Looking to find the ideal walkie talkie for an outdoor hike? We have you covered!
Many people hike for different reasons, majorly because it is good exercise and helps to keep the body in shape. Other people go hiking to bond with nature and in many cases to bond with friends and family that might join in on the hike.
Hiking usually takes people to remote places and on paths that might stretch for long distances, this is why it is important to be with a state of the art communications device to chat with people in your party and radio for help if need be. There are many walkie talkie brands and models on the market, if you re wondering which to purchase and why, you are not alone The many options necessitated this product reviews of the best hiking walkie talkies on the market.
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Considerations Choosing Hiking Walkie Talkies
There are many factors to consider when picking out two way radios to ensure you get the most value for money spent. There are many walkie talkie manufacturers to choose from, with each offering a range of models that have different perks and downsides. The following is a guide to help you pick out the best walkie talkie for your hike.
One important factor to consider when choosing a two way radio is the dimensions of the device. When you are on the move you want to travel light, you would need a handy talkie that can easily fit in your hand, pocket or easily be packed in luggage. The smaller sized radios means more mobility and in some cases less functionality, or a smaller battery capacity, so when choosing based on size, you would need to decide what is more important to you.
The range these devices offer is how much distance can be between the radios for optimum conversations to be made. It goes without saying that the more the range on the gadget the better, The range is affected by the wattage on the radio, with some devices allowing the option to boost the power levels or power output for longer transmission ranges. Another factor that determines the range is the number of obstacles or obstructions in the environment.
The device should be able to handle being used in tough weather and harsh terrain. The higher end models offer some protection against shock, dust and water. When you plan to go for a hike, it is important that you are with a radio that can survive the wear and tear that comes with being used outdoors.
How long time you have on a full charge is very important, because if your battery does not hold enough charge you would be unable to enjoy the full potential of the device, The best radios offer a high battery capacity, alternate methods of powering the device, some of which include rechargeable battery packs, aa batteries and aaa batteries. The top brands allow their devices be charged by micro USB cables, a desktop charger, or a dock/charging station.
There are two radio types when licensing is considered; Family Radio Service (FRS) radios and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radios. The two radio types differ in many ways, one of which is the wattage with GMRS radios having as many as 50 watts of power, allowing for more transmission range. FRS radios on the other hand are allows half a watt (500 milliwatts) of power, and this significantly reduces the range, making them the cheaper option of the two. This significant difference in power and transmission range is one major reason why GMRS radios require licensing by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Asides the primary function of a walky talky which is to connec people, some radios offer more features and functionalities. The follong are examples of such features:
Weather channels : Some radios have a weather channel feature that keeps the user updated about the changes in the weather conditions in the areas around you.
Waterproofing: Many top radio picks have waterproof seals that protect the radio from a spills, splashes and some devices can be submerged in water, float and still function properly once the water is drained. Water resistance is a very important feature if you intend to spend time exploring the outdoors.
Flashlight: This is an interesting feature to have on your radio, it allows you keep going when night falls and would be of great help in emergency situations.
Most people do not see the need to have a walkie talkie on a walk and are not interested in spending a fortune to secure one. Don’t worry, as we have got you covered with some of the best cheap walkie talkies for hiking. Don’t let their affordable prices give the impression that they are tacky or substandard, they offer the vital functions you would need when you are outdoors.
13 Best Hiking Walkie Talkies
These 2 watt walkie talkies has 22 channels with privacy codes with an impressive range and no interference. The two way radio is very easy to use for your hiking trips. The radio has the VOX function so you can keep up communication when your hands are busy. The radio’s dust and water resistance has an Ip67 standard and reduces risk of damage during your hike.
- The signal covers a long range up to 25 floors.
- It has an antidrop design and is built to withstand falls and drops.
- The gang charger is included in the product pack.
- The belt clip can be flimsy and has to removed for charging.
This 50 channel GMRS two way radio provides high performance with features such as the SOS siren, LCD screen and noaa weather alerts each helping to build quality connection during the hiking experience. The long range walkie talkie has a design that is water resistant to prevent unexpected damage from rain or splashes and can be operated hands free with its 9 sensitivity levels.
