When you explore the great outdoors, you would want to have a set of the best two way radios with you as a major security and safety measure. These small devices work using radio frequencies and are much more reliable compared to cellphones when you are in the wild.
They are essential for campers, hikers and bikers and for skiers and snowboarders during the winter.
Top Two Way Walkie Talkies of 2017
How do you choose the right set? Here you will find a short buying guide and objective reviews of the current top sellers. It’s time to compare the best two way radios in the market at present and to make a decision.
What to Look for When Buying Best Long Range Two Way Radios
You don’t have to be a tech expert to get a nice set of two way radios to use when you explore the great outdoors. There are some important factors to consider and valuable tips to follow. Here they are.
Modern radios of this type can operate on one of two bands – the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) or the Family Radio Service (FRS), or both. The first one is more powerful, but there are licensing requirements involved. The range is the next major factor to consider. The greater it is the better, but you have to keep in mind that it is reduced by the presence of objects, whether they are natural or manmade. A larger number of channels and privacy codes will help you establish and keep reliable communication. Don’t forget to check the battery life. The dual power feature is valuable to have because it can extend it considerably.
The waterproof devices are the best two way radios for those enjoying longer outdoor trips. You will benefit from channel scanning, key lock, auto squelch and hands-free features. Having weather channels with alerts is also quite helpful. A flashlight could also come in handy at one point.
Let’s look at each model in detail.
1. Midland LXT500VP3 22-Channel GMRS with 24-Mile Range
The set of two compact and light two way radios uses the General Mobile Radio Service band or GMRS for short so you can expect powerful signal. With 22 channels available, the devices have the best chances of finding the best one, especially given the fact that there is an automatic channel scanning feature. The 24-mile range is great to have.
One of the areas where the Midland LXT500VP3 set truly stands out is battery life. The two radios are equipped with rechargeable NiMH batteries and come with a specially designed charger. They can also work on AAA batteries, four to be precise, for extending battery life. These are not included in the package, but they are inexpensive go buy. There are also Hi/Lo power settings to help you save battery while outdoors.
There are some standard, but very helpful features too. There is an incoming call alert and a roger beep. The keypad lock feature is gives additional protection.
- Reliable communication
- Excellent battery life
- Convenient design
- Strong and durable
2. Motorola MT352TPR FRS Weatherproof Two-Way – 35 Mile Radio Triple Pack
If you will go camping, hiking or biking with a big group of people, getting a triple pack of two way radios is a great idea. There are several factors which make the Motorola MT352TPR set stand out. The two way radios have superb ergonomic design. While the display is not large, the readings are. The brightness is excellent too. More importantly, the radios have IP54 rating, meaning they are completely waterproof.
With a range of up to 35 miles, you can expect the Motorola MT352TPR radios to work reliably on the Family Radio Service band or FRS for short. There are 22 channels with 121 privacy codes, which you can use to be certain that no one will join in the conversation.
A major reason why these are considered to be among the best two way radios is the dual power supply. You can use the rechargeable NiMH batteries or AA ones, with each alternative offering battery life of up to 15 hours. Other notable features include 11 weather channels, seven of which NOAA ones, with alerts, VibraCall which can replace the traditional ringing with vibration, iVOX for hands-free communication, earbuds with Push-to-Talk power boost for greater convenience and a built-in flashlight
- Weatherproof design
- Smooth communication
- Dependable batteries
- Fully accessorized
3. BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio
If the best two way radios for you are the ones which are packed with advanced features for tech-savvy enthusiasts, you should definitely consider this model. The radio has impressive output power – 8 watts, and this naturally gives it a large range. The unit features a V-85 High Gain Antenna which offers outstanding performance. Generally, you can use the 65-108 MHz frequency range to get commercial FM radio reception plus the VHF and UHF ranges for communication.
BaoFeng BF-F8HP has impressive battery life. The rechargeable battery can last for up to 20 hours and you can extend its usage if you pick the Med or Low power setting. With the Med one for example, you get 24 hours of battery life. One unique extra which you will receive with this model is personalized concierge support for one year.
- Dependable operation
- Advanced features
- Impressive battery life
- Concierge service
4. Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)
The first thing which you notice about this pair of two way radios is their compact and ergonomic design. They are quite sturdy too. In fact, they have protection from dust and from dripping water (rain, drips in caves and so on). They have built-in LED flashlight so you can keep your backpack lighter and still find your way easily when it gets dark.
With the Motorola MR350R set, you can choose between the FRS and GMRS bands for maximum convenience. The 35-mile range is excellent. With 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, you can pick from thousands of combinations for effective and protected communication. You also have access to 7 NOAA and 4 other weather channels with alerts. You can also enjoy iVOX hands-free communication without having to use any kind of accessory.
These Motorola devices are among the best two way radios because they have very good battery life thanks to their dual power operation. They can run on the rechargeable NiMH batteries included in the package for up to 8 hours and on 3 AAA batteries for up to 23 hours.
