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Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator
|Are Batteries Included||Yes|
|Display Size||1.27 Inches|
|Display||Sunlight-readable, monochrome, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)|
About this item
- Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
- Small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator enables 2 way text messaging using the 100% global Iridium network (satellite subscription required)
- Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required)
- Access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more by using the free Garmin Earthmate app and compatible devices
- Optional inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini or paired device, basic and premium weather packages available
- Send and receive inReach messages through compatible Garmin devices, including connected wearables and handhelds
- NOTICE: Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used
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From the manufacturer
Garmin inReach Mini
Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator.
Fit Global Connectivity Into Your Palm
inReach Mini is your go-to connection for maintaining off-the-grid contact. It’s our palm-sized satellite communicator for adventures where size and weight matter. inReach Mini lets you send and receive text messages, track and share your journey and, if necessary, trigger an SOS alert to contact the GEOS 24/7 emergency response team. With inReach connectivity, your family and friends will know they can stay in touch globally.
Pair with Garmin Pilot
In the aviation world, inReach Mini becomes a valuable air communications link. When paired via Bluetooth to a compatible tablet or smartphone running the Garmin Pilot app, your inReach Mini makes it easy to send and receive text messages while in the cockpit — even from areas without cellular reception. The app pulls in your smart device’s contact lists, so access is simple and seamless. And since your inReach Mini is also a handheld GPS, Garmin Pilot can leverage its rock-solid position source to drive a georeferenced aircraft position symbol on your tablet’s moving map display. Also, for your followers on the ground, inReach Mini can provide tracking of your flight, using the web-based MapShare page created for your inReach account. You can also link via Facebook or Twitter.
Additional Aviation Services
Your inReach Mini is also a supported device for the Lockheed Martin Flight Services (LMFS) Adverse Condition Alerting Service (ACAS), Surveillance-Enhanced Search and Rescue (SE-SAR) and Enhanced Special Reporting Services (eSRS). If you register for ACAS information, alerts provided via LMFS prompt you to call for an abbreviated briefing to address any specific adverse condition situation that might affect your flight-planned routing. Likewise, automatic monitoring provided by the SE-SAR service enables the system to identify potential flight emergency situations and/or signals to promptly initiate search and rescue procedures for your aircraft.
Includes Unlimited Cloud Storage and Trip Planning
Every inReach device comes with free access to the cloud-powered Garmin Explore website to plan your trips with routes and waypoints, create preset messages and quick texts, sync and manage your device settings, update your firmware, link your social media accounts, store all your location tracking data and much more.
- Small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator enables two-way text messaging using the global Iridium network (satellite subscription required)
- Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required)
- Access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more by using the free Garmin Eathmate app and compatible devices
- Optional inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini or paired device; basic and premium weather packages available
- Send and receive inReach messages through compatible Garmin devices, including connected wearables and handhelds
- Internal, rechargeable lithium battery provides up to 50 hours of battery life in 10-minute tracking mode (battery life may vary, depending on settings)
Travel Lighter, Communicate Smarter
Measuring just under 4” tall by 2” wide and weighing a mere 4.23 oz, inReach Mini is fit for exterior pack pockets or accessory loops. It connects for messaging via the global Iridium satellite network. You don’t have to worry about being within range of a cell tower or encountering spotty coverage. Your inReach Mini works anywhere.
Who will answer your SOS? GEOS will
GEOS is a world leader in emergency response solutions and monitoring. They’ve supported rescues in more than 140 countries, saving many lives in the process. And they’re standing by 24/7 to respond to your SOS, track your device and notify the proper contacts and emergency responders in your area. Once you’ve triggered a distress signal, you can expect a delivery confirmation that help is on the way and be continually updated on the status of your response team.
Multiple Ways to Connect
Wireless unit-to-unit connectivity lets you remotely control inReach Mini to send and receive messages using compatible Garmin handhelds, wearables or other mobile devices (See Garmin/ble for compatibility). GPS-based location tracking lets you share your whereabouts with those at home or out in the field. You can also post your adventures on social media. For basic navigation, there’s an electronic compass that shows bearing and distance along a route or to a waypoint.
