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By Hiker Bill on July 17, 2014
I could have used this a couple years ago
when I was the subject of a major rescue in the north woods of Maine. To make a long story short, fell in a boulder field, head trauma, could not ambulate, barely conscious. Accompanying hikers had no first aid skills, cell phones did not work. My companions waited for a couple of hours, not knowing what to do, as I degraded into hypothermia. We were deep in a ravine, 2 miles from the nearest forest road and 10 miles from the there to the closest town.
They finally got through using a cell phone after two hours. The net-net was that it took 10 hours from the time of the accident until the time I arrived at the hospital. It was near-death experience and the rescuers knew it. But the land was so rugged it took hours to litter me out; a helicopter could not get in. Also, don't forget, it might not be you who needs rescuing - you may need to call on behalf of someone you encounter. Picked ACR due their longevity in the beacon business.
By Tao89 on July 7, 2014
I've been carrying the last model of the ACR PLB for about two years now. I do a great deal of solo hiking, backpacking, Mt Biking & road biking in remote areas. Having an PLB with me can give me a chance to get out if I can't do it on my own. I purchased the ResQLink for longer treks and will continue to carry my older PLB on shorter trips. I am giving the unit 5 stars for the size & weight. I won't know for sure till I have an emergency and have to deploy it. From all my research, ACR builds an PLB that will be there when I need it.
By SAROCNZ on March 3, 2014
Having coordinated the rescues of other people who have activated their emergency distress beacons, I thought it was about time (actually more overdue) that I got my own to provide that piece of mind to the family when I go bush. As a Geocacher I head out into the NZ bush and countryside, generally solo, where cellphone reception is pretty non-existent on walks seeking out new places and the odd cache, or two. So far I have been fortunate in that nothing untoward has happened, put who knows what may happen in the future (to me or someone else).
I reviewed a number of different beacons and settled on the ResQLink PLB as the one for me, personal choice. Light, small, powerful and I know they work! Anywhere around the world. I hope I never have to activate the PLB, but I know that if I do, assistance and rescuers will be on their way as soon as they can. This is my reassurance.
By CDRPedro on January 15, 2014
I am a retired US Coast Guard rescue pilot with over 30 years aviation experience (Alaska - Pacific Northwest) and currently flying HEMS in the Rocky Mountains. Knowing the vital importance of a 406mhz beacon in a rescue situation ResQLink provides optimum alert and rescue resource dispatch in an emergency. Its small size and unmatched capability gives the indidvidual the best chance of rescue regardless of clime, place or physical capacity. Well done!
By Longhorns2112 on November 26, 2013
Like so many others, I purchased this to help give my family peace of mind when I'm in the backcountry solo. Decided to replace my 1st gen Spot after reading multiple reviews and word of mouth testimonials.
By Phatt on October 14, 2013
I have purchased the plb so that my clients have 100% piece of mind that when we are out touring they are safe and accessible for rescue.
By ColoradoPilot from Denver via BassPro.com on January 29, 2013
Advantages: Style/Design, Value for money
I fly single engine airplanes in and around the Colorado Rockies. I went looking for an affordable PLB that I hope I never have to use. I did a fair amount of research and chose the ResQLink because of the price point, ease of use, compact size, and battery life. It goes with me on every flight, as well as every backcountry hike. The way I see it, it's a convenient and affordable emergency backup plan.
What is your gender? Female
How frequently do you spend time doing outdoor activities? Often
Would you recommend this product as a gift? Yes
By Otter92264 from Palm Springs via BassPro.com on January 29, 2013
Advantages: Features, Quality, small size, government managed radio system.
Disadvantages: battery replacement spendy.
These beacons are a long time coming to the general outdoorsman. This ACR Beacon's small size and ruggedness means you will carry it with you. You can not use it if you don't carry it with you and this one is easy to carry. I like that there is no maintenance fee if you use it only for emergencies. I often ride my dual-sport motorcycle in remote locations in the Mojave Desert and sometimes alone. There is often no mobile phone service. If I break down, I may be able to walk out, but if I fall and break a leg, I have created a potential disaster.
