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Product
Garmin inReach Explorer+
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A satellite communication device that can pair with some DeLorme handheld GPS devices.
DeLorme InReach SE
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ACR ResQlink 406 personal locator beacon
ACR ResQlink 406 Personal Locator Beacon
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SPOT Gen3 Satellite Messenger
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find my friends
Apple iPhone Find My Friends
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Awards  Editors' Choice Award    Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award   
Price $449.95 at Backcountry
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$300 List$244.00 at Amazon
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$149.95 at REI
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$0 List
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15
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Pros Easy and affordable two-way messaging, great smartphone app, feature loaded.Easy one-handed (and gloved, if not mittened) SOS operation, awesome two-way messaging, smartphone interface works well, pairs automatically on startupFive-watt transmission power, dual frequency SOS transmission, COSPAS/SARSAT’s reliability and long track record, no annual fees, easy one handed (even gloved) operation.Compact and lightweight ergonomic design, improvement over Spot 2, good value.Free, works great with cell coverage
Cons Expensive, largest and heaviest messenger.Expensive, largest of the devices we tested, some issues with activationUnless the lack of messaging is a con for you, we found no faults with this device.No two-way communication, no smartphone interface, low 0.4 watt transmission power, Globalstar satellite constellation is arguably less effective than Iridium or COSPAS/SARSAT.Only works when your phone is on and has an excellent data signal, it does not connect you with emergency services
Bottom Line The foremost satellite messenger available, fully featured and more reliable than a satellite phone.Has the same app and connectivity as the new Garmin models, for almost $200 less.The best emergency locator beacon in our tests. No 2-way messaging.The lowest up-front cost satellite messenger and it comes with a rental option.Doesn't work out of cell range. Very useful in cell range and a good backup if your SAT messenger loses sattelites.
Ratings by Category inReach Explorer+ DeLorme InReach SE ACR ResQlink 406 SPOT Gen3 Satellite Messenger iPhone Find My Friends
Sending Messages - 30%
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
0
10
0
5
10
0
2
Reception - 20%
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
5
10
0
1
Ease Of Use - 15%
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
2
Indicator Clarity - 15%
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
0
SOS - 10%
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
5
10
0
1
Tracking - 10%
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
0
10
0
9
10
0
3
Specs inReach Explorer+ DeLorme InReach SE ACR ResQlink 406 SPOT Gen3 Satellite Messenger iPhone Find My Friends
Dimensions (in./cm) 2.7" x 1.5" x 6.5" (6.8 cm x 3.8 cm x 16.4 cm) 4.8 x 2.8 x 1.7 inches, 12 x 7 x 4.3 cm 3.9 x 1.9 x 1.3 inches, 9.9 x 4.8 x 3.3 cm 3.4 x 2.6 x 1 inches, 8.7 x 6.5 x 2.5 cm N/A (size of an iphone)
Weight w/ batts oz/g 7.5oz / 213g 8.18oz / 232g 4.6oz / 130g 4.0oz/ 114g N/A (weight of an iphone)
Battery Life (hours) 100 hours (lithium polymer battery) 100 hrs (lithium batteries) 6 year lifecycle (30hrs on SOS) 150 hrs (lithium batteries) N/A (battery life of an iphone)
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