Inreach upgrade?

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Inreach upgrade?

Postby mtrain » Sun 28 Nov, 2021 11:57 am

Any rumours around about updates to the inreach mini? The messaging functionality is becoming dated and there is some good competition around now. I like the standalone gps functions but messaging on the zoleon seems much better so ive been holding off buying to see if garmin have anything new coming. Has anyone heard about an updated mini?
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby ribuck » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 2:45 am

Hmm, the Zoleon is 150g vs 99g for the InReach Mini. That's a hard sell.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Tazz81 » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 6:33 am

I’ve got the Zoleo - picked it up last week on special at Anaconda for $299. It’s a great little unit and the messaging is very fast. Also if you both have the app you can send 900 words per message. To be honest I was actually after an in-reach mini initially, but none were on special and at the end of the day they are all pretty much the same anyway. Sure the Zoleo weighs 60gm more and to some people that may be a deal breaker (weight has never bothered me - I even take some beers hiking!), but Zoleo is an Aus company and the subscriptions are in $AUD.
Last edited by Tazz81 on Thu 02 Dec, 2021 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 9:22 am

On first look it seems the zoleo is a capable unit.

Monthly plan is more expensive than the basic inreach safety plan though and there is no three free preconfigured messages. (that can be sent unlimited times). You do get more included messages with the zoleon but I only rarely go over my 10 on the inreach safety plan. Most of the time im using the 3 message unlimitted feature.

Agree the inreach software/UI could use an upgrade/update.. as could most Garmin products!
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Dexter » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 10:11 am

If there was an option that was pay as you go, without a reconnection fee, I'd be all over one. At least last time I looked that wasn't an option.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby ribuck » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 6:04 pm

wildwanderer wrote:Agree the inreach software/UI could use an upgrade/update.. as could most Garmin products!

Agreed. Garmin makes fantastic hardware, but they don't seem to be able to get their software act together.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby mtrain » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 7:21 pm

Out and back podcast had an interview with the ceo of the company that makes zoleo. It was basically just a big add but interesting all the same. The weight difference is negligible and the messaging system sounds much better on the zoleo but I like the idea of being able to get gps locations etc off the inreach without a phone.surely Garmin will upgrade the capabilities of their unit soon.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby TML MHz » Fri 04 Feb, 2022 1:07 pm

Seems like an Inreach Mini 2 has been released: https://www.techradar.com/news/pocket-s ... rgency-sos

I don't know enough about the original to comment on what the upgrades are. Anything worthwhile?
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Warin » Fri 04 Feb, 2022 4:26 pm

A google search got a few reviews comparing the mini to the mini 2.

https://andrewskurka.com/garmin-inreach ... ssessment/

My take;
Better battery life.
USB C connector better than the miniUSB connector
Better menus
Track back active even when active tracking not turned on.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby ribuck » Fri 04 Feb, 2022 7:37 pm

Quicker GPS acquisition by using four satellite networks

This might be a biggie if they've done a good job of it. The original InReach Mini takes a loooong time to get the first GPX fix (if you haven't been tracking and if you have your messages set to automatically include a location). Mine sometimes takes 20-30 mins for the first message of the day, whereas it is very quick if I don't have it set to automatically include the location.

You can see the problems people have been having at this topic:
https://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... ni#p384168

Warin wrote:USB C connector

Nice! Although I won't be able to stop carrying my micro-usbA cable until I also get a USB C headtorch.

On the downside, the specified weight has increased from 99g to 100g :(
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 04 Feb, 2022 8:29 pm

I like the faster GPS acquisition time.

Similar to ribuck I've had my mini v1 take 20 mins+ to find satelites on several occasions..and it can really struggle in gorges.

But ultimately not worth upgrading from the V1 to V2. If I didn't already own a mini I'd consider.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Warin » Fri 04 Feb, 2022 9:25 pm

On my 66s there is a menu selection for which satellite network/s (GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, etc) it uses. The more networks you select the more battery it uses, but faster location and less uncertainty. Think you may find the same with the mini 2.
Last edited by Warin on Sat 05 Feb, 2022 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Neo » Sat 05 Feb, 2022 8:27 am

Provided your mobile phone has all the internal gizmos, you can get a grid reference or coordinates from your phone by using the free app RFS buddy. The free version of Avenza also works, in flight mode too.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby ribuck » Sat 05 Feb, 2022 5:55 pm

Neo wrote:Provided your mobile phone has all the internal gizmos, you can get a grid reference or coordinates from your phone by using the free app RFS buddy. The free version of Avenza also works, in flight mode too.

