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SPOT X 2-Way Satellite Messenger

photo: SPOT X 2-Way Satellite Messenger locator beacon

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.


  • Relatively user friendly
  • Affordable
  • 2-way communication
  • Search and Rescue support
  • 12-month limited warranty
  • Position accuracy


  • Messages don't always send
  • Heavier than competitive trackers
  • Device size

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: $249.99

Weight: 7 ounces

This device provides some of the most impressive features on the market. In fact, it's submersible up to a meter for 30 minutes, it can withstand temperatures that range between -4°F and 140°F. And it even operates at altitudes that range between -328 and 21,320 feet in height. 

Costing $249.99, the Spot X is quite competitive in the GPS market. Other 2-way communication devices often range from about $250 to $450. This device is great for tracking speed records, keeping tabs on someone in the wilderness, or for emergency communication.

Device Features

With spot mapping, you can share your adventures and save important locations. The GPS signal can be used to transmit data, which means you can use this device in remote backcountry areas where cellphones won't work. It's also possible to send texts to your loved-ones with the messaging feature. Or you can utilize the three pre-programmed buttons to send messages like: "I'm okay", "I need to be rescued but I'm okay", or "help."

Battery Life

The battery lasts for about two days when you keep it on all day, which isn't horrible. But it could be better. If you're intending to use it as a communication device, you can turn it off when you're not making transmissions. But as a tracking device, it does train relatively quickly. 

Device Size

The Spot X measures 6.54 inches tall and 2.9 inches wide, which makes it a little bit bulkier than competitive trackers. Compared to the Garmin Mini InReach, it also weighs nearly twice the amount. I'd like to see smaller versions of this tracker in the future. But it performed well and I'd happily carry it again, knowing that I can use it to communicate when necessary.

Message Transmissions

It can take 2-5 minutes to transmit a message via your GPS tracker, which is about standard for a device like this. I almost never relied on this tracker to transmit messages because it took so long. If you'd like to cancel your message, you can turn the device off to interrupt the message. 

Service Plans

Service plans for the Spot X range in terms and cost. It's possible to find a month-to-month option or a year-round option, depending on your needs. And you can expect to pay anywhere from $11.95 per month to $39.95 per month. And all plans require an activation fee. The plans range in terms of the number of messages that you're allowed to send, the tracking time brackets, and movement alerts. 

Triggering the SOS Button

If you trigger the SOS button, your GPS will send signals to GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center every 2.5 minutes until acknowledged. Then it provides your location every 5 minutes. 

To send an SOS call, you have to flip the SOS tab up and hold the button down. Holt it until it blinks red. Let the device work to send your signal. When it’s green your message has been sent and you can release the button. 

With the GEOS Search and Rescue Feature (not included) , you have a member benefit that reimburses up to 100k in SAR costs. 

Overall Thoughts

I feel safe any time I'm operating the Spot X in the backcountry. Although it has a handful of quirks, it never failed to perform its essential duties, and for that reason alone, I'll continue to use this device on future expeditions. 

Testing the Spot X in Colorado



I spent a year testing the Spot X in Colorado's backcountry. Together, we travelled over snowy peaks, desert trails, and through canyons. I haven't owned many GPS trackers, but I used a handful of different styles while working in Utah's slot canyons. The Spot X is one of the more versatile products I've used.

Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (Returned it)

The author of this review received a sample of the product from the brand or its representative in exchange for a review.

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The X 2-Way Satellite Messenger replaced the SPOT Connect.


Price MSRP: $249.99
Current Retail: $199.89-$249.99
Historic Range: $139.93-$249.99
Weight 7.0 oz / 198.4 g
Height 6.54 in / 16.61 cm
Width 2.9 in / 7.37 cm
Thickness 0.94 in / 2.39 cm
Bluetooth Range Up to 30 ft
Operating Temp -4F to 140F /-20C to +60C)
Storage Temp -4F to 140F / -20C to +60C)
Operating Altitude -328ft to +21,320ft / -100m to +6,500m)
Impact, Water, and Dust Resistant (IP67) Submersible up to 1m for 30 minutes
Product Details from SPOT »

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