5 best personal locator beacons

5 best personal locator beacons

5 portable devices that can save your life

by Jenna Roach

Ever worried you need a backup rescue plan when you’re traveling?  You may be hiking in an area where there is no cell signal.. or you may be boating in a very remote area.   For any outdoor adventurer, a personal locator beacon is an essential tool.

 

What is a personal locator beacon (PLB) and why do I need one?

A personal locator beacon, or PLB, is a small device meant for use in an emergency that helps rescue teams find your exact location. When used, it sends an SOS distress signal on a radio frequency that can be detected by the coast guard or other emergency personnel. PLBs can be life-saving devices, and when used properly according to your country’s laws, which usually means registering them every 2 years with your local authority, your PLB device must be certified by the FCC. This is the perfect device to use for when your smartphone doesn’t have any service and you need help or want someone to know where you are.

Where can I purchase a PLB device?

There are many PLB devices available on Amazon, and we’ve narrowed down the 5 best ones you can purchase right now.

SPOT X Messenger

1-SPOT X MESSENGER

Credit: SPOT X

The SPOT X Messenger has a Bluetooth 2-way satellite messenger, so you can connect it to your cellphone, communicate with family, or even search and rescue. It allows you to send S.O.S. messages to 24/7 Search and Rescue services, message back and forth about the nature of your emergency, and receive a confirmation when help is on the way with its keyboard messaging feature that many PLBs don’t offer. You can message any cell number or email address virtually anywhere. At the time of publishing, this product had over 800 global reviews with 61% giving it 5 stars.

Get SPOT X Messenger 

 

 

SPOT Gen4 Satellite GPS Messenger

2-SPOT GEN4 MESSENGER

Credit:SPOT X

The size of the SPOT Gen4 is so convenient you can bring this along for hiking, camping, and any other outdoor activities. It provides a critical, life-saving line of communication when you travel beyond cell towers and has a tracking feature that can transmit location updates when you are moving and when you stop. You can even keep one in your child’s backpack for their walk home from the bus stop. At the time of publishing, this product had over 100 global reviews with 67% giving it 5 stars.

Get SPOT Gen4 Satellite GPS Messenger 

 

 

 

Garmin InReach Mini

3-GARMIN INREACH

Credit: Garmin

The Garmin InReach Mini device is a small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator that enables 2-way text messaging and has Bluetooth to connect to your cellphone. You can also access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery, and more by using the free Garmin Earthmate app and compatible devices. At the time of publishing, this product had over 2,800 reviews and 83% gave it positive reviews. 

Get Garmin InReach Mini

 

 

ZOLEO Satellite Communicator 

4-ZOLEO COMMUNICATOR

Credit: ZOLEO

The ZOLEO Satellite Communicator has 2-way global SMS text messaging and email, emergency SOS alerting, check-in, and GPS location features, all compatible with both iPhones and Androids. It also has a long-lasting lithium-ion battery that lasts over 200 hours for 8 days straight, checking messages every 12 minutes. At the time of publishing, this product had over 1,800 global reviews and 80% gave it 5 stars.

Get ZOLEO Satellite Communicator 

 

 

ACR ResQLink View

5-ACR DEVICE

Credit: ACR

The ACR ResQLink is our final choice, and once activated, it can send an SOS distress signal with your GPS position directly to Search and Rescue forces worldwide. It also has attachment clips, including a belt clip, oral inflation tube clip, straps, and lanyards for increased wearability for hikers, boaters, campers, climbers, and all your outdoor adventures. You can even send non-emergency self-tests and GPS test messages to multiple contacts via SMS messaging and email with a customized message. At the time of publishing, this product had over 300 reviews with 89% giving it 5 stars.

Get ACR ResQLink View

 

 

Do you use a PLB device for your outdoor adventures? Let us know how they work for you.

 

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