I've got both the Inreach Mini and Spot X; ask me questions

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by fhammond, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. dad2bike

    dad2bike Retired! Cranky Old Fart

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    If I may...
    Expand this discussion to the tracking ability of the 2 systems.
    My SPOT with tracking has done very good for $159/year.
    Are you happy with the in reach tracking? Do they have a share page like SPOT does ?
    I surely don't want to carry 2 devices and pay for 2 systems.
    #41
  2. fhammond

    fhammond Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    301
    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.
    Yes, the Garmin has a very similar feature. I find their tracking to be better because their satellite system seems to be more reliable in general. Almost most people also have a separate GPS, I also like that the Inreach can be configured to save a track locally on the device. This track can get updated much more frequently (as often as once each second), as it's not being transmitted via satellite. Garmin has a web page like the Spot but I prefer the Garmin version.

    Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 8.52.43 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 8.53.37 AM.png
    #42
    dad2bike and HardWorkingDog like this.
  3. fhammond

    fhammond Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    301
    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.
    Old thread now but I thought I'd update it to say that I'm returning the Spot X. It hasn't worked reliably for me and in every way I care about, the Inreach Mini is a superior device.
    #43
    max384, ohgood, rider911 and 2 others like this.
  4. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,220
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks for posting your opinions and findings
    #44
  5. HalcyonRider

    HalcyonRider peaceful, prosperous, carefree

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    FYI. Your thread helped sway my decision. Along with several reviews across the net. I returned the SpotX I had ordered and am now awaiting receipt of my inReach mini.

    Thank you much.
    #45
    fhammond likes this.
  6. dad2bike

    dad2bike Retired! Cranky Old Fart

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Thanks for doing the comparison.
    For me I'll just stick with my SPOT gen 2. It continues to do what I want quite well.
    For my groups needs we may still end up with the sat phone.
    #46
  7. motokeith

    motokeith Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    591
    Location:
    Falcon, CO
    I went with the inReach Mini and it has been working great. Love the integration with the phone app and the very convenient size of the device. Also, I have inadvertently confirmed via satellite view on the tracking map that it can accurately report the location of my riding jacket hanging in my home office closet, so I'm feeling pretty good about it's ability to get a signal out.
    #47
    250senuf and HalcyonRider like this.
  8. max384

    max384 Bandaided

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,778
    Location:
    Eagle Rock, PA
    Thanks for the review! I bought an Inreach Explorer (not the mini). Soon after, I found the Spot X and really liked the idea of the QWERTY keyboard. I was wondering if I made a mistake. However, after reading your review and your side by side comparison, I'm glad I went with the Inreach.

    Cheers:beer
    #48
  9. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff.

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,670
    Location:
    Damascus, MD
    Picked up a Mini on the most basic plan and tested it around home and in the Canadian Rockies for most of two weeks where there was no cell service. Got tired of SPOT's predatory business practices and regardless of what the SPOT coverage map shows, I've had the device not connect in the US, Canada, and Africa. That's a fatal flaw right there. We use Iridium sat-phones for work and I've never ever had problems connecting with that service, which is what the Garmin is on. I have no doubt that if I push the panic button on the Mini, somebody will get the signal and I was never totally comfortable about that with the SPOT.

    On the most basic plan, cost wasn't a factor and the 10 minute tracking is not as much as I'd like, but is enough.
    #49
    HalcyonRider likes this.
  10. max384

    max384 Bandaided

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,778
    Location:
    Eagle Rock, PA
    As I understand it, the tracking interval is how often the tracking points are set, but you can choose for the device to track up to every two minutes. So this means that every ten minutes five tracking points will be sent. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
    #50
  11. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff.

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,670
    Location:
    Damascus, MD
    You can change the interval, but like I wrote, I just want basic tracking when out on my own while hiking or in the kayak and at 10 cents a hit it's 60 cents an hour for when that function is turned on.

    On the bike with the power for the phone, I can use OSMand+ to create detailed tracks. As with hiking/paddling, the more coarse InReach tracking is just for the family if I am alone and go off the side of a cliff somewhere.
    #51
  12. RJAMT

    RJAMT Who remembered the winch?

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    400
    Location:
    Belleville, IL unfortunately
    What about messages originating from the other end? In other words, if my wife is the one with the emergency and needs to contact me can she initiate or does she have to wait on me to check in that night first and then reply to let me know there was a problem earlier?

    My understanding is that the Spot X has a permanent number associated with it but I don't know how the Garmin works.

    Obviously this assumes I was out of cell service all day and/or failed to get the 2,000+ texts and calls she was sure to send!
    #52
  13. HalcyonRider

    HalcyonRider peaceful, prosperous, carefree

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    I think the only way she can initiate a message is through the mapshare feature.

    https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=o4sYSXP4LC8KhFNWJEVPI7&searchType=noProduct
    #53
  14. RJAMT

    RJAMT Who remembered the winch?

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    400
    Location:
    Belleville, IL unfortunately
    So not nearly as convenient as Spot but it is possible. Thanks.
    #54
    HalcyonRider likes this.
  15. HalcyonRider

    HalcyonRider peaceful, prosperous, carefree

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Definitely not. But from the reviews I've read on the SpotX, the inReach is way more reliable.

    Also, I think because of the dedicated # on the spot, there is a one time fee registering the device.

    The other thing to keep in mind on the Garmin. Any incoming messages will go against the custom message count. Even if you are replying with the preset messages. So depending on the plan you choose, incoming messages may end up costing a bit.

    I really like that can change or suspend my Garmin account at one month intervals. I hate the idea of being trapped into a year contract for something I will only use for two months of the twelve.
    #55