Garmin inReach vs Spot X

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by PilotMedic865, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. PilotMedic865

    PilotMedic865 Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm starting my IFR and commercial training, and with that means a lot more cross country flying. I'm looking at a GPS tracker in the unlikely event that I need to go down in an area with no cell phone either voluntarily or involuntary. I've been looking at the two big brands and was seeing if anyone had any experience with either and what pros and cons they had.

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  2. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  3. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

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    no first hand experience, but I did quite a lot of research a couple years ago for backpacking application. The spot is cheaper...but seems to me the inreach is much more capable.

    If you're only interested in SOS function, the PLB's are in some ways better. Satellite + emergency radio broadcast, longer battery, & I have read that the sat network they use is more comprehensive...

    I like the inreach because you can check weather and actually communicate..with rescue and just for personal messaging. With the spot you send a "i need help" message...but then the folks at home don't know if it's an in the next day or two kinda thing or call 911. Also folks have indicated that if you use the function to let folks know you've arrived "at camp and ok"...there's no confirmation that the message gets sent so sometimes folks at home are worried because they didn't hear from you at the appointed time.
     
  4. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    @Katamarino uses the In-Reach. If it works for him and wherever the hell he's at on this planet....good enough for me! A bunch of us have texted him while he's on his crazy adventures. I'm gonna get the in-reach. Their obvious downside is the more generous plan's pricing, especially if you want to leave lots of tracking points or lots of text messages.
     
  5. Arrow76R

    Arrow76R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have had a SPOT for a number of years. I determined that placement in the cabin is critical to prevent the transmitted signal from interfering with GPS. FAA issued a warning about this. SPOT is good for tracking (5 minute position reports) BUT their subscription price went WAY up recently. That plus the fact that it is one-way only, with no ACK, caused me to purchase an InReach mini although I have maintained the SPOT for the duration of my yearly subscription. I like the 2-way aspect of InReach so you know your message has been received and someone is acting on it. BUT it is expensive! So I have the cheapest plan and only activate it when I'm going to go on long trips (you can put service on hold month-by-month). I don't use the tracking features, only the pre-planned message capability to keep the cost down.
     
  6. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    PLB..............Flip the switch.........climb in the helicopter an hour later.
     
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  7. manac

    manac Pre-Flight

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    Used to run a spot. Got way too pricey. With adsb I don’t see a need.
     
  8. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    Spot X, is more like the inreach with two way communication. Haven’t yet decided to upgrade my spot 3, or decided if i should do Spot X or Inreach. Spot price increases are tending to push me toward the inreach.

    Brian
     
  9. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Had a Spot. It was crap. Have an Inreach. Reliable. Works great. I prefer texting through my phone with the Earthmates app. Have Spidertracks. Works passively. It sends position and takeoff-landing messages to my wife. She LOVES it. I haven't filed a flight plan in years. No need. I also have an Iridium phone. Between Spot, Inreach, and Iridium? I'll keep the Iridium. The Spidertracks is part of the family. It stays!
     
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  10. Katamarino

    Katamarino Cleared for Takeoff

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    The InReach has been pretty damn solid. Not perfect, but I've found it incredibly useful.
     
  11. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff

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    I do long ocean passages in smaller sailboats on a regular basis...East Coast to the Caribbean. 7-8 days and 1500+ miles at a time. In reach is the way to go and I have used both. It’s not unusual on the route we take to go two days without contact with commercial shipping on radar or AIS. My next trip is Tortola to NYC in June and won’t leave without it working but that never seems to be an issue..spot always need a reset every 24 hours or so.
     
  12. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member

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  13. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    I picked up the InReach mini last fall. I've used it hunting in WY as well as hunting here in GA. I have the $35/mo plan I believe, but will probably knock it down to the cheaper one once hunting season ends this weekend. I turn it on when I load up the Jeep heading to the woods and leave it on until I'm back home at the end of the trip. My wife likes being able to see where I am (especially when I have the boys with me) since I have a tendency to wander from original plans a bit. :)

    Be advised -- the messaging function works well, but it can be quite a bit slower than what you're used to with regular text messages - as in 10-15 minutes to send a message. So make sure whoever you're communicating with knows that there is a lot of lag in messaging so they don't flip out when you don't respond immediately.