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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Device, Poor Customer Service The device works well and I am able to track my workers using the tracking feature in some pretty remote parts of northern California. It will sometimes lose signal in steep canyons or heavily forested areas, but that is to be expected. Battery life is great (~6 months) being used several hours a day 4 days a week. We have already saved money by rescuing two stuck vehicles that called in for assistance with the "helping hand" message. Make sure everyone using the spot knows what the different buttons mean and what will happen when you use them. I have spoken with customer service on a few occasions and they are largely useless so hopefully you wont have a problem... :)
Date published: 2015-10-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Useless if you are hiking in the woods I purchased the Spot Gen3 for an emergency locator. I tried it several times while walking on local streets in a residential neighborhood. It failed to send most messages and dropped very few markers. Then I took it on an 8 mile hike at Portola State Park in CA and over 3+ hours is dropped 3 markers when set to drop one every 5 minutes. I also sent 3 messages and only one go through. I suppose that it may be useful is hiking in the desert but it was totally unreliable in the woods. If I get injured I don't want to have to somehow get to a clearing so it might work. I have returned this item. I had no trouble canceling my membership within the first month.
Date published: 2014-05-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love my SPOT I have carried a Spot device for the past 8 years, whether hiking or biking. Since am most often by myself on these excursions I feel safer knowing I can call for help if needed. I purchased a new SPOT GEN3 this summer for the upgrades: lighter weight and on trail rechargeable unit capabilities. I just completed a 17 day solo trip along the PCT with my new SPOT and was able to check in with family and friends, via Facebook and text message every night. This allows my family to know I'm safe, which is almost as important as the SOS button. The only problem I had was that both ends broke where I attached it with a strip of webbing to my pack. A surprising and senseless weak spot on this otherwise great device.
Date published: 2015-09-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from No water resistence?? I have carried one of these for a couple of years. Both for emergency use and for tracking. Especially tracking. I used to think the device was about a 4.5 but would now give it a 3. Here is why. For the first time recently I was using the device in a light rain storm (I live in AZ and almost never end up in rain). It quit working. Calls to the service number for SPOT revealed that it is not water proof enough to be out in the rain. We are not talking submersed or even rained on really hard. Just a light rain storm. Not acceptable in my opinion. If one really uses tracking then the device must be able to handle even hard rain. If you need the SOS function then it is even more important it be substantially waterproof.
Date published: 2015-09-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from awful service Bought the spot for my panamerican trip, got maybe 2 months out of it before the signal stopped sending to my 10 "friends and family" and it stopped tracking my location, even though the green light was on and the device itself went through the motions as if it were in good working order. Months later (after wasting a lot of time pushing nonsense buttons) I reached areas with cell service and wifi to find out my messages had not been sending. additionally, when i called to cancel they instead offered me more, newer products that I declined. A few months later i see a charge for 165$ on my account. I called to complain and got lots of apologies but no refund.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Improved I've used the original SPOT device for several years and my biggest frustrations were the time it took to acquire a location fix and poor performance in heavy foliage or slot canyons. The Gen3 acquires a fix much faster than the original model, and works better, though not great, in heavily forested areas. I like to run and hike alone so this is a useful device to carry. I also am involved in a mountain search and rescue team and I'd highly recommend that anyone doing solo activities carry some sort of emergency messaging and location device, SPOT or otherwise.
Date published: 2014-05-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Service too expensive I ended up returning this and buying a DeLorme InReach instead. The DeLorme was more expensive but by the time I use the device for a year, the difference in the cost of the service will make up the difference in price. The DeLorme also has more features and a more powerful radio. The difference in service pricing is because DeLorme allows you to pay by month and Spot only offers the full year. If you plan on using the device every month, this might be a better deal. But I would use it less regularlly, so the more capable and cheaper (for me) device made more sense.
Date published: 2016-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Peace of mind when out of cell range I bought this Spot Gen3 because I ride horses alone, frequently is places that there's no cell phone service. I really was thinking that if I got hurt and couldn't ride, the SOS might be a life saver. And that is very true. But the message and tracking features allow my wife to see where I am and know that I'm ok (again when my cell phone is out of range). $149 is cheap peace of mind even if I never use the SOS feature. Please note that you'll have to spend another $149 for the the Spot monitoring, although I got a $75 rebate for the first year.
Date published: 2014-11-21
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Questions & Answers

Please explain how custom messages are created.  Is there a keyboard on the device?

