The best walkie talkies enable you to stay connected with your friends most of the time. These communication devices are essential, especially when taking part in outdoor activities. What’s more, walkie talkies play a crucial role in keeping you together with your team when going through different survival situations or when venturing farther into remote places. Your walkie talkie will definitely make communication easy and fast. The good thing is that you can still use this device where the mobile network is poor.
Walkie talkies are available in a minuscule size. This is to enable you to take them to different places without feeling the burden of carrying them. Besides making your communication effortless, these little two-way radios are designed with a wide range of features. Some of the most notable features include SOS signals and weather alerts.
As a matter of fact, the latest versions of walkie talkies are equipped with improved radio signals including different frequency options. If you looking forward to an extended trip, camping, hiking, or participating in various outdoor adventures, it is recommended that you look for the most reliable walkie talkie money can buy. Check out the following reviews and buying guide to find out more about the best walkie talkies for your needs.
Best Overall: Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel GMRS Walkie Talkie
With up to 50 channels at your disposal, Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel GMRS Walkie Talkie gives you value for your money and for a good reason. This two-way radio is packed with great features that enable you to communicate with your party members clearly and accurately.
The device features privacy codes that help you to block any unwanted conversions. This way, you can comfortably communicate with the intended person at a busy place without experiencing any form of interference.
The whisper mode on this walkie talkie is another feature to behold. This is because it makes it easy for you to speak in low tones and still be heard by the person on the other end of your line of communication.
On the other hand, the call alert and vibration play an integral role in keeping you well-informed of the incoming calls using vibrations and sound alert. At least you cannot miss out on an important call from friends or family members when you’re out there on adventure.
Cross compatible with both GMRS and FRS walkie talkie models come in handy to enhance communication between two or more devices from Midland. This compatibility extends to accessories, making it easy for you to communicate easily and at the right time.
Most significantly, NOAA weather scans and alert you to ensure that you are aware of the weather conditions around you. This is to make your stay safe and secure regardless of where you are.
- 50 channels and privacy codes to help block other unwanted conversations.
- Whisper mode allows you to speak quietly and be heard by others.
- Call alert and vibration to notify you of the incoming calls with vibration and sound alert.
- Cross compatible with both Midland GMRS and FRS walkie talkie models and accessories.
- NOAA weather scan and alert to automatically scan and alert you about extreme weather updates.
- Brand: Midland
- Color: Black and silver
- Number of Channels:50
- Product Size:7.9×2.4×1.5 inches
- Product Weight:4.8 ounces
Best Value: BaoFeng UV-82 VHF, UHF FM Two-Way Radio
When it comes to simplicity in features and design, BaoFeng UV-82 VHF, UHF FM Two-Way Radio takes the lead. Designed with only two numbers of channels, this model can keep you in touch with friends or family members for about 72 hours. This is attributed to the long-lasting battery that provides up to 7.4 volts to power this device.
In addition to that, this model is compact and lightweight, meaning that it will not be a burden to you when moving around with it. It provides you 128 group channel storage to make your communication more effective and clear.
This uniquely designed model has a short menu operation that makes it easy to use and also to saves your time. Plus, it comprises tri-color background light selectable to promote usability. VFO and memory channels scan are also part of the features that make this model more efficient and useful in all situations.
Above all, it boasts frequencies in the range of about 136-174 and 400-520MHz to give you an easy time when choosing the most appropriate frequency for communication.
- 128 group channels storage.
- Short menu operation mode to save your time and for easy operation.
- VFO and memory channels scan to enhance usability.
- Tri-color background light selectable to suit your needs.
- Frequencies range from 136 to 174 and 400 to 520 MHz to choose from.
- Brand: BAOFENG
- Color: Black
- Number of Channels:2
- Product Size:2.36×2.05×11.26 inches
- Product Weight:1 pound
Best Pick: Retevis H-777 400-470MHz Earpiece Illumination Flashlight Outdoor Long-Range Walkie Talkie
If you are looking for a nicely designed walkie talkie, look no more. Retevis H-77 400-470MHz Earpiece Illumination-Flashlight Outdoor Long-Range Walkie Talkie has you covered. It features a rotating button at the top to help you change the channel quickly and conveniently.
