New Garmin InReach Messenger: Easy Satellite Comms Anywhere, Anytime

New Garmin InReach Messenger: Easy Satellite Comms Anywhere, Anytime

When venturing into the backcountry, going on an epic overlanding adventure, or just heading out for a long hike, staying connected with your loved ones and/or emergency services is a must. But most satellite communications can be a little complicated and overwhelming for newbies to use, which is why the Garmin InReach Messenger and corresponding Messenger app is so important. With this unit, it’s easier than ever to keep friends and family aware of your location, movements, and status out in the wild. And it’s also a cinch to contact rescue crews in case of an emergency.

Sleek and durable, the Garmin InReach Messenger is a great choice for anyone who finds themselves without cell service and needs to communicate. It provides seamless satellite communication either as a standalone device or when paired to the Messenger app, giving adventurers global two-way texting, location sharing, SOS capabilities and more. It’s also impact-resistant and water-rated to IPX7.

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For the satellite portion of the device, the Garmin InReach Messenger gives you access to a global Iridium network when you venture beyond cellular coverage range—though to get on the network you have to have an active satellite subscription, either with an annual package or a flexible month-to-month plan. If you’re within range of a cellular or Wi-Fi network, the app will actively search between coverage to ensure your messages are sent, but to have full coverage with satellites added, you’ll have to pony up for the subscription. If the worst case does happen, the Messenger can send an SOS message to Garmin’s 24/7 staffed International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) to make sure rescue professionals will be promptly contacted and made aware of your situation.

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One of the highlights of the device is the simple user interface that works through the app, no more tiny screens or multitude of little buttons to navigate. You can start group chats to keep folks abreast of your movements and plans. Friends and loved ones don’t need to have an InReach communicator for the thread to work either.

Garmin's new InReach Messenger makes satellite communications easy and affordable.
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Another great feature is the ability to share your location by using the MapShare option or simply have your GPS coordinates embedded in your messages. The display on the Messenger device will confirm that your message has been sent, plus preset messages can be created so you can easily check in or alert your contacts while out on your trip.

The device, which will give you up to 28 days of battery life when set on the 10-minute tracking mode, can also be used as a battery booster for your phone if you run out of juice, and can send a custom text message via your phone’s touchscreen.

[$300; garmin.com]

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