Skimo Co

ARVA Evo5+ Avalanche Beacon

$349.95 $299.95

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Lighter means faster, right? In a skimo world where weight is the new measure of worth, the ARVA Evo5 Beacon is worth its weight in spandex. This light and compact beacon made by the French wizards over at ARVA, the Evo5 is a fully functional 3-antenna beacon with a range of 50m, and it fits in the palm of your hand (unless you have really, really small hands). With features like Group Check, Mark (multi-burial) function, and high-end interference management, this beacon ticks all your boxes without tipping the scales. Auto revert (AR) is a newer feature that provides a backup for rescuers in the case of their own unexpected burial (watch that hangfire!), and switches the beacon to transmit after a set period of inactivity (this exact length is customizable). Whether you're a mountain professional who logs 120 days a season, or just a casual backcountry visitor, this beacon packs all the features you need and want into a compact size you'll love. Go ahead, toss another candy bar in your pack. You won't notice the weight.

  • Three antennas keep you headed in the right direction, no matter the beacon orientation or model.
  • A Group Check feature streamlines trailhead checks, making sure the whole crew is safe and beeping from the car to the bar.
  • Auto-revert (AR) keeps rescuers safe in the event of secondary burial and can be customized in settings to fit your preferences.
  • A single AA battery (23g) saves weight and provides a consistent supply of halfway-full batteries for your wireless mouse.
  • Includes an elastic tether (6g) and a minimalist belt (22g) instead of a traditional harness, though a harness is available.
  • ARVA's wizards found a way to manage signal interference (don't ask how, all we know is that it works really well).
  • Mark (multi-burial) function for that time both your buddies decide to party ski that iffy face because it'll make a sick vid.
  • A backlit screen keeps you in the know when dawn patrol laps start extra early.
  • 50m search radius is likely good enough for most searches.

Update 2024/25: The Evo5+ has new software and a locking slider in the "off" position to keep the beacon from accidentally being turned on when not in use.

Dimensions 111 x 72 x 20 mm
convert to ounces
165g w/ 1 AA battery
Antennas 3 digital
Transmit Range 50m
Search Range 50m
Number of Victims 3
Battery Life 200 hours transmit, 1 hour search
Specs Verified
Skimo Co Says
Usage Avalanche rescue
Notes Easy to feel what position the switch is in
Bottom Line Small and light with all the features
Compare to other Beacons

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Questions & Reviews

Aaron S (used product regularly)
I hate this beacon. It turns on in my bag and kills the battery, leaving it dead when I start my day like 20% of the time.

Positives: It's small...that's why I bought it. There aren't many smaller beacons on the market right now since BD pulled their Recon LT. The beacon fits great in my pocket and isn't noticeable or bashing against my leg through the day.. It takes a single AA battery; it's nice not to require a bunch of cells. I think it knows when there's other metal like a phone in your pocket with it, and will beep until you to fix it.

Negatives: The beacon is ridiculously easy to turn on, and it turns on in my pocket/bag all the time. It's also hard to turn off—you have to move the large slider to the off position, then push another button.

And when it turns on in your bag, it drains the battery. So you pull your beacon out, and battery is at 10%, even if you've recently replaced the battery.

You'll go through the spare batteries in your emergency kit regularly. And it takes AA, not AAA like most beacons/flashlights, so your buddy's batteries won't fit (tip though, AA and AAA are the same voltage so you can make a AAA fit with some wire or a paperclip shoved in the slot with the battery).

When doing the coarse search the beacon is also quick to show a signal, even if it is very low confidence, and likely taking you the wrong direction. It seems to work as expected and similar to other beacons <40m and into the fine search.

I don't like this beacon, but I continue to use it because it is small and it's the beacon I own. Just gotta make sure to be stocked up AA batteries.
Reply from jbo
Hi Aaron, thanks for the feedback. You could grab a holster to protect the switch. For what it's worth, next season's Evo 5+ will have a dual-action switch for turning on. Previously, the main concern was to avoid accidentally switching off, a problem that plagued Pieps.
Comment on this review:

Question from Brian h
I ordered a different Arva beacon and was very impressed. I gave it to my partner and then ordered the lighter Pieps beacon. I was disappointed about the low volume of the audible signal.... a deal breaker for me due to bad hearing. This beacon seems to check the other boxes in terms of size and function. How does the audible signal compare to the Pieps? Louder is better.
Answer from Will M
Hey Brian,

From what I've been able to gather, it seems that overall the Arva beacons tend to be significantly louder, especially when compared to the Pieps Micro.
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Jonathan S (used product a few times)
Five Stars for a skimo-friendly beacon that is essentially tied with the Pieps Micro for both size and weight.
Although being concerned about the latter factor can be criticized, the former factor really matters if you want to put a beacon in a lycra suit pocket for racing or a pant pocket for spring/summer touring -- anything else besides those two models will feel distractingly bulky.
As for fulfilling the core functions of an avy beacon, the Evo5 would be a competitive model even regardless of its size and weight.
No beacon is without its quirks, and the Beacon Reviews website goes into great detail as always, while also reflecting my testing feedback. I prefer the mechanical switch on the Evo5 to the first generation of the Pieps Micro with the proximity sensor (although as this review I have not yet tested the new "Button" version), but in theory it can be inadvertently bumped back into Send from either Search or Off. (Might be a good idea to remove the single AA battery if placing an Evo5 turned to Off into a pack after a tour, or anywhere else where the switch might get bumped.) And I did find the Evo5 to be overly eager to report a signal on the outer edges of its acquisition range.
However, that range is very impressive. (My test is the one referenced at the Beacon Reviews website.) Given the shorter recommended search strip width of the Evo5, I thought it would fall short of the Pieps Micro, but instead they were generally comparable with ideal alignment of the target beacon. And then the Evo5 didn't drop off at all with suboptimal alignment, much to my (pleasant!) surprise.
I also found the information displayed on the screen very well-designed, and I liked the U-turn indicator too (although some might find it superfluous).
Comment on this review:

Question from Markus Imholz
Was für Batterien werden benötigt j wieviele?
Answer from Teddy Young
Hello Mark, this avalanche beacon requires 1 AA battery.

Hallo Markus, diese Lawinenbake benötigt 1 AA Batterie.
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Model: Evo5 Plus

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