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  1. #1
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    Delorme InReach SE Review



    I posted a review on the InReach SE on my blog:

    vikapproved | Delorme InReach SE Review?

    Pros:

    - 2 way communications
    - reliable communications despite terrain issues
    - message confirmation
    - contact at home can get your position if you didn't turn tracking on
    - you can message via email, SMS to a cellphone or directly to another InReach
    - pairs with smartphone for better interface, mapping, etc...
    - global coverage

    Cons:

    - more expensive than SPOT
    - heavier/bulkier
    - internal battery
    - slightly Soviet era interface

    All in all it's a good addition to my gear - especially for solo trips.

    I'm fine with all the downsides for reliable 2-way comms in an emergency.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  2. #2
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    Delorme InReach SE Review

    Thanks for the review. I have been eyeing Spots and other devices but have not delved too deeply.

    I have been choosing more remote routes and have been taking my kids. I also think about safety when out by myself.

    Looks like the Delorme would offer more than the Spot. Thanks for the info.

    Joe

  3. #3
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Thanks for the review. I carry a Spot these days, but the messaging capabilities of the Delorme are very attractive. It'll be interesting to see if they make a lighter version, with a cheaper data plan.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    It'll be interesting to see if they make a lighter version, with a cheaper data plan.
    They just came out with the SE so I think smaller is inevitable, but it's likely 2yrs out when they do a product revamp.

    It's hard to say if the service costs will come down.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  5. #5
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    Delorme InReach SE Review

    I got an InReach SE recently. Set up was easy and it synced well with my iPhone. I started on the basic plan -- $10/month for the standard SOS option and 10 texts a month. Texting more and sending out my location and letting others "ping" me costs more per each use. I will probably bump up to a beefier plan in the late spring.

    The hardware and functionality seem good. I am a little surprised that Delorme does not do a better job of explaining the details of how to use some functions. Overall, I am pleased with it though.

    Thanks, Vikb, for the great review.

  6. #6
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    Not sure if I mentioned it in my review, but I have had the unit power on once unintentionally draining the battery.

    The power button was up against something hard which must have turned it on accidently.

    To avoid this I do two things:

    1 - place in pack where it's not up against anything that will turn it on
    2 - I check the unit before each ride to make sure it has power [I only lose a couple % power every week or so]

    A recessed power button or some sort of locking feature would be useful.

    Enjoy the InReach...hopefully you never really need to use it.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  7. #7
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    Delorme InReach SE Review

    I got the InReach mostly for solo riding in remote areas. Got pretty wet and cold on some recent winter rides and realized, because of the remote locations, that hypothermia would really complicate a lengthy self-extraction if I broke any major bones. I am gearing up for some multi-day rides too, so the texting feature will be great for that.

    I have just started to experiment with battery life. It looks like a full charge will last me 4-5 days. This is just based on an initial impression and is nothing definitive.

    Also, I loaded some of the Delorme topo maps on my iPhone and am experimenting with the Bluetooth "pairing" abilities of the InReach/iPhone combination. The Delorme maps are pretty good with some decent detail.

  8. #8
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    Delorme InReach SE Review

    Note: The 4-5 day battery life is when I leave the unit on but not sending out tracking points or messages.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenemtbing View Post
    Note: The 4-5 day battery life is when I leave the unit on but not sending out tracking points or messages.
    Cool. Ya it's got a good sized battery. I carry my InReach turned off. I can get months out of a single charge.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenemtbing View Post
    I got the InReach mostly for solo riding in remote areas. Got pretty wet and cold on some recent winter rides and realized, because of the remote locations, that hypothermia would really complicate a lengthy self-extraction if I broke any major bones. I am gearing up for some multi-day rides too, so the texting feature will be great for that.
    The texting feature is nice because you can communicate that you are going to be late or that you need some help from friends/family [dry clothes, a pick up and a sandwich!] without calling in a helicopter and a SAR team.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  11. #11
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    Delorme InReach SE Review

    Finally got around to uploading my contacts' phone numbers and email addresses into the InReach. It was a straightforward process.

    I guess this is one of those features that distinguishes this from the Spot -- I can use it as a stand-alone device to contact someone from the field without my cell phone.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenemtbing View Post

    I guess this is one of those features that distinguishes this from the Spot -- I can use it as a stand-alone device to contact someone from the field without my cell phone.
    Say we are on a trip together and I want to check out a lake off route then meet up with you in 2 days....we can message InReach to InReach to coordinate the hook up.

    Or you are on a group trip with 8 riders and your sweep has an InReach they can message you to let you know there was a crash and they need help. So every response doesn't have to be a SAR tech in a helicopter.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  13. #13
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    Delorme InReach SE Review

    Nice feature. I know some high-end GPS's have that unit-to-unit communication capability. The InReach combines a few nice features. And $10/month for the base plan is a bargain.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenemtbing View Post
    Nice feature. I know some high-end GPS's have that unit-to-unit communication capability. The InReach combines a few nice features. And $10/month for the base plan is a bargain.
    Those GPS units use radios that need line of sight and have limited ranges. The InReach uses satellites so we can message on either side of a mountain range which is cool.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  15. #15
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    Your smart phone

    I just read a news release on Tuesday afternoon 2/4/14 by Iridium about some new upgrades to this system. Try doing a search on "Iridium GO."

