Ortovox 3 + Avalanche transceiver our first review and test.
We have just tested the new Ortovox 3 +, firstly we were very impressed by the size and setup of the 3 +. Much smaller than the alternatives, screen size was easy to read even in very bright sunlight and without my +2 reading glasses.
We only had the pre production model to test so the search range has been limited to 20 metres, we found that searching was exceptionally easy with rapid and little or no spiking right down to 0.2 metres. Just follow the arrow on the LCD screen and the distance countdown, the direction arrows tended to shift a little but I found less than the DTS Tracker and other transceivers.
The only time during the search mode where I had to slow a little was at the 2 metre stage where the transceiver switches into final stage and gives just a distance read out rather than distance and direction. However this was much quicker than the BCA Tracker 2, BCA Tracker and the D3 and about the same as the S1.
When the first full production units arrive we will repeat the searching with the Ortovox 3 plus and update this test.
The big difference and a first for any transceiver is the Ortovox 3 + ability to switch transmit aerials depending on the victim’s position.
We searched with BCA Tracker 2, Ortovox D3, BCA Tracker and Ortovox S1 with the Ortovox 3 plus located in line, at 90 degrees and also at 45 degrees, plus we added a face on search as well at 45 degrees. In most cases the searching transceivers picked up the Ortovox 3 + approx 4 to 5 meters further out, however with the Ortovox 3 plus in line then the S1 found it an impressive 10 metres further out the D3 and Tracker 2 some 7 metres and the DTS Tracker 4 metres So the aerial switching on the Ortovox 3 + seams to work and is certainly going to help with victims being found when wearing an Ortovox 3+.
As with any transceiver the initial distance readout compared to the actual distance can vary dramatically due to the orientation of the victims transceiver however we found when searching for the Ortovox 3 + there did appear to be a reduction in this variance.
So the age old question which is best?
Well as we all know any transceiver is better than not having one at all, the Ortovox S1 still tops the chart and is priced to reflect this (£379 RRP).
At the lower price point then the Ortovox 3 + (£269 RRP) really does have some advantages over the Tracker 2 (£279 RRP) and is slightly cheaper.
The interesting mix in the equation is the Ortovox D3 (£239 RRP), has been replaced with the Ortovox Patroller Digital (£199 RRP) and is identical to the D3 internally and functionally, the only difference from last season is that the new Patroller is in a blue housing and does not come with the nice carry bag like the D3 did.
So for the extra money of the new Ortovox 3 + then the extra features and benefits are well worth it and we are pretty sure that even if the BCA Tracker 2 was cheaper the extra features of the Ortovox 3+ still makes it a really good choice.