Sure, no problem getting a grid reference with a phone. But (as far as I can tell) the InReach Mini can't use a phone-provided location if you have the InReach Mini set to automatically include a location with each message.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby wayno » Mon 07 Feb, 2022 8:26 am

more info about mini 2 and interview with the Product manager

https://backpackinglight.com/discussing ... chip-noble
from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby peregrinator » Sat 02 Apr, 2022 9:25 am

wildwanderer wrote:
. . . But ultimately not worth upgrading from the V1 to V2. If I didn't already own a mini I'd consider.


I'm probably not the only one investigating satellite communication devices after reading crollsurf's recent post about a broken fibula. I have a bunch of questions but will start with this one.

Based on wildwanderer's comment above, would I buy an Inreach Mini v.1 rather than a v.2 if the v.1 model is $65 cheaper? Note, I would not be using the device for anything other than sending an emergency message, and it would be a backup device to the PLB and Etrex and printed map I currently carry on trips.

(I suppose I'm still wondering whether yet another device is really justified.)
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Warin » Sat 02 Apr, 2022 9:44 am

If you have a PLB.. wait for the battery expiry date and then decide. This is where I am at.

If you must have 2 way communication then the PLB is worthless to you, make a decision.

If the decision is V1 or V2 at $70 .. I'd go the V2 simply for longer backup (repair services).
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby peregrinator » Sat 02 Apr, 2022 10:02 am

Thanks Warin. I suppose I should have also added that I do not use a "smart" phone, so that would obviously indicate that two-way communication is certainly not high on my list of priorities! (And also that I do not need one for navigating.)

Waiting for the PLB battery to expire does seem to be good advice. That gives me until November 2028. I will probably be compelled by government regulation to be walking around with a GPS device implanted in my brain by then.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Warin » Sat 02 Apr, 2022 12:32 pm

peregrinator wrote:Waiting for the PLB battery to expire does seem to be good advice. That gives me until November 2028. I will probably be compelled by government regulation to be walking around with a GPS device implanted in my brain by then.


2026 for me.

The advice may change from 'take a PLB/rescue device' to 'take a smart phone with off line maps, satellite phone and PLB/rescue device' ... :(
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby TentPeg » Sat 02 Apr, 2022 3:06 pm

The inreach mini is very slow to use for comms. It is best paired with a smart phone with the Garmin app. This becomes an issue if you don't have a phone when you hit the SOS and then need to communicate with Garmin in the States.
I have all three. In an emergency fire up the Garmin, pair it to the phone and hit the PLB. As soon as the inreach is ready get a message to your contact so when the police ring them they can get the full story of how many need care and what injuries have occurred.
The inreach SOS message goes to a call centre. If they are busy you are stuffed.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Aushiker » Fri 12 Aug, 2022 12:42 pm

Just tossing up on a Garmin inReach Mini 2 or a Zoleo or a Spot X.

Have I got this right? It appears that the Zoleo does not offer tracking. Is that correct? Also, I do not understand what the offer of unlimited 'Cellular & Wi-Fi Messages.' I assume this is not using their satellite so what exactly are they offering?

Spot X whilst larger at 198.4 g and dimension-wise compared to the inReach Mini (100g) it is offering unlimited tracking (?) and at ~$21 per month (Contract) compared to the inReach at $40 per month on a contract.

Checking the prices at Johnny Appleseed the Garmin is $544 versus the Spox at $429.

Is there any reason besides the mass to not go with the Spot X? Am I missing something here?
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Warin » Fri 12 Aug, 2022 2:36 pm

Aushiker wrote:Just tossing up on a Garmin inReach Mini 2 or a Zoleo or a Spot X.

