3 Best Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)

best personal locator beacons


Are you looking for the best personal locator beacons on the market? Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are an essential safety tool for hikers, campers, and adventurers. In the event of an emergency, a PLB can be a lifesaver, sending a distress signal that can lead rescue teams to your location. With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to choose the right one. In this article, we’ll take a look at the key features to consider when choosing a PLB and recommend some of the best options available on the market.

Key Features to Consider

Activation Method
There are two types of activation methods for PLBs: manual and automatic. Manual activation requires the user to physically turn on the device and press a distress button, while automatic activation involves the device activating itself in the event of an emergency, such as when submerged in water. Both types have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to consider which type of activation method is best for your needs.

Battery Life
The battery life of a PLB is a crucial factor to consider. You need a device that can last long enough to get you through your trip, and it’s crucial to know how to extend its battery life in the event of an emergency. Most PLBs have a battery life of at least 24 hours, but some can last up to five days.

Durability is also an important factor to consider when choosing a PLB. You want a device that can withstand the elements, including water, dust, and extreme temperatures. The device should also be impact-resistant, in case of a fall.

GPS Accuracy
GPS accuracy is crucial when it comes to PLBs. You need a device that can accurately pinpoint your location, even in remote areas. It’s essential to choose a device with a high GPS accuracy, as even small discrepancies can make a big difference in a search and rescue operation.

Weight and Size
The size and weight of a PLB can also be a crucial factor to consider. You want a device that is small and lightweight enough to carry around with you, but also durable and reliable enough to work when you need it.

Best Personal Locator Beacons on the Market

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ACR ResQLink View PLB
The ACR ResQLink View PLB is a top-of-the-line device that offers a range of advanced features. It has high GPS accuracy and a long battery life of up to 30 hours. The device also features a digital display that shows important information, such as GPS coordinates and battery life. It’s durable and waterproof, making it an excellent choice for outdoor adventures.

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Garmin inReach Mini
The Garmin inReach Mini is a small and lightweight device that is packed with features. It offers two-way messaging, GPS tracking, and an interactive SOS feature that lets you communicate with rescue teams. The device has a battery life of up to 50 hours, making it ideal for longer trips.

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McMurdo FastFind 220 PLB
The McMurdo FastFind 220 PLB is a reliable and affordable option for those on a budget. It has a battery life of up to 48 hours and is waterproof and impact-resistant. The device also features a GPS accuracy of within 62 meters, making it an excellent choice for emergency situations.


Q: How much does a personal locator beacon cost? A: The cost varies based on features and brands. On average, you can expect to invest between $200 and $600.

Q: Can I use a PLB internationally? A: Yes, most PLBs are designed to work globally, but it’s important to check if they are compatible with satellite systems in the region you plan to visit.

Q: Do I need a subscription for my PLB to work? A: Some PLBs require a subscription for satellite communication services. Be sure to understand the terms before purchasing.

Q: How often should I test my PLB? A: It’s recommended to test your PLB at least once a year to ensure it’s functioning correctly and that your registration is up to date.

Q: Can I use a PLB for non-emergency purposes? A: While PLBs are primarily for emergencies, some models offer additional messaging features that can be used for non-emergency communication.

Q: Are personal locator beacons waterproof? A: Many PLBs are designed to be waterproof or water-resistant to withstand outdoor conditions, including accidental submersion.


When you’re out exploring the wild, having the best personal locator beacon at your side can provide peace of mind like nothing else. These devices are your lifeline in times of need, ensuring that help is always within reach. From GPS accuracy to durable construction, the features they offer can make all the difference in your safety. Remember to choose a PLB that suits your adventure style, keep it well-maintained, and always be prepared for the unexpected. With the right PLB by your side, you can confidently embark on thrilling journeys, knowing that your safety is a priority.

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