Mammut Barryvox S Avalanche Transceiver | Review

The new Barryvox S sees a streamlined design and interface, over previous iterations

Weight: 210 g
Size : 115 x 67 x 27 mm
Battery Life: 300 hours send mode
Search Width: 70 m
Maximum Range: 70 m
Power Supply: 3x AAA Batteries
Price: £350


First launched in 1968, the Barryvox VS 68 was one of the first transceivers to come to market. It soon became a success, with over 100,000 Barryvox units produced for the Swiss army.

The Barryvox takes its name from ‘Barry’, a big St Bernard who was notable for rescuing over 40 people from snow and ice burials between 1800 and 1814. During his life Barry was, unsurprisingly, well known for his exceptionally sensitive sense of smell and an “almost supernatural ability to sense approaching danger.” 

“During his life Barry was, unsurprisingly, well known for his exceptionally sensitive sense of smell”

Whilst we can’t guarantee that the Barryvox is going to wag its tail or sense oncoming danger like Barry could, we can confirm that it’s got one of the “best sense of “smell” out of the current transceiver line-up (it has a fantastic 70 metre search width).

An excellent search range, however, doesn’t mean much if the transceiver is a pain to use. Many found the older Pulse Barryvox to be a tad on the confusing front, so it’s great that Mammut have sought to make the Barryvox S as intuitive as possible. 

This simplification has led to a single flag button on the front of the transceiver, just like the Ortovox 3+. With the send, search, and off all accessible from a tab at the top, you’re able to cycle quickly between send and search. 

As easy as it is to switch between send and search, Mammut have built in a “safelock” function that blocks you from accidentally switching the transceiver from search to send modes. This is an issue we found frustrating with the Black Diamond Recon BT, so it’s great to see it addressed with the Barryvox S.


The large display on the Barryvox has also seen a dressing down, when compared to the one that was on the Pulse. In search mode, the display shows the distance, direction arrows and multiple burials. When in send mode, the display shows a menu on the right-hand side which can be navigated by using the up and down arrows on the right-hand side of the unit.

Finally, there a whole load of features available in the ‘Pro-Mode’ found on the Barryvox S (it’s similar, in that respect, to its predecessor the Pulse). These features, as the name suggests, are designed for professional users such as ski guides or patrollers. They include the ability to combine analogue and digital frequencies for efficient multiple burial rescue (useful due to the benefits of analogue in these situations).

“Get yourself out there on an avalanche safety course to practice how to effectively and efficiently rescue your companions”

We’ll not go into more detail regarding the Pro-Mode. If you know you need it, then you’ll know. All in, this a seriously high quality transceiver that carries over the fantastic features of the acclaimed Pulse in a more streamlined and user-friendly package.

Of course, it should go without saying that an avalanche transceiver is only as effective as the user operating it. Get yourself out there on an avalanche safety course to practice how to effectively and efficiently rescue your companions.

After this course, get out every other week and practice how to use your transceiver (familiarity with this kind of kit is key to efficiently completing a rescue). Don’t have snow where you live? No worries. Just bury one or two space transceivers in a pile of leaves and search for them using your shiny new transceiver.

You May Also Like

The Mpora Backcountry Ski Guide

The Best Ski Touring Accessories 2019 – 2020

The Best Avalanche Safety Products 2019 – 2020

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.