Why is the Garmin inReach Explorer more popular than the Garmin inReach Mini? That’s a great question and I believe I have the answer for you so let’s jump in and look at the differences between the Garmin inReach Explorer vs Mini.
Let’s consider the differences first.
Garmin inReach Explorer+ (What is Different?)
- Built-In Navigation
- Longer Battery Life
- Pre-Loaded DeLorme TOPO Maps
- On-Screen GPS Routing
- Built-In Digital Compass
- Built-In Barometric Altimeter and Accelerometer
- (Does NOT Need to be Synced to Your Smartphone)
- $449.99 Initial Price
Garmin inReach Mini (What is Different?)
- (Must Be Linked to Your Smartphone to Have Many of the Services that the Explorer Has Built-In)
- $349.99 Initial Price
What Do They Have in Common?
- Global Iridium Satellite Network
- SOS Distress Call
- 2-Way Messaging
- Pair with Mobile Device
- Optional Weather Forecasting
- Pair with Garmin Pilot
- The Same Flexible Satellite Airtime Plans
What’s The Bottom Line
What is the primary difference between the two besides the $100 initial purchase price?
- The Garmin inReach Explorer comes with everything built-in and the inReach Mini MUST HAVE your smartphone synced.
- The Garmin inReach Explorer has a significant longer battery life.
Here’s my problem with the Garmin inReach Mini. You have to carry a portable charger on multi-day adventures because your smartphone will (almost) always lose it’s power before you finish your trip. This means you have to spend more money on a portable charger, that takes up space and adds more weight to your pack. So what, the Explorer is bigger and heavier. You will add the additional size and weight when you have to bring the portable charger when you use the Garmin inReach Mini.
Why Not Have the Garmin inReach Mini?
That’s another great question.
I will be buying the Garmin inReach Mini soon for day hikes and overnight backpacking trips when I am already familiar with the area so the Garmin inReach Mini does have it’s place, but in my opinion, it’s for shorter hikes and backpacking trips.
The Garmin inReach Explorer is the complete package. You can use it on day hikes, short overnight backpacking trips and also for longer adventures when the battery and navigational features will become a must.
The bottom line, is that you can have them both and there is a place for both, but if I have to choose one, it’s obviously going to be the Garmin inReach Explorer+.
If you have any questions or comments, you can Leave Your Comments Below or Email Me if you have a more complicated question.
For those of you who love history, you can learn more about the History of Garmin Here.
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