mountaineering, skiing or snowboarding to start venturing off into the backcountry. Whether or not you have a transceiver, shovel and probe (and of course know how to use them properly) can quite literally be a question of life or death in the mountains.
Mammut, a Swiss company which was founded as far back as 1862, have been making avalanche beacons for years, and they’ve developed an excellent reputation. When this reviewer triggered an avalanche last year, he was very glad to be wearing a Mammut. The Barryvox S is brand new for the 2017-2018 winter season, replacing their popular Barryvox Pulse as the top-of-the-range model.
Like its predecessor, this is named in tribute to Barry der Menschenretter (“Barry the manfinder”), a celebrated mountain rescue dog who is credited with saving more than 40 lives between 1800 and 1814. But Mammut decided to ditch “Pulse” for “S” in the name because this isn’t just an update, it’s had a radical makeover.
“The bottom line is that this is the best Barryvox ever.”
The designers focused on three main areas of improvement – making the range more powerful, making the device easier to use, and improving its ability to find people quickly, especially in the case of multiple burials.