Pair with Your Mobile Device
For even more capability and convenience, the free Earthmate app syncs your inReach handheld via Bluetooth wireless technology with your compatible Apple or Android device so you can access unlimited maps, aerial imagery and U.S. NOAA charts. Plus, Earthmate allows you to conveniently use all of the inReach features on your paired mobile device. For easier messaging, you can also access your phone’s contact list from the Earthmate app to connect with fewer keystrokes.
Get Weather on the Go
The optional inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini or compatible device paired with the Earthmate app, so you’ll know what conditions to expect en route. Basic and premium weather packages are offered. And you can request weather forecasts for your current location or any other waypoint or destination on your itinerary.
Rugged, Robust inReach
Tough, durable, impact resistant (MIL-STD-810F) and water-rated to IPX7, inReach Mini is built to keep you up and running. It includes an internal, rechargeable lithium battery for up to 50 hours’ use at the default 10-minute tracking mode and up to 20 days in power saving mode. Battery life may vary, depending on settings. Recharge via the microUSB power cable or optional in-vehicle 12-V charger.
The Bluetooth word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Garmin is under license. Apple is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.
Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator People who forge their own path need a reliable traveling companion. Meet Garmin’s inReach Mini, a compact, lightweight satellite communicator with GPS. When you go off-the-grid, inReach Mini is your go-to device for maintaining contact anywhere on the planet. This pocket-sized marvel allows you to send and receive text messages, track and share your journey and, if necessary, trigger an SOS alert to contact the GEOS 24/7 emergency response team. No matter where you go, inReach connectivity lets your family and friends stay in touch. Ideal for all athletic training, camping and anytime you want to ensure you won’t be cut off from the rest of the world. Features: Small, rugged, lightweight pocket communicator enables two-way text messaging with 100% global Iridium* satellite coverage (satellite subscription required) Stay safe with the interactive SOS trigger to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required) Keep in touch by sending and receiving inReach messages through compatible Garmin devices, including connected wearables and handhelds You’ll never be lost with location tracking and sharing; let your family and friends know exactly where you are Pairs with your mobile device for access to downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more using the free Earthmate app with compatible devices Check the weather with the optional inReach weather forecast service that provides detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini or paired device2; basic and premium weather packages av
Product detailsColor:Black | Size:1.27 inches
User Manual [PDF ]
- Product Dimensions : 7 x 5 x 3 inches; 10.56 Ounces
- Item model number : Garmin
- Date First Available : July 4, 2018
- Manufacturer : Garmin
- ASIN : B07F872GPQ
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,015 in Sports & Outdoors (See Top 100 in Sports & Outdoors)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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OK, now for the review. In 2016 Garmin bought DeLorme. A year later we see the inReach SE+ without an internal map and the Explorer+ which merges both the inReach satellite communicator with an on-board GPS including 24K scale maps of the US and Canada (Mexico is also included, but at less resolution). Unfortunately putting all that into one unit adds size and Wright. Not what a long distance hiker appreciates. Then in 2018 we see the tiny and lightweight InReach MINI released which, although it has no internal map like the SE+ gives all the navigation features to the user by way of a Bluetooth connection to their smartphone using the included EarthMate app. So let's consider what that means. In a tiny and very lightweight device paired to your phone you have the ability to accurately locate yourself on a topo map, move to any other location on the map and drop a waypoint and the inReach will draw a straight line route to follow via the map or the built in compass. All the while you are aware of the terrain over which you must travel. You can adjust as needed to avoid obstacles by dropping additional waypoints. But wait... there's more. you also have the ability to send and receive MESSAGES to anyone (not just other inReach users) via text (SMS) on their smartphones or email. These messages don't use the cellular phone system but orbiting satellites from Iridium, the company that primarily provides satellite voice phone service at a very high cost. So you're never alone even when you're beyond cell coverage. You're also one button away from an international search and rescue service which will SEND HELP at once while staying in communication with you. All messages sent from the inReach, both routine and SOS include your exact location. The recipient can click on a link and see exactly where you are on a topo map. So BOTH of my basic needs are met with this small but powerful device and my smartphone.