This device gives me and others who are concerned with me piece of mind. The system is managed by the US Government is also a plus as are the required biennial updates. Identifying the user and the individuality of each signal along with your entered personal information means you will get the right people notified and quick emergency response will occur. True remote search and rescue often involves aircraft and the secondary 121.5 mHz is a big plus for responding aircraft. I also take this unit with me whenever I boat or Jet Ski. I try to carry this unit on my person, not in a glove compartment or other place of storage. A belt or life vest mounted mini camera case or mobile phone case works great. As the years pass, these devices should become a common carry item for anyone who ventures into remote locations."
What is your gender? Male
How frequently do you spend time doing outdoor activities? Often
Would you recommend this product as a gift? Yes
By sco3656860 via Backcountry.com on January 29, 2013
Just got my Resqlink from Backcountry.com and wow is it small and light. So much lighter and smaller than both my SPOT (1st version) and especially my ACR AQUAFIX (2006 model). Bought the Resqlink because it was cheaper than replacing the 6 year old battery in the Aquafix. Now I will carry the PLB with me on all adventures. Used to leave the Aquafix at home because it was too big and heavy to lug around. It is even smaller than my Spot which wouldn't be as effective in a real emergency anways. And no subscription fees also. Win win win.
By BzBrian via Backcountry.com on January 29, 2013
It's hard to give a review on a PLB without actually having used it. But from the perspective of design, this thing is great. It's small and simple; great to carry and simple to use--very important. Instructions on how to use the PLB is also printed onto the beacon in case you're panicking.
I would recommend you buying this just for the peace of mind of yourself and your family back home
By Hiker via Amazon.com on January 29, 2013
Everything I expected to find. Very compact and light. Easy to use if I need that extra security. I recommend ACR to all adventurous people.
By M.Bennett from Weatherford, Tx via Amazon.com on January 29, 2013
I bought this for my husband who is a private pilot. The locating beacon is, in my opinion, a necessary piece of equipment for anyone who flies a plane. I feel better knowing he has this when flies long distances.
By LSNM via Amazon.com on January 29, 2013
I purchased this PLB for my father. He likes to go hiking, biking, and kayaking by himself. Most of the time, there are people around, but there are times when he's by himself. As we know, cell service is very spotty in the mountains and some lakes.
The last time I went hiking with him, my mom tried to call and the cell service was very spotty. Let's just say we couldn't communicate with her (Or anyone). That made me start to think that I (And my mom) would feel much safer with a PLB on him. We don't need the 406link service. It's very easy to tell if the self-tests have passed/failed.
I feel much better that he carries it with him. My mom and myself breath easier when he goes out by himself.
By Flyswadder on January 24, 2013
How do you rate something that, hopefully, one never would HAVE to use? The concept is wonderful. If I truly need it, it will be awesome at that time (if I have life left to use it). If I never need it, than all is for naught. I'm a 56 year old solo hunter, both bow and gun. I use tree stands, blinds and camo in the open. Falls, heart attacks, strokes...in the field are my concerns. If I get shot, well that's somebody else's concern. I also carry a cell phone and GPS that would probably get pulled first unless I feel I'm losing consciousness, in that case the PLB will be shouting at the stars faster than a whitetail can scamper from my scent. If you are on my rescue team, thank you in advance.
By Paul on March 30, 2012
I love this unit except for 1 thing. 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..it sticks out and could get caught on something and pulled off or water could make it come loose...there should be some kind of little plastic pouch on the back to hold this tag on securely.
By JR on March 6, 2012
ACR RESQLINK 406Mhz GPS PLB
I was recently stranded while on a hiking trip in the San Bernardino National Forest, I had to activate my PLB and a Sheriff's Department helicopter was on location within the hour. As an experienced hiker, Law Enforcement official and Search & Rescue Team Member I would recomend this to anyone who likes to hike or camp.
By Canadian purchaser on February 1, 2012
Beware the hidden charge!
A Canadian purchaser will need to register the PLB with the Canadian government. A fact only slightly alluded to on the ACR website is that a PLB purchased from the States cannot be registered without the unit being reprogrammed to have a Canadian identification number (UIN). In my case, living in Toronto, I must take the PLB to the closest battery-replacement centre which is in Hamilton Ontario, for reprogramming. This is an $80 job. ACR is not making this fact as well known as it might.
By K7QQQ / WQLT227 on January 31, 2012
Liked: small size, ease of use, functionality.
