New SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger

Today SPOT LLC announced an upgrade to its popular satellite messenger. The new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger is touted to have usability upgrades and a new smaller size. It’s about 30% more compact at 3.7 × 2.6 × 1 inches.

It’s lighter weight, too, at 5.2 ounces. And the GPS chipset has seen an upgrade, making for faster unit-to-satellite connection times. The antenna has been upgraded for better performance in foliage and canopied environments, according to the company.

SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger

Other new features include a message-sent LED notification; a new separate tracking button; an extra message button; and universal communications symbols on buttons for times when a language barrier might be present in an emergency.

And one thing I really like: There are now safety covers over the SOS and Help buttons, giving users peace of mind that they will not accidently hit “911” and send in the search-and-rescue troops when they thoughtlessly sit on their SPOT stowed in a backpack. (A pretty nonexistent issue with the original SPOT, but a situation always in the back of my mind.)

The new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger will come in orange and gloss silver. The company ( is including an armband case with the unit, which will be available in mid September. Price is forthcoming.

—Stephen Regenold

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.