The Electronic Satellite Communicator Every Boater Should Have

A review of the product Garmin inReach Messenger and why it should make your essential boating checklist.

As technology progresses in the marine industry, it is a good idea to grow with the times. As a result of changing times, the Garmin inReach Messenger is the item every boater should carry. The rise of satellite messengers might be one of the most significant changes in gear over the last decade. As the cost and weight of these devices have come down, they’ve become a must-have piece of safety gear for both serious boaters and weekend cruisers.


Regarding SPOT satellite messengers, the inReach series—particularly the inReach Mini 2 and the inReach Messenger— have led the way in this revolution. A SPOT satellite messenger is a GPS tracking device that uses the Globalstar satellite network to provide text messaging and GPS tracking. They are still some of the most popular models on the market. The newest addition to the inReach series is the Garmin inReach Messenger.


Product details include:

· Weight: 4 ounces

· Dimensions: 3.1 inches x 2.5 inches x .9 inches

· Pairing: Smartphones, smartwatches

· Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion, built-in

· Battery Capacity: 1,800 mAh

· Charging Port: USB Type C

· Water Resistance: IPX7 (up to 1 meter for 30 minutes)

· Satellite Network: Iridium

· Communication Type: Preset messages, custom text messages, location sharing, emergency SOS 


The most significant and most impressive differentiator with the Garmin Messenger its battery life. While the device only weighs half an ounce more than the Mini 2, its battery has twice the force—capable of lasting up to 28 days under ideal conditions. In addition, its battery is so strong that you can charge other devices from the Messenger (although this is not something OL or Garmin suggests).


In addition, Garmin has also updated its smartphone app with the release of Messenger, making it significantly more intuitive. It’s now comparable to the Zoleo and Somewear apps. Like these other apps, its user interface concentrates on messaging and weather updates. Therefore, it will feel like other popular messaging apps and even pulls your contacts directly from your smartphone. It is worth the time to sync the app to your Garmin inReach Messenger before heading out to sea—this is the easiest way to utilize the messaging function.


Similar to other devices in the inReach wheelhouse, the Messenger lets individuals communicate with contacts via satellite text messages. However, unlike other devices in the Garmin inReach family, this is essentially all it does. Because it is a small screen, it does make messaging slightly more complicated than with other models. However, those looking for a pure satellite messenger that can go the distance on longer treks will find that this has plenty of features for their purposes.


For those whose trips last longer than expected, the ability to pull up a general weather forecast is helpful and potentially lifesaving. For the cost of a text message (the cheapest plan comes with ten complimentary text messages, with each additional text message costing $0.50), you can get a detailed look at the next 24 hours and a general sense of the next four days.


Founded in 1989, adventurers love Garmin for making products engineered on the inside for life on the outside. Garmin has more than 19,000 associates in 34 countries around the world. They bring GPS navigation and wearable technology to the automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and fitness markets.


For more information on Garmin and its satellite communicators, please visit

One thought on “The Electronic Satellite Communicator Every Boater Should Have

  • February 23, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    You might also want to look at the iPhone14 & 14Pro, both have satellite SOS text messaging to first responders where no cell connectivity is available. It can also send medical information from the Health App.



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