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ACR, Spot 3, Spot X, Garmin inReach SE+, Explorer+ and Mini Comparison

When you're off the beaten path, there are more and more options available to get help in an emergency, or even tweet about your adventure. Which system will be the best for you though? Have a look at our handy comparison chart to help you with your decision!

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Satellite Constellation
LEOSAR-GEOSAR maintained by NOAA
34 LEO satellites maintained by GlobalStar
34 LEO satellites maintained by GlobalStar
66 cross-linked LEO satellites maintained by Iridium
66 cross-linked LEO satellites maintained by Iridium
66 cross-linked LEO satellites maintained by Iridium
Coverage
Where does your distress signal go?
Annual or Monthly Fee
SOS
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
Help - send for help to predetermined contacts
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
Check-in/OK
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
Custom Message
yes (pre-determined messages only)
(pre-determined 120 character messages only)
yes
yes (160 character type & send messages either used alone or when paired with iPhone or Android)
yes (160 character type & send messages either used alone or when paired with iPhone or Android)
yes
Tracking
no
yes
2-way Communication
no
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
Update Social Networking Sites
no
no
yes
yes
Weather forecast
no
no
no
yes (additional service)
yes (additional service)
yes (additional service)
Mapping
no
no
no
On mobile devices using the free Earthmate® app for access to downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more
On mobile devices using the free Earthmate® app for access to downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more
Preloaded DeLorme® TOPO maps on device PLUS on mobile devices using the free Earthmate® app for access to downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more
Pairs with iOS or Android devices via Bluetooth
no
no
no
no
yes
yes
Keyboard for on-device message construction
no
no
yes
No. Use up and down toggle buttons or pair to smartphone for easy typing.
No. Use up and down toggle buttons or pair to smartphone for easy typing.
No. Use up and down toggle buttons or pair to smartphone for easy typing.

Glossary  
   
LEOSAR > Low Earth Orbiting Search and Rescue  
GEOSAR > Geostationary Search and Rescue
LEO > Low Earth Orbiting
NOAA > National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
ACR | Spot 3 | SPOT X | Garmin inReach | PLB | Emergency

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