DELORME INREACH SE
When we started planning our trip down the Pecos River, we knew that we were gonna want some type of satellite communication device. Knowing that we would not have cellular service during the entire duration of our trip, having a way to check in with our family or contact emergency responders was very important to us. We looked at many options and did some research on a few different products and ended up narrowing it down to two different devices, The Spot Gen3 and the Delorme inReach SE. Both products had the features we were looking like trip tracking, a text out feature as well as the important SOS button for emergency situations.
The Deciding Feature
While comparing the two products, one feature of the Delorme InReach ultimately stood out over the Spot Gen3. The InReach allows the user to send custom text messages (160 characters) from the field, as well as receive messages back. Unlike the Spot Gen3, which only allowed you to send out a generic “OK” message or 1 custom text message (that had to be set up before the trip and was not editable in the field). As well, the Spot Gen3 did not offer a way to receive messages on the river.
This feature alone was what made us go with the DeLorme InReach. Even though the Spot Gen3 was a $130.00 cheaper than the InReach, the ability to send/receive messages in the field was worth the additional investment.
The Delorme InReach SE
We were able to get the unit a few months before our Pecos trip and try it out while on a fishing trip to Lake Amistad. The device performed perfectly and we were very impressed with it and all the features it offered.
- Send & receive free-form 160-character text messages.
- Trigger an SOS and interact back and forth with responders.
- Tracking allows you to share and view GPS coordinates
- Connect the InReach to any smartphone using Bluetooth.
- Receive weather forecast based on your current location.
- Designed for maximum durability (waterproof, dustproof & impact-resistant).
Bluetooth Connectivity & Earthmate App
One cool feature that i didn’t think I would use a lot was the ability to connect a smartphone to the InReach. This ended up being the only way I operated the InReach. Simply using bluetooth and the DeLorme app Earthmate on my Iphone, I was able to use all the features the InReach offered. It made texting a lot easier than using the directional key pad on the InReach as well as reading the incoming messages. The app and the ability to connect the InReach to my Iphone has made this my favorite feature of the device and really makes it incredible easy to use (not that it wasn’t already).
The tracking feature on the InReach is an amazing tool. You can set the device to send out your current location every 10 minutes to every 4 hours. We tested the tracking out on Lake Amistad and we were very impressed with the detail and accuracy of the track. This is gonna be a very important feature on our Pecos River trip as it will give peace of mind to the family knowing they can click a link and see where we are on the map.
Below is a couple screen grabs from the track we created on Lake Amistad. The Long lines were when we made big moves on the lake as the device only sent our location out every 10 minutes.
Another great feature that will be very helpful for our trip is the ability to get the weather forecast for our location on the river. InReach forecasts deliver weather details directly to our inReach. You can request weather forecasts for your current location, for a specific waypoint, or by manually entering coordinates.
The Delorme InReach offers two different Weather Forecasts
- Basic: The Basic forecast includes temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and atmospheric pressure details for three days in six-hour intervals.
- Premium: The Premium forecast includes temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and atmospheric pressure details for seven days. The first twelve-hours are forecast in one-hour intervals, followed by intervals of increasing length for the remaining days.
The forecast is not as detailed as I would prefer but its better than nothing. We will still rely on our family to send us more detailed weather forecasts as well as heads up to thunderstorms and possible flooding conditions. But at a quick glance on the river, the forecast that we will receive to the device will give us a great guide on what to expect that day.
When it comes to a subscription plan, the InReach has a variety of options fit for any user. They have two different types of subscription plans, Freedom Plans & Annual Plans.
Freedom Plans – The Freedom Plans allow you to pay for satellite airtime service when you need it on a rolling monthly basis. You can also change plans, up or down, or suspend your service at no charge.
Annual Plans – The annual plans offer lower monthly fees and are ideal for people who either plan on using their inReach all year long, or who want the peace of mind of having a continuously active SOS device.
With in the Freedom Plan and the Annual Plan there are also more options to choose from based on how much you intend to use the device while in the field (see table below).
Overall my Dad & I are very impressed with the DeLorme InReach SE. I love technology and this is one of my favorite things that we have bought for this trip. To be able to keep in touch with our family and communicate back and forth with them will help our families and us sleep at night. Although we hope we never have to use the SOS button, it is very nice to know that with a simple push of a button, emergency responders will arrive to help us in any emergency situation.
DeLorme InReach Links: