After their acquisition of DeLorme last year, Garmin gets set to release their first inReach products — the new inReach SE+ and inReach Explorer+. Upgrades on the existing products, the new Garmin branded devices feature a redone user interface, completely new form factor (they look more like Garmin handhelds), bigger displays, navigation on both, and preloaded TOPO maps on the Explorer+ version.
Much like the current models, you get worldwide coverage via the Iridium satellite network in order to send and receive text messages to any cell phone number, email address, or another inReach device. Both devices have an interactive SOS (button now on the side), which triggers an emergency response from GEOS, the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center. After the SOS is received, you can communicate back and forth with GEOS about the nature of the emergency, and receive confirmation when help is on the way. You can also set up emergency contacts on the device that will also be notified in the event of an SOS.
Both the inReach SE+ and inReach Explorer+ have a built-in GPS that provides basic navigation, location, and tracking data, so you can follow routes, drop waypoints, and find your way back using an electronic bread crumb trail. The inReach Explorer+ adds more robust navigation options like preloaded DeLorme topographic maps, built-in digital compass, barometric altimeter, and accelerometer. Similar to previous DeLorme devices, the inReach SE+ and inReach Explorer+ are compatible with the web-based MapShare portal. With MapShare, the inReach device sends your trip data, such as tracks and waypoint updates at preselected intervals, so friends and family can follow your whereabouts, request a location update, and exchange messages.
With a compatible smartphone, the inReach SE+ and inReach Explorer+ can sync with the free Earthmate app for unlimited map access, aerial imagery, U.S. NOAA charts, and USGS Quad Sheets. More data, like game management units and parcel information for hunters, is available for purchase. You also have access to optional weather updates and premium weather packages directly on the handheld and the Earthmate app. Every inReach device comes with free access to a cloud-powered portal where you can plan trips and waypoints, sync and manage your device, and store all your tracking data.
On a single charge, the inReach SE+ and Explorer+ can get up to 100 hours of battery life in tracking mode and up to 30 days in power saving mode. Rugged and designed to withstand the elements, these devices are impact resistant and have an IPX7 water rating.
To access the Iridium network and communicate with an inReach SE+ or Explorer+, an active satellite subscription is required. Depending on usage level, you can opt for an annual contract package or a flexible month-to-month airtime plan. Annual plans range from $11.95 to $79.95 per month (plus activation fee), and month-to-month plans range from $14.95 to $99.95 per month.
The Garmin inReach SE+ and inReach Explorer+ will start shipping in 5-8 weeks and retail for $400 and $450 respectively. You can pre-order both now.