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Best Snow Probes 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated December 1, 2018
Best Snow Probes of 2018
Check them out and decide which one suits you the best to splurge upon. Many brands have introduced snow probes on the market. These brands have resulted in a variety for the user. These require that the consumers be well aware of what they are buying so as to make the best choice.
I browse the various snow probes available on the market and list three of the very best. Many models on the market may be confusing to a person who is shopping for their first time.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this snow probes win the first place?
I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
Why did this snow probes come in second place?
The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
Why did this snow probes take third place?
The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
Snow Probes Buyer’s Guide
Your pack should cater to your specific needs, which might change depending on different trips. However, there are a few key features that are handy to have for a range of trips. For instance, exterior loops to carry an ice axe, a helmet carry system to keep the helmet secure when not in use, and quick-access storage for goggles. Plus you may find it useful having additional attachment points for extra gear as required. Think about what carry requirements you really need your pack to handle, and choose accordingly.
When it comes to a reliable, easy-to-use slow cooker, we’d invest in the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. We first picked the Set & Forget in 2013, and after making a half dozen fork-tender roasts, gallons of chicken and pork stock, and big batches of no-hassle beans (that are far more tasty and economical than the canned variety) over the course of nearly four years, we’re still thoroughly satisfied with this machine.
We spent a few hours researching new slow cookers, but none compared with the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. We’ve also added a section to this guide covering how the slow-cook modes of our favorite electric pressure cookers compare with the Hamilton Beach slow cooker.
It’s not fancy, but the intuitive interface, locking lid, and modest price have made it the best deal for your money three years running—and it’s the only slow cooker with a heat probe to monitor the doneness of roasts and other meats.
In our most recent tests, the Set & Forget again proved better than the competition. It’s not fancy and performs about as well as many other cookers, but after 8hours of research and testing, we’ve found that its intuitive interface, locking lid, and modest price make it the best deal for your money. It’s also the only slow cooker that comes with a heat probe to monitor the doneness of roasts, which we think makes it especially practical.
However, the Set & Forget outperformed much more expensive models, and once we started asking experts, it kept cropping up as a favorite.
If you’re fine with a small, old-school slow cooker without bells and whistles (like a timer), the Crock-Pot 4-Quart Manual Slow Cooker should serve you well. It has excellent user reviews and a low, low price to boot.
Who should get this
Pull Quote “People, at the end of the day, are looking for something they can turn on in the morning and after eight hours the food won’t be completely pulverized or burned or no longer holding texture and flavor.” —Phyllis Pellman Good
Getting a slow cooker is worth it if you want more convenience in the kitchen—particularly if you’d like to cook food while you’re out of the house. With a modern, programmable slow cooker you choose the heat—low or high—and the cooking time. When the time is up, the machine kicks over to the warming setting. That way, you can prep your food before work and head to the office without worrying about your meal overcooking. Set it and forget it, indeed. “People, at the end of the day, are looking for something they can turn on in the morning and after eight hours the food won’t be completely pulverized or burned or no longer holding texture and flavor,” said Pellman Good.
Slow cooker vs. electric pressure cooker
For our 201update, we made batches of presoaked cannellini beans in the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker and in our two favorite electric pressure cookers—the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 and the Breville Fast Slow Pro—on their slow cook settings. Each of these machines turned out toothsome beans with little breakage and the batches were hardly distinguishable from one another.
If you just want a dedicated slow cooker—or something that can double as a serving piece on a buffet—you’ll likely be happy with the Set & Forget. Springing for an electric pressure cooker (the Instant Pot, in particular) is worth doing if you think you’ll use its various cooking modes (such as rice, porridge, or steam settings).
How we picked and tested
For our 201update, we cooked presoaked cannellini beans (pictured here with a ham hock and aromatics). They came out tender and almost unbroken after 3.hours in the slow cooker. Photo: Michael Hession
Slow cookers come in a range of sizes, from 1- to 7-quart capacity. The diminutive 1-, 2-, and 3-quart cookers work best for making appetizers, such as dips. Most of these small pots have only manual controls. The next sizes are 4- to 5-quart cookers, which work well for singles and couples who want to make one meal, and maybe a round of leftovers. Most of these are manual machines, although some are programmable (see The competition).
We focused our research on programmable 6- to 7-quart models, because they’re big enough to make a meal for a family of four, with leftovers to spare. America’s Test Kitchen and Consumer Reports also focused their reviews on this size cooker. Both Pellman Good and O’Dea recommended programmable models with timers, locking lids, and a silicone gasket to prevent spills.
