With the recent announcement of Garmin’s first devices with inReach satellite communication technology, there have been a lot of questions surrounding the new products. From backcountry hunts to international adventures, these new inReach+ devices provide off-grid text message communications, location sharing, navigation and critical SOS functions for anyone who loves getting away from it all. But which inReach device is right for you?
As satellite communicators, both the inReach SE+ and Explorer+ offer identical messaging capabilities. However, it’s on the GPS navigation side that their differences become apparent. While inReach SE+ uses GPS to provide basic grid navigation and allow you to drop waypoints, mark key locations, track your progress, and follow a breadcrumb trail back to base – the inReach Explorer+ goes a step beyond, providing full-fledged GPS on-map guidance with preloaded TOPO mapping and waypoint routings viewable directly on the unit. The SE+ requires smart-phone tethering for this functionality. The Explorer+ also includes a built-in digital compass, barometric altimeter and accelerometer to help you get and maintain accurate bearings anywhere on or off the beaten path.
If you currently carry a handheld GPS with TOPO maps and don’t mind carrying a second unit, the SE+ will suit you fine. However, if conserving the battery on your phone is important to you, and if you want TOPO mapping, the inReach Explorer+ ($449.99 at Garmin.com) is a solid choice for only $50 more than the SE+ ($399.99 at Garmin.com).
inReach devices do require a subscription plan. Depending on how often you venture off the grid or pursue outdoor adventures, you can choose from monthly or yearly plans to suit your needs.
You may venture off the grid, but you’re never out of reach – as long as you’re carrying an inReach SE+ or inReach Explorer+. These handheld satellite communicators are designed for the outdoor enthusiast who wants to roam farther and experience more – without compromising their loved ones‘ peace of mind.
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