The arch design of this model allows you to hold it well in your palm while keeping in touch with your friends and colleagues. Also, the arc design makes it easy for kids to handle this model without facing any challenges.
When it comes to charging the battery, this device allows you to use a USB charging base that has an adapter. This charging method is safer and portable, much to your delight. It also enables you to charge this walkie talkie anywhere and at any time using a car charge or mobile power supply.
The good thing with this unit is that it comes with a built-in 1000 mAh lithium battery to make sure that you enjoy between 10 and 12 hours of calls. There is also an emergency alarm function that enhances safety protection to ensure that your conversation with the other party is clear and free of interference.
Additionally, the CTCSS and DCS provide crystal clear sound by reducing unnecessary chat from unwanted sources. At least these two features allow you to stay connected with only relevant people both at home and away while you are on adventures or hiking.
- The rotating button for changing the channel.
- An arc design to fit in your palm well.
- Built-in 1000 mAh lithium battery to provide between 10 and 12 hours of calls.
- Emergency alarm function for added safety protection.
- CTCSS and DCS to provide crystal clear sound
- Brand: Retevis
- Color: Black
- Number of Channels:16
- Product Size:2.36×1.3×4.53 inches
- Product Weight:14.3 ounces
Best Submersible: Uniden MHS75 Waterproof Handheld Two-Way VHF Marine Radio
The unique thing about Uniden MHS75 Waterproof Handheld Two-Way VHF Marine Radio is that it is built for marine work. This does not mean that you cannot use it elsewhere.
Its rugged design makes it ideal for all situations. In simple terms, this handheld radio can still function normally even if it gets wet. Also, it can take gusty spray, whitecap splash, and tidal waves without showing any signs of breaking down.
It is submersible for a period of about 30 minutes, which is long enough for anyone working in a marine setup. Apart from that, it comes with a watt switchable feature that allows you to choose from 1 to 2,5 all the way to 5 watts to handle short or long-range communication. This feature plays a crucial role in preserving the battery life.
Since it has all USA, Canada, and International channels, this two-way radio can work in different parts of the world, keeping you well informed about the latest marine activities.
- Rugged design to withstand the marine environment.
- Triple watch mode to monitor channels 16 and 9 for activity every two seconds.
- Watt switchable for short and long-range communication and to save battery life.
- Brand: Uniden
- Color: Black
- Number of Channels: Not provided
- Product Size:6.4×6.2×3.4 inches
- Product Weight:1.35 pounds
Best Waterproof: DeWAL DXFRS800 Heavy-Duty Walkie Talkie
DeWALT DXFRS800 Heavy-Duty Walkie Talkie is designed with you in mind. This good-looking two-way radio provides you longer-range communication thanks to its great features.
It uses a combination of 2662 channels to give you an extended signal range. As if that is not enough, this model provides you up to 22 preset channels with privacy codes. This is to help minimize unwanted interferences from other sources.
A 360-degree swivel holster is also part of the features that make this model unique and functional. The swivel enables your walkie talkie to rotate sideways to give you multiple positions.
On top of that, there is an LCD display that enables you to view your radio status during communication time. Most importantly, the auto squelch automatically shuts off any weak transmission or unwanted noise to make your communication effective even in areas that have some constraints. The whole package comes with a limited lifetime warranty that is only validated by authorized resellers.
- A combination of 2662 channels to provide an extended signal range.
- Up to 22 preset channels with privacy codes to prevent interference from others.
- 360-degree swivel holster to allow sideways rotation for multiple positions.
- LCD display for easy display of your radio status.
- Auto squelch to automatically shut off weak transmissions or any unwanted noise resulting from range or terrain constraints.
- Brand: DeWALT
- Color: Yellow and black
- Number of Channels:22
- Product Size:2.17×2.58×7.27 inches
- Product Weight:1.9 pounds
Best Compact Design: Motorola T100 Talkabout-Radio Pack
If you want to keep your family and friends together, you should think of the T100 Talkabout-Radio Pack from Motorola. This model is simple in design, compact, and extremely easy to operate. Even your kids can comfortably use it to communicate with you.
The T100 is an ideal wireless communication gadget to stay in touch with everyone. You can take it with you when going hiking, mountaineering, or taking part in any outdoor activities.
This colorful two-way radio boasts a range of 16 miles with 22 channels to keep you connected with other family members and friends. It comes in a twin pack and triple-pack including numerous features that make it compete with other brands on the market.
- Compatible with all FRS and GMRS two way radios
- Auto squelch to block weak transmission.
- Offers up to 22 channels
- Brand: Motorola
- Color: Blue and black
- Number of Channels:22
- Product Size:1.1×1.91×5.22 inches
- Product Weight:0.25 pounds
Best Slim Design: Retevis Walkie Talkies License-Free Two-Way Radio
Retevis Walkie Talkies Licence-Free Two-Way Radio is extremely slim and compact, making it ideal for business use. It features 16 channels that allow you to get connected with your friends, workmates, and family members.
Also, it comprises a 0-9-level voice-activated transmit function for real hands-free operation. This feature enables you to adjust the level depending on the environment you are in to get high-quality audio.
This model is equipped with emergency alarms to help you stay alert all the time. It includes a 6-way multi-gang charge complete with multiple charging protections to keep the walkie-talkie in good working condition. Aside from that, it is small enough to fit comfortably in your palm. Despite its small size, Retevis Walkie Talkie License-Free Two-Way Radio still provides adequate coverage in different environments.
- Compact and slim in design for business use.
- Up to 16 channels to choose from.
- 0-9 level voice-activated transmit function to allow hands-free operation.
- Brand: Retevis
- Color: Black
- Number of Channels:16
- Product Size:12.6×8.4×6.3 inches
- Product Weight:4.75 pounds
Best Sound Quality: GOCOM G200 Family Radio Service Walkie Talkie
For the best sound quality, turn to GOCOM G200 Family radio Service Walkie Talkie. With the UHF tuner technology, this two-way radio provides you with up to 22 channels.
It has a long-range that covers up to 16 miles in an open area. Besides, it is effective when it comes to communicating with analog radios. Also, it is equipped with a bold LCD faceplate to give you high visibility in all situations.
This walkie talkie consists of a set of earbud earpieces with a built-in microphone for clear communication. On top of that, this model has belt clips, six pieces of rechargeable AA batteries, and a dual USB charging cable to get you ready for communication.
Other features include smart function, weather channel, and three sensitivity levels to offer hands-free operation, sound activation(VOX), and essay voice.
- Walkie-talkie long-range to offer up to 16 miles coverage in open areas.
- 22 channels with 121 sets of CTCSS tones for privacy codes to block other conversations.
- Three sensitivity levels to provide hands-free operation, sound activation transmission(VOX), and easy voice.
- Brand: GOCOM
- Color: Black
- Number of Channels:22
- Product Size:2.09×1.5×6.89inches
- Product Weight:14.1 ounces
Professional Rechargeable 22 Channels Walkie Talkie for Adults
As a rechargeable two-way radio, Professional Rechargeable 22 Channels Walkie Talkie will serve you throughout. All you need to do is to ensure that the battery is charged to enable you to connect with other people on the same frequency.
This model features 22 channels with channel scans to help you check each activity. Plus, it comprises a Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System to provide up to 2662 channel options. These channels play the role of blocking other conversations, allowing you to enjoy clear communication throughout. Also, the easy sound and voice activation transmission or eVOX combines with three sensitivity levels to offer hands-free operation.
- 22 channels with channel scan for checking the activity.
- Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) provides 2662 channels to block other conversations.
- Easy sound and voice activation transmission(eVOX) with three sensitivity levels for hands-free operation.
- Brand: KOMVOX
- Color: Yellow and black
- Number of Channels:22
- Product Size:1.97×1.38×2.17 inches
- Product Weight:8.8 ounces
Best Versatile: Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio
Motorola T600 is a great walkie talkie that money can buy. This is true because it comes fully packed with features that make communication effective and efficient.
