DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE
Style: Base ModelProduct Packaging: Standard PackagingChange
Price:$276.96+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on July 31, 2015
Took it to the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho and was able to contact family without any trouble. Excellent product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2015
This device is awesome, bought it for my folks that do a lot of ATV riding. They were thrilled, gives them and me peace of mind and me as well. Great for non-critical emergencies like a flat tire too, they can text, I can go help. Do I wish it had topo maps? Yes, but it will do everything else, and do it at an affordable device. No device combines the things this device does, it's truly unparalleled in the market.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2015
As advertised. Very pleased
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2015
This is the best investment ever! We use it to go boating and never leave home without to go camping, hiking, skiing and as a Boys Scout leader, I am comforted to know that no matter where we go, we have SIS and in reach with SAR.
So we can get help fast.
There was a family who was boating in Bear Lake earlier this year and had a $75,000.00 boat and all the toys and whistles. However, why not buy this InReach? It's a small investment that could have saved their lives as soon as the boat capsized they could have called for help. And not waited the 3 hours and all froze and died from exposure. Only two who tried to swim for the shore survived.
So this investment is for anyone who understand that accidents happen and this family now regrets not buying this unit.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have it in case of an emergency but I never have to use it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2015
This device is marketed with the following marketing claim: "Prepare and share your journey with family and friends on our Explore web portal."

Use case scenario consistent with marketing claim: I go on a 100-mile bike ride in the mountains with my DeLorme inReach. I "share my journey" with my wife by sending her a link. PROBLEM: Wife is unable to track my progress with her iPhone.

This inability to monitor or track your "family and friends" is corroborated by an e-mail from Jason of inReach support:

Hello,

Thank you for your email. The share.delorme.com and explore.delorme.com were not optimized for use on a phone or tablet and it may not always display as it should. It would be meant for use on a desktop/laptop. I will pass along the suggestion to make it more optimized for those devices. If someone is in an emergency situation I would suggest using SOS for rescue. If enabled, the message would have location information, (latitude/longitude), as well. If you have any questions please reply to this email.
Regards,
Jason H
DeLorme Customer Care
Phone: (800) 511-2459 or Internationally at (207) 847-1165
Many answers can be found at our on-line knowledge base within the link below.
[...]
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on June 29, 2015
I want to say that 'I love it!" It is the best unit out there but unfortunately my joystick "down" button does not work straight out of the box. I would replace this item but leaving on a trip for a month tomorrow. So disappointing....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2015
Update 2:
Just got back from a trip to Pinnacles National Park. There's no cell service for miles so this was our sole way of communicating while there. Once again, communication (send & receive to email & SMS) was flawless although I'll admit that all my messages were sent with a clear view of the sky. On one day we did a short 7mi hike to Balconies in a not too narrow canyon and some tree cover. Unlike our Castle Rock hike, this time tracking went without a hitch. The GPS track on the DeLorme website was a near perfect match with what was recorder by GaiaGPS (again, both using the DeLorme as the GPS source) and followed the trail maps closely.

Honestly, I was expecting the steep rock on either side of the trail which followed the riverbed would create some challenges getting a GPS fix or communicating over the Iridium network, but neither seemed to have a problem. My one comment is that even though the logging interval is set to 1minute, the website is only showing tracking points every 10min (the send interval). I was under the impression that it would upload 10 datapoints every 10 minutes for more granular tracking, but every 10min is realistically good enough.

Anyways, I'm going to keep the 3 star rating for now- need more testing to see if the results I saw at Castle Rock are going to be repeated or was a one off glitch. If things continue to work as well as this trip to Pinnacles, then this is a solid 4 star product but isn't refined enough IMHO to warrant 5 stars.

Update 1:
So I today I got my first chance to use the Explorer on a real hike in Castle Rock State Park. Overall, we did a 14mi hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Plenty of light tree cover, but no slot canyons or anything like that. As you can see from the photos, one from GaiaGPS running on my phone (which was using the Explorer as it's GPS via Bluetooth) and the other from the Delorme website which received the datapoints directly via satellite using the default track settings (using the Freedom Recreation Plan).

As you can see the two tracks are *very different*. The GaiaGPS is far more accurate & complete. The missing portion of the track in the upper right corner was actually due to my mistake because I forgot to turn on Bluetooth on my cell phone. Other then that GaiaGPS looks pretty much spot on and we regularly checked our location my phone and never had a problem.

What is going on with the InReach tracking feature though can only be described as "very poor". The website claims the track covers 4.7mi (again, this was a 14mi hike) and basically cut out the entire first half of the hike and most of the end. If I were actually sharing this data with someone at home wondering where I was they'd be very confused and wouldn't have any idea where I was most of the time.

Again, both of these of these tracks were generated using the GPS on the Delorme Explorer, so both should of been very similar. I honestly expected the Delorme to be more accurate since I remembered to turn on the tracking feature just as we set out and turned it off once I got back to our starting point.

