Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $350 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros: Good price, lots of user options, easy to use with big gloves or mittens on.
Cons: Fast processing but not the fastest.
Best Uses: Back country skiing, back country snow boarding, snowmobiling.
The Barryvox Element is the simpler and less expensive version of the Mammut Pulse Barryvox. Where the Pulse features two buttons on either side to aid in menu operations, the Element features one. Most of the features that people will use the most are found on both beacons with the exception of the "Pulse" feature of the Pulse to help to determine if victims are dead or alive. The Pulse still has a few more advanced setting user controls than the Element, such as the amount of time it takes to revert back to send that is customizable on the Pulse but a fixed eight minutes on the Pulse. As a whole the Element preformed effectively as well as the Pulse, with its only down side being fewer features. Among the beacons we tested the Element had some of the faster processing speeds and had one of the better multiple burial functions.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
If you are heading in the wrong direction, the arrow indicator will point toward you to indicate you need need to turn around. With most other beacons, the arrow will keep pointed in the wrong direction and it is up to you to read the distance number and figure out you are going the wrong way. The Element along with the S1+ and the Pulse had our favorite directional arrow. Instead of having 3 to 5 directional arrow lights, the Element has an arrow that spins 360 degrees to help the user stay on the flux line.
The Element like the Pulse can be switched between digital and analog modes. It's cool for experienced users and professionals who have previously spent time learning how or using analog beacons and it allows the Pulse to have a huge range while its in analog mode. It is a feature that most people will never use.
The Element, along with the Barryvox Pulse and the Pieps DSP and Pieps DSP Tour, had the longest ranges for digital beacons in our test and with the Element in analog mode it had the longest range next to the dated Ortovox F1.
It deals with signal spikes well. It also deals with multiple burials well.
It lets you mark the victim you are not looking for and come back to them later.
If you are caught in a secondary avalanche, the Element will revert to transmit mode if there has not been motion for eight minutes, unlike the Pulse where you choose.
This is one of the smallest and lightest of the three-antennae beacons.
We also liked how easy the Element was to use with bulky gloves and mittens.
The Element's processing speed feels ever-so-slightly slower than Pieps or the Tracker 2 (but it is still relatively fast). In side-by-side testing with multiple burials we felt that the Pieps DSP could stay on the flux line while moving slightly faster than the Element, which would give us the "Stop" sign, its signal to slow down.
— Ian Nicholson
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: January 3, 2013
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