Stay safe in the backcountry with the BCA Tracker2: fast, efficient, and reliable when it matters most



BCA Tracker2 Beacon | Unofficial Gear Review

Buy your BCA Tracker2 Beacon at

If you head out skiing when there is new snow on the ground in to the backcountry, sidecountry, or even in bounds, you need to carry a transceiver.  And the BCA Tracker2 Beacon is among the lightest, the most intuitive, and the most reliable on the market.


  • Antennas: 3
  • Weight: 6.4 oz (181 g)
  • Power Source: 3 AAA batteries
  • Multiple Burial Indicator: Yes

Area of Expertise:

  • Sidecountry to Backcountry, simple and effective is the name of the game

Life Span:

  • 5 Year Warranty

The Tracker2 is a new spin on the Tracker, which has long been the number one avalanche beacon on the market.  It features some subtle changes , with a lighter and lower profile.  Also, the search mode is ultra easy to engage, accomplished by simply pulling down on the bottom of the beacon.  This makes the Tracker2 compatible with thick gloves, mittens, or anything in between.

bca tracker 2

With the 3 Antennae search, you can be sure your results are accurate.  With this third antennae, search spikes as you approach the burried victim have been resolved and mostly eliminated.  The Tracker2 also has about a 5.5 meter greater search range than the original Tracker, bringing it’s recommended search strip to 50 meters.  The beacon also features a digital display giving you precise readouts for distance to the buried victim with LED arrows indicating the direction (always bare in mind that because the beacon picks up the transmitted flux line, if you see the numbers going up you are following the flux line the wrong way).

When the Tracker2 was first released, there were issues with the search mode in a small number of beacons, but the issue has since been resolved, updated, and improved.   The Tracker2 features update-able firmware so as BCA advances their search technology, you can get the update, easily and free of charge.   With the ease of use, lack of confusing menu interfaces and essentially only two buttons, the Tracker2 is usable right out of the box (but you still need to develop a firm understanding of proper use of your beacon before venturing outside the gates or into the backcountry).

If you’re looking for a solid, reliable and easy to use Avalanche Beacon, don’t pass up the BCA Tracker2 Beacon.


  • Zaugg

    I don’t like the way you have it harnessed in the photo. The red dial is the on/off switch, the beacon does not make a sound when it is turning off. I’d be worried (though low probability) that exposing the on off switch could lead to the beacon being turned off unintentionally, which would obviously be not good.

    I harness mine flipped around so the screen is facing outward, the on/off switch is protected from moving by the closed back of the harness.

    Anyways, just a small (paranoid) observation. Otherwise its a fantastic beacon, I find it extremely fast updating on distance and direction, and it is fool proof. Get rid of your old Analog Ortovox F1′s! Digital beacons will save lives for all but the most experienced and practiced (old and crusty?) users!

    At the same time, lose the old bong go digital Vaporiser’s, either upgrade could one day save your life.

    • Nate

      Don’t you think the the beacon could shift around and be switched being pressed against your body? I don’t think it’s an issue because the switch is pretty darn stout.

      • brian

        the harness isnt the best, but the switch doesnt move. if you experience so much trauma the switch turns underneath a couple layers of outerwear, youre probably already dead. just sayin

    • Zaugg

      Nate, it’s true the on/off switch isn’t flimsy (hence why its a bit of paranoia more then blatant misuse), but the backside of the harness (against the body) is flat and smooth and covers the on/off switch, so no risk there. As opposed to having the switch exposed as shown in the photo.

      Again just to over-analyze it, something like a chest strap on a backpack, the strap or buckle could interplay, putting it on or off (how many times do you remove your backpack over a full day – i’d say at half a dozen to a dozen).

      More so I’d be concerned in an avalanche, where you are just getting tossed, could be debris, trees etc. etc. some trauma to the chest mid slide and boom, your beacon is off when you need it most.

      Anyways, just a picky observation, I feel like the harness is designed to hold the beacon with the screen out, and on/off switch protected. That’s how I’ll wear it, you can choose your destiny, but i thought it was worth mentioning (though probably not worth this long winded response).

      Safe winter everybody!

      Oh and just to prove I’m not a total couch potato and an actual user of said device… Here’a what we got up to last Sunday in Canada!

