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Thread: InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

  1. #1

    Default InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

    Has anyone used both the inreach mini and the spot gen3?

    Quick background, I already have a Garmin Montana for trail maps but I find myself heading to the trails solo a little more often now which makes the lady nervous. Generally in Michigan cell service is ok but I don't want to keep pulling out my phone to send ok messages.
    The last ride I tried to share live location with Facebook messenger but it only allows 60min at a time then you have to reset it. I think I could use the Polaris RideCommand app and create a "group ride" but cell service might be questionable.

    So that brings me to the Spot Gen3. Seems like a basic device, SOS for when its critical, tracking ability and a ok button to send update messages. When researching it seems like the Spot has some connectivity issues and message failures.
    I then found the Inreach Mini, improved 2 way messaging similar abilities as the Spot but a more expensive subscription plan.

    For Michigan are these devices any more reliable than a cell phone?

    *disclaimer* Yes I know that riding alone isnt the safest thing to do but thats not the point here

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  3. #2

    Default Re: InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

    Quote Originally Posted by ASR524 View Post
    Has anyone used both the inreach mini and the spot gen3?

    Quick background, I already have a Garmin Montana for trail maps but I find myself heading to the trails solo a little more often now which makes the lady nervous. Generally in Michigan cell service is ok but I don't want to keep pulling out my phone to send ok messages.
    The last ride I tried to share live location with Facebook messenger but it only allows 60min at a time then you have to reset it. I think I could use the Polaris RideCommand app and create a "group ride" but cell service might be questionable.

    So that brings me to the Spot Gen3. Seems like a basic device, SOS for when its critical, tracking ability and a ok button to send update messages. When researching it seems like the Spot has some connectivity issues and message failures.
    I then found the Inreach Mini, improved 2 way messaging similar abilities as the Spot but a more expensive subscription plan.

    For Michigan are these devices any more reliable than a cell phone?

    *disclaimer* Yes I know that riding alone isnt the safest thing to do but thats not the point here
    I was in the exact situation as you. When I did my research I found the ZOLEO. It was cheaper to bye and subscribe to and world wide. I would recommend you give this new product a close look. I almost always ride alone and feel very comfortable with this as my call for help.

    https://www.bluecosmo.com/zoleo-sate...20Communicator
    2020 Husky TX300i


    2018 Husky TE250
    RK head

    2015 KTM 350 Six Days
    W/2018 Xplor forks
    All suspensions done by Adam Krefting


    2020 Beta 300RR Race Edition (sold)
    2018 Beta Xtrainer AMP suspension (sold)
    2015 KTM 350 SXF (sold)
    2005 CRF250X (sold)
    2004 CRF450R (sold)
    2009 RMZ 450 (sold)
    2006 RMZ 450 ProCircuit works bike (sold)
    And a laundry list of other bikes from 60 years of riding.

  4. #3
    KTMTalk Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Prescott, Arizona
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    515

    Default Re: InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

    I have a spot 3 and it works well overall. Where I ride a cell phone is not reliable for communication. The cell phone works well for mapping in airplane mode. The place I have noticed the spot losing reception is if I'm down in the bottom of a steep valley that is heavily wooded I may lose reception for a while. I notice this most if I'm not moving at all. The devise maintains tracking capability. I have not noticed this in Colorado where the mountains/valleys are not a steep as in Arizona. I do not have experience with other devices to offer a comparison. I also have not used the spot on the east coast where trees are very dense.

  5. #4
    Lifetime Team KTMTalk
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    Jan 2010
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    Frederick
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    1,109

    Default Re: InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

    My situation is much like the OPs in that I already have good GPSs for navigation, etc. BUT am primarily looking for way for my friends/relatives to know I'm OK while on a ride and when to come looking for me and how to find me if I end up hurt or unconscious while on a solo ride. I'm 77 years old and ride in areas that have major gaps in cell coverage.

    My limited research seems to tell me that the best (maybe only?) automated way to do this is to have a device such as an InReach that can be set to send periodic track points to a satellite that can be see by my friends/family on their computer and/or cell phone in near real time. Thus, IF the track points stop moving (or fail to appear) the folks at home can try to contact me or come looking for me.

    Is this a correct understanding? Is there any other better way? Is the InReach plus subscription the best device/plan for this?

    THANKS for any help!

  6. #5
    KTMTalk Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Prescott, Arizona
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    515

    Default Re: InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

    The spot will also send out a track for others to see.

  7. #6

    Default Re: InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

    So yesterday I decided to buy the Garmin inReach Mini. Garmin and Spot both have basic 12/mo plans that are almost identical until you look at active tracking. Spot will provide tracking at 5min intervals but at this price Garmin will charge $0.10 for each track point unless you spring for the 25/mo plan (note Garmin's interval is 10min unless you spend way more money).
    The lady and me decided we don't really need the tracking feature when it looks like the Garmin will also send a location pin with their unlimited preset messages. If I can check in every so often that's good enough and when im back at the truck i am usually able to text heading home with my phone.
    What really sold me is how the Garmin can be used stand alone with two way coms and if needed your phone can be used as an extra keyboard. Im thinking worst case here, crashed in the woods, I am able to have a basic exchange over the Garmin device without having to dig for my phone to type. In this case the Spot tracker is a hit the button and wait until someone comes.

  8. #7

    Default Re: InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

    Quick update: I use the preset messages that I set up on the website, Its 4 button presses to send the quick message I want. On the receiver end they get my message, GPS coordinates, and a link to a map that puts a pin in that exact spot. So far i like it a lot.

  9. #8

    Default Re: InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

    I use the inreach mini, and I have the $25/month plan. I do think it is important to have the automatic tracking enabled, in case I am knocked out or otherwise unable to push the button.

  10. #9

    Default Re: InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

    i started looking into these a bit more today as ive been tossing the idea around as well. the spot is cheaper but has a lower power antenna (1/4 of the inreach). the spot also does not have any way of telling whether a message got sent out.

    im leaning towards the inreach itself after finding that information, with custom messaging itll allow communication in case my phone ever breaks as well.

  11. #10

    Default Re: InReach Mini vs Spot Gen3 or something else phone based?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrifice View Post
    i started looking into these a bit more today as ive been tossing the idea around as well. the spot is cheaper but has a lower power antenna (1/4 of the inreach). the spot also does not have any way of telling whether a message got sent out.

    im leaning towards the inreach itself after finding that information, with custom messaging itll allow communication in case my phone ever breaks as well.
    and you can bluetooth your phone for an external keyboard with the inreach mini!

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