OT: Garmin SPOT3 - better alternatives these days?

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by grizCP, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. grizCP

    grizCP DROC

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
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    Location:
    Chipita Park, CO
    I just recieved the annual message that the FindMeSpot services are increasing again this year (a little over $200 with service charges added). I'm not using it all that much (I hardly ever turn it on before a ride - it just rests in it's pouch should I need it), but it's hard to drop the service. I picture myself lying under my bike in the middle of nowhere cursing my decision to drop.

    What does the collective think about this type of service these days? Are there better alternatives? I wish my cell phone would do something similar... maybe it does and I don't know about it...

    I am feeling the curse of being frugal, while usually over-prepared.
    #1
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  2. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Location:
    Peachtree City, GA and Full Time RV Travel
    Just as an FYI, I called to cancel my SPOT 3 earlier this year and they made a deal for about $65 for a full year with the same services I had. That was definitely enough reduction in cost to make it worth my while to keep it for another year. We'll see what happens at my next renewal if I can do that again?

    With that said, if you only want it for the rescue service and nothing else, why not just get a basicl PLB?
    #2
  3. grizCP

    grizCP DROC

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    Good suggestion - now researching PLBs - any thoughts (from anyone) on products here?
    #3
  4. Merfman

    Merfman Trustin' my cape...

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    I recently stopped my Spot service and picked up the DeLorme InReach... I've only used it for a couple of trips but so far so good. My thought was I use the Spot primarily for the summer months yet had to pay for a full year. I went with the minimal service on the InReach and pay for the upgrades as I use them. The jury is still out but so far, I'm satisfied. I need to compare a year's worth of use to a year of Spot before I can offer up a final opinion. I do like that I can send texts if I don't have cell service but it's a little cumbersome so even if it's a little more or the same pricewise there's more functionality in the InReach.

    Adventure Rider Radio RAW (podcast) episode 3 covered this topic a bit... worth a listen IMO.
    #4
  5. TaterHarry

    TaterHarry Redneck Emeritus

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    InReach is superior to Spot in every way. 2-way communication vs. 1-way. Price is higher but the service is better IMO. Spot will give a good reactivation deal, and then rape your credit card the next year with an automatic charge at their highest rate. AMHIK.
    #5
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  6. Prototype4342

    Prototype4342 Long timer

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    :nod
    #6
  7. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Nelson area, Kootenai, BC, Canada
    Install the Earthmate app on your smartphone, bluetooth InReach to smartphone and use the smartphone keyboard to compose messages.
    Also an InReach can message to another Inreach.
    #7
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  8. Merfman

    Merfman Trustin' my cape...

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    I have Earthmate installed but totally spaced this... thank you!
    #8
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  9. Charleetho

    Charleetho Mr. Zoom Zoom

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    I have an InReach SE that I used once for sale. $200 shipped. I also have an Explorer that my got me for Christmas. PM me
    #9
  10. capulin overdrive

    capulin overdrive Been here awhile

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    kolorado
    Did Garmin buy Spot? Know they bought up Inreach. Anyways I had an Inreach and was happy with Delorme, but then had a billing trainwreck with them after Garmin bought them. I now carry a Sat phone, if I didn't want to pay I'd carry an ACR plb.
    #10
  11. dmac1

    dmac1 Long timer

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    Garmin bought Delorme.

    I used to have a Spot3. Switched to Inreach. For my main use (communicating to wife when out of cell range) it works fine. And if someone has an emergency, you can communicate with the guys who are answering the call and advise of exactly what is going on. With Spot, all they know is there is an emergency.

    Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
    #11
  12. pebkac

    pebkac Adventurer

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    Colorado
    I agree with the above. I bought a Delorme InReach, now owned by Garmin a couple years ago. The thing I like about it is you can turn the service on and off from the web site. I don't use mine in the winter. The text messaging and canned messages work really well from anywhere. I have never used the emergency function, but I feel pretty confident it would work if needed. The only disappointment that it is a lousy GPS for navigating or tracking. It can do those things but there are much better apps or devices. Maybe the merger with Garmin will improve things, it looks like they have newer models than mine. I would be nice to have the a single do "all" device.
    #12
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  13. Beemer Dood

    Beemer Dood Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
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    344
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    My Spot plan was about to renew at an increased price of about $215. I called up and told them to cancel the service, that it was just too much money. They transferred me to "an account specialist" who told me that she could drop the rate $15. That was still too much for me, so she played the car salesman game, "Please hold on and let me check with my manager." When she came back, she told me that her manager had authorized, "just this once, special discount" that was only $10 more than my first year payment, which I got as a discount at a bike show.

    I do the same thing with my Sirius XM radio subscription too.
    #13
  14. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Corrales, New Mexico
    I have both a Spot ans an InReach. I like the Spot, only because I can check in with a single button push. I do not like their annual billing or price. The InReach is nice an works well it just takes a little more time to check in. I keep the Spot on the bike, and the InReach on me. I will be dropping the Spot at the next billing cycle. I ride alone in remote areas a lot, so a means of checking in is essential for the wife to not worry too much.
    #14
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