Tested: Review of the Garmin inReach Mini 2

A lone wanderer by nature, many of my outdoor adventures are only in remote places, few are willing to wander. When I was in my twenties, I took no precautions. I was young, bulletproof and had no wife or children to leave behind if something happened. Im, how things change.

When my son Hunter was born, my mindset changed and I started taking every precaution to make sure I would return home from any outdoor adventures. By the time of this field test, my best investment was Garmin’s inReach Explorer. I had confidence in a handheld satellite communicator for a small monthly fee under $ 12. The battery life of the unit proved to be exceptional and I could send text messages to my wife, children, family and friends when tracking where cell phone coverage was zero. They can also track my daily progress and know my exact location each day as I share it. The most prominent feature of the device is the SOS button, and one, thank God, I have not tested yet. In case of emergency, all that needs to be done to get the help sent to their exact location is to type the SOS message in the Garmin IERCC. A professional with 24/7 staff will pick up the emergency personnel on the way to you immediately. You can not defeat that peace of mind and I promise you that if you have loved ones, it calms their mind.

Configuring the inReach Mini 2

I was thrilled when Garmin’s latest inReach member arrived at my doorstep. Named the inReach Mini 2, this small piece of adventure-style paradise is about 1/4 the size of the original inReach Explorer. The unit is very lightweight and I immediately noticed for the added nylon loop and carabiner attachment. Its shape, size and adhesive ability mean you can wear it in a binoculars harness or tie it in a backpack.

Garmin inReach Mini 2 satellite communicator

Press and hold the power key to turn on the unit and select the language you want the device to use. Before you go any further, you will want to download the Garmin Explore app to your smartphone. Find the Garmin inReach Mini 2 in the app, select the pairing option, enter the code that the inReach Mini 2 gives you, and then go to explore.garmin.com to activate the device and choose your subscription plan.

Switching my subscription from my inReach Explorer to the inReach Mini 2 was easy — a few clicks and some numbers and codes were pressed — and I was ready to switch with my new device.

Peace of mind in a smaller package

I like the simplicity of the unit. It’s a test for idiots, and for a tech-savvy archer, I guess he doesn’t need a Harvard degree to use it. The Mini 2 has a power button located on the upper right side next to the antenna. There are up and down buttons labeled with arrows on the left side, and the right side contains an OK button, the “Back” button and the SOS button. The Mini 2, like inReach Explorer, is very self-explanatory.

Right side of Garmin inReach Mini 2, displaying OK, Back and SOS buttons
With few moving parts and a simple interface, the use of the inReach Mini 2 is straightforward and self-explanatory. Jace Bauserman

Get outside to make sure the unit has a clear view of the sky and once the Mini 2 connects to the satellites, which takes about 22-25 minutes the first time you turn it on, you can start playing. My favorite feature of the unit is the two-way messaging. This allows me to stay in touch with loved ones through predefined messages or by typing a new message. I like the default messages, which you will need to put on the website, but the process is easy. Typing long notes requires time and without the keyboard and without the need to type every letter of every word, this unit was not created to write long messages. I create presets like I arrived at the camp, Everything is fine, Good night, I got my pet, I left, etc.

To access the main menu, press the OK button and press the back button to exit any setting. You can send a message from the main menu, use a default message, start tracking your adventure, navigate, mark your waypoints, access your contacts, check your iR service plan, and view settings.

I appreciate the lid / door that Garmin has added to the SOS button. This open door ensures that you do not accidentally press the SOS button. My original model featured a switch that slid left / right for SOS on / off, and now I do not remember in which direction. In case of emergency, open the SOS door and press the button. When you do this, help will be on the way.

Another feature I appreciate about the Mini 2 is the tracking feature. When tracking is turned on, a dot is placed on a base map that others can download or view, and you can control how often you want to drop a new pin while in tracking mode. This way, loved ones can control your progress by looking at the locations of the dropped pin.

The InReach Mini 2 is located next to an inReach Explorer, showing the resizing on the models.
The InReach Mini 2 is significantly smaller than the inReach Explorer, but it has the same features and does the same job. It is a perfect compact solar communicator. Jace Bauserman

I also like the Mark Waypoint mode, which allows you, while in tracking or navigation modes, to remove direct route points. These points are added to the downloaded maps and you will have them forever and you can share those points with others if you choose to do so.

While in navigation mode, the TracBack feature lets you recreate exactly your steps — a lifeline if you lose. Few things are more terrifying than getting lost in the woods, and following a path on a screen that exactly repeats your steps is far more comforting than a compass when the weather is terrible or you plan to walk on a ridge and end up running. gone. over six, and everything suddenly looks the same in all directions.

Battery life is impressive. A full charge gave me just over 90 hours when set to the default 10-minute tracking mode and the unit will produce a sound beep when power drops below 20 percent. The Mini 2 charges quickly when the included charging cord connects to a USB compatible charger.


This is a device without which I will not go into the woods. The spiritual peace that my loved ones and me can offer is invaluable. If you have not yet received the $ 399.99 discount and have not yet purchased a unit and a data plan, I strongly suggest you do. When you are spiritually calm, you shoot harder and go further, which often separates a flock full of flesh from a sighing story.

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