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Garmin inReach Explorer+ Reviews

Read and compare owner reviews & ratings of Garmin inReach Explorer+. Product specs, photos & video, pricing, and more!

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  • Retail Price ~$449.99 Shop Now
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   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

It drives my wife crazy that I ride by myself…..off road….in the middle of nowhere. I have been
looking for something for quite sometime that would allow me to communicate with her, letting her know all is well and what my current location is (I know some people don’t want their wife to know where they are but I do). I have also been in the market for a new GPS setup (the phone stopped cutting it a long time ago). That said, my options were looking like I was going to need two separate units to keep the wife at easy and to tell me where I’m going. At this point I couldn’t even decide which device to buy first..

Then I found out that Garmin (GPS company giant) had bought Delorme (manufacture behind
inReach satellite communication systems and software) and had just come out with the inReach
Explorer+. I did the math and by the time I had bought a GPS and a tracking/SOS (?) texting device, I could spend the same money and get an all in one. So I went and checked one out at the local outdoor retailer. As I walked out with my new purchase, I was having some buyer's remorse. The Explorer+ IS 450 bucks.

“Man…..that’s a lot of jack. But i can always return it” I said to myself…..

Upon getting home, I promptly did my best impression of the unboxing therapy guy “ohhh
shiny!”. Before you can use your Explorer+, you need to get a subscription. I opted for the “Flex” plan that allows you to stop service at anytime (I don’t do much riding when it gets REALLY cold) and at $14.95 a month…..it’s affordable. You can also sign a 1 year contract and prices for that start at $12.95 a month. I created an account and got everything synced up on the computer and presto….we are off.

Like most Garmin GPS units the buttons are very easy to use with gloves on and the color screen is surprisingly detailed and much easier to see at glance than a cell phone. The ease of use was another plus. The real slick part with the Earthmate app (on your phone) is that it can pair with the Explorer+ via bluetooth and use the GPS’ satellite signal without cellular service (or with it). You can also use the app to type out the text messages that would take a little too long with the Explorer+’s buttons. It also shares ride reports, waypoints and routes to your phone.
It was a week or so before I was able to do a real world test with it. So, Easter morning, bright
and early I headed north into the Cherokee National forest. I was looking for an excuse to say “I really don’t NEED this” but it turns out that I do need it and I am sold. 

This unit works flawlessly. It sends out “trackpoints” every 10 minutes (which you can increase or decrease in Settings) the check in text I sent to my wife came through and it even showed me trails that I wouldn’t have seen on other maps. They also make a cradle setup that I have since purchased and setup on a Ram mount in my dash area. If I added a large format roll chart I’ll start thinking I’m a Dakar Rally Racer.

All in all the Explorer+ is a great unit and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone looking for a
GPS/inReach all in one unit.  Bravo Garmin!!

Easy to use
Operating system works excellent
Text feature is awesome
It's not cheap
Also needs a supscription

Bottom line:
This unit works so well that I am able to overlook the cons. Fact of the matter is, the price came close to scaring me away. I'm glad I over looked it. 



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Daddy No Fun


I have the original Delorme unit. Luckily I’ve never had to use it in an emergency. The one feature that puts this above a Spot is the ability to send text messages. Every night when we reached our campsite I send out a group text to everyone’s family letting them know we had made it. The new Garmin version has some additional improvements. 

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