Comprehensive review of the Garmin inReach Explorer+, a key gadget for off-road motorcycling adventures... Read more
Test of Garmin 010-01735-10 inReach Explorer+
- Powerful SOS and emergency capabilities
- Efficient GPS communicator
- Instant weather reports
- Dynamic trip computer for ride tracking
- Outstanding battery life
- Enhanced features with Garmin Earthmate App
- Flexible subscription plans
- Less effective for turn-by-turn navigation
- Requires clear sky for messaging
- Additional cost for subscription plans
- Complexity with messaging using the device
- Requires mounting to body, not bike
- Smaller screen size
“While the Garmin inReach Explorer+ might have its quirks, I must say that its strengths significantly outweigh any minor drawbacks. As someone who travels often, especially in remote areas, having a device that offers reliable emergency services, efficient communication, and detailed tracking is truly invaluable. However, I would advise potential users to utilize the device in combination with the Garmin Earthmate app for an enhanced experience. Keep in mind, every traveler’s preferences might differ – I firmly believe that Garmin inReach Explorer+’s core benefits make it a solid investment for any adventure rider like me.”
Why trust Shaper Mint Review? Our analysts and reviewers specialists spend their days testing products and analyzing other users’ experiences to help you find a verified unbiased opinion on the product. See how we review
|Screen Size||2.3 Inches|
|Map Type||North America|
|Sport||Camping & Hiking|
|Included Components||USB cable, caribiner clip, documentation, inReach Explorer+|
|Audio Output Mode||Digital|
|Battery Life||30 Hours|
|Product Dimensions||2.7″L x 1.5″W x 6.5″H|
Introduction to My Adventure Motorcycling Hobby and Journey
Adventure motorcycling is more than just a hobby for me. It’s a way of life that has widened my horizons and taken me to places I would have never experienced otherwise. This passion ignited a need to share my experiences with fellow enthusiasts and chronicle the journey, incredible trails explored, and the joy of being one with nature.
From Dusty Trails to Digital Footprints
The journey has been rewarding, for not only have I grown as a rider, but I’ve also evolved as a navigator and reviewer. A great deal of my time is now spent creating content that revolves around adventure motorcycling, offering insights, tips, and reviews of equipment that has been my companion on these solitary trails. From capturing the hum of my bike, the challenging terrains, spills, victories, to unboxing the technology that makes it safer and more fun – I capture it all.
Adventure Motorcycling: More Than a Ride
The thrill of the ride for me is about far more than revs, speed, and conquering trails. It’s the freedom a motorcycle offers, the capacity to explore the uncharted, and the experiences born out of venturous forays into the unknown. But a significant part is also about the riding gear – scrutinizing its efficiency, durability, and usefulness.
One Such Indispensable Gear: Garmin inReach Explorer+
Among some of the gears that have cemented their place in my kit is the Garmin inReach Explorer+. It is not just a tool, but a reliable companion especially for riders like me, who often take the off-beaten path. This device brings with it a certain level of certainty, a sense of safety when venturing off solo, and forays deep into locations where the usual cell signal gives way to chirping of birds and the whisper of trees.
For offering this peace of mind and promising a beacon of hope should something go awry, the Garmin inReach Explorer+ deserves an in-depth, unbiased review. It’s important to examine whether the gadget lives up to its reputation, how it performs in real-life situations, and if this piece of tech is worth the investment for every rider.
I’m here to delve deep and offer an honest account of my experience with the Garmin inReach Explorer+. Remember though; there are several factors that might impact your personal experience with this product. So, let’s get started and ride down the feature lane of this technological marvel.
The Key Functions of Garmin inReach Explorer+
- Garmin inReach Explorer+ excels in messaging, SOS signals
- Offers sophisticated tracking and geotagging features
- Provides enhanced communication with customizable messages
As an avid adventurer, I realize the value of effective communication and navigational tools. Here, I’ll be exploring the significant functions of the Garmin inReach Explorer+ that captured my attention.