To our surprise, Pellman Good recommended using a model with a heat probe. We’d found this feature only on the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget, and had initially discounted it as a gimmick. Yet Pellman Good explained: “I hate overcooked meat. I always encourage people to use a meat thermometer to test a roast to see if it’s done. If you don’t need to lift the lid, it’s really helpful because lifting the lid lets heat out.”
Programmable slow cookers have timers that range from 1to 2hours. At first, we thought the longer timer would be an advantage, but Pellman Good pointed out that the longest slow cooker recipes last to hours, so a 12- to 15-hour timer should be sufficient. If food sits at the warming setting too long, you could completely dry out your dish. Some people might appreciate a longer timer (such as those cooking for the Sabbath). In that case, a model like the Crock-Pot, which has a 20-hour timer, may be the best option.
We also considered models with stovetop-safe inserts made of die-cast aluminum and other metals. Theoretically, you can brown your meat in the crock on the stovetop and save yourself an extra dish to wash. However, most slow cooker inserts have a nonstick coating, which isn’t ideal for high-heat searing. Extreme temperatures cause that coating to break down faster, diminishing its effectiveness. We’d rather sear a roast in a cast-iron skillet, and then transfer the meat to the crock. Even if you did brown the meat in the insert, you’d probably transfer the meat to another dish to drain off the fat from the crock, negating that extra saved dish.
A simple on-off light, so you can tell that the machine is actually cooking, can also prevent headaches. Many of the programmable cookers don’t have this, and sometimes it can be hard to determine at a glance whether the cooker is on. We still think the advantages of a programmable cooker outweigh this feature, though.
Like many small home appliances, most slow cookers come with a one-year limited warranty. All of the machines we tested come with this warranty, so it didn’t really factor into our overall decision-making process. The limited warranty doesn’t cover the ceramic crock or glass lid (companies will fix only manufacturer’s defects to the electronics for free).
Armed with this criteria, we scoured every review we could find and read up on more than 40 top-rated models. Not surprisingly, the most thorough reviews of slow cookers came from America’s Test Kitch en (subscription required) and Consumer Reports. Both had the clearest methodology and reviewed the most cookers.
For our original testing, in the spring of 2013, we tried the Crock-Pot 6.5-Quart Countdown Touchscreen Digital Slow Cooker and Hamilton Beach’s Set & Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker with Spoon/Lid, which was highly recommended by both Pellman Good and O’Dea and emerged as our top pick.
This low, moist heat helps dissolve connective tissues in tougher cuts of meat and breaks down fibrous vegetables and beans.
Earlier, we mentioned that a universal complaint about most modern slow cookers is that they run too hot, even on the low setting. Ideally, the cooking liquid should simmer between roughly 190 °F and somewhere below the boiling point of 21°F (America’s Test Kitchen found this to be the best range). This low, moist heat helps dissolve connective tissues in tougher cuts of meat and breaks down fibrous vegetables and beans. Boiling is a sure path to stringy roasts and dried-out sauces.
To determine how hot each of the machines cooked, we filled each crock with quarts of water and measured the temperature of the water every half hour on both the low and high settings. We then tested for hot spots by cooking a batch of beans in each machine, noting whether the beans cooked evenly and how much liquid evaporated over a span of six to eight hours. In our original test, we also cooked 4-pound rump roasts in the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget and the Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen. Most recently, we cooked 3-pound chuck roasts in the Set & Forget, the Crock-Pot Programmable Cook & Carry, and the Smart Slow Cooker.
Additionally, we judged whether the programmable timers were easy to use, whether the hardware felt sturdy, and if there were any quirks in the design that made the cookers difficult or impractical to use.
We like the Set & Forget’s easy-to-read interface and locking lid. Photo: Michael Hession
Flaws but not dealbreakers
We wish the heat probe was longer. We also wish the 24-inch plug were a few inches longer, which would make it easier to use on a crowded counter.
The handles on the Crock-Pot Programmable Cook & Carry were bigger and easier to grip than those on the Set & Forget, with a larger hole for fingers to fit into; its locking mechanism felt slightly more secure, thanks to large plastic pieces atop the metal loops on each side of the machine that snap onto hooks on the lid. The Set & Forget’s alarm and probe features were enough to make up for the lower quality of its handles and lock, though.
We’d like it if the handles were bigger on the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget. They’re a little hard to hold, especially when the crock is full. Photo: Michael Hession
Long-term testing notes
After nearly three years of use, we’re still totally satisfied with this cooker’s programmable timer settings and the locking lid that makes it easy to move the machine from one counter to the next. Our only complaint is an issue characteristic of most slow cookers. Because the lid fits tightly, braising liquid doesn’t end up as condensed and flavorful as that from a dish cooked in a Dutch oven, or perhaps even from a cooker with a less tight-fitting lid.
