Spot or InReach messengers? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Richmond BC
Interest: Backpacking, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, mountain biking, and playing drums in a rock band.
Posts: 17
Default Spot or InReach messengers?

Because I am forced to do most of my backpacking solo, I think I am going to invest in an emergency satellite messenger. Just thought I'd pass on what I've learned abut them. These messengers work on satellites, so when there is no cell service, you can send emergency SOS signals or basic text messages to family to let them know you arrived safe and sound at destination.
I was going to go with the Spot 3 messenger, because it's so much cheaper than the InReach.
But it turns out that you get what you pay for. Did a lot of research and cannot believe the company that makes the Spot messenger is even still in business, given all the negative reviews.
Apparently the name Spot is ironically appropriate, because it is so spotty. Messages often don't go through, according to numerous reviews on MEC, and Amazon.
Worse, the subscription service is like the Hotel California -- you can check in any time you like but you can never leave. You have to sign up for a year (about $150 per year), but then you don't get any warning that your subscription is coming up for renewal, and it auto renewals. And they won't let you off the hook. You have to wait another year. And you have to give a month's notice before cancelling, after 11 months.
This wasn't just a few bitter reviewers, this was almost every single review I read that said the same things.
So yeah -- glad I didn't shell out $200 for the Spot 3 messenger.
I will try to get an InReach second hand. It gets great reviews, and apparently there is a month-by-month option.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 12:26 PM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: NorthVan
Interest: I enjoy hiking
Posts: 2,935
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There is also this Somewear kickstarter, hopefully they can make a go of it. Although the new Inreach Mini does look nice.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 01:05 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Backpacking, Skiing, Space History
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Bennett View Post
Because I am forced to do most of my backpacking solo, I think I am going to invest in an emergency satellite messenger. Just thought I'd pass on what I've learned abut them. These messengers work on satellites, so when there is no cell service, you can send emergency SOS signals or basic text messages to family to let them know you arrived safe and sound at destination.
I was going to go with the Spot 3 messenger, because it's so much cheaper than the InReach.
But it turns out that you get what you pay for. Did a lot of research and cannot believe the company that makes the Spot messenger is even still in business, given all the negative reviews.
Apparently the name Spot is ironically appropriate, because it is so spotty. Messages often don't go through, according to numerous reviews on MEC, and Amazon.
Worse, the subscription service is like the Hotel California -- you can check in any time you like but you can never leave. You have to sign up for a year (about $150 per year), but then you don't get any warning that your subscription is coming up for renewal, and it auto renewals. And they won't let you off the hook. You have to wait another year. And you have to give a month's notice before cancelling, after 11 months.
This wasn't just a few bitter reviewers, this was almost every single review I read that said the same things.
So yeah -- glad I didn't shell out $200 for the Spot 3 messenger.
I will try to get an InReach second hand. It gets great reviews, and apparently there is a month-by-month option.

I used to use Spot, but now am on InReach. Last year when it came tim to renew my Spot, I found with the increasing annual fees and exchange rate (Spot bills in USD) I just couldn't justify it. InReach not only offers 2-way communication, but you can suspend your account when you don't need it for a few bucks a month. Pricing plans are in CAD so you don't need to worry about exchange. I got the most basic InReach I could find as I have a separate GPS I use, overall I've been really happy. Sometimes it can take a while for a message to get out, but now I receive a confirmation that it has in fact been sent (rather than Spot's hope and pray)


That said, Spot recently came out with a new 2-way Spot X which now also offers monthly subscriptions. With all of the "please come back" offers I got from Spot after I cancelled it looks like they've started to realize that they need to change things to remain competitive
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Richmond BC
Interest: Backpacking, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, mountain biking, and playing drums in a rock band.
Posts: 17
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Yeah I read about the Spot X. But if I am going to spend that much money I'm going to go for a used InReach.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 09:32 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 99
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Nelson I am currently in the market for a satellite communicator. Had the unfortunate luck to deal with my son getting lost on the Helm creek trail. One wrong turn and he spent the night in the woods. SAR did find him through spotty cell coverage.

My question is there any hands on reviews of the "somewear"? I do see they are to ship in August. I have been seriously considering the inreach explorer. Somewear looks like a good option as it pares to your cell phone. But thinking a field test would reveal the pros and cons of the unit.

Last edited by Crash; 07-21-2018 at 09:43 AM.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 03:16 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: ALBANY, OR, USA.
Interest: SEA KAYAKING HIKING FISHING
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the clowns at SPOT still don't get it and seem to want to perpetuate their strong arm tactics for annual subscriptions. Even with the SPOT X, the user is forced to pay even when they have suspended use of the device under the Flex Plan.



"*Enrollment in any Flex Plan is subject to a $24.99 Annual Flex Charge that is payable upon activation and then each year at renewal, even if the device is suspended at that time. This Flex Charge allows the customer to suspend service anytime during the year without activation fee recurrence when turning service on again throughout the year. All Flex Plans have a one month minimum term. Message allotment per Flex Plan includes both incoming and outgoing messages."
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