• Physical size 88 mm x 64 mm x 31 mm
  • Weight 140 grams
  • Battery Life 10 years
  •  
  • Cost $259.00

KTI SafetyAlert PLB–SA2G

Safety

Rating

Rating:            9.5 / 10

Value for Money         2.0

Ease of use                2.0

Battery Life                2.0

Weight                       1.8

Durability                   1.7

KTI SafetyAlert PLB–SA2G Review

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are like insurance; a total waste of money until you actually need it and then its priceless. Like insurance some hikers will choose not to use these devices based on the type and location of their activities. If you only walk in areas where there is cellphone coverage, on well marked trails that have plenty of people around or you are close to help then you probably don’t need one. However when your activities are extreme e.g. there is no phone signal, you are travelling alone and you know you won’t see anyone anytime soon, then a PLB becomes an essential piece of equipment.

In a perfect world hikers shouldn’t undertake activities that exceed their skill levels unless they are with someone to provide that skill and knowledge but we know that this happens. What we have no control over is accidents. Being bitten by a snake, tripping and seriously injuring yourself, unexpected medical conditions, are all things that experience levels can’t influence. In addition, what happens if the experienced group leader is the one who has an issue and they’re now dependent on a group of inexperienced hikers?

PLBs aren’t really one of those pieces of equipment you discuss ad nauseam with your friends while sitting around the fire at night. Those produced to meet Australian Standards are all pretty robust, reliable and lightweight. For me the choice came down to a number of factors when I brought my KTI SA2G PLB in early 2016. These were:

  • A dedicated emergency device (no messaging service)
  • Australian made device
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Long battery life
  • Price
  • No additional costs associated with a subscription service e.g. SPOT 3

While the KTI SA2G has a ten year battery life you should do an annual check to ensure that it works. Equally as important is that the whole group should know where it is located and be trained in its use.

The KTI SA2G is currently the cheapest (readily available one at least) dedicated PLB on the market and it does what it intends. These units are sold through marine and fishing stores and are available at good prices online so look around before you make your purchase.

Listen to podcast episode 24 on PLB’s

Whats in the Box?

  • KTI SA2G PLB
  • Neoprene arm carry case
  • Robust travel/carry case with belt loop
  • Lanyard with whistle
  • Reflective mirror (credit card size)

The KTI SA2G unboxed

Features/Advantages/Benefits

  • Ten year battery life. You may never have to use this providing you check the battery life annually but this unit will always be there for you. The battery is replaceable
  • No subscription fees. The price you pay is a one-off purchase unless you are replacing the battery after ten years
  • Lightweight at 140 grams so even for the ultra lighters you won’t notice the weight
  • Five minute position updates once activated making it easier for your rescuers to find you
  • Accurate to up to 3.0 metres making it easier for your rescuers to find you. NOTE This is dependant on the weather and surrounding terrain
  • Typical satellite acquisition time is under 35 seconds. NOTE that this will depend on the surrounding terrain
  • Waterproof (saltwater) to 3 metres
  • 24 hour transition time at -20 degrees Celsius providing confidence for the user
  • Built in strobe light to improve visibility at night time

The Negatives

  • No real negatives for this unit apart from its an expense that you may never need. It does provide peace of mind!

Best Uses

  • Hiking/bushwalking/cross country skiing
  • Carry in your vehicle in remote areas
  • Boats that do not go more than two nautical miles offshore

Investment

$249-$270 AUD as at June 2018. There are always good prices on the internet in particular from marine and fishing stores

Other Versions

This is the only PLB that KTI produce and it currently is the cheapest readily available unit on the market. Other brands exist in the market and are sold at specialist hiking stores as well as online

Disclaimer

This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer

KTI SA2G in hand. The unit is pretty compact

KTI SA2G with aerial extended

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