    • alex

      the instructions from BCA recommend that you wear the beacon so the ON/OFF switch is visible, and the screen as against your body.

      BCA knows.

    • TC

      Thanks for the constructive input, but if you wore it the other way, you would have a hard time accessing the clip to get your beacon out to go into search mode (the clip would be against you instead of accessible). Doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s a firm switch, I’m not worried about it.

    • That is rediculous

      Zaugg, that is such a rediculous thing to worry about. That switch takes a good deal of effort to flip over and blunt trauma directly into the beacon would never flip that switch. In order for that switched to be inadvertently flipped would require an object that was very small and very strong to hit the correct side of the switch at precisely the correct angle. You would have a better chance of sleeping with a Victoria secret model while winning the lottery and getting struck by litening all at the same time than having that switch accidentally flipped. BCA knows what they are doing.

  • chris

    All the gear reviews here seem pretty useless. This just seems like a marketing slide from EVO or BCA. Reviews from people who have used products in the field and can provide feedback on things that worked really well or didn’t is much more useful IMO…

  • brian

    yeah its a sponsored post, and yeah there are better beacons out there- but not for beginners. this thing is the rockstar of single burial searches. it picks up a signal faster and then updates faster than anything else out there. you can pretty much sprint towards the signal and not be moving too quickly.

    multiple (or deep) burials and its an entirely different story. but this is like the dummies guide to finding your buried friend

  • Miles Clark

    If you guys would just listen to my words and just get the airbag all your worries would be over. Pull the handle and like a balloon you will float to the surface. If everyone had airbags we wouldn’t need to carry all that stuff. More room in your pack for food and beer and stuff.

  • Bacon not beacon

    To clarify a few things about this beacon.
    Although the original Tracker is one of the highest selling beacons on the market it is in no way the number one avalanche beacon on the market. Yes, It brought new 2 antenna analog bridge technology giving the user a distance and direction. This revolutionized the beacon world and made a big difference to the market in 1996 when it was released but still living off this hype is just plain dangerous it is 2012 as we all know. You know what else was impressive and new for its time in 1996-
    Lets not compair this to our iphones of today.
    The Tracker 2 only adds:
    One more poor excuse for a third antenna that does can not give an accurate reading even within 3m. It is consistently .5m to 1m off.
    The 5 m of extended range over the Tracker that you brag about is true; it boosts its range from 35 to 40 meters in a good coupling position. HA, Others on the market (2 are within $25) are in the 55m to 60m range in good coupling.
    To say this beacon has a search strip width of 50m is complete bullshit and this number alone will kill people. Go take this into a field with a non metallic measuring tape and measure the good coupling distance and the poor coupling distance ( search strip) then come back and post a real review.
    Search strip width is determined by the Y antenna in a beacon which is taking a width measurement BCA has the majority of their power driven to the X antenna and uses the Y as a secondary antenna which gives them an elliptical based search range. The long axis being the x antenna which reads at 40m on a good day with a prevailing wind and the y antenna wich is in the 25m to 30m range. Quit taking your information off the manufactures box and step outside before you post information as a review.
    As far as updating faster- every beacon sends its 457kHz signal within 1300ms this contains a pulse and a pause. The pulse is typically 500ms to 700ms with the pause being the rest. Do you really think the average backcountry user can tell the difference if your beacon is picking up at the start of that pulse or the middle?
    we are talking the difference of 250 milliseconds. Throw PANIC/adrenalin in the mix there is no way.

    For those of you reading this do yourself your family and your ski partner a favor do some research. Know what you are buying before you listen to BS reviews like this. If you ski in groups larger than 2 you should highly consider a beacon that has a marking/masking function. Mark mask may not be perfect but it sure as hell puts you and your group in a better situation if the worst does happen to hit you.

    Educate yourselves on this topic it is your life!!
    Go read some of the ISSW papers on beacons it will be boring as hell but you will learn a lot more than you think!! MSU Stores them.

    Oh and Miles read up on airbag stats in the US I would recommend keeping a beacon with you as well! That extra space it takes up will save your ass, so one of your local SAR guys does not have to dig your frozen ass out two hours after a slide. They may appreciate the snacks and cold beers though. Digging in settled avy debris is hard work. When trees are involved (US) the numbers are not as pretty as the 94% that were coming out of europe (No trees) a few years back!

    trees=poped sacks!!

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