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SOVOS
distinguished member (118)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/26/2018 03:17PM
Has anyone used this product yet? I've got a Garmin In Reach Explorer I've used for a season but it's got a bad terminal so it won't update firmware. I'm planning to return it...and see the new MINI has many of the same features but 1/2 the weight. I never was able to use the GPS screen on the Explorer because it isn't bright enough or big enough (old eyes I guess). But i don't really need that since i use old fashioned maps and a compass. But i'd really like to hear any comparisons and opinions.
 
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andym
distinguished member(4754)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/27/2018 04:22AM
Just visited some friends tonight who are very experienced campers and they have one. It is very tiny and he said it is easy for sending the preset messages (both the completely preset ones and the ones where you pick a recipient and the message separately. It’s possible to type a message without linking to a phone or tablet but it is harder than on the explorer.

Overall, if you don’t want the gps screen or to send a lot of custom messages, it seems like a good choice. They are happy with it.
 
SOVOS
distinguished member (118)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/27/2018 07:24AM
thanks! did they say if the weather download works the same way?
 
andym
distinguished member(4754)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/27/2018 04:50PM
They were checking the weather on it but not the premium weather reports. I would assume it is he same way but am not sure. The rest sounded very similar. Garmin has the manuals online so you can get definitive answers that way.
 
Atrain
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07/30/2018 12:17PM
The weather is done the exact same way. This describes it well. Done for the cost of a text message or upcharge for premium or marine (meant more for huge water, since even basic gives you wind speed) Forecast FAQ


I've done a ton of research on this device and my friend has one. If i tripped more off the grid and could justify the monthly fee, id absolutely get this device. GPS accessed via earthmate app if you need to see more than an arrow and the security of GEOS SOS in a small package and long battery life. 2 way texting and weather (probably better than whatever NOAA you can pick up on a radio) when you want to use it. breadcrumb tracking if you want it so people can follow you along. Pretty ideal offering.

Even a few uses a year would be worth the fees. But it does add up. $30 activation/deactivation fee, $25/yr usage fee, $15/mo when youre using it. It is nice you can suspend anytime compared to a SPOT or the new SPOT messenger, but the yearly usage fee still plays into it for me since I am regrettably not off the grid as much as i would like to be. Maybe if i move out west or travel overseas. The Iridium pole-to-pole network coverage is staggering, and the fact that theyll rescue you anywhere on the planet (unless youre in an active warzone) is amazing. Talk about peace of mind.

For now, ill just rent a SPOT from VNO once a year for $30. A boy can dream...
 
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(2087)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/12/2019 09:02AM
For the Freedom plans do you have to deactivate every month that you don't want service or is it deactivated until you reactivate the device?
 
SOVOS
distinguished member (118)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/12/2019 09:23AM
mine stays deactivated until i want it reactivated.
 
mpeebles
distinguished member (247)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2019 07:10AM
AmarilloJim: "For the Freedom plans do you have to deactivate every month that you don't want service or is it deactivated until you reactivate the device?"

I believe that you need to deactivate the plan if you do not want it to continue or it will auto renew the same plan by default. I used my Explorer for the first time recently (Freedom Plan) and plan on deactivating it before the monthly time frame comes up. I will reactivate it for my next trip in late July.

Hope this helps.

What an incredible device!

Safe travels.......Mike

 
mpeebles
distinguished member (247)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2019 07:19AM
SOVOS: "Has anyone used this product yet? I've got a Garmin In Reach Explorer I've used for a season but it's got a bad terminal so it won't update firmware. I'm planning to return it...and see the new MINI has many of the same features but 1/2 the weight. I never was able to use the GPS screen on the Explorer because it isn't bright enough or big enough (old eyes I guess). But i don't really need that since i use old fashioned maps and a compass. But i'd really like to hear any comparisons and opinions.
"


I have the Explorer as well and took it on its maiden voyage recently. One of the folks I was with had the Mini on its maiden voyage and we were kind of learning together. Both worked great.

Safe travels......Mike
 
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(2087)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/17/2019 08:08AM
I bought the Explorer last week at Cabelas. They were on sale for $399 and had a 1 day 10% discount as well. How is the weather forecasts on these? Was thinking of leaving my weather radio behind if I like it.
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2151)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 10:35AM
AmarilloJim: "I bought the Explorer last week at Cabelas. They were on sale for $399 and had a 1 day 10% discount as well. How is the weather forecasts on these? Was thinking of leaving my weather radio behind if I like it."
Knowing that the forecast is for thunderstorms is helpful no doubt, but it doesn't replace an alert in the middle of the night of severe storm warning in your immediate area.
 
naturboy12
distinguished member (247)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 11:57AM
Used my new mini for the trip I just completed. Great piece of gear that’s even better because of the freedom plan. It is tedious to send the non-preset messages, but since I don’t use that feature much, that’s fine by me. All my messages sent quickly and were received with no issue on the other end (presets and newly written). The weather feature was a nice supplement to our weather radio as well. I’m very happy with it. I did not use the tracking feature, but it’s nice to know I have the option should I want it.
 
SOVOS
distinguished member (118)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 12:07PM
naturboy12: "Used my new mini for the trip I just completed. Great piece of gear that’s even better because of the freedom plan. It is tedious to send the non-preset messages, but since I don’t use that feature much, that’s fine by me. All my messages sent quickly and were received with no issue on the over end (presets and newly written). The weather feature was a nice supplement to our weather radio as well. I’m very happy with it. I did not use the tracking feature, but it’s nice to know I have the option should I want it. "

I own this unit now too and had the same experience.
 
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