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Best Survival Radio

Choosing the best survival radio: Top 10 for savvy survivors

With a little luck, you’ll never be truly dependent on a survival radio. 

These unique and durable tools are designed to offer support and assistance when we need it most. 

Some people refuse to go on a camping trip or hike without a survivalist radio in their kit. Others simply keep a survival radio charged and ready at home – just in case. 

The best survival radio is one that offers some much-needed peace of mind in an emergency. These tools can help you to stay in contact and find out what’s going on in your community. 

Most of the leading survival radios come with extra tools like phone battery charging and flashlights. 

If you’ve never had to shop for an emergency radio before, and you don’t know the difference between hand crank power and solar power, we’ve got you covered. 

Today, we’ll introduce you to some of the best survival radios on the market, and what makes them so handy to have with you in an emergency. 

Best Survival Radio

1. ROCAM emergency portable radio (best with compass)

Starting our survival radio reviews with the ROCAM, this emergency radio is an exceptional tool. 

This durable device comes with shortwave, FM, and AM radio built-in, as well as all of the NOAA weather alert channels – to keep you informed. 

There’s a 3-watt flashlight, so you’re never left in the dark, and a 2000 mAh power bank charger for your phone. 

If you ever find yourself stuck in an emergency situation, the ROCAM will ensure you have the power you need, and the information you want to figure out your next steps. 

Aside from all the emergency radio basics, the ROCAM also comes with a handy reading lamp, easy tuning, and a built-in compass. 

For an impressive price of around $50, features include:

  • Built-in compass
  • Reading light and flashlight
  • SOS alarm and beacon
  • AM, FM and shortwave radio
  • All NOAA radio stations
  • Water-resistant shell
  • Power bank for smartphones
  • Compact and lightweight design

Delivering an excellent combination of convenience and functionality, the ROCAM has it all. 

There’s even a water-resistant shell to protect your device from rainfall and light splashes. Just remember this device isn’t thoroughly water-resistant. I

t’s also worth noting the ROCAM solar panel is a little inefficient, so you may prefer to use batteries.

Pros:

  • Water-resistant design
  • Flashlight and reading light
  • AM, FM and shortwave radio
  • Compass and SOS beacon
  • Solar panel and hand crank for power

Cons:

  • Limited waterproofing
  • Solar panel needs a boost
Best Survival Radio

2. RunningSnail 097 (best display)

RunningSnail is a well-known brand in the survival radio market, offering a wide selection of portable products. 

The 097 is a durable and portable device with four charging methods to choose from. You can charge via USB, 3 AAA batteries, solar panel, or hand crank. 

The in-built battery offers up to 10 hours of playtime on a full charge. 

Like many of the best survival radios, this device comes with AM, FM, and NOAA radio stations. 

To improve your chances of finding your way in a disaster, the RunningSnail survivalist radio comes with an SOS alarm and a high-quality flashlight. 

There’s also a 4000 mAh lithium battery, which is ideal for charging your smartphone on the move. 

The updated LCD screen on this device is particularly useful for checking your battery or finding stations. 

For a price of around $55, features include:

  • Multiple charging methods
  • NOAA, AM and FM radio
  • 10 hours of playtime on a full charge
  • Powerful flashlight
  • SOS beacon for emergencies
  • Power bank and USB hub for charging phones
  • Large LCD screen
  • Aux connection for playing your own music
  • 100% refund guarantee

This durable device is easy to use, with a powerful solar panel, and a fantastic in-built battery for charging your smartphone. 

The hand crank included is also very efficient, with the option to access up to 20 minutes of radio usage for one minute of cranking. 

Unfortunately, 10 hours might not be enough for some emergencies. 

Another issue is there’s no memory for your radio stations, so you have to tune manually every time. 

Pros:

  • Excellent smartphone charging
  • Easy-to-read LCD
  • Aux connection included
  • NOAA, AM and FM radio
  • Powerful hand crank and solar panel

Cons:

  • Limited battery life
  • No radio station memory
Best Survival Radio 4

3. Compass Culture survival radio (best with accessories)

If you’re looking for an affordable all-in-one kit that features a survivalist radio and some other crucial accessories, this could be it. 

Designed by the Compass Culture brand, this survival radio comes with AM and FM access, as well as NOAA weather radio. 

There’s a 2000 mAh battery for charging your smartphone, and a compass built-in. 

To support any family in search of the ultimate preparedness kit, the radio also comes with a bonus paracord bracelet, a flint fire starter, and a whistle too. 

Even without the extra features, the Compass Culture radio offers plenty of value, with the option to charge by battery, wall outlet, solar panel, or hand crank.

