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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: GPS
      InReach vs 66i/86i     
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joewildlife
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12/31/2019 08:53PM  
I got an InReach for the 2 way communication. Then just a week later, the 66i came out. I was pissed because the InReach is a pretty poor GPS in that it can only handle 500 waypoints, has no MicroSD slot, and can't handle tracks--instead it uses routes with 200 points or less.

But it doesn't matter...I really think Garmin dropped the ball with these units by putting internal rechargeable batteries in them. I'm not carrying a power pack or solar panels that would be needed on long trips for recharging, if using these units several hours a day for navigation. I mean, I can run my 78 on 2 or 3 sets of lithium batteries on a 14 day trip, and it is on anytime I'm on the water travelling or fishing. I can get by 2 weeks with the InReach using it only for texts and weather reports. So I take both.

I'd rather have a good gps with 2 way communication abilities that runs on AA batteries. That the 66i/86i are all in one units is kind of moot when they have internal batteries.
The InReach replaced my SPOT but it didn't replace my 78s.

maybe it's just me
Joe
 
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schweady
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01/01/2020 10:51AM  
I currently carry both an InReach and 64st gps. I may soon upgrade to the 66i, but it's the old 'eggs in one basket' thing. Like you, I'm not pleased with the transition to rechargeable batteries, but I have researched enough to see that my trips will be covered with a couple of Anker units. It's some of the changes made to turning tracking on and off that seem unnecessarily cumbersome, but I'm sure it's just another thing to practice and get used to.
 
Savage Voyageur
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01/01/2020 12:38PM  
You are talking apples and oranges. I’ve found when many functions are included in one unit, none of them are great. Like a Swiss Army Knife, lots of tools but none really useful. Personally I really like the inReach unit for what it does, keeps me in reach with my wife and family. It never was primarily marketed as a GPS unit. It’s marketed as a communications device. The inReach unit needs a internal GPS in it to send the authorities and family your location. Yes the inReach has a compass in it but it’s part of the navigation information it needs to send a location Not to direct you like a compass. I would never use it for navigation. That’s what a GPS is for. Im not even sure if I would use a 66i or the 86i for navigation. I use a Montana 655T with a 24000 topo chip in it. I can read it clearly, great battery life, extra memory chip, replaceable batteries.
 
01/01/2020 01:29PM  
I was concerned about the battery at first also, but after obtaining an Anker Powercore II 20000 have switched to mostly all lithium rechargeable, cameras, flashlights, phone, tablet and soon a 66i. And save packing space and weight by leaving the replaced batteries behind. Have not used this on a BWCA trip yet, but have on long drives and at Historic Racing events where I do go thru batteries shooting about a 1000 photos a day over 5 days of the events.
Still SV has a point about multi use equipment, but I'd still carry a dedicated PLB and the 66I.

butthead
 
schweady
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01/02/2020 03:43PM  
Savage Voyageur...Im not even sure if I would use a 66i or the 86i for navigation..."
The 66i is every bit the gps unit that my 64st is. And every bit the emergency response unit that my inReach is. Just some differences in how it is used and in battery management. If you mean to say that you would not "depend" on it for navigation, I get that. That's what maps and compasses are for. But if you are concerned that the 66i is incapable of providing accurate location info and trail and waypoints data management, my research tells otherwise.
 
Savage Voyageur
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01/02/2020 11:32PM  
schweady: "Savage Voyageur...Im not even sure if I would use a 66i or the 86i for navigation..."
The 66i is every bit the gps unit that my 64st is. And every bit the emergency response unit that my inReach is. Just some differences in how it is used and in battery management. If you mean to say that you would not "depend" on it for navigation, I get that. That's what maps and compasses are for. But if you are concerned that the 66i is incapable of providing accurate location info and trail and waypoints data management, my research tells otherwise.
"


Sorry, poorly worded on my part. They all will provide location, waypoint data. I just like the size of my Montana screen. Like I stated in my other post, I can read it clearly. It’s about the size of my iPhone screen. My Montana uses a 4” diagonal screen, and the 66i uses a 3” diagonal screen. My eyes are getting bad. I need a bigger screen. I should have said I like to navigate with a larger screen unit. And that’s why I will be taking both units.

If the 66i would have had the weather feature I would have bought it, almost did. I read that they said the weather feature might/will be offered in the future as a software update.
 
01/03/2020 10:14AM  
That's why there are touch screen and push button versions, consumer choice! Even though I prefer button interface.
The Inreach technology is just starting it's integration into other pieces of gear. Expect more along this line. I'm supprised they have not come out with fishing chart/plotters with integrated Inreach systems, especially for off shore fishing.

butthead
 
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