- Effective communication
- High convenience
- Reliable protection
- Great durability
5. Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)
These two small and sturdy radios, which are resistant to splashing water and light rainfall, come with all kinds of fancy features. You can choose between the FRS and GMRS bands for starters. The maximum 36-mile range is also impressive. There are also 50 different channels to choose from when looking for the best way to establish communication with other members of your group. There are also 142 privacy codes which you can use to ensure that you will be speaking to the right person or people only.
The battery life is good. Each of the Midland GXT1000VP4 can work for up to 11 hours after the battery has been fully charged. Some of the additional useful features which are worth your attention are the 11 weather channels including some NOAA ones which come with alerts and a weather scan feature. You can always switch to vibration alert which is particularly handy for hunter and use the VOX feature for hands-free communication.
- Sturdy waterproof design
- Dependable performance
- High level of security
- Very convenient to use
6. Motorola MH230TPR Rechargeable Two Way Radio 3 Pack, FRS/GMRS
While the three radios with two way operation are quite compact, the bright yellow colors makes them clearly visible if they are accidently dropped. The devices are generally quite strong in addition to being resistant to dust and dripping water. This definitely applies to the screen which is small, but bright and with large numbers, letters and symbols.
The maximum range of 23 miles is perfectly sufficient, especially for more casual outdoor trips. The Motorola MH230TPR radios come with 22 channels and 121 privacy codes to give you smooth communication. You will also benefit from 7 NOAA and 4 additional radio channels with alert and scan features. The iVOX hands-free communication feature is particularly useful for bikers.
These are among the best two way radios because of their dual power design. The rechargeable NiMH batteries can last up to 8 hours, while the alkaline ones can power the devices for as many as 10 hours.
- Resistance to dust and water
- Smooth performance
- Strong and durable design
- Good battery life
7. Uniden GMR5095-2CKHS Submersible Two Way Radio with Charger and Headset
Those who enjoy water sports like rafting, kayaking and boating should consider this set of two radios given that they comply with the JIS7 specifications. If they get submersed in water to a depth of 3 feet, they can stay intact for up to 30 minutes. The best part is that they float back up to the service so you can find them and take them out easily.
With the Uniden GMR5095-2CKHS set of radios, you can choose between 15 GMRS and 7 FRS channels. There are also 142 standard codes and another 142 to use in exclusive group mode. You can have the highest level of convenience and privacy. The NOAA weather alerts are also quite helpful for all users going on an outdoor trip.
Undoubtedly, the most impressive feature of this set is the 50-mile range. The Direct Call feature is also quite helpful. The devices work on rechargeable batteries. They come with a charging cradle with USB capability for even greater convenience.
- Exceptional water resistance
- Impressive signal range
- Great privacy
- Highly convenient use
8. Cobra Walkie-Talkie microTalk CXR925 35-Mile 22-Channel Two-Way Radio
Could this set give you the best two way radios? You get two devices to start with. The design is sturdy. The buttons are big and the LCD display is well lit.
With Cobra microTalk CXR925, you will enjoy UHF and FM reception which gives you flexibility. The 35-mile range is sufficiently large for all kinds of outdoor trips. You can use up to 22 channels and 142 privacy codes. Thanks to the internal memory of the devices, you can save up to 10 channels or channel/privacy code combinations. The scan, key lock and auto squelch features also help to improve communication.
Among the most impressive features of this set, you will discover a digital voice recorder which enables you to record, play back and transmit messages. You will also have a 10-channel NOAA radio at hand. The VibrAlert silent alert option is also quite convenient.
The radios in this set work with rechargeable lithium ion batteries. You can choose between High Power and Low Power modes to save battery when possible.
- Sturdy design
- Excellent capabilities for communication
- Advanced features for added convenience
- Reliable batteries
9. Motorola 22-Channel Weatherproof 35 mile Range Two Way Radio
You get a pair of radios in the package. They have waterproof design following the IP54 specifications. Rest assured that the devices will work well even in rainy and snowy conditions.
These Motorola radios deserve to be in the list of the best two way radios because of their great maximum range – 35 miles. Besides, you can choose from both FRS and GMRS channels, 22 in total. There are also 121 privacy codes for getting clear uninterrupted communication. Generally, the devices work with all kinds of other two way radios, irrespective of the brand.
The dual power feature is particularly useful. The rechargeable NiMH batteries can provide power for up to 100 hours. Alternatively, you can use three AA ones for as many as 26 hours of operation.
- Superb battery life
- Dependable communication
- Great channel flexibility
- Strong and durable design
10. Olympia R300 Rugged Waterproof Two-Way Radios
Compact and rugged, the two radios could be the ideal companions on outdoor trips. They are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and this makes them very convenient to use. They are waterproof under the IP54 specifications so you should not worry if it starts raining all of a sudden.
The 40-mile range of the Olympia R300 radios is quite impressive for such small gadgets. There are 50 different channels and 121 eliminator codes so you can expect to enjoy smooth and uninterrupted communication. You will appreciate the fact that the devices run NOAA weather alert channels around the clock to give you reliable protection. This is what you can expect from the best two way radios.
It’s easy to recharge the NiMH battery of each device with the micro-USB charging adaptor included in the package. It gets used up more quickly when you used the emergency LED flashlight, but it’s still a valuable feature to have.
- Compact design
- Strong and durable
- Reliable communication
- Helpful extras