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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2013

Gear Review: DeLorme inReach SE Two-Way Messenger

Receive messages from off-the-grid locales.

by: Andrew Matranga

DeLorme InReach SE (Courtesy Photo)
DeLorme InReach SE (Courtesy Photo)

Ultralight Messenger
Want to stay connected everywhere? This deck of cards-size device enabled our testers to send and receive 160-character messages (with embedded GPS data) from off-the-grid spots deep in the Sierra and Rockies. We also posted dozens of social media messages; Facebook and Twitter fans were able to view our location on a map and ping us with real-time questions.

“My comfort level with multiday solos is sky-high with the SE,” says one tester. The SE is the next generation of the Editors’ Choice winning inReach (April 2012); this iteration eliminates the need for DeLorme’s GPS unit (saving about 7 ounces and $350). Now you can message directly from the SE’s keyboard. Optional: The SE mates, via Bluetooth and a free app, with most iOS and Android smartphones, which allows you to view maps and type much faster. Caveat: The rechargeable battery handled five days of heavy use, but DeLorme’s decision to move away from AAs limits the SE’s range for expeditions and thru-hikes; on longer trips, we lugged a solar charger or Mophie brick. $299 (message plans from $10-$65/month); 7 oz.;

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