Review: Mammut Barryvox S Package –  Avalanche Kit

James

“When time is your enemy, Fast is your friend,” say the Mammut producers directly on the packaging, and this could be one of the best descriptions for avalanche rescue equipment.

The Mammut Barryvox S Package features a 3-antenna transceiver (with 3 Duracell batteries included), a lightweight probing pole, and one of the most advanced and precise shovels on the market, the compact Alugator, making it ideal for freeriding, off-piste descents, and alpinism.

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The complete Mammut Barryvox S package – weighing in at just over 1.1kg total

The Barryvox pack, which retails for around $400-500, is on the slightly more expensive side of gear, as far as I can tell, being around $100 more expensive than other somewhat similar products.

You can buy the Mammut Barryvox at Bergfruende (EU) or MooseJaw (USA)

Build quality

The Barryvox S transceiver is made out of thick plastic, with the sides lined with a quite sticky rubber, offering a decent grip even in humid conditions and while wearing gloves. It also comes with a resistant plastic holster in which the transceiver can be put in a single, secure position.

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The part that may concern me is the clip that secures the transceiver into the holster, which is connected to a tight rubber strap, which seems a little fragile.

The aluminum Mammut Probe 240 is a 240-gram probe that is lightweight and easy to use. It’s made of strong aluminium, and the cord inside is plasticised, so it can be used in extremely cold temperatures. Furthermore, the clip with which you pull the cord is made of strong plastic and will not crack in freezing temperatures.

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The Barryvox S transceiver and Probe 240

The Allugator Ride shovel is a 700 grams sharp shovel made out a of strong, lightweight aluminium. The shaft is built in a very convenient way, so it clicks easily and only in one specific position. What I can say about this shovel is that it’s REALLY FAST. It takes you less than 2 seconds to assemble and extend it.

Size and portability

The entire package weighs around 1150 grams, which is reasonable given that it is distributed around the rider, with the transceiver in the pocket or strapped to the chest.

I include this in my ultralight gear setup because it’s lightweight and it’s always worth it to carry life-saving equipment – especially if it weights the same as a full bottle of water..

With the batteries included, the Barryvox S Transceiver weighs around 205 grams. It’s very light, compact, and fits nicely into the palm even when wearing gloves.

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The Mammut Alugator Ride avalanche shovel – Sturdy and effective

The Allugator Ride Shovel, weighing around 700 grams, is the heaviest piece of equipment. The shaft fits snugly over the blade, allowing them to be stored in the backpack without causing any chatter. What I noticed about this shovel is that the grip has a unique shape that makes it uncomfortable to hold close to your back.

Aside from its lightweight design, the Mammut Probe 240 comes with an orange textile sheath that makes it highly visible in all conditions. With a folded-in length of 45 cm, it can be easily stored next to the shovel shaft, as they are the same length.

Function & performance

When it comes to functionality, the Barryvox S Transceiver is one of the best on the market, being the go-to piece of equipment chosen even by a lot of mountain rescue teams, especially around Europe. The three AAA batteries provide a long functioning time, up to 350 hours of usage. It’s also designed to work with lithium batteries for less leakage and greater stability at low temperatures. 

It’s simple, it has a lot of technology built inside it, and a very important feature is that it’s almost foolproof, so you can’t commit mistakes even in the most stressful situations, such as commuting the analog button from SEND to SEARCH by mistake. Also, another really cool feature is the automatic switching from SEND to SEARCH if a rescuer does not move for 4 minutes (considering that another avalanche started).

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Easy to operate the Barryvox S transceiver with gloves

Equipped with three antennas, it has a large receiving bandwidth, reaching up to 70 meters. The large display shows distance, direction, and the number of buried subjects, in addition to the acoustic guidance. Thanks to its Smart Search function, it provides reliability even when signals tend to overlap while interacting with other rescuers during a search.

The Barryvox S Transceiver is built to operate between -25 and +45 degrees Celsius, and it’s guaranteed to offer reliability for a long period of time thanks to it’s updatable software.

Durability and vs other systems

The Mammut Barryvox S package is built to resist, and you can really tell that from the minute you put your hands on the gear. With the battery life on the transceiver, I can confirm that you won’t have any problems during a weekend trip in the backcountry regarding how long it stays charged. I know from the local mountain rescue that it’s recommended to change the batteries after they reach 50% for safety reasons, I guess better safe than sorry. 

Also, after investing in a piece of safety equipment like this, I am relieved that things are taken as seriously as they can be and that the software can be updated. Also, whenever problems are reported, they issue recalls and even replace the devices if they cannot be repaired.

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Fits perfectly within a regular 50L hiking pack

This is my first personal transceiver, though I have used others in the past. The last one I tested was the Arva EVO4, which didn’t feel as comfortable, and the small display wasn’t as effective as the one on Barryvox. Also, the 180 feature on the Barryvox is a real lifesaver, which the Arva did not have, leaving you prone to small mistakes.

The Allugator Ride shovel is slightly heavier than my previous shovel, the Demon Digger, but it’s far more durable, and the blade is much sharper and more precise. It’s very efficient at testing snow and, once again, surprisingly fast at digging holes. Of course, you can always use it to build backcountry kickers, but keep an eye out for shaft freezing, as I’ve had one situation where the back button had frozen and became stuck inside the shaft.

Conclusion

Given that it is a safety pack, I like to feel durability when I hold it, and I can say that the Mammut Barryvox S Package provides me with what I was looking for.

It is easily comparable to the Pieps Pro BT pack or the Ortovox Diract Set, both of which are slightly less expensive and offer roughly the same features.

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Always be safe in the backcountry!

Of course, when looking for pieces of equipment that could save your or another person’s life, you should consult with professionals and always take an avalanche safety course. These types of equipment are useful in search and rescue operations, but your knowledge and experience are more important than your gear, especially in high-stress situations.

Overall an excellent pick which is used by professionals around the world and one I would recommend!

You can buy the Mammut Barryvox at Bergfruende (EU) or MooseJaw (USA)

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Mammut Barryvox S package
Mammut Barryvox S package review 1

Compact, effective, life-saving avalanche safety kit - overall one of the best ones out there but a little expensive with some small flaws.

Product Brand: Mammut

Editor's Rating:
4.8

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Dependable
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Price
  • Fragile clip

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