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Which Tracker do I need?

We hire and sell several different models. We are not tied to one supplier, so we can offer impartial advice based on your use case or areas you usually visit.

  • All trackers use satellites to determine their location
  • The way they transmit their location data back to you is where they differ
    • Some transmit using GSM (mobile – combining power of all mobile networks)
    • Others transmit data via satellite​

If your expeditions are mainly in the most remote parts of either Scotland, Brecon and Snowdonia, while the GSM coverage in those areas is very high (90+%), if you want 100% coverage in every valley then SPOT or Iridium will provide that cover. Elsewhere in the UK, generally speaking, the GSM models will outperform the others due to their faster update time and they do not need line-of-sight to a satelllite. Outside the UK, contact us for advice on your use case, as any of the models could be appropriate. 

  • The pros and cons of each type are below​

GSM – Multi-network

GSM/WCDMA models transmit your location via all mobile networks (i.e EE, Vodafone, Three, O2). They are fitted with  ’emergency; SIM cards, which means they can send on any mobile 2G (3g in some cases) network in the world; so they combine the coverage of them all. These trackers are able to transmit in 2G even in places where your mobile phone will not appear to work at all. They are the lightweight. Hire charges are from £15 for one unit. They cost £125.00. They have the fastest location update time, as quick as every 15 seconds. They are most often deployed for UK expeditions but can be used abroad. They feature a rechargeable battery which lasts around 5 – 10 days. GSM units have monthly data contracts, so they can be turned on and off when required.  Both hire costs, and annual cost of ownership considerably more affordable than other trackers.

SPOT Gen3 / SPOT X

These transmit direct to the Globalstar Satellite network. They have good global coverage, but not 100%. Coverage can be patchy or non-existent in very remote locations; around the equator, far Northern, Southern Hemispheres, and they do not work well on the oceans. Hire charges are from £25 for one unit. They cost  £139 to purchase. They use 4 x AAA L92 Lithium batteries, which are expensive, but can last for several weeks use. They can use NH12 rechargeable batteries too. SPOT Gen3 offer 12-month contracts, and also a new monthly Flex plan option.  SPOT Gen3 require line-of-sight to satellite to work and so do not function under heavy canopy or in buildings. They can sometimes suffer reconnection issues if out of signal at times, requiring reset, as can other models.   SPOT also offer a SPOT X tracker which features two-way SMS.

Garmin InReach Iridium Tracker

These transmit direct to satellites of the more powerful Iridium Satellite network. These weigh around 200 grams. They do offer 100% global coverage; all oceans, the equator and polar regions. If you are going somewhere very remote this is the only choice.  They are rarely used for UK expeditions. They feature weather, navigation, and 2-way SMS messaging to any mobile phone. Hire charges are from £45 for one unit.  They are expensive to purchase (£400 plus). They have a rechargeable battery. Contracts can be yearly, or monthly flex (for a higher  fee). InReach require line-of-sight to satellite to work and so do not function under heavy canopy or in buildings.