5 Best Personal Locator Beacons Reviewed In 2020:

“Our team tested different Personal Locator Beacons on the market today and came to agree that Garmin GPSMAP 66i GPS Handheld & Satellite Communicator and Garmin InReach Mini are the Best Locator Beacons in 2020.”

 

Review of 5 Best Personal Locator Beacons to Buy In 2020:

#1-CHOICE: Garmin GPSMAP 66i GPS Handheld & Satellite Communicator:

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DESCRIPTION:

The Garmin GPSMAP 66i GPS Handheld and Satellite Communicator features precise navigation coupled with inReach satellite technology which enables 2-way messaging and LiveTrack location sharing via the 100% global Iridium satellite network so that you can stay in contact with loved ones, teammates, headquarters and more. In fact, this device features a large 3” sunlight-readable color display for easy viewing while the internal rechargeable lithium battery provides up to 35-hours of battery life in 10-minute tracking mode and 1-minute tracking mode (display off) and about 200-hours in Expedition mode with 30-minute tracking. On the other hand, this device will allow you trigger an interactive SOS to the GEOS 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center while Cellular connectivity lets you access Active Weather forecasts and Geocaching Live. Likewise, this unit is preloaded with Garmin TOPO mapping with direct-to-device BirdsEye Satellite Imagery downloads including multiple Global Navigation Satellite Systems support and navigation sensors. Lastly, this GPS Satellite Communicator compatible with the Garmin Explore website and App to help you manage waypoints, routes, activities and collections, use tracks and review trip data from the field.

KEY-FEATURES:

  • A GPS Handheld & Satellite Communicator
  • Large 3” sunlight-readable color display for easy viewing.
  • A sturdy, button-operated GPSMAP Satellite Communicator.
  • 2-way messaging via the 100% global Iridium satellite network.
  • It’s equipped with a Powerful, Internal & rechargeable lithium battery.
  • Trigger an interactive SOS to the GEOS 24/7 search & rescue monitoring center.
  • Cellular connectivity lets you access Active Weather forecasts & Geocaching Live.
  • Includes multiple Global Navigation Satellite Systems support & navigation sensors.
  • Preloaded Garmin TOPO mapping with direct-to-device BirdsEye Satellite Imagery downloads.
  • Turn on Expedition mode to get up to 200-hours of battery-life while using inReach-technology.
  • Default tracking mode provides up to 35-hours of battery life while saving your location every 10 minutes.
  • Support for multi-GNSS combined with altimeter, barometer and compass navigation sensors lets you track & navigate in challenging environments.
  • Compatible with the Garmin Explore website & App to help you manage waypoints, routes, activities & collections, use tracks & review trip data from the field.

 

#2-CHOICE: Garmin InReach Mini Personal Locator Beacon:

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DESCRIPTION:

The Garmin InReach Mini is a small, rugged and lightweight satellite communicator that enables 2-way text messaging using the 100% global Iridium network. In fact, this device will help you maintain off-the-grid contact and if necessary, you trigger an SOS alert to contact the GEOS 24/7 emergency response team. On the other hand, this device is Bluetooth-enabled and can be paired with a compatible tablet or Smartphone running the Garmin Pilot app thus making it easy to send and receive text messages while in the cockpit even from areas without cellular reception. Additionally, the app pulls in your smart device’s contact lists to make access simple and seamless. Lastly, since this is handheld GPS device, it can leverage its rock-solid position source to drive a geo-referenced aircraft position symbol on your tablet’s moving map display and can also provide tracking of your flight using the web-based MapShare page created for your inReach account.

KEY-FEATURES:

  • Small, rugged & lightweight satellite communicator.
  • A great display with a resolution of: 128 x 128 pixels.
  • It includes Unlimited Cloud Storage and Trip Planning.
  • Tough, durable, impact resistant & water-rated to IPX7.
  • inReach Mini is fit for exterior pack pockets or accessory loops.
  • Optional inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates.
  • Enables 2-way text messaging using the 100% global Iridium network.
  • Send and receive inReach messages through compatible Garmin devices.
  • Triggers an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search & rescue monitoring center.
  • Recharged via the microUSB power cable or optional in-vehicle 12-V charger.
  • The app pulls in your smart device’s contact lists to make access simple and seamless.
  • An electronic compass that shows bearing and distance along a route or to a waypoint.
  • Can be paired via Bluetooth to a compatible tablet or Smartphone running the Garmin Pilot app.
  • GPS-based location tracking lets you share your whereabouts with those at home or out in the field.
  • Access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more using the free Garmin Earthmate app & compatible devices.
  • Includes an internal, rechargeable lithium battery for up to 50-hours of use at the default 10-minute tracking mode and up to 20-days in power saving mode.

