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Best Walkie Talkie: Picking the Right Two-Way Radios for Outdoor Use

Boys using walkies talkies
Sean Nelson
Written by Sean Nelson

If you are a hiker, camper, hunter, skier, or any other outdoor enthusiast, a walkie talkie is one of the most vital devices that you need to have. This device allows you to receive and send calls without worrying about phone signal reception, monthly service, contract fees or coverage charges because they do not require any area coverage by telecom transmitters, cellular base stations, or satellites.

The best walkie talkine can even give you a variety of tools which include SOS signals and weather alerts. Modern units have also improved radio ranges, frequency options, and have reduced their weight, so you won’t feel overly burdened when hiking.

To help you out, we have outlined some of the features that you should look for when buying a two way radio. Further down, we have also picked out some of the best models that should be worth your time and money. Let’s get right to it!

Our top picks

Product nameWeightDimensionsRange*Price
Spy Gear – Ultra Range3.5 ounces4.5 x 4.5 x 1.4 inches2 milesCheck price on Amazon
Retevis Rt6283.2 ounces6.3 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches0.95 milesCheck price on Amazon
Cobra Cxt23515.2 ounces2.8 x 7 x 8.9 inches20 milesCheck price on Amazon
Floureon 22 Channel13.6 ounces8.5 x 7.9 x 2.9 inches1.9 milesCheck price on Amazon
Midland Lxt630vp316 ounces1 x 2 x 7 inches30 milesCheck price on Amazon
Motorola T600 Talkabout8.6 ounces7.8 x 2.4 x 1.5 inches35 milesCheck price on Amazon
Uniden Submersible24 ounces8.7 x 13.4 x 3.8 inches50 milesCheck price on Amazon
Bellsouth T-3885.3 ounces5.5 x 2.2 x 1.2 inches2.5 milesCheck price on Amazon
Cobra Electronics Cxt5455.6 ounces1.7 x 2.6 x 6.7 inches28 milesCheck price on Amazon
*Range might vary due to buildings or trees

Important Features To Consider

There are a lot of walkie talkies that have different features that can be perfect for some people, but useless for some others. Durability, frequency, size, the number of available channels, operating range and codes for communication are some the most essential aspects to consider when shopping walkie talkies.

Since our goal is to help you choose the best of the best, we have decided to explain some characteristics that can be read in the following paragraphs.

Number Of Channels

The higher the number of channels, the higher will be the price. The number of channels ranges from 2 to 22. If there are several channels available on the walkie talkie, it will help you communicate with multiple people easily.

Number of channels in walkie talkie

A higher number of channels give quick messages sending facility and clear voice quality. Spending on an increased number of channels without any special use may not be wise for you, however.

Frequency

When it comes to frequency, there are two basic options: VHF or UHF. While somewhat similar in composition, these frequencies are never compatible with one another.

With a walkie talkie you can communicate using one channel, but the major disadvantage is that the same frequency channel is used for both sending and receiving information, so only one person can talk at a time.

Range

The range can vary quite a bit on handheld two way radios. All the radios have listed their optimal or maximum range on their packing. Be very wary of that range you see on packaging.

Range of walkie talkie

Buildings or trees in the way might disrupt the signal of some devices, so you will probably get a fraction of that range. The maximum range is achievable only when both the receiver and transmitter are in the line of sight without any obstructions.

Battery

One of the most consistent frustrations with a walkie talkie is the battery life. In the developed world, a dead battery is not just a disappointment, but can often lead to a very dangerous situation.

That is why being familiar with the different types of batteries is vitally important for a walkie talkie user. Nickel Cadmium batteries tend to have a long life, are the cheapest, they don’t have issues with overcharging and have been around for long.

Nickel Metal Hydride batteries, however, are less susceptible to memory burn, but can have issues with overcharging, and they tend to be more expensive. Look for a device with long battery life if you want to use walkie talkies in the outdoors for more than one day.

Waterproof

When you are in the backcountry, you have to be prepared for everything, being the rain one of the most common and important things to be ready for. Consequently, a pair of waterproof two way radios is a must.

Waterproof walkie talkie

Pay attention to the IPX rating. The higher the IPX rating, the more waterproof the radio device is. This will tell you what kind of wet conditions the radio can actually resist.

Size

Modern technology has made it possible to pack a ton of power into a small space, which is what walkie talkie users are looking for when it comes to the convenience of staying in touch without the hassle of bulk. Lightweight walkie talkies are more comfortable to use and carry, particularly if you need them for a backpacking trip.