THE FUNDIMENTALS: Now for the big questions: Does it work? Do I need it? Is there something better for me? YES IT WORKS. The satellite communicator on this newest model works as reliably as the older versions. In other words, if you can find some sky. it will get your messages out and responses back. The time it takes depends on how much sky you can see and how often you check for satellites. The MINI will check once each hour, or you can manually check at any time. There is no additional cost to listen for satellites. As for the new GPS features, they are also reliable as you would expect coming from Garmin. The screen on the InReach is smaller than top of the line dedicated GPS devices. The user interface is not touchscreen, but it works fine in bright sunlight. That's on purpose. Unlike simple GPS units that only receive signals from orbiting GPS satellites, the InReach battery is designed to also send messages to a different group of communication satellites from Iridium located miles in space and still last at least 50 hours in the backcountry. To achieve these goals the battery can't support ultra bright or touch screens. But I have found that by cupping my hand over the screen I can read the finest detail at high noon on a sunny day. The topo maps on EarthMate are fully detailed with altitude rings clearly marked and showing the type of terrain. Even some stores and business names are given in the towns. So to be clear, this is a robust, reliable satellite communicator and GPS orienteering device all in one package with the ability to last 50 hours on a charge if used responsibly. I have had my InReach last well over a month by lowering the screen brightness when not in the direct sun, turning it off at night and contacting friends and family only three times a day at prearranged times to minimize when the InReach needs to seek satellites. EarthMate on the phone will provide ALL of the navigation features even if the InReach MINI is turned off. So unless you want to send or are expecting to receive a message keeping the InReach off can easily get you more than a month of service without a recharge. If you are concerned about the phone's battery, using a hand compass once Earthmate gives me my fix lets me turn it off for more battery life. Then I only turn on the phone when I need to confirm my location. In my thinking, everyone who drives out of cell coverage should have one of these with a minimum subscription plan if only to be able to summon help if the car brakes down. Remember you can buy brighter touchscreen GPS units that receive both US and Russian GPS satellites. But not one of them will summon help or let you keep in touch with family and friends. So buy the InReach for its communication abilities and consider the GPS features a welcome bonus. By contrast a satellite phone will cost over $1000 and the monthly costs are at least ten times more than the InReach. And satellite phones don't have maps, compasses, and accurate GPS location.
THE COST: What will it cost me? Unlike a simple GPS device that you buy once and then use for years, the InReach is also a satellite communicator that lets you send and receive messages and contact Search & Rescue in an emergency. This is what sets the InReach apart. DON'T COMPARE it to any other GPS unit. That's like apples vs oranges. No other GPS unit will communicate. So don't buy the InReach if you don't want or need the satellite communication features. You will be wasting your money. But if you're like me and are glad that a device exists to allow messages from the trail when there is no cell service the InReach is for you. Here's what to expect for cost. First you buy the InReach itself. Then you have to activate it which is done online to record your information and subscribe to the Iridium Satellite and GEOS Search & Rescue services. Like any utility, they cost. Garmin doesn't provide the satellites or the SOS service. They just activate you with Iridium and GEOS. Both of these activations cost Garmin and that cost is passed on to you. So just by activating your InReach you will be charged for these activation service fees which must be renewed yearly. Then you need to choose a subscription plan. These are a set of options that let you choose how you wish to use the InReach. I like an Annual subscription so the InReach is always active. I keep it in my car in case of a breakdown outside of cell service to summon road services and notify family. Some will choose a "Freedom" plan which lets you activate and deactivate the InReach on a monthly basis. This saves monthly charges that an annual plan would have for when you don't use the InReach. But if your InReach is deactivated with the Freedam plan you must reactivate it BEFORE taking it on a hike. When not active the Iridium satellites will not accept any messages from the InReach. This includes SOS or a message to a friend to reactivate it. To sum up the cost please realize that the InReach is PRIMARILY a satellite commicator that uses a service that has both an annual and monthly charge. So do yourself a big favor and throughly read the subscription page on the Garmin website to understand these costs before you buy the InReach. You don't want any surprises later. I'll be a bit subjective here and simply say that it costs me less than $15 each month to have the InReach always available. That's less than I pay for my morning coffee and pastry at the local shop for just one day. I think it's a very cheap price to pay for something that can save your life, keep family and friends updated on your hiking or boating progress and let you keep in touch from anywhere on Earth. The fact is that there is no other device available that provides two-way satellite communication so inexpensively. In fact nothing else comes remotely close. The InReach opens up the normally expensive world of satellite communication to everyone. Remember you can have full-time active service with search and rescue support each month for less the you pay for one day's morning coffee stop.
