Garmin inReach Mini vs Mini 2

What is so different between the Garmin inReach Mini vs Mini 2, and is the inReach Mini 2 worth the extra money?

Garmin inReach Mini 2

Stay tuned to the end to find out and see the Field Test between the Mini and the Mini 2.

How is the Mini and the Mini 2 Alike

  • Both are Garmin inReach devices
  • Same size
  • Both have SOS, 2-way Messaging, Weather and Maps when Synced with a Smartphone
  • They are extremely powerful satellite messengers

How are they Different

  • Mini 2 uses the Explore App instead of the Earthmate AppGarmin inReach Mini vs Mini 2
  • Mini 2 has TracBack Routing
  • Mini 2 has a Digital Compass
  • Mini 2 has up to Three Times Longer Battery Life
  • Mini 2 has Unlimited Cloud Storage
  • Mini 2 has On-screen Tracks
  • Mini 2 has On-screen Routes
  • Mini 2 has Off-course Visual and Audible Alerts
  • Mini 2 has On-course Visual and Audible Alerts
  • Mini 2 can Create a Route in the Field when Not Synced with a Smartphone
  • Mini 2 Costs More

Longer Battery Life

Take a look at the specifications below to see how much better the battery life is with the Mini 2

Garmin inReach Mini SpecificationsGarmin inReach Mini 2 SpecificationsThere are several ways to analyze the difference in the battery life but the most obvious is that 10-minute tracking mode, The Mini 2 beats the Mini by around 5 days. You can look for yourself to research it more.

Garmin inReach Mini 2

On-Screen Course and Tracks

One of the greatest things about the Mini 2 is that you can now see courses on the screen, plus your tracks. You can’t see a topo map, but you can see some really useful information.

You can see an example course here.

Garmin inReach Mini Course

And example tracks here.

Garmin inReach Mini Tracks

This by itself makes the Mini 2 worth the extra money, but wait you see what it does on TracBack if you’re lost.

On-Screen TracBack | Visual & Audible

If you’re lost, the inReach Mini 2 will show you your tracks back to your starting point, but it will also give you a visual and audible alert when you’re off the course, but that’s not all, it then gives you another visual and audible alert when you’re back on course.

inReach Mini 2 off-course alert

inReach Mini 2 on-course Alert

Other Differences

There are many other differences between the Mini and the Mini 2 but most of that is in how the menu has changed. In the video below, I go into the menus in more detail to show you many of the differences, so check out the YouTube video for more information.

Final Thoughts

At the time I wrote this article, the Mini 2 only costs about $80 more than the Mini, and with what I just showed you, plus my personal experiences with both, including many field tests, the Mini 2 is well worth the Mini.

The Garmin inReach Mini was my favorite satellite messenger before this year, but since the Mini 2 came out, the choice is obvious. The Mini 2 is the new satellite messenger to beat.

Garmin inReach Mini 2, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Hiking Handheld, Orange - 010-02602-00
  • Compact, lightweight satellite communicator enables two-way messaging and interactive SOS globally (Active satellite subscription required. Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communication devices.).Special Feature:Bluetooth.Water Resistant: Yes
  • Navigate back to where you started by using TracBack routing
  • Share your location with loved ones back home at any time (active satellite subscription required) by using your MapShare page or with your coordinates embedded in your messages
  • Get accurate heading information using the digital compass — even when you’re not moving
  • Sync with the Garmin Explore app and website on your compatible smartphone for trip planning and topographical mapping, and create waypoints, courses, activities and collections you can sync to your device
  • Pair with Garmin devices, such as wearables and handhelds, and use them to send and receive messages and trigger an SOS (active satellite subscription required)

This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.

Garmin 010-01879-00 InReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Orange
  • Small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator enables 2 way text messaging using the 100 percentage global Iridium network (satellite subscription required).Special Feature:Bluetooth.
  • Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required). Display size-0.9 x 0.9 inch
  • Access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more by using the free Garmin Earthmate app and compatible devices
  • 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

This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.

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2 thoughts on “Garmin inReach Mini vs Mini 2”

  1. Great article explaining everything!
    Whomever designed the buttons on that thing at garmin, deserves to be punched in the face. It’s so difficult to use.

    • I don’t mean to laugh, but I agree that I have had some trouble with those myself. I have been reviewing the GPSMAP 67i lately, and those buttons seem to work better.


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