Durability

Durability becomes a vital factor when it comes to walkie talkies. How well a radio holds up against reasonable amounts of impact determines just how useful it can be. They should not only be waterproof, but also be a submersible model, so even if it is accidentally dropped into water, it should float on it rather than drown in the water.

Performance

Walkie talkies are made of different range, the bigger the range the better the performance. Look for a walkie talkie with both GMRS and FRS frequencies. FRS frequencies are free and easy to use but usually have shorter ranges. GMRS channels need an FCC license to operate and offer longer ranges.

Some other important considerations for anyone looking to purchase a quality walkie talkie also include:

  • Display Screens
  • Voice Activated Transmit (VOX)
  • Microphone
  • Silencers
  • Key Pad Locks
  • Weather Channels and Weather Alerts
  • Animal Alerts
  • Ring Tones and Silencers
  • Vibration
  • Illumination
  • Eavesdrop Reducers
  • Antennas
  • Holsters and Belt Clips

Walkie talkie performance

Best Products on Today’s Market

There are different walkie talkies that you can find on the market, so you have to compare some available products before choosing the best device. These walkie talkie reviews are recommended for people who want to find the best device that suits their needs. To help you make your decision, we have taken the time to analyze and research the best devices available today.

In this review, we will share everything you need to know to get the best out of your long range two way radio device. There are different types of walkie talkies, depending on the purpose. Let’s have a look at some of them:

Spy Gear Ultra Range Walkie TalkiesSpy Gear Ultra Range Walkie Talkies

Price: Approx. $26.90

Weight: 3.5 ounces

Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.4 inches

Specific features: 2 mile range, push to talk (PTT) button, battery status indicator

Best use: Camping

The Spy Gear Ultra Range Walkie Talkies is a clear communication two way radio with a range of up to 2 miles away. The click and hold communication button allows you to easily communicate with each other, all you need to do is just hold the talk button to communicate with your group and release while waiting for a reply. The high tech design delivers an authentic spy experience and requires 6 AAA batteries for operation.

People who have bought this product said that the audio signal was very clear even when used with trees in the way. Also, they say that the materials used to build the radios are very sturdy and can take a beaten. These walkie talkies are most recommended for kids.

However, people have found some problems. The first one is that the batteries are drained very fast, so you have to make sure to turn them off when you are not using them. Also, from time to time, the talk button gets stuck and you need to use something sharp to solve the problem. Finally, you have to use a screwdriver to install the batteries, which have been perceived as a problem for many users.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Study
  • Clear audio signal

CONS:

  • Short lived battery
  • Talk button gets stuck
  • Difficult to install batteries

Related: Another great addition for your kids while camping is the Spy Gear Night Goggles. They have bright LED lights and blue lenses that improve night vision; a scope that allows you to see objects from long distances; and they work with a set of 3 AAA batteries.

Check the price on Amazon

Retevis RT628 Two Way RadioRetevis RT628 Two-Way Radio

Price: Approx. $40

Weight: 3.2 ounces

Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches

Specific features: VOX function, channel lock, lcd display included, transmitting and receiving icons, channel number and scan status, monitor function, setting the double channel monitor, scanning channels, power selection, push to talk timeout timer, setting and transmitting call tones, setting the sensitivity level, setting the SQUELCH level 1 – 6

Best use: Camping

The Retevis RT628 Two Way Radios are a great choice to communicate with your friends or family due to the multiple features,like the VOX function or the LCD display included, they have. Being able to reach up to five thousand feet depending on environment and terrain, these radios are another great choice for kids. A PTT button lets you communicate when you are unable to speak. 3 AA batteries are required for operation. Its small size makes it convenient to carry around, even for smaller hands.

People say that they are good quality because the voices are transmitted very clearly,that the materials are pretty tough and that the power selection mode is very useful to help reducing the battery usage.

Nevertheless, people have complained about their range. They say that 1 mile is just not enough for serious outdoor activities. Also, they say that even with the power selection function, they battery do not last long, and that they are not waterproof.

PROS:

  • Small, compact, easy to carry
  • Clear voice transmission
  • Tough materials

CONS:

  • Short range
  • Short lived battery
  • Not waterproof

Related: We also recommend the Retevis H-777 Two Way Radios because they come with a rechargeable battery that last up to 8 hours, low voltage alert, have a simple design and includes earpieces, so you can communicate in hands free mode.

