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Mammut Barryvox Review

Mammut Barryvox
Price:   $350 List | $262.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Super long range, excellent multiple burial functions, good price for what you get
Cons:  Fast processing but not the fastest.
Editors' Rating:   
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Weight:  7.4 oz/210g
Number of Antennae:  3
Manufacturer's Range:  60m
Manufacturer:   Mammut

Our Verdict

A top scorer in nearly every category, he Mammut Barryvox is the more "basic" version of our OutdoorGearLab Editors' Choice, the Mammut Barryvox S. It includes the same basic features, including the best maximum range for an all-digital beacon, a solid flagging feature and one of the faster processors. It doesn't have as many of the more advanced features like the pulse feature, the analog function, the ability to number and scroll through victims during multiple burials. The basic Barryvox doesn't give the user as much control or give as many options with each feature as the S model does. With that said, calling it "basic" is misleading because it has more features and functions than most of the other products in its price range and below.

Product Update
For 2017, Mammut has entirely redesigned the new Barryvox avalanche beacon. Keep reading for the full story!

RELATED REVIEW: The Best Avalanche Beacon Review

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson

Last Updated:
November 10, 2017


The New Barryvox vs. the Original Element Barryvox

Hello, new Barryvox! The price remains $350 but just about everything else has been tweaked. The operating system and user interface are new. Mammut claims it is much more user-friendly and intuitive than past models. Below, the new model is on the left and the original on the right.

Mammut Barryvox
Mammut Element Barryvox avalanche tranceiver
  • User Interface — There is a large screen with intuitive and simple buttons.
  • Search Strip — You now get a 70m range - one of the biggest available.
  • Multiple Burials — A new multiple burial function.

Hands-On Review of the Element Barryvox


The Mammut Element Barryvox along with its big brother the Pulse Barryvox features just below sixty meters of the maximum range which was the among the best maximum ranges of digital beacons in our review. Not far behind are the Arva Axio, the Arva Neo, Ortovox S1+ and the Pieps DSP Pro which have only a couple meters less range. The Element has no analog only functions like the pulse feature and this feature can increase the beacons maximum range by 17-20 meters but we thought it was more confusing than it was worth for all but the most experienced users.

Ease of Use and Controls

Navigating from search to send is not as easy as many other beacons we tested. It can be challenging with gloves on. Turning it on and off is also not as easy as the competition. That said, once you are searching and it really counts, the user interface is relatively simple and straightforward.

Ease of Finding a Single Victim

We gave it top marks here. The fast processor and long range mean its fast and easy to find the victim.

Ease of Use in Fine Search

Again, the Element scored very high here. Only the Pieps DSP Pro and the Tracker 2 beat it. We tested this by holding all three devices side by side and seeing how quickly the beacon reacted. While the Element did great, it would have us stop longer and more often then the Tracker 2 and Pieps.

The Element beat out the Ortovox S1+ in the fine search. The Element Barryvox uses nine directional arrows to help the rescuer stay on the flux line, this is more than all others except the S1+ and the Mammut Barryvox S which use a completely free floating arrow. This was more than the seven directional arrows that the Ortovox 3+ or most other models that use five. The Element comes with a default of having the directional arrow go away at three meters, at which point it shows four arrows, reminding the rescuer that is about time to start bracketing. In addition to this icon the Element displays a distance accompanied by sounds.

Ease of Use in Multiple Burial Situations

The Element Barryvox is similar to the Ortovx S1+, Pieps DSP Pro, and the Arva Pro W in a multiple burial scenario. They all flag each beacon. In contrast, the Pulse Barryvox "blinds" one beacon. Unlike the Element's big brother, the Pulse you can't go back and "unmark" previously flagged beacons.

Revert to Send Mode

The Element will revert to sending mode from search mode after eight minutes of searching. The Element gives a loud beep before switching back over; alerting the rescuer that this function is happening. To stop the revert from happening the rescuer simply presses the side button during the "about to revert" mode. Read our primary Best Avalanche Beacon Review for the full story, current debates, and the pros and cons of the "Revert to Send" function.

Comfort to Carry

The Element Barryvox is one of the lighter and smaller beacons on the market today and is 25% smaller than the Backcountry Access Tracker 2 and around 20% smaller than the Ortovox S1+. The Element's harness which is near identical to the Pulse's are some of our favorites, and are top scorers for comfort and simplicity, that are among the easiest to use. For users who like to carry their beacon in an inside zippered pants pocket, the Element was also one of our favorites, if not our favorite and better than our other Top Pick's the Pieps DSP Pro or the Ortovox S1+. We did think the Element was about as nice to carry as the Arva Neo or the Arva Pro W.

The Element versus The Pulse

The Pulse and the Element have all the same most basic search and operational features with the Element having very few of the extra's. They both have the longest range of any all digital beacons and one of the fastest processors. They both have similar icons and controls with the exception of the Pulse having two side buttons, compared to the Elements one, to help the Pulse navigate through more complex menus. The Element lacks the Pulse's analog mode to increase range, the "Pulse" feature, the ability to scroll and number victims along with several other features. The Pulse is also nearly $150 more than the Element, which you certainly get more features for, but we think that only very advanced users and backcountry professionals will benefit from.


At $350 the Element is on the more expensive side of the more "basic" products but offers better range, an above average speed processor and more features than other options costing $200-$375. Compared with the Zoom+ ($300) or the BCA Tracker 2 ($300) the Element has a longer range and a vastly superior multiple burial function. The Element does compare closely with the Pieps DSP Pro model, a "professional" level product which offers more functions in multiple burial situations, has maybe a marginally faster processor but less range and is bulkier than the Element. The Arva Neo compares very closely in most situations to the Element and is the same price.

Best Application and the Bottom Line

The Element is marketed as a more "Basic" product which it is when compared to the Barryvox Pulse. With that said, it is more complex and has more features than almost all the other contenders in our review and certainly in its price range. Compared to other "Basic" beacons like the Ortovox Zoom+or the BCA Tracker 2 the Element has many more features, longer range and better multiple burial features, but is a little more complicated. It compares very similarly to the Pieps DSP Po Avalanche. The Element is more than almost any other, a good choice for most users with the exception of most novice users who are likely not to take the time to practice or properly use their beacon.
Ian Nicholson

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Most recent review: November 10, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
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