Garmin Inreach Mini

I do not recommend this device for paragliding.
I believe the antenna on this item is too short, leading to this device not being able to communicate with the satellites reliably. I tested 2 of these Inreach Mini devices. Garmin support agreed with my testing and sent me a 2nd device, as we both expected my first Mini was defective. I had the same problem with my 2nd Mini.
The problem I had with this device was after landing, it would fail to send a message more than 50% of the time. I would get a message of: Poor Satellite reception, move to an open area. In every case that I tested, my message should have gone out. Sometimes my preset message was sent even with this Poor Satellite reception message. One test, the message failed to send out from Allens Park, CO. The next time I was using my Inreach, while my tracks were live playing on Vail Pass, the message sent out saying that I was still in Allens Park. Then my test of sending out a message of safe on Vail Pass failed. My tests included 15+ locations. These locations were in open areas. My old Spot worked fine in most of these same locations.
I do not trust this device to work in an emergency situation. I have Geos Insurance which requires 2-way communication for an accident. If my device fails more than 50% of the time, this means my chances of rescue and insurance coverage is less than 50%. This is unacceptable for me.
Other issues with the Inreach Mini:
Ease of use. I did not find this device very intuitive. While I did learn its tricks and an update made one item easier, this device could be a challenge to use if you are injured.
10 minute tracking interval or more, at 10 minutes, assuming you are gliding at trim at 20 mph, you could cover 3.3 miles of distance from your last track point. If you crash and are not able to push the SOS button, the search area could be over 7,000 acres. If you pay for the Garmin Expedition Plan, which is another $25/month, you can get their 2+ minute tracking.

The Inreach Mini is not reliable or I got 2 defective devices in a row. (If this device worked, I would stay with it.) Garmin Support has been great and they will be getting me a refund on my device.
I am going back to Spot, it has 5 minute tracking intervals and the new SpotX has its own keyboard for 2-way communication. Thus, in the event of a crash, if the phone is broken, the SpotX can still send and receive text messages. For me, this is a band-aid until something better comes out. The SpotX is big, but it is still lighter than the Garmin Explorer.

If by chance I have tested 2 defective devices or my issues are from my user error, please let me know. I have been in touch with Garmin Support and talked with their Rep. at a trade show. I have not been able to discover a user error.

Eric Bader

Very informative.
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.
–Jon I

Thats odd, I go backpacking with the inreach and have never had issues