Check the price on Amazon

Cobra CXT235 Two Way RadiosCobra CXT235 Two-Way Radios

Price: Approx. $70

Weight: 15.2 ounces

Dimensions: 2.8 x 7 x 8.9 inches

Specific features: 22 total channels, 20 mile range, 7 frs channels, 7 shared frs/gnrs channels, 121 privacy codes, rechargeable batteries, ni-mh batteries, weather channels, NOAA weather alerts, VOX, 5 call alert tones, channels scan, auto squelch, roger beep tone, maximum range extender, battery/power saver, keypad lock, speaker/charger/microphone

Best use: Camping

The Cobra CXT235 Two Way Radios are portable, small and easy to use. They aregreat for traveling, as the belt clip fits efficiently and comfortably at your side.Be prepared for emergencies and storms with built in NOAA radio receiver. The CXT235 is a lead free product and has eco friendly packaging. 8 AAA batteries are required for operation.

Buyers have said that one of the best characteristic of these Walkie talkies is their range. The company claims they reach up to 20 miles, which is more than enough for any serious camper. Also, they say that the quality of the audio is on the top, and that they are made of sturdy and resistant materials.

However, there are some user that have a different perspective on these radios. They say that the battery life is not enough compared to other units. Also, people complain about their sound volume since they say it should get higher. Finally, they say that you should be aware of their static that in some situations might be quite troublesome.

PROS:

  • Clear voice transmission
  • Compact and easy to use
  • Long range

CONS:

  • Short lived battery
  • Too low volume
  • Static

Related: The Cobra Compact Solar 6000 mAhPowerbank is our recommendation for those who cannot let their devices die while camping. It can quickly charge phones, tables and other mobile devices; it can be charge using solar energy or via USB; and it has a LED meter that indicates battery level.

Check the price on Amazon

Floureon 22 Channel Two Way RadiosFloureon 22-Channel Two-Way Radios

Price: Approx. $40

Weight: 13.6 ounces

Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.9 x 2.9 inches

Specific features: Transmitting and receiving icons, UHF462 – 467 MHz frequency range, generous range up to 1.9 mi, LCD backlit display, battery status indicator

Best use: Camping

The Floureon 22-Channel Two Way Radios come in a handy pack of two, ideal for you and your family and also they have the perfect portable size for outdoor adventures. Easy to carry, lightweight with ergonomic design for belt clip and firm grip for easy attachment when not in use. They also have smooth and crisp quality sound with adjustable volume level.

Users say that one of their best features without a doubt is that they have 22 channels, so you can be sure no one you do not want to will listen what you are talking. Additionally, the battery life of these units seem to be really long lasting, which makes them great for the shopping center, supermarket, hiking, hunting, camping, festival, and any other outdoor activities.

One major downfall that these Walkie talkies have is that the range is not enough for most outdoors enthusiasts (around 2 miles). Also, people say that they are difficult to use since the menu has too many features; and that they are not as sturdy as they should.

PROS:

  • Compact, ergonomic design
  • Lot of channels
  • Long lasting battery

CONS:

  • Short range
  • Difficult to use
  • Weak

Related: Floureon also have a different type of two way radios; they are the 22 Channel Walkie Talkies UHF462-467MHz. These units provide a good sound quality, lots of channels to choose from, a fair range and work with a set of 6 AA batteries.

Check the price on Amazon

Midland LXT630VP3 Walkie TalkieMidland LXT630VP3

Price: Approx. $47

Weight: 16 ounces

Dimensions: 1 x 2 x 7 inches

Specific features: 36 channels, range up to 30 miles, privacy codes, NOAA weather alert, silent operation, dual power options, channel scan, water resistant, backlit display, auto squelch, roger beep, 5 call tones

Best use: Camping, hiking

The Midland LXT630VP3 Walkie Talkie is a multiple purpose FRS/GMRS two way radio for hiking, camping, or all around family activities with NOAA Weather scan and Weather alert which makes it an excellent choice for your next outdoor adventure. This product also includes three AAA batteries or rechargeable battery pack making these two way radios a flexible option.

According to some reviews, these walkie talkies are made with a system very easy to use, so it is great for both kids and adults. Also, people say that these radios provide a clear sound in most circumstances, and that you can disable every sound to reduce battery usage.

On the other hand, people have said that the 30 mile range is not as accurate as it should. In fact, they say that its actual range is about 5 miles. Additionally, users say that they do not hold the charge for long, and that the base charger is difficult to use.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Clear sound
  • Can disable sounds

CONS:

  • Range is not as advertised
  • Short lived battery
  • Base charger difficult to use

Related: The Midland LXT535VP3 is another good pair of Walkie talkies since they have 22 channels, they reach up to 24 miles in optimum conditions, you can choose between Hi or Low power usage, and are compact and easy to use.

