Check out the Garmin GPSMAP 66i and the Garmin InReach Explorer if you are looking for the perfect device for staying connected and safe in the great outdoors.

InReach Explorer and GPSMAP 66i provide GPS tracking, messaging, and navigation, but they differ in several ways that might affect your decision. Let’s compare them and see which one is right for you.

GPSMAP 66i vs InReach Explorer in 2023


With inReach satellite communication technology, the Garmin GPSMAP 66i is a rugged, handheld GPS unit. It is equipped with a touchscreen display, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and an 8-megapixel camera. Additionally, it is equipped with a barometric altimeter and a 3-axis compass, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless connectivity.

Outdoor enthusiasts who need a device that is reliable to handle the toughest conditions will enjoy the GPSMAP 66i. With its inReach technology, you can send and receive messages, track your location, and share your journey with friends and family. An SOS can also be triggered in an emergency with it.

InReach Explorer

GPSMAP 66i or InReach Explorer - Which is best

Garmin’s InReach Explorer is a GPS navigator and satellite communicator that incorporates inReach technology. With a 2.3-inch color screen and a built-in digital compass, it features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a built-in digital compass. Additionally, it has a barometric altimeter, Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, and a microSD slot for additional map storage.

If you’re a hiker, climber, or outdoor enthusiast who needs something lightweight, compact, and easy to carry, the InReach Explorer is perfect for you. You can send and receive messages, track your location, and share your journey with family and friends through the inReach technology, as well as send an SOS in an emergency.

Comparison GPSMAP 66i vs InReach Explorer

While both devices offer similar features, there are some key differences to consider when deciding which is best for you.

Feature Garmin GPSMAP 66i Garmin InReach Explorer
Size and Weight Larger and heavier Smaller and lighter
Battery Life Up to 35 hours Up to 100 hours
Navigation Preloaded maps, turn-by-turn directions, larger display Basic mapping, smaller display
Messaging Larger keyboard, easier to compose messages Smaller keyboard, can be more difficult to type
InReach Technology Yes Yes
Barometric Altimeter Yes Yes
3-Axis Compass Yes Yes
Wireless Connectivity Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Bluetooth, ANT+
MicroSD Slot No Yes
Built-in Camera Yes, 8-megapixel No
Price 66i InReach Explorer
  • Size and Weight: The InReach Explorer is lighter and more compact than the GPSMAP 66i, making it easier to carry on extended trips. However, the GPSMAP 66i has a larger, more readable display that is easier to use with gloved hands.
  • Battery Life: The GPSMAP 66i has a longer battery life than the InReach Explorer, which may be important for those who plan to use it for extended periods without access to a power source.
  • Navigation: The GPSMAP 66i has more advanced navigation features than the InReach Explorer, including preloaded maps, turn-by-turn directions, and a larger display.
  • Messaging: Both devices offer inReach messaging technology, but the GPSMAP 66i has a larger, more responsive keyboard that makes it easier to compose messages.
  • Price: The GPSMAP 66i is more expensive than the InReach Explorer, which may be a deciding factor for those on a tight budget.

As you can see, the GPSMAP 66i has some advantages regarding navigation features and messaging capabilities, while the InReach Explorer is smaller, lighter, and has a longer battery life. Ultimately, choosing these two devices will come down to your specific needs and preferences.


In conclusion, the Garmin GPSMAP 66i and the Garmin InReach Explorer are excellent devices with GPS tracking, messaging, and navigation. However, your choice will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

If you’re looking for a device with advanced navigation features, a larger display, and a longer battery life, the GPSMAP 66i is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a lightweight and compact device that can be easily carried on extended trips, the InReach Explorer may be the better choice.

Ultimately, both devices will keep you connected and safe during outdoor adventures, and you can’t go wrong with either one.

Latest posts by Ryan (see all)