    I just re-read the news release. Sounds like this "Iridium GO!" will enable your smart phone itself to be the emergency satellite communications device.

    This may obliviate the need for carrying a separate SPOT or a DeLorme Inreach device, if one's own smart phone can now do the same thing.
    I'm no techie, though, so that's just a guess.
    Last edited by PlutonicPlague; 02-05-2014 at 01:40 PM.

  16. #16
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    I was just checking out GSAT's site (SPOT uses GSAT) and there was a press release about them upgrading their offerings, too. (Competition is good!)

    I also noticed an ad there for the SPOT "Trace," which is a tracking device. You can follow it on your home computer. Service subscription was listed at $99/year. Measures 2.69" X 2.02" (didn't say how thick it was).
    They should make one that will slip inside a bike frame. It would be worth having one and subscribing to the service. Get your stolen bike back, and take down the thief.

  17. #17
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    An update on life with the InReach.

    - switched over to the emergency plan [$15/month in Canada]
    - just carrying for emergencies
    - battery is lasting months turned off
    - device can switch on accidentally
    - I check it at the start of every ride to make sure it's off and has a good charge

    Happy not to have had any emergencies that req'd using the InReach, but glad to have it along.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  18. #18
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    Awesome news. My one serious unhappiness withe the InReach was the accidental turn on in the pack due to the raised power button.

    I got around this by careful placement of the device so nothing hard was touching the face that could hit the button and by checking it each ride.

    I recently did a firmware update and noticed that when you press the power button for 5 seconds+ it turns on momentarily and then you have to slide the cursor right and then click "power up". If not it turns itself back off.

    This should virtually assure no accidental power ups since hitting that combo of buttons by accident is amazingly unlikely!

    Nice work Delorme.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  19. #19
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    I was asked offline about the ability to get GPS coords from the unit. It's easy as there is a "location" button on the main screen that when pressed send you to this screen.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  20. #20
    @adelorenzo
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    Damn you almost had me sold on this until I hit the battery part. The ability to send and receive messages is attractive but the lack of replaceable batteries is a non-starter. I don't carry chargers or other electronics on my trips.

    I have used my SPOT for real-time tracking on trips over a week long... Running 12-16 hours a day with live tracking every ten minutes. I actually never ran out of juice with the AA lithium batteries, despite using the unit quite often. I would replace them before big trips just as a precaution. Plus you always have a spare set in an emergency you know you have power.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo View Post
    Damn you almost had me sold on this until I hit the battery part. The ability to send and receive messages is attractive but the lack of replaceable batteries is a non-starter. I don't carry chargers or other electronics on my trips.
    You can charge the InReach from external batteries if you wanted to. I haven't bothered.

    I'm not interested in frequent tracking so I leave my unit off most of the time and just turn it on if I want to send a tracking point or a message.

    At that rate the internal battery would last weeks.

    My prime concern is having the two way comms in a real emergency and as a bonus to fine tune logistics on a trip [ie. later arrival or alternate pick up location, etc..]

    In that regard the SPOT is not of any use to me.

    Additionally I've just had too many poor experiences with device failures in the field with SPOTs to trust them at all.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  22. #22
    @adelorenzo
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    Vik - Did you have one of the newer generation SPOT units? I've heard of issues with some of the newer models but I have the original first generation clunkers and it's still going strong.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo View Post
    Vik - Did you have one of the newer generation SPOT units? I've heard of issues with some of the newer models but I have the original first generation clunkers and it's still going strong.
    If the current unit is Gen 3 then all my experiences have been with Gen 2.

    I know there are some folks out there with positive SPOT experiences, but amongst the folks I ride with the results have been ugly.

    I'm glad your's is rocking and rolling. I definitely do not assume a new product revision is automatically going to be a good thing!
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  24. #24
    @adelorenzo
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    Well if nothing else it shows that the only way to know if gear will work is field test it.

    The newest Inreach Explorer looks interesting, it is basically a fully functional GPS unit with the two-way messaging capability. The ability to have a GPS and a messenger in one unit could get me over that battery hangup.

    The American subscription plans are a million times better than the Canadian ones. Wow... You get unlimited tracking and check-ins with the basic US plans, you need to get the top tier plans in Canada to have that.

    I don't mind paying for messages sent and received but using the SPOT has gotten me used to using real-time tracking for family and friends while out on long trips. I would hate to have to give that up but I would double hate having to pay $50/month.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo View Post
    Well if nothing else it shows that the only way to know if gear will work is field test it.

    The newest Inreach Explorer looks interesting, it is basically a fully functional GPS unit with the two-way messaging capability. The ability to have a GPS and a messenger in one unit could get me over that battery hangup.
    +1 - For sure. Trying out anything critical is vital to really know what will happen.

    I read in horror when folks get gear delivered the night before their big trips....and when it goes wrong it's hardly surprising!

    If the GPS is top notch a combined unit would be nice, but my experience with such combo devices leaves me sceptical.

    I'd rather have 2 separate awesome devices than 1 combo unit that's only so-so.

    Hopefully somebody on MTBR will try one and report on it.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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