I swear I reviewed the original Beacon ages ago, but I can’t find the review on my own web site to link to. Awesome! If I could find that review, you’d read that I loved the Beacon and used it all the time and found it a very good safety light for my dog. Sadly, my original Beacon, after being broken once and repaired successfully with tape, jumped ship somewhere on Kodiak Island (and I don’t blame it. Go, little Beacon, be free!) during a hike. I’d had it, oh, maybe 8 years or more by then so I figure I got my use out of it. So I got a few more Beacons, noticing that they’d been reworked; Beacon v.2.
I still have my v.2 Beacons but they are not anywhere as good as v.1. The v.1 beacon could be turned on and off easily as the button was very easy to locate. V.2, not so much. And the clip isn’t as good as it was. But it didn’t seem to matter anymore because Beacon V.3 is on the scene! I was so excited for this. USB chargeable, three different colored lights in each Beacon – one for each of my dogs. Like a terrible gear reviewer I went with the TAKE MY MONEY consumer model and dropped $75 on three of the lights. Yep, they are $25 each. Yikes, but worth it to be able to identify my dogs in the dark just by their light. And the USB chargeable option was a dogsend for people like me who don’t keep those little coin batteries on hand and forget to buy them no matter how many lists I put them on. Yes, the Beacon v.3 was for me.
Reader, alas. Having spent my own money and high hopes on these lights, I cannot recommend them. The first fail was a brand new V.3 that refused to charge after just a week. I exchanged it, thinking it a fluke. Again, alas. it was not a fluke. Read on, dear reader.
Only two of my three Beacon v.3 remains in my possession, as the clip that is meant to hold the Beacon to the dog’s collar is inadequate to say the least. Version 1 stayed on my dog’s collar 100% of the time for over eight years. Version 3 didn’t last a week. Somewhere it fell off my dog’s collar, never to be seen again. Saddened at the loss of my $25 light, I went on with life, only using the remaining Beacons where I knew I could find them if they fell off. Soon after, it became Alaska summer so lights were not needed for three months. When darkness once again fell, I pulled out the two remaining Beacons and they were both dead. No worries! USB charging to the rescue, right? WRONG. Neither Beacon will charge. They are dead, for real.
Ruffwear says that they’re covered under warranty but really? 0/4 Beacon v.3s passed even the most basic of tests. Utter fail.
Where is the Bring Back Beacon Version 1 petition? I’ll sign it.