It has the most reliable message send (only unit to get every message out), it has by far the largest and most robust feature set, including exceptional tracking. The 4 messages that I can preload have so far covered me. (only 6.4 oz) this is the lightest option f you need to recharge your inReach a lot. Likewise, the network coverage of the GoTenna Mesh device is nowhere near as impressive as the InReach Mini. Simply activate the SOS mode from either the device or from the app. As such, expect the same transmit performance (just a bit less operating time due to a smaller battery). I am thinking of switching to the Garmin for all the reasons you point out. Now digging out of the backlog of being away from the internet for a considerable amount of time. 1) The Inreach Mini is a two-way communicator and not 100% the same as the SPOT Gen3 but people will still choose between them when wanting to buy. I currently have a SPOT3 and it’s been great for what it is. Please note that you will be responsible for the cost of evacuation, search and rescuse and these costs tyoically run into the several thousands of dollars. On the big Alaskan dog mushing races, spots are mounted facing up, on the sled, and they will often miss sending signals due, I think, to the spotty (ha!) Once logged into your Garmin account online, you can write pre-set messages and log recipients from there. Garmin bought DeLorme and therefore inReach units. The problem with the SPOT is that is has a patch antenna that is supposed to be facing the sky. Satellite messengers have heaps of advantages and useful functions for people who want to track their journey and communicate with the outside world whilst doing it. As soon as I got it I figured there could be trouble with it popping off. Warmest, -alan. *I want to make sure that if something happens to me, that they have the ability to notify rescue operations so that we all can be found and be taken care of. I find it an indispensable trail tool. For my own messaging needs, the Recreation Plan was more than enough to cover what I needed. Read on to find out just how much of a challenge. But a release of an inexpensive Iridium chipset has spawned some serious challengers to the inReach and SPOT. Is having it set at 20 minutes too big of an area to look at in case a search is needed? Thus the distance traveled. Best, -alan. Really cool. The very short answer is you definitely want the mini. Bought the DeLorme satellite messenger for our oldest daughter and son in law and they love it. SPOT GEN3 vs Delorme inReach Explorer [Review] October 9, 2015 Wondering if the SPOT GEN3 is better than DeLorme’s inReach Explorer? Learn how your comment data is processed. My messages never failed to send and my confidence in the Iridium satellite network was properly established. If you make a purchase after clicking on the these links, a portion of the sale helps support this site at no additional cost to you. Having the ability to send the important people in your life check-in messages and/or contact professional help from literally every corner of the globe is a game-changer. 1) It is easier to hold in its optimal upright on a shoulder strap pocket (see pic in article) or side pocket of your pack. REI.COM: Save an Extra 25% off one REI Outlet item with coupon code EXTRA25.Ends 12/7. The Inreach Mini’s smartphone pairing capability and ease of use along with its small size and ultra-reliable satellite network make this device hard to beat. But like all insurance, it offers peace of mind. If I have gone to the expense of buying and SE+ and then paying for service, I would certainly run it in tracking mode. But it’s not with me so I can’t give more detail. This communication would be for more of a “Phones are down” situtation not many Explorers in our band. If end up doing the Protegear plan, I’d be curious to hear about your experience. The second point of alarm is that Spot’s network has a poor reputation in certain parts of the world. Spot x vs Garmin inreach mini. I always tended to keep my Inreach Mini’s display at around 10%, thus maximizing the amount of time between charges. Whilst still a bit larger and cheaper than the Inreach Mini, the Spot Gen3 does not have the same functionality including no 2-way messenger function. Very good information, as we were starting to smell and see smoke. 2-3 trips per year. Learn real world results comparing the Spot X 2-way communicator with the Garmin InReach Explorer +. Finally the Zoleo is the heaviest and bulkiest of the devices. One thing I’m sure you are aware of but some readers may not be is the use of a smart phone as the gps WITHOUT any cell connection or service plan at all. A quick question- can my family ping the device to see where I am, rather than just where I put track points or without setting up a tracking interval? Having extensively used two-way communication in the field in difficult hard to manage situations — both inReach to inReach, and inReach to ground crew — I can unequivocally say there is no comparison between the inReach and SPOT. Anyway here goes. And the Zoleo plan will not let you suspen for the first three months, but but Garmin has and annual subscriptoin fee in addition to monthly plan costs, etc., etc. Thanks for the extensive over-view and comments! See Best Lightweight Backpacking Electronics Gear for more detail on lightweight batteries and re-charging. You can also communicate directly with GEOS  (if you are able to in an emergency scenario) to provide them with more information/details regarding your situation and needs. Garmin Inreach Mini: Key Features and Performance Breakdown. And you would have the advantage of owning a smartphone. Messages are NOT sent instantly. If you have a barometric watch as I do, you can use the Inreach Mini to calibrate your watch’s altitude reading. This can be done in the field, but is most easily done as a “test” message to establish the thread before you leave. SEE LOCATION!”