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Awards      Best Buy Award  Editors' Choice Award   
Price $142.15 at Amazon
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$244.00 at Amazon
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$240.38 at Amazon$449.99 at Amazon
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$143.20 at Backcountry
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Overall Score
100
0
73
100
0
65
100
0
66
100
0
82
100
0
54
Star Rating
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Pros Compact and lightweight ergonomic design, rental optionCOSPAS/SARSAT’s reliability and long track record, no annual fees, simple operationReasonable initial purchase price, no paid subscription, uses proven global network, compactEasy and affordable two-way messaging, great smartphone app, feature loaded, proven global networkLight and compact device, customizable communication network
Cons No two-way communication, no smartphone interface, Globalstar is arguably less effective than Iridium or COSPAS/SARSATLarger and heavier than closest competitorNo non-emergency messagingExpensive initial purchase, largest and heaviest messengerVery limited coverage range, very, very limited ability to secure emergency assistance
Bottom Line The lowest up-front cost satellite messenger with a handy rental option.An excellent emergency-only (with one debatable caveat) personal beacon.Compact, affordable “help me” button in your pocket.The foremost satellite messenger available, fully featured and arguably more reliable even than commonly available satellite phones.For certain users, like hunters and festival goers, this could be very useful. The rest of us won’t leverage all the advantages until there is greater participation.
Ratings by Category SPOT Gen3 Satellite Messenger ACR ResQlink 406 rescueME PLB1 inReach Explorer+ Mesh
SOS Emergency Messaging - 30%
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
3
Non Emergency Messaging - 30%
10
0
5
10
0
1
10
0
0
10
0
9
10
0
9
Signal Coverage - 20%
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
2
Ease Of Use - 10%  
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
5
Portability - 10%
10
0
8
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
2
10
0
9
Specs SPOT Gen3 Satellite Messenger ACR ResQlink 406 rescueME PLB1 inReach Explorer+ Mesh
2-way messaging No No No Yes Yes
Battery Life (hours) 150 hrs (lithium batteries) 30 hrs 24 hrs 100 hours (lithium polymer battery) 24 + hrs
Weight w/ batts oz 4.0 oz 5.4 oz 4.0 oz 7.5 oz 1.6 oz
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