Rating: 5 / 5
The Fast Find 210 Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is a 406 MHz emergency beacon with GPS for summoning emergency help from remote locations. At only 5.4 oz (weight verified) and a street price below $300 its not bad insurance for those who hike to remote areas alone.
The beacon uses a worldwide 406 MHz signal that is monitored by NOAA satellites 24/7. This model also has a local homing beacon for rescue crews to find you as well as a 50 channel GPS receiver which automatically sends your precise GPS location to search and rescue authorities.
In a real emergency, you activate the beacon by pulling off the top to expose the ribbon antenna and pressing the "on" button. It can be done with one hand. The unit will then transmit your location to NOAA via satellite for at least 24 hours.
It has a lithium battery good for 5 years. You must register the unit with the NOAA web site and provide two emergency contacts as well as your own contact information so they can reach someone in a true emergency. You must re-register every two years. If outside the US, you must register with the local authorities in that country.
A nice feature is that it is free to register with NOAA and there are no subscription fees for a 406 MHz beacon. Also the 406 MHz beacon and 50 channel GPS are much more jam resistant in remote areas than many alternatives.
The size/weight of the model is a much smaller than most early 406 MHz PLBs, especially for a model with a high precision GPS receiver built in. It is actually smaller than my Garmin eTrex GPS.
For those like me who often hike remote areas alone, the extra peace of mind for the family at home is worth the price and small extra weight.