GPS Communicator: Strengths vs. Weaknesses
The Garmin inReach Explorer+ stands out primarily as a communicator rather than a conventional GPS. It excels at sending messages, SOS signals, and receiving weather updates. Moreover, it allows users to track their route constantly, which came in handy during my off-road trips. Yet, I found out that it wasn’t the best for turn-by-turn GPS navigation, especially while on a motorcycle. Its small screen and less precise map updates weren’t convenient for real-time directions at higher speeds. Nevertheless, it worked well when I used it during hiking.
The SOS function is unquestionably its most critical feature. Although I’ve never had to use it personally, knowing it’s there brought peace of mind. This feature comes into play when you’re potentially in danger, and quick emergency response is necessary. It tracks your location and sends it out once the button is hit, ensuring help is on the way even when you’re outside of cellular reach.
- Automatic Messages: These are pre-scripted messages which users can send out freely. Being able to send unlimited preset messages proved remarkably useful during my Central America trip, where I lost cell signal.
- Custom Messages: Apart from the default messages, the device allows users to type out their personalized messages either directly on the device or via an accompanying app on your phone. But remember, if you’re inside a hotel or under a canopy cover where a clear sky is obstructed, messaging may be a challenge.
Accuracy, of course, depends on the plan you subscribe to, which we’ll discuss later.
The Garmin inReach Explorer+ left me impressed with its sophisticated tracking capabilities. Not only can you track your journey, but it also geotags any message you send or photo you upload. For the more tech-inclined users or vloggers, this feature is a great archive of your trips. The device even gave me the opportunity to live broadcast my location, allowing my loved ones to follow my journey remotely.
Understanding Other Noteworthy Features
- Garmin inReach offers real-time weather updates
- Includes built-in trip computer for ride analytics
- Long battery life, lasting about a week
While the Garmin inReach Explorer+ serves as an exceptional communicator, tracker, and SOS dispatcher, it also includes an assortment of other features that greatly enhance its user experience.
Weather Reporting: Stay Updated with Current Weather Information
The Garmin inReach Explorer+ features a weather reporting function, providing real-time weather updates straight from local weather services. This feature is particularly helpful when you’ve been off-grid for extended periods, allowing you to anticipate and prepare for weather conditions that may influence your ride for the day.
Note, though, that the weather report’s accuracy is affected by your current location’s openness. If you’re deep within a forest or inside a building with limited access to the sky, the weather report might not be as precise.
Trip Computer: A Handy Diary of Your Journey
Another notable aspect of the Garmin inReach is its built-in trip computer, which logs things like your max speed, average speed, total distance travelled, total trip time, and interval periods of mobility. This function provided a revealing insight into my trips, like when I was traversing through Central America. Reviewing this data helped me gauge my efficiency, evaluate my trip pace, and plan my future journeys more effectively.
An Overview of The Battery Life
Battery life is a significant factor, especially for devices meant for off-grid settings, and Garmin inReach doesn’t disappoint on this front. Unless you’re using it excessively (sending numerous messages or setting tracking points at short intervals), you can expect this gadget to last about a week before needing a recharge. Although most of us power our bikes to provide ample charging supply, the ability to last a week without refuelling is a huge plus.
In sum, these auxiliary features – weather reporting, the trip computer, and extended battery life – all contribute to making the Garmin inReach Explorer+ a comprehensive, go-to navigational tool for any adventure cyclist.
Unraveling Potentials with Garmin Earthmate App
- Garmin Earthmate app enhances Garmin inReach Explorer+
- App offers smoother messaging, clearer navigation
- Dependent on smartphone’s battery life
Pairing the Garmin inReach Explorer+ with its companion, the Garmin Earthmate app, brings about a transformative difference in the user experience. This symbiotic pairing transcends the potential of both the device and the app, enhancing the overall adventure motorcycling journey.
User Experience: Device Versus App
Sending Messages: One of the standout experiences of comparing the device usage vs the app was with sending out messages. While the device requires a bit more time and patience in composing a message due to its compact nature, the app lets you type out messages easily and swiftly. With auto-correction and predictive text input on your phone, you can whiz through crafting messages, making it not just time-efficient, but also a smoother experience.
Navigation: Another noteworthy contrast between the device and its app would be their navigation features. Despite the device being designed and effective as a GPS tool, the small screen size can limit your visibility especially when on the move. The app, on the other hand, gives you the luxury of a larger, clearer and brighter screen on your smartphone, making it easier for you to navigate while on your motorcycle.
