Before writing this piece, I consulted with a few friends that enjoy mountain climbing; they all had their different inputs, with them disagreeing on what part of the climb was the thrill but ultimately agreeing on two things. With the first being its a pleasurable feel with an adrenaline surge raging through your body and that the climb is only as good as your gear.
Mountain climbing is now without its challenges; this is why you need to be armed with the best ropes, the best harnesses and, very importantly, the best two-way radios for mountains. You are probably wondering what makes a radio for mountains, how does it differ from regular everyday two-way radios. The answer is simple, how the device handles being bashed against rocks, how it can withstand the harsh surroundings, its ranges for communication, and its function to make for a more comfortable climbing experience.
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Considerations choosing mountain walkie talkies
There are many factors to consider when you look to purchase a walkie talkie for mountain climbing, skiing or any other activity. Each brand has its strengths and weaknesses, with all of them meeting the purchase requirements in their unique way. If you are unsure of what to expect from walkie talkies with longest range, the following guides will set you on the right path.
As fun as climbing a mountain might seem, it does not take away from the fact that it is tasking and, in many ways, a dangerous activity. This is why it is best to keep the weight of all you would be carrying at the barest minimum; you should try and shed as much weight as possible before embarking on this exciting journey. For this reason, the smaller, lighter weight walkie talkies are the preferred option.
The device’s range is how much distance can be between your receiver and that of a friend or teammate for optimum communication to take place still. It goes without saying that the better brands and models have a longer range of communication. And it is especially important that you can receive radio signals clearly when you intend to tour the remote parts of the world and climb the highest peaks.
You would be climbing rocks, dragging your body mass uphill, there are likely to be times where you would brush your gear off the side of the mountain, or it could fall in the snow when you set up camp. There are no limitations to the difficulty the radio would face at the higher altitudes; this is why it is necessary that you pick out a radio that can survive all these and keep on going.
These add-ons aim to make your mountaineering experience easier and more pleasurable. The following features add an extra layer of security and comfort.
NOAA Radio: This feature gives you access to some weather channels that keep you up to date on how the weather around you is doing. It informs you of the changes and allows you to change your schedule; being one step ahead of mother nature is a big plus.
Headset Jack: The headset jack allows for more effortless mobility; you can stay tuned to your favorite channels, listen to conversations with your friends or members of your party without needing to touch the radio.
Another factor that you should consider when making your choice is if the radio would need a license to operate, leading us to two radio types: the Family Radio Service (FRS) radios and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radios. FRS radios are generally cheaper than GMRS radios, and this is primarily because they do not offer as much range as the GMRS radios, which boils down to their limited wattage. FRS radios are often limited to half a watt (500 milliwatts), and GRMS radios can have as much as 50 watts of power. You would still need to be issued a license by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before you can operate most GMRS radios.
The radio’s quality is often dependent on how many hours you can use it on end, with the higher end radios offering use for up to 24 hours on a full charge. It is also vital that your radio has multiple power sources, with the most common options being aaa batteries, aa batteries, and rechargeable battery packs. And for ease of use, it is preferable that your radio feature USB charging, so you can power it on the go.
Gearing up to go up a mountain might be an expensive undertaking, but one thing you would not have to worry bout is the price of these walkie talkies. On this list, we have a compilation of walkie talkies that would fit conveniently into any budget. They would make a great companion on your adventure and cost little to nothing compared to everything you need.
10 Best walkie talkie for mountains
1. Midland GXT1000VP4
The design of this device makes it the best two-way radio for mountains. Its LCD display allows the radio users to see the status of their radio’s features, and the NOAA weather channels let you know ahead and are informed about weather conditions. With this radio, you can build quality communications in rocky mountain terrain.
- It is a 50 channel radio with loud audio quality for clear communications.
- It is water-resistant to prevent damage in wet environments or during rain.
- The product comes with rechargeable battery packs.
- The products are not suitable for children.
