How do I set a Primary Collection for inReach Messenger?

I have an Inreach Messenger. I'm trying to set a primary collection for it so that my tracks automatically go into it while I'm on the PCT. I currently have three collections: the default "Sent to MapShare", "Training Hikes", and "PCT 2023". I saw in other posts that I should go to the "Plans & Devices page and that there will be a sync option there to allow selection of the primary collection. However it is not there.

What I see on Plans & Devices is my inReach Messenger with a "Manage Device" link, and a subscription description with an "Edit" link. There is no "Sync" anywhere on the page. The Manage Device link only shows that the device is linked to my account and allows me to change the email address. That's all. The Subscription Edit link just has to do with my currently active subscription. There is no Sync link anywhere.

Is "Sync" not available for the inReach Messenger? Has it been moved somewhere else?

  • For some reason, Messenger devices are different (at than every OTHER iR device. You are correct. There is no link for Sync (which makes a certain amount of sense) OR for Collections (which does not make sense).

    I looked at the Map tab  (which is the only other place where collections are exposed, AFAIK). There does not appear to be a way to link an existing collection to any device (because you'd do it from the Collections link on the Plans & Devices tab, if it was there). However, when I create a NEW collection, it gives me the option of syncing this collection TO the Messenger associated with the account. This is not what you want though. That's not the primary collection.

    I also checked the device itself and the Messenger app. Do not see anything collection related in either place. 

    Open a support ticket.

  • <sigh> Apparently Garmin is still trying to figure out how inReach Messenger fits together with its web offerings. I elevated this to a support ticket as recommended. After some time in chat, then getting their engineers involved, this was the final reply I got (see below). It ignores the idea that the location tracking points collected by the inReach Messenger go into MapShare and show up as routes. 

    Ah well. Guess I should've bought someone else's product. Bought my Messenger back in Dec so it's too late to return it. Definitely not plunking down more $$$ for a different version of the device.

    Hello David,
    Since the inReach Messenger doesn't record or save waypoints or routes, and can't perform any navigation except for a backtrack, it doesn't have a need to organize data in collections. For this reason there is no option to set a primary collection or organize data in collections for the device.
    If you are looking for navigation options and data management in an inReach device, the inReach Mini 2 might be a better choice for you.
    Thank you for choosing Garmin,
  • This is why nobody can understand this mess. Support is correct that the device is incapable of routing. No waypoints, no routes. And it does not expose "activity recording" (or whatever "logged points" are called this week). That is, it logs points for TracBack, but you can't save those points. However, it DOES send points via satellite. You should be able to place those in a primary collection for the device.

    Pretty sure that ANY other iR device would be a better choice than Messenger for almost everybody. If I want messaging when I have cell reception, I can use my PHONE unassisted. (And I don't need cellular data, which is often unavailable in fringe areas even when SMS is available.) Any other iR device provides sent track points and SOS support.

    The real shame is that the Messenger DOES have an antenna system which is much superior to any other iR device. Particularly the M1 and M2, which have notoriously poor GPS antennas.

  • Former Member
    0 Former Member 9 months ago in reply to twolpert
    and M2, which have notoriously poor GPS antennas.

    You keep mentioning this. I use an inReach Mini 2 (GNSS enabled) side-by-side latest iPhone Pro.

    Can hardly tell any difference out in nature and would consider the iPhone a benchmark in fast GPS acquisition.

  • In my experience with M1 and M2, the time to first fix and the ability to maintain a fix depends heavily on how and where you carry the unit. IF you carry the unit high on your shoulder, things are fine. (Although M2 is slightly better than M1.) However, it you do not adhere to "best practices" for carrying the unit, the results are highly variable. For example, I once carried an M1 in my right hand with the antenna point up. I started moving without first acquiring a fix. I carried the unit for over 10 minutes and the unit never acquired. Urban conditions with a clear sky view.

    Carrying an M1 or an M2 in a pants pocket yields highly variable results. Carrying an M1 or an M2 is a jacket pocket is better, but still variable.

    None of this applies to the Messenger. I can carry it anywhere I please (other than buried in a pack). I get good results no matter what - high on a shoulder, in a jacket pocket, in a pants pocket, etc.

    Phones use assisted GPS to help with a quick fix (assuming you have cellular reception at the time). I agree that cell phones are generally quick to acquire. May not be quite a fair comparison, though. IIRC, M2 and Messenger use EPO files, which serve a similar purpose. Of course, the EPO file has to be up to date. I don't remember for sure, but I do not think that M1 uses an EPO file. It depends the GPS constellation to download and maintain coarse almanac data. This puts the M1 at a disadvantage if the on-board almanac is out of date (or if you have moved the unit more than a few hundred miles while off).

    Most users will not be aware of the nuances. All they will notice is that "it took a long time" or "I didn't GET a fix" or whatever. 

  • The new messenger antenna is much better as the mini 2 (1) antenna, but I guess it is a combined from that new antenna design/hardware and also a new gps chip.

  • Former Member
    0 Former Member 9 months ago in reply to Volker

    My impression was that users of Messenger complement the good messaging ability; as in Iridium connectivity. 

    But you guys are saying that it also has superior location acquisition to the inReach Mini 2?

    Are you sure, and how can you tell?

  • I think the messenger gets also a quicker gps fix and it is more stable, no matter to the position you “wear” it, while the mini 2 gets quick problems, if you don’t  wear it on a higher place like shoulder strap etc. 

  • At least for my part, it's all subjective and anecdotal. I can only cite what I have seen across the range of devices. I have not researched the GPS chip in the Messenger. I don't know that it's possible to determine the GPS chip without disassembling the device. The part numbers listed in System>About are all for the iR transmitters. Might show up somewhere in the marketing smoke, but I do not recall seeing it.

    Edited to add: Marketing smoke (specs) does list different available GNSS systems for M1, M2 and Messenger. That's suggestive but not entirely conclusive. In any case, different does not necessarily equal better Slight smile