Garmin has launched its latest off-line 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 cell 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 that fits easily into a pocket or backpack could prove invaluable in an emergency.
The inReach Messenger, a sequel to the Garmin InReach Mini 2, pairs with your phone via the InReach Messenger app and automatically switches to a satellite connection when it detects you’re out of cell range.
In an emergency, you can press the SOS button on the side of the inReach Communicator and a dedicated emergency response team will coordinate a response from the center, which is manned 24/7.
The team can communicate with the inReach Messenger to notify the emergency services as well as notify the user’s emergency contacts.
In addition to the SOS device, it also acts as a tracking device so that friends and family can constantly track your location, whether you are hiking a local mountain or in the middle of nowhere. The tiny device that looks like a portable phone charger measures just 7.9 x 6 cm and weighs 14g. It also has a small screen messaging service and can even be used to charge your phone in reverse.
A new addition to the Garmin family, which costs $ 299 / £ 249.99 / AU $ 469.00, it can be used on its own, which is handy if your phone’s battery runs out, but it can also be linked to the InReach Messenger app that connects by itself with 80 other Garmin devices, including smartwatches, handhelds and navigators.
One of the greatest strengths of the InReach Messenger is its long battery capacity: it can last 28 days when fully charged, which is twice the time of the InReach Mini 2, meaning you can plan a long adventure without worrying about losing connectivity.
Does the device change the rules of the game for adventurers?
Fitness tech companies are aware that we want more than our gadgets, including safety features, and this new device gives us a little cheer as we set out on our adventure.
Garmin is not the first to offer this kind of technology. Apple Watch has fall detection that alerts the closest contacts or emergency services in the event of a hard fall. The Apple 14 phone also allows you to send an Emergency Text Message via satellite if you’re outside cellular or Wi-Fi coverage.
But that long battery life is a real winner – few of today’s devices will last more than a few days, let alone almost a month. Meanwhile, the app is a great addition for sending longer messages to friends or family.
Want to follow the rest of your adventure? Here’s our guide to the best fitness trackers.