Asked by: Bruce M
The messages on the SPOT are not custom.   I've owned both a SPOT GPS Messenger, Gen.1 and the SPOT2. There is NO keyboard on the devices.  The only thing you can do is preprogram 3 generic text messages, like I'm okay, or I'm fine.  Beyond that, you don't have much flexibility on what to write or who to send messages to when you are out on your trip. There is no way to receive any messages from your contacts either.  You can send them a canned text saying, I'm fine, but they cannot respond to you.  Its a bit weird at first. Pretty basic functionality. 
Answered by: JamesHiker14er
Date published: 2016-11-25

Does this product work internationally? Specifically in the UK and Europe?

Asked by: forestshadows
Yes it will work overseas...but check the coverage map. I let a friend use my Spot1 for her trip to Mount Kilimanjaro several years ago and we followed her trek up the mountain.
Answered by: MoBill
Date published: 2017-07-31

Are monthly subscriptions available or is 1 year required?

Asked by: Crpt76
Spot only offers subscriptions in one year increments. That said, it does give you the option to break down that annual subscription fee in to monthly installments. I hope that answer your question. -Cheers!
Answered by: Tomi
Date published: 2017-12-17

can the spot work through a heavy tree canopy? smoky mountain national park, north carolina. thank you

Asked by: papillion
Heavy tree cover can affect satellite tracking on the Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger. According to SPOT, the SOS feature is not affected by heavy tree cover.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-06-18

what is the coverage? are there limitations? i.e., at sea for extended periods of time?. 

Asked by: papillion
From my personal use is spot all over the world, there is no hard and fast answer.  So many things actually affect coverage but here are some guidelines based on my current use.  Hopefully it is helpful. Service really depends where you are.  spot satellites cover most of the more frequently travelled parts of the globe, but you also have to be inside the coverage zone of a spot gateway.  If you look at the spot coverage map, you can see the little gateway icons. Be sure NOT to associate coverage on the spot3 as being the same with the spot sat Phone.   It can be confusing, but coverage on the spot global phone is much smaller than the coverage of spot3. In most cases, in the US, like Florida and Colorado where I spend most of my time with the spot3, coverage is pretty good.  But you should also consider - in dense woods or forest, my spot3 just does not work with the same reliability compared t o being out on the water where there is less blockage to the satellites. - the coverage in Hawaii and in the deep oceans is nearly non existent, because of the lack of spot gateways in those areas to provide service - the coverage in Alaska and Canada exists, but performance on the spot3 can be really degraded up north because the satellites are sometimes limited in the coverage - there is no coverage at the polar caps due to the orbit of the spot satellite over the equator.   So. In general what I have seen is the closer you get to the polar caps, I.e.the further north you go, the harder it is to see the satellites orbit.  I've had some cases in Alaska where mountains for example blocked my coverage entirely and got NO coverage despite the claims of the coverage map.  I wish there was a disclaimer about this, I learned the hard way
Answered by: JamesHiker14er
Date published: 2018-02-15

Can the SPOT Gen3 work overseas or internationally? If we want to travel to Europe or South America, for example?

Asked by: Mountain Cat
One thing I would like to add. There are some devices that are considered illegal to carry in the UK and in some locations in Britain. You might want to look into it before you carry it with you. I found it while reading another post. Good luck, safe travels!
Answered by: DaTode
Date published: 2017-12-28

Regarding the SOS button and the message it sends: does SPOT automatically notify local emergency services such as 911 or sheriffs office ...or must I list them when I customize my emergency message for a trip?

Asked by: gonepackin
I think the first answer to this question is not entirely accurate, in which the responder writes "In the event of an emergency, your location and messages are delivered according to your instructions via email, text message, or emergency notification to the GEOS Rescue Coordination Center?".   From what I read in my SPOT3 user manual, the SOS button does send a distress signal with your GPS location to GEOS. But you cannot send from  SPOT3 an email, or text message to GEOS with specifics related to the nature of your SOS emergency [i.e. "why" you pressed SOS, or what kind of assistance you need as a result of your SOS situation].  What you can do however, is provide information in advance on your online account that GEOS has access to in the event of an SOS. That extra information you provide, (on a voluntary basis), could be helpful to GEOS and emergency responders in responding to your SOS (diabetic, rare blood type, etc.). If you need to provide GEOS or emergency responders with any specific information related to your SOS emergency in real-time,  I believe REI sells other devices that do have that capability.  
Answered by: HarryFitzgerald
Date published: 2015-09-20

What is the cost for annual subscription? 

Asked by: Hiker girl
Please contact SPOT directly for subscription information.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-09-25
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