An avalanche probe could save your life!
When you head outside the resort, you put yourself at risk. The snowpack is uncontrolled. There is no patrol, and the only person that’s going to save you is your partner. Having the right probe can make all the difference.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro looking to update your kit or just starting in the backcountry, having proper avalanche safety is essential. Having the best avalanche probe, avalanche beacon, and shovel in your backpack will ensure you are prepared for the backcountry.
Your avalanche probe helps you find a buried victim under the snow. Before you decide to purchase there are a few features you should consider:
Lighter probes use materials like aluminum and carbon fiber. These materials are best for long-distance probing when speed is essential. However, if durability and ruggedness are a priority, steel probes can be a better option. When it comes to finding the best probe for your needs, there are several top picks that rise above the rest.
Let’s get started!
What Are The Best Avalanche Probes?
Here is our ranked and reviewed list of the best avalanche probes.
The 5 Best Avalanche Probes
- Best Overall – Black Diamond Quickdraw Pro 280
- Best Budget – G3 Speed Probe 240
- Best Lightweight – Mammut Carbon Probe Light 240
- Best for Guides – MSR Striker CX 320
- Best Durable – Ortovox Steel 320+ PFA
Our Top Picks
Quickdraw Pro 280
Speed Probe 240
Carbon Probe Light 240
- Probe Length: 2.8m
- Weight: 11.3 oz
- Wiregate cord-loc
- 1cm markings
If you are looking for the best, most reliable probe on the market, look no further than the Black Diamond Quickdraw Pro 280. Designed with a sturdy 7-section aluminum construction, high-quality stainless steel cable, and a medium length that is perfect for skiers and snowboarders, this probe will stand up to even the most challenging backcountry conditions.
Thanks to the Quickdraw system, the probe deploys quickly and easily, and the integrated stuff sack makes carrying it a breeze. Collapsing the probe, however, does require you to evenly distribute the slack cord through the probe, which can be a bit of a hassle. But despite this minor flaw, the Black Diamond Quickdraw Pro 280 is still our top pick for the best overall probe available today.
- Probe Length: 2.4m
- Weight: 8.1 oz
- Quick deploy
- Aggressive hardened aluminum tip
Are you looking for an affordable and reliable probe? Look no further than the G3 Speed Probe 240. At only 8.1 ounces, this lightweight probe is perfect for recreational users and professionals alike. Made from high-strength aluminum, the G3 Speed Probe is resistant to icing and features single-pull quick deployment for a fast and easy setup. With 100% testing and markings in 5mm increments on the entire probe length, you can be sure this probe will do the job every time. There is a 320 version of the probe, which is slightly more expensive. However, the collapsing probe sections of the 320 version are long and may not fit in some avy packs.
- Probe Length: 2.4m
- Weight: 6.8 oz
- Tension Lock
- Carbon Fiber Construction
If you’re looking for a compact, lightweight, and durable probe that is quick to assemble and easy to use, look no further than the Mammut Carbon Probe Light 240. Made from high-quality carbon fiber, the Light 240 is designed with performance in mind. It is rigid and stable while probing. With a telescoping locking system that glides smoothly yet locks securely, an ergonomic handle with a comfortable grip, and an enhanced 360-degree visual depth guide for accurate readings, this probe is the best choice for anyone looking for reliable and efficient rescue gear. And with its lightweight design and convenient shape that fits easily in your pack, it’s perfect for any backcountry adventurer.
- Probe Length: 3.2m
- Weight: 10.5 oz
- T Handle
If you’re looking for an excellent probe for guides, look no further than the MSR Striker CX 320. This hybrid design combines two durable materials – high-strength aluminum and ultralight carbon fiber – to create a super-long, impressively light probe. With its innovative dual-diameter construction, superior stiffness, and fast deployment, the Striker CX 320 is a top choice for avalanche professionals and outdoor enthusiasts. The Stricker CX 320 is long and lightweight, making it ideal for exploring the backcountry and keeping you safe in even the most challenging snow conditions. So, if you’re looking for a best-in-class probe to help you navigate safely, look no further than the MSR Striker CX 320.
- Ortovox Steel 320+ PFA
- Weight: 24 oz.
- Colored depth marker
- Large tipped probe
For a best-in-class probe that is strong, sturdy, and durable, look no further than the Ortovox Steel 320+ PFA. Made from high-quality steel with a quick-assembly PFA system, it is our review’s heaviest and burliest probe. This professional probe can extend to over 3 meters and delivers precise and accurate measurements every time. With an ergonomic grip and contrast depth scale, this probe makes accessing avalanche victims quick and easy, even in extreme conditions. So, if you’re looking for a best-in-class probe built to last, look no further than the Ortovox Steel 320+ PFA.