Capabilities That Come Alive With The Garmin Earthmate App
Using the Garmin Earthmate app truly underlines the powerful combination of technology and exploration. Not only does it facilitate easier correspondence and more effective navigation, but it also empowers you with extensive control over your device and your adventure. Therefore, whether it’s adjusting your tracking intervals or customizing ‘flash messages’, the app makes managing these settings a cakewalk. Someone new to such technology might genuinely appreciate the user-friendliness of the app.
However, as much as we enjoy the seamless user experience of the app, it is worth noting that its performance is dependent on your smartphone’s battery life. Thus, while on lengthy journeys, having backup power solutions for your phone could be a smart move.
After exploring the app for quite some time, it’s clear that the Earthmate app doesn’t outshine the Garmin inReach Explorer+ device, but instead supplements it. The benefits it brings complement the device impeccably, making them a formidable duo for any adventure motorcyclist.
In conclusion, though there is room for improvement, such as integrating voice-command capabilities, overall the Earthmate app significantly enhances the functionality of the Garmin inReach Explorer+, making your motorcycle adventure safer and more manageable.
Getting to Know The inReach Subscription Plans
- Garmin inReach subscriptions: Freedom and Annual Plan
- Unlimited SOS capabilities in both plans
- Cost varies from $12 to $65 per month
You probably know by now how much I value the Garmin inReach Explorer+ from my motorcycling adventures. But to unlock all these functionalities, securing a subscription plan is a must. So, let’s dive into the available inReach subscription plans to find out which one suits you best.
Freedom vs. Annual Plan
I found two types of subscriptions for the Garmin inReach – the Freedom Plan and the Annual Plan. If you’re a globetrotter who only needs the service during specific periods, consider the Freedom Plan. One advantage is how it allows you to start and stop the service following your travel schedule. In the case where you’re more of a relentless adventurer who might require the service year-round, you might want to think about the annual plan. It’s straightforward, with a fixed rate throughout the year, providing consistent connectivity, no matter where your journey takes you.
What the Plans Include
Regardless of the plan you choose, here’s the good news: Unlimited SOS capabilities are included! This is one great example of how Garmin prioritizes your safety, offering unlimited emergency services, which can be a lifesaver in tough situations. However, one thing to note is that other features and benefits may vary based on the plan you select.
- Text Messages:
- Tracking Intervals:
Depending on your chosen plan, the number of text messages included can range from 10 to unlimited. This feature brilliantly ensures that you can keep in touch with your near and dear ones, even when you’re off the grid.
The tracking intervals either could be every 10 minutes or 2 minutes, depending upon your selected plan. The tracking interval means the frequency at which your location would be updated. The more frequent the intervals, the better your followers can trace your route.
When it comes to the cost, just like most things in life, you get what you pay for. The annual plans start from around $12 per month and can go up to about $50 per month. On the other hand, Freedom Plans, with a $24 initiation or yearly fee, range from $15 to $65 per month. Keep in mind that the Freedom Plan can be paused anytime you’re not using the service, bringing you a more flexible pay-as-you-go plan structure.
While the Garmin inReach comes with a desirable price tag, always remember, it’s a significant investment in safety. After all, can you really put a price on peace of mind?
Weighing Up Garmin inReach Explorer+: My Final Verdict
After considerable time spent utilizing the Garmin inReach Explorer+, I’ve come to some conclusions about its overall performance and utility as a motorcycling travel tool. With its rich feature set and clear advantages, it can appear quite compelling – but there are also aspects that might not work for everyone.
Why Garmin inReach Stands Out Among My Kit
Garmin inReach Explorer+ has proved to be an unmatched asset in my motorcycling toolkit. The variety of exceptional functionalities it brings to the table – from obtaining SOS signals in remote areas, seamless messaging capabilities, to sophisticated tracking features – sets it ahead in the fray. Its additional features like weather updates and a trip computer, though lesser known, certainly heighten its appeal.
And let’s not forget the crucial battery life. The battery lasted roughly a week under my typical usage, which is impressive for such a multi-functional device. But what really shifted this device into overdrive is the integration with the Garmin Earthmate App, enhancing its usability substantially.
