If you’re on the market for a simple satellite tracker, SPOT’s new Gen4 might be what you’re looking for. It doesn’t have the same flashy features as the Garmin inReach line, but it’s got several small upgrades over previous SPOT devices.
For several years, SPOT has been selling trackers that can broadcast a user’s movements via satellite interface. Some riders use them for tracking rally riding, or to provide some safety on offroad trips. Thanks to the satellite uplink, offsite users can follow the tracker’s progress online, and the tracker’s user can also use the device to send an SOS or other customized message through the satellite system.
The new Gen4 is supposedly more weatherproof than previous SPOT devices. It’s supposed to be able to handle temperatures ranges from -30C to +60C, and cope with temperature cycling from 20C to 60C while maintaining 96 percent RH. Chances are most motorcyclists won’t subject it to those conditions, but it’s good to know it’s been tested, anyway. It’s got an IP68 dust/water-resistance rating, meaning it should be able to handle up to 30 minutes in two meters of water. It has a SAE J1455 vibration resistance rating, and SPOT says it can send 1,240 check-in or custom messages on a single set of lithium batteries (four batteries required). Supposedly, battery life is the longer than any similar GPS tracking device.
There are new mapping features for the Gen4 as well. Now, the device can be set up to virtual geographic boundaries, sending the user an alert if they stray somewhere they’re not supposed to be. There are new mapping options for layers (light or dark mode, satellite, open street map or terrain), customized position icons, improvements to the shared view feature and live/historical map view features.
The exterior of the Gen4 is supposedly an improvement on previous models, with a sleeker design and better button protection. For full details, check out SPOT’s website; pricing is $149.99 in the US, $189.99 in Canada.