Garmin’s new SOS device could save your life on your next off-grid adventure

ByLance T. Lee

Sep 29, 2022

Garmin has launched its latest off-grid adventure device – the inReach Messenger. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and can send an SOS message if you’re out of range and need help.

If you’re in the mountains or some other remote location, using one of Garmin’s best watches to track your adventure, this new device, which will slip easily into a pocket or backpack, could prove invaluable in the event emergency.

The inReach Messenger, which is a follow-up to Garmin’s InReach Mini 2, pairs with your phone through the InReach Messenger app and automatically switches to a satellite connection when it detects you’re out of cell range.

You can press an SOS button on the side of the inReach Messenger in the event of an emergency, and a dedicated emergency response team will coordinate a response from a center that is manned 24 hours a day.

The team can communicate with inReach Messenger to notify emergency services, while alerting the user’s emergency contacts.

As well as an SOS device, it also acts as a tracker, so your friends and family can constantly track your location, whether you’re hiking a local mountain or out in the middle of nowhere. The small device, which looks like a mobile phone charger, measures only 3.1 x 2.5 inches / 7.9 x 6 cm and weighs 14 g. It also has messaging service on its small screen and can even be used to charge your phone.

The new addition to the Garmin family, which costs $299 / £249.99 / A$469.00 can be used on its own, which is handy if you’re low on phone battery, but it also pairs with the InReach app Messenger, which itself pairs with 80 other Garmin devices, including smartwatches, handhelds and navigators.

One of the main selling points of the InReach Messenger is its long battery capacity: when fully charged it can last 28 days, which is double the capacity of the InReach Mini 2, meaning you can plan a long adventure without worrying about losing connectivity.

Garmin inReach messaging

(Image credit: Garmin)

Is the device a game-changer for adventurers?

Fitness tech companies are aware that we want more from our gadgets, including safety features, and this new device gives us a bit of reassurance when we go on an adventure.

Garmin is not the first to offer this type of technology. The Apple Watch has a fall detection system, which alerts your closest contacts or the emergency services in the event of a sudden fall. The Apple Phone 14 also allows you, via satellite, to send an emergency text message, if you are out of cellular or Wi-Fi range.

But it’s the long battery life that’s a real winner – few devices today will last more than a few days, let alone nearly an entire month. The app, on the other hand, is a great addition, allowing you to send longer messages to your friends or family.

Want to follow the rest of your adventure? Here’s our guide to the best fitness trackers.

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