On the good news: I sent two messages while out. One a short text message to a buddy and another a pre-set message to my wife's email account. Both appeared to go through without any problems.

Original review:
[This is my initial review after setting up and walking around the block. I'll do an update once I get a chance to do a real hike. It covers hardware version 2.2 and firmware version 2.7.]

So far I've been able to create an account on the explore.delorme.com website and activate my Explorer. If you've done your research then you know this is an expensive paperweight without a service plan. If you accurately follow the activation directions then things should go without a hitch. I jumped ahead a little and it wouldn't activate. That was solved by power cycling the Explorer and everything worked just like they describe in the manual.

I was able to send/receive the test messages and they went through in a few minutes (the InReach sends/receives messages every 20min) so some delay is normal. GPS signal seems to work well enough even indoors.

So far I've been able to pair the Explorer with my iPhone 5S and have GaiaGPS utilize the InReach Explorer as it's GPS signal instead of the built in GPS on the iPhone. That should save a lot of battery power on the phone while hiking. The DeLorme website is where you do almost all of the configuration of the InReach and then you have to install an app on your computer to sync those settings to the InReach over USB. A little hackish, but it seems to work. Would be nicer if you could sync the settings via Bluetooth using the Earthmate app. The inreach.delorme.com website where you manage all your settings (contacts, quick messages, etc) is just slow enough to be annoying, but not so bad that it's frustrating. Hopefully it doesn't get any worse. Honestly though, I'm pretty impressed with all the features- including the ability to setup sub accounts for your friends/family so you can lend them the InReach. That's a cool feature.

The Earthmate app for iOS is merely OK. I definitely would recommend a dedicated GPS or GPS app like GaiaGPS for navigation. As many people have mentioned, the Explorer has no base map and there is no means of uploading maps to it- instead you use the Earthmate app for maps. A little weird having no maps but a digital compass. The Earthmate app also is supposed to sync up settings with the DeLorme website and this seems to work 50% of the time or so. Definitely seems like they could spend a bit more time making Earthmate better. I definitely wouldn't spend the $30 for a standalone Earthmate subscription, but that seems to be included for free with the InReach subscription. I suspect I'll mostly use Earthmate for messaging via the InReach and leave the maps/navigation to GaiaGPS.

Hardware wise, the screen is small, but isn't to hard to view in bright sunlight compared to other screens. The screen is recessed so hopefully it won't get too many scratches. The belt clip seems a bit cheap/flimsy and I'm not sure how long it will survive in the field. I'll probably need to come up with a simple chest strap mount solution for it. Also the dust cover for the USB port seems really flimsy. The plastic case is adequate, but not impressive. Would of been nicer if it had a rubberized case/exterior. Definitely wouldn't want to drop it onto concrete/etc. I'd kinda expect more for over $350. Other then that, the buttons seem decent and it should be easy to use while wearing gloves in cold weather which is a plus. The overall size isn't tiny, but it's not too big either- pretty amazing how small it is considering all the technology inside. Wish the batteries were replaceable in the field, but I'll probably carry a small Li-Ion battery pack to recharge it & my iPhone.

There is a sticker on the back of the case with your IMEI number and instructions for turning on/off SOS mode. The ink on this sticker literally rubs off with your fingers. I've never seen a professionally printed sticker have this problem before. There is a simple quick-start guide included in the box- not a lot of information, but there is a 30+ page manual on the DeLorme website which has more information. Sadly, the manual still doesn't cover all the settings/features on the device (like what is "extended tracking"?) They could really use a good tech writer to do a better job.

Included in the box is a generic 1Amp USB charger, a USB cable (from Monoprice no less!), a strap, quick start guide and the InReach.
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on June 20, 2015
Does everything I need, and some stuff I haven't figured out yet.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2015
If you venture into the wilderness and if you want to keep the people back home off your back, this device can preserve their sanity. Delivers reliable tracking to DeLorme's MapShare website, as well as text and email messages. Your loved ones can observe your progress and communicate with you, even if you're out of cell range.

This is not a device with a touch screen, however, and the on-screen is awful to use, especially if you're in the throes of an emergency and adrenaline has seized control of your brain. InReach has workarounds that fill the bill. You can pair it with your smart phone and, using the EarthMate app, use your phone's keyboard to compose messages that the InReach will transmit. You can also rely on a set of canned messages ("I'm OK" for example) so you don't have to type at all.

Haven't had occasion to activate the SOS feature (and I hope I never will), but since the device delivers messages quickly and reliably, I'm confident that SOS messaging will work just fine. (I'm a refugee from the SPOT Communicator, which absolutely didn't work in the terrain I frequent--the Gila National Forest and associated wilderness areas. The SPOT now serves as a paperweight.)
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