Just released from Garmin: inReach Messenger


Photo credit: Cody Boor

For the backcountry hunter, satellite messengers have changed the game by allowing you to stay in touch with family and friends when you’re out of cell coverage. And today, Garmin has released their latest product to their inReach lineup with the inReach Messenger. Plus, it’s available right now in the GOHUNT Gear Shop.

Pick up the inReach Messenger here


In a sense, this is a more streamlined version for those that really don’t need/or never used the navigational portion on previous inReach models. 

Backcountry piece of mind

You’ll often hear me refer to an inReach device as a backcountry piece of mind, and their new Safety Charging system expands that meaning. Let’s say your cell phone battery dies while hunting. Now you can connect the inReach Messenger to your phone for enough safety charge to send a custom text message from the inReach Messenger device with your phone.

Other great features:

  • Price: $299.99, which makes this a more affordable option
  • Size: 3.1”x2.5”x0.9 and weighs 4 oz
  • Rechargeable
  • Read messages right on the device
  • See weather updates right on the device
  • Impact-resistance and water-rated to IPX7. That water rating means it can withstand incidental exposure to water of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, but this really means it is suitable for splashes, rain, or snow showers.
  • Location sharing: just like previous models, you can even share your GPS location data if you like.
  • New Garmin Messenger App: Allows you to send two-way messages globally, even when you’re out of cellular coverage. The app supports seamless switching between Wi-Fi wireless networking links, broadband cellular, and the Iridium satellite network.
  • New Group Messaging: With the Garmin Messenger app, your inReach connection supports group message threading and distribution. So, you can share your adventures with multiple contacts simultaneously - and have group text chats with friends and family.
  • Improved two-way messaging: A simple user interface through the Garmin Messenger app on your smartphone makes it easy to exchange text messages via satellite, cellular, or Wi-Fi wireless networks.
  • Interactive SOS alerts: In case of emergency, trigger an interactive SOS to the Garmin IERCC, a 24/7 staffed emergency response coordination center.
  • Battery life: 10-minute Tracking Send Interval = up to 4 weeks with full sky view / up to 2 weeks with moderate tree cover. 2-minute. Tracking Send Interval = up to 6 days with full sky view / up to 3 days with moderate tree cover.

The inReach Messenger also supports check-in messages directly from the device by using preset messages that do not count toward your allotted text messages with an active satellite subscription.

Size comparison of inReach Messenger and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Photo credit: Cody Boor

I haven't had the chance to test the new inReach Messenger in the mountains yet, but I’ve personally used various models of inReach devices over the years on all my hunts, hikes, and scouting trips. I’m certain this will be another homerun for those who are looking for a simpler design. In my mind, it all comes down to backcountry safety. We all like to think we are indestructible in the mountains, but there are times when having a way to alert others if things don't go as planned could be paramount to your life, your friend's life, or the life of anyone you meet on the mountain.

Check out all the inReach/Garmin options here

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