Top

Archive | Satellite Communication

The author at the last trail junction before Milner Pass, the northern terminus of the Pfiffner Traverse, with trusted inReach Explorer+ at the ready.

Long-term review: Garmin inReach Explorer+ || Sat comm + GPS unit 2-in-1

For different trips, I often wear and carry different gear. But some items are so vital that they end up on every trip — and my Garmin inReach Explorer+ is one of them. Since its release in early-2017, I have used my inReach Explorer+ on many trips around the globe, including on the southern Appalachian Trail, […]

Continue Reading
The SPOX X has rudiumentary navigation capabilities. It has a digital compass, and can create and go-to waypoints.

Review: SPOT X Satellite Messenger || I’ll keep my inReach, thanks

Exactly one week after Garmin announced the inReach Mini in May, SPOT released its first new device in five years and its first device with two-way satellite messaging. The SPOT X retails for $250, weighs 6.7 oz, and features a 2.7-inch dot matrix illuminated screen and physical QWERTY keyboard. It looks like an orange Blackberry with an over-sized antenna. […]

Continue Reading
The SOS button is well protected with a cover.

Preview: SPOT X || 2-way messenger with physical keyboard

SPOT revolutionized backcountry communication in the late-2000’s with its original device, the SPOT Personal Tracker (my review), which retailed for $170 (plus an annual service plan) and which could send three one-way messages: Okay, Help, and SOS. The Tracker was less expensive to own and operate than a satellite phone. It was more functional than […]

Continue Reading
The SPOT Gen3 wins the weight and size award, with the ACR PLB just behind. The inReach units and satellite phones are comparable in weight and size.

Comps: inReach Mini vs SE+/Explorer+, SPOT Gen3, and PLB’s

For Outside I have written a piece on the primary differences between the new Garmin inReach Mini, which was released last week, and existing satellite communication devices like the inReach SE+, inReach Explorer+, SPOT Gen3, and personal locator beacons like the ACR Electronics ResQLink. Here’s the link: The Garmin InReach Mini vs. the Competition If […]

Continue Reading
The new Garmin inReach SE+ (yellow) and Explorer+ (orange) are best described as conventional handheld GPS units with satellite text messaging.

Garmin inReach deep dive: Default & downloadable maps & imagery

Overnight I received this question from reader Bob B.: This question — and just about any other that you can imagine — has been answered previously in my previous posts about the Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+: Preview: New Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+ 12 FAQ’s: inReach SE+ & Explorer+ || Incl, Will old devices […]

Continue Reading
Screenshots of the inReach+ weather forecast tool

inReach+ U/I and features || Topo NA, test tool, quick type & weather

The $400 and $450 retail prices on the new Garmin inReach SE+ and Garmin inReach Explorer+ probably causes many prospective customers to balk. Like the second-generation inReach units, the inReach+ models can send and receive text messages and emergency signals even if outside of cellular range. But the inReach+ units are more than just that. They […]

Continue Reading
The new Garmin inReach SE+ (yellow) and Explorer+ (orange) are best described as conventional handheld GPS units with satellite text messaging.

12 FAQ’s: inReach SE+ & Explorer+ || Incl, Will old devices be serviced?

My earlier preview of the new Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+ prompted as many reader questions as it sought to answer. So I followed up with Garmin to dive deeper into technical matters, clarify product functionality, and discuss future product roll-outs. If you’re not yet familiar with the inReach+ units, read the preview first, then return […]

Continue Reading