Gear Review: Satworx ISatphone

A bargain of a satellite phone.

If you spend a lot of time in the mountains (like me) or travel through dangerously remote places, a sat phone can give you (and your family) great peace of mind. Unfortunately, the price can cause anxiety. Not the ISatphone; it’s a steal at $495. (Monthly service charge is $20, and the per minute fee is 85 cents, which is very competitive.) At well under a pound, it’s lighter than most competitors (but durable).

As long as I had direct access to the southern sky (where the satellite is located) I had static-free, reliable reception. Big bonus: I could send and receive texts on the easy-to-use keypad and I could text or email my precise GPS coordinates quickly in case of an emergency (45 cents per email or text). Battery life is impressive: I got six hours of talk time on one full charge. $495; 9.8 oz.;