On a full charge, you’ll get up to 15 hours of battery life, plus there’s a powerful flashlight to help you find your way too. 

For a price of less than $40, features include:

  • AM, FM, and NOAA radio
  • Multiple charging options including crank and solar panel
  • Powerful LED Zoom flashlight
  • SOS emergency alarm with flashing light
  • 2000 mAh power bank for your smartphone
  • Bonus survival tool and fire starter
  • Compass and whistle
  • Lightweight and portable design

This survival radio might be simple compared to some of the other leading options on the market, but its ideal for beginners. 

If you need a radio for your hurricane or earthquake kit, or you want something to take on your next hike, the Compass Culture radio has you covered. 

Just note the sound quality leaves something to be desired with this device. It can also run out of battery rapidly when you’re listening to radio. 

Pros:

  • Extra accessories included
  • SOS alarm and flashlight
  • Power bank for smartphones 
  • Compass and whistle included
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Not the best audio quality
  • Limited volume
  • Runs out of batteries in 6 hours or less with radio
Best Survival Radio 5

4. iRonsnow survival alert radio (best siren)

Sometimes, when you’re searching for the best survival radio, you need something that allows you to hear the outside world and the outside world to hear you. 

This NOAA weather alert radio from iRonsnow has a loud siren included, ideal for attracting attention. 

There’s also an automatic alarm that alerts you when disaster is coming. When you set the system to alert mode, it will switch on as soon as an emergency broadcast goes out. 

There are plenty of reception options to choose from with this device, from AM to FM and shortwave. 

You’ll never be left out of the loop when you have one of these radios at home. 

If you’re taking your survivalist radio on the move, you can still listen to your own music. 

There is an SD card slot and aux-in too. 

For less than $40, features include:

  • Power bank charging for smartphones (2300 mAh)
  • Loud siren for emergencies
  • SOS light and reading lamp
  • SD card slot and aux-in
  • AM, FM, and shortwave radio
  • NOAA weather alert channels
  • Automatic alert mode
  • Lightweight design with carry handle

Convenient and portable, this product is worthy of a place in our best survival radio reviews.

Customers particularly love the automated alarm, which keeps you informed in times of trouble. Plus, it’s great to have an SD card slot for playing your own music too. 

One downside is the hand crank does take a lot of time to deliver any power, while the plastic housing isn’t as durable as it could be. 

Pros:

  • Loud siren for getting attention
  • Lightweight design with portable handle
  • Automatic alert function
  • AM, FM and shortwave radio
  • SD card slot included

Cons:

  • Crank takes a long time to deliver any charge
  • Plastic housing is quite flimsy
  • Not great audio quality
Best Survival Radio 6

5. Midland ER310 (best for battery)

A compact solution to your emergency preparedness kit, the Midland ER310, is lightweight and brimming with features. 

This survivalist radio comes with multiple power sources to choose from, including solar panels, and a hand crank. 

There’s also a rechargeable 2600 mAh battery you can plug your smart devices into when you need power to make a call. 

The emergency flashlight on this device can deliver SOS Morse code, to help capture attention in an emergency. 

The 130 Lumen lighting means even in the darkest environments you can find your way around. 

Aside from AM and FM radio, the Midland also comes with automatic NOAA weather scanning, designed to help you find information in a crisis. 

There’s even an ultrasonic dog whistle included to assist rescue teams. 

For a price of around $90, features include:

  • Multiple power options, including hand crank and solar power
  • AM and FM radio
  • NOAA weather radio scanning
  • External charging power bank
  • Flashlight beacon with Morse code
  • Ultrasonic dog whistle
  • 32 hours of battery

The Midland might be small, but it’s a mighty and easy-to-use survival radio. 

The buttons are a little fiddly when your fingers are cold, so that’s something to be aware of in a disaster. You may find it’s tough to find the right FM channels because the tuning wheel is hard to get hold of. 

Pros:

  • Compact and portable design
  • Ultrasonic dog whistle
  • Battery charging available
  • AM and FM radio (and NOAA)
  • Multiple charging options

Cons:

  • Not ideal for FM radio
  • Difficult to use the buttons at times
Best Survival Radio 7

6. Ledianer emergency radio (best handheld)

The best survival radio isn’t just a great tool to have in your emergency kit. These devices can also come in handy when you’re out in the wilderness, exploring local trails or forests. 

The Ledianer emergency radio is a portable device that’s sure to show its value in any camping trip. 

It’s small in size, which means it fits neatly into any pocket or bag. 

The Ledianer comes with plenty of charging options too. Aside from charging your device via a wall outlet, you can also keep the radio juiced up with AA batteries, a hand crank, or a solar panel. 

