We tested and reviewed the Marco Polo Pet Tracker on Willow the adventure cat. Discover its features and find out for yourself how awesome this tracker is. If you want to know exactly where your pet is, and don’t want to be changing batteries every 5 days, this could be the perfect tracker for you.
The guys at Eureeka Products have just released a new version of their Marco Polo advanced tracking system and the end result is absolutely awesome. Those of you like myself who have been drooling over the previous version will know how incredible this product is with a working range of up to 3.2 km (2 miles) and outstanding battery life. The new version has been redesigned to be small enough that it can now be used with cats not just dogs without compromising any features. As soon as I found out about this I put my order in straight away.
From Marco Polo’s website:
The system consists of a handheld device called a “Locator” and one or more small, lightweight devices called “Tags” that attach to your pet’s collar. As in the popular swimming pool game, the Marco Polo Locator sends out signals to the Tag on your pet’s collar asking, “Where are you?” The Tag on your pet answers back, “Here I am!” This allows Marco Polo to keep track of your pet, even when you are not around. If your pet wanders, Marco Polo’s tracking feature allows you to quickly find their location and bring them safely back home.
Sounds easy enough? let’s take it for a spin..
Opening the box I picked up the Locator unit and unfolded the antenna panels. I found it to be lightweight and comfortable to hold. The unit comes with USB charging cables for both the Locator and the Tag so I put these on charge as I looked through the manual. The Tag is pretty simple with one power button and a LED status light. It is surprisingly small for something so powerful. Whilst charging, the LED gives you an indication of it’s charging progress which is handy. The manual states that charging will take about 3 hours, but Tag and Locator must have shipped nearly fully charged because the whole process took less than half an hour.
The Tag slips into the nylon fabric holder and attaches to your pets collar with small velcro straps. The manual indicates that the excess strap is to be trimmed to size which was easily done with a pair of scissors. I then put the collar on little adventure cat Willow and she didn’t seem phased by it.
Camping at a beach on the Ayre Peninsular, South Australia proved to be excellent terrain for testing this product. But there was one problem, little Willow was more interested in naps than exploring. I decided to get a fellow camper to hide the collar 1km from my campervan without me looking which direction.
I turned on the Locator by holding the power button down. By pressing the power button once more you can turn on the backlight for viewing at night. I selected Track mode and ‘Searching’ flashed as I waited. Soon enough the Locator beeps to signal that it had found the collar. The screen then displayed 64% meaning that I wasn’t too far away. 5 seconds passed and the Locator beeped again but this time showed a directional arrow. Holding the unit horizontal out in front of me I started walking through the sand dunes. Every hundred metres or so I would notice the percentage increasing and I would change my direction to better match the information the Locator was giving me. Soon enough the percentage was at 95 and the directional arrow had flipped around meaning I had overshot it by 20 metres. I turned around and soon found the collar carefully placed under a log. Sneaky. So from 1km away the Locator got me to within 10 metres. That’s pretty impressive, but for indoor cats the Loc8tor TabCat would be more precise.
I’m going to be honest with you here. I tried to put their claim of 3.2km search range to the test and I gave up. The distance you can cover with this system is phenomenal. There are literally no other products on the market that compare to it that are suitable for cats. Whilst Willow was wearing the collar asleep by my campervan I walked North over sand dunes and monitored the signal strength.
It seems to cope well with foliage and bushes although I did get a ‘no signal’ about 1 kilometre away down behind a bigger dune when I had the devices pointed away from the campervan. I headed for higher ground. The midday sun was burning and having climbed another dune and seeing the signal bounce back up to 50% I have no doubt that in good conditions the search radius of 3.2km could be achieved. How would it handle suburbia surrounded with buildings? I imagine the distance and accuracy of the directional arrow would be reduced somewhat.
You can designate a monitor zone and when your pet leaves that zone the Locator will alarm you. The zones are determined by the signal strength. For example you could set Monitoring for Near, Med, Far, or Max so that when the Tag signal drops below 60%, 40%, 20%, or ‘No signal’ respectively the Locator will let you know.
The system has been designed so that when in Track mode audible tones are made indicating how far away your pet is. This is useful as you can set the unit down next to you as you are driving so not to cause a distraction.
How long the battery life on the collar lasts depends heavily on how often you search for the tag (e.g. start Track mode). So far the Tag has been powered on and attached to Willow’s collar since I received it. Almost daily I have been turning the Locator on and entering Track mode as a test. Some days I would use Track mode for half an hour at a time. After exactly one month a ‘low battery’ alert appeared on the Locator. This exceeded my expectations. Who knows how long it would continue to run for but for me it’s time to give it a charge with the USB cable provided.
Excellent battery life, incredible range. A collar that fits comfortably on cats. The Marco Polo pet tracking system has ticked all the boxes for me in the month that I have been testing it and it is a product which I will continue to use in the future.
The Marco Polo pet tracker ships world wide and pricing can be found here.
There is no way I would ever let my pet outside without a tracker on. Doesn’t matter if I am in suburbia or the middle of the Australian outback. Having the peace of mind knowing where they are is invaluable.