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McMurdo Fast Find 210

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: McMurdo Fast Find 210 locator beacon

Being difficult to rate something I've never actually had to use, an excellent product for one that needs a long term insurance product that doesn't incur monthly billing.


  • No recurring bills
  • Uses NOAA SAR technology
  • 5 year battery life


  • Does not float
  • Expensive
  • Must be sent back to have batteries replaced (5 years)

I have been in the market for a PLB for a VERY long time. Many companies (SPOT, DeLorme) have a recurring monthly bill for their services. I wasn't interested in a product that will cost THOUSANDS over the years, but needed something in case of the worst-case-scenario ever happened. I have been backpacking for 30 years, and decided to stop gambling. 

The local REI has upgraded to the FastFind 220, which put this on clearance for $150, now we're cooking. Prior to this purchase, I was also looking at an ACR product (also good), but most decent PLB's are $250 minimum. The battery has a 5 year lifespan, and then must be sent back to the manufacturer for replacement (about $100). There is no cost for registering the product with McMurdo, or the NOAA, which is a big plus. 

This PLB is very basic to use, which is also great. Although made of plastic, it appears like it could be dropped without breaking. It doesn't float, but this is not a negative to me. I wanted something for backpacking, not for nautical purposes. One may argue, but I keep it in my 1st Aid Kit, which A: will float, and B: is waterproof.

The unit has several test features, so one be sure of sufficient battery life, overall function, etc. Another plus with the product is that if the distress signal is received without a GPS coordinate, the NOAA has emergency contacts so your approximate location can be acquired via a second source. 

I personally believe that a basic PLB should be cheap, and available for everybody, but I guess 'It is what it is'.



Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150

I'm a graduate research assistant in civil and environmental engineering. After extensive research I feel that this beacon offers the best features for the cost and is very lightweight and I dont mind carrying it wherever I go.


  • Lightweight
  • Reliable
  • Has a GPS


  • Cannot replace battery
  • Does not float

I have had this beacon for several months now and I have not had to use it, thankfully. But I have no doubts about this beacon reaching rescuers anywhere I'm at on the globe.

This beacon can easily fit into a pocket and you can test the battery to make sure the charge is good before you head out. I use this beacon when I'm hiking, backpacking and rock climbing. Registering this unit with NOAA was very easy and simple.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $249.99

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Price Historic Range: $211.65-$299.00
Reviewers Paid: $150.00-$249.99
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