They say love comes in small packages? Well I absolutely love my Garmin Inreach Mini2. I took it for a spin across the Atlantic. It's been one of the high lights of my trip...

Product Overview

Garmin InReach Mini 2


  • Tiny form factor, excellent long battery life, easy to use, low cost for use


  • limited comms, would be nice to have the map integrated with google


Garmin Inreach Mini 2 satellite tracking and texting across an Ocean


Garmin Inreach Mini 2

clipped to a small spring clip, it sits near the dash area to have constant view of the sky

Garmin InReach Mini 2

I’ve been positively itching to get out to sea properly and take this tiny little Garmin gizmo with me for a real test. Crossing the English channel is far too short a journey to really let it stretch its tiny but ass kicking legs.

The Garmin Inreach Mini2 looks so small that it can be hard to believe it’s a real thing.

Yes, it is a satellite tracker.

Yes you can send texts with it.


I’ve had the Garmin in a box for a while, waiting for the right time to unleash it. An Atlantic crossing seemed like an ideal opportunity to give it a whirl.

Out of the box it’s really straight forward. There’s two options to activate an inreach mini2. You can activate it directly with Garmin, or you can go via a 3rd party reseller.
I chose to go with GTC (Global Telesat Communications) as they offered a slightly better deal than Garmin direct on the monthly rental and number of texts I’d get for the subscription.

This particular model came with a few additional accessories for mounting it or securing it for marine purposes. I was not sure how I’d be able to fasten it to someone elses boat, so I flew with just the unit and attached it to a spring clip.


Garmin InReach Mini 2, tracking

I paid £45 for a monthly contract which gives me 60 texts and up to 600 tracking points. This is plenty for an hourly track point for the duration of an ocean crossing. I can cancel it after one month.

Texts cost 50p once you go over the allocation. The allocation uses one text to send and one text to receive.

It took me a little while to get my head around the Garmin messaging app. It doesn’t have a dedicated number that people can text directly to. To be able to text or receive, your recipient needs to have the app on their phone. So before I left I had to direct those I wanted to communicate with to download the app.

Within the app I eventually figured out how to put a small message on my track line. These can be toggled on and off in the web page on a laptop. I haven’t seen any way that the track can be viewed without additional internet. So once you set it going, if you don’t have internet onboard,  you have to have a little faith that it is tracking. It does give a confirmation that all track points are up to date on the Garmin app dashboard.

It’s possible to set the map to allow viewers to send you messages, but this will use your text allocation.

On the subject of texting, there’s something quite fun about trying to say exactly what you want in so few characters. Though I think my highly abbreviated text speak might have confused my mum a few times.

I love the simplicity of the small tracker and the ability to text. It’s such a simple thing, but does feel like I’m still in touch with family with my daily text.

The battery life has been excellent. With hourly track points set, it used 75% charge in 10 days. It uses USB C to charge which is easy and low power for even the most frugal boating battery bank.

I highly recommend the Garmin Inreach Mini2. Cheap to use and invaluable for keeping in touch and letting friends and family, or a wider network know how you’re doing on whatever big adventure you’re on. Hiking the Alps, sailing an ocean, going off piste in the wilderness. This thing means you are never more than a click away from people knowing your location.

Additional functions in the device which I haven’t used. The pre-set messages. I couldn’t figure those out. Weather forecasts, because I also, couldn’t quite work out how that worked and if it would be a marine enough weather forecast or not. (I’m not really worried it it will be hot and sunny, but what the wind is going to do and sea state. I suspect that’s not the kind of info it will be supplying). And the SOS function, which when triggered sets up a relay call through to a Garmin dedicated assistance call centre, who, for a fee, will coordinate with rescue services on your behalf. Personally I’d rather have a dedicated personal locator beacon for that, but it is an option if you are travelling light, particularly on land.