2. Ansoko Walkie Talkies
These walkie talkies are equipped for anything you encounter during your adventures mountaineering. The FRS/gmrs two way radios utilize UHF waves for transmission over distances reaching more than a 4-mile long-range making it the best two-way radio for mountains. The units have a charging base and can last up to 12 hours.
- It has a VOX function to allow you to utilize the device hands-free while you climb the mountain.
- One of the radio’s useful features is the weather alerts, which keep you updated and prepared.
- It is portable with belt clips or straps and easy to use.
- The presence of obstructions limits the range.
3. Midland – X-TALKER T77VP5
This high-performance two-way radio gives you access to weather channels, but regardless of the weather conditions, it is water-resistant so it can withstand exposure to rain. These models are one of the best two-way radios with features such as the VOX feature to communicate information even when you are occupied on the mountain.
- The FRS radio is the best two-way radio for mountains to get clear and quality communication.
- It comes with headsets and uses rechargeable batteries.
- The products have 36 preset channels and 121 privacy codes.
- You can easily connect to several other two way radios on the same frequency.
- The signal transmission range is dependent on conditions and terrain.
- It is not suitable for extended submersion in water.
4. COBRA ACXT1035R
When considering the beat two-way radios to take on your mountain trip, these are the best two-way radios for mountainous terrain. The models are designed to be suited to aid communication and ease for the user. It has the waterproof and floating features to ensure your device is safe in a wet environment, and you can check up on expected weather conditions with the weather channels.
- It uses rechargeable batteries and has enduring battery life.
- The device has loud and clear sound quality.
- It has an impressive reception and the rewind-say-again feature to record and replay calls and audio.
- Transmissions are limited by interference.
- The belt clip removes too easily.
5. Uniden SX507-2CKHS
This is an excellent choice for use anywhere outdoors, as is the best handheld radio for mountains. Its transmissions reach up to a 50-mile range in an area without obstructions, and the technology allows for easy operation. It is easy to hear the information being communicated as clear as day because of its high sound quality.
- The model has 22 channels and 142 privacy codes to prevent interference.
- It has the waterproof and floating features and provides the NOAA weather alert function.
- It has the direct call feature to send exclusive calls to an individual in your group.
- The range is hugely dependent on terrain.
- The product does not have a port for an AC rechargeable cable.
6. Arcshell Rechargeable Radios
This is a top pick device for your mountain adventures with channel time-out timer and noise reduction features.
The radio utilizes long-lasting rechargeable batteries and UHF waves for longer frequency range. This radio offers you the best value for your money without disappointment.
- The radio has 16 channels and 50 CTCSS/105 CDCSS.
- It uses a Li-ion battery, and the earpieces and required charger are included in the package.
- It has water resistance to protect the device in a wet location.
- The device has VOX function and other equipment for you to connect with people easily while staying engaged with your activities.
- Belt clips should be attached using a screwdriver.
- Battery life varies based on how much transmission is done.
7. Midland – X-TALKER T51VP3
This device is a license-free, easy-to-use two-way radio. It provides clear, high-quality signal, transmission and sound, making it the go-to tool for outdoor activities that require long-range communication. Its unique weather scan feature gives you real-time weather updates, and the NOAA Weather Scan alert sounds an alarm to indicate when weather conditions could become severe in your area.
- The T71VP3 is waterproof and features nine levels of e- VOX hands-free Operation
- Its 121 privacy codes and channel combination ensure that all your conversations are secure.
- It has a Weather Alert feature and dual power options.
- The “AA” Alkaline batteries are not included
8. Retevis RT21 Walkie Talkies
This is a great device that tops the list of walkie talkies for use while mountain climbing. The RT21 is a simple, easy-to-use two-way radio which provides long ranges of transmission, secure frequencies and strong signals for seamless conversations when on the go with friends and family. The RT21 features a solid casing and belt clip and can be held comfortably by both adults and children.
- It has a long-lasting 1100mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery to make sure you never run out of power.
