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Hands-on Gear Review
DeLorme InReach Explorer Review
Cons: Expensive. Clunky ergonomics and design. Largest of the devices we tested
Bottom line: Not worth the extra $80 over the DeLorme InReach SE might be a good value compared to Garmin inReach Explorer+.
The InReach Explorer is nearly identical to the InReach SE Satellite Messenger which won our Best Buy award. We list all the differences below, but the main difference is the ability to create and view routes on the device whereas the InReach SE requires you pair the device with a smartphone. We thought this would be a huge advantage of the Explorer over the SE, however, we never used this feature. The display on the explorer does not display topo maps. Instead, you just have to follow a line on a white screen. This would be useful in a pinch. But overall, its so so much better to use the maps and tracking with the Earthmate app when synched with either the Explorer or the SE. Bottom line: For an extra $80, it doesn't feel like you get much more with the Explorer over the SE.
DeLorme is now owned by Garmin and Garmin replaced this model with the Garmin inReach Explorer+. The Garmin model has a bigger screen, altimeter, and weather. However, the apps are still the same. So if you just use the app, you can save $100 by scooping up a DeLorme Inreach Explorer while supplies last.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Differences between the Explorer and SE
It has all of the capabilities of the inReach SE, plus built-in navigation capabilities. You can create or view routes (including distance and bearing information), use the built-in digital compass, and access your elevation, speed, and moving average using the barometric altimeter and accelerometer sensors. In addition, you're able to mark important locations with waypoints and navigate a route to your waypoint or back to where you started. The Explorer also lets you view key trip statistics and detailed track logging, as well as plan your route and waypoints ahead of time; you can even share your experiences with your friends and family using a special portal.
Because just about everything else is the same as the SE, we recommend you read the InReach SE Satellite Messenger for more details about setup, plans, pricing and capabilities.
DeLorme InReach SE Satellite Messenger
DeLorme Flotation Case
— Chris McNamara
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Most recent review: April 12, 2017