SPOT Connect Satellite Communicator Review

For those times when yelling ‘Here I am’ and flailing your arms won’t get the job done. Once upon a time, suffering a broken femur during a solo backcountry trek meant that you were a goner, but thanks to the ACR ResQlink 406 Personal Locator Beacon, that no longer has to be the case. This high-powered emergency locator and GPS integrates three levels of signal technology so that you can always send out a distress signal to SAR teams regardless of your location on the planet.

SPOT Connect Satellite Communicator Review
So, I looked at all the good and bad reviews of this spot, and pulled the trigger on it for a recent sail I did to Bermuda, despite some really bad reviews on Backcountry and Amazon.
Let me just say that this unit works just as I expected. Bluetooth syncs up, the program on my iPhone worked no problem, sending messages was easy. Now sure, Bluetooth disconnects itself and you have to go into the settings on the iPhone and pair it up again once in a while, but come on, every Bluetooth device I have ever used has the same issues. That’s an issue with Bluetooth, not the spot itself.
As far as satellite reception, it works great on the ocean. I took it for a bike ride in Vermont and turned the tracker on, and tossed it on the back pocket of my cycling jersey. Only the positions where the unit was facing the southern sky transmitted through, but that makes sense. It didn’t transmit through an obstruction. I have recently bought a ram mount which keeps it level, and gets more southern sky time, and improved transmission. I could see how in dense forest, it may have issues transmitting, but that is the same with most satellite technologies. I had the same expectations for this device. And so far, it is exactly what I thought it would be.
Sure, the InReach has some cool features, and message confirmation, but it costs twice as much for the unit, and the yearly subscription is almost twice as much. The text messages are really nice, 41 characters is short, but it gets a message through.
In summary, if you have realistic expectations to begin with, you will enjoy using this tracker. There are more high tech ones out there, just be prepared to shell out more dough.

Track Progress function allows you to record where you’ve been, uploading in real time to Google Maps
Check-in/OK function regularly reassures anxious loved ones that you haven’t been eaten by a bear yet
SOS signal transmits automatically at five-minute intervals for the life of the batteries
Capable of operating in such extreme temperatures ranging from -13°F to 140°F
Waterproof to a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes
Basic service can be purchased for annual subscription of $99.99 to let you send unlimited check-in, OK, help, and SOS messages as well as update social networking sites.

Check out the ACR ResQlink 406 Personal Locator Beacon Review
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