10 of the Best Epird for Hiking, Buying Guide & Features

An EPIRB which is otherwise known as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon can help a search and rescue team find you in the case of an emergency situation while you are hiking. Nobody plans for things to go wrong. However, it is best to be prepared for an emergency before it happens as you go about hiking.

A quality EPIRB can help to track your location from anywhere in the world. Some come with the ability to text while others offer weather data and charts. In this guide, we will be covering some of the best EPIRB for your hiking activities.

So, let’s get right into it.

Ten of the Best EPIRB for hiking, Buying Guides & Features

Choosing the right EPIRB means that you are putting into consideration your budget, your hiking location, and the adventures that you have planned. We will therefore be reviewing ten of the best EPIRB units available in the market. We will also be checking out some of their stand-out features.

So, let’s dive in.

1. Garmin inReach Explorer
Garmin inReach

Garmin inReach Explorer

Its display screen is easy to read in any condition or environment. It is a tough unit made to last long.

This inReach Explorer comes with complete iridium satellite coverage. It also features two-way communication messaging that you can use in texting anyone around the world. This explorer is also durable which means it can stand up to any abuse.

This Garmin Explorer also comes with a share function built-in. This means that whoever you decide to link your device with will be able to access it. If you have companions that you are hiking with, they can easily track your location too.

This device is fully waterproof and it comes in lightweight. So, in case you are hiking around wet environments or in the winter, the device’s effectiveness can still be banked on. It also comes with unlimited cloud storage with purchase.

You can plan your entire hiking adventure with this device and get to access it whenever you want to. In the case of an emergency, there is an SOS button that you can press. The distress alert helps you share your location and an emergency message.

Highlighted Features:

  • Complete Iridium satellite coverage.
  • SOS button to share your location.
  • Allows two-way communication messaging.
  • Built-in share function.

2. Garmin inReach Mini
Garmin inReach Mini

Garmin inReach Mini

This satellite emergency beacon is ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities. Can also be used anywhere in the world.

The Garmin inReach Explorer is not a cheap unit, this means not everyone might be able to afford it. However, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative that will still model some of the features, then, the inReach Mini should be your pick.

The inReach Mini unit is a more affordable device and it comes with some great features. It also features complete iridium satellite coverage. This means that you can have two-way messaging communication with anyone anywhere.

So, if your cell runs out of battery, this device will still have your back. This unit features the Garmin Earth map that gives you access to charts, weather reports and so much more. As long as you can pair it with a compatible smartphone, then, you have no issues.

In case of an emergency, this inReach Mini device can also help you share your location and you can send an emergency message. The SOS button is that feature of the device that comes in handy in such a scenario.

Highlighted Features:

  • Affordable.
  • Complete Iridium satellite coverage.
  • Two-way messaging communication.
  • Access to Garmin Earth Maps.

3. McMurdo Smartfind
McMurdo Smartfind

McMurdo Smartfind

A GPS-enabled, personal locator beacon with a powerful signal to ensure your distress call gets through when you need it most.

The McMurdo Smartfind device automatically activates once it gets in contact with water. It also comes with manual features. This is the first EPIRB in the world to integrate an automatic identification system (AIS).

So, if you are hiking in a water-dominated region and there are AIS vessels around, they will be able to pick the signal of this device. This increases the possibility of locating you in case of any emergency.

The battery life of the McMurdo is another great feature as it comes with ten years of life. This device also features a powerful strobe light. This means that it can also come in handy for nighttime hiking adventures.

To have some of the best coverage possible, the McMurdo is a great EPIRB unit to bank on. It will come as a lifesaver in the light of emergencies. It also comes with a five-year warranty plan adding to the already great features.

Highlighted Features:

  • Integrates Automatic Identification System.
  • Strong battery life.
  • Strobe light for nighttime adventures.

4. Spot 3 Satellite GPS
Spot 3 Satellite GPS

Spot 3 Satellite GPS

This is so easy to use. In case of an emergency situation, simply push the button and help will be on its way.

This Spot 3 Satellite GPS offers you great services at a pocket-friendly price. It gives you the opportunity of a life-saving line of communication when you travel beyond the borders of cell communications.

It features an SOS push button that can send an emergency message as soon as you press it. It tracks your location and this helps emergency services to be able to track you. There are also several methods for your family and friends to be able to monitor your progress.

You can upload your contacts with this Spot 3 device and this will help them see your location on Google maps. There is also a check-in feature embedded in this Spot 3 device. This allows you to a pre-programmed message to your friends and family.

This EPIRB unit is very durable and yet very lightweight. If you drop it accidentally, there will be no cause for worry as it should not break. This device also comes in waterproof. This means that it can go the length with you to those wet areas.

Highlighted Features:

  • SOS push button feature.
  • Access to Google maps.
  • Check-in feature to send messages to friends and family.
  • Waterproof and lightweight.

5. ACR GlobalFix Pro
ACR GlobalFix Pro

ACR GlobalFix Pro

This Wireless EPIRB Unit is a self-contained, automatic, and portable unit used for signaling distress at sea to locate vessels in trouble.

When it comes to emergency features, this ACR device is top-notch. It acquires the GPS signal automatically and it reads accurately for up to 100 meters. The signal is sent out at 406 MHz to achieve better accuracy than other devices.

There are other additional features it comes with that help it direct emergency services to your location. It comes with an LED strobe light that can be used as a very powerful indicator. This light will always be visible and it can be used as a homing beacon.