That aside, we would still take the Set & Forget’s gasketed and locking lid over one that doesn’t, purely for the convenience and less worry of a pet, child, or accident-prone adult knocking the cooker over. And if you prefer a more condensed liquid, it’s easy enough to cook it down on the stovetop.
The Cook & Carry has a 20-hour timer. Keep in mind that most people wouldn’t want nor need to keep their food in a slow cooker for 20 hours—not only will it tend to get mushy, but there may also be food-safety issues when keeping food at a warm setting for multiple hours. However, we’ve read that cooks making a Sabbath meal like having the longer timer.
Care and maintenance
Always turn off and unplug your slow cooker before attempting to clean it, and never submerge the base (the part that plugs into the wall) in water.
To keep the display and exterior of your slow cooker sparkling and shiny, wipe it down with a damp rag or sponge spritzed with your favorite household cleaner.
The display on the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo has no timer—only an on-off button, markings for high, low, and warm temperatures, and a light to show that the unit is on. Photo: Michael Sullivan
Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Digital Slow Cooker with Heat Saver Stoneware: We tested this in 201against our top pick because it comes with a temperature gauge that’s supposed to show how hot food is inside the crock. After testing both, we learned that the temperature gauge gave a color coding indicating whether food was hot or cold, but no actual indication of its exact temperature, meaning it was no help in determining whether your meal was safe to eat.
Crock-Pot 6.5-Quart Countdown Touchscreen Digital Slow Cooker: We tested this for our original 201review, and it was our pick if a 14-hour timer wasn’t long enough, but our sleek new runner-up goes just as long—for a lot less money.
How to Dress For Ski Touring
When it comes to ski touring, you are covering long and sometimes very technical distances (flat, uphill and downhill) so proper apparel and layering will be essential for staying dry and keeping yourself warm while you are perspiring.
Multiple brands will have an assortment of products to choose form that are perfect layering pieces and great for an assortment of activities. Other brands such as Dynafit, will have a collection of products dedicated to ski touring and be designed for just that. From insulating mid layer tops and bottoms to breathable and waterproof outer shells, Dynafit has you covered for all your ski touring wardrobe needs.
Like all outdoor activities, you want to avoid cotton garments because they are not moisture-wicking or quick-drying. Base layers should be garments made of merino wool or synthetics that have exceptional moistuer-wicking and quick-drying properties.
A mid layer is your insulation layer and can be anything from a fleece or softshell to a down or synthetic hoody or vest. The type of mid layer you choose will depend on the weather and there should always be an extra one stowed away in your pack.
The outer layer is your climate shield or shell so pick a shell that is waterproof and breathable. Gore-Tex is your best bet for an outer layer although it can be pricey. If you find something more in your price range with a DWR coating, it will also do the trick.
Some jackets will have overall-like-straps inside so the jacket can be worn without properly putting your arms through the sleeves. Some people may find this a handy feature so you can remove the jacket but avoid having to throw it in your pack. If you are someone that is constantly bouncing between being hot and cold, a jacket with this feature may be great! Eliminate having to stop every 1minutes to pull the jacket out of your pack or stuff it back in.
For ski pants; look for a waterproof and breathable shell similar to the jacket. Insulated pants may get too warm, especially with base layers underneath and quite often, there are only small mesh vents for ventilation. A proper good, waterproof shell pair of ski pants will have a zipper up the side of both legs. This zipper allows you to unzip and get airflow through your bottoms. These type of ski pants are ideal for touring and will promote exceptional breathability on your lower half.
Whether you wear a thick, wool toque or a thin helmet liner, as long as your ears and head are covered, anything works! Buff products are great as well! They are interchangeable and can we worn in multiple ways from a toque or headband to a balaclava. They have an assortment of colours and patterns to choose from so you can get funky and pick something fun.
Gloves & Mittens
Layering for your hands is similar to layering for your core; start with a base layer, add a mid layer and finish with a shell if needed.
Because our hands are generally quite warm, you may be able to go majority of the day with just a thin glove liner on and save your proper ski gloves or mitts for the descent. In saying that, it is always a good idea to keep a warm, dry pair of gloves or mittens in your bag for breaks.
This Year is the Year To Ski Tour
Challenge yourself this winter season. Gain some knowledge about avalanche safety then hit the snow in search of some fresh lines. Do your best not to venture out into the back-country alone and always ensure that you share your plans with someone. There is so much untouched beauty to be discovered by the few lucky ones, so have fun and play safe out there!
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HOW TO CHOOSE A ROUTE
When you are a traversing a slope with potential avalanche risk, go one at a time and stop in sheltered safe spots.