THE KNOWN BUGS: Now for the bugs part. Everything that I have already discussed works perfectly and bug free to my knowledge. But the inReach has some other features that are'nt needed for communication, but make it easier to get some things done. It can connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet. Then you can have a larger screen and easy keyboard and view a map with your location marked and send a text home. It also has a website assigned to you alone to set waypoints, create routes, overlay additional types of maps, list your frequent contacts, and often used text messages. These are not necessary communication features, but using them before setting out will make your time in the back country easier. This is where the bugs are showing up.
I received a response from Garmin tech support. Unfortunately they have discovered that the newer inReach units (Explorer+, SE+, and MINI) will not communicate with the EarthMate app on iOS devices older than iOS 10. The issue is that the new inReach uses a more advanced Bluetooth protocol. The older Apple devices can't interface with the new hardware in a way that EarthMate needs. So if you have an iPhone 4s or any iPhone or iPad that uses the older wide connector, you're out of luck. BUT TAKE HEART. All is not lost, by any means. EarthMate still runs on the older iPhone which has its own GPS, compass and accelerometer. So even though the inReach is not talking with EarthMate, you still see the same maps, same exact location and direction of travel on the EarthMate app on the phone. EarthMate is just using the iPhone's hardware instead of the inReach. So only two features are lost when the InReach can't connect to an IPhone. The first is the loss of a bigger, and easier to use keyboard, although with a little practice, using the inReach's built-in keyboard can be quite fast. The second is the ability to Sync the inReach on the trail with the Garmin site via a phone or tablet if you have cell or WiFi service. This shouldn't be an issue for most people with a computer and WiFi since Syncing is only done after changing your pre-written messages or adding contacts. Most people will do those tasks at home and then Sync with a USB cable. A hard wire link to your computer is also required to get any firmware updates that may be released.
I did discover that the InReach will send waypoints created on it to the Garmin site when it gets satellite connectivity at no cost to the user. So family and friends who are following your trip via the Garmin Mapshare site will see your new Weypoints as you create them. The ability for EarthMate on the iPhone to download maps not built into the basic EarthMate configuration is still available via cell or WiFi even if it can't connect to the inReach. Map downloads always use the Internet not the satellite system because of their large size. Additional North American maps always reside on the phone, not the InReach. Nothing different here. So users like myself can still get aerial photo maps, NOAA charts etc. and since both devices have GPS there is no difference if the inReach and phone can, or can't connect. So we're back to the fact that the ONLY loss if you have an older iPhone is a larger keyboard and Syncing on the trail. No big deal.
I'll make it a simple decision... If you are day tripping and not leaving the cell network, but want detailed maps with waypoints, routes, and an easy to follow compass. Leave the inReach at home and just use the EarthMate app on your older iPhone. If you need to communicate with someone, use the phone's cell service as usual. However, if you think that you may stray beyond the cell network, the inReach is the ONLY reliable way to communicate with family and friends who may help to summon auto club services, police, or ambulance. And even without a phone connection it will help lead you safely out of the woods. For under $15 a month that's quite a bargain.
TEXTS VS EMAIL: When you send or receive a text it has to use the local cellular carrier to communicate with the recipient's phone via its cell system. When you use email the cell carrier is bypassed because the messages do directly from Garmin to the recipient phone via the Internet (WiFi). Cell system texts are often problematic due to there high usage. Servers crash, interfaces fail etc. I have often gotten texts a day or two later then when they were sent. But the InReach will also send emails. So if you are having issues getting texts to your friends or family JUST SEND AN EMAIL. Problem solved.
CHANGES FROM THE SE+ AND EXPLORER+
I was told many years ago by the DeLorme technical team that when the InReach is paired to a smartphone and the EarthMate app is being used it would constantly check which GPS signal was more accurate: the phone's, or the InReach's. EarthMate would then use the best one for determining accurate location for navigation, tracking, and messages. All InReach devices no longer do this, but will always use the GPS location from the phone. This is perfectly fine as long as the user is aware and keeps the phone in a position to get a good view of the sky. But this also means that the InReach is not needed for Earthmate unless you are composing and sending a message on the large phone keyboard. So turn off the InReach when not sending to conserve the battery. Earthmate will work just fine.
