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SPOT Personal Tracker

4.1 out of 5 stars 146 customer reviews
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  • Satellite messenger with GPS tracking for keeping users safe on adventure trips.Purchasing a service plan is required in addition to purchasing the SPOT unit.
  • SpotChecking feature alerts friends and family of your precise location
  • SpotCasting function lets friends and family follow your progress in real time
  • Sends GPS coordinates and distress message to Emergency Response Center
  • Satellite technology works around the world; measures 2.75 x 4.38 x 1.5 inches (W x H x D)
3 used from $80.00

Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

The SPOT Satellite Messenger, the world's first satellite messenger, uses both the GPS satellite network to determine a customer's location and the SPOT network to transmit that information to friends, family or an emergency service center. SPOT is a revolutionary product that is designed to raise the safety factor for hundreds of millions of people around the world.


Give your loved ones full peace of mind when you're on the mountain with the Spot Satellite Messenger. Whether you're just checking in, allowing others to track your progress, or calling for help, Spot gives you a vital line of communication with friends and family when you want it, and emergency assistance when and where you need it. Spot employs a GPS satellite network to acquire its coordinates, then sends its location to the recipient of your choice, complete with a link to Google Maps and a pre-programmed message. Unlike personal locator beacons, however, Spot does more than just call for help. The SpotChecking feature, for example, lets you notify your SpotTeam--the friends and family you've chosen as your contacts--and tell them all is well, notify them of your location, or save waypoints so you can review your route at a later date. You can also activate the SpotCasting feature to let friends and family follow your progress in real time (every 10 minutes). Anyone with access to your account information can log on and view your route, complete with virtual views provided by Google Maps. SpotCasting is a terrific feature for mountain climbers looking to celebrate their accomplishments with their loved ones.

The most important feature, however, is Spot's ability to call 911 in the event of a life-threatening or other critical emergency. Once activated, Spot will acquire your exact coordinates from the GPS network, and then send that location along with a distress message to a GEOS International Emergency Response Center every five minutes until cancelled. The Emergency Response Center will then notify the appropriate emergency responders based on your location and personal information. Responders may include local police, the highway patrol, the Coast Guard, an embassy or consulate, or other emergency response and search-and-rescue teams. Even if Spot can't acquire its location from the GPS network, it will still attempt to send a distress signal--without your exact location--to the Emergency Response Center, which will still notify your emergency contacts of the signal and continue to monitor the network for further messages.

Spot works around the world, including in virtually all of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia, and portions of South America, Northern Africa, and Northeastern Asia. And provided you're in a good coverage area, Spot offers a 99 percent probability of sending a successful message within 20 minutes. As a result, Spot is ideal for anyone with a taste for outdoor adventures, including boaters, kayakers, sailboarders, archaeologists, skiers, climbers, pilots, business travelers, snowshoers, and just about anyone else.

Spot requires two AA lithium batteries, with a battery life of up to one year in standby mode, 14 days in SpotCasting mode, or 7 days in 911 mode. And thanks to the water-resistant housing (safe in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes), you needn't worry about using Spot in adverse conditions. Spot measures a compact 2.75 by 4.38 by 1.5 inches (W x H x D), weighs 7.37 ounces, and carries a one-year limited warranty.

Communication Functions:

    Spot employs a GPS satellite network to acquire its coordinates, then sends its location to the recipient of your choice, complete with a link to Google Maps and a pre-programmed message.
  • Alert 9-1-1 dispatches emergency responders to an exact location
  • Ask for Help sends a request for help to friends and family with your location
  • Check In lets contacts know where you are and that you are okay
  • Track Progress sends and saves your location and allows others to track your progress using Google Maps

Battery Life:

  • Power ON, unused: Approximately 1 year
  • SPOT casting continuous tracking mode: Approximately 14 days
  • 9-1-1 mode: Up to 7 consecutive days
  • HELP mode: up to 1900 messages
  • SPOT check OK up to 1900 messages


  • Weight: 7 ounces
  • Waterproof to a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes
  • Operating Temperature: -40ºF to +185ºF
  • Operating Altitude: -300 feet to +21,300 feet
  • Humidity and Salt Fog Rated

