Any keen outdoorsman knows the importance of good, long-range walkie talkies. They can help you stay in contact with others even when cellphone reception is poor. As well as staying in constant communication with your group, a two-way radio system offers many other useful features for adventuring outdoors such as weather updates and SOS signals.
So, choosing the best walkie talkie is an important decision for anyone intending to spend a lot of time outdoors in the wilderness. That’s why we have compiled this guide packed with reviews of some of the best models on the market today, as well as helpful buying guides to ensure you choose the best walkie talkie for your needs.
Top 10 Outdoor Walkie Talkies
Let’s dive right in and take a look at some of the best hunting walkie talkies money can buy.
1. Motorola MR350R
Range: 35 miles | Channels: 22 | Weight: 0.32 pounds | Size: 1.4 x 2.3 x 7.6 inches
Kicking off our guide to the best walkie talkies we have a very long range model from Motorola. They can be used at a distance of up to 35 miles from one another, and have 22 channels on which to communicate. These radios also offer 121 privacy codes to ensure your conversation can’t be overheard. There are 11 weather reports channels with seven providing NOAA weather alerts. There is no lithium ion battery with these radios, instead three AA batteries are required for each one. The battery life is around 9 hours and you don’t need a license to use these radios.
2. BaoFeng BF-F8HP
Range: 20+ miles | Channels: 128 | Weight: 10.1 ounces | Size: 10.5 x 2 x 2 inches
This BaoFeng walkie talkie has a very high mile range and it has a very durable shell making it suitable for all kinds of outdoor use. It comes with a belt clip and hand strap for maximum ease of use, and there is also a rechargeable li-ion battery pack and a desktop charger included. There are three power levels and a 7″ antenna to pick up a better signal. The battery life depends on the power level selected and ranges from 18 to 24 hours. This model isn’t only for communication – it also boasts an FM radio and a flashlight function.
3. Midland GXT1000VP4
Range: 35 miles | Channels: 22 | Weight: 4.8 ounces | Size: 7.9 x 2.4 x 1.5 inches
The Midland GXT1000VP4 offers 50 channels for communication and has a very long range of 36 miles in open areas without obstructions. With the privacy function, there are over 3000 channels to choose from to ensure your conversation remains private to those involved. The box includes two radios as well as many useful accessories such as rechargeable batteries, boom mics, belt clips, and more. There are ten call alerts so you can always be notified of incoming calls and there is also a vibrating alert to ensure it grabs your attention. Weather channels alerts can also be provided to ensure you stay safe when out in the wilderness.
4. Cobra ACXT645
Range: 35 miles | Channels: 22 | Weight: 0.32 pounds | Size: 1.74 x 2.54 x 6.74 inches
This Cobra radio has a long range of up to 35 miles in an open area. It offers more than 3000 channel combinations thanks to the 142 privacy codes, for maximum security when communicating. There are also ten weather radio channels for NOAA reports. These 2 way radios are waterproof to IPX4 standards, so they are ideal for intensive outdoor use. Hands free communication is possible with these radios thanks to the VOX voice activated transmission. An LED built in flashlight is another useful feature of this radio.
5. Motorola Talkabout T605
Range: 35 miles | Channels: 22 | Weight: 0.54 pounds | Size: 7.78 x 2.4 x 1.5 inches
The Motorola Talkabout is IP67 waterproof so it is suitable for use even in poor weather conditions. It is also able to float and the flashlight is water-activated too. The waterproof walkie talkie uses four AA batteries, so make sure to stock up since there is no rechargeable battery pack. The 22 channel radio doesn’t require a license to operate and is compatible with any GMRS or FRS radio. Two radios are included in the pack and you also get a car charger and a carry case to keep the radios safe when not in use.
6. Pofung UV-82 VHF Radios
Range: 30+ miles | Channels: 128 | Weight: 1 pound | Size: 2.36 x 2.05 x 11.26 inches
This semi-duplex radio can watch two channels simultaneously and has useful features including an emergency alarm function. It offers VOX control as well as a push-to-talk button so it’s always easy to communicate over this radio. The very high frequency radio has a keypad lock function to prevent anything from accidentally being pressed when it is kept in a bag or pocket.
7. Cobra CXR925
Range: 35 miles | Channels: 22 | Weight: 1 pound | Size: 2 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
Our next two way radio is from Cobra, and like many of the above picks, it offers a huge 35 mile range and 22 channels. You don’t need AAA batteries with this model as lithium-ion batteries are included as is a desk charger to keep them fully charged. One unique feature of this GMRS two way radio is the digital voice recorder, which can be used to rewind a message and play it back again if the message wasn’t heard the first time. Hands free VOX is another useful feature of this radio set.
8. Retevis H-777
Range: 12 miles | Channels: 16 | Weight: 14.3 ounces | Size: 2.36 x 1.3 x 4.53 inches
These Retevis two way radios have a useful LED flashlight and an operating temperature range of -20 to 60 degrees celcius. With many different channels to choose from, the voice prompt which tells you which channel you are on is very useful. The battery is excellent on the Retevis H-777 – it takes around 2-3 hours to charge and can then be used for 8-9 hours. What’s more, the radios can be charged via USB so they can conveniently be powered up anywhere.
9. Swiftion Kids Walkie Talkies
Range: 9000 feet | Channels: 22 | Weight: 11 ounces | Size: 3 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches
If you’re looking for walkie talkies for kids to use on a day out or simply for playing around the neighborhood, you can’t go wrong with these Swiftion radios. They offer a good range of up to 9000 feet, depending on the surrounding environment. The battery takes under 2 hours to charge, allowing the radios to then be used for over 4 hours. They are lightweight and comfortable for children to hold, and the VOX function means they are super easy for kids to use, too.
10. Uniden MHS75
Range: 20+ miles | Channels: All international and marine channels | Weight: 1.35 pounds | Size: 6.4 x 6.2 x 3.4 inches
Our final pick is a two way radio which is ideal for using even in the harshest conditions – it is JIS8 waterproof rated. In fact, it is intended for marine use so you can be sure it is very tough and durable, and it even floats to the surface if it is dropped into water. There are three different levels to choose from depending on how far you wish to communicate. Choosing a lower level when in a closer range will save the battery life slightly, and the lowest level should suffice in most cases which is an added bonus. The triple watch function checks channels 9 and 16 every two seconds whilst the other selected channel is being listened to.
After looking at ten excellent outdoor two way radios, we have reached a conclusion as to which is the best overall. We love the Midland GXT1000VP4, at #3 on our guide above. The range on this radio is excellent and it has a large number of privacy codes to ensure your communications are kept safe at all times. It also provides weather updates to ensure you aren’t trapped in poor weather when out enjoying nature.
Considerations When Choosing Two Way Radios
There are a few things worth keeping in mind in order to help you choose the best walkie talkies for your own needs. Let’s take a look at some of the main factors to consider.
This is a big consideration when buying a walkie talkie for outdoor use. Think about where it will be used and ensure the two radios will remain within range when in use. Take into account any interference or obstructions which may occur and cause the range to be reduced.
Easy to Use
When out in the wilderness, it’s essential to have a radio that is easy to use. Most have intuitive controls such as a push-to-talk button to start communicating with the other radio. If you are looking for walkie talkies for kids, this is especially important. Many also have a call function which tends to be simple to initiate also.
Look at the type of batteries the radio takes and whether or not these are rechargeable. Also check how long the batteries last, to ensure you won’t be left unable to communicate when out on an adventure. Many walkie talkies offer a long standby battery life of several days, so this is unlikely to be an issue. However, the battery might deplete more quickly when the radio is in use, so keep this in mind.
Channels and Privacy Codes
More channels mean you are unlikely to end up listening in to someone else’s conversation or have someone else accidentally listening to yours. To further stop this, look for a radio offering privacy codes. This unique code can be entered to ensure only you and other members of your group can join the conversation, preventing unwelcome users from overhearing your plans or private conversations. This is a great way to make communicating over two-way radios safer, especially when children are involved.
What is the best brand for walkie talkies?
There are many great brands out there. Some of our favorites include Motorola, Midland, and Uniden, but there are many others worth considering – just take a look at our guide above.
Which Motorola walkie talkie is best?
The Motorola MR350R is one of the best from this brand thanks to its very long range and NOAA weather update channels. These features make this a great buy for anyone who loves exploring the great outdoors.
How many miles can walkie talkies reach?
It varies between different models. Some have a smaller reach of a couple of miles whilst others can cover a massive range of 35 miles. Do keep in mind however that this is in an open space – hills and buildings will reduce the range of the radio greatly.