There are some changes to how the InReach MINI can be controlled by the user. I suspect these changes were made to lengthen the battery charge since the MINI has a smaller battery with half the expected discharge time of the larger InReaches. One lost option is the ability of the user to determine how often it should automatically check for a satellite overhead. Instead the MINI only checks once each hour. Of course the user can force a check at any time. But this change puts the responsibility into the user's hands to look for messages more often than hourly. The MINI does not have a built-in compass, baramoter, and accelerometer to determine precise bearings, speed, direction of travel and altitude. It computes all these from the GPS readings. This has two real world affects. First, the MINI will not determine these values if you are standing still. Only once you have moved a short distance is it able to display them from GPS changes. Second, it requires a good GPS fix to show direction of travel, elevation, and speed. It is possible therefor that the MINI in a difficult GPS environment may be useless for navigation. The long term consequences of these issues will determine how much they actually impact the usefulness of the MINI verses the larger InReach models.
ACTIVATION: The InReach MINI won't work right out of the box. Because it is a communication service, it needs activation with the Iridium satellite network, GEOS search and rescue coordination service, and a user profile established at Garmin that holds information vital for use in an emergency, and finally getting your online settings page and MapShare page setup the way you like. The Activation process will first add your InReach to the system and then record routine billing, demographic, and emergency contact info. Once that is done you can use the InReach. Later you can get online and add your routes, Weypoints, contacts, quick message text and recipients, and much more.
Activation has been easy and successful for most users. However occationally problems pop up that make it difficult to complete the required activation and therefor stop the InReach from going into service. Sometimes it is Garmin's fault with poor validation routines, unsupported browsers, or other WEB based issues. Sometimes it is the user's fault with poor planning and skipping the user guide before starting activation. Sometimes the fault is not obvious. Fortunately activation issues are very few. However, if this happens to you contact Garmin Support at once. Don't try to figure out how to fix the problem yourself. Activation requires a complex process that must happen in a precise order or it won't continue. Only Garmin support is able to intervene successfully. With that understanding the wise user will activate and test the InReach well before going on an off-grid adventure. Setting it up the night before you depart gives you no time to correct problems especially since Garmin support is only available on weekdays. The good news is that once activation is complete the InReach will work flawlessly for years to come without ever having to reactivate. It's reliability is well documented by its high user review scores at Amazon, REI, and other suppliers.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Now just a few words about customer service from Garmin. When the InReach was designed and sold by DeLorme, a small company in Maine with a long reputation for excellent mapping services the customer service was excellent. They had a dedicated staff devoted exclusively to the InReach. They really were experts on every facet of its use, activation, and subscription options. I had many great chats with these DeLorme employees and have great respect for them. Many continued working for Garmin after DeLorme was acquired. Some reviews on Amazon express frustration with the current customer service from Garmin. I can't directly speak from experiance about Garmin InReach support since I have become a bit of an expert myself over the years and don't need to call them that often. But it occurs to me that the Garmin customer support team must have to take calls about dozens of devices from this very large company. So it seems reasonable to me that they may not be as knowledgeable as the DeLorme support staff about the many unique facts of the InReach. If you need to call customer support be patient. If they haven't solved your problem or answered your question clearly ask if they can email you additional fact sheets on your problem. If needed, ask to speak to a supervisor who may be more knowledgable. Don't give up. The hardest part of the InReach is getting it activated and working. Once you do that the rest is easy and automatic. Keep in mind that there are THOUSANDS of perfectly working InReach units throughout the World. If you are having problems I'm sure there is a simple solution. Keep calling customer support until your issue is resolved. But don't give up on the InReach. It is too valuable for your safety to abandon just because you haven't found the customer service agent with the information you need.