Speaking of features, the T600 is one of the gadgets that are waterproof. It can keep you in touch with your friends and family in all weather conditions. That’s why it has weather alert features(11 weather channels) to make sure that you are always informed of the weather conditions around you.
Push-to-talk or PTT is yet another feature that makes the T600 unique and functional. The PTT acts as a power booster to save you time and extend the battery life. In general, this product is compatible with all two-way radios, making it more popular than other models.
- Water-activated flashlight.
- 11 weather channels with alert feature to keep you updated about the prevailing weather conditions.
- Push-to-talk(PTT) power boost to save time and extend battery life.
- Brand: Motorola
- Color: Luminous green and black
- Number of Channels:22
- Product Size:7.78×2.4×1.5 inches
- Product Weight:8.6 ounces
Best Lightweight: Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios
Even though Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radio is small, it is also convenient and powerful enough to make communication easy. This lightweight walkie talkie boasts solid built and water-resistant features to enable you to use it in rainy weather conditions.
With a frequency ranging from 400 to 470, this model gives you up two 16 channels to choose from. Furthermore, it features a 16 position mechanical rotary switch to make channel selection effortless and timeless.
Just like other high-end walkie talkies, this model allows you to program 50 CTCSS tones or 105 CDCSS tones on each channel to give you clear communication. The radio is battery-powered and consists of high-quality, powerful built-in speakers to produce a clear sound.
- Solid built and water-resistant to suit different types of weather conditions.
- The frequency range of 400-470MHz UHF for more channel options.
- 16 position mechanical rotary switch for channel selection.
- Brand: Arcshell
- Color: Black
- Channel Number:16
- Product Size:0.01 ounces
- Product Weight:9.41×6.97×6.93 inches
Best User-Friendly: Midland LXT600VP3 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio
Here is another walkie talkie from Midland to give you powerful and consistent communication with friends and family members. Midland LCT600VP3 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio comes with 36 channels and privacy codes to provide clear, crisp communication.
It also uses the NOAA weather scan and alerts to keep you updated about the weather conditions.
This two-way radio is also designed to let you use a quiet operation thanks to its silent operation mode that turns off all the tones. Most significantly, it allows for easy sound and voice activation transmission or eVOX to make hands-free operation easy.
- NOAA weather scan and alert to automatically scan all-weather band channels to keep you updated.
- The silent operation to turn off all the tones for a quiet operation.
- Easy sound and voice-activated transmission (eVOX) for three levels of hands-free operation.
- Brand: Midland
- Color: Black
- Number of Channels:36
- Product Size:2.19×6.09×1.27 inches
- Product Weight:1pound
Best Walkie Talkies Buying Guide
Walkie talkies are considered the most convenient way to stay in touch with one another. You can use them when you are caught up in a lift, while trying to contact your friends or family members where cellular network is poor, in basements, deep tunnels, and anywhere else.
Also, these two-way radios are ideal when it comes to ensuring the safety of your staff members because they allow them to exchange vital information over a wide area. They are an affordable option of communication given that no call charges are involved.
When you get out to look for the best walkie talkies, you need to carry out thorough research to find the right device that will cater to all your communication needs. Your research should involve the following essential considerations:
Learn how Walkie Talkies Work
At this point, you should be aware that a walkie talkie is indeed a wireless communication device. It allows people to exchange information via radio waves. This piece of technology comprises a push-to-talk button, long-lasting batteries, durable loudspeaker, highly sensitive microphone, a transmitter, a receiver with radio channels/frequencies, and a powerful antenna. All these features combine to enhance effortless communication.
Be Familiar with Different Types of Two-Way Radios with their Frequencies Family Radio Service(FRS)
Family Radio Services use frequency modulation (FM) radiofrequency. They have up to 99 channels to choose from. This option is cheaper than most General Mobile Radio Service(GMRS) systems. Again, they are easy to operate. Even your kids can use them comfortably. Their main downside is the limited range and output compared to GMRS. In general, Family Radio Service has connectivity covering up to a mile.
Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) Two-Way Radios
The UHF two-way radios operate on frequencies ranging from 400Mhz to 512Mhz. These radios can easily penetrate concrete and metal structures. This is the reason they are an ideal choice for built-up areas such as cities and towns, hilly and densely wooded areas. The UHF signal is easily transmitted in these environments especially through or around dense objects.
Very High Frequency (VHF) Two-way Radios
The VHF two-way radios operate from 136MHz to 174MHz. The VHF walkie talkies have one great advantage over other types of two-way radios; they cover more distance even at low power. This is due to the fact that the VHF waves are relatively longer, hence they stay closer to the ground.
These radios are mainly used in marine and aviation communication. They are also suitable for ground maintenance staff, golf courses in open fields, and outdoor security environments. Unfortunately, the VHF signals do not penetrate concrete and metal structures so well. This means that VHF radios are not a great option for very built-up areas.
General Mobile Radio
This type of radio is stronger and more reliable than other options. They even have a wider range compared to Family Radio Service(FRS) radios. Their connectivity covers up to 2 miles.
Key Features to Consider When Buying the Best Walkie Talkies Range
Walkie Talkies use radio frequencies. These frequencies are only limited to 400MHz to 512MHz for the ultra-high frequency range. That is why it is prudent to take into account the range when shopping for the best walkie talkies. Long-range walkie talkies work best even in situations where other means of communication are not able to work properly.
The most common downside of using hand-held two-way radios is the interference on specific channels. This is the reason most walkie talkie models allow users to switch between different channels. Most outstanding commercial and industrial walkie talkies come fully packed with 99 channels. On top of that, they have multiple tones set to handle multiple channels.
- Battery Life
You should also consider the battery life for the walkie talkie model you want to buy. Most portable two-way radios are designed to serve you for long hours. A typical walkie talkie should operate up to a maximum of 12 hours depending on how you use it. In this case, your walkie talkie should have a great battery that will last for several hours on a single charge. Long working hours enable you to communicate with other people at any time.
- Design and Durability
The design of a given model of walkie talkie can determine its durability. With durability in place, you can use your walkie talkie anywhere provided that communication between you and the other party is possible. Having a two-way radio that is well-designed, damage-resistant, and strong is a great advantage in the first place. As such, you need to spend a fortune to secure a walkie talkie that will give you value for your money.
Aside from the aforementioned features, a good two-way radio must be waterproof and dustproof to withstand different environmental conditions. Also, the best hand-held walkie talkie should come with interesting features to entice the user.
- Size and Weight
When choosing your best walkie talkie, consider the size, weight, and shape. This is important especially if you are planning to use it as backpacking. In this regard, you will have to settle for a lightweight two-way radio that is not too bulky to become a burden to you.
If you are a mountaineer or skier, make sure to buy an ergonomic shape that you can use when wearing gloves. Also, consider a model that has an antenna length similar to the length of its body. An antenna of that size is likely to provide you with peak power despite the size of your walkie talkie.
Interference or Privacy: Eliminator Codes
Using your walkie talkie in a busy place can be a real hassle especially if your device has fewer channels (22 channels utmost). Luckily, most two-way radio models are equipped with a Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System, popularly known as CTCSS or the Continuous Digital Coded Squelch System (CDCSS) to allow you to use a busy but main channel in busy places such as ski resorts.
These features provide you with privacy codes that help you communicate well with an intended person without any form of inference. Privacy codes enable you to connect successfully with a combination of channels as well as codes for clear communication.
For example, you can combine Channel 5 with Code 3 to enjoy better communication with the person on the other end. The work of CDCSS or CTCSS codes is to minimize-but, not eliminate-the unwanted chatter on the channel you are using. Bear in mind that a privacy code does not render your communication private. That’s why many users refer to this feature as an interference elimination code.