Check the price on Amazon

Motorola T600 Talkabout RadioMotorola T600 Talkabout Radio

Price: Approx. $100

Weight: 8.6 ounces

Dimensions: 7.8 x 2.4 x 1.5 inches

Specific features: 22 channels, 121 privacy codes, up to 35-mile range, NOAA weather alerts, IP67 waterproof, water-activated flashlight, dual power, push to talk (PTT) power boost, emergency alert, VOX/IVOX, auto squelch, LCD battery meter

Best use: Camping, hiking

The Motorola T600 Talkabout Radios are an excellent hiking and camping option. It features a full range of controls options and never feels burdensome while also being waterproof. They come with a flashlight, 22 channels with private codes, 11 weather channels to always be aware of whatever might happen, and so on.

It delivers a great combination of range and voice clarity and in terms of functionality. Additionally, people say that they are very easy to use, very compact and easy to transport, that their battery life is long lasting, and that they are very sturdy.

Nevertheless, these radios have the same problem that the previous ones have. The provided range is not the same as the one the company says. Users say, as well, that the volume is not as loud as they should, that they are not as water resistant, and that they have a lag time of three seconds.

PROS:

  • Clear sound
  • Easy to use
  • Long lasting battery

CONS:

  • Range is not as advertised
  • Low volume
  • Lag time

Related: The Motorola 1518 Surveillance Headset is a great addition to the Walkie talkies since it provides a discrete way to listen and speak, it works with every Motorola units, are easy to install and have a clear sound.

Check the price on Amazon

Uniden Submersible Two Way RadioUniden GMR5095-2CKHS Submersible Two Way Radio

Price: Approx. $49

Weight: 24ounces

Dimensions: 8.7 x 13.4 x 3.8 inches

Specific features: 50 mile range, 22 channels, direct call, privacy codes, NOAA emergency/weather channels, noaa weather alerts, VOX, 10 call tones, power boost range extender, missed call alert, submersible, JIS7 water resistant, front speaker

Best use: Camping, hiking

The Uniden Submersible Two Way Radios are strong FRS/GMRS two way radio designed for outdoor adventures. This rugged walkie talkie is packed with functionality and features for hunting in the woods, hiking in the wilderness, skiing in the mountains or other extreme outdoor activities, and it can be powered by 3 AA batteries.

In addition to the features usually found on the high end Uniden models, the GMR-5095-2CKHS auto channel change will update all radios in your group to a new channel to help reduce interference. The direct call feature permits you to communicate privately with one specific member of your group. Additionally, they are waterproof.

These walkie talkies have some problems, however. The first one is that the range is too short, reaching up to 3 miles, the second one is that the sound provided by the radios are not as clear as the rest from the list, and they are not as sturdy as they should.

PROS:

  • Change the channels of all radios
  • Direct call
  • Waterproof

CONS:

  • Short range
  • Sound not as clear
  • Not durable enough

Related: Another great option would be the Uniden GMR1635-2. They have 22 channels to choose from, they are very compact, have an ergonomic design, they work with AAA batteries and have little to no interference.

Check the price on Amazon

Bellsouth T-388 Walkie TalkieBellsouth T-388

Price: Approx. $17

Weight: 5.3 ounces

Dimensions: 5.5 x 2.2 x 1.2 inches

Specific features: 22 channels, back-lit lcd screen, uhf radio for child, transmitting and receiving icons, 5 different call melodies, electronic volume adjustment, auto squelch

Best use: Camping, hiking

The Bellsouth T-388 Walkie Talkie includes 2 walkie talkie units: these are communication devices that operate on mobile radio frequencies. 4 AAA batteries are required for operation, they have 22 channels you can choose from, and they are the best gift for your friends or family members.

One of the best features these radios have is that the sound they provide is very clear, so you would not have problems understanding your friends. Also, they have a lock system to block all buttons except the talking one to avoid your kids to changing the channels, and they are built with materials that can withstand a beaten.

The issues people have found with these Walkie talkies are that the range they provide is not too long. Additionally, they have a too childish design, so it is not for serious purpose. Finally, the battery contact become loose, so you never know whether they are charging or not.

PROS:

  • Sturdy
  • Clear sound
  • Lock system

CONS:

  • Short range
  • Not for serious usage
  • Loose battery contact

Related: The Bell South 2250-BK-2 Walkie Talkie is another great set of Walkie talkies made basically for kids. They can reach up to 2 miles, they have 22 channels in both FRS and GMRS frequency, VOX system, and provide very clear sound.

