Small, rugged, lightweight. Designed specifically for emergency use. Worldwide coverage, easy to operate & reliable.Cons
Think about how to carry and protect this product whilst out in the wilderness. Canadians will have to register separately which may cost.Verdict
Indispensable. Highly recommended. You're saving not only yourself but your family's anxieties and search and rescue time/money.
REVIEW: ACR PLB-375 ResQLink (GPS, Locating Beacon)
Amen to that.
Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are distress radio beacons which transmit your location information directly to Search and Rescue forces. They are intended for use when all other means of self-rescue have been exhausted and you are at grave risk of loss of life, limb or eyesight. The ResQLink quickly and accurately relays your position (with 100 meters or less) to a worldwide network of search and rescue satellites.
The technology has been proven in some of the most remote locations in the world - in fact 400 pilots, boaters and back country explorers were saved by a PLB during a rigorous test program in Alaska.
The ACR ResQLink is the world's smallest GPS-Integrated PLB. Miniature design (smaller than your cell phone); this product floats, has a built in GPS and LED strobe and includes a 406MHz satellite signal and 121 MHz homing beacon.
These specs are important, because 406 MHz beacons can be used anywhere in the world, unlike some alternative PLBs.
You simply have to register your PLB (free), and 'should you ever have to activate your beacon, rescue is free in most parts of the world.'
The ResQLink costs $271.44. 'Small and mighty,' say the manufacturers.
It is designed for anglers, pilots, boaters and back country sportsmen. This PLB operates even in extreme conditions and situations - just deploy the antenna and press the ON button.
The product comes with two built-in tests so you can verify functionality and the battery is certified for six years.
Clearly of interest to people who routinely travel off the beaten track - lets see what the users have to say about this PLB.
'After doing my own research,' said one back country explorer, 'the ACR ResQLink+ is the only type of personal locator beacon I would depend my life on for activities in the wilderness!'
And reliability is a key persuader here.
'I would not rely on the other brands of "locator beacons" that don't use the standardized 406 MHz Signal,' said another.
And it's clear that this is for emergency use only - not for 'killing your battery sending "text messages".'
And the professionals love it.
'What a fantastic product!,' said a commercial helicopter pilot and former search & rescue member. 'This thing is so light & user-friendly. I can think of many search & rescue missions... some of them lasting for days, where if they'd had one of these it would have been over in a couple of hours with a nice helicopter ride home for them. Instead, the results were sometimes tragic. Better to have it and never need it than the other way around!'
Features people like are that the ReQLink is simple to operate with one hand (in case of injury, for example); its size and rugged construction;that it's easy and free to register, easy to test and it works!
'As a pilot and sailor I've used EPIRBs [an early form of electronic locator beacon] for many, many years,' said one customer. 'The beacon [on the ResQLink PLB] transmits to high and low satellites whose sole purpose is search and rescue. It transmits at 5 watts of power and blasts through trees, storms, etc. The rescuers then know who you are, where your are, and that you are in trouble.'
You can also, for a fee, activate a separate service which allows you to test your beacon via a cell phone and email up to 420 times over five years - so you can send those 'I'm OK' messages back home without affecting the emergency service.
And everyone is confident that this product will work in an emergency.
'Having access to the proper test equipment as a licensed GMDSS maintainer,' said one buyer. 'I was able to verify that the unit sent out the proper signals and power on 406 Mhz as well as the audio beacon on 121.5 MHz. I have no doubt that it will operate, should the need arise.'
There were only a couple of small niggles with this product. 'The plastic tag on the back that contains the serial number, operating instructions, battery exp. date, etc. seems like it could come off the unit and get lost easily,' said one. And a couple of buyers mentioned the lack of a case (although you can buy something suitable easily and cheaply).
Also Canadians should be aware that they have to register their PLB with the Canadian Government, which may mean additional costs.
But for anyone venturing out there where 'cell phones don't cut it' should consider one of these units. If the worst does happen then you'll be found easily and rescued promptly.
Seriously - what is not to like?
Here's the best place to shop for ACR Personal Locator Beacon 375 ResQLink
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