Through years of development and field testing, Backcountry Access has made the Tracker DTS Beacon incredibly intuitive so it's fast and easy to use when you're under the stress of a real search. It's no wonder that the Tracker DTS is one of the most popular beacons in the backcountry. The digital display shows you both the distance and direction to your buried buddy, and in addition to standard single-search mode, the Tracker DTS includes a special mode which will give you the distance and direction to all signals in a narrowed search range. This may be the difference between saving one of your friends or both of them, so practice, practice, practice.
|Battery Life:||[ search mode ] 1 hour; [ transmit mode ] 200 hours|
|Battery Type:||AAA alkaline (3)|
|Device Dimensions:||5.2 x 3.4 x 1"|
|Digital Range:||50 m|
|Note:||Only one unit per purchase; two units are needed for the system to function|
|Power Supply:||three AAA alkaline batteries|
|Recommended Use:||avalanche safety|
|Weight:||13.6oz with harness and batteries ( 8.6oz without)|
|Backcountry Access Tracker2 Beacon||$251.21 - $335.00|
|Backcountry Access Tracker DTS Avalanche Transceiver||$239.95|
The Tracker is the first beacon I ever used and it just seemed too simple. I bought one once I moved to Utah and took an Avy 1 course with Exum (so should YOU!). The Tracker never got more complicated throughout all our training and my own personal practice. It makes so much sense to me that I can't imagine using another, or ever needing one...so much that I bought my girlfriend one so she could have the same simplified search interface when we're out together. Hopefully we'll never have to really use it.
P.S. BCA is one of the best companies in the industry because they sponsor classes and beacon practice parks for everyone to use. You dollar is your vote, so vote for a company that does something to address the risk associated with selling avalanche gear to the mountain-going masses. Buy BCA and take a class. It just makes sense.
I got the BCA Tracker years ago when I started travelling in avalanche terrain. The interface is simple and the beacon has been reliable over the years. The harness system is good and I personally like the switch on the back because it is nearly impossible to inadvertently turn off.
The beacon works fine for someone who is looking for an entry level beacon. Two antennas rather than three means a more pronounced flux line curve into the buried victim. Very simple to use on single burial scenarios and with the right training and practice, multiple burial scenarios are not very difficult.
The beacon really does not shine on 3+ person burial scenarios, stacked victims or vertical burials partly due to the lack of a third antenna.
This is a great affordable option for an entry level user.
This is a great beacon to get into the backcountry with. It is easy to use and to read. It doesn't have the range of more expensive beacons (this model has a range of about 40 meters compared to others I have seen that can detect a signal at about 75 meters) or the functions but it gets the job done, the display is simple to read and does not complicate your search. For the price you can't beat it. Remember to practice with it(and the rest of your avy gear) in order to feel comfortable before you have to actually use it in an avalanche situation.
This beacon is the tried and true dual antenna that all backcountry travelers need. Most beacons are created equal but this one is one the most simple to use along with the easiest to get used to. One day out of the box in the beacon test centers and you will get the hang of it. If you do go into the backcountry please take more than just this with you. Take a class first then take a partner with a shovel in probe! BE SAFE!
The first beacon I've owned, and I love it, super simple to use, just so long as you practice with it, and you make sure the people you're with know how to use their equipment and their heads. Never used it outside of practice scenarios, but I have the peace of mind to know I could help someone if the shit hits the fan.
Can't say much else that the other reviews...this thing is the simplest which is key for if/when things get hairy. Multiple burials of 3+ people though may get a little tough though. Definitely a good first beacon for someone looking to start getting into the backcountry. I wish the harness was a little bit bigger, but all in all I love it.
Easy to use. Pretty bombproof. Good battery life. Carrying strap is moderately comfortable. Not the lightest out there but oh well. I want my searcher to be using one of these, not fumbling with some complicated computer. BCA has an awesome warranty/service department that makes it even easier!
I bought this for my brother who is learning avalanche awareness and doing a bunch of mountaineering. He say's it is easy to use and has learned how to find another beacon very fast!
This is a great beacon- it's easy to use and accurate. Good size, easy to handle, and most important it's pretty fool-proof. Glad to have this beacon in my kit.
When my out-of-warranty Tracker's battery contact broke, BCA kindly sent me the newest version as a warranty replacement. The new beacon is still as good as the old one, and I really love it, but the new holster has serious flaws. The holster holds the beacon with the convex side against the body, holding it out away fronm the body, rather than snugly conforming to the body. It secures the beacon in the holster by a plastic clip, which requires two hands to unlatch, and at least one of those hands must be ungloved! Yikes! It is very easy to inadvertently switch the beacon from transmit to receive, while unlatching the clip, because the Mode button is directly under the clip. Precious seconds can be lost figuring out which mode the beacon is in. If the beacon is dropped while searching it can fall all the way into the snow, because of the bungy-cord leash. Double-Yikes!! When the digging starts, more precious seconds are lost replacing the beacon into the holster, or the beacon swings around getting in the way. Super-Yikes!!
The old sling system was MUCH BETTER! It had no holster at all, but held the beacon tightly against the body; required no manipulation of any fastener to start the search; and if dropped the beacon just fell back against the body.
If you buy this beacon, I recommend modifying the holster to use a Velcro fastener, that can be pulled open with one gloved hand. Also, be sure that you shorten the leash so that if you drop it, or just let it go to free up your hands, that it will not fall into the snow.
Best of all would be for BCA to ditch the holster altogether, and go back to the super-simple old-style sling.
but mine is off by about 1.5 meters most of the time. If I'm depending on this thing to save my own or another's life, then I want it to be as accurate as possible.