If you're serious about the backcountry (and if you're not, you should be), the Backcountry Access Carbon 260 Avalanche Probe is the serious choice.
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Light and Fast!!
The BCA probes are the quickest probe to deploy. Not only do they have the quickie tension hardwire, but the cones in between each link ensures that the sections aren't getting caught on each other or iced up and costing you valuable time fiddling around with you gear. The Carbon brings extra weight reduction and the silk screen markings ensure that you will never loose the depth measurements.
I like this probe a lot even though I managed to break one (it was a ridiculous EC ice lens and I was a little over zealous). BCA was very prompt in replacing it. Other than that though its a great probe, easy to set up, good measurements, long enough so your buddies don't give you disapproving looks and its light as hell.
Light & Long, plus Metal Cord
Very light, sufficiently long, sufficiently stiff, and assembles with a single pull. Moreover, has a metal tensioning cord, which is probably a plus for long-term durability.
(Picture is of me -- at far right -- using the probe in a snowpit at any avy course I was teaching.)
Probed very well, no noticeable weight difference between this and my other alloy one, what I mean by that is 100 grams is nothing, but it looks cool anyway.
Oh so light
This is a great light weight probe, with a good length. I would have rather had all the markings be white, as the orange doesn't really stand out as well. The quickie system works great, but the thin cable loop and sinching stuff sack is not as awesome as the BD velcro "pull the thick plastic sheethed loop and tear the probe out" quick draw system.
This is the probe
I have finally found the probe I have been looking for. I use probes on a regular basis, not only for searching, but also for checking the pipe wall depth and the race course snow coverage. It locks well and is solid, without being heavy and it has the lenght I need here in the Alps. This is my 3rd probe in 5 years and I have finally found the one.