Could Thermal Infrared Cameras Be Used To Detect Avalanche Victims?
Just because there are tracks doesn’t mean it is a good route to choose, particularly if you haven’t sussed it out from the bottom first or the visibility is dodgy.
I found this out when I followed some tracks during a white out and ended up at the bottom of a six-foot hole. Little did I know most of the people who made those tracks turned last minute. Luckily, it was only a small hole not a cliff.
TO SUM UP….
It might sound like there is a lot of risk involved in venturing into the backcountry. In reality, the majority of people that venture off-piste are absolutely fine.
After all, there is a reason people come back time and time again. Finding yourself on a bluebird powder day and carving fresh tracks down an untouched face…. Well, there’s nothing like it. It is pretty much the most fun you can have on your snowboard.
However, it is always good to be cautious. Make sure you check the weather before you go. Be prepared in case of avalanches. Always buy snowboarding insurance before you go on holiday.
Backcountry Access B-Ext Shovel
A shovel is an endlessly useful tool when you’re working with snow, not to mention it’s essential role in avalanche rescue. But if you’re looking to carry one around while you ride, you won’t be wanting to use that hefty one from the back of the garden shed.
Backcountry Access Float 2Airbag Pack
An airbag backpack is obviously quite a large investment for most – but thankfully if you’re making the decision to get one, you’re investing in something that could prove invaluable in keeping you alive in an avalanche situation.
Backcountry Access BC Link Two-Way Radios
We gave the BCA Link Two-Way radios a try on the bustling streets of London – and even through the incredible amounts of interference you’ll find in inner-city environments, they were still going strong half a mile away.
In single victim events, the audio and visual search guides work to clearly to help you local the signal source, while triple antenna help pinpoint in fine search. Then for multi-victim events, a digital signal processor kicks in, and gives an overview of distance, direction and number of victims, allowing you to select and prioritise different signals, and also mark various dig sites.
A 3D movement sensor functions to automatically switch the device back to send should you find yourself caught in a secondary slide, and intelligent group test, auto self test on start up, and simple two button operation (easily done with gloves on) cap this one off as one of the best transceiver options available.
Mammut 240 Fast Lock Probe
Mammut have had a re-think of their Fast Lock system for the latest incarnation of the Mammut Probe 240 Fast Lock, so it’s now even more glove compatible than ever. Simple pull the chord and clip off the end and you’re ready to go.
Mammut Ride Protection Airbag Pack
The Mammut Ride Protection Airbag pack is a fantastic option if you want need one where the airbag system itself is optional. You’ll be able to find this in both airbag-ready and complete options when you’re looking to buy.
Ortovox Beast Shovel
Ortovox’s Beast 2.shovel has pretty much all you could possibly need in a backpack size snow tool. The handle connects rapidly to the blade with a satisfying ‘ding’, and it can then be quickly extended to give you maximum leverage as you start to dig.
New Cars for 201- 2019
Motor Trend’s new car buyer’s guide can help you narrow down your choices when deciding on your next new car. Choose a vehicle model below to view comprehensive car pricing, current rebates and incentives, safety data, MPG ranges, trim details and specs, and more. Motor Trend is one of the leading sources of expert car reviews for new cars.
Black Diamond Transfer Shovel 2017-2018
Sometimes basic is best, which is why Black Diamond’s Transfer shovel made the cut for this year’s
It has a sturdy handle and a high-volume blade, meaning when it comes to shovelling snow as fast as you can this will absolutely do the trick, at a decent price as well. via the link below.
Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2017-2018 Black Diamond Transfer here
Mammut BarryvoxS Transceiver 2017-2018
Having improved the searchable area to 70m strips rather than 60m from previous models, Mammut have also created a larger and more intuitive display and navigation system.
The latter gives you directions to follow even in the fine search stage of a rescue, which hopefully will dramatically reduce time spent looking for victims.
We’re very excited about this transceiver, which is why we’ve included it in our
PIEPS iProbe II 2017-2018
With the iProbe, Pieps advanced the simple ‘poke holes until you find something soft’ technique by adding a receiver unit to the probe tip. That meant users could be sure it was a human they were the digging up rather than something like a branch, which can be easily confused.
Now the iProbe II has visual as well as audio signals to help search and turns on automatically when deployed. Clever stuff, and worthy of a place in our coveted
Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2017-2018 PIEPS iProbe II here
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Snow Probes wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Snow Probes
- №1 — Backcountry Access Stealth Avalanche Probe
- №2 — Black Diamond Quickdraw Probe Tour
- №3 — Klim Back Country Probe Snowmobile Tool Accessories