Satellite messengers 2018-05-12T08:32:27-04:00

Satellite messengers

Satellite messengers are used to let your family and friends know you are okay, or in an emergency, allows you to send a call for help. Many hikers like to carry these in the backcountry where cell phone coverage is unreliable or unavailable. There are three popular options:

delorme

Delorme Inreach Explorer ($380)

This satellite messenger not only can send trigger an SOS, but also allows the user to send and receive text messages (with GPS coordinates). You can track and share your location with friends and family, and can create or view a route and navigate with the on-screen map. The device also has a digital compass, altimeter, accelerometer, and odometer.

delorme inreach SE

Delorme Inreach SE ($300)

This satellite messenger can trigger an SOS, and also allows the user to send and receive text messages (with GPS coordinates). You can track and share your location with friends and family, and may also view your location on the device.

spot - Copy

Spot Gen3 ($150)

This device is also is very popular, and is much more affordable. The user can send out an “I’m okay” message” (with GPS coordinates) to friends and family, but cannot receive any messages. It can also trigger an SOS.

Cost Delorme Inreach Explorer Delorme Inreach SE Spot Gen3
Device $380 $300 $150
Annual subscription (Basic) $143.40 $143.40 $99.99
Monthly subscription*

(Basic, no contract)

*Can choose this instead of the annual subscription.

$14.95 $14.95 N/A
Activation fee $19.95 $19.99 N/A
Features Delorme Inreach Explorer Delorme Inreach SE Spot Gen3
Trigger an SOS Yes Yes Yes
Send pre-programmed messages Yes Yes Yes
Two-way messaging Yes Yes No
Tracking Yes Yes Yes
Can pair with smartphone on the trail Yes Yes No
GPS on-screen navigation, Create/view route, Create waypoints Yes No No
Digital compass, Altimeter, Odometer Yes No No
Battery life up to 100 hours up to 100 hours up to 150 hours
Weight (with battery) 8 ounces 8 ounces 4 ounces

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