How We Tested Personal Locator Beacons

By:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Monday

We took all five devices / apps and tested them side-by-side for over 200 hours. We tested the beacons while boating around tiny cays in the Bahamas, paragliding in Argentina, skiing in Chamonix, and traveling through the jungles of Costa Rica. We submerged them in fresh and salt water and let them chill out in temps of down to -5C. The Garmin inReach and SPOT were tested extensively with iPhones. With help from friends we attempted to pair the SPOT with smartphones running Android as well. We also took these on a 150-mile bike ride on the Kokopelli Trail in CO/UT and on many dirt bike rides and backpacking trips in and around the Sierra.
 

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