- The 50 channels on this GMRS device each have 142 privacy codes.
- It has built-in boom microphones for clear sound quality over up to a 36 mile long range.
- The required rechargeable battery pack, belt clip and manual are included in the box.
- The set is not military grade.
- The device is not suitable for use by children under 3 years.
GOCOM Walkie Talkies
The 32 mile long range walkie talkie for adults has excellent sound quality and us easy to use to build quality communication while hiking. It has a VOX scan function so you can use these walkie talkies hands free and you can also get water alerts using the noaa weather channels. However, with the waterproofing the radio stays functioning properly when it gets rainy.
- The two way radios have voice activation function and a crystal clear sound quality.
- It uses belt clips and a rechargable battery.
- It has a keypad lock so you can avoid accidentally tampering with the channels.
- It has extensive charging periods lasting hours to a day.
- Signal range varies based on the terrain of the environment.
Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio
Your hiking adventure is an easier and more exciting experience with this lightweight long range walkie talkie. This is the best walkie talkie to communicate over a long distances with transmissions up to a 16 mile distance and it provides durability and reliability. This model has the keypad and call tone and its auto squelch feature as part of its functionality.
- The radio can be attached to clothes using the belt clip and used hands free.
- It has 22 channels and a high sound quality.
- It has a LED display to inform about the status of the device.
- Weather and obstructions vastly limit the range.
- The batteries are not rechargeable and are difficult to change.
Ansoko FRS/GMRS Radio
The Ansoko long range walkie talkies are easy to use during hiking activities. While you hike, you can keep up communications hands free with these two way radios using the VOX feature while keeping it securely attached to you with the wrist strap. The technology uses UHF waves for wider range of transmissions and a long lasting lithium ion battery pack.
- Users can listen to clear sound using the built-in speaker or included earpiece.
- The unit has a led flashlight and a detachable antenna
- It provides better range in areas with obstruction.
- It is not suitable for use in extreme temperatures and wet environments.
- The batteries take hours to fully charge.
This two way radio has 22 channels with privacy codes to prevent interference and a channel scanning feature to source out available channels for your use. The frs/gmrs radios use durable AA batteries and transmit frequencies up to a 25 mile range. The design of these walkie talkies are fitted for your use outdoors with features such as NOAA weather channels to give access to weather reports.
- The two way radios can be used to communicate hands free with the iVOX/VOX function.
- It allows for customized call tones from the 20 available tones.
- These devices have a portable, simple and efficient design for the best performance.
- The radio is not waterproof or shock resistant
Midland – X-TALKER T77VP5
These two way radios have a small easy to hold size and utilize a rechargeable battery pack. The 36 channel device has 121 privacy codes for optimal performance without interference. A user can apply this long range walkie talkie range over up to 38 mile range.
- The 36 channels programmed on the device have 121 CTCSS privacy codes providing 2662 options for use.
- The two way radio is packaged with a carrying case and headset.
- It is water-resistant to protect the device from damage.
- It uses a USB car adapter and an AC wall adapter.
- It is not suitable for extended submersion in water.
- Range is dependent on terrain and other conditions.
Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio
The devices have a portable and water resistant design for impressive performance during your hiking trips. The units are suitable for the conditions outdoors and can be utilized hands free with the VOX function. The long range walkie talkie sends transmissions over up to 35 mile distances and the range can be extended by a power boost with the push to talk (ppt) button.
- The unit uses long lasting AA batteries, micro-USB charging and dual power.
- It has a water activated flashlight suited for night use.
- The two way radios have 22 channels with 121 privacy codes.
- The water resistance or float feature reduces risk of damage or loss.
- It doesn’t include a carrying case or car charger.
- The device has hyperssensitive flashlight sensors causing risk of accidental power drain.
Midland – LXT118
The compact, simple and easy to use design of these walkie talkies gives room for flexibility in communication while you hike. The 22 channel two way radios cover 18 mile range distances in areas with less obstruction and can be used hands free with the VOX function making the pair perfect choices for your hiking adventures.
- The waterproof device can be used hands-free or hand held with a belt clip to attach on clothes.