- The device’s emergency alert feature ensures safety alone or in groups.
- It has a solid belt clip to attach to clothes.
- The sound quality drops in a very noisy environment
9. Motorola Talkabout T460
This device is a sleek, simple two-way radio great for mountain climbing activities. Enjoy seamless connections to friends with up to 35-mile range, 22 channels with 121 privacy codes each, unmatched sound quality and strong radio signals, no matter the weather condition. The T460 features a simple push-to-talk button and hands-free communication to ensure that you’re always on the go. Stay secure during night adventures or power outages with its built-in LED flashlight. The NOAA Alert option gives you real-time weather updates. Its intelligent technology and unique features make it the top pick among two-way radio devices for outdoor adventures.
- There are two ways to power radio—rechargeable batteries or 3 AA batteries.
- It provides real-time weather updates
- It has a LED Flashlight and a PTT Power Boost feature
- The two-way radio has limited mile range when on water
- It comes in only one colorway
10. Motorola MR350R
The MR350R is the best device for mountaineering adventures. This two-way radio has 22 channels (each with 121 privacy codes), up to 35 miles range, unbeatable battery life and audio quality making it the top choice for outdoor enthusiasts seeking. Navigate dark spots and dimly-lit places with its built-in LED flashlight, and in case of a slip, its dust protection and water resistance ensure that your device stays safe and intact.
- The NOAA Weather Alert feature with 11 weather channels keeps you up-to-date with the weather conditions.
- The MR350R gives you excellent value for your money.
- It uses IVOX Hands-free communication, and a built-in LED Flashlight.
- The radio has dual Power option, dust protection and water resistance.
- It has only one colorway.
Overall Best Buy
The Motorola MR350R. All the radios on this list are excellent two-way radios and would make the best companion on the road and your travels, but there must be only one, and that is the MR350R. The first thing that strikes you about this radio is the stylish design and build quality. The radio looks like it was built to withstand whatever you throw at it and, at the same time, continues to be aesthetically pleasing. Couple these with the numerous functionalities, and you would see why this is beyond any doubt the best buy.
Best Budget Buy
The four-pack Arcshell radios. Arcshell is a well-known name in the two-way radio industry; they are known for producing quality products at friendly, affordable prices, as can be seen with this product. The package includes four states of the art communications radios, and the pack retails at under $50. This choice is a steal considering that the radios are small, lightweight, and feature a range of functions, including the powerful 1500mAH rechargeable battery, top quality built-in speaker, hands-free vox function privacy tones for discreet conversations.
How to connect walkie talkies
Connecting two walkie talkies is as easy as it sounds. In most cases, all you would have to do is tune the radios to the same frequency or channel, push the PTT button, and you are good to go. If you do this and are unable to pick up a signal from the other radio, check the following.
Range: Before two radios can connect effectively, you must ensure that both devices are in communication range. The radios must at a distance in which they both can send and receive information on the same channel or frequency. Check the radios packaging for more information on the range.
Brand/Model: The different radio brands and models have frequencies programmed to different channels. So if the radios are not connecting when tuned to the same channel, the chances are that the channels correspond to different frequencies. At this point, you would need to tune in to the same frequency on both devices.
Privacy codes: If you check the range and manually tune in to the same frequency on both radios and are still unable to connect the devices, the problem must be with the radios’ privacy tones. These codes help prevent interference when conversing on a channel; they help ensure privacy and are of two types: the Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) and the Digital Coded Squelch (DCS). If you cannot pair the radios, it must mean the squelch system on the radios is not compatible, and this would require that you turn it off on both radios.
Where to buy two-way radios for mountain use
If you are looking to buy the best handheld radio for mountains, you can check an electronics store near you, although, at times like this, it is best to reduce social interactions as much as possible. For this reason, It is advised that you shop at online stores, with the added benefits of comfort, more options and competitive prices. You should make sure to only shop at reputable stores that offer quality products for sale, a refund policy if there are any mixup and a vibrant online community that can explain how the store works.