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ZOLEO Satellite Communicator - Reg $269.99 on sale for $199.99

  • Last Updated:
  • May 14th, 2022 9:32 am
[OP]
Member
Apr 26, 2010
359 posts
1500 upvotes
BC
willy222 wrote: I dont believe the "garmin contact number is constantly changing" is true. On the contrary, Im careful not to send updates to people I cant trust as they can reply (and charge me for a satellite message) and nothing I can do to stop it. My understanding based on garmin literature and using it.
So I'm a liar then?

https://support.garmin.com/en-CA/?faq=o ... %20to%20it.
Deal Addict
May 18, 2007
1771 posts
897 upvotes
$25 per month is a bit much for a couple times a year hike at a national park.

Do you think Starlink will come out with a comparable service?
:arrowl: Thanks if Helped! :D

Loser Quote:
Nubby666 wrote: Soy made my buddy cut off his dangus and start wearing spandex running one piece suits, you heard it here first, folks!!! Stay away!!!
Jr. Member
Nov 27, 2019
162 posts
285 upvotes
Calgary
Expensive until you need it. Friends of mine were hiking and came across someone having a heart attack. Zero cell service, so one ran back down the trail while the other tried to help. Two hours trying to administer CPR before medical help arrived. The hiker did not survive.

My friends now have a Zoleo. I have one as well, mostly to carry when my wife goes solo x-country skiing, or we are hiking in areas with no reception.
Member
Jan 29, 2010
345 posts
135 upvotes
Victoria
I am constantly trying to decide between Garmin and Zoleo. I like the Garmin plans more but the cost of purchase is a bit prohibitive. For $199 it seems worth getting the Zoleo.
Any input on the Garmin mini vs the Mini 2? (other than the initial costs)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 5, 2008
1718 posts
1518 upvotes
There are also places that will rent them if you only need it for a few days per year
Member
Jan 27, 2013
214 posts
277 upvotes
Spacedan wrote: It is true, the Inreach doesn't have a dedicated number Garmin Support
What I was trying to say was that friends and family don't suddenly lose the ability to contact you because of a constantly changing number. On the contrary, once you have messaged them, and they have your "number", you can't stop them from messaging you. And this can be an issue if you (like me) have friends that like/need to send messages like:
  • "What's up?"
  • "OK" (reply to everything you send)
  • keep sending you messages that they got your preset position report message
be aware that each of those is a satellite message that you get charged for (unless you are on an unlimited message plan).

From the Garmin FAQ:
Ref1
As long as the SMS (text) message you received is kept, a reply can be sent to it indefinitely to continue reaching that inReach user.

Ref2:
IMPORTANT: Care should be taken when initiating a conversation. Unlike cell phones, inbound messages cannot be blocked once a conversation is established. If needing to provide a way for someone to message the device but may want to end that association later, the MapShare page is the best option because a password can be put in place and/or the page address can be changed.
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 23, 2006
1693 posts
241 upvotes
old sparks wrote: You can get a 406MHz PLB which doesn't have a subscription fee. But you can ONLY use it for emergencies - no additional services...
Is that the name of the device? Can't find anything on Google.
Zoomer wireless $36/month: 5GB data + 800 minutes
Member
Sep 14, 2009
217 posts
368 upvotes
I debated both of them back and forth.
Really comes down to what you want to/how you want to message.

When I'm out back country, I'm not texting people for to say whats up. I went with the Garmin, unlimited preset message (starting hike/ending hike/delayed all good/etc) to my partner or my bro if it's me and partner going out.

It's a safety thing, doesn't need phone to operate, smaller, the mini 2 uses USB C and the battery is much better. the Mini 1 is on sale now though.
As a safety thing the plans on the Garmin work out better in my favor for what I use it for.

If you want to text and be in contact more, Zoleo plans are probably cheaper.




this video helps breakdown the nitty gritty
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 13, 2020
1012 posts
4583 upvotes
Vancouver Island
Thanks OP and everyone for all this great info.


With Garmin/Zoleo, do you actually need a SIM Card with service? (EG: if I'm travelling in Europe, do I need a local SIM or my Canadian SIM card)
Member
Oct 19, 2005
383 posts
63 upvotes
I've been using it for 2 years now. this will be my third summer with it.
Paid $269 for it then.

