Whether you’re purchasing a two-way radio for recreational purposes or for work, there are a few things you need to consider first, as covered in the best walkie talkie buying guide. For instance, range and frequency bands are important factors. If you’re planning on using your two-way radio on a camping or hiking trip, you should ideally pick one which:
a) Has long-range capabilities
b) Utilizes VHF frequencies (better at penetrating tree trunks and leaves)
c) Is waterproof
If you’d rather not spend your time pouring over spec sheets, then you’ve come to the right place. Our top six walkie talkie picks for 2019 below cover a wide variety of requirements. Hence, you’re bound to find one that suits your needs:
The first thing you’ll notice about the Motorola MR350R is the fact that it’s incredibly comfortable to hold. Not only are they quite compact but their recessed sides allow you to maintain an easy grip on them.
Despite the MR350R being a small device, the large buttons make operations a breeze. You don’t have to worry about pressing the wrong button even while wearing gloves. In addition, the walkie talkie sports a large screen which is backlit, making it completely operable at night.
The Motorola MR350R comes with both Push-To-Talk buttons and an iVOX function which triggers the radio to start transmitting whenever you speak into it.
What about range? If you don’t have a GMRS license and don’t plan on using repeaters, then you can realistically expect to get about 2 to 3 miles, which is plenty for most applications. If you do have a license, however, you can get up to 35 miles, especially with the use of repeaters!
In addition to these features, you also get:
· 22 Channels
· 121 Privacy Codes
· 20 Call tones/ring tones
· 11 Weather Reporting Channels
Cobra makes excellent outdoor walkie talkies and the ACXT645 is no exception. First and foremost, its rugged build makes it the ideal companion for tough adventures. In fact, the ‘A’ in ACXT645 stands for ‘Adventure’. Furthermore, it’s waterproof and comes pre-packaged with 10 NOAA weather alert channels. Hence, the ACXT645 is well suited for camping out or hiking during the rainy season.
In addition, the ACXT645 offers a max 35-mile range (on GMRS channels), a built-in flashlight for late-night treks and a VOX feature.
It’s pretty much impossible to find a Top Walkie Talkies list that doesn’t feature the Midland GXT1000VP4. The GXT1000VP4 comes packaged with 50 channels, of which 28 are pre-programmed with privacy codes. The remaining 22 include 8 GMRS channels, 7 FRS channels and 7 channels that can dial into both frequencies.
In addition, you also get 10 NOAA weather alert channels. The Midland GXT1000VP4 is able to withstand about 30 minutes of heavy rainfall but it can’t be submerged in water. It offers a max coverage of 36 miles, making it one of the longest range devices on our list. In addition, the GXT1000VP4 comes with:
· eVox with adjustable sensitivity
· a Whisper system
· Vibrating alerts
· Battery conservation modes
· Keypad lock
· A large backlit LCD display
BaoFeng UV-8R (BF-RS55)
The BaoFeng UV-8R is a dual-band two-way radio with a lot to offer. For starters, it comes with a high-gain 12-inch antenna that’ll make sure you always latch on to a signal, regardless of where you are. It also means clearer transmission quality.
The fact that you can toggle between different power settings is a godsend when you’re trying to conserve battery. Couple this with the fact that you can easily switch between VHF and UHF frequencies and a five-mile range, and you’ve got a very capable outdoor walkie talkie on your hands.
But that’s not all! The BaoFeng UV-8R contains a chipset with built-in noise reduction features. This means no static noise or distortions while you’re sending and receiving transmissions. In addition, you get:
· A VOX function
· 22 channels
· 128 preset storage
· A Time-out-timer
· Keypad lock
· Built-in LED flashlight
· Emergency Alert
The Talkabout T631 has one of the most rugged exteriors we’ve ever seen in walkie talkies. Pair this up with its waterproof design and built-in emergency features, and you have a radio that can get you through the most extreme situations.
The T631 allows a maximum range of up to 35 miles, which should be enough to keep you connected to society while you are in remote locations. The backlit LCD screen and built-in flashlight should keep the device operable at all times. In addition, the T631’s design allows it to float on water, so you don’t have to worry about taking it with you on your next fishing trip or boating excursion.
This walkie talkie gives you 22 channels and 121 privacy codes to secure your transmissions. Furthermore, it can last for up to 23 hours of light use on 3AA Alkaline Batteries.
Rounding up our list is the CXT1045R-FLT from Cobra. Like the ACXT645 it is built for outdoor use. Boasting a max coverage of 37 miles, the CXT1045R-FLT is the longest range walkie talkie on our list. It’s got 22 channels and is compatible with 121 CTCSS/DCS codes to cut out outside interference during transmissions. The 10 included NOAA alert channels are perfect for avoiding or sheltering against bad weather.
One feature we absolutely love about the CXT1045R-FLT is ‘Rewind-Say-Again’ which automatically stores the last 20 seconds of incoming transmissions so that you can replay them. This way you’ll never miss an important message. Last but not least, this walkie talkie floats on water, so you’ll never lose it while on a boating or kayaking trip.
Which Is The Best For You?
Depending on what you plan to use it for, your ideal walkie talkie will vary. For example, if you do a lot of rock or mountain climbing, an ergonomic-but-rugged radio like the Motorola MR350R could be what you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you’re trying to coordinate a warehouse operation or a large film set, GMRS-capable walkie talkies like the Midland GXT1000VP4 and BaoFeng UV-8R will allow you to transmit securely over long ranges.