How to Choose an Avalanche Probe
When considering the best avalanche probes, there are a few essential factors. The first is length – a longer probe will allow you to reach deeper into the snowpack and find buried victims more quickly. You should also consider weight, as a heavier probe might be challenging to carry in your ski backpack during long backcountry trips. Other important considerations include construction materials, durability, and ease of use. To find the best probe for your needs, consider all these different factors and carefully weigh your options before making a purchase.
Avalanche Probe Length
When selecting avalanche probes, it is essential to consider length. Many avalanche probes can extend up to 3 or more meters in length, which allows you to reach deeper into the snowpack and find buried victims with greater accuracy. However, a longer probe may be more challenging to carry in your pack during backcountry trips, so it is essential to weigh your options when choosing an avalanche probe.
Probes are typically made from various materials, including aluminum, carbon fiber, and steel. If you are looking for a long-lasting probe that is strong and sturdy, consider choosing one made from metal or carbon fiber. However, if weight and portability are more important to you, plenty of lightweight options may be better suited to your needs.
Aluminum avalanche probes are one of the most popular options, combining durability with a lightweight design. Aluminum probes are typically best for experienced backcountry adventurers to understand snowpack conditions and are looking for an efficient rescue tool to help them navigate safely.
Carbon avalanche probes are another popular option, as they offer excellent performance and durability in a lightweight package. If you’re looking for the best possible avalanche probe for your needs, consider all the different options and choose one that best fits your preferences and requirements.
Finally, if you are looking for a best-in-class probe that is both sturdy and durable, consider choosing a steel avalanche probe. Made from high-quality steel with a quick-assembly PFA system, this professional probe can extend over 3 meters in length and delivers accurate measurements every time. With an ergonomic grip and contrast depth
Another essential factor to consider when choosing an avalanche probe is weight. Many backcountry adventurers prefer a lightweight probe that is easy to carry in their packs. They are typically more comfortable and less hassle to use while exploring the backcountry. However, the heaviest and burliest probes, like the Ortovox Steel 320+ PFA offer incredible durability.
Probe Locking Mechanism
The deployment system is one final factor to consider when choosing an avalanche probe. Many probes feature a quick-assembly PFA system. A collapsing probe allows you to quickly extend and easily repack your probe. Other probes utilize a different type of deployment mechanism, so be sure to carefully consider all of your options before making a purchase. Ultimately, the best probe for your needs depends on your preferences, budget, and requirements. So consider all of these different factors before making a purchase and choose a best-in-class probe that is right for you!
Avalanche Safety Gear
Avalanche safety equipment is essential for any backcountry adventurer. It gives peace of mind and ensures you are prepared for anything while exploring the snowy wilderness. Some essential avalanche safety gear includes avalanche beacons, backcountry ski probes, snow shovels, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting backcountry exploration, having the best avalanche safety gear at your disposal can help ensure you stay safe and have a great time in the snow. Although not specifically safety equipment, the skis and poles you choose should be meant for backcountry use. The poles should be collapsable, and you should have touring bindings as well as skins for your skis.
If you’re exploring the backcountry, it’s always best to be prepared for the unexpected. Avalanche rescue is a crucial part of backcountry skiing. With proper training and diligent practice, avalanche rescue can help ensure that you are equipped to handle any avalanche-related emergencies that may arise. So if you’re looking for the best tools and resources to help keep you safe while exploring the backcountry, invest in a top-quality avalanche kit today!
What is the best avalanche probe length?
The best avalanche probe length is between 2.5-3.0m. The longer the backcountry ski probe, the deeper you can search for an avalanche victim in the snowpack. Factors such as weight, durability, and ease of use should also be considered when choosing an avalanche probe.
How do you use an avalanche probe?
Knowing how to use your avalanche probe is critical if you enter avalanche terrain. Use your transciever to locate the victim and bracket their location. Use the probe to create a spiral pattern starting at the center of the box until you feel a strike. Do not remove the probe. Leave it in place as you begin to dig.
When choosing an avalanche probe, it is essential to consider various factors, including probe weight, locking mechanism, and other vital features. Many best-in-class probes are available today, so consider your options before packing for your next ski trip.
See you in the mountains!