Garmin inReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator Review [2024]

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For several years now, Garmin has been setting the standard for GPS tracking and satellite communications. The Inreach Mini is essential equipment for hikers and explorers who go off-grid and spend a lot of time away from phone and internet service.

The Inreach Mini is what we call a 2-way satellite communicator or often referred to as a PLB. This indicates that, unlike other gadgets, which can only send messages, the InReach can send as well as receive messages. A precise topographical map position for a visual will be included in messages sent (either to a mobile phone or email address) to a person that also include information about your location. You always provide the following information in your messages:

  • Time sent
  • Date sent
  • Coordinates (example: N 45.247439° W 121.886726°)
  • Speed (if you are moving while sending the message)
  • Elevation
  • Map of location

Bluetooth can be used to pair the Inreach Mini with a smartphone. The agony of typing on the Inreach Mini’s interface is completely eliminated once you are linked to your phone and can create a message as though you were sending a regular text message (there is no keyboard).

Not all messages sent to the device are received right away. To receive messages, you need to have a signal. You can reload your inbox using the “check mail” function if you received any new messages since the last time you checked your mail.

I advise choosing the Garmin Inreach Mini over the Explorer+ if you care more about weight, size, and simplicity than a few functions.

What we like

  • Small and light
  • 2 way messaging, great battery life
  • Can be paired with a smart phone

What we don't like

  • No seamless messaging
  • No instant message receival, you need to “check” for messages

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