When you talk about the SPOT Satellite Messenger, you need to know that there are 2 satellite messengers you can choose from.
SPOT Gen 3 ( 1-way messenger) replaced by SPOT Gen 4
SPOT X (2-way messenger)
SPOT Satellite Messenger Comparison
Let’s take a brief look at the differences between these two great satellite messengers.
SPOT Gen 3
- 1-way Satellite Messenger
- Least expensive satellite messenger on the market ($99.95 at the time this was written)
- Up to 3 (outgoing) custom messages
- Motion activated tracking (will stop tracking to save battery if you stop in one place for a long time)
- Powered by AAA batteries (can buy re-chargeable batteries)
- Weight = 4.0 oz.
- 2-way satellite messenger
- Built-in Keyboard
- Unique U.S. cell phone number
- Basic navigation (no topo maps available)
- More expensive then the SPOT Gen 3 ($249.95 at the time this was written)
- Weight = 6.7 oz.
There are many more functions and features than this list but these are the primary differences.
My Personal Opinion
I have owned both of the SPOT satellite messengers for over 8 months now and have tested them on many trails here in Colorado. They both perform well for what they were built for and the satellite connections here in North America work well.
SPOT Gen 3 – The Gen 3 is so small that I forget I have it with me many times. It is extremely simple to use and I like knowing I can call for help but not have people bothering me if I had a 2-way satellite messenger. The batter life isn’t a problem as the SPOT Gen 3 will last around 15 days if you turn it off at night when you’re sleeping.
Honestly, this is a great option for many people who hike in places they are familiar with or have another way to make sure they’re on the correct trail. I have found that I use my Garmin inReach Mini’s topo maps a lot when I hike as there are always trails that show up that are not on my map, so the GPS with topo maps has become more important to me these days.
SPOT X – The SPOT X is better in many ways but it is larger and more bulky. I have to secure it to my pack better as it likes to swing around on my, which is annoying. The 2-way messaging is helpful at times but the built-in keyboard makes it much easier to type out a unique message, and much faster (over the Garmin inReach satellite messengers, unless you have them synced to your smartphone).
The SPOT X has a basic navigation built-in but without having a topo map to view, I find the navigation useless. If you are on flat terrain than it could be useful, but here in Colorado, with large mountains, rivers, and canyons, you need to know more then seeing the direction you ultimately need to go in.
This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.
If my financial situation was tight, I would definitely buy the SPOT Gen 3 and make sure it was the first thing on my pack.
If money is not an issue, then I would go with the SPOT X as the 2-way messaging may be important to you. I have found the 2-way messaging to be more important with my hiking team, so I would make sure there were at least 2 SPOT X devices with the group, so if we split up for any reason, we could still communicate with each other. Someone may get hurt, but more likely find an incredible place to take pictures or may have found a great camp site.
I know this article is about the SPOT satellite messengers, but I want you to know that after testing out the Garmin inReach Mini and the Garmin inReach Explorer+, I only use the Garmin satellite messengers now. In my opinion, they send and receive message faster, but more importantly, they sync to your cell phone which makes typing messages really simple, and lastly, having the topo maps available is a major plus for me.
I hike different trails every week, all around Colorado, so I am never familiar with the trail, and having the topo maps available, especially when out of cell service is a life saver.
Check out this short YouTube video about the SPOT X and SPOT Gen 3 comparison.
I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences with whatever satellite messenger you are using, so leave a Comment Below or send me an Email.
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10 thoughts on “SPOT Satellite Messenger”
I would say that your post gives a much better description of the Spot 3 and Spot X Satellite Messenger. Your opinion on these products is quite helpful and a sure guide for hikers.
I would surely go for the two-way messenger because of the benefits it has. Keeping in touch with my hiking grouo is so important, and anything that will enhance our communication is a welcome development. I have bookmarked this site, and will surely reference it in the future.
Thank you for the compliments. I believe the best way to test and review items such as these, is to buy them, and really test them in the field for many months. It’s not enough to read about them or test them out one time. You need to confirm how well the battery works, how does the messaging and navigation work. I also like to test the 2-way messaging between members on my hike to make sure we can really communicate when deep in the mountains.
Hello there, and thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of information here with us. I must say I really did enjoyed going through your article as it contains useful information one can hold on to. I think this would be great to use when going on expeditions. I will be getting these as I’ll have need for them after these whole pandemic issue is over.
It’s amazing how many of us go through life and all of our outdoor adventures and never give much thought about being able to call for help. These satellite messengers really can be a life-saver.
Personally, as far as this Covid-19 pandemic goes, I don’t let it keep me from enjoying the outdoors and neither should anyone else. Everyone is well spread out in the mountains and getting outdoors can really help with stress and anxieties.
Hello dear, thanks for sharing such amazing concise information with us all. I was actually doing some research online when I saw your post on SPOT Satellite Messenger, your post really has been useful to us all. I saw some reviews on SPOT Satellite Messenger, but wasn’t sure about their strategies, but after going through your review, my doubt has been cleared. Thanks for the info.
You are very welcome. I’m glad I could help. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions.
Another intriguing article you have appeared specifically on spot satellite Messenger. I must say that over the years technology has really done a lot of good to human ways. These days you can get eventually everything we need from the click of your cell phones, place orders, shop, get exercises yoga classes and many more. all through technology.
You’re right. Sometimes I don’t like everything that technology brings to us but in this case, it is extremely helpful and life-saving in a lot of cases. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
I know that finding a good article does not come by so easily so i must commend your effort in creating such a beautiful website and writing an article to help others with useful information like this. I like that SPOT is a GPS tracking device that uses the Global star satellite network to provide text messaging and GPS tracking. This is important to me to make sure I have good reception.
Thank you for your comment and I agree that making sure you have great satellite coverage is extremely important. It’s good to do your research before buying a satellite messenger because they use different satellite networks and not all of them have true global coverage.