Mammut Probe Light

Review by planetFear
Wednesday 17th June 2009

Mammut's Probe Light

The Mammut Probe Light is a six-piece aluminium avalanche rescue tool that allows the user to locate buried victims up to 240cm below the snow. This probe is part of Mammut’s range of mountain safety equipment together with shovels, avalanche transceivers and packs. The probe is aimed at the recreational back-country skier, boarder, snow shoer and alpinist. For guides and more experienced users, Mammut’s range also includes the Probe Plus (which at 280 cm is 40cm longer than the Probe Light) and the ultra-long Probe Expert at 320cm.

The design is similar to a modern tent pole with a piece of Dyneema cord running down the centre of six aluminium pole sections that can be assembled into a single ridged pole that measures 240cm long. I’ve assembled many tent poles in my life so I assumed the probe would be just as easy to put together. Initially I found this not to be the case, but the art is to simply pull the red cord and black toggle at the top of the pole to tighten the inner cord and the pole slots itself together and locks securely into place. Genius: perfect for speed in an emergency. As long as you are aware of this simple method the probe is ready for use in a matter of seconds! This simple method also allows for ease of use when wearing gloves. The tip of the probe is a sturdy metal ‘drop-shape’ which penetrates the snow well. In use I found that although quite long the probe has very little bend in it which should allow for deeply buried victims to be located even in hard packed snow.

At 180g, the weight of the Probe Light is fine for recreational users, but it is not the lightest on the market. When disassembled for packing the probe is 44cm long which means it fits neatly into any day sack. For ease of packing the probe comes with a nylon storage sack.

The Mammut probe has clear depth markings along the length of the shaft in gold numbering to indicate how deeply buried a casualty is – up to 225cm. Since Mammut is a European manufacturer these markings are in metric, clearly marking every 5cm with dashes every cm. I’m sure for all of you of a more traditional imperial leaning you can still purchase probes with markings in inches and feet, but you will probably have to look to a manufacturer from across the pond for one of these!

In summary, for the recreational user looking for an avalanche rescue probe, you can’t go wrong with this one.


Mammut Probe Light Specification:

• 6-piece aluminium probe
• Dyneema cord for minimum weight
• Telescopic lock for quick and easy interlock
• Drop-shaped probe tip
• Suitable for use with gloves

- Reviewed by Dan Webber on behalf of planetFear -

The PlanetFear Star Rating Explained:

* A poor product with design and functionality problems. Not recommended. 

** An average product. Recommended only for its low cost or as a back-up item.

*** A good product. Certainly worth considering, although better products may be available at the same price

**** An excellent product and among the best available in its category. Highly recommended.

***** An outstanding product defining the cutting edge of outdoor technology and design. You won't find a better one! 


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