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. One of the lightest and most compact beacons to come from 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.
A new auto-revert (AR) feature keeps rescuers safe in the event of a secondary burial, and can be customized in settings to fit your preferences.
A single AA battery (23g) keeps the beacon light 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.
Arva's wizards found a way to manage signal interference (don't ask how, all we know is that it works really well).
The Evo5 includes a Mark (multiple burial) function for that time both your buddies decide to ski that iffy face at the same time because "it'll make a sick insta 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.
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).