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Gear Review

4 5

Sending out an SOS

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used this beacon for the duration of last season after having used the BCA Tracker (the older model of the Tracker2) for the 3 previous seasons. This beacon does take a moment to get used to, but once you learn how to use it, I found it incredibly intuitive and easy to use. I also found it to be far easier to use in multiple burial scenarios (just practicing of course) than the Tracker.

I also had similar results to what Nate L. reported during my Avy course while testing the range. The S1+ was the very last beacon from our lineup of 8 units to lose the signal.

I love the easy-open feature where the S1+ switches to receive instantly, no fumbling with buttons and wondering what mode your beacon is in. I also sometimes worried about the button depressing and switching into receive rather than transmit on the older Tracker model. I know the actual likelihood of this happening is probably nil, but I do feel much more confident with the S1+ in that aspect. You can also give your friends a good laugh by pretending the S1+ is a flip phone, this joke has never failed me.

I used the inclinometer a bunch last winter! It's a great feature. Whenever I found myself waiting or hanging out on a slope, I would take out my beacon and try to guess the slope, so I became better a judging slope angels. I found this feature to be a great learning tool.

One more note, the sling or harness on the S1+ was significantly more comfortable and low-profile than the older tracker model. I am a diminutive female, and could never really get the tracker harness to fit correctly or sit where I wanted it without constant adjustment. In hindsight, I just should have altered the harness, or sewn some adjustments, but the S1+ harness was easily adjustable and fit me directly out of the box. It was more comfortable and seems to stay in place much better.