I'm happy with it

Choice was between Garmin Inreach mini or Zoleo.
Chose Zoleo for the better texting communication. It works exactly like texting using a cell phone
Both for me (Zoleo user) and the receipient.
They won't know it's a satellite device.
This is important

This is different from Garmin inreach.

Zoleo gives you a permanent real number ( Southern Ontario area code)
Unlike Garmin inreach which is a pseudo number which changes.
People can reply to you but garmin user must initiate.
There's a web element to it as well.
Some people not onlylike that , they may need it.
For example a guide with a group.
Groups family can track their progress

Using Zoleo app, messages can be 1000 characters long.
You can say quite a bit with a thousand characters.

You can suspend the account by paying $5 amonth.
This retains the phone and keeps account active.
No fees to reactivate.

The Zoleo customer service has been excellent.
surprisingly good.

The ads for the 2 devices kind of show the difference .
The garmin guy dirty, filthy in some bad situation.
Zoleo guy leaning back against a tree texting his girlfriend.

Zoleo does have an SOS feature. Just arm and push . ( don't screw with that)
Garmin and Zoleo use the same rescue service.
They also use the same satellite network Iridium.

Zoleo charges for every message including checkin I'm ok type
Garmin does not charge for those

Garmin has certain advantages . certain features such as tracking that Zoleo does not.

But Zoleo really is transparent to the users.
It's simple texting. No hoops to jump through.
Choice is what will be more useful to you.
---
Edit The Garmin does not require a SIM at all.
The Zoleo unit does not require a SIM, but pairs with a cell phone using Bluetooth.







O
Deal Addict
Oct 12, 2006
2070 posts
461 upvotes
Alberta
snow wrote: I've been using it for 2 years now. this will be my third summer with it.
Paid $269 for it then.

I'm happy with it

Choice was between Garmin Inreach mini or Zoleo.
Chose Zoleo for the better texting communication. It works exactly like texting using a cell phone
Both for me (Zoleo user) and the receipient.
They won't know it's a satellite device.
This is important

This is different from Garmin inreach.

Zoleo gives you a permanent real number ( Southern Ontario area code)
Unlike Garmin inreach which is a pseudo number which changes.
People can reply to you but garmin user must initiate.
There's a web element to it as well.
Some people not onlylike that , they may need it.
For example a guide with a group.
Groups family can track their progress

Using Zoleo app, messages can be 1000 characters long.
You can say quite a bit with a thousand characters.

You can suspend the account by paying $5 amonth.
This retains the phone and keeps account active.
No fees to reactivate.

The Zoleo customer service has been excellent.
surprisingly good.

The ads for the 2 devices kind of show the difference .
The garmin guy dirty, filthy in some bad situation.
Zoleo guy leaning back against a tree texting his girlfriend.

Zoleo does have an SOS feature. Just arm and push . ( don't screw with that)
Garmin and Zoleo use the same rescue service.
They also use the same satellite network Iridium.

Zoleo charges for every message including checkin I'm ok type
Garmin does not charge for those

Garmin has certain advantages . certain features such as tracking that Zoleo does not.

But Zoleo really is transparent to the users.
It's simple texting. No hoops to jump through.
Choice is what will be more useful to you.
---
Edit The Garmin does not require a SIM at all.
The Zoleo unit does not require a SIM, but pairs with a cell phone using Bluetooth.







O
Good summary.
It would come out in the math, but if you only use it a couple months, the Garmin plans come out ahead since you can deactivate it for months you don't use it. Can't quite remember the break even point, but I only use it spring/summer so cost wise the Garmin wins for me (beyond just the device).
Deal Addict
Feb 18, 2010
1004 posts
496 upvotes
Greely
syntex101 wrote: Does it only work in Canada?
COSPAS-SARSAT is a world wide system operated by governments, using 3 different satellite networks (LEO, MEO and Geostationary). If you keep your emergency contact information up-to-date, you will eventually get rescued. In a first world country, you will get rescued relatively quickly, in a country that doesn't have an organized SAR network or is a war zone, it will likely take a little longer...

The FAQ on the Canadian Beacon webpage is pretty informative...

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