This radio also comes with AM/FM and NOAA weather channels too. If you want to play your music, you can connect your device via the aux-in socket. 

There’s also a flashlight and SOS alarm included, for extra peace of mind. 

For a price of less than $30, features include:

  • 2200 mAh power bank for charging smartphones
  • Multiple charging options, including solar and hand crank
  • NOAA weather broadcasts
  • AM/FM radio with automatic scanning
  • Flashlight and reading light
  • SOS alarm and beacon
  • Aux-in for playing your own music
  • 12-month guarantee

This survivalist radio is a great tool to have if you’re an avid hiker, camper, or just love the great outdoors. 

The solar panel is excellent, and the USB port for charging devices works fast. 

There’s even a headphone jack included if you want to listen to music privately. Of course, there are some downsides. 

The SOS mode siren is challenging to turn off once you’ve turned it on. The water resistance rating is only an IPX3, which means it can’t withstand much moisture. 

Pros:

  • Excellent NOAA, FM and AM stations
  • Flashlight with SOS signaling
  • Built-in battery for power bank charging
  • Headphone jack and aux cable
  • Multiple charging options

Cons:

  • Hand crank isn’t the most efficient
  • IPX3 rating isn’t the best for water resistance
  • Hard to turn the siren off once it’s on.
Best Survival Radio 8

7. Eton Scorpion II (best for camping)

One of the most convenient survival radios we’ve seen, the Eton Scorpion II is a clip-on device you can attach to your belt loop or backpack in seconds. 

Created to provide peace of mind, this device comes with access to AM, FM, and NOAA radio. 

There’s a digital tuner to help increase your chances of finding the right station and a convenient display. 

Rugged enough to withstand the occasional knock or bump, this is a good device to have with you when you’re out on a trail. 

You can toss it in backpack or throw it in your pocket without worrying about it getting jostled. 

The Eton also comes with a built-in power bank for when you need to recharge your devices.

 For a price of around $40, you get:

  • Durable knock-resistant design
  • Rugged clip to attach to your backpack
  • AM, FM and NOAA radio
  • Emergency LED flashlight
  • Convenient tuner and display
  • USB charging port for your smartphone
  • Built-in bottle opener
  • Solar power and hand crank options

Although this survivalist radio lacks some extra features, like the option to play music via Bluetooth or aux cable, it does come with some bonuses. 

The bottle opener that doubles up as a clip for your bag is one of the main reasons we chose this radio as our top camping pick. 

Unfortunately, the antenna is a little flimsy, so you do need to be careful. The hand crank could be more efficient. 

Pros:

  • Hand crank and solar power
  • LED flashlight
  • AM, FM and NOAA radio
  • Bag clip and bottle opener
  • Knock-resistant design

Cons:

  • Flimsy components (like the antenna)
  • The hand crank takes a long time to deliver charge
  • Buttons are slightly hard to push
Best Survival Radio 9

8. C. Crane Solar Observer (best reception)

If disaster ever does strike, the last thing you want is to be wandering around, trying to find a signal on your survival radio. This high-performance emergency preparedness radio from C. Crane can help with that. 

Designed to deliver support in the most complicated of times, the radio provides AM, FM, and NOAA radio alerts, with excellent reception. 

There are four power options to choose from with this device, including an AC/DC option with a wall adapter, replaceable batteries, and a hand crank generator or solar panel. 

There’s even a low-profile handle built into the survival radio, so it’s easy to carry around when you’re on the move. 

A built-in flashlight offers illumination in an emergency, while the USB port charges your phone. 

For a price of about $80, features include:

  • Excellent AM, FM and NOAA reception
  • Emergency smartphone charging
  • Rechargeable battery pack or batteries
  • Solar panel and hand crank
  • Handle included for portability
  • LED flashlight

The great thing about the C. Crane is how easy it is to use. Tuning your device to the right station takes a matter of seconds, and you can easily find a solid channel. 

There’s even one year warranty included with the device for extra peace of mind. 

One downside is there’s no clock or timer, and the internal battery takes a long time to charge. 

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • AM, FM and NOAA reception
  • Multiple power options
  • LED flashlight
  • Great reception

Cons:

  • No clock or timer
  • Takes a long time to recharge
Best Survival Radio 10

9. Dingmi portable radio (best budget option)

You don’t have to spend a fortune on the most advanced survival radio to be better protected. 

Having any kind of emergency radio in your kit gives you an extra layer of support when dealing with a crisis. 

This emergency radio from Dingmi might be the best survival radio for those looking to save cash. 

Small and simple, it comes with a 1000 mAh lithium battery for recharging your smartphone. 

There’s AM, FM, and NOAA signals built into the radio to help you find information when you need it most. What’s more, the internal charge can deliver up to 9 hours of flashlight use, or 5 hours of radio playback in a pinch. 