- The tech has a button lock function to give you control of the keypad and avoid accidentally tampering with the channels.
- It has quality receivers for clear sound and wide range transmission.
- The battery life of the included battery is not so long and is susceptible to quick drain.
- The range is reduced in build-up areas with more obstructions.
Motorola Talkabout T465
These 2 way radios have features such as the noaa weather channels and the alert button that make them the best walkie talkies to take for a hike. The design of the model has a lightweight and portable size and is great for communication over a long distance. The units have a built-in flashlight for night time and LED display to know the state of your device.
- The two way radio has 22 channels with 121 privacy codes and transmits frequencies up to a 35 mile range in open field.
- It uses a quality speaker and receiver for users to quickly and clearly share information and keep up conversation.
- The tech comes with a ppt headset and is weatherproof in preparation for conditions outdoors.
- The range of transmission can be extended using the PPT button power boost function.
- It can give loud static noice and the scanning feature takes a while to lock on priority channels.
The Uniden unit is a lightweight, long range communication receiver with premium construction, design and technology. The manufacturer is known for producing the best two way radios and they have not disapapointed with this model.The two way radio allows the user access to 22 channels in a 50 mile range which can be affected by the weather and physical obstructions in the area. The radio offers protection against water damage and even floats when dropped in fluid. It comes with an easy to understand instructions manual, a durable belt clip 14 hours battery life from the rechargeable NiMH batteries.
- The radio can be submerged in water up to three feet for half an hour
- The radio features 142 privacy codes to prevent against interference during calls
- The range can be better
- You might experience battery drain after prolonged use
The BaoFeng BF – F8HP two way radio has a display that allows you monitor all the radio vitals, from the radio signals to how much life is left in the battery. This walkie talkie is the ultimate long range communication device has it is fitted with a battery that offers 30% more battery power than the one in the older model. the Baofeng BF – F8HP also comes with 128 channels and privacy codes that allows you have private conversations with people over the radio. Baofeng is a favorite for amny people because they offer the same features you would expect from other manufacturers, but at an affordable price.
- It is ideal for long range communication
- The Baofeng BF F8HP has a powerful, long lasting battery
- The radio is bulky
This Motorola model is at the peak of radio engineering with its small, sleek body and interesting features. The Motorola MR350R frs/gmrs two way radio has 22 channels, a vibracall feature, hand free communication with the iVOX/VOX feature, about a dozen weather channels, and comes with belt clips in the package. This 2 way radio is powered by three aa batteries, to get the longest battery life it is advised that you use polaroid aa batteries. The radio has a built in flashlight, and has an IP51 rating.
- The buttons are large for easy access
- The radio is small and has a light weight.
- It has dual power
- The radio is not durable
Overall Best Buy
The DeWalt DXFRS800. This is the perfect outdoorsman radio, it is the ideal radio to be used anywhere and at every place. The construction makes the radio very durable, and ideal for every outdoor activity. The purchase comes with a warranty when made from authorized resellers, the radio’s two watts of power provides a signal range for communication across 25 floors of 300,000 square feet. The DeWalt radio is dustproof and waterproof with an IP67 rating.
Best Budget Buy
The Motorola T100 radios. All the radio models on this list are perfect for different outdoor activities, but of all of them, the Motorola T100 gives the user the most value for the money spent. The radio is powered by three aaa batteries, it has 22 channels, auto squelch, a call tone, keypad tone and a talk confirmation tone.
Where to buy walkie talkies for hiking?
You can purchase two way radios for hiking at an electronics store near you, if you are unsure of the brand or model you are trying to buy, you should ask an attendant to help you pick one out that features the functionality you would want from the device. If you want more choices and a competitive price, you should consider shopping at online stores. Make sure that you at online stores with an active online community.
What are the best walkie talkies for hiking?
All the walkie talkies on the list would make excellent companions when walking your favorite route, they would bridge gaps between yourself and other people in your party. This makes it difficult to choose the one brand or model that is best for hiking, but all the top brands all have the following in common. They are all compact, offer moderate battery life, protection against the elements, superior audio quality from the speaker and extra functionality like waterproofing, a headphone jack and NOAA weather updates.