Other Features to Look Out for
- Calling and paging
- Keypad lock
- Voice-activated transmit or VOX
- Noise filter
- Weather radio
- Weather alerts and weather channels
- Out of range alerts
- Animal alerts
- Belt clips and holsters
- Radio or GPS combo units
- Texting/GPS units
- Two-way radio batteries and chargers
- Multiple channels
Best Walkie Talkies Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
As a customer, you may have some questions that you need their answers to. These questions come about as a result of doubts that many people have when shopping for the best walkie talkies. Here are some of the common questions and answers regarding the two-way radios:Q: Which is a better-license-free walkie talkie or licensed walkie talkie? A: A license-free walkie talkie is a good option for you if you are going to use it in your small building or a small/light commercial industry. On the other hand, you need a licensed walkie talkie if you are intending to use it in a heavy industrial premise or more complex and large workplaces. Q: What range does the long range walkie talkie have? A: The range depends on a number of factors such as the obstacles, hindrances, and so on. In ideal conditions, a long range walkie talkie can cover between 20 and 50 miles. However, this range is never always achieved due to factors such as physical obstructions and atmospheric conditions at a given location. Q: How does a walkie talkie battery last? A: A fully-charged walkie talkie can last between 8 and 12 hours. This duration depends largely on how often you use your two-way radio. However, you can buy a new battery if your walkie talkie shows signs such as decreased range, less talk time, and persistent low battery notifications. Q: Which is better-analog walkie talkie or digital walkie talkie? A: The type of walkie talkie you choose depends on your needs. Analog walkie talkies are known to give lesser coverage than digital models. Besides, their audio output is not as clear as you would expect. Anyway, analog two-way radios are affordable. With digital walkie talkies, things are a little bit better. This is because they offer clear audio quality in addition to providing you advanced coverage. Q: Who should hear the conversation when I’m using my walkie talkie? A: The only people who can hear a conversation when using the walkie talkie are those that are using the same frequency/channel as yours. No other person outside your frequency can hear your conversation. Q: Why do some people refer to a walkie talkie as a two-way radio? A: The old radio version works in the same manner as the walkie talkie. The only difference here is that you can only listen to the normal radio but not use it to transmit your voice to another recipient. The walkie talkie, however, allows you to listen and talk to someone at the other end. That is why it is called a two-way radio. Q: Can my walkie talkie be traced? A: The answer is yes. Your two-way radio can easily be traced using triangulation methods. The method can trace walkie talkies that are using the frequency or channels illegally. Q: What are the walkie talkie privacy codes? A: Also known as sub-channels, the walkie talkie privacy codes refer to the codes that are usually set on the walkie talkies to enable you and other people to listen to each other. In other words, these codes filter out any other unauthorized transmission on the same frequency/channel. Keep in mind that it is only a privacy code but not an encrypted code. This means that anyone can easily dial into another person’s privacy codes and still communicate normally. Q: Can my walkie talkie work perfectly while I’m on a cruise ship? A: Yes! Walkie talkies can work virtually everywhere, even in space. So, using your walkie talkie while on a cruise ship is possible although there are a few challenges you may face. Cruise ships have steel structures which normally make it difficult for walkie talkie signals to penetrate them. Regardless of these obstacles, your walkie talkie will work fine while aboard a cruise ship. Q: Which is the most appropriate walkie talkie app to use? A: The best application that you can use on your walkie talkie is the Zello Walkie Talkie app. The app boasts millions of subscribers worldwide. All you need to do is to install it, create an account and start using it. Make sure you have a strong and fast internet within reach to utilize this app to your advantage.
The best walkie talkies are a must-have if you want to enjoy clear and effective communication. Ultimately, the most appropriate option depends solely on where you are going to use it, the environment, application, features, and most importantly, your budget.
A good two-way radio should offer top-notch features such as safety GPS, Bluetooth, and many others. Above all, it should be easy to use and affordable. That said, our best overall model among the reviewed above is Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel GMRS Walkie Talkie. Apparently, this model comes fully-loaded with great features that make your communication and interaction with the other party easy, effective, and clear. Most significantly, it is easy to operate in addition to being durable.
Other models on this list are also great and have world-class features that will make your communication enjoyable and easy. You just need to spot the right model, check your budget well and go for it before someone else buys it.