Garmin - inReach range - what are the differences?
In this short video we look at the Garmin inReach range of two way satellite communicators and what are the differences?
Garmin now have a number of different options of devices with inReach 2-way Satellite communication technology.
What is inReach 2-Way Satellite communication?
With inReach satellite technology from Garmin and an active satellite subscription*, you can stay in touch globally with friends and family when you have no mobile phone connection.
You can send and receive messages, track and share your journey with friends & family and, if necessary, trigger an SOS to a 24/7 staffed global emergency response coordination center via the 100% global Iridium® satellite network.
*We have a video here with more information about the subscription packages available
What are the options currently available
We start by looking at the latest edition the Garmin inReach Messenger.
Garmin inReach Messenger
Out of all of the current Garmin inReach devices the inReach Messenger has the most impressive battery life:
Battery up to approx. 28 days with 10-minute tracking intervals (Full view of the sky)
Battery up to approx. 46 days with 30-minute tracking interval (Full view of the sky)
The inReach Messenger only measures 7.8 x 6.4 x 2.3cm and with it only weighing 113.9g you will hardly know you are carrying the device.
With its compact size it has the smallest display (2.53 x 1.1cm) out of all the inReach units, which although does allow the unit to be used standalone for sending and reading messages, sending quick check-in messages, starting tracking, reading weather alerts, using the SOS button etc but if you did want to send longer text messages and read longer messages you will get the best out of the device when paired with the new Garmin Messenger App on a mobile phone, your phone does not need to have any cellular connection to use the app you are simply using the Bluetooth function of your phone and app to view and send messages and access all the same functions that you can directly on the unit.
The inReach Messenger does have a new feature that allows you with a USB-C cable to your mobile phone give your mobile phone a quick boost charge from the inReach messenger device.
This is the only current inReach device with this reverse charge feature.
Also with the new Garmin Messenger app paired with the Garmin inReach Messenger the device will seamlessly switch between sending & receiving messages via the Iridium Satellite network when you have no cellular connection but if you do re-gain cellular connection messages will be sent and received using your cellular connection and still received via the messenger app.
The device is ideal for someone who goes travelling to areas where you may not have cellular connection and want the peace of mind of still been able to keep in touch with friends & family, let friends & family track your progress across a map using the map share feature and have the SOS button for emergencies.
The devices does not have navigational features as the other inReach devices but will record at 10 minute intervals a track point of where you are and then a simple pointer arrow as you move can help track you back along these recorded points.
(Track points are overwritten after 24h period)
Full technical specs for the Garmin inReach Messenger can be found from our product page here
Garmin inReach Mini 2
The Garmin inReach Mini 2 is another small compact inReach device with great battery life, it has a larger screen than the inReach Messenger device and adds some additional navigational features.
Out of all of the current Garmin inReach Devices the inReach mini2 has the next best battery life after the inReach Messenger:
Battery up to approx.14 days with 10-minute tracking intervals (Full view of the sky)
Battery up to approx. 30 days with 30-minute tracking interval (Full view of the sky)
The inReach Mini2 only measures 5.17 x 9.90 x 2.61cm and with it only weighing 100g like the inReach messenger you will hardly know you are carrying the device.
Where-as the inReach Messenger only has a Lanyard attachment slot for carrying it the inReach mini2 as well as the lanyard attachment can be used with an additional Spine mount accessory sold separately, this allows for Garmin spine mount attachments such as the Garmin Backpack Tether, Belt Clip, Cycle Mount etc to be used with the device.
Other than the mobile phone reverse charge function that the inReach Messenger has, the inReach Mini2 has all of the same functions as the inReach Messenger including pairing with the messenger app to seamlessly send & receive messages via the Iridium Satellite system when you have no mobile cellular connection but switch to receiving & sending messages via a cellular connection when you have one.
With the larger screen size of 2.3 x 2.3cm the inReach Mini2 does have some additional navigational features as follows:
The inReach Mini 2 will display a Grid Reference e.g. one example is Ordnance Survey British National Grid to cross refer with your paper map, has an electronic compass, will record your track and then display a breadcrumb trail line to navigate back with and also can be used with the Garmin Explore app to transfer routes to the device to navigate with following a basic route line on the screen. N.B. GPX route files can also be transferred to the unit via a USB cable and computer connection.
