When it comes to staying connected on the mountain tops, there are limited options out there. Until now, none have been easier and more reliable than the CARDO PACKTALK SKI. Whether you are leading a pack of new skiers down the mountain, staying connected with your team, or just sharing some hilarious jokes or useful information with your friends, the CARDO PACKTALK SKI is equipped to do just that (and more).
- DYNAMIC MESH COMMUNICATION (DMC™)
- RAPID INSTALLATION
- LONG-RANGE CONNECTIVITY
- FULL-DAY OPERATION
- WEATHERPROOF & FULLY WATERPROOF
- HIGH QUALITY SOUND
- AGC – AUTOMATIC VOLUME CONTROL
Design & Installation
The Cardo system is compact and allows for easy installation so you can be up and running in no time. There are a couple of options for mounting the unit. Depending on your helmet style, you can use the included clip to slide it in place, or use the adhesive to slap it on anywhere. The earbuds have an integrated velcro backing so they can stick easily, but are small enough to slide into an ear pad (if your helmet has that option available). Once you have everything installed, the design allows for easy operation. There are 3 main buttons laid out in a triangular pattern so you can easily feel then tap the button you need to answer calls, skip songs, and even adjust the volume using the rolling knob (which can also be pressed to mute yourself and connected group). The flip up antenna helps for a longer range as well as compactness when tucked away. The reach around mic is built to easily adjust for the proper mouth position or even flip up when you want it out of the way.
The Cardo system uses Dynamic Mesh Communications (DMC) that creates a network within seconds and allows up to 15 people to stay connected within a 1km (line of site) distance. I found that this distance was pretty accurate (if there was a clear line of site). Once your team is a little further away or behind some trees or terrain, the connection can be very spotty. However, once you are back within range or have a clear line of site, the intercom instantly reconnects without ever needing to touch a button. Once you initially set up the intercom channel and connect with your group, it stays on and auto connects for every ski session thereafter. Because it connects to your phone via bluetooth, you can easily listen to music. Plus, with the AGC feature, it automatically adjusts the volume when someone is trying to communicate with you (turns the music down so you can hear the incoming voice, then automatically turns music back up when no one is talking). The Cardo App (available on both Android and iPhone) also allows for “Quick Access” to your speed dial contacts, intercom system, music, and even FM Radio.
While the DMC technology is seamless and convenient, the Cardo also connects via bluetooth and cellular so you can make and receive phone calls.
- Mobile phone connection
- Mesh 5.1
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Headset Profile (HSP)
- Hands-Free Profile (HFP)
- Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)
- Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)
Overall, the connectivity was very impressive. Minus some minor wiring issues with one of the units, the experience was impressive and reliable throughout our time in Winter Park.
If you happen to take a spill or get slammed with snow, you can rest assured that the Cardo can handle it with its waterproof design. Trust me, I definitely put this feature to the test. There were moments where I took some unexpected spills on the mountain and even dropped a beer on my helmet after our ski session. The snow (and beer) did not hinder the Cardo unit and I was able to keep using it without any issues (minus the smell of beer in my helmet).
Coming in at $249, the CARDO PACKTALK SKI is a great accessory to have on the mountain top (especially in a small or even larger group). Just ask our friend Ross who didn’t want to wear a helmet… He felt very left out and regrets not being in our connected conversations throughout the days on the mountain. If you value communication with your group, listening to your favorite tunes, or even taking phone calls while on the slopes, then do yourself a favor and pick up a CARDO PACKTALK SKI.
- Reconnecting is seamless
- Battery Life
- Some minor quirks with the wiring