The best beacons, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on December 9, 2021. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
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Recent Beacon Reviews
Used to navigate on land in the High Arctic by gut and no safety net if there was trouble. Then I had kids... I rely heavily on this device for safety since I am camping often in very remote areas with small children. But I also use it for work travelling Nunavik (for after hours on call for medevacs), where I also need this to be dependable. I subscribe to the unlimited messaging, as well as to the insurance policy offered with it. It is our lifeline to home, and our guide when trekking on the… Full review
I'd recommend this device for anyone going on an extended wilderness trip where they likely won't have cell service. I used it for a week in the Sierra Nevada mountains and it was very helpful as it allowed my group to stay in contact with our families on the outside to notify them of changes in our itinerary. Definitely a must-have from a safety perspective. Ease of use: I found the device easy to use. There are just enough features to be useful, but not too many to the point of being confusing. Full review
The Spot X provides a reliable tracking service with convenient features like satellite messaging and mapping. It's the perfect companion for backpackers, climbers, mountaineers, and canyoneers. If you're an outdoor adventurer who's in the market for a reliable GPS tracker, the Spot X 2-Way Satellite Messenger might be a good device for you. Built to track your steps, and send messages when cell phone carriers fail you, this device is a good luck charm during times of turbulence. Spot X MSRP:… Full review
Very slow sending—awful customer support. I bought a Spot Gen 3 on Amazon (sold out on REI) for my first overnight four-day backpacking trip on the Timberline Trail. A couple things about the device itself: the construction is flimsy. The "waterproof" USB cap barely stays in place, which would likely result in the device being destroyed in rain, a fall into a river-crossing, or any other liquid-involved accident. Imagine falling into a river, breaking a bone, and your only way to let someone… Full review
Best option on the market for a cross between a locator beacon and a cell phone when cell coverage is not available. GPS features aren't great for typical Garmin products, but still serves its purpose. Overall it's a great product and I feel it will serve its purpose well for my upcoming solo backpacking trip in Alaska where cell coverage is non-existent. I don't really need the mapping ability, but it was a nice plus. The primary reason I bought it was for the SOS capability, secondary was to… Full review
If you're looking to combine your messaging and GPS needs into one device, this is it. I've acquired this GPS for a solid price of $300 through incentives of my workplace, and its the best $300 I've spent on gear. This GPS has accompanied me on any challenging hike, backpacking trip, backcountry skiing, or any trip into the mountains. Communication (Requires subscription) As shown in some pictures I've uploaded, this GPS doesn't anything special in terms of features. But what it does do it does… Full review
The safety of an SOS button connected via satellite to a monitoring response team combined with features you can use on every trip. Those features include two-way texting including localized weather reports, live updating of your personal online map and others you can choose or ignore as desired. The device and subscription service are not cheap, but for those venturing far afield, especially those who go alone, it gives a good return on the investment. Lots of function packed into a pretty small… Full review
I use my inReach in Alaska where there is no cell service. When boating or cross-country skiing I can post my location to Facebook every hour or every 4-hours and restrict this information to specific users. I can also text to cell phones or email accounts to let folks know about my trip. The InReach also has an emergency SOS button in case emergency help is needed. Full review
This is a must have item on a backcountry thru hike! GPS satellite communication device with tracking and text messaging capability and SOS. I bought this device at a recent REI Garage sale for a steal! I've been wanting one for a long time and now I own one! I activated it immediately, which was easy to do. There are multiple different plans to choose from. I have loaded more than 50 trails and routes to the device and it is amazing! I'm super excited to have this device for my upcoming JMT thru… Full review