I?m looking for some suggestions for something for my dad. Since he retired he spends most of his time in places without cell service, and I?d feel a lot better if he had something to contact someone in an emergency.
Thought I would weigh in on these technologies...I've used them all, spot, inreach, and sat phones.
The first thing to keep in mind, is that these devices all have limitations at given times. They mostly all work, most of the time, except when they don't. Point being, don't count on them working and don't get a false sense of security just because you have one or all of them.
I've had times when getting satellites to line up, in particular in canyon country, is problematic.
Also, they are all good in the sense that if you get lost in a snowstorm, or just lost in general, you can easily get GPS coordinates to rescuers. If you're injured in a non-life threatening manner, you can get help there. However, if you experience say, a stroke, heart-attack, severe life-threatening trauma, etc....all that device is going to do is make body recovery easier for first responders.
In the experiences I've had with all of these, definitive care is going to be, at best case, hours away....perhaps even days.
No question these devices save lives and I'm a huge fan of all of them, just be aware they all have limitations. Also, it makes a bunch of sense to use them in trial situations to make sure you're familiar with them. In a situation where you have a need to use them, it will make a huge difference to make sure you know how. Sounds like, "no chit" advice, but in emergency situations, things that were easy to do 5 minutes ago, doesn't seem so easy when in crisis mode.