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Garmin InReach Mini 2 Satellite Communicator | Review

The all-new Garmin InReach Mini 2 is a miniature satellite communicator that packs a GPS-loaded punch, ideal for hut to hut ski tours and backcountry missions

Why We Chose The Garmin InReach Mini 2 Satellite Communicator: Tiny, dependable, long battery life

Price: £349
Weight: 100g

More info

The original Garmin InReach Mini was a miniature satellite communicator that packed a mighty punch. And, just like the original pocket-sized InReach, the all-new InReach Mini 2 is packing an impressive feature set into a tiny form, giving you the ability to communicate with friends and family so you can let them know that you’re safe and well in the wilderness.

The InReach Mini 2 works as an all-in-one satellite communicator, personal locator beacon and satellite navigation tracker that Garmin has, somehow, housed into a miniature package that comes out smaller than a chocolate bar, while only weighing in at 100 grams as well.

Features

First of all, and perhaps most important to a satellite communicator, is the ability for the InReach Mini 2 to talk to multiple satellites. Essential stuff when you’re miles out in a deep valley, and looking to seek out a signal to relay a message. This satellite fluency comes from the model’s ability to speak to three of the largest satellite networks – GALILEO, QZSS and BeiDou – giving you extensive coverage and a better chance of finding a GPS signal.

GPS strength is then boosted by making use of an electric compass to aid faster satellite acquisition and more coverage in challenging environments, compared to just relying on GPS alone.

This satellite network gives the device the ability to send two-way text messages, provide consistent GPS waypoint tracking and download weather updates. In life threatening situations, the InReach Mini 2 also has the ability to trigger an interactive SOS message.

This personal locator beacon (PLB) feature can be activated by revealing the SOS button, which you can do by pulling the SOS tab and holding the button down. The SOS message is then relayed to the Garmin IERCC service, a 24/7 staffed professional emergency response coordination centre. They will then escalate things to the relevant emergency services in your local region while also keeping yourself and your kin updated on the whereabouts of the rescue team.

While the device might be miniature, a decent amount of battery life has been sustained to help you keep you relaying your position even when you’re days into a long ski tour. This impressive battery life equates to 14 days of continuous run time in the default 10-minute tracking mode, or 30 days when you space the tracking to 30-minute intervals. These GPS intervals are stored onto the device the moment you start tracking meaning that, if you manage to find yourself lost or disoriented, you can then retrace your steps by following the on-screen breadcrumb trail.

GPS features can be activated by scrolling through what Garmin calls an “intuitive user interface” which allows you to navigate through location updates, weather alerts and messages, in an extremely, you guessed it, intuitive way. The new ‘quick view’ feature filters out all but the essentials that you need to view. This seamless device navigation is all shown through a new and updated LCD screen that’s been optimised to be clear and legible in all weather conditions.

And, while the LCD screen and side-mounted buttons can be fiddly at the best of times, the InReach is able to piggyback onto the larger screen of a smartphone (through the Garmin Explore App) to make it easy for you to quickly type messages, get up-to-date weather information, download a variety of maps and use the new course creator to mark and start an automatically generate course line.

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