Add a beacon, and you've achieved the holy trinity of avalanche safety gear.
- Tough-as-nails aluminum offers a strength-to-weight ratio like none other so you can depend on the construction when lives are on the line
- The T-grip can be looped through and worn without a pack with user-supplied webbing or rope
- Pre-punched holes in the blade make it simple to use this shovel to set up a sturdy snow anchor or fashion an emergency evac litter
Share your thoughts
Shovel and probe work well, but not as a combo
I'll agree with most of what Soren McCarty said in that the shovel is good and so is the probe.
Regarding the shovel. It's light, tough, and easy to remove the blade. There's no plastic here, so I wouldn't expect it to break like some of the shovels with plastic blades. It lost points not being telescopic as a longer shaft is always nice when the seconds count. But by itself, yeah it's a good dependable shovel I've used for general BC tasks.
Regarding the probe. It's easy to erect, it feels tough, and packs away nicely. I'd have liked to buy a 3m probe for some of the extra deep powder we get in Hokkaido, but since the probe packs into the shovel shaft I thought it seemed like a good idea.
The problem is when you try to take the probe out of the shaft. The probe gets stuck in the shaft, and on more than one occasion it's taken me minutes to take the probe out of the shaft in living room conditions. If you actually have to rescue someone from a burial you do NOT want to be fumbling for a couple of minutes getting your probe out. Thus I pack the 2 items separately in my pack.
The shovel is good.
The probe is good, but gets stuck inside the shaft of the shovel.
Buy them separately and go for a telescopic shovel.
Product Review: BCA Tour Shovel with Probe mtnweekly.com
Product Review: BCA Tour Shovel with Probe
Location: Colorado backcountry, Bariloche Argentina
Conditions: Spring, Power Conditions
Set up: The Tour Shovel with Avalanche Collapsing Probe
Fit: The Tour Shovel is the BCA lightest and most compact shovel, it fit nicely in my pack leaving room for other vital supplies needed when going into the backcountry.
First Impression: The Shovel is durable and light, the probe is strong and it easy to put together and disassemble. The fact that they came as a package for just about the same price as it would be to buy a shovel alone.
Weight: The Touring Shovel is the lightest shovel BCA makes only weighing 16 ounces
Construction: The shovel is made of 6061-series aluminum, with a Super-strong oval shaft with T-grip. The Shovel is easy to assemble and disassemble. All parts are solid and there are no parts to break, which is key in cold weather and backcountry conditions. The probe looks similar to a heavy-duty tent pole, with a wire running through the center, with a locking nut to keep the probe rigid when fully extended. The probe seems well built and is all metal with the exception on the heavy-duty plastic looking device.
Style: It a shovel but seems to be sleek and well shaped. The Touring shovel is slightly smaller that some of the other models with a Blade Dimensions of 9x10 inches (23x25.5 cm) The Length of the shovel is 25 inches (63 cm) with the blade on the shovel. The shovel is stylish and finish of the aluminum has a matte feel, which is good it. With the Matte finish it grips when it gets wet or cold, this is key. The Probe is Black, Gold and Silver, when collapsed it is 10 ½ inches long, when fully extended the probe is 126 inches long.
Overall Impression: The Shovel and Probe are light, durable, easy to stow .I think the products are well built. I have used them to dig snow pits, and running beacon drills, I have also used the shovel to build a kicker. I have never used them to dig anyone out and I hope never to have to use them for this purpose. I do feel that equipment is well built and will hold up in any situation I am skiing or snowboarding in. The Fact that the company is based it Colorado gives me a little extra confidence when I am in the Colorado backcountry. I know that the band is solid and they test their gear in the mountains that I ride in. I know that the most important part of being in the backcountry is knowing the snow conditions, checking the Colorado avalanche hotline, and using snow science. I would not recommend anyone to ride in the backcountry without the proper knowledge or equipment. This I cannot stress enough it could be a matter of Life or Death.