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Garmin InReach Mini

$349.99
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Why We Like The InReach Mini

We bring Garmin's InReach Mini along when "getting away from it all" includes going beyond cellphone reception. While we appreciate the lack of work emails, phone calls, and social media notifications when we're appreciating the great outdoors, there are some situations we like being prepared for. The ability to send an SOS to GEOS—Garmin-powered International Emergency Response Coordination Center—brings peace to our minds whenever we're biking, climbing, skiing, paddling, and backpacking off the beaten path. Our loved ones especially like the ability to send us messages on extended hut trips and mountaineering missions.

  • Compact satellite communicator for off-grid contact
  • Two-way messaging allows texting, posting, and inReach communication
  • SOS alerts triggers messages to GEOS in emergencies
  • GPS tracking location shares with folks back home
  • Global Iridium satellite network goes beyond cellphone coverage
  • InReach weather forecasting gives detailed weather updates
  • Impact-resistant housing water-rated to IPX7 standards
  • Rechargeable battery gives up to 90 hours in default mode
  • Item #GRM009K

Housing Material
plastic
Operating System
Bluetooth, ANT+
Battery Type
rechargeable lithium ion
Battery Life
[10-minute track mode] 50 hours
Dimensions
2.04 x 3.9 x 1.03in
Claimed Weight
3.5oz
Recommended Use
backcountry riding, backcountry skiing, backcountry snowshoeing, backpacking, canyoneering, flatwater paddling, gravel, hiking, mountaineering, river paddling, ski mountaineering, snowshoe hiking, snowshoe running, trail, trail running, travel
Manufacturer Warranty
1 year

Tech Specs

What do you think about this product?

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>Rating: 4

Peace of Mind is...Small?

Familiarity:
I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit:
Runs small

I bought this and received it before this weekend for a backpacking trip, and it was nice to have the peace of mind during the trip that if anything goes wrong, I could get help fairly quickly. I ran the test messages on this, and it worked quite well, and I even sent preset messages and received incoming messages as well. It was nice to be able to communicate with loved ones in the middle of nowhere, where there is no cell service. These messages though were quite delayed, and took quite a bit of time to send and recieve, but they did work in the end. You have to sign up at explore.garmin.com and pay for a plan in order to use the InReach Mini though. Signing up was an absolute pain, as it requires you to have a Garmin account, but you can't create one at explore.garmin.com, nor does it tell you that you need to do this before hand. When registering my InReach, it would always fail, saying invalid user name and/or password, even though I haven't entered those or created an account at any point before then. I had to go to a different part of Garmin's website, make an account there, and then I was able to setup my InReach Mini. Quite a painful process. Once I was over that hump though, the plans offered were rather flexible and priced nicely. My InReach Mini then started working without a hitch. The battery life of this thing also seems very solid, and the screen is very readable. I wouldn't use it for messaging directly though, it just doesn't have a great interface for that. Garmin's Earthmate app makes it very easy though to compensate for this, and you can pair it with your phone via Bluetooth to then send and receive messages with your phone, making it much easier to use for that. Supposedly it can also pair with a Garmin watch, but I don't have one of those. The thing that boggles my mind though is just how small it is. Communication with the Iridium satellite network, which covers the entire planet, through this tiny little device in my hand. It isn't cheap, but if you're going backpacking with no cell service, which would be most of the time, I easily recommend the Garmin InReach Mini. It works, it's tiny, and it'll give you some peace of mind because if things go horribly wrong, you can get help.

I
>Rating: 5

Security blanket

Familiarity:
I've used it several times

I purchased this not for month long expeditions in the Himalayas, but for the daily trail runs where a broken ankle could lead to an unexpected night out, backcountry ski tours, long days off the grid and weekend backpacking trips. The inReach Mini is easy to set up and very easy to use. Although I only use it for the preset messages and (hopefully never) the SOS button, I have found the mini very intuitive. Battery life is pretty good, I typically turn it off and check in whenever I stop. (GoPro for scale in photo)

I

good info, thanks for the comparative photo!

>Rating: 5

Great peace of mind

This thing is awesome! It's light enough that I don't think twice about throwing it in my pack. Even if I don't turn it it's nice to know I'd have it in an emergency. The testing functionality through the app works well and is much easier than typing on the small gps screen.

>Rating: 4

in reach for them

Makes you leaving to the service free areas ok for those of your family that want the constant ability to keep tabs on you.

>Rating: 5

Great Device

Familiarity:
I've put it through the wringer

The InReach Mini has been awesome for anything from day trips to thru hikes and month long rafting trips. Now that I have this I'll never go on another trip without it. This works great to let family/friends know where I am or if something goes wrong. Battery life is fantastic and the mini is a great lightweight alternative to the InReach Explorer.

>Rating: 5

Inreach mini

Familiarity:
I've used it several times

We got this as a much cheaper means of satellite communication than the Iridium Go. It works for texting, emergency rescue, navigation and weather reports. Anywhere.

>Rating: 5

My GF loves this.

Im not a big fan of being "in reach" but my lady is which enables me to get out more than I normally would so..........

Have me cracking up.

>Rating: 5

Must Have Piece of Gear

Familiarity:
I've used it several times

I have used this and the prior generation of the Inreach to let my family know where I am and that everything is good. I appreciate that they have slimmed the device down significantly because I now have no excuse to not take it with me any time I am out on my own. It is easy to use and have had no issue getting messages out and back. Overall, very satisfied with the device and highly recommend it to anyone that is going outside cell coverage.

>Rating: 5

Iridium Satellite 2 way texting + SOS

Familiarity:
I've used it several times

After using the InReach Mini for a week in Yellowstone's backcountry wilderness, I'm sold! The Mini uses the Iridium satellite network to provide seamless 2 way texting along with SOS capability. Paired with my phone and using the Earthmate app, I was able to text my friends and family just as I normally would. Send/receive would take approximately 1 minute and transmits my location with every text. Battery life was approx 3 days running 24/7. A must have for anyone spending any amount of extended time in the backcountry!

Is there an ongoing subscription cost? If so what is the cost structure?

John, Garmin has a number of different plans with different features. Full details are here: https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/ If you want the ability to pay for a month of service "a la carte" it's $15 a month for the basic level. This gets you 24/7 emergency service, 10 SMS messages, and the ability to pay for tracking "pings" and weather reports individually.

>Rating:

Is transmit power lower vs larger models? I see battery life is 50hr vs 100hr for larger versions, and accuracy is 3m vs 5m, so the internals must be different. Does Backcountry have a contact at Garmin who can provide that information?

>Rating:

does this require a subscription for service?

Yes, it requires a subscription just like the original. It's just smaller.