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT INREACH FOR YOU: Having compared the specs of the InReach MINI with the older InReach models and having tested it well myself. I can make a few observations that might be helpful for those trying to decide which version is best for them. Of prime importance is the fact that the InReach Mini provides all the functionality of the InReach SE+. Full two-way satellite communication with all the existing perks like tracking, MapShare and social media interface, Bluetooth connectivity to a smartphone for navigation etc. The Mini has added connectivity to certain Garmin devices like their watches to be able to control the MINI from the watch or other Garmin device. Here are a few pros and cons that I feel may help a buyer decide which InReach best suits their needs. PROS: Small size and weight: This wil be welcomed by multi-day hikers who must be obsessed with the total weight that they must carry. It also lets you drop it into a backpack side pocket or other small space. Full InReach functionality: The Mini will do everything that it's bigger brother, the InReach SE+ will do. Ability to connect to certain Garmin devices: For off-grid adventurers, such as trail bikers who use Garmin watches this makes it easy to control the Mini from the watch. CONS: The screen is much smaller than the InReach SE+ making it a bit less convenient to move to options such as messaging, or compass. The ability to type a message is significantly harder than the InReach SE+ with its full on-screen keyboard. The InReach Mini lines up the alphabet vertically along the right side of the screen. The user must then scroll through letter by letter selecting those to use for the message. Simply put, the MINI was designed with the expectation that it's users would choose to pair it to their smartphone and use the EarthMate app. to type messages. Battery life has been cut in half from 100 hours on the InReach SE+ under normal use to 50 hours on he Mini. For the day hiker or casual adventurer that is no problem. And the battery life can be greatly extended by going into a power conservation mode. But for the long trail hikers and multi-day hunters as well as boaters on long trips offshore the extra battery life of the InReach SE+ could be critical. Especially since wise practice requires conservation for emergency use to coordinate with search and rescue. Another option is to carry a spare backup battery pack to recharge both the MINI and the phone. Since the InReach Mini is priced only $50 less than the InReach SE+ the multi-day hiker or boater would be well advised to spend the extra money to get double the battery capacity. However the greatest advantage of the MINI is its small size and weight. So it's a personal decision based on how you feel about these characteristics.
I know that choosing the right InReach for you involves a lot of information to consider. It can easily get confusing. Here are the main differences and examples of how to choose the one for you. The InReach Explorer+ priced at $449 is the top of the line with both satellite communications and a well designed and accurate GPS navigation system including high resolution maps of North America built in. It's strong point is that it has all you need in a single unit with 100 plus hours of battery life. The next step down is the InReach SE+ which has all the communication features of the Explorer+ but without the GPS navigation system and maps built in. It costs $399. Finally there is the InReach MINI with all of the communication features of the SE+ and Explorer+ but, like the SE+ lacks GPS navigation within the unit. It is much smaller and lighter, has only a 50 hour battery life, and it's screen is much smaller than the larger InReach models. It sells for $349. Choosing which model is best for you depends on your expected activities. First, let me stress that since the price differance between the top and bottom of the line is only $100 anyone considering an InReach who often goes hiking in the backcountry or long distance offshore boating would be wise to think of spending the extra money for the Explorer+ since you never know when having a map and precise location built in can be lifesaving in itself. That aside, here are the circumstances where each excels. The Explorer+ is the best choice for the overnight off-grid hiker, offshore boater, or adventurer. Some will be tempted to choose the Mini for its light weight. But then any navigation will require linking it to your smartphone and using the EarthMate app. The problem is that smartphones have no chance of nearing the battery life of the InReach and any saving in weight will be countered by the weight of carrying the phone. When the phone dies, so does your GPS navigation. That's what makes the Explorer+ so groundbreaking a device. Everything is built into one unit with long and lasting power. But it is large and heavy. As I said earlier, another option is to also carry a backup battery pack to charge both the MINI and the phone. But that adds back whatever weight was gained by choosing the MINI instead of the Explorer+. For those who never go hiking, hunting, or offshore boating they may prefer the savings and forgo built-in GPS navigation. Then the choice is between the SE+ and the Mini. The only new feature that is unique to the Mini is its ability to connect to some Garmin sport watches. If weight and size are a big concern to you, the Mini has you covered. If double the battery life and a bigger and easier to use screen mean a lot, get the SE+. As for me, I consider any InReach of equal value as a satellite communicator. They all will send and receive messages, activate an SOS to GEOS for Search and Rescue or just if you breakdown on the road in a place without cell service. They all will pair with your smartphone running the included free Earthmate app for easier typing on your phone and a larger screen to view the messages and map. It's important to understand that all three InReach models will provide the same high quality GPS navigation if they are linked to your phone and running EarthMate. So if you choose the SE+ or Mini both will still provide great GPS location on a map with a built-in compass if you link them to your phone and use the EarthMate app. This will serve the day hiker well as long as the phone's battery holds out. Some users have reported problems linking the InReach with the newest phones. Garmin should catch up with future firmware updates. As for satellite communications, all models work the same, have all the same features and reliability, and cost the same for your choice of subscription.