Disliked: no carry case or clip-on-belt feature.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Now that I'm starting to take my 6 year old son on hikes and scout events, I wanted to have a Personal Locator Beacon in addition to my 2-way mobile radio. Cell phones don't cut it ;-)
The unit is easy to test and easy to operate in case of a real emergency. Having access to the proper test equipment as a FCC licensed as a GMDSS maintainer, 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.
One would think that a $280 unit would come with a carry-case or with some means (other than a lanyard) to "clip/hold" the unit to it's owner. It does not. However, I picked up a $5.00 cell phone case from Wallgreens Pharmacy. Problem solved.
It was easy to register the unit at the NOAA web site - www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov/
J. Dan Connell
By buelah roamer on January 30, 2012
I am new at the review game. I have been looking at locator for awhile. Since turning 50 plus yrs old & falling this year at work, where no one knew my location. I thought, with alot of urging from my wife, to get a locator. I looked at the spot, but went with the ACR, I like it's size. It will fit into my pocket & weight is nothing.Also no yearly subscription. I spend much time hunting far from my vehicle & cell phones are not always usable. I only went with 4 stars, because I have not used it & really do not want to. But I have it if the need arises. If I ever use it then the stars for rating will change, hopefully up. Besides if the USCG ordered them, they have to be good. Happy Hunting
By Happy Heli Pilot on January 24, 2012
I wish all our Search & Rescue victims would've had one of these...
What a fantastic product! I'm a Commercial helicopter pilot and former Search & Rescue Member, and I my ResQLink goes in the chest pocket of my flight suit...every flight, including when I'm on a jetliner. It fits a couple of my personal preparedness rules: 1- If it's not on your PERSON, don't plan on having it; & 2- It has to be simple to operate with one hand, in case of injury, etc. This thing is so light & user-friendly. Take the 10 minutes to read the complete online manual so you understand monthly testing and the light signals when activated.
I can think of many Search & Rescue missions looking for lost or injured hikers, horseback riders, snowmobilers/ATV'ers, 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!
By Larry on January 12, 2012
The Quick Start Guide that comes with the unit does a poor job of explaining the test procedures. I wasted a lot of time and valuable battery life attempting to test the PLB. The downloadable instuction manual should be included with the unit.
By ridge513 on January 3, 2012
I spent quite a bit of time looking at what was on the market and chose the ResQlink after discarding any thought of purchasing the much cheaper SPOT. The ResQlink is tiny and light.
I'm going to do some speculating here as I was trying to determine the difference between the ResQlink and the SARLink: my best guess is it is the exact same electronics, but the SARlink has a more substanial battery that allows for more and different kinds of testing.
That being said, I'm very happy with the ResQlink. Hopefully, I will never activate it, but it will be regular part of my hiking, backpacking and skiing gear.
If I have one tiny critique its that I'd love to have ACR print the 15-character UIN code with dashes between every 4 characters at it is easy to make a mistake when registering with NOAA.
The on-line NOAA registration is very easy, by the way. And I received an e-mail confirmation instantly.
By Patrick J. Finley via Amazon.com on December 6, 2011
I think it's important to site the differences between this unit and a competitor "Spot" which lets you send nifty "I'm OK" messages. Spot is not a SAR 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon. It is a GPS communicator. The Spot Communicator has been fraught with problems where tracking and personal messages have not been successfully sent. Out of 91 users on REI's website 34 have complained that they have been unable to send messages. This works out to roughly 30% chance that your message didn't make it out. The statistics are even worse for the Spot Smartphone unit. Are these the kind of odds you want in a real emergency?
What I really want is a "Help, come get me" message that will work in the event that I am in an emergency. If I'm in trouble I want my message heard, and for that I'm going to rely on a SAR 406 Mhz beacon! This thing is lightweight and small, and it lets you test it once or twice a year to confirm that it's working. That's what the 12 messages are for, not for idle chit-chat with loved ones.
Yes, it's pricier than the competition at first glance, but there are no yearly subscription fees with this. You buy it once and it's good for years. With the spot you have to pay subscription fees at or over $100 a year. In the long run this ACR is much cheaper.
If texting with loved ones is what you want, buy the Spot. Just make sure you bring this ACR unit in the event of an emergency!
By Photo Guy 27 from Lander, WY via REI.com on December 6, 2011
but I'm confident it will do the job if necessary.
I was extremely impressed that the manufacture date of the PLB (and initiation date for the five-year battery) was in September 2011 and I received it in October 2011. It's small, it's light, and you could deploy it with one hand if you had to. Very nice.