. But the SE is working so well I don't see the need to upgrade. My units have dedicated, fixed, cellnumber and messaging back is as sinple as replying to sms message. Be cautious some newcomers on the block. They may have spotty tracking performance, less than perfect way for your “contacts” to access messages and locations, limited mapsets (supporting phone app), can’t export tracks and location points, sending a location point stops tracking, no group messaging, etc, or a way for you to maintain your information for a long time in the cloud. We fully respect if you want to refuse cookies but to avoid asking you again and again kindly allow us to store a cookie for that. I wasn’t super impressed with the basic weather information that came back, but hell, it is better to have some information up in the mountains than none I suppose. Steve, So Glad you found it useful Steve. This post contains affiliate links. After the hike, check the remaining battery percentage– do the calculations on % battery drain per hour. As such, I use my inReach as a tracking and messaging unit and not as a mapping GPS. After hooking it to my pack I added a carabiner between it and the pack. I am 70 yrs old, and love taking my grand sons out into the CO mountain for hiking, fly fishing, UTV’ing, camping, etc. Thanks,Bill, Hi Bill, yes the bluetooth connection to the inReach can get wonky at times. Even the most uptight ounce cutting ultralight backpacker can appreciate just how packable the Inreach Mini really is. The Iridium network provides pole to pole coverage with no black spots (areas without coverage) including being out in the middle of the ocean thousands of miles away from land. *Another requirement is that I would like their parents to have access to the device when they take the kids out into the wild…. In most cases do not have the robust package of features that inReach units have. There are no group messages (more of a pain than you might think at first blush). Thanks. SPOT sells affordable satellite safety devices, delivering reliable location-based tracking, messaging and lifesaving S.O.S. ACR ResQLink 400 - Buoyant GPS Personal Locator Beacon (Model: PLB-400) ... SPOT Gen3 gives you a critical, life-saving line of communication when you travel beyond the boundaries of cell Service. 2) At 10.75 oz, it is over double the weight of the SPOT and 50% heavier than the inReach. Weighing in at just 3.5 oz (100.0 g), the Inreach Mini’s weight will likely be the least of your concerns. Today I review the Garmin inReach Mini, the smaller (and lighter) version of the popular Garmin inReach satellite messenger. I’m really concerned about cold weather performance but also would love to have 2-way messaging so that, in emergencies I could provide better details as to why I might need help. Unlike the Spot Gen 3, the Spot X is a 2-way communicator. inReach on the right shoulder strap of my pack in a MLD pocket. So read. Even at 10%, you can still see the screen fine and conduct your business on the device as usual. I had to do this once in the Grand Canyon to initiate a helicopter rescue. The Explorer+adds preloaded DeLorme TOPO maps with onscreen GPS routing plus a built-in digital compass, barometric altimeter, and accelerometer. Note that your monthly message limit includes received messages as well as messages sent. Stay tuned for an reply tomorrow. Like the Somewear it seamlessly sends/receives messages via cellular, WiFi and satellite (no message charge for cell and WiFi). In NorCAL , we left a Trail Angel house and she mentioned “Looks like you’re headed into a Wildfire”, but with no Cell Coverage in the town ( Belden ) or Wifi, we couldn’t get info on it. Therefore, do obtain good, robust travel insurance before you leave home. Hopefully SPOT tech support may be able to shed some light on the issue. Price of owning a SPOT GEN3 for one year, using only three months per year: $150 purchase + $150 plan = $300 then $150 annually. You can even activate the SOS distress call from within the app. Just a way to contact help in the event of an emergency. I primarily want a device where they can send a SOS and that it is reliable. If and when that day comes though, the SOS function could well save your life or the life of other people in your group. Do you see any reason to keep the Garmin 64s? Less battery life in the Mini, but it is still great based on a friends. I recently bought one and used it EXTENSIVELY while guiding for two weeks in Rocky Mountain National Park last month. If you haven’t, you should also read Why You Should Make a Trip Plan and Leave it with Someone for Every Trip. Thus focusing its meager 0.4 W of power across the surface of the earth and not up towards the sky and satellites. But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site. You may even need to hike up the canyon wall some to increase the percentage of sky you can see. In other words, there are no extra hoops to jump thru. I try to check the satellite coverage and it often shows something like “Will check again in 20 minutes”. I found the altitude data provided by the Inreach Mini to be very accurate (within a couple of meters). But the SPOT X is standalone communication with it's own keypad, where the InReach Mini will need both devices turned