Satellite message technology is undoubtedly the most significant advancement in backcountry safety this century, and the fresh inReach Mini 2 is the latest in Garmin’s inReach series of GPS communicators.
The Garmin inReach Mini, introduced in 2018, provides end-to-end text messaging, tracking locations & weather warnings through the global Iridium satellite network. During an emergency, people can send a quick SOS message over to Garmin IERCC. A professional emergency management coordination center staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In a nutshell, it’s a communication gadget that can be used everywhere in the world outside of standard cellular service, and it links with your smartphone for a simple user interface. The recently announced new Garmin inReach Mini 2 retains all of the original version’s functions while also adding some fairly amazing new specs.
To begin with, the inReach Mini 2 now has a significant battery boost, allowing it to survive up to two weeks in 10-minute track mode and 30 days in 30-minute track mode. The first version’s default settings provided up to 90 hours of tracking at 10-minute intervals.
In addition to the increased battery life, Garmin modified the architecture slightly by switching from micro-USB to USB-C charging. It stands four inches tall by two inches wide and weighs only 3.5 ounces, making it ideal for any outdoor excursion. It is also IPX7 rated, so you won’t have to worry about using it in inclement weather.
Features and controls
At first glimpse, the inReach Mini 2 and Mini appear to be the same device. The Micro 2’s only visible distinction is using a USB Type C charging cord instead of Mini’s USB mini cord. The inReach Mini 2 contains similar control keys as the original Mini.
The display and interface of the inReach Mini 2 and Mini are similar in that they both support scrolling, but the Mini 2 format is more akin to Garmin’s watches. Instead of showing only one menu option, the Mini 2’s display shows previous and next options in a list format.
The inReach Mini 2 must still be connected to your smartphone through the Garmin Explore app to get the most out of it, notably for operating the seamless GPS features.
When users transition from the Garmin Earthmate app to the Garmin Explore app, they notice much difference. Devices like the GPSMAP 66i already utilize the Explore software, and it’s extremely user-friendly.
There are several navigation elements available to keep you ahead of the game. Start your journey with the course creator, keep an eye on the sky with satellite-based weather alerts, and use the quick view option to evaluate important information at a glance without interrupting your flow.
Connecting to emergency responders is critical, but you may also use the Garmin inReach Mini 2 to check in from your expedition or share your story as they unfold. While out in the wilderness, you can share your location with friends and even receive encouraging comments.
If you get lost on your expedition, the inReach Mini 2’s TracBack functionality can assist you in finding the right path. GPS, Galileo, QZSS, and Beidou enable global positioning. However, you might need an active subscription plan to communicate with an inReach Mini. Plan prices begin at $11.95 per month.