All EPIRBs in our assessment are NZ-coded, have GPS, a strobe light, 48 hours’ run time and a 10-year battery shelf life. They also float and are waterproof.
ACR 2830 GlobalFIX V4 (float free – auto and manual) - $1330
We recommend the ACR 2830 GlobalFIX V4 float free EPIRB ($1330). It has clear instructions, is easy to use, has excellent protection from accidental activation and excellent attachments (lanyard and wrist strap). In addition, ACR will replace the EPIRB free of charge if used for emergency rescue.
GME MT600G (manual) - $449
McMurdo SmartFind G8 AIS (float free – auto and manual) - $2295
Ocean Signal RescueMe EPIRB1 (manual) - $465
Ocean Signal’s RescueME EPIRB 1 ($465) is a great manually deployed and activated EPIRB.
All PLBs in our assessment are NZ-coded, have GPS, a strobe light and 24 hours’ run time.
ACR ResQLink View 425 - $684
We recommend the ACR ResQLink View 425 PLB ($684). It has clear instructions, is easy to use, has good protection from accidental activation and excellent attachment options for both land and water-based activities. It also floats on its own and is highly waterproof. In addition, ACR will replace the PLB free of charge if used for emergency rescue. ACR has other ResQLink PLBs in a similar design that are also worth considering.
CETCME VPL8 - $460
GME MTG610 - $478
McMurdo FastFind 220 - $599
Ocean Signal RescueMe PLB1 - $550
Ocean Signal’s RescueME PLB1 ($550) is a great PLB, but we recommend users add a rubber band to further secure the SOS button cover to prevent accidental activation.
All SENDs in our assessment have GPS and can send a distress alert (SOS) directly from the device (don’t have to be connected to the app). None have strobe lights and none are claimed to float.
We don’t think a SEND should be relied on as a standalone emergency alerting device. We suggest having a PLB or EPIRB too. They have a reliable long run time and a strong signal that transmits directly to the COSPAS-SARSAT global search and rescue satellite system.
ACR Bivy Stick - $600
Garmin inReach Mini 2 - $649
The Garmin inReach Mini 2 ($649) is an excellent SEND. It’s very easy to send a distress alert and it has very good protection from accidental activation. Its small size and ultra-light weight make it easy to carry too, and it’s possible to get a precise battery level reading, which isn’t the case with other models.