Garmin might be building a new InReach sat-nav device for the great outdoors

Camper holding Garmin InReach Mini device
(Image credit: Garmin)

A newly registered patent spotted by Advnture suggests that Garmin might be working on a new InReach device to help hikers and other explorers find their way in remote locations, stay in touch with friends and family, and contact emergency services if anything goes wrong.

Patent US D962,091 S, registered on August 30 2022 (which you can see via the US Patents and Trademarks Office) shows drawings of an 'electronic device' that closely resembles previous Garmin InReach devices, but is clearly something new. Unlike the tiny InReach Mini 2, which is small enough to tuck into even the tiniest pocket in your best hiking pants, the new device appears to be a big unit with a large touchscreen like the InReach Montana 700i.

Like the Montana 700i, the new InReach unit seems to have a display that covers almost its entire face, but with three physical buttons lined up along the top. It's not clear from the drawings what function these will serve, but real buttons are always a welcome feature for devices that we'll be using with cold or wet hands, or while wearing gloves, as they're much easier to use than a touchscreen.

There are no details of the new InReach's features, but it seems likely that it'll feature the same multi-band GNSS as the best Garmin watches like the Fenix 7 and Enduro 2, with SatIQ so it automatically switches between satellite positioning systems to balance accuracy and battery life.

To use features like two-way messaging and interactive SOS, you'll almost certainly need to pay for a Garmin InReach subscription, which you can buy on a monthly or annual basis. 

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.