Garmin inReach Explorer+

Garmin inReach Explorer+

  • Send and receive text messagesGarmin InReach Explorer
  • Setup predetermined messages
  • Creates messages on the device but does not have a keyboard
  • The only model that serves as a handheld GPS navigator with built-in topo maps
  • Built-in altimeter
  • Built-in barometer
  • Built-in accelerometer
  • Request weather updates
  • Larger and heavier
  • IPX7 – Waterproof
  • Size = 6.5″ x 2.7″ x 1.5″
  • Weight = 7.5 oz.
  • Pro’s
    • Easy 2-way messaging
    • Great smartphone app
    • Loaded and proven global network
  • Con’s
    • Expensive initial purchase
    • Heaviest of the satellite messengers

You may venture off the grid, but you can still stay in touch, as long as you’re carrying an inReach Explorer+. This handheld satellite communicator is designed for the outdoor enthusiast who wants to roam farther and experience more, without compromising their loved ones‘ peace of mind. From backcountry experiences to international adventures, inReach provides communication, location sharing, navigation and critical SOS functions for anyone who loves getting away from it all, on land, water or in the skies.

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

If you would like additional information or to see other models, go to my REVIEW PAGE, leave a COMMENT BELOW or send me an EMAIL.

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SPECIFICATIONS

General

Physical dimensions 2.7″ x 6.5″ x 1.5″ (6.8 x 16.4 x 3.8 cm) with keypad and SOS door bump
Display size 1.4″W x 1.9″H (3.5 x 4.7 cm); 2.31″ diag (5.9 cm)
Display resolution 200 x 265 pixels
Display type transflective color TFT
Weight 7.5 oz (213.0 g)
Battery Rechargeable internal lithium ion
Battery life Up to 100 hours at 10-minute tracking mode (default); up to 75 hours at 10-minute tracking with 1-second logging; up to 30 days at the 30-minute interval power save mode; and up to 3 years when powered off
Water rating IPX7
Memory/History 2 GB
High-sensitivity receiver
Interface USB

Maps & Memory

Preloaded maps yes. The North America SKU of the inReach Explorer+ comes preloaded with a 1:24k map of Garmin Yarmouth (Former DeLorme) North America data of the U.S. and Canada. Mexico also is included at a 1:125k scale (derived from Garmin Yarmouth’s Digital Atlas of the Earth).
Ability to add maps
Waypoints/favorites/locations 500
Routes 20

Sensors

Barometric altimeter
Compass Yes (tilt-compensated 3-axis)

Outdoor Recreation Features

Camera no

Additional

Additional
  • Wireless compatible: yes (Bluetooth®)
  • Trigger an interactive SOS with 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center: yes
  • Send and receive text messages to SMS and email: yes
  • Send and receive messages with other inReach users, exchange locations: yes
  • Track and share location with friends and family on web-based MapShare® portal: yes
  • Request weather forecasts for current location and planned destination: yes
  • Virtual keyboard for custom text messaging: yes
  • Send waypoints to MapShare portal during trip: yes
  • Send route selection to MapShare portal for friends and family to see progress: yes

Garmin inReach Explorer

4.7

World Wide Coverage

5.0/5

2-Way Messaging

5.0/5

Navigation

5.0/5

Tracking & Sharing

5.0/5

Initial Cost & Subscription Plan

3.5/5

Pros

  • 2-Way Messaging
  • Built-In Navigation
  • Pre-Downloaded TOPO Maps
  • Global Satellite Coverage
  • Long Battery Life

Cons

  • Size & Weight
  • Initial Purchase Price

18 thoughts on “Garmin inReach Explorer+”

  1. Excellent review about Garmin inReach Explorer+. I personally like Garmin products, and when it comes to the Explore+, that’s going to be amazing as usual I know. You explain every feature of this product very well. As I saw the price is a bit high but compared if its features and advantages, it’s not going to problem think. Someone from my son’s college was talking about this device last week, I am going to share this review with him, I think he will get help. Thanks a lot for this great review.

