• Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!

Garmin inReach Mini--Anyone Have One

drfood

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
2,134
Location
Houston
We are looking at buying a Garmin inReach Mini to use on our September trip to Glacier and Yellowstone. The reason to look at this choice is the fact we can turn the service on and off vs Spot's 1 yr contract.

I'd appreciate any advice or thoughts on this device.
 
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
1,097
Location
Texas
I dont have one, but I just recently used the older delorme full size model. It worked great as a communicator/ tracker if we paired it to a phone. One even helped use vector in to pick up stranded rider. This new mini claims to do basically all of what the older one did, just smaller, and it looks like it will talk to a garmin watch. I would advise, if you plan to use it for navigation by itself, or plan to try and use the device to text by itself, just pair it to a smart phone. The full size one was a huge pain to use by itself, I cant imagine a smaller unit being any easier.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
8,805
Location
Cibolo, Texas
About that incoming satellite smart phone from Thuraya

Here's a peek at their data plan

:eek2:

The other link above goes to something too new that I couldn't find a date plan for it. Maybe it's out there.

As for the inReach mini: Yes, the ability to freeze billing is a draw as with the larger inReach. I'm ambivalent about the size difference, but I suppose if I were buying new I'd go for the smaller unit.

As always, 2-way comm at an affordable price in an emergency situation is the target. Thinking about it, the smart phone sat phone thing from Thuraya is probably targeted at the business market or the well heeled yachting set.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
55
Location
Austin
I researched the options for a long time, ordered the inReach for a recent adventure & found it to be a good solution for my needs, and I just ordered the mini to swap for the larger unit. The smaller screen isn’t a concern because I don’t intend to use it for navigation, & the 2-way comms and other features (suspension of service when not required) are consistent with the larger unit. I also like the smaller form factor because in the event of an unfortunate “off” from the bike, I want that SOS button to be truly “in reach” — like on my jacket, not in a tank bag or attached to the bike. The larger size has a longer battery life, but again, on a bike frequent recharge isn’t an issue like it might be for backcountry hiking or climbing.

If anyone wants to check it out in the Austin area, PM me. I’ll also bring it to the next TARA lunch at Billy’s or the weekend rides so others can check it out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

drfood

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
2,134
Location
Houston
Which plan did you end up going with? I am looking at the 1 time $65 plan to have unlimited text but maybe I should stick to the $35 plan.
 

ricks77eb

Forum Supporter
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
220
Location
Deer Park, TX
I just bought the new SPOT X

https://www.findmespot.com/spotx/lander.php

It has many of the features that you may be looking for, and with the SPOT X you have the ability to sign up for some flex plans that allow you to only activate a month when needed. I have been using an old Gen 2 SPOT and always worked as intended, I am hoping for the new one to deliver as well. Going to have a test run this weekend in Bastrop.
 

drfood

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
2,134
Location
Houston
I have looked at the SPOT X, but it looks HUGE compared to the Garmin mini. I'll be curious to hear your impression of it once you've had the chance to play with it.

We're leaving on September 6th and I want to have something in hand by Labor Day.
 

drfood

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
2,134
Location
Houston
Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Junk! Piece of Crap. Unreliable.

Just returned the InReach Mini we took on our trip to Crutchfield. Had a long discussion with Garmin's customer service.

This thing was a piece of crap. Would not hold a charge worth a darn. Full charge would last less than 10 hours. Garmin said it was not a battery issue, but could not tell me what happened. Only logged about 65% of the time on the road. North of Missoula MT it never could find the satellite. Again Garmin did not know why.

Google Maps did an amazing job of tracking us.

Thankfully Crutchfield has a 60 day return policy. Thankfully Garmin had a 30 day period for trying the tracking.

Buyer beware!
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
539
Location
houston
Garmin’s QC has always left me scratching my head. I still buy/own their products but when the zumo 550 first came out I returned three units during the warranty period.

I just returned a 3 week old Fenix 5x watch which was defective.
 

Ocho

Forum Supporter
Joined
May 29, 2018
Messages
136
Location
Austin
I have one. I believe with 5min/10min tracking I was able to go through 20% in around 5-6 hours? Seems good for my use.

I'll test it out again full charge tomorrow and report back on the battery.
 
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
1,097
Location
Texas
I have one. I believe with 5min/10min tracking I was able to go through 20% in around 5-6 hours? Seems good for my use.

I'll test it out again full charge tomorrow and report back on the battery.


We had mixed results with them in Baja- sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t. We had the delorme models and the battery life was fine, texting seemed ok between units for the most part. Tracking and blue tooth sync to iPhone was spotty and some days they worked flawlessly, but rarely. We mainly used them for rider recovery and comms out there, and we were able to accomplish this. As far as navigation- they really aren’t worth much. Leadnav app is the way to go for that, but it’s spendy if you want full functionality. There is a mil grade sat device I cannot remember the name of now that gives you a hotspot for other devices and this seems to be the way to go for that type of work but they are real pricey


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Ocho

Forum Supporter
Joined
May 29, 2018
Messages
136
Location
Austin
10 hours of using the device, 77% battery left. 5 min log, 10 min tracking. It did stop tracking twice on the hill country and not sure why. I believe I restarted asap though.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
3,577
Location
HUNT COUNTY
I just bought the new SPOT X

https://www.findmespot.com/spotx/lander.php

It has many of the features that you may be looking for, and with the SPOT X you have the ability to sign up for some flex plans that allow you to only activate a month when needed. I have been using an old Gen 2 SPOT and always worked as intended, I am hoping for the new one to deliver as well. Going to have a test run this weekend in Bastrop.
I left SPOT earlier this year. 200 or more dollars a year for something I use maybe a few months a year wasnt worth it. And they had the bad habit of jacking rates without saying anything. Youd find out when they did an auto payment then have to call and argue with them about it for half a **** hour.

Their device worked mostly fine but their customer support and way they ran the business didnt sit well with me

They need a by month rate.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
 
Top