Home Gear Pint Size Hero: Garmin inReach Mini
Pint Size Hero: Garmin inReach Mini

Pint Size Hero: Garmin inReach Mini


The Garmin inReach mobile GPS units have been a staple of hikers, cyclists and adventure off-roaders for years. And now Garmin has expanded the inReach product line by taking key features of the SE+/Explorer+ and packing it into a smaller, lightweight and exceptionally rugged package with the Garmin inReach Mini

The inReach Mini features a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that provides up to 50 hours of battery life when set in the 10 minute tracking mode, 20 days in the 30 minute interval power save mode, and one year when powered off. Weighing in a a pint size 3.5 ounces in a 4X2″ frame – the Mini is the perfect size for clipping to exterior pack pockets, accessory loops or securing easily within your vehicle. Built to MIL-STD-810F means that this pint size hero is water rated to IPX7, and the .9x.9 inch sunlight readable E-ink screen means that it is ultra-low power consumption and is legible in all conditions.

inReach Mini Functionality vs SE+/Explorer+

You can still send two-way text messages over the global Iridium satellite network, access downloadable maps and color arial photography, and plot your route via pairing of the Mini with the Earthmate app. Garmin’s optional inReach weather forecast service also provides detailed updates to ever changing weather conditions in the wild, and can be connected to Garmin smart watches, wearables and other handheld devices.

Garmin inReach Mini
Garmin inReach Mini
Earthmate app pairs with the inReach mini. Photo via garmin.com

One of the main drawbacks with the smaller size means a bare minimum display screen. If you’re looking for a standalone unit, the larger SE+/Explorer+ and their full color display screens are for you. The functionality of the + units is clunky but does have small keyboard and nav controls built in. The inReach Mini user interface is dependent on pairing up to the Earthmate app on your smartphone, so an in vehicle setup that includes a mount for your phone or iPad is necessary. (We highly recommend the Ram Mount X-Grip.)

Safety & Peace of Mind +

The most important carry over is Garmin’s mission critical main feature – the ability to trigger an SOS to 24/7 search and rescue teams. The satellite service emergency plan ensures that if the situation turns sour, you have help on hand. And with a delivery confirmation – you know that help is on the way.

Note: The SOS feature requires their subscription service. Subscription plans range in price from $14.95-$99.95/month with additional discounts when purchased annually. The monthly subscription is easily turned off and on before and after your travels.

If you are interested in the new Garmin inReach Mini, they are available in orange or black and can be had for $349.99 USD plus satellite subscription plan. 

Written by Will Marshal with contributions by Corrie Murgia
Photos by Barry J. Holmes


  1. Hello All, I travel with the bigger brother of the Mini, it is the GARMIN inReach Explore+. All I can say is it is great to have the ability to send and reveive messages when you are out of reach of cell towers. I was out in Red Rock Canyon, Ca when one of our crew needed to get in touch with his workers back in town at a job site. We did not have cell signals, so I offered to use my inReach. It took alittle while for the satalite signal to hook up ( we were in a steep canyon), so we waited for the satilite to pass over. Then the messages got through and I relayed his conversation and he decided that he had better return to the job to help out. But just for the peace of mind it is worth the money. Please stay safe and enjoy.

  2. I have the original InReach which functions similar to the mini in a larger package. The screen on the other InReaches dont do much for overlanding and are more geared for hikers. The mini is much better when paired with a tablet and/or phone. I have used mine the past few years and proved very helpful last year in the Maze district of Canyonlands 100 miles from the nearest city. I highly recommend them because safety is paramount.

  3. Hey brothers and sisters. For those of you who follow me and whom have been a great support team, I thank you. The Cancer is still trying to doom me, trying. Because you guys love me for being a old school grunt for using my lensatic compass and mud maps I must admit I have entered the Digital World. Because of this cancer thing I slowed down a bit and using a GPS up front in gaining importance. I tried two of the Mini InReach both had to be return because of battery issues. First had a battery 'Fault' and the other a 'Faulty Battery'….sounds like my exWife making a excuse of why she hated me-lol  I ended up with a SE+ full size. I should have gotten the Explorer. Last note: Garmin has HORRIBLE customer service. Back on the road first week of September….hope to see ya'll out there. Thank you again for all the prayers and well wishes…..I served you  for more than half my life and I am humbled by your respect.