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BCA Tracker S Avalanche Transceiver Review

BCA Tracker S

Summary: The Tracker S is identical to the Tracker3 with the following exceptions:

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  • The retail price of the Tracker S is $299.95 whereas the retail price of the Tracker3 is $349.95.
  • The distance digits that are displayed on the Tracker S's screen are approximately 25% smaller than the Tracker3.
  • The Tracker3 has a motion sensor that prevents it from reverting to transmit if it senses motion. The Tracker S reverts to transmit after five minutes regardless of motion. Note that auto-reverting is not enabled on Tracker transceivers by default. To enable auto-reverting:
    1. Turn off the transceiver.
    2. Press and hold the Options button.
    3. Turn on the transceiver.
    4. Release the Options button when "Ar" is displayed.
  • The Tracker3 has a micro USB port that allows you to update its firmware. The Tracker S is not updatable.
  • The Tracker S housing is a few millimeters deeper.
  • The "Options" button on the Tracker S is blue. The button is black on the Tracker3.


As with the Tracker3 and Tracker4, the scan (aka " big picture") mode is excellent, the indication of a close proximity multiple-burial is nice, and the signal suppression seems very functional (albeit limited). And although the two-digit display, the shorter reception range, displaying two people when there are multiple transmitters rather than displaying the number of transceivers, and the small on/transmit/search dial are less than ideal, the Tracker S remains a contender.

The lower-priced "S" model targets price-sensitive purchasers. The savings of only $35 (at the time of this writing) for a transceiver that you can't update, has a smaller display, and lacks a motion sensor probably isn't a bargain. If you are considering both the Tracker S and the Tracker3, I'd lean toward the Tracker3. And I would seriously consider the Tracker4 which has more glove-friendly controls.

Model:  Tracker S
Manufacturer:  BCA
Retail Price:  $299.95
Type:  Digital
Antennas:  3
Marking:  Yes (1 for 1 minute)
Updatable:  No
Owner's Manual:  Read It

Pros: Small. Inexpensive. Great scan mode.

Cons: Not updatable, smaller two-digit display, no motion sensor, shorter perpendicular reception range, can mark only one transmitter and only for one minute.