The device like the inReach Messenger is ideal for someone who goes travelling in areas where you may not have cellular connection and want the peace of mind of still been able to keep in touch with friends & family, lets friends & family track your progress and have the SOS button for emergencies.
But with the added bonus of some basic navigational features although no maps it is a great backup if you do not already own an Outdoor handheld navigational GPS device.
Full technical specs for the Garmin inReach Mini2 can be found from our product page here
With the Garmin GPSMap66i we now have a Handheld Navigational device as per the standard GPSMap66 series handheld devices, colour screen 3.8 x 6.3cm , detailed mapping available such as full GB Ordnance Survey Maps, supplied pre-loaded with Garmin’s full European Topo Active mapping, electronic compass, barometric altimeter etc giving you all the functionality of a handheld outdoor GPS Navigation device for following routes, recording tracks, marking waypoints, full track back breadcrumb trail displayed on a colour map etc but also with the added benefit of having all of the inReach 2-way satellite communication features that we discussed with the inReach Mini2 device above built-in, for when you go off grid and have no cellular connection.
Currently the GPSMap66i does not switch between messages being sent & received via Cellular connection as per the inReach Messenger and inReach Mini2 although this may possibly come with a future software update.
The device can be paired with the Garmin Explore App on a mobile phone allowing you to type and send messages using your phone as a Bluetooth keypad paired with your GPSMap66i, as per the other devices you can also view received messages on your phone, control tracking, initiate and SOS NB this can also all be done standalone from the GPSMAp66i without the need for a phone.
Like the other inReach devices this unit has a built-in battery, the battery life is as follows:
Battery up to approx. 35 hours with 10-minute tracking intervals (Full view of the sky)
The GPSMap66i measures 6.2 x 16.3 x 3.5cm and weighs 230g.
The GPSMap66i is ideal for someone who does not already own a handheld navigational device and is looking for a robust all weather push button unit that as well as having full navigational features and detailed mapping options, also gives you the peace of mind when you go off-grid with no cellular connection to keep in touch with friends & family, let them track your journey and the SOS emergency button if needed.
Full technical specs for the Garmin GPSMap66i can be found from our product page here
N.B. For anyone also wanting to use the device for Marine use we also stock the GPSMap86i device which is the same device as the GPSMap66i other than being slightly larger @ 7 x 17.8 x 4.4 cm and weighing 272g as it has a built-in buoyancy float for marine use
(N.B. The GPSMap86i Does not come pre-loaded with Topo Active Europe Maps)
More info on the GPSMap86i here
Garmin Montana 700i / 750i
Finally we have the largest of all the Garmin inReach Devices the Montana 700i & 750i Touch Screen units.
The Montana 700i & 750i Devices give you all the Navigational functions & the inReach 2-way satellite communication features of the GPSMap66i unit but in a much larger touch screen device.
With all the inReach Devices the Montana 700i & 750i also has an IPX7 weather rating and although touch screen there is a rain and glove setting for the screen.
The unit weighs 410g, with dimensions of 9.19 x 18.30 x 3.27 cm, boasting an impressive screen display size of 6.48 x 10.80 cm
As per the other inReach units the Montana 700i & 750i comes with a rechargeable Lithium-lion battery, the difference with the Montana range to the other inReach devices is that the battery is removable hence you can purchase a spare battery if required.
Battery life on the Montana 700i / 750i is approx. 18hrs at 10-minute interval tracking
This unit as well as been popular with walkers, hikers & tour cyclists looking for a larger screen unit, it is also very popular with trail riders with Motorbike charging mounts available and as well as the pre-loaded Topo Active European Recreational map the Montana 700i & 750i also comes pre-loaded with Garmin’s City Navigator Europe Road Navigation mapping, ideal for trail riders who want both road navigation using the City Navigator Maps and also off-road trail navigation using more detailed map options that are also available such as the Ordnance Survey 1:50k or 1:25k options.
As per all the inReach Devices the Montana 700i & 750i devices give you peace of mind when you go off-grid with no cellular connection to keep in touch with friends & family, let them track your journey and the SOS emergency button if needed.
The Montana 700i & 750i devices also pair with the Garmin Explore Ap pas per the inReach Mini2 so you can use your phone as a Bluetooth keypad for messages and control inReach functions, but with the large touch screen of the Montana ranges typing in messages to send directly from the unit is easy.
The Montana 750i has the addition of a Camera that is not on the Montana 700i.