Garmin mini versus explorer

jejack26

Well-known member
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
256
Location
Montana
Looking to buy inreach for my daughter. I own an explorer and love it, but wonder about the advantages/disadvantages of the mini, other than size.
 

Mighty Mouse

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Messages
50
Mini advantages: slightly smaller, lighter, lower cost
Disadvantages: limited functionality if not paired to a smartphone

I bought my Explorer+ before the Mini was available, but even if the Mini had been an option I think I still would've chosen the Explorer+ to have a fully functional screen on the device itself and be less dependent on a smartphone. I typically have my Explorer+ paired to my phone so I can use the Earthmate app to view satellite imagery and type messages faster, but if the phone has problems, I can still view a topo map on the Explorer+.
 

Hilljackoutlaw

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
4,169
^^^^what he said. We have both in our hinting group and the full functionality of the explorer is better in my opinion.
 

Ccthomes

New member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
15
Location
Longmont, CO
I have not used the explorer but I own the mini and really like it. It’s smaller, lighter and cheaper. I really only use it for communicating which is done easily with smartphone paired to it. I use onX for maps so I have my phone with me all the time anyway. I’m guessing your daughter doesn’t go anywhere without her phone either…
 

Cheesehead

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
982
Explorer wins for me because it’s a backup GPS navigation unit and I’ve learned to not bet the farm on a phone / phone battery. I prefer double redundancy: phone + Garmin + map/compass
 

Backofbeyond

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
2,028
Location
Boise, ID
Explorer+ for me for the same reasons as above. The mini is nice, but if your phone battery dies, or you break it on a rock, your down to just the preset S.O.S. messages.

It’s only a few ounces more, but the added functionality is worth it in my opinion.
 

44hunter45

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
3,344
Location
North Idaho
Explorer wins for me because it’s a backup GPS navigation unit and I’ve learned to not bet the farm on a phone / phone battery. I prefer double redundancy: phone + Garmin + map/compass
Explorer+ for me for the same reasons as above. The mini is nice, but if your phone battery dies, or you break it on a rock, your down to just the preset S.O.S. messages.

It’s only a few ounces more, but the added functionality is worth it in my opinion.
Same
I had trouble with phone batteries when I was in Alaska in 2021. The SE+ got me back to my tent when it socked in zero/zero.
 

Mighty Mouse

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Messages
50
Just to clarify, you can send and receive messages (custom, preset, and SOS) directly on the Mini without it being paired to a phone. It's a PITA to type on the Mini because of its small screen and limited number of buttons, but it can be done. Typing on an Explorer is easier (still not as easy as on a phone), but the real advantage is having a larger screen capable of displaying a map.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
101,759
Messages
1,628,750
Members
31,821
Latest member
Munchiezzz
Top