PIEPS MI­CRO

Backpacker - - NEWS -

OUR TAKE Safety equip­ment usu­ally isn’t the place to sac­ri­fice func­tion­al­ity in the name of weight sav­ings, but there’s no per­for­mance com­pro­mise due to the Mi­cro’s svelte de­sign. Sized more like a smart­phone than a stan­dard bea­con, it’s small enough (4.3 by 2.3 by .9 inches) that our testers could op­er­ate it one-handed and slide it eas­ily into their chest pock­ets. It still features three an­ten­nae (the max­i­mum num­ber in con­sumer trans­ceivers), but sim­plic­ity re­duces bulk: This bea­con runs on a sin­gle AA bat­tery, and has only an on/off switch and a but­ton for flag­ging mul­ti­ple buri­als. The Mi­cro au­to­mat­i­cally stays in trans­mit mode; it switches to search mode when mov­ing in day­light (the bea­con has a light sen­sor), the con­di­tions it would be in if you pulled it out of your pocket to sur­vey the area. The Mi­cro tran­si­tioned to search mode with­out is­sue in our con­trolled test, but it still re­quires a leap of faith to trust it com­pletely.

TRAIL CRED “I liked us­ing the Mi­cro for skimo races and other weight-sen­si­tive ob­jec­tives,” says one Aspen-based tester. “The skele­ton-style har­ness is also much lighter and less cum­ber­some than a typ­i­cal pouch.” $390; 5.2 oz.; pieps.com

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