All that, and you also get an IPX3 certified exterior that can withstand the occasional splash and a little moisture too. 

For a price of less than $30, features include:

  • Solar, hand crank or battery power
  • AM, FM and NOAA radio
  • Convenient compact size
  • LED flashlight included
  • IPX3 waterproof casing
  • In-built power bank for smartphones
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Telescopic antenna

This isn’t the most advanced survival radio we’ve seen, but it will definitely help you out if you’re in a tight spot. 

This self-powered radio is great for hiking and camping, too – thanks to its durable and lightweight design. 

Keep in mind the speaker does have some static sound to it though, and you might need more battery than 6 hours in some emergencies. 

Pros:

  • Excellent durable design
  • LED flashlight
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easy to use
  • AM, FM and NOAA radio

Cons:

  • Limited battery life
  • Not the best sound quality
Best Survival Radio 11

10. Eton FRX5BT (best with Bluetooth)

Finally, just because you want a survival radio to perform well in a crisis, doesn’t mean you don’t want it to have some of the latest features. 

The Eton FRX5BT is a lightweight and durable emergency radio that combines crucial features with extra bonuses. You get AM, FM, NOAA, and SAME channels all built-in. 

The Eton also comes with Bluetooth streaming, and the option to play your own music through an aux cable too. 

If you want a survivalist radio that can also double up as the ultimate travel radio, this could be it. 

For a low price tag, you get a device you can charge with everything from batteries to solar power. 

What’s more, the phone charging function ensures you’ll never run out of power in an emergency. 

There’s also a beacon and a flashlight too. 

For the price of around $55, you get:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • SAME and NOAA weather alerts
  • AM and FM radio
  • LED flashlight and beacon
  • Hand crank and solar panel
  • Reading light
  • Phone charging with built-in power bank

As one of the most modern hiking and camping accessories we’ve seen, the Eton is a market leader in functionality. 

The Bluetooth streaming is a fantastic extra touch. Just keep in mind it might take you a while to figure out how to use this device. The instructions aren’t extremely helpful, and there are components that seem flimsy, like the hand crank.

Pros:

  • AM and FM radio
  • SAME and NOAA weather alerts
  • Hand crank and solar panel
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Phone charging

Cons:

  • Difficult to understand at first
  • Flimsy components (hand crank seems easy to break)

Choosing the best survival radio 

Just like finding any radio, choosing the best survival radio is an objective process. 

You’ll need to think carefully about what you need from your new device. What kind of tools or features will help you to feel prepared in a disaster?

Some people will appreciate the versatility of the ROCAM radio, with its built-in compass, alarm, and beacon. Others will want the flexibility to listen to their music with the Eton FRX5BT. 

Here are a few points to consider when making your choice:

  • Radio options: AM/FM radio is usually a must-have on any radio. But if you want a survivalist device, then you’ll also need things like NOAA and SAME weather alerts too. We love the C. Crane solar observer for offering ideal reception choices. However, the Eton FRX5BT is also fantastic for giving you a range of channels to listen to.
  • Features: What kind of extra features do you need, alongside radio? The iRonsnow survival is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something that can deliver instant alerts when emergencies are happening or give you a loud siren to attract attention. We’re also huge fans of the Compass Culture radio because it comes with so many useful accessories.
  • Battery life: Battery life will always be a crucial consideration for an emergency radio. The Midland ER310 gives you up to 32 hours of battery on a single charge, so you won’t have to worry about using the hand crank or solar panel for a while. When checking battery life options, it’s also worth keeping an eye out for alternative ways to charge too. 
  • Portability: A survival radio needs to be small and lightweight enough that you can carry it with you on the move. The ROCAM is a brilliant portable radio with a compass for when you’re exploring. We also love the Ledianer for its tiny size and fantastic value. Look for a radio you feel comfortable taking wherever you go.
  • Budget: Radios come in a selection of shapes and sizes to suit every budget. The Midland radio mentioned above might be ideal for those with a little more cash to spend, with a price tag of around $90. On the other hand, if you want great value for a low price, try the Dingmi portable radio. 

Picking the best survival radio

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for choosing the best survival radio. 

Our survival radio reviews will give you some guidance into the tools that can deliver the best results when you’re camping or dealing with a crisis. 

The Eton FRX5BT is an outstanding choice if you’re looking for something with Bluetooth connectivity. We’re also massive fans of the ROCAM, for its reliability, and versatility as a go-to device for adventure and travel. 

Good luck finding the survival radio that’s right for you. Don’t forget to check out the other radio reviews we have here on radio fidelity for more tips on finding the best radios! 

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