Garmin inReach Explorer Field Test

Here’s our latest Garmin inReach Explorer Field Test.

Garmin GPSMAP 67i

Garmin Montana 700i

This will be the first of many field tests as we discovered we still had some research to do and functions to test more thoroughly.

Garmin inReach Explorer Field Test 1

We tested the Garmin Explorer on the San Carlos Trail southwest of Pueble, Colorado this weekend. Let me give you a quick run down on how the field test went.

Honestly, I felt a little unprepared when we took the inReach Explorer into the field as my daughter was home from college and we didn’t have as much time to prepare as I would have liked.

Test 1

The first test was to check and ensure our phones were synced up with are Garmin inReach devices. SUCCESS!

Test 2

We sent a Pre-Defined Message telling everyone that we had started on our hike. SUCCESS!

Starting My Trip

Test 3

Waypoint sent from my Garmin inReach Mini to Caleb’s Garmin inReach Explorer+ for a location we could meet up.

Garmin inReach Navigation Field Test

This was a partial success. I was able to see the waypoint on my Garmin Mini and navigate to it but Caleb was not able to do it on his Garmin Explorer+. I’m sure this is operator error, as in a setting needs to be changed, and we will be working out this issue on the next hike and field test.

Garmin GPSMAP 67i

Test 4

This test was sending messages between Garmin inReach devices. Garmin gives each person with a inReach subscription, an inreach email. You need to enter this email into your contacts so you will be able to select it when sending messages between inReach devices.

Garmin inReach Message Test

The first image on the left shows where the message was sent from on the trail and the image on the right shows the sent message from Rick’s inReach Mini and the reply from Caleb’s inReach Explorer+.

Test 5

This last test was to check and see what the elevation was on the trail where we were at. You can see from both my Garmin Mini and Caleb’s Garmin Explorer+ that it does show the elevation on each device.

Garmin inReach Trail Elevation Information

The elevation shown was 8104 feet and 8122 feet but that is close enough for me. It’s possible that the Garmin Explorer+ is more accurate on the speed of movement and altitude as it has the built in altimeter, barometer and accelerometer.

Final Thoughts

We could have been more prepared for this field test but of course we learned some things we need to improve on next time.

I will be researching more on the Garmin inReach Explorer+ and it’s functions this week and we will be conducting a 2nd field test this coming weekend.

You can see a short YouTube video of this field test below.

Garmin 010-01735-10 inReach Explorer+, Handheld Satellite Communicator with Topo Maps and GPS Navigation
  • 100 percent global Iridium satellite coverage enables two way text messaging from anywhere (satellite subscription required)
  • Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center
  • Track and share your location with family and friends. Water rating : IPX7. Battery : Rechargeable internal lithium ion
  • Pair with mobile devices using the free earthmate app for access to downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more
  • In reach explorerplus device adds preloaded Delorme topo maps with onscreen GPS routing plus built in digital compass, barometric altimeter and accelerometer

This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.

Please leave a Comment Below or send me an Email if you have any comments or opinions on the Garmin Explorer+

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12 thoughts on “Garmin inReach Explorer Field Test”

  1. Wow this is a whole different level. I’ve always been a great fan of Garmin but I was unaware of the Inreach explorer field test. I’ve had a watch for 2 years that is great for outdoors, especially for running, but I have to take a better look to these new Garmin gadgets because I’m missing out. Thanks for sharing!

    • You are welcome. We don’t leave home for an outdoor adventure without one of these any more. They can be a life-saver…literally.


  2. Thanks for doing the real-world testing of the most important and critical features of a good hiking emergency beacon. It’s very helpful to see the big word SUCCESS by each passed test! I appreciate the screenshots of the Garmin inReach Explorer interface too — that can be so hard to find when comparison shopping for the right unit. Looking forward to what you learn and share on the update / round 2!

    • Hey Aly.  Thanks for the comment and I will definitely add a 2nd field test if not a 3rd one also in the coming weeks. I will compare each of the satellite messenger models I own. 

      Actually, I now own the Garmin inReach Explorer+, Garmin inReach Mini, SPOT X and the SPOT Gen 3. I will be adding the Somewear Global Hotspot in April.


  3. I really like how you guys are out ‘in the field’, testing the product. Not like many other websites that would probably ‘test’ it from their bedroom 😀

    I have done a bit of hiking in the Alps, mainly on popular routes and with more experienced hikers. But as my skill improves and the routes we use become more difficult, I will have to start looking into these products.

    I know you want to do another test, but on your first impression, would you buy the Garmin?

    • Your answer is easy for me as I already bought it, but if I had just tested it, compared to the other models I have tested, I would definitely buy it. It is the best model I have tested to date but the Garmin inReach Mini isn’t far behind the Explorer+.

      I would highly recommend either the Explorer+ or the Mini, but would give the edge to the Garmin inReach Explorer+.


  4. Hello! What a wonderful article! 

    Many thanks for the nice article. I have enjoyed your article very much.   Thanks also for giving a lot of description about the Explorer+.

    This is really a useful satellite messenger that I have used before. The experience with the product is extraordinary. It is extremely useful for people in the outdoors. It helps me to navigate with the topo maps. 

    Thanks for the post. I will share the post with others.

    • I’m glad you liked the review and that you have had some experience with a Garmin Explorer+.

      I would love to hear more about what you like or may not like about it.


  5. Thanks for clear view on the most important and critical features of a good hiking emergency beacon. It’s very helpful and it leads to your success by each test. I sincerely appreciate the screenshots and clear views of what Garmin inReach Explorer does and how important it is. Thanks and I hope to see more on this great topic.

    • I am currently researching more on the Garmin Explorer to improve the next field test and I will have that review up within a week.


  6. I was wondering if you need another Garmin inReach Explorer device at your home base so, more than just your hiking mates can see where you are?  

    I’m asking because you said you sent a pre-defined message to let everyone know you began your hike (gorgeous scenery in that video by the way!)   Maybe it’s a silly question but, I’m just wondering how many people can access your data from one subscription?  

    I’ve been doing a lot more hiking since we’ve moved into the countryside and, I know devices like these are way beyond what my walkie talkies can provide!  I’m looking forward to the next Test run!  

    • You only need one Garmin satellite messenger per person or for the hiking group but you can create a map share page so thousands of people can see your location and you can add as many contacts as you want so you can message your family and friends.

      Walkie talkies may be good for communicating with people near by but it won’t be able call for a search and rescue team or message people from long distances.



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