Sturdy probe with quick lock. The Mammut 320 Fast…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $50 CAN (on sale)
Sturdy probe with quick lock.
- Quick locking
- No pinch points
- Fast deploy
- Lid on pouch
The Mammut 320 Fast Lock avalanche probe feels very strong (13mm diameter) and is operable with gloves. The measurements on the side are easy to read. I haven't had a chance to use it in the field yet, but so far I like it more than the older Black Diamond Quickdraw that I used last winter as there are no pinch points. (Although it looks like the new BD's have a similar style to this Mammut)
My first concern was hoping the locking mechanism and cable hold up. The inner cable appears to be made of a very strong cord (not metal) and so far it's working well and the segments stay together tightly. I guess time will tell.
Deploying the probe is fast and easy. Throw the segments out, pull back on the handle till all of the segments are together and snug. Clip the handle to the probe and you're ready to go.
Breaking the probe down is only slightly harder. After playing around with different ways of breaking it down I've found the best way is to attach the handle underneath the locking mechanism at the top of the probe, then pull the silver locking mechanism forward and slide the top segment of the probe up the cable till the cable is snug between the clipped handle and the locking mechanism.
At this point you can break down the rest of the probe segments without any issues. If you do it this way, you'll have a perfect mix of cable at each end of the probe segments when folding it up (no directions are included, so this was all trial and error).
One thing I'm not liking is the pouch the probe comes in. While the pouch has some nice safety tips and reminders on it, the "lid" just awkwardly folds over. When removing the probe, it can snag if the lid is not completely folded out of the way. Not good when you're in a rush to get your probe deployed. I wish it had a velcro or snap closer instead. I may replace it with rubber band or velcro strap in the future, but for now I'll keep it. At least it has enough room to store my BCA snow pit ruler along with the probe.