Garmin inReach Explorer vs SPOT Gen3

Let’s compare the Garmin inReach Explorer vs SPOT Gen3.

Garmin inReach Explorer vs SPOT Gen3

You may not think this is a fair comparison as these satellite messengers are so different, but follow me here, and you’ll see that each one has it’s place, even though one of them maybe the best in class.

Quick Overview

The Garmin inReach Explorer+ is a 2-way satellite messenger, with topo maps and worldwide, pole to pole coverage.

The SPOT Gen3 is a 1-way satellite messenger with tracking and has some holes in its worldwide coverage.

You may be thinking, “why do I need to know anymore? The Garmin inReach Explorer+ is obviously the way to go.” Not so fast. The SPOT Gen3 cost about $150 vs the Explorer+ coming in around $450.

My advice to sportsmen is to buy what you can afford, and at least carry some kind of satellite messenger with an S.O.S. function. The SPOT Gen3 was my first satellite messenger purchase, primarily because I had just moved to Colorado, was low on money, but wanted to have one of these as part of my hiking gear.

So, as you can see, The SPOT Gen3 may be the best satellite messenger for many people. Let’s take a closer look at these two models.

Closer Look

Garmin inReach Explorer+Garmin inReach Explorer+

  • 2-way Messenger
  • Worldwide Coverage
  • Topo Maps
  • Tracking
  • Bluetooth
  • Expensive

You can find more detailed information HERE on the Garmin inReach Explorer+.


  • 1-way Messenger
  • Holes in Worldwide Coverage
  • No Topo Maps
  • Tracking
  • No Bluetooth
  • Inexpensive

You can find more detailed information HERE on the SPOT Gen3.

There are many more functions to compare, but I think you get the point. The Garmin inReach Explorer+ is hands down the better satellite messenger.

Bottom Line

If you have the money, you can’t go wrong with the Garmin inReach Explorer+ and it will be well worth your investment.

If you are short on funds, then the SPOT Gen3 is the perfect satellite messenger for you. You and your family will be thankful that at least you have something in case of a life threatening emergency.

You can see the YouTube video of the satellite messenger comparison below.

You can research more on each satellite messenger on the Amazon links below.

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.

Spot 3 Satellite GPS Messenger - Orange
373 Reviews
Spot 3 Satellite GPS Messenger - Orange
  • S. O. S. - in an emergency, send an S. O. S. With your GPS location to geos, who facilitates search and rescue
  • Check in - let contacts know where you are and that you're okay with a pre-programmed message
  • Help/spot S. O. V. - request help from your friends and family at your GPS location. OR, ask for help from professional assistance organizations
  • Custom message- let contacts know where you are by sending a pre-programmed message with your GPS location
  • Track- automatically send and save your location and allow contacts to track your progress using google maps
  • Service agreement required.

This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.

I would love to hear your thoughts on these two satellite messengers. Please Leave a Comment below and Subscribe and Turn on Notifications so you’ll see my new reviews as soon as I post them.

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2 thoughts on “Garmin inReach Explorer vs SPOT Gen3”

  1. Thank you so much for comparing these two devices. I have been trying to find a reliable site all over the internet for several days now and i have not been able to find something reliable that didn’t lean to one side more than the other, I can certainly see that your site doesn’t do that with the products it talks about. Thank you so much for this

    • My focus here is to always give my personal opinion, based on actual field testing of each of these satellite messengers. I may not be making friends with all of the companies that produce these products, however, I want to be honest with you. The nice thing is that, even though there are a few messengers that are the best in the market, everyone one of these will be the perfect satellite messenger for someone, and that’s another focus of mine. A particular messenger may not be number one, but it may be perfect for you, and letting you know these differences can help everyone make the best decision for themselves.



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