    Reply
    • The initial price for the Garmin inReach Explore+ is high but having the navigation built into the satellite messenger and then having the option to send and receive messages would be invaluable. 

      I don’t like being bothered when out on a hike but when an emergency arises, those 2-way messages would be great to have. How many times do we find ourselves in non-life-threatening emergencies but we are still in trouble. The price will be worth it when that happens.

      I realized yesterday, on a long 12 mile hike, that I would have really liked to have the built-in navigation with me. I will be adding this to my list to buy soon.

      Rick

      Reply
  2. Thanks for this informative article, It does a very good job of predicting the next word which speed up things. Transmit and receiving speeds are good, but my curiosity is why it doesn’t work indoors?  I noticed it needs to be outside with a view of the sky before it works effectively,  Great product. I depended on it during a hurricane. Subscription pricing is fair as well.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing how you used it during a hurricane. This just goes to show that these can be used in many more situations than just an adventure in the outdoors.

      The emergency rescue beacons, called PLBs or Satellite Messengers, get their information from a network of satellites and must have a clear view of the skies. 

      Whether you are in a building needing to be rescued or in a deep ravine in the mountains, you may need to find a clear view of the sky to get the signal out or have the signal be located by rescue teams.

      Rick

      Reply
  3. Thanks for the details about the Garmin inReach Explorer+.  Are these used by rescue search teams and public servants?

    I am a career firefighter in the midwest and we use GPS in our mobile data terminals for tracking available equipment and mapping to find the address for our runs.

    What is the primary use for this device for search teams?

    Reply
    • I love great questions and you have hit on a good one. The Garmin inReach Explorer+ uses the global Iridium satellite network and when the SOS is activated, the message is sent out to a rescue monitoring center. The messages are sent to GEOS, located in Houston, Texas. They in turn, send out rescue alerts to SAR agencies around the world.

      I cannot answer your question completely as I am not aware of the tracking tools that search and rescue teams use to locate a signal coming from a locator beacon, such as the Explorer+. On that note, I will be learning more about it as my daughter has joined the mountain search rescue team in Gunnision, Colorado so this will be on the top of my list to learn from her.

      Search teams will be using the signal being sent from Garmin inReach Explorer+ to track and help locate the person. I am not sure if the search teams are using emergency locator beacons themselves but it would be smart as they are breaking off into groups to search the area and an emergency beacon would be wise to have on each of the team members. I will be finding out more about this also with how the Gunnison Mountain Search and Rescue team operates.

      I hope this helps some. I know I did not answer your question specifically but I will be learning more about this soon. I would love to hear more from you about how your team conducts a search and what equipment is used to locate a signal from an emergency locator beacon.

      Rick

      Reply
  4. Hello 🙂

    You have such a great site! 

    The Garmin inReach Explorer+ sounds amazing. It looks like the perfect gadget for any terrain, and I love all it’s extra features, especially the two-way messaging. The weather forecasts and all the extras also make it a great buy in my opinion.

    For what type of hike would you recommend this specific device?

    Thanks for the great article.

    Reply
    • Before yesterday’s 12 mile hike, I would have told you the Garmin inReach Explorer+ would be great for longer, more remote hikes but that is not true at all. 

      I was hiking just north of Colorado Springs yesterday and the map said it was a 9.3 mile loop around Mount Herman but I felt like and other GPS information said that I may have gone over 11 miles. That may be because I took little detours to check things out.

      The bottom line for me is when I was on the backside of Mount Herman (west side), I lost cell coverage and there were many times trails took off in different locations and they were definitely not on the map, plus when I lost cell service, I couldn’t get the same information I was enjoying earlier. I was thinking the Garmin inReach Explorer+ may be on my birthday wish list now.

      I think it just depends on if you like using a built in navigation in your satellite messenger. If the answer is yes, than it will be nice to have anywhere.

      I hope that helps,

      Rick

      Reply

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