Spot Satellite Messenger


Spot Satellite Messenger
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Spot Satellite Messenger
Manufacturer Spot
Page By Hotfeet
Page Type Mar 2, 2008 / Mar 4, 2008
Object ID 4975
Hits 4173

Product Description

Product Description

SPOT, the world's first satellite messenger, ensures you get to "Live to Tell About It" by tracking your route progress. It will email Google maps with GPS coordinates, as well as a pre-typed message for up to 5 people. If you're in real distress, SPOT will alert local emergency services.

SPOTchecking feature lets your support team know that all is well, notifies them of your current location and allows you to review your route at a later date
With SPOTcasting, you can send your location to your on-line SPOT account every 10 minutes for real-time tracking
If trouble arises, send a pre-typed distress message to your team. Using the attached Google map with GPS coordinates, they can begin coordinating assistance.
Local 911 and emergency services can be reached if a critical emergency strikes
SPOT floats, and is waterproof to one meter for up to 30 minutes
SPOT works all over the world, with concentrated coverage in North America, Europe and Australia, portions of South America, Northern Africa, Northeastern Asia and thousands of miles offshore in most of these locations. Always check coverage at your destination before traveling.
$99 Annual Service Fee keeps your SPOT functioning; order SPOT casting for an additional $50/year; Search and Rescue Insurance available for just $8
Powered by 2 AA Lithium batteries


Weight: 7.37 ounces
Dimensions: 4.38 x 2.75 x 1.5 inches
Operating Temperature: -40F to 185F
Operating Altitude: -300 feet to 21,300 feet
Humidity and Salt Fog Rated

Suggested Retail

Suggested Retail$149.99

NOTE: This device requires a service plan to operate. To activate your device you will need to complete and return the Service Agreement form to Globalstar. The Service Agreement form will arrive with your phone.



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Judd97 - Aug 11, 2008 8:10 pm - Voted 5/5

Basic Security
This little gizmo provides basic security for an OK price, but the service charges stink. I really like how it uses Google Maps to track my progress as I go on hikes or backpacking trips, however.

I can't quite say much on the 911 button as I haven't used it yet, and hopefully I never have to!

Alex Wood - Dec 26, 2008 8:16 pm - Voted 5/5

Amazing Little Item
My family got me this so they know I'll be alright in the back country. I wasn't to sure about it, but they said it was a must for me. Easy to set up and it seems like an amazing piece of equipment. I will be using it alot this coming summer.

Dmitry Pruss - Feb 17, 2009 11:17 am - Hasn't voted

Messenger rather than a PLB
Strictly speaking it isn't a PLB, since SPOT isn't using COSPAS/SARSAT network. It is a venture of Globalstar and it's using their low-earth satellites for uplink, which isn't as reliable, especially at high latitudes.

This said, it offers a feature which is sorely missing in "true" PLB, which is the ability to "call home" (send your friends and family emails and text messages with your Google Map location saying that you're OK). And it comes at a fraction of a price of regular PLBs. So far in my Utah testing, I had 100% GPS lock and message transmission rate, although judging from other reviews, it should not be taken for granted.

farrisgl - Mar 9, 2009 9:24 pm - Voted 3/5

Concerned about signal reliability
I purchased my SPOT just before our 2008, 110 Mile Trek along a portion of the John Muir Trail. Over the course of that trek 12 day trek, I sent about 30 spot OK messages of which 27 were received when I checked my computer when I returned. It appears those lost were in a fairly narrow canyon, next to a peak, and in a densely forested area. Overall since I was leading a Boy Scout outing it was really nice to send signal letting to folks back home that we were OK.
However in recent use in the last three weeks on San Jacinto I had two days where at one of the 6 to 7 signals I sent was received. This greatly concerned by wife as she was counting on the SPOT to monitor my solo progress in an area recently blanked with fresh snow.
After the first occasion, I called spot and inform them of the problem the next day. I learned that their system had been down for most of the day and all signals were lost!
Last week on a shorter hike in the same area, again not a single signal was received. In fairness to SPOT of the perhaps 25 times I have used this unit on a day hike or backpack I have received 95% of the signals.
I will continue to use the SPOT unless this problem continues on a regular basis. I love the idea especially the OK signal as it does provide a basic method of communication as well as emergency location (I hope) in the event of a true emergency.

winmag4582001 - Aug 22, 2012 1:35 pm - Voted 4/5

For what it costs to own along with its reliability and features, I have to give it 4 stars. I would NEVER 100% trust my life to any electronic device, but this one does have some neat features.

Vinny - Aug 30, 2012 6:09 pm - Hasn't voted

Before you buy a SPOT check out these well written articles by rescue groups:

trace - Apr 15, 2016 1:09 pm - Voted 4/5

spot highly reliable
I've had my Spot for about 6 years, and have never had a signal dropped while climbing and skiing in Colorado. Having written that, when the Spot instructions say it can take 20 minutes to get a message through, /they really mean it./ I've confirmed this with tests in my driveway. My tests also showed total system (beacon, satellite, mapping software) accuracy is usually within 10 meters, and that it impressive.

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