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