A more complete printed manual would have been better, as the included instruction sheet is incomplete. A much more detailed manual is available at the ACR website though, so still 5 stars.
By JoeJulie from San Diego via REI.com on December 6, 2011
I am a happy owner and I hope I never have to use it.
This little PLB is really small and light. It is waterproof and rugged. The antenna is easy to deploy and turn on the PLB. Using the 406Link.com service allows you to send an OK message to friends and family. As a SPOT owner, I feel that this PLB is more reliable and faster to acquire and send a message. Best of all I no longer have to deal with SPOT's horrible customer service and high prices.
I am a happy owner and I hope I never have to use it.
By Synergy via WestMarine.com on October 10, 2011
I have yet to use this PLB, and I hope never to have to use it. It is compact and appears east to engage. The only concern is that the instructions indicates that upon test the lights will following a certain pattern, it does not. The instructions could be clearer.
By Cary on September 22, 2011
I bought my ResQLink at Airventure 2011. I did the free "I'm OK" test, and then signed up for 406Link. Just 2 weeks ago, I was at Marble, CO for the annual Colorado Pilots fly-in/camp out and sent my first "real" "I'm OK" message home--actually twice, because I couldn't see the flashing light in the sun (my only complaint--could be brighter). I appreciate being able to send the message & my SO appreciated getting it, and as well as that worked, if I ever need to use the PLB for real, I know it'll work. Good product!
By Dimitrios from Houston via Amazon.com on August 26, 2011
Perfectly meets hikers' requirements
ACR did a great job delivering a personal locator beacon that perfectly meets hikers' requirements. It is a full fledged PLB (unlike spot), with GPS functionality , extremely compact and light (lighter than my phone), waterproof and looks very ruggedly built. I just got it, so I can't attest to its performance or reliability, but the fact that it complies with government standards gives me a peace of mind.
Also, it is not a well not known fact but you can actually use a 406MHz PLB to send test messages to cell phones. For a nominal fee 406link.com allows you to utilize the device's test function to send out ok messages with or without your GPS location. Only downside is that its battery, which is non rechargeable or field-serviceable allows for a limited number of tests. Exceeding this number cuts into the 24hours of continuous operation, the device is required to meet in case of emergency. Replacing the battery is $100-150 which makes extensive use of the feature rather expensive. Still, I intend to use it to notify my wife when I am fine but running late getting out of the wilderness an to an area with cell phone coverage.
By schifferi via trailspace.com on August 16, 2011
As a pilot and sailor I've used EPIRBs for many, many years. Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) were introduced into the United States not too long ago and I immediately purchased an ACR Sarlink. Now ACR has introduced the ResQLink PLB and this is a backpacker's dream. It's about the size of a flip model cell phone at 1.3" x 1.9" x 3.9" and it weighs a scant 4.6 ounces.
Due to space limitations let me just say that the beacon transmits to high and low satellites whose sole purpose is search and rescue. It also transmits continually on 121.5 to act as a homing beacon for rescuers. 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.
When you open the box the first thing your are required to do is register your beacon with NOAA. Its a simple, easy process than can be completed online in about ten minutes or less and it is at no cost to you. This registration must be renewed every two years.
ACR has recently added its 406link.com service which allows you to test and confirm your beacon via cell phone and email up to 420 times over the five year life of the battery. This costs $39.95 per year. For $59.95 per year you can have your tests transmitted to as many as five recipients and add a precanned message such as "I'm OK, on course." Great for that person back home monitoring your "hiking plan." Both plans are completely optional - if you push the button, rescue is still coming whether or not you are a subscriber.
So, bottom line. A PLB is your last best chance. Do you want to trust your life to a "messenger" that transmits at 400 miliwatts or a PLB that transmits at 5 watts?
My experience with this PLB is a bit limited but I did just send and receive a signal from inside my garage! I've never, not once, had a transmitted signal not go through using ACR PLB's. I never go on any hike without my PLB (it's my 11th essential!) and that just got easier with this new lightweight, compact model!
By Curveman on August 15, 2011
Just received my PLB-375 and while of course I hope I never have to use it, it is easily engaged with just one hand. (I make this a requirement for all my survival whenever possible)! Despite reading the specs, I was still somehow surprised by how compact and light it is! MY iPhone takes up more weight and space. Great purchase!