The Neo is a new avalanche transceiver from Arva that is designed to be both intuitive, and performance driven. The Neo has an exceptional range and breadth of features, paired with a user-friendly interface and price point.
One of the Neo’s unique features is its use of IosTech Technology. This is a proprietary innovation from Arva that lengthens the Neo’s search bandwidth. While all modern transceiver’s have three antennas, two of them are used when put into “search” or receive mode. However the second antenna’s performance is less than that of the first (primary) antenna’s, limiting the search bandwidth. IsoTech Technology equalizes the power delivered to both antennas, allowing for a longer search band.
Front and back close ups.
Inserting the red toggle into the “ignition” and twisting counter-clockwise turns the transceiver on. Switching from “Send” to “Search” is achieved by sliding the grey area on the transceiver up, until a pronounced click is heard. A timer will revert the transceiver back to “Send” after a customizable period of time (two, four or eight minutes). Before it switches back to send mode the Neo emits a loud beep and the rescuer can simply press the flagging button to keep searching. A backlit LED screen screen makes rescues in dim light much easier.
The large slider switched from transmit to search (and back again) relativley easy.
The 'always on' on/off switch ensures you cannot wear the Arvo Evo Transceiver with out it being switched on.
The Neo’s harness is simple and unencumbered with unnecessary bells and whistles. The straps, one around the waist and one over the shoulder, are red and black respectively so there is no wrestling with tangled straps and cords. A small bungee that attaches the transceiver to the harness means that transceiver cannot travel far should it be dropped while still allowing you to get the Arva Neo close to the snow where it belongs during searches.
Below you can see the harness and how it sits on your body as well as when it's not.
At $360 CAD, the Neo is priced similarly to mid-level offerings from companies such as Mammut, BCA, Peips and Ortovox. With the features and performance the Neo offers, this is a very good value. Even the most expensive offerings from the above companies would be hard-pressed to compete with the Neo’s search bandwidth, and the user-friendliness which makes this an excellent transceiver for all but the demanding professional.
- 100% digital display
- Digital technology
- Bright screen technology
- Marking function for multiple burial situations
- Multiple victims icon – 1, 2, 3 and 4 + victims
- Automatic switch back to transmit mode with timer
- Functions – primary search, secondary search, final search, victim list
- U-turn alarm
- 5 Year Warranty
User-friendliness is the Neo’s strong suit. Without reading any instructions turning the transceiver on, toggling between Send and Search, and using the flagging feature were very straightforward and intuitive. The Neo has all the features the average backcountry user requires – and nothing more. There are no unnecessary bells and whistles or quirky features that inhibit the fast and efficient use of the product.
On the performance side, the transceiver is equally strong. Search range is excellent, and comparable to high-end offerings from other leading brands. The range lived up Arva’s claim of 60 metres, and handled multiple burials with ease.
In a multiple burial situation, the number of burials is represented by small icons along the left-hand side of the screen, from 1-4+. When a buried transceiver is flagged, a flag icon appears and the arrow will begin pointing to the next strongest signal. These icons are very useful to help the rescuer keep track of multiple transceivers and makes for a more efficient search and rescue.
On the ergonomics side, the transceiver does feel slightly large. It is easy to grasp and wield, but presents a sizeable bump when strapped to the torso under a jacket or two. This being said, the Arva is not that much larger than other popular transceivers. The display was bright, easy to read and all the icons were easily readable and recognizable.
For an in-depth look at other transceiver reviews check out our safety review page here. You will find reviews of the Mammut Element Barryvox transcevier, the Ortovox Zoom+ and 3+ transceivers, the BCA Tracker 2 transceiver, the Pieps DSP transceiver and the Arva Evo 3 transceiver.
The back lit display is easy to view in low light and you can see that a single signal has been found .4 metres away.
Maximum range: 70 meters
Search band width: 60 meters
Frequency: 457 kHz (international standard)
Battery life: 250 Hrs. (Transmitting) / 40 Hrs. (Receiving)
Batteries: 3 AAA / LR03 alkaline batteries
Weight: 230 grams / 8.1oz
- Large LED backlit display is easy to read
- Easy to use and intuitive flagging feature and
- Easy to tell if it is transmitting or receiving
- Different coloured harness straps (red – around the waist, black – over the shoulder) makes getting the harness on much easier
- Snow can get stuck behind the grey search/send slider and prevent it from returning to the transmit function
- Grey slider can be hard to move up with gloves on
- Putting on the harness requires turning the beacon on. This means wasting battery when putting it on potentially a couple of hours before departing into the backcountry
- No flashing light on the outside edge to quickly tell the user that the Arva Neo is functioning properly with a quick single glance
Ease of Use 1.5/2
Quality / Price 1.5/2
This is only our opinion. Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Join the discussion in the forums here, and let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation.