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This question was already asked about personal locator beacons (PLB, Wikipedia page which is a great comprehensive article.) However it does not cover how to choose a PLB or the differences between the cheapest and most expensive models. When I am browsing the models on the net they all look the same, but prices start at $200 and goes as high as $500.

  1. What are the criteria that should be taken in consideration ? (weight, supported temperatures, pressure, frequency used, etc..)
  2. Is buying the most expensive a better deal on the long run ?
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Your listed options are good, and I think best isn't always most expensive, but it often is; one should factor price into utility, not the other way around. However, the one thing you left out is network coverage. Not all PLB networks cover the entire planet. Not all of them have satellites hanging at just the right places for your beacon to get a signal out from a deep valley surrounded by some tall mountains, and so on... This becomes a per-use issue that you should consider on a case by case basis as you head out into the bush. – Nisan.H Jan 5 '13 at 0:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think your criteria are all good, in that you should choose one that is suitable for the environments you will be adventuring in, but price is almost irrelevant, and unless you are hiking really long distances weight wouldn't worry me.

For me, critical features would include:

  • battery life
  • signal range and coverage
  • water resistance
  • temperature resistance
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