Thanks,Bill, Hi Bill, yes the bluetooth connection to the inReach can get wonky at times. All rights reserved. Your article summarizes the merits of two-way communication really nicely, so I guess the best option for me now will be the Explorer, for tracking, GPS and emergencies. And of course there is no data via cellular and WiFi on the Mini. What happens then, is that due to a high level of fix inaccuracy in your home, the inReach gets your location in a different place every 10 minutes. For SOS use, the SPOT Gen3, SPOT X, inReach Mini,ZOLEO, Somewear Hotspot, BivyStick Blue and inReach Explorer+ are almost as simple as the COSPAS/SARSAT devices. There is no camera, no music, no entertainment features. E.g. Hope this helps. I find it an indispensable trail tool. Thus the distance traveled. Test your unit with your emergency contact(s) before leaving for your trip: All of the above is best done in a Trip Plan. Thanks. But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site. Anyway, I will likely incorporate much of this conversation into the writeup. I found that 160 characters, while limiting at times, is more than enough to get your point across IE “I’m alive, don’t worry” or “HELP! Sometimes, yes, there are times when they dont send a signal, but it seems to not be related to orientation but to connecting with the satellites in general. When moving I throw it in the outer pocket of my backpack on the back of my snowmachine , turn on tracking and it sends tracking data back to my family so they can see I got to where I’m going safely. Not necessarily so Steven. Get ready for the next big adventure! The huge selling point for me is the billing is MUCH more user friendly; roughtly the same $-per-message _except_ there are no contracts or activation/REactivation fees. I’m currently out in the backcountry but will respond when I return. And extremely helpful for people looking into satellite GPS units! Sometimes a week would go by without me sending an Inreach message. Messages sent to the device don’t always come through instantly. If you look around you can find some great deals on eBay and Facebook. The one without the screen. Buy while they last! Revised June 2020: To include an extensive head-to-head field test between the Garmin inReach, and newcomers Zoleo Satellite Communicator & Somewear Global Hotspot. I don’t have a smartphone because I don’t need one (I know I’m in the minority). Hope this helps. She forgot to let her husband know she reached the hostel and left the Delorme in her room. With a bit of persistence I have been able to get messages out of some very deep canyons in Utah. inReach on the right shoulder strap of my pack in a MLD pocket. Hi Alan, Btwn. Is having it set at 20 minutes too big of an area to look at in case a search is needed? So enjoy your new SE+. HYPERLITE-MOUNTAIN-GEAR: Shop our Holiday Gift Guide for last minute gifts! And I have had to med-evac someone on a trip., Hi Gerry, you are correct that both the inREACH and SPOT have 3 preset messages that can be sent an unlimited number of times without incurring additional charges. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The iPhone with Gaia is hands down the best GPS out there. If and when that day comes though, the SOS function could well save your life or the life of other people in your group. I will follow up with GAIA and will keep you advised with my findings. There was a slight delay in production but expecting it soon. It will operate from a USB power source via a standard uUSB cable, so no battery drain. It looks like an orange … And you have to spread that $100 over the number of year of servicealble life which makes the price difference even smaller on a per/year basis. Alan, thanks as aways for the excellent content. After all, the SPOT is half the price. So what is my final verdict? They are all great and worth your consideration. Anything I didn’t answer? -, Best Trekking Poles 2020 for Hiking & Backpacking. The main issue is not all of these devices have the same connectivity capabilities, meaning with devices NOT on the Iridium satellite network, it is not guaranteed that your device will have sufficient signal to get an SOS call out. 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. This year I was able to test the Inreach Mini in the field while leading trekking tours in Northern Pakistan. If you want to compose and send messages and don’t want to also carry a smartphone then this is your device. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. Check out out epic review of the Best Handheld GPS on the market right now. I would recommend it almost without reservation. The main SOS feature is much the same as the Inreach Mini, with one major difference. Everything through design, construction, and the satellite network with which they communicate, is made to make them as reliable as possible. The concerned comments were listed there. Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator 4.6 out of 5 stars 851. Spot devices do not allow you to further communicate with emergency responders on the other end, which makes it impossible for you to provide them with the details of your situation. In this case I would say it should be equally easy to get either of these in the proper orientation given a decent mount. Alaska. If you actually want a GPS it gets more complicated. The SPOT Gen 3 device costs less than the InReach. When in the mountains, I used my Inreach Mini just about every other day to calibrate my watch which was super helpful. Thus, we’ve experienced poorer reliability of sending and receiving messages and tracking points, especially in difficult areas like canyons and heavy tree cover. Warmest, -alan, Great article! Wishing you a safe year of trekking. I agree the inreach user interface is cumbersome at best. Whether you are rock climbing, out for a short day hike, or camping out in the mountains, there really is no argument not to bring the Inreach Mini along for the ride. Power is a moot point – both systems work very well and have been extensively tested. We use cookies to let us know when you visit our websites, how you interact with us, to enrich your user experience, and to customize your relationship with our website. Originally bought the spot device, but promptly returned it when I realized the transmission success rate was basically unacceptable. Once logged into your Garmin account online, you can write pre-set messages and log recipients from there. Re: BivyStick Orange, I think I’d also be concerned about possibly draining my sat Messenger by charging another less critical device… not sure if they designed in any protections against that (say, setting the powerbank function to stop with enough battery for 2-3 days of use) – but maybe not since it needs a phone on as well, even for SOS… Glad they changed that on the Blue! This communication would be for more of a “Phones are down” situtation not many Explorers in our band. Best, -alan. Note that over time the service plan is far and above the major cost for the inReach or SPOT. And there is no way to get interactive medical advice and other help that might avoid the need for a rescue. They need clear, unobstructed access to the sky in order to work. somebody tried to notify you of an at home emergency and when they send a message to the “dedicated” number and it bounces, and of course you in the field have no idea it bounced). Hi Joe, I still think that the Garmin inReach Mini is the best 2-way satellite messaging device going — and you can get it from major retailers like REI which will at least give you a 90 day return policy. I was delighted with its performance, compact size and weight. The SE+ now retails for $400, yet the SPOT still goes for around $150 (I actually purchase it at REI on sale recently for $75). Camera on my left shoulder strap with and Peak Designs Caputre Clip. I’m in and out of cell service. Click and Save! And let me know how it works out. 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. Warmest, -ala. Alan, what is your opinion of Garmin’s Earthmate app instead of the Gaia app? There are a million and one reasons why traveling or hiking with a two-way satellite messenger device (ie, A Satellite Phone) is a good idea. Your website provides a valuable service to the novice and experienced outdoorsman alike. Hi Gerald, lots of good thoughts there. Reasonable cost data plan. 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!) If prioritizing weight, size, and simplicity at the expense of a few features is important to you, then I recommend going with the Garmin Inreach Mini vs Explorer+. One other thing to mention is usage model. In order to activate and operate any Garmin satellite device, you’ll need to purchase a subscription. This is a complex decision that is mostly based on what you want out of the device and how much you want to pay. He then called the hostel to verify if his wife had checked in. Just want to clarify: though I am not using the SE for navigation, you would run Tracking ON for safety purposes if I needed to be located. InReach Mini vs. Spot Gen3 (Photo: Andrew Skurka) Spot invented the satellite messaging category in the late-aughts. Again this is a much bigger deal than it appears at first blush. This is not surprising with a single on/off button, and a single monochrome LED on the unit (in addition to the protected SOS activation button). Korpijaakko, good points and thanks for commenting.

spot gen 4 vs inreach mini

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