on and paired to communicate. We tested the Garmin inReach Mini, Zoleo and Somewear on message send reliability, location (waypoints), tracking accuracy, weather reports, phone app features, physical unit features and ease of use, battery life, size/weight/ease of carry, and cost of data plans. Obviously, the ability to communicate with the outside world is priceless in any kind of sticky situation. By the end of this review, you will not have any doubts concerning whether or not the Inreach Mini is right for you and your adventures…. I believe they are basing that off of the idea of buying a full price (expensive) unit from a cell carrier and then having a long contract/ monthly payment. Hope this helps. Camera on my left shoulder strap with and Peak Designs Caputre Clip. It is a great forum for the exchange of experiences and knowledge. Question: Did this thing go to sleep on you? They are all great and worth your consideration. Went out and grabbed a Zoleo based on your comments. The inReach is hands down the better unit by a large margin. Thanks for the reviews! I agree the inreach user interface is cumbersome at best. And at $50 more it may be a better choice than the inReach SE+. (eg. Is this the only way to send a message to an InReach? Basically, apart from checking your altitude, sending and receiving a message or two, and maybe having a look at the weather, there is no need to spend hours a day on the device. When activated with a satellite subscription, all of them let you do the following in (most) places without cellphone reception: 1. Life is unpredictable. There is no camera, no music, no entertainment features. phones are not an option dues to the numbers needed and total cost. We do not need anything fancy (no tracking, no weather, etc). Best, -alan. within a 12-hour time period). (Thinking that having redundant systems can’t hurt), Good point Patrick. The older DeLorme inReach units (SE and Exlplorer) are no longer in production and for the most part seem to have sold out on existing stocks. I have had good luck with them solving problems. It’s much cheaper but since it’s discontinued I’m not sure if I should purchase it. See. Unlike the Zoleo and Somewear, the Mini does not seamlessly message between WiFi, Cellular, and Satellite connectivity — that’s because it’s a satellite only device. If not, at least try and find the widest width in a N-S orientation. We’ve been using Satellite Messengers since the first SPOT Gen 1 unit over a decade ago. Thanks for the heads up Gerry. Hope this helps, and wishing you a great year trekking. (The danger was for the infection to go into the brain.) That’s a great deal! For its small size and abilities, I don’t think another satellite messenger device can match the Inreach Mini’s all-around performance. Thanks for the well written review. To start with, Spot devices can’t be paired with your smartphone, meaning you are stuck with composing messages on the device itself. Garmin InReach vs Spot Gen3? There’s also an icon with a half moon and “z” which make me think it’s asleep. And Sorry about your experience with SPOT customer support. Or just get that IPhone? I am not really reconsidering this strategy and am instead considering my two iPhones (mine and my wife’s) loaded with Gaia and returning the Garmin in trade for the InReach SE. Warmest, -alan, Alan, I went to the Gaia site on Google Play. And the list goes on…, As to the YB3 Tracker. Reasonable cost data plan. One comment and one question., To add merit to your above comment, a friend was thru hiking and used the Delorme InReach. Personally I used this function often just to know how far I was trekking each day. Look no further than the Garmin inReach Mini If reliability, top performance and a full set of features are your criteria. Its $600 (for bluetooth “standard version” comparable to inReach) vs. $270 for the inReach and $150 for the SPOT. Unless otherwise noted, products are purchased with my own funds. When using the device in a deep canyon, if you can, try to get into the widest part of the canyon and avoid tree cover. As the spot X has its cell number, I thought I could reply to a message sent by the in reach to the spot x but it doesn’t seem to be working. without a phone) than the inReach Mini, it’s way ahead of the Somewear for operation without a phone. GEOS is the world leader in emergency response solutions and monitoring. Messages sent (either to a mobile phone or email address) to a person will also include data about your location including an accurate topographical map location for a visual. The SPOT X with unlimited text seemed to be a cost effective … Notify me of follow-up comments by email. And also, SPOT is getting some of that long battery life with a weaker transmitting power. These two satellite messengers are probably in the top 3 or 4 devices on the market but they have some significant differences. We think of the Somewear Global Hotspot as something of a modernized inReach “Lite.” The Somewear takes some (but not all) of the inReach functionality and updates it with a contemporary user interface so simple it does not have a user manual. I was just looking at total cost where, I believe, you look at what you get for your money. These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features. You can read about our cookies and privacy settings in detail on our Privacy Policy Page. Hi Alan. your advice worked great. This in-depth Garmin Inreach Mini review covers all of the important need-to-know aspects of this truly remarkable satellite messenger device.

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