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 (www.findmespot.com) 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.