Earlier this week, Garmin announced the new GPSMAP 66i that adds inReach satellite communication technology to their popular line of GPS handhelds. Now along with GPS navigation, you can stay in touch with friends and family using the device as a satellite communicator with two-way messaging and a 24/7 SOS function.
The 66i offers two-way messaging and location tracking for off the gird communication. Using the Iridium satellite network, you can communicate with any cell phone number, email address or other inReach device. With LiveTrack enabled, anyone can follow along on your journey and you can share updates with them.
In case of an emergency, the GPSMAP 66i enables you to trigger an SOS to the GEOS 24/7 emergency response team for interactive support. GEOS will respond to the SOS and track the device, contact the necessary emergency responders, notify your contacts, and continue to message back and forth with you, providing updates and critical information until the situation is resolved.
With direct-to-device downloads via Wi-Fi of BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, you can see high-resolution photo-realistic views of your route. Easily find parks, trailheads, clearings for campsites, stand locations for hunting, and more. The GPSMAP 66i also comes preloaded with routable topographic maps to visualize your planned route in more detail, adding coastlines, rivers, summits, terrain contours, and geographical points.
The rugged GPSMAP 66i is constructed to U.S. military standard 810G for shock, vibration, and water resistance rated to 1 meter. Garmin claims you get up to 35 hours of battery life with 10 minute tracking turned on, and up to 200 hours in Expedition mode with 30-minute tracking intervals.
The Garmin GPSMAP 66i is available now at REI for $600. And Garmin offers a variety of subscription plans to choose from for the satellite communication functionality.