Garmin inReach Explorer vs Somewear

It’s been one year since I started testing the Garmin inReach Explorer vs Somewear Global Hotspot and it’s time for me to give you my personal opinion as to which satellite messenger is the best.

Garmin inReach Explorer vs Somewear

There are several similarities between these two emergency satellite messengers, so let’s start with these.

Similarities

  • 2-Way Messaging
  • Global, Pole to Pole Coverage
  • Topo Maps on the Device or when Synced with Smartphone
  • Flexible Subscription Plans
  • Tracking for Family and Friends

Now, let’s look at some of the differences.

Differences

  • Garmin Explorer+ can be Used as a Complete Standalone Satellite Messenger.
  • The Somewear Global Hotspot Must be Synced to Your Smartphone to Access Most of the Functions.
  • The Garmin inReach Explorer+ has Built-in Altimeter, Barometer and Accelerometer.
  • Somewear Global Hotspot is Half the Size of the Garmin Explorer+.
  • The Somewear Global Hotspot can Use Cell Service to Communicate and Transition Seamlessly to Satellite Service.
  • There are Topo Maps on Both Satellite Messengers but The Somewear Global Hotspot Shows More Trails than Garmin.

Garmin inReach Explorer+

The Garmin inReach Explorer+ is the flagship in the emergency satellite messenger world. It can be used as a complete standalone device with no need to be synced with your smartphone. It has a long battery life with a built-in altimeter, barometer and accelorometer, and let’s not forget having access to topo maps.

I use to think that having the topo maps would be nice but wasn’t that critical but after using these devices over the past year, I have quickly changed my mind.

Garmin inReach Explorer+

The Garmin Explorer+ is the best satellite messenger to have with you on longer outdoor adventures, when you need all the power that Garmin gives you without worrying if you have enough battery life in your phone, if you have it synced.

This is one of the most expensive satellite messengers on the market but well worth it. I absolutely give this 5 starts and rank it as the number one satellite messenger in the world.

Somewear Global Hotspot

The Somewear Global Hotspot is one of the new satellite messengers in the market. It is extremely small, yet powerful. This device can be used as a standalone satellite messenger, but all you would really get is the S.O.S. function to call in emergency services in a life threatening emergency.

When synced with your smartphone, the Somewear Global Hotspot is packed with power. You have access to topo maps, messaging, navigation and 2-way messaging. You also have a seamless transition from use within cell phone service to use with only satellites.

The maps are actually more detailed then what you will find with the Garmin products, in my opinion, as I have found many more hiking trails showing up on the maps when I have used it in the field.

Somewear Global Hotspot

Like the Garmin inReach Explorer+, the Somewear Global Hotspot has Global, Pole to Pole satellite coverage. It’s nice to not have to visit a satellite coverage webpage to see if you have coverage in the area you will be traveling to.

Final Thoughts

I really like both of these satellite messengers, and having all the power of the Somewear Global Hotspot is impressive, especially considering how small it is. The main issue I have is knowing I need to make sure my phone is charged and having to carry a portable charger to keep my phone charged, especially on longer outdoor adventures.

You just cannot beat the Garmin inReach Explorer+ when you can use it as a standalone device, plus have it synced to your phone, which gives you a larger screen to view your topo maps and also makes typing out messages as easy as texting back home.

Garmin 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
  • inReach Explorer+ 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.

It’s great having the topo maps with the Somewear Global Hotspot but I still give the Garmin inReach Explorer+ the hands down win after comparing these two satellite messengers in the field.

Check out the YouTube video below of the satellite messenger comparison.

I would love to hear if you have any experience with either of these satellite messengers, so Leave a Comment below, Subscribe and Turn on Notifications to stay up to date on new videos we put out.

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2 thoughts on “Garmin inReach Explorer vs Somewear”

  1. I am not familiar with either the Garmin Inreach Explorer or the Somewear Global Hotspot, but would prefer a satellite system that does not have to be synced to a mobile telephone. You mention that they are ideal for emergency communication when you are hiking, but would it also function if you are on a boat trip out in the ocean?

    Reply
    • Yes, but of the two, I would recommend the Garmin inReach Explorer+ as it is a standalone satellite messenger and has true global, pole to pole coverage, even in the middle of the ocean.

      I would check into other marine communication devices though as I know there are many made for that, but of which I am not familiar with.

      I do have Personal Locator Devices (PSBs) here on my website, which are meant for emergency locating and rescue when at sea, but they are not messengers and only send out a signal for rescue operations.

      I hope that helps. Feel free to ask additional questions if you think of any more.

      Rick

      Reply

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