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Garmin Announces a Brand-New Satellite Communication Device and App

Just in time for backcountry season, too.

garmin inreach

In anticipation of backcountry season (which unofficially starts in December and can extend all the way to July, in some regions), Garmin is releasing the new communication-focused Inreach Messenger and Garmin Messenger companion app.

Although part of the pleasure of escaping to the backcountry, or overlanding in the desert, or getting dropped off on a deserted island (...maybe not the last one) is the lack of service — the ability to opt out of our hyper-connected world, if only for a few days. However, every outdoorsperson knows that that disconnect comes with serious, sometimes fatal consequences.

That's what satellite messengers like Garmin's new Inreach device and Messenger companion app are so important: they give us the choice and freedom to reach civilization, and our loved ones, should the need arise.

What's new with the Garmin Inreach Messenger and Messenger app?

The Inreach is Garmin's new and improved satellite communicator. What makes it special is that it can function either as a standalone device, or can pair with your smartphone, thanks to the Garmin Messenger App. The Inreach is tiny — it can fit into the palm of your hand, and easily packs away into your backpack, daypack or duffle. (It's also impact resistant, so don't worry if you have to stuff it in your bag at the last second.)

garmin inreach
The impact-resistant inReach Messenger fits in the palm of your hand, measures just 3.1 x 2.5 inches, weighs only 4 ounces and has 28 days of battery life. 
garmin inreach
If your smartphone runs out of battery, you can connect inReach Messenger to your smartphone for enough "Safety Charge" to send custom text messages from the Garmin Messenger app. 

The Messenger app's most notable feature is its ability to automatically choose between Wi-Fi, cellular or satellite connectivity, depending what's available to keep you connected with the outside world. The Inreach device (and app) are capable of sending group text chats, so you can keep family and friends updated on the go without having to send a handful of individual messages. You can even continue the in-app conversations at home, using Wi-Fi or a cell connection without having to change device settings.

Does the Garmin Inreach have any special safety settings?

In the event of your phone running out of battery while you're still far from civilization, Garmin has a fix for that as well. You can connect the Inreach Messenger to your smartphone for a "Safety Charge", which will allow you to send custom texts from the Messenger app. If you have an emergency, the Inreach Messenger and Messenger app can send an SOS message to the 24/7 staffed Garmin International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC).

      For anyone that hasn't upgraded their safety equipment in a couple seasons, or is looking to explore further reaches of the backcountry this winter, Garmin's newest release is right on time. Thanks to global two-way texting, location sharing, SOS capabilities and more, you'll never be out of reach again.

      Garmin Inreach Messenger

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