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Stay in touch with Garmin InReach MiniStay in touch with Garmin InReach Mini

When Garmin bought DeLorme two years ago, the GPS pioneer had its eye on the small Maine firm’s InReach satellite communicator.

Garmin introduced the InReach Mini, a portable device that retails for $350 and allows text messaging via the Iridium satellite network. Photo courtesy of Garmin.

InReach allowed users to talk, send and receive texts, share data files, and send emergency messages, and it was popular among hikers, boaters, and pilots—all key customers for Kansas-based Garmin.

Now, Garmin is unveiling the InReach Mini, the first new model since the DeLorme acquisition, and as the name implies, the $350 unit is smaller and lighter than it used to be—and it’s tightly integrated with other Garmin products like the D2 watch and apps such as Garmin Pilot. In fact, pilots can send and receive text messages while airborne through smartphones or tablets via Garmin Pilot by pairing their devices to InReach.

InReach uses the Iridium satellite network, and subscription prices range from $12 to $80 a month with an annual contract.

The unit also allows satellite tracking of airplanes in flight, and pilots can use text messages to notify people of their arrival times, or changes in plans. The technology also allows access to weather information in remote areas without cellular or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) coverage.

“The InReach Mini is an invaluable companion no matter where or how far off the grid life takes you,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president for global consumer sales, in a news release.

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Topics: Avionics

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