Have I got this right? It appears that the Zoleo does not offer tracking. Is that correct? Also, I do not understand what the offer of unlimited 'Cellular & Wi-Fi Messages.' I assume this is not using their satellite so what exactly are they offering?


The cellular is your own cell phone connection
The wifi is any wifi that you have available to you ...

The Zoleo simply provides a consistent user interface no matter what communication medium it is using. Andrew Skurka on podcast Backpacker Radio #137 uses it .. says it does do tracking but he does not use that.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Aushiker » Fri 12 Aug, 2022 3:09 pm

Thanks Warin. I get how the mobile/wifi works now. The Zoleo sends the ok texts via mobile or wifi if available.

Thanks for the clarification on tracking ... I think I have found the option details.

'ZOLEO users and check-in recipients will be able to use the free ZOLEO app to view the current location and breadcrumb trail on a map. Location Share+[pay service] is an optional add-on subscription* that includes unlimited check-in and location share messages! - If I am reading this right, you need to pay the extra fee for this service as described at https://support.zoleo.com/hc/en-us/arti ... ion-Share-

That would then bring the basic plan up to $40 which is comparable with the InReach on a contract.
Last edited by Aushiker on Fri 12 Aug, 2022 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Aushiker » Fri 12 Aug, 2022 3:37 pm

Out of curiosity, I did a three-year minimum cost calculation for each unit using contracts when they are offered to get the lowest cost. No suspension of the plans was included in the calculation.

Spot X at current exchange rate = $1,240
Zoleo $1,818
InReach $2,033

The trade-off with the Spot is the weight and size. The big question is it a $600 to $800 trade-off all other things being equal.

If I reduce my usage to say six months or eight months of the year and suspend the other months, the Zoleo becomes a serious option.
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby crollsurf » Fri 12 Aug, 2022 4:32 pm

Just bought the Garmin Mini V2 for $540 and an annual Safety plan @$20AUD/month +~$50AUD for registration. So the 3 year cost (including the mini) works out to be $1,310
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Aushiker » Fri 12 Aug, 2022 4:57 pm

crollsurf wrote:Just bought the Garmin Mini V2 for $540 and an annual Safety plan @$20AUD/month +~$50AUD for registration. So the 3 year cost (including the mini) works out to be $1,310


Do you still get tracking with that? I do not get what the send/track points at 15 cents provides.

https://www.garmin.com/en-AU/p/837461/pn/010-06004-SU

Update: It appears you do get charged for tracking if you want to use it on that safety plan - https://support.garmin.com/en-AU/?faq=b ... KiUUP1LXb9
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby crollsurf » Fri 12 Aug, 2022 5:20 pm

Aushiker wrote:Do you still get tracking with that? I do not get what the send/track points at 15 cents provides.

https://www.garmin.com/en-AU/p/837461/pn/010-06004-SU


I did consider that but unless you need or want people to "look at me", is that needed for most people. Still coming to terms with the device but I think if you have it synced to your phone, once you have a connection, you can upload to the map anyway.

EDIT: Send tracking is off by default and I think it only costs 15 cents/point when sent by the Garmin device. Sync via phone on a mobile connection I'm hoping will be free but I need to test this unless someone else can jump in and confirm one way or another.

So I take it the others send tracking points via satellite (Iridium or other network) for free?
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Re: Inreach upgrade?

Postby Aushiker » Mon 15 Aug, 2022 11:53 am

Having given it some more thought over the weekend and playing with the numbers, I ordered the following from https://www.ja-gps.com.au/ this morning. They did a price match against eBay which is appreciated and offered overnight delivery for $1.40 so cannot complain.

InReach Mini 2 - Black (010-02602-01)
Backpack Tether (010-11855-00)
Spine Mount Carabiner (010-12723-00)

Apparently, you need a Spine Mount Carabiner to use the Backpack Tether ... thanks Garmin :roll: I prefer to mount the inReach to my backpack's shoulder strap so it is easily accessible should I need it in an emergency.

Throwing the numbers around a bit more I can get the cost down for eight months of usage to $1,038 with tracking and $758 without tracking and maybe a bit more if I am not careful with the text messages. Using the preset messages can keep the texting under some control :D
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