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Save weight, save time, save your buddies.

Since 1972 Pieps has made some of the highest-quality avalanche beacons available, and with the introduction of the new Pieps Freeride Avalanche Beacon, the quality trend continues. The Pieps Freeride features one digital antenna for simple, easy, and clear operation—all wrapped up in a package about the size of a cell phone. Idiot-proof and precise, the Freeride displays distance and direction of the buried victim, shaving precious time off your life-saving rescue.

  • The multiple-burial feature allows the user to search for multiple victims without confusion
  • Battery-level indicated by a percentage so you always know when it’s time to change the battery
  • iProbe-compatible (sold separately) for the most efficient searches

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Pieps Freeride Avalanche Beacon

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The pipes free ride even comes in slightly under the claimed weight at 105.43 grams (3.71 oz).

Responded on

Is that with or without the battery?

4 5

Pieps Freeride Beacon

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a pretty sweet little beacon but only appropriate sometimes. Wicked for a rando/skimo race where you are usually just carrying a beacon for show. It is about as light as it gets. Not something I would ever want to have to use to search for a buddy though. The single antenna does NOT give directional signals like a multi antenna unit. Getting spotted by guides in a helicopter or racing on piste? This is a great unit. Out with buddies on a high avy day and the chance you might be part of a search - not my first (or second) choice.

4 5


  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

great price and lightweight! very simple to use and comfy to wear in the backcountry!

4 5

I dig it

I spent this morning playing with my new beacon It has the same range as my old M1, twice the range of my old F2 and only like 10m less than my prized M2. Oh ya, its only like half the size of any of them.

It would be cool if you could mark a target and search for the second victim in a mutable burial situation. But that is a relativity new feature in beacons and its not hard to work around if you are well practiced.

Best part is that this thing is only a little bigger than an Iphone so its not problem to take it every where every day.

I want to know if this thing will work....

I want to know if this thing will work. If it takes a little bit to figure out how to work it thats fine but I want to know if it will let my buddies find me fast if I get caught in avalanche? Or if I need to find them fast? I cant afford a BCA so thats out of the question.

Responded on

Start saving, Hunter. The Freeride is a single-antenna beacon. Your friends will be able to find you, but you will have a lot of trouble finding them. Even with practice, as some of the reviews mention, you'll be hampered by a significantly shorter range. Save up the extra $72 and get the Tracker. Or save an extra $78 and get the Arva Evolution 3+. You've obviously spent some money on other gear. If you can't afford a reliable beacon, you can't afford to be in the backcountry.

Responded on

While Dave is right about there being better beacons out there if you are well practiced with a beacon then you will have the best results.

This one is great if you are in and out of the area it is small and light so it is easy to carry along. I think this is important because then there is never a question and having your beacon becomes just as much of a part of your standard load as your Ipod or phone.

It doesn't have the same range as my prized Ortovox M2 it is way smaller and way less offensive to carry. It was not long ago when we all had analog beacons with just a pinging sound to guide us and by that measuring stick this is a very effective and easy to use unit. I would much rather have a beginner looking for me with this rather than something like an old F2

Ok how well does this work I have read a...

Ok how well does this work I have read a lot of the reviews and I have heard that this isn't that good what is everyone's opinion? Would this be good for finding someone really fast?

Responded on

You are better off buying a BCA Tracker. It is very easy to use especially if you have little experience with beacons. The Freeride will work, but it is not the easiest beacon to use. Hence the only $199 price tag. The beacons that start at 299 tend to be easier to use and more feature ruch

Best Answer Responded on

I like mine. The range is ok, and it could have more features. But the best part of this unit is its size. Its about 2/3 the size of most, so it is light and easy to carry, this means you will have no excuse not to carry it everywhere every day.

Responded on

This thing was so easy to use and straight forward it was ridiculous.

Responded on

Not the most intuitive for finding someone fast. Takes a lot of practice. A multi-antenna unit is definitely the foolproof way to go.

Would this work for backcountry snowmobi...

Would this work for backcountry snowmobiling

Responded on

Yes this beacon would work for snowmobiling. This is a pretty basic model and will get the job done. The beacons that retail for about $300 have more features and are easier to use. You should always know how to use your beacon and practice. A beacon is no good if you do not know how to search for your buddy when he is dying. Taking an Avy level 1 course will tach you a lot of the skills need for traveling in the backcountry.

4 5


It doesn't matter what beacon you have, as long as you have practiced with it and feel comfortable using it. The fastest and best executed practice search I've ever seen done was with an old analog beacon that was about 15 years old. It's a cheap, small, reliable beacon, and as long as you make the commitment to practice with it, it works just as well as any other beacon.

Responded on

I was started picking things up around 33m-41m depending on how I hid them, under things ect. This is about the same as my 2004 Ortovox M1. I was happy with the range and its easy to use display. The size is the best part.

5 5

Great pieps!

