Garmin inReach Mini Reviews | Out of the Box Review

My new Garmin inReach Mini just arrived and I’m excited to take my first look at it and start comparing it to my SPOT X and SPOT Gen 3.

Garmin inReach Mini Review | Out of the Box

I checked around on the price and found the best price on Amazon. The Garmin inReach Mini arrived in 3 days after my purchase, with free shipping.

Garmin InReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Orange
139 Reviews
Garmin InReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Orange
  • Small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator enables two way text messaging using the 100 percentage global Iridiumnetwork (satellite subscription required)
  • Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required)
  • Access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more by using the free Garmin Earthmate app and compatibledevices
  • Optional inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini or paired device; basic and premium weather packages available
  • Send and receive inReach messages through compatible Garmin devices, including connected wearables and handhelds.Display resolution:128 x 128 pixels
  • NOTICE: Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used

The package it was mailed in didn’t look great but my Garmin was well protected for the trip to my home, and of course the Garmin packaging was exceptional.

Garmin inReach Mini Review | Out of the Box

The components came well packaged and separated into different packages to keep everything more organized.

The package came with:

  • Garmin inReach Mini
  • Charging Cable
  • Clip
  • Carabiner
  • Instruction Manual

garmin inreach mini package contents

The instructions were easy to follow and the setup was quick, taking only about 15 minutes to complete.

garmin inreach mini instructions

I was directed to turn the Garmin inReach Mini on and follow the on-screen instructions. Within minutes the inReach Mini was charging and I was on Garmin’s website creating a new account. I had to choose a subscription plan, and I chose the Freedom plan, as I believe I will only be using this for a month, due to my plan on purchasing the Garmin inReach Explore next month.

The Freedom Plan allows more flexibility if you use your satellite messenger only a few times each year. It costs more per month, but you can select what months you want it activated. If you plan on using it most of the year, then I would opt for the annual plan.

In order to finish the activation, I had to take the Garmin Mini outside to sink up with the satellites, which took about 3 minutes to complete, and then I was finished. I plugged my new Garmin in to fully charge, as I am going on a long hike this week in Colorado with my son.

Future Reviews

I already own the SPOT X and the SPOT Gen 3, and the Garmin inReach Mini is my 3rd satellite messenger. You can see from the pictures below how they compare in size. I will be following this review up with an in depth review of the inReach Mini, out on the trail, followed by comparisons between the Mini and the SPOT X and the SPOT Gen 3.

Garmin inReach Mini Accessories

I also purchased a few accessories, and those were the hard protective case, for storing at home or transporting the Garmin to my next outdoor adventure. These satellite messengers aren’t cheap. The portable charger was an absolute must for me as all of my smartphones lose power to quickly on the trail. I also bought the backpack tether see below.

garmin inreach mini accessories

You can learn more about the Garmin inReach Mini Accessories and other satellite messenger accessories HERE.

Thank you for joining me in this Garmin inReach Mini review.

Watch a short YouTube video of this review.

Please leave a Comment Below or send me an Email if you have any questions or would like to share your opinion or experiences with any satellite messenger or portable locator beacon.

 

Garmin InReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Orange
139 Reviews
Garmin InReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Orange
  • Small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator enables two way text messaging using the 100 percentage global Iridiumnetwork (satellite subscription required)
  • Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required)
  • Access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more by using the free Garmin Earthmate app and compatibledevices
  • Optional inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini or paired device; basic and premium weather packages available
  • Send and receive inReach messages through compatible Garmin devices, including connected wearables and handhelds.Display resolution:128 x 128 pixels
  • NOTICE: Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used

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Garmin inReach Mini

Garmin inReach Mini

4.6

World Wide Coverage

5.0/5

2-Way Messaging

5.0/5

Navigation

4.0/5

Tracking & Sharing

5.0/5

Initial Cost & Subscription Plan

4.0/5

Pros

  • Extremely Small
  • Easy to Activate
  • Easy to Navigate in the Menu
  • World Wide Coverage
  • Fast Sync to Smartphone

Cons

  • Initial Purchase Price
  • Subscription Plan
  • Must be Synced to Have Navigation

4 thoughts on “Garmin inReach Mini Reviews | Out of the Box Review”

  1. Wow, the garmin inreach mini definitely looks like a great choice for hikers, however  I have a question as a beginner who is interested in getting into the world of hiking. I don’t really know much about what equipment to take, so if I did chose this garmin inreach mini then will this be suitable for me as a beginner? 

    Reply
    • The Garmin inReach Mini was really easy for me to set up and it syncs to your smartphone with the EarthMate app and the app is really easy to use. Basically, you turn on the Garmin, strap it to your pack, then use the app on your phone as we are all use to.

      I would recommend this for beginners but everyone should test the satellite messenger out at home before hitting the trail to make sure you know how to handle it.

      Rick

      Reply
  2. Hello Rick, first of all, I appreciate your effort of putting this simple review together. I particularly find this useful due to my tendency to go with my friends lengthy hiking expedition. One of my major concerns is that most times, we usually go farther than the cell service’s coverage. So i believe the Garmin inReach Mini would come in handy for communication purposes. 

    Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • There are not many trails that I take that have cell service and even the ones close to Denver and Colorado Springs are not consistent.

      I hiked for over 30 years without a satellite messenger, however, I never leave home on a hiking trip without one these days. I’m not sure if that is my age talking or my daughter, who is on a search and rescue team, influencing my decision with all the sad stories she has to tell.

      Rick

      Reply

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