Once this device comes in contact with water, it automatically comes on. Although, this does not mean you can’t turn it on manually. It features a test function that can help you ascertain whether the device is functioning properly.

It also comes in with very good battery life, so you can bank on this ACR device. Once you have it activated, it can transmit signals for up to 48 hours. This ACR device also comes with a replacement guarantee.

Highlighted Features:

  • Acquires GPS signal automatically.
  • LED strobe light for better visibility in case of emergency.
  • It can be used as a homing beacon.
  • Test function feature.
  • Good battery life.

6. Ocean Signal Rescue Me Unit
Ocean Signal Rescue Me Unit

Ocean Signal Rescue Me Unit

Comes with an impressive battery life of up to 5 years, you’re never left without help when you need it most.

With 10 years of battery life, this Ocean signal unit comes with enough battery capacity that will give you peace of mind for a long time. This is also a great consideration when space is a top priority. This means that you can easily fit this unit in the smallest of spaces.

It comes in at 30% smaller than most EPIRBs out there. This unit is all about space management. So, if you are hiking and you want to conserve as much space as you can, then this Ocean Signal unit should be your pick.

It features a retractable antenna and two strobe lights. The lights will come in handy for easy visibility by rescue services. The battery pack is reliable enough for up to 48 hours of consistent use once you have it activated.

Highlighted Features:

  • Small size to help in space conservation.
  • Two probe lights for easy visibility.
  • Strong battery life.

7. ACR 2880 ResQ Link
ACR 2880 ResQ Link

ACR 2880 ResQ Link

This is a compact, rugged and lightweight personal locator beacon. It is very easy to use and quite efficient.

This is a small, rugged, and lightweight unit that is buoyant and comes with different attachments like a belt clip, straps, lanyards, and oral inflation tube clips for easy wearability by hikers.

It comes with a global satellite coverage that helps to send distress messages to search and rescue emergency services. It does not require a monitoring service centre to send these emergency messages.

This ACR device comes with a bright LED strobe light and an Infrared strobe light that helps with visibility so that rescuers can locate you easily. So, wherever your adventure takes you, you can always trust this unit to come to the rescue.

This device also features a digital display to view live beacon status as well as GPS coordinates throughout the entire rescue process.

Highlighted Features:

  • Small, rugged, and lightweight.
  • Attachments for easy wearability.
  • Strobe lights for easy visibility.

SPOT 3 Satellite GPS Messenger Personal Locator Beacon


Allows you to easily program your own custom message that will be transmitted to the rescue authorities when you activate it.

Add these rugged and essential pocket-sized devices to your hiking gear and you will not regret it. It gives you a lifesaving communication means when you hike in areas that are beyond cellular communication.

This device comes with an SOS feature that alerts GEOS international emergency coordination centre. The feature relays your GPS location and information to local rescue teams that can come in to get you to a safe place.

You can also send messages or emails with any contact number from virtually anywhere in the world with this EPIRB unit. This device also gives you the opportunity of setting your tracking intervals.

The SPOT X device also comes with a check-in feature that you can use to easily and swiftly let everyone know you are in good condition. It comes with a built-in compass and programmable waypoints that you can use for your hiking adventures.

Highlighted Features:

  • Rugged and pocket-sized.
  • SOS feature that relays your information to rescue services.
  • Check-in feature.

9. SPOT Gen 4 Nexus Wireless EPIRB Unit
SPOT Gen 4 Nexus Wireless EPIRB Unit

SPOT Gen 4 Nexus Wireless EPIRB Unit

This is an improved EPIRB unit that provides so many great features. It’s durable and can withstand drop after drop. 

This EPIRB unit was designed for hiking enthusiasts who usually go off reliable cell coverage. It comes in a very rugged fit and you can decide to view the maps in light or dark mode. The maps can be viewed as satellite maps, street, or terrain maps.

This unit allows you to set up custom messages before you go on your next hiking adventure. You can set up messages for your pre-determined contacts and use this feature for your personal help alert.

With the SOS push button, you can contact the emergency coordination centre. The device will send your location and information to them so they can readily reach you in case of an unforeseen circumstance. 

This Nexus Wireless unit comes with a customized tracking feature that helps to take your adventure to a whole new level. You can set up motion-activated tracking with a motion vibration sensor. The device will send you track updates as you move.

Highlighted Features:

  • Maps can be viewed in light or dark mode.
  • Allows you to set up custom messages for help alerts.
  • SOS push button feature.
  • Customized tracking feature.

10. ZOLEO Satellite Communicator
ZOLEO Satellite Communicator

ZOLEO Satellite Communicator

It has an easy-to-use interface and intuitive controls that make it simple to use even in an emergency.

The ZOLEO EPIRB unit comes with very good battery life as it comes with over 200 hours of lithium-ion battery life. It comes with very strong GPS coordinates and the satellite is an iridium-based one.

If something goes wrong, you can readily declare an SOS situation and this device will send your SOS alert and GPS coordinates to the emergency rescue team. There is also the check-in feature that lets everyone know you are okay.

Highlighted Features:

  • Good battery life.
  • Iridium-based satellite.
  • Check-in feature.


We have covered some of the best EPIRB units that you can use for your hiking adventures, particularly when you are hiking in off-the-grid areas. So, look through, make your pick, and have great hiking experiences.