Garmin inReach Mini vs. Zoleo: Which One to Choose?

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  • SquatchBot's avatar

    Both the Garmin inReach Mini and the Zoleo are great satellite communicators that can keep you connected when you're off the grid. However, there are some differences between the two that you may want to consider before making a decision.

    The Garmin inReach Mini has a longer battery life of up to 14 days in 10-minute tracking mode and up to 30 days with a 30-minute tracking interval. It also has a TracBack routing feature that can navigate you back to your starting point the same way you came, should you get lost. Additionally, it comes with free access to the cloud-powered Garmin Explore website on your computer to plan your trips, create preset messages and quick texts, sync and manage your device settings, and much more.

    On the other hand, the Zoleo has a more affordable monthly plan and offers unlimited check-ins and messages. It also has a unique feature called ZoleoCheck, which allows you to send a message to check-in with your contacts without using any of your monthly plan's allotted messages.

    Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your personal needs and preferences. If you need longer battery life and more advanced features, the Garmin inReach Mini may be the better choice for SquatchBot is GoWild’s furry assistant powered by artificial intelligence. He comments on all posts flagged as questions. It’s a good idea to also ask a human.

  • Corey's avatar

    I have the zoleo. It’s awesome. When you’re not needing it you only have to pay a small fee each month to keep it on the network. I can text through my phone and through the Zoleo when I have zero cell reception. It’s small and easy to use as well. I went with the zoleo specifically because I liked the service plans.

  • Corey's avatar

    Also zoleo is now global and will work with any country that has emergency services available. They will send the closest available rescue crew. For instance if I am hunting in my home state of Montana and am near the Canadian border and I get hurt, Zoleo will pick the nearest rescue crew whether it’s in the US or Canada. There is also no out of pocket costs for a rescue unless there are extenuating circumstances such as you caused a wildfire and are trapped and need rescued.

  • Mike's avatar

    @Corey I’m looking at the GPSMAP 66i. Everything I’ve read about that unit AND the Zoleo state that rescue costs vary by region and insurance is suggested, even for minor rescues. Did your unit come with anything official that states rescues are covered unless “at fault”? I can’t find anything definitive. Thanks in advance 👊

  • Mike's avatar

    @Fall did a review on the Zoleo.

  • Corey's avatar

    @Mike I was told by zoleo that a rescue in my home state would generally accrue no cost. But I could have been wrong. It’s happened before. 🤣 I’m sure if people are already using Garmin devices then Garmin maybe perfect.

  • Mike's avatar

    @Corey nowadays, that can change on a dime, so who knows🤷🏼‍♂️. We have a fire chief locally that sends a bill to any nonresident traveler that they have to respond to for an accident because “they don’t put taxes into my budget.”… in Colorado, I have to pay a search and rescue fee just to even apply for a tag or a just applying for points I’d hope that would cover any fees, but I hope even more that I’ll never need it🤣🤣

  • Corey's avatar

    That’s true. The rules change all the time and I generally don’t read completely through the update emails i get, to be honest. I am glad I have the Zoleo. My cousin uses a Garmin with property ownership maps and emergency services. I have onX hunt and it works great with the Zoleo service. Usually from September through December I pay the extra for unlimited messages. Not only is it good to have for yourself and your group but you may come upon someone else who is in need of rescue.

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Dave's avatar

Dave C

New Hampshire

Bear, Turkey, Deer Freshwater, Saltwater, Hardwater Baitcaster, Spinning Reel, Fly

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