Outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers looking for a reliable satellite tracker and messenger device now have more of a choice to make as the inReach Messenger lines up against the inReach Mini 2, two of Garmin’s flagship satellite communicators and GPS trackers.

Both devices are as pocket-sized as each other, however, there are a few differences between them which we outline below.

Purpose of The Messenger

The Garmin inReach Messenger is less for the dedicated, remote country traveller or adventurer, and geared more towards the casual, closer-to-home style wanderer who doesn’t want to truly get under the bonnet of a satellite tracker. It does come with an emergency SOS button, like the Mini 2, but, chances are it will be used mainly to stay in touch with family and friends once the carrier roams beyond the reach of traditional cellular network coverage.

Staying connected and communicating with those left behind has been made much simpler on the inReach Messenger through the use of its companion app: the Garmin Messenger App, and it is here where the main differences lie.

The app’s main feature is that it allows the device carrier to text their contacts over cell, WiFi, or satellite coverage. So it doesn’t matter when the user roams in and out of coverage, they will always be able to communicate.

Shining Scenarios For the Messenger

In a commercial setting it is people like lone workers that spend a lot of time travelling to remote locations, where they may have cellular service on their journey to and from the worksite, however, it is the point where they leave their vehicle and venture into the wilderness – woodland, wasteland, or outposts for example – that service fades and becomes less reliable. This is where the inReach Messenger triumphs, as workers can continue to communicate via the intuitive and user-friendly app when they hop from cell network coverage to satellite. This seamlessness in connectivity provides peace of mind to both the workers and the management team back at base that their workforce’s whereabouts and safety can be constantly monitored.

Emergency SOS vs. Messenger

Apple’s Emergency SOS feature recently launched, adding further possibilities and choice. It comes as part of the iPhone 14’s default settings and allows iPhone users to contact emergency services when they can’t capture any phone signal. However, it is worth bearing in mind that Apple’s SOS service does not cater for two-way messaging like the Messenger or Mini 2, and the service itself is only available in the US and Canada for the time being, whereas you can use a Garmin Messenger or Mini 2 from any location on earth.

Key Features of Each Device

inReach Messenger

  • Up to 28 days of battery life with a message or location sent every 10 minutes
  • USB-C Interface
  • Group Messaging
  • Safety Charging
  • Check-In Messages
  • Compatible with the Garmin Messenger App
  • Activate a subscription service direct though the Messenger App

inReach Mini 2

  • Up to 14 days of battery life in 10-minute tracking mode
  • USB-C Interface
  • Add up to 1,000 waypoints/favorites/locations
  • TracBack Routing
  • Up to 100 Courses
  • Up to 200 Activities
  • Digital Compass
  • Group Messaging
  • Compatible with the Garmin Messenger app
  • Compatible with the Garmin Explore app

Which Is the Best One to Buy?

Depending on your requirements and usage, either device would serve you well. If you are driving into the countryside for the weekend and want a user-friendly and intuitive companion app for your device, we would recommend the Garmin Messenger. However, if your excursion is more long term and extremely remote, the inReach Mini 2 will see you through thanks to its navigation capabilities.

As always, our team of experts is here to help. So, if you need any advice about the Garmin inReach Mini 2 or Messenger, contact us via:

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