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.1 x 2.6 inches ; 12.8 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • Origin: China
  • ASIN: B000YTZV74
  • Item model number: SPOT-1
  • Batteries 2 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,149 in Sports & Outdoors (See Top 100 in Sports & Outdoors)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ATHiker on December 12, 2007
Verified Purchase
Please ignore the comments about Globalstar service below, he has no clue about this product. Globalstar is having problems with its duplex service S-band amplifiers which only affects two-way traffic. I should know I have a Globalstar satellite phone. SPOT uses the L-Band uplink (simplex modem) which is used to track trucks etc. this network is running at full efficiency. I have this product and it works better than my expectations. About this product: it is not a personal locator beacon and if you wish to use this solely for emergencies, I would recommend another product. A true personal locator beacon because it works in all conditions and all-terrain (I also own one by ACR). SPOT needs to have an uninterrupted view to the satellite. In other words in heavy canopy this product does not work very well but in broken canopy or in the open this product works great (samething is true with my handheld GPS). I use this product to communicate with family and friends on my progress when backpacking, biking, or just out and about. I do use this product in heavy canopy areas and send a signal when I cross a road or powerline crossing. I still carry my personal locator beacon for real emergencies but this product helps in non-emergency situations. For more operational details you can download the manual at [...]

My cell phone doesn't work when I'm away from cell towers or underwater while scuba diving nor in caves. Similarly SPOT will not work if it cannot contact the satellite. As with all communication devices, they all have limits and parameters that they operate in. You should know this before buying any product like this.
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As someone with Coast Guard Search and Rescue experience who is very familiar with SPOT, (also an AT and PCT alum) I wanted to add my review from the perspective of someone who has responded to distress beacons. I first learned about SPOT with an open mind, but have since found many reasons to dissuade mariners and others from using the device. I can't stress strongly enough the need to go with a 406 MHz beacon, such as an EPIRB / ELT / or PLB as the distress-alerting device of choice. As a reference, I'll point to SPOT's own web site.

Unfortunately, it is full of half-truths and other misleading information.

Below, I've included a transcript of their online video about its "Alert 911" function.

A point-by-point discussion/rebuttal:

Claim: "Every year, emergency authorities conduct 50,000 rescue missions. Many of these people are not found in time. Now there's a way to make sure that they are: the SPOT messenger is the first and only product that combines GPS technology with Satellite-based communication..."

Response: FALSE! Such technology has been available for many years: SARSAT-based 406 MHz EPIRBs / ELTs / PLBs. When synced with a GPS, they embed and transmit their coordinates to a satellite, giving the Coast Guard (and for inland positions, the Air Force) an immediate "E" (electronic) solution where they can send boats / aircraft / search teams.

Claim: "Whether you are snowmobiling, hiking or sailing, it is your personal connection to loved ones and emergency authorities, with the simple push of a button, from virtually anywhere, worldwide..."

Response: Not always true. You CANNOT depend on it!
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I have just begun using this. Very impressed so far on what it can do. The check-in function allows after about 2-4 minutes of being on to click once and send either a text message to a phone or an e-mail to computer for up to 10 separate addresses. You manage the addresses by accessing your account on the internet. The tracking(an optional service costing another 50 dollars per year) also has worked for me. That service does seem to be more challenged to keep connected to the satellites than my Garmin Etrex which rarely looses it's connection. The SPOT has a blinking green light sequence that indicates whether or not you have lost satellite signal. If you see both the power and tracking light(ok checkmark) are both blinking in sync then SPOT indicates it has satellite connections and knows where you are. I was disappointed that leaving it in the top of my backpack did not always insure keeping a signal. When I held it in my hand and walked for about 10 minutes it would begin blinking in sync. I tested it in several more remote mountainous areas by leaving it horizontal on top of my pack and on my shoulder pouch of my backpack. Once it has the signal it usually will keep it in sync. However, if you just turn it on in heavy trees and deep canyons it is not very sensitive to finding the GPS satellites. This is the one weakness that I keep in mind. With the GREAT battery life, I have had great luck in turning it on when I leave home, then driving to the location I want to explore. When arriving I already have a synced signal and can now begin tracking my trip to the website and usually keeping the signal.
The website shows the track and you can click on the several points of the tracking and they display the multiple locations on Google Maps numbered in order of creation.
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