Tips on Using Garmin inReach: Keeping it on Your Body Not on Bike
One critical piece of advice – always mount the Garmin inReach on your body and not your bike. It’s easy to overlook, but bear in mind the most significant aspect of this unit is the SOS emergency beacon. If, heaven forbid, you do crash and become separated from your bike, having the beacon on your person could very well be a lifesaver.
Critical Assessment of Its Shortcomings
Despite this praise, like any product, the Garmin inReach Explorer+ isn’t without its downsides. For instance, although it’s touted as a communicator, it underperforms as a GPS navigator, particularly if you’re on a motorbike. The small screen isn’t the most conducive for instant, turn-by-turn navigation. Probably not your first pick for this category.
Furthermore, while the subscription plans offer a good deal of versatility, choosing a plan that suits your specific needs, budget and travel frequency can be a bit daunting. Keep in mind also that while some functionality is unlimited- like SOS usage- parameters around messaging and tracking intervals vary considerably between plans.
Overall, Garmin inReach Explorer+ is an exceptional companion for motorcyclists. Yes, it has a few wrinkles, but they don’t overshadow its tremendous benefits. A word of advice – understand the quirks and nuances, and this high-tech tool can become an invaluable co-traveller on your motorcycling adventures.
Should you buy the Garmin 010-01735-10 inReach Explorer+?
Buy it if…
You Travel Alone frequently
With its SOS capability, the Garmin InReach Explorer+ is an excellent safety companion when traveling alone. It sends out your location to emergency services, ensuring you won’t be left stranded in case of an accident.
You Visit Remote Areas
Whether you are traveling or hiking in remote areas, this device allows you to stay connected. It features messaging capabilities that work even when cell signals are unavailable, ensuring you stay connected with your loved ones.
You’re an Adventure Vlogger
The Garmin inReach Explorer+ has tracking capabilities that document your entire trip. It even allows you to geo-tag your photos and messages, an invaluable resource for documentation or sharing your adventure with followers.
Don’t buy it if…
You are Primarily Looking for a Navigation Device
While it has GPS capabilities, the Garmin inReach Explorer+ is not the best tool for turn-by-turn navigation while riding. The small screen and slower map update speed make it less efficient for this purpose.
You Always Stay in Close Proximity to Civilized Areas
The device’s standout features like SOS and off-grid messaging are less useful if you’re always in areas with cell service and immediate help.
You’re on a Budget and Don’t need Extensive Features
The Garmin inReach Explorer+ comes with a purchase price and a necessary subscription plan which might be expensive if you just need a basic device.
- Can the Garmin inReach Explorer+ be used for turn-by-turn GPS navigation?
While the device does have GPS capabilities, the small screen size and the map updates might not make it the most suitable for turn-by-turn navigation while riding a motorcycle at speed.
- Does the Garmin inReach Explorer+ have an SOS feature?
Yes, the Garmin inReach Explorer+ has an SOS capacity for emergency situations when you are outside of cell range.
- Is it possible to send messages from the Garmin inReach Explorer+?
The device allows both pre-set or ‘flash’ messages and custom messages that can be sent from the device or the accompanying app on your phone.
- Can the device track your trip?
Yes, the Garmin inReach Explorer+ allows you to track your trip, geo-tag messages and photos, and provides live location broadcasts.
- Can the device provide weather updates?
Yes, the Garmin inReach Explorer+ can provide immediate weather updates for your location.
- What are the available subscription plans for the Garmin inReach Explorer+?
The device offers two types of subscription plans – a Freedom plan for seasonal travelers and an Annual plan. The plans range from about $12/month to $65/month with varying features.
- Is the battery life on the Garmin inReach Explorer+ good?
Yes, the battery life on the device is strong and can last about a week depending on usage.
- Can the Garmin inReach Explorer+ be used with an app?
Yes, the Garmin Earthmate app significantly enhances the capabilities of the device and makes it easier to use.
- Why should the Garmin inReach Explorer+ be mounted on the body instead of the bike?
The device should be mounted on the body instead of the bike so that in case of an emergency, you can access the emergency beacon even if you are thrown off from the bike.