How does the weather provided by the Garmin GDL51, GDL52, or Sirius SXAR1 compare to the weather provided by Stratus?

In general the Garmin GDL51, GDL52, and Sirius SXAR1 provides more weather products (such as lightning, cloud tops, storm tracks) with greater coverage than Stratus or other ADS-B receivers, while also avoiding issues like coverage gaps and minimum reception altitudes. Below is a table with a full comparison of weather products.

DATA  ADS-B WEATHER VIA STRATUS SIRIUSXM WX VIA Garmin GDL51, GDL52, or SXAR1  NOTES
METARs Yes. Low altitude stations provide data within 250-500nm. High altitude stations provide wider coverage Yes, CONUS, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Central America, northern S. America, Caribbean, and Hawaii  
TAFs Yes, within 250-500nm Yes, CONUS, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Central America, northern S. America, Caribbean, and Hawaii  
Winds/Temps Aloft Yes, within 500-1,000nm Yes, CONUS, S. Canada, and Puerto Rico  
Graphical Winds Aloft No Yes, CONUS, S. Canada, and Puerto Rico  
PIREPs Yes, within 250-500nm Yes, CONUS, Alaska, Canada, and PR  

Composite Radar

Yes, for CONUS and some local U.S. regions elsewhere Yes, CONUS ADS-B NEXRAD is hi-resolution within 250nm ring, lower resolution outside of that.
Base Reflectivity Radar No Yes, CONUS, S. Canada, and PR south to Grenada  
NEXRAD Storm Cell Attributes No Yes, CONUS and PR south to Grenada  
Radar Echo Tops No Yes, CONUS Requires ForeFlight version 8.3 or newer.
Cloud Tops Yes, CONUS Yes, CONUS, S. Canada, N. Mexico Requires ForeFlight version 8.3 or newer.
Graphical Turbulence Yes, CONUS Yes, CONUS, S. Canada, N. Mexico  
Graphical Freezing Level Yes, CONUS Yes, CONUS, S. Canada, N. Mexico  
Graphical Icing Level No Yes, CONUS, S. Canada, N. Mexico  
Lightning Yes, CONUS Yes, CONUS, Canada, Mexico, Central America, northern S. America, and Caribbean  
Surface Analysis No Yes, CONUS  
Surface Wind No Yes, CONUS  
Surface Wind Analysis No Yes, CONUS  
TFRs Yes, within 100nm Yes, CONUS, S. Canada, and PR  
NOTAMs Yes, within 100nm No  
AIRMET/SIGMET Yes, within 250-500nm Yes, CONUS  
Special Use Airspace status Yes, within 250-500nm No  
Simultaneous Connections Allowed Unlimited

GDL51/52: 2

SXAR1: 1

 
Reception Coverage See latest map for enroute coverage CONUS and S. Canada, ground or airborne (with sky in view). See coverage map ADS-B generally available above 2,500' AGL but gaps exist
Processing Stratus Replay enables up to 30 mins of data to be stored while app is not running ForeFlight must be running, but can be in the background for data to be saved  
WAAS GPS Yes Yes  
Device battery Yes, up to 8 hours Yes, up to 6 hours  
Device form factor 1 box, optional remote antenna 1 box, optional remote antenna  
Device Cost Stratus 1S $549; Stratus 2S $899 GDL51: $699
GDL52: $1199
SXAR1: $499
 
Cost per Month Free $39.99 GDL51, GDL52, & SXAR1 require the SiriusXM Pilot For ForeFlight subscription
ForeFlight Subscription Required Required ForeFlight plans and pricing

Notes: Distance ranges refer to distance from transmitting ground stations currently being received.