Garmin inReach SE+ Unboxing and Initial Impressions

Peace of mind on long trips or while you’re in the backcountry can be invaluable. Especially so if there’s someone back at home worried about you while you’re on your excursions. I had been using a previous version from Delorme with great results so I decided to upgrade to see what the unit Garmin-based unit was like.  Two-way satellite tracking devices like the Garmin inReach (previously Delorme)  and the Spot Gen 3 give you the ability to a few key things: 

  • Broadcast your location in real time
  • Leave a breadcrumb trail on a map that you can share with others
  • Send messages when there is no cell service
  • Two-way communication with your loved ones or a Search and Rescue team

The two-way communication is a key feature that differentiates these devices from something called a Personal Rescue Beacon or PRB like the ACR ResQlink. I will make a more detailed post comparing the two and explaining why I ultimately chose the inReach.

What’s in the Box?

In the box you get the device, a plastic clip with carabiner for the back, and a USB cable. It is worth noting that a full manual is not included but can instead be accessed HERE.  Although not readily apparent, the plastic clip/carabiner combo can be separated if you won’t need the ‘biner.

The back of the device is designed to accept additional accessories like a backpack tether, or belt clipGarmin has also released a powered mount for hooking up to your vehicle’s power.

My Initial Impressions

Coming from a previous iteration (Delorme inReach for Smartphones) I am pleased with the design of the Garmin inReach SE+. If you have been able to get your hands on any of the delorme units, you realize pretty quickly that they favored function over form as they were a bit clunky looking. I’m also very happy to have a menu as my previous unit only had status lights. The buttons at the bottom are easy to use and intuitive once you spend a couple of minutes playing around with the device. Size-wise the unit is a bit larger than my previous unit but the form factor is nice and it fits well in my hand. One handed use is easy. Most of the time, though, I plan to have the unit clipped to my back or somewhere on my bike.

SOS Button

The SOS button is important and has been redesigned from the previous inReach devices. The previous models all used a slider to block access of the SOS button. The new models feature a flip style cap that covers a well-recessed button for signalling an SOS.

So far I’m impressed! I will post a full featured review and detailed breakdown once I’ve got some miles on the Device.

If there are any questions I can answer about the device, let me know in the comments below!

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