I like it because It's not heavy ,nice look and good deal. Fast shipping. Thanks a lot!

do all avalanche beacons work on the same...

do all avalanche beacons work on the same frequency so that different brands function with each other

Best Answer Responded on

The international standard frequency for all beacons is 457 kHz.

Responded on

Any beacon that was made in the last 10-12 years operates on the 457 frequency. You may find some old beacons which do not, but most of them do.

5 5

Great In-Bounds and Slackcountry Beacon

I recently bought a fleet of these for myself and my family. We ski at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. We ski primarily in-bounds and an occassional lap in Rock Springs (slackcountry just out of the JH gates). Over the past several years there have been a number of in-bounds avalanches throughout the western US. It is peace of mind knowing that my family will be wearing a beacon. It is lightweight, small and affordable. It is the right tool for this job. It's not the beacon for everyone, but for our family it was the ticket.

2 5

Dangerous beacon

I bought one of these for ski mountaineer racing because it was so small and light. However, I often use it along with my Tracker and Ortovox S1 to perform practice scenarios. This beacon is often hard to find for both my other beacons. The range is terrible and the ability of the other beacons to detect it efficiently is very dependent on the orientation of the the Freeride when it is buried. In some instances, especially when the Freeride is buried more than a meter deep, it gets really hairy. I also get frequent Error messages and the beacon stops transmitting all together for periods of time. Please, spend a little more money and buy a more advanced beacon with multiple antenna and a better range. I've lived and skied in the mountains my entire life and, in my opinion this is a dangerous product with no place in the avalanche safety world. You owe it to yourself and especially your ski partners to equip yourself with a beacon you can rely on. I love the simplicity of my Tracker and I love the cutting edge technology of my Ortovox S1. I also have some experience with the Pulse Barryvox and, though complicated at first, I also found it to be very good once I familiarized myself with it.
Owe ya, and its also poorly constructed

Responded on

I 2nd this comment. Spent a good deal of time doing search scenario's using my tracker as the searching beacon and burying this and another beacon. After multiple practice scenarios we consistently found the other beacons much faster than this one. I would definately not want to be in a real situation where either beacon was a Pieps freeride. As for the marketing of this to people who ski just out of bounds. Last I checked out of bounds is the backcountry and is not controlled therefore there should not be a lower standard of beacon acceptable if you are just outside the boundary ropes.

Responded on

Good review. I hope it deters people from thinking "it's better than nothing". The false sense of security a poor beacon will give may lead to more deaths not less.

The cost of safety equipment can be measured in beers. Drink less beer for short while, live to drink more beer in the long run!

Responded on

Bought 4 of these for my family. Two were faulty and incessantly beeped. One was worse than the other and we exchanged it. Never got around to changing the other so it just gets left behind. Now have an Ortovox and also getting a Tracker or two.

3 5


While the size of this beast can compensate for lack of multiple antennae, nothing compensate for flimsiness of an on/off switch.

First, the way switch is design, it will definitely turn on when you do not want it on (in backpack, car trunk, etc). On the other hand it will never turn off by itself, but I am sure one can design the switch that works both way.

Second, switch broke after one day touring. It was in on position, but beacon was not transmitting. This is the worst you can expect from the beacon.

I returned the item, and ordered a replacement. Hopefully this is just a random glitch with my unlucky unit.

4 5

Just got this.

I just got this and it is perfect and small and luckily inexpensive. I do not know what kind of touring everybody does here, but the range of this model is roughly 40 meter, but more like 20. Normally with good pracitce and knowledge, this model is plenty adequete for bc use. Obviously three antenna models are better and have a wider range, but most people who are savy can use both. For people who claim that they wouldn't let them tour with them, I probably wouldn't tour with you either. We tested several of these models in avi training for search and rescue, this model performed fine. Talking maybe a difference of second for finding someone. Multi burial is harder, but quite possible it was your time to go anyway!

Does this thing suck

Does this thing suck

Best Answer Responded on

It only has a range of up to 100 meters so don't buy it if you plan on actually getting caught in an avalanche because they wont find you. Other than that its cheap as shit and it gets you into the backcountry. This thing is really small so it doesn't impair your riding but I wouldn't buy it for more than $120

Responded on

no one plans on getting caught in an avalanche but survival is the purpose of these beacons so it seems pointless to buy this... honestly.. i would not want to be buried (or looking for my best mate) wishing over and over again that id spent a bit more for the best quality transponder i could afford... if your really short of the cash maybe stay out of the back country for another couple of weeks and work a few extra shifts

The description for this says that it has...

The description for this says that it has an arrow and distance meter, but it only has one antenna, is the arrow not actually a direction indicator. If not what are they talking about?

Best Answer Responded on

From what I've heard, the arrow does not point to indicate direction like those on a multiple antenna device. Instead, it grows larger to indicate signal strength. When the arrow is at it's longest, the device will be pointing in the direction along the flux line towards (or away from) the transmitting beacon.

This is similar to the arrow on the Ortovox M2 (which I have used)

Responded on

The arrow gets bigger when you are pointed more directly toward the signal. It is super intuitive you understand what you are looking at directly.