Check the price on Amazon

Cobra Electronics CXT545 Walkie TalkieCobra Electronics CXT545

Price: Approx. $85

Weight: 5.6 ounces

Dimensions: 1.7 x 2.6 x 6.7 inches

Specific features: UHF/FM and NOAA weather channels, auto squelch, water resistant, vox and battery saver circuitry, scan and key lock, up to 28 mile range, built in led flashlight

Best use: Camping, hiking

Stay in touch with fellow campers or hikers with this Cobra Electronics CXT545 walkie talkie device. A total of 2,662 channel combinations are available when the 22 channels are combined with the 121 privacy codes (38 CTCSS/83 DCS) to prevent interference from other radios, while offering (according to the company) 28 miles of range.

The waterproof feature allows you to be ready for whatever nature throws at you when on camping trips. The voice activated transmission frees your hands for other tasks. The walkie talkie is extremely portable and won’t burden you while you hike.

Nevertheless, people who have bought these units said that it is not fog proof, since once they have been in contact with the water, the screen becomes foggy. Additionally, the battery device charges the radios rather slowly, and they are not as sturdy and durable as they should. Finally, they cannot reach 28 miles, but can provide a clear voice around 5 miles.

PROS:

  • Plenty of channels
  • Waterproof
  • Portable

CONS:

  • Not fog proof
  • Charge slowly
  • Not durable enough

Related: The COBRASELECT CPP 300 Backup Battery is a must have gear for campers since it provide a fast pace charge, it is compatible with most devices, can be charged with the sun energy due to its solar panels, and is compact and portable.

Check the price on Amazon

Conclusion

Two way radios are getting more popular on a global scale. When shopping for walkie talkies, it is vital for people to take their time to compare and contrast various available models. In this review, we hope that we’ve given you some detailed guidance that you can put to use when you want to purchase walkie talkie.

Best walkie talkie

Think about where and how you will use them, and then check customer reviews to see if buyers in areas like yours achieved the range you need before making a tough decision of buying the best walkie talkie which will give you the maximum value for money.

So, what type of walkie talkie do you use? Is there something else you use to figure out what the ideal option for you is? Share your thoughts in the comments.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson

Sean was backpacking since he was 7. He was born close to the RMNP and his father was a ranger, so life surrounded by mountains and wildlife is a norm for Colorado. He likes to explore, but prefers to stay in USA. In his opinion, there are too many trails and options in US to go abroad.

  • David Roberts

    My whole family loves to go camping. I recently bought the Midland Lxt630vp3 36-Channel Gmrs With 30-Mile Range because I always want to be in touch with my parents and sister. It helps us a lot on the hike. It’s not only useful but really fun to talk this way!

  • Sean Nelson

    That’s correct David! The 30-mile range is just what we all need to make sure we are in touch with each other. Although we have cellphones, there are some places where there’s no signal so the walkie talkie is the most suitable equipment to have. The 36 channel also insures voice clarity and quick send-response time.

  • Steven Spencer

    I want to buy walkie talkie for me, my wife and our little son. He is a very active boy and he’s always on the move. We are afraid of losing him on the hike. We decided to buy the Retevis Rt628 Frs/Gmrs Vox 22 Channel Uhf Two-Way Radio.

  • Sean Nelson

    How old is your son Steven? Can he properly use a walkie talkie? If yes, then the product will give you tremendous help. It’s a stellar product that most people buy for communication via short distance. After all, some areas have no cellular signals so we can’t use our smartphones.

  • Cynthia Carter

    Hello Sean! My job requires 2 persons using cars in the city in the range of 6-7 miles. We don’t have the Internet and cannot use smartphones. However, we must always be in touch. Which walkie talkie from your list is better to choose for the job? Suggest me something!

  • Sean Nelson

    The Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio has 22 channels and has a 33 mile range. It’s a great brand that has a huge following so you might want to get a hold of it for you needs. It’s compact and lightweight and won’t let you down. Voice clarity is excellent and the Motorola is also waterproof and has LCD battery meter. It’s good value for your money. 🙂

  • Allison Myers

    Hi! I am an experienced hunter. In two weeks I will be deer hunting with family. I want to buy a few walkie talkies for us. I like the Cobra Cxt235 20 Mile 22-Channel Uhf/Fm Walkie-Talkie Two-Way Radios very much. I hope it’s good for communication in a mountainous area.

  • Sean Nelson

    Don’t worry, it has a 20 mile range, 22 channels and a built- in NOAA radio receiver for storm updates and emergencies. This is a great product, very compact and for a price of less than a hundred dollars, it’s quite a steal!

  • reza lontok

    ok, like to buy RETEVIsZ Walkie tALKIE 2 WAY RADIO

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