Rated 4 out of 5 by Monongahela Improvement is needed
I purchased an inReach Explorer so that friends and family could track me while hiking and jeeping in the remote sections of the George Washington & Monongahela National Forests. Here are my notes so far:
- Adding contacts to the device requires that you manually key them in one at a time. There is no way to do a bulk import or sync contacts. You still have the option of connecting your smartphone to the Explorer and messaging directly from it but that assumes your cell phone has power.
- The Delorme website where friends and family can track your movement is not optimized for mobile devices. In fact, the website is downright hostile to mobile devices. The font cannot be easily enlarged and the map zoom slider will cause your browser to hang. In short, if you ask a friend to keep an eye on you on their mobile device while you are in the middle of nowhere for a few days it's going to be a challenge.
- The 'post to Facebook' feature is a great idea but it needs much more development. You cannot post to other pages besides your own or select which groups you want to see your post. For example, if I break down a dozen miles from the closest house I'd like to be able to post up on my jeep club's Facebook page that I need a rescue and not necessarily my own Facebook page.
I still recommend this device but be aware of its current limitations. Delorme has acknowledged the issues I've pointed out above. Lastly, if you intend to affect a rescue short of using the SOS feature be sure you understand the device's functionality before you go out.
December 31, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by mtbjane A safety must have for solo riders
I often mountain bike alone and having a satellite device gives me a better sense of security. Although I do not ride in remote, off trail locations, I find that cell phone coverage is spotty or none. Having a satellite device for emergencies is a must!
Note that I find this device easy to use, just follow the instructions.
December 30, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by guide1999 Sweet!!!! A must have!
Great tool to have especially if you have folks at home who worry about you. The inReach out preformed the spot hands down. I took a group of 6 on the Allagash and was able keep everybody informed of trip changes from high wind conditions. The map-sharing feature works great the kids at home were able to keep track of their father. It made them feel like they were there. The new Delorme Explore that just came has the gps built in and I hope Bean's cares it.
November 7, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by SierraFlyfisher Does what it says
With the incouragement of family and friends, I started looking at GPS locators. I hike, fly fish, and motorcycle (dual sport) alone in areas of the Sierras that rairly have cell service.
The Delorme InReach is perfect; locates position quickly, great battery life (100+ hours) and confirms that your text message is send. I have not used SOS function yet, thankfully.
Do not think you can open the box and go, setup, custom messages, and loading contacts, sync to mobile devices is a number of hours.
Did have to call tech support to upload must current firmware.
$50.00 rebate is currently available, but not advertised on LL Bean.
June 12, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by BuckeyeBeanie Did everything our family needed it to, and more!
Traveling through Spain and out into the Sahara Desert in Northern Africa recently with our two children, we were looking for a reliable GPS unit to communicate with others in the event of any emergency or unforeseen issue. We really got everything and more out of the Inreach SE. In our two week trip, we not only had peace of mind with the available and simple to engage (if needed) SOS function, but learned in also subscribing to their month-to-month Expedition plan we had available to us unlimited texts and tracking points, allowing us to pair our iPhones to send and receive as many texts as we wanted to whomever we wanted, turning the Inreach via our iPhones into our texting device all along the way. Not only did the unit, in the tracking mode, track our location at a frequency based on our plan and personal settings, but we were able set pins at different locations on the map that family and friends were able to view online through the Mapshare link sent to their email. Our friends and family were able to reference and zoom in on our location for a close up satellite view, where they could then click on, read and respond to the messages we attached to the tracking pins we set. We had so many comments back after our trip about how impressed they were with the Delorme technology too, that they were able to follow along real-time and literally follow us step-by-step. Concerned about the battery life, it was really a non-issue; set at ten-minute tracking intervals, after three days, the battery was still at 46%. To be sure, we carried small portable power banks bought online for not only for the Inreach if needed, but our iPhones. Battery power was more than sufficient. The best part is that the Inreach paired perfectly through bluetooth to our iPhones through Delorme's Earthmate app you install before you leave, making it one of the most brainless, easy to use gadgets we've ever come across. The Inreach unit needing to be within Bluetooth range of your iPhone, you can quickly reference your list of contacts, type out a message and send the message through your iPhone instead of the unit. I'm a proud technology idiot and even I was able to easily use it and figure it all out. There are also downloadable, detailed satellite maps you can download to your iPhone. My husband used them. Keep in mind, as we learned, the tracking and location accuracy has everything to do with the Inreach being able to make contact with the satellite in the sky so if indoors or tucked away it cannot register a location. But it only takes a second or two once held up in view of the sky for it to connect with the satellite. It works in the car window, which is where it spent a lot of time. The more direct the satellite connection, the more accurate the DeLorme is about where you are. Sometimes the unit reported our location with an accuracy of +/- 33 feet, sometimes within a foot or two.
This unit is really cool. DeLorme offers month-to-month plans and the ability to suspend service -- something we find extremely agreeable as we are now home and have far less use for the unit. Please keep in mind that you MUST subscribe to a plan to be able to use this unit, but there are so many plan options and such flexibility, you can have what you want for as long as you want it. We've already changed to a different plan that fits our less rigorous need but we enjoyed it so much we are actually going to look for other ways to use it. It's really a great unit that surprised us for its ease and all of its user-friendly features.
April 29, 2014