OBSERVATION OF CONSUMER REVIEWS - PLEASE READ THIS
I have been reading various reviews by many people and I've realized that consumer reviews have an inherent problem. They are subjective and limited to the assumptions of the consumer. So I would like to make some observations to help perspective buyers make a good decision.
Reviews should be made by people who have tested the product for its intended use. There are lots of "I just got this today. I'm thrilled" reviews. They are worthless. They only tell us that the customer is excited by what they read in the advertising and no more. They haven't tested to see it it works as advertised. Then there are the "My salesman told me it would do this, but you need a subscription. What a scam." reviews. Sales staff get it wrong sometimes. If you want good information read the manufacture's web site. Call technical support. For Goodness sake ask an expert, not someone who has a bone to pick with a sales agent. Then there are the angry fringe flat Earth people who need to shout from the rooftops that everyone is lying to us and the sky is falling. Although I like to keep an open mind, I have little use for someone who always complains and never suggests a solution. My time is to valuable to listen to negative babble with no desire to seek a better approach. Finally, please understand what the main function of a product is. Are there other products that provide the same function? Can I buy it and get a refund if I'm not satisfied in a reasonable time?
As for the inReach, its MAIN function is two-way satillite communications and SOS rescue access. That is a service, like your phone, cell, gas, electricity, or cable at home. It costs each month for these services. You understand that. Why pay attention to a reviewer who is upset if a communication service like inReach expects to be paid and will cut off service after reasonable attempts to contact you if it isn't? When you first setup a new InReach Garmin must open a subscription for you with the Iridium satellite network. This costs Garmin and commits you to a full month of service. If you change your mind and return the InReach and expect a refund only the cost of the InReach can be returned to you, The satellite service has already been paid for with your expressed permission by setting it up and Garmin can't get a refund from Iridium. Consumers who don't take the time to read and understand what they are buying should not complain later when reality sets in. The InReach isn't a self-contained walkie-talkie. It's more like a phone that uses a sophisticated service to send your messages across the World. If you return a phone you don't expect a refund for the service used.
The inReach also has GPS location and tracking features. But these are NOT its main purpose. There are great GPS units available that are cheaper and have more GPS features... but they won't communicate from the backcountry. The InReach can't pack all of the latest features found in more specialized GPS devices into one small unit without sacrificing battery life or power, not to mention the cost increase. If you're not going to communicate, don't buy the inReach. If you don't mind GPS navigation via your linked phone get the InReach SE+ or MINI at a lower cost. If you need special features like deep ocean charts, a card slot, or both US and Russian GPS access get the SE+ or MINI along with another Garmin GPS unit designed for that purpose. Please consider your circumstances first. Do you need the peace of mind that the inReach two-way satellite communication feature offers? If you are hiking, injured and otherwise lost to the outside world would you be satisfied with a PLB (Personal Location Beacon) that will notify authorities of your location but not of your specific injuries, medications, medical conditions and other factors that may be crucial for first responders to understand. The inReach is the ONLY way to have a two-way conversation with rescue services. Thanks for reading my thoughts on consumer reviews
At best I have had one day of battery without any use.
If you need to stay in reach and you are away for more than a night you will need a different option
Top reviews from other countries
However this device offers two way communication in remote areas where there is no mobile phone coverage, in a lightweight device with decent battery life. And someone you give access to eg on a computer at home, can watch your progress in close to real time, sometimes doing away with the need for other communication.
On use in mountainous terrain (not ravines), and logging at 10 minute intervals, not a single log was missed. That is to say that the device managed to send a log location to the satellites every 10 minutes without missing one.
Some have reported difficulties with sending or receiving messages - I have not had any problem.
I have found neither the device menus nor the Earthmate mobile phone app easy to use.