 

#3-CHOICE: Spot 3 Satellite GPS Messenger & Locator:

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DESCRIPTION:

The Spot 3 Satellite GPS Messenger is designed to provide you with critical, life-saving line of communication when you travel beyond the boundaries of cell Service. In fact, this device lets family and friends know you’re okay and if the worst happens it sends emergency responders to your GPS location with the push of a button. All in all, you can add this rugged, pocket-sized device to your essential gear and stay connected wherever you’re roaming.

KEY-FEATURES:

  • A Satellite GPS Messenger.
  • Sends an S.O.S to GEOS for search and rescue.
  • Sends emergency responders your GPS location with the push of a button.
  • Lets family and friends know you’re okay with a pre-programmed message.
  • Automatically send & save your location to allow contacts to track your progress using Google maps.
  • This pocket-sized device can be added to your essential gear to stay connected wherever you roam.

 

#4-CHOICE: Garmin Montana 680 Touchscreen GPS/GLONASS Receiver with Worldwide Basemaps:

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DESCRIPTION:

The Garmin Montana 680 Touchscreen GPS/GLONASS Receiver features a dual-orientation, color touchscreen that is glove friendly while the included digital camera provides high-quality images, excellent resolution and automatically Geotags photos with coordinates. With its high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, Hotfix satellite prediction and GLONASS support, the Montana locates your position quickly and precisely while maintaining its location even in heavy cover and deep canyons. Lastly, this device uses free BaseCamp software to let you view and organize maps, waypoints, routes and tracks while free trip-planning software allows you to create Garmin Adventures that you can share with friends, family or fellow explorers and this BaseCamp software even displays topographic map data in 2-D or 3-D on your computer screen, including contour lines and elevation profiles.

KEY-FEATURES:

  • Touchscreen GPS/GLONASS Receiver.
  • Tracks both GPS and GLONASS satellites.
  • 3-axis compass with barometric altimeter.
  • An 8 Megapixel Camera & BirdsEye Subscription.
  • 4-inch dual-orientation, glove-friendly Touchscreen display.
  • Free BaseCamp software lets you view and organize maps, waypoints, routes and tracks.
  • The track manager feature helps to organize and navigate through waypoints, routes and track logs.
  • A vast 4-inch, sunlight-readable Touchscreen display gives you vivid colors & high-resolution images.
  • Montana stores and displays key information, including location, terrain, difficulty, hints and descriptions.
  • Digital camera provides high-quality images, excellent resolution & automatically geotags photos with coordinates.
  • BaseCamp displays topographic map data in 2-D or 3-D on your computer-screen including contour lines & elevation profiles.

 

#5-CHOICE: ACR AquaLink 350B PLB GPS-enabled rescue beacon & locator:

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 DESCRIPTION:

The ACR AquaLink 350B PLB is a handheld, GPS-enabled rescue beacon which is small enough to be easily carried in a back-pack, pocket or worn on a life vest. In fact, upon initiation of a distress call, the AquaLink’s onboard GPS will fix your position to within 100 meters and then utilizes a powerful 406 MHz signal to relay your distress call to orbiting satellites. Additionally, as local Search and Rescue is deployed, a separate homing signal and integrated LED strobe light guides rescuers to your exact location and this device can even broadcast a unique registered distress signal that not only tells rescuers where you are, but who you are. On the other hand, this device performs a full functional self-test of the PLB’s internal circuitry, battery voltage & power and 406 MHz transmission giving peace of mind knowing your PLB will work the moment you need it the most. Additionally, the Built-in GPS acquisition test mode allows you to test GPS functionality up to 12 times over the life of the battery while the AquaLink activates easily. Lastly, With its powerful 66-channel GPS, the ResQLink+ guides rescuers to you within 100-meters or less of your position.

KEY-FEATURES:

  • Handheld, GPS-enabled rescue beacon.
  • ACR AquaLink PLB requires no monthly subscription.
  • Small enough to be carried in a back-pack, pocket or worn on a life vest.
  • Utilizes a powerful 406 MHz signal to relay your distress call to orbiting satellites.
  • A separate homing signal & integrated LED strobe light guides rescuers to your exact location.
  • Upon initiation of a distress call, the AquaLink’s onboard GPS will fix your position to within 100 meters.
  • With its powerful 66-channel GPS, the ResQLink+ guides rescuers to within 100 meters or less of your position.
  • Built-in GPS acquisition test mode allows you to test GPS functionality up to 12 times over the life of the battery.
  • Performs a full functional self-test of the PLB’s internal circuitry, battery voltage & power and 406 MHz transmission.
  • The AquaLink broadcasts a unique registered distress signal that not only tells rescuers where you are, but who you are.

CONCLUSION:

All the featured Personal Locator Beacons are designed to help you maintain off-the-grid contact and if necessary, you trigger an SOS alert to contact the GEOS 24/7 emergency response team in 2020.