Reviews

Best Two-Way Radios: Stay Connected With Your Hiking Buddies

A quality two-way radio ensures you can keep in touch with your team

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  • Product Network

    22 Products

  • Clock

    13 Hours

  • Reviews

    10 Reviews

How We Decided

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PUBLISHED ON November 19, 2019

Although social media has made keeping in touch with colleagues easy, we still need walkie talkies. Consider that when you go upcountry for hiking or camping, you need an easy way to communicate. Sometimes cellphones are not reliable due to difficulties in finding service in remote areas. Therefore, we have assembled the best three two-way radios on the market.

  • Best Overall
    Motorola Talkabout Radio
    Summary
    Summary

    For serious outdoor enthusiasts, the Motorola Talkabout radio is a must-have. It features a powerful range of up to 23 miles and 22 channels to keep in touch with friends and family. Each of the 22 channels has 121 privacy codes for enhanced interference protection.

    Pros
    Pros

    The unit is small and lightweight to ensure portability. Its rechargeable battery can go for up to 10 hours on a single charge. Features dust and dripping water protection ratings.

    Cons
    Cons

    This unit is more expensive than many other units on the market. Some users claim the battery loses its capacity with time.

  • Best Value
    Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios
    Summary
    Summary

    With a five-mile range, frequency of UHF 400-470MHz and 16 pre-programmed channels, this radio enhances communication between team members. It features quality speakers for crystal-clear sound. It is also lightweight and small in size.

    Pros
    Pros

    It comes with a 1500mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which lasts up to 96 hours on a single charge. Features an earpiece and a push to talk button for easy usage.

    Cons
    Cons

    Its range is just 5 miles, which might not suit some users. It does not come with a programming cable or software needed for reprogramming.

  • Honorable Mention
    Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio
    Summary
    Summary

    This radio features a 36-mile range for longer communication distance and nine sensitivity levels for hands-free operation. Its privacy codes provide up to 3,124 channels to block other conversations.

    Pros
    Pros

    Its waterproof rating of JIS4 means it is protected from splashing water. Features NOAA Weather Scan, which scans through 10 available weather band channels to alert you of severe weather updates.

    Cons
    Cons

    You need a license to use this radio. Its battery life is not as good as others. Some users claim that the radio does not accept other AA batteries.

Why Trust Us


All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Tips

  • Different radios have different purposes. It is important to choose the one that suits your requirements. For example, if you need a hiking radio, go for one that is waterproof. On the other hand, if the radio is for a business, you may want one with a suitable frequency range.
  • It is important to note that some radios (GMRS) require licenses. If you want to avoid radio license classes, go for models that have family radio service (FRS) features.
  • It is advisable to buy a radio based on your level of experience. If you are new to them and need just a communicating unit, get one that does not require programming. Also, consider the portability of your device.

FAQs

Q: How does a two-way radio work?

A: A two-way radio can transmit and receive a signal (transceiver). It uses a single radio channel and operates in half-duplex mode, which means a user can either receive or listen, but not do both at the same time.

Q: How can I boost my two-way radio signal?

A: The best way to boost a radio signal is to avoid obstacles. Therefore, if you cannot receive a signal clearly, try getting on higher ground.

Q: What is the longest range for a two-way radio?

A: The range on which the radio can transmit a signal depends on the make of the radio and the obstacles in the area. Some radios have a range of more than 35 miles while others have as little as 2 miles of range.

Q: Can UHF radio talk to a VHF radio?

A: UHF radio communicates only in UHF frequency (430-470Mhz), while VHF radio transmits in VHF (105-174Mhz) frequency only. Therefore, it is not possible to merge the two frequencies.

Final Thoughts

If you mean business and you need a reliable, long-range, and portable two-way radio, we recommend the Motorola Talkabout Radio

However, if you are on a budget and still need a radio that can communicate at up to a 5-mile radius, consider the Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios.