The best emergency radio: Our top 10 for peace of mind
Having the best emergency radio is kind of like having the right life insurance policy. Although you don’t really want to be in a position where you’re forced to use your purchase, it’s nice to know you have something in place – just in case.
The good thing about emergency radios is that they don’t have to be exclusively for times of crisis.
Many outdoorsy folk and adventurous individuals love taking their emergency radio with them on hiking and camping trips.
The Esky emergency radio (available in red or yellow) is one of the top-rated emergency radio products on the market, offering three methods of charging in one product.
You can connect your radio to your main wall outlet using USB docks, or use the solar panel or hand-crank function instead.
The Esky USB port ensures that you can give your smartphone a little extra juice when you need to make a crucial call. There’s a flashlight included with 140 lumens of power, so you’re never stuck in the dark.
With a durable design that’s both water-resistant and light enough to carry in any backpack, this is a great product for any explorer.
You’ll get features like:
FM/ AM and NOAA radio
Flashlight with 140 lumens of power
3 charging options
USB smartphone charging
Solar panel included
Durable and water-resistant design
This emergency radio would make a great companion for anyone who wants a radio to take with them on their next camping trip.
Because it’s lighter than a paperback book, you’re not going to have to worry about lugging extra equipment with you on your hikes either.
AM, FM or NOAA radio
3 charging methods available
USB charging for smartphones
Not the best sound quality
Takes a while of cranking to get enough juice for a smartphone
2. Midland ER310 emergency radio (best battery life)
The Midland ER310 is a step up in price from the Esky mentioned above. You do, however, also get some extra features built-in too.
This product comes with an incredible 2600 mAh battery that can last for up to 32 hours of radio operation – that’s more than enough to take most people through a one-night camping trip.
This device also offers multiple power options, including a hand crank and solar panel.
Unlike some of the items on this list, the Midland also functions as a great battery operated emergency radio when necessary too. You can use 6 AA batteries to keep it running.
There’s an SOS flashlight beacon included NOAA weather scanning feature, and so much more, all for a price of around $90.
Emergency hand crank
Solar power options
In-built battery or external battery options
Flashlight with 130 lumens of power
NOAA weather scan alert
FM and AM radio
Signal strobe feature
Aside from an incredible battery life, the Midland Emergency radio also comes with a bunch of extra functionality, like an ultra-sonic whistle that can help to alert rescue teams looking for you in an emergency situation.
Just remember that all the additional features of this device means paying a higher price.
Sometimes, when creating the best emergency radio that money can buy, manufacturers focus so heavily on the “extra” features, that they forget how important it is to still deliver a good radio connection.
That’s not the case with the Kaito Voyager Pro KA700.
This powerful emergency radio acts as an all-in-one music machine for your life on-the-go.
You can connect to FM or NOAA radio, and link in your own music through Bluetooth connectivity, MP3 players, or an SD card too.
There’s even a built-in recorder so you can dictate your adventures and write them up for your blog later.
4-way power options
USB port for cell phone charging
5 emergency light options
Range of color options
SD card or memory card slot
There are various ways to power this device, including a dynamo cranking system, micro-USB port with a rechargeable battery, and solar power.
The emergency light included with the device has numerous brightness levels to choose from, including a reading light.
6. American Red Cross by Eton (best alert function)
The American Red Cross emergency radio from Eton is similar in style to the Eton product mentioned above. The main difference here is that you’re missing out on Bluetooth connectivity.
On the plus side, you still get everything else you need to stay connected on the move, including Eton’s patented Alert system. This function ensures that you can automatically receive any emergency weather alerts for your location instantly.
This top-rated emergency radio also includes a solar panel and hand turbine power generator, so you don’t have to rely on any plugs or outlets.
There’s also an LED flashlight and flashing beacon to help you get attention. You can even set alarms with this emergency radio to keep you on schedule too!
FM, AM and NOAA radio
USB smartphone charging
LED flashlight included
Red flashing beacon
Alert weather function
Advanced durability in various conditions
Hand crank or solar power
Like the Eton emergency radio mentioned above, the American Red Cross solution is durable, reliable, and fantastic for anyone who likes to live an active lifestyle.
For the difference in price, we would probably recommend going for the Bluetooth connectivity.
At a size that’s just a little larger than a standard smartphone, the Vondior NOAA emergency radio doesn’t look like much at first. This durable device, however, could be a life saver for you in a critical situation.
This radio keeps you up to date with severe weather warnings, while also allowing you to listen to all of your favorite stations on the go.
Built for durability, this product comes with a robust design and a fantastic reception, so it’s ideal for those who don’t want to compromise on sound quality.
There’s only one way to power this device, and that’s through a set of two AA batteries. That still means that you can power your radio on the go and stay connected to what matters.
You will get features like:
Leading battery-operated emergency radio
6-inch telescoping antenna
High-level reception for FM, AM and NOAA radio
Easy-to-use tuning screen
3 year warranty
Exceptional sound quality
Ideally, this item would come with a few extra ways to access power in an emergency, such as a solar panel.
If you’re looking for something small and simple, the Vondior could be a perfect choice.
On the downside, because the item is so small, it can be difficult to use some of the features, like the tuning wheel – particularly in cold conditions.
9. Compass Culture 4000Mah radio (best with handle)
Having the best emergency radios with you ensures that you never have to worry about running out of charge when you’re exploring the great outdoors.
This lightweight and reliable Compass Culture emergency radio give you the option to charge your device in a multitude of ways.
You can choose from solar power, hand cranking, a rechargeable battery, or 3 AAA batteries.
This nifty little unit can deliver up to 15 hours of light when you’re in a difficult situation, or 6 hours of radio time, which means that it’s not the most robust emergency radio we’ve seen, but it will be more than enough for some users.
You get all the NOAA radio stations on this product, as well as AM and FM connectivity. What’s more, the powerful LED flashlight is great for grabbing attention too.
You’ll get features like:
Cell phone charging functionality
4 different power methods
NOAA weather radio included
Bonus flint fire starter included
Handle for easy portability
Convenient and lightweight design
One of the best things about the Compass Culture products is that it comes with so many added extras.
You even get a wearable survival tool that you can use as a compass, whistle, or file starter too.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one survival package, this is it. Plus, we love the durability of the handle.
Now that you’ve seen some of our best emergency radio reviews, you need to start thinking about what you need to feel safe and secure on your next adventure.
If you’re looking for something that covers all the basics and is still easy to use, then you might want the Esky emergency radio, with it’s durable and water-resistant design.
On the other hand, if you’re in need of a more advanced radio experience, then you might prefer the Eton emergency weather radio with added Bluetooth.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, a few of the features you may want to look at include:
Basic features: Most emergency radios will need a few crucial fundamental features to give you peace of mind. You’ll need an AM/FM receiver, and something that can accept NOAA alerts too. You may want something that can charge your smartphone so you can make calls in an emergency too.
Extra features: Beyond the basics, there are a bunch of emergency radios out there with additional functionality. The Kaito Voyager KA700 comes with Bluetooth, five lighting options, and an SD and memory card slot. The ideal radio for you might be something with SOS Morse code lighting, voice recording, or something else entirely.
Durability: All of the best emergency radios will be designed for durability. Remember that some devices are more durable than others. The Esky emergency radio, for example, is water-resistant, which is excellent if you’re caught in a storm. Look for features like water and dust resistance, as well as the ability to handle knocks and bumps.
Power options: The more power options you have with an emergency radio, the better off you’ll be. Ideally, you’ll need a battery-operated emergency radio that can use external battery or an internal rechargeable system. At the same time, it’s a good idea to invest in something with both hand-cranking features and solar panels available.
Portability: Emergency radios aren’t going to do you much good if they’re too big and heavy to take on your adventures. With that in mind, make sure that the device you choose is lightweight enough to form a crucial part of your preparedness kit. Don’t get bogged down by a considerable device just because it offers extra features.
Simplicity: An emergency radio needs to be something that you feel comfortable using in a time of crisis. Stay away from any products that you’re going to need to spend hours learning how to use. Everything from flashing your lights, to browsing through your available radio stations should be as simple as possible.
Which is the best emergency radio?
The best emergency radio is the one that makes you feel protected and confident wherever you go.
That means that if you want to make the right investment, you need to think carefully about the features that matter most to you.
There are a lot of great products out there. We particularly like the Esky emergency radio for its simple performance and water-resistant design.
The Midland ER310 comes with one of the best battery lives that we’ve seen on the market today.
The Kaito Voyager Pro is brimming with extra functionality, while the Eton emergency is great for those who want to stream their own music on the move.
Which emergency radio is right for you? Let us know what you’re using in the comments below or connect with us on social media.