I am beginning to venture farther off-piste...

I am beginning to venture farther off-piste into the side country and I am looking to purchase my first tranceiver. After reading many reviews on almost every tranciever I am left with this thought. I have been in the diving industry most of my life and the trend with new students is for them to always buy the latest and greatest dive computers with all the cool features, yet they quickly forget important skills from their training. With that in mind as I read reviews on avy beacons I have realized how important it is to practice your beacon skils. When I first started looking at beacons I was instantly drawn to the Pulse and S1 for $400-$500, but recently I have found the Freeride for as little as $130. And my question is this, for the 2-3 days a year I go into the side country, why should I fork out $400-$500 when I could buy two Freerides for less money and use the second to practice skills at home. With 1 Pulse or S1 I might get to practice a couple times a year with friends.

Responded on

I'd buy the Tracker DTS from Backcountry Access. It is very easy to learn how to use, and relatively inexpensive. It's a great choice for someone who is new to beacon use. The Pulse and S1 have a distinct advantage for multiple victim burial situations, but those situations are rare, and I'd venture to say extremely rare in resort accessed side-country. http://www.backcountry.com/store/BCA0018/Backcountry-Access-Tracker-DTS-Beacon.html

Responded on

Spend the extra money and get a mammut beacon,it will more than pay off in the long run!

Responded on

I agree, a BCA Tracker is more expensive but much easier to use and more reliable. If you are only out 2-3 days a year, the last thing you need is to try and remember how to use the thing when your buddy is buried and you're freaking out. Practice with any beacon is important, but I was able to teach my 10 year old brother how to use my tracker in about a minute. Remember, if you have to actually use this beacon, it will be to save someone's life, get something you can use confidently. If you can, try out a few and then make the decision.

Responded on

Sure, you gotta be able to use your equipment to its potential. But with safety equipment I simply can't see any other option than to get the best gear I can possibly own.

That sometimes (not always) means paying a premium; but if that money means you drag your friend out of the snow a few minutes before his last breath rather than a few minutes after... well... I think you get the picture.

There are things more valuable than money...

(I spend around 100 days on snow each year and use a DSP)

Responded on

the pulse and s1 both have DOUBLE the range that the freeride has.

4 5

good value for the price

i dont have too much of a problem using it, but it, maybe takes a little longer but isnt hard to figure out, more practice the easier it gets. not as good as others but if you have a price issue then its a great beacon to have. Very small and comfortable

2 5

Acceptable for inbounds only

This beacon is inexpensive and transmits like any other beacon. However, it's search range is very meager and you need to be well practiced with a single antenna beacon. If you're going to be in any situation where you might need to search for someone else, DO NOT BUY THIS. At a minimum, drop the cash on a BCA Tracker DTS.

I ride inbounds only (but normally alone)...

I ride inbounds only (but normally alone) and have never felt the need for any sort of avalanche gear, however the recent inbounds avalanches in the Western US have changed my feeling on this. I'm not to familiar with the equipment. If Im only looking to send out a signal to help ski patrol locate me is buying a low end model such as the freeride sufficient?

Responded on

I've not used this model, but if you are skiing inbounds only this would probably be overkill. An alternative that you might consider is purchasing clothing with the RECCO logo (several items on this site have it) or purchasing a separate tag made by RECCO ($20 or so). The RECCO system is used by many ski resorts to locate avalanche victims. You can go to http://www.recco.com/resorts/north_america.asp to see if your favorite ski resorts use the system and how it works.-------------------To directly answer your question, although I do agree with what has been said above, the Pieps Freeride does an excellent job at sending a signal. So this will work for you, however this beacon does not do well searching for others.-------------------The Recco system is essential a body recovery system. It takes too long to get the equipment on site. If someone is caught in an avalanche, they have a 92% chance of surviving is recovered within 15 minutes. Those chances drop to only 30% after 35 minutes.The first thing a patroller will do when arriving at an avalanche site is do a sweep with their beacon. As such, this is a good beacon for wearing in bounds, where you won't need to look for someone. ---------------------------------------Agree with the last point. Every patroller carries a beacon and can search immediately upon arriving at the scene whereas they will have to send for a RECCO detector (top shack?). Waiting for the RECCO detector to arrive on-scene would be a bummer if you were buried. RECCO is cute, but it's a better 'sales pitch' than practical avie survival. Please keep in mind that despite this winter's unfortunate accidents, it's tremendously unlikely to ever be buried in an in-bounds slide.

Responded on

RECCO IS NOT AN AVALANCHE RESCUE SYSTEM!!! You need to purchase an avalanche specific rescue beacon, a transceiver (which means that it can both send and receive signals). RECCO is great if you're lost in the woods near a ski resort. It is not suitable for an avalanche rescue scenario.

Responded on

Ive worked at a ski resort for the past 2 year and both years have witnessed slides that have come in bounds and taken out skiers who were in bounds!