The 9 best walkie talkie radios to consider in 2020
Radio technology is capable of so much more than most people realize. While it’s true that many of us rely on our radios to stay informed and entertained, radio waves aren’t just there for one-way communication.
As shortwave and Ham radio experts know, you can also use your radio to connect with friends, loved ones, and strangers worldwide.
In a survivalist situation, an environment where cell phone connections aren’t great, or even when you’re exploring the great outdoors, walkie talkies are often a lot more reliable than the standard smartphone.
With the best walkie talkies, you don’t have to worry about what you’re going to do if you run out of credit or phone reception.
Long range walkie talkies give you an instant link to all the people you need to speak to, using radio waves.
Many of these products are available in a range of sizes, often compact enough to fit in a backpack or pocket.
You can also find walkie talkies that include extra features, like NOAA weather alerts and SOS signals.
If you’re thinking of investing in your own two-way radio, we’re here to help. Here are some of the top-rated walkie talkies on the market right now.
The best walkie talkies are simple, efficient, and brimming with handy features, like these GOCOM walkie talkies (for adults).
An excellent long-distance walkie talkie option for people who spend a lot of time outdoors, GOCOM’s set offers a 32-mile range, for clear communication in open areas.
These radio devices work best in spaces with minimal obstruction – so we recommend using them outside of the city.
With a charging station included, or the option to power your walkies via battery, the GOCOM set will keep you connected to the people who matter most.
The 2-way radio features up to 22 family-friendly service channels, and a privacy codes system too. This means that you can block other conversations if you need to.
With up to 75 hours of battery life, you won’t run out of energy when you’re in a tight spot. Plus, the GOCOM talkies come with IPX4 water resistance, to protect you against damage from splashes or rain.
32 mile range
Smart LCD screen
Danger alarm for safety
IPX4 water resistance
2,662 channels and 22 family-friendly options
NOAA weather scanning and alert
Up to 75 hours of battery
USB charge or battery charge
The perfect partner for an outdoor adventure, these GOCOM radios provide a host of bonus features to discover, such as an LED flashlight, a danger alarm, and even a NOAA weather scanning and alert system.
You’ll always be aware of upcoming weather issues. Just keep in mind that the charging port is a little flimsy, so you’ll need to be extra careful with it.
Compact and convenient, the Proster long range walkie talkies are ideal for people who want a quick and convenient way to stay connected. These tiny products will fit easily into your palm or your pocket when you’re on the move. Each radio also comes with a removable belt clip, so you can keep the device close at hand.
There are 16 pre-programmed channels to choose from at first, and each radio has an identical frequency on each channel out of the box. You can also program a host of other CTCSS and CDCSS tones on each device. The product comes with a USB charging for easy power from your phone, car charger, or at home.
The high-quality built-in speaker on this radio provides fantastic sound, but you also get a single earpiece included if you prefer to listen to your conversations privately. The earpiece comes with a hook design to keep it firmly attached to your ear. Features include:
Small, convenient size
Easy operation for all users
UF 400-470 MHz
2 mile radius
Easy to charge with USB connector
Built-in LED emergency light
Easy to use and equipped with a decent range of up to 2 miles, these handsets are great for short-distance interactions between people in a building that might not have the best cell signal. Unfortunately, the batteries aren’t as durable in this product as they are in other devices, so you may need to replace them quite quickly.
This walkie talkie is perfect for security guards, supermarket connection, construction area or field/outdoor adventure and survival with the built-in LED emergency flashlight designed to keep you safe.
The best walkie talkies are a breeze to use, making them perfect for outdoor adventures, and situations when you need to connect with your friends and family fast. The Motorola T260TP in a pack of three is an excellent example of this.
These high-performance walkie talkie radios come from one of the better-known brands in the digital world.
Depending on your needs, you can power these devices with a set of 3 AA batteries for up to 29 hours of energy or use the rechargeable batteries for up to 10 hours.
One of the best features of these products is that they come with a low battery alert, so you know when you need to top up.
The Motorola walkie talkies are compatible with any radio, thanks to industry-standard wavelengths.
There’s also a NOAA radio service available to keep you informed on real-time weather conditions.
2 charging options (battery or rechargeable)
NOAA weather alerts
Quick scanning feature
Low battery alert
Compatibility with any two-way radio
22 channels each
121 privacy codecs
Durable and lightweight design
20 call tones
With 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, you can access up to 2,662 combinations with the Motorola T260TP. The quick scanning feature ensures that you can see which channels are currently in use in an instance.
Plus, you have up to 25 miles of range – excellent for long-distance communication. That battery life can suffer if you’re using your radio regularly.
The DEWALT 300 and 800 are built on the FRS platform and are ideal for on-site business applications such as hotel front desk, retail, restaurants and grocery. The FRS business Series are smart, simple, reliable, high-performance and tough!
If you’re looking for a set of the best walkie talkies for durability and persistent performance, but you don’t want to pay commercial prices, Motorola has you covered.
These T600 walkie talkie radios belong to the popular Talkabout range and feature a fantastic IP67 rating, which means that you can immerse your walkie in water and still use it with no problems afterwards.
One particularly appealing feature of these walkie talkies is that it comes with a vibracall feature that helps to boost your voice quality when you’re on the move in a boat or car.
There’s a keypad lock to prevent you from making accidental calls, and a battery life of up to 23 hours in the right circumstances.
You even get an added built-in flashlight.
Each walkie talkie comes with 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, so you’ve got plenty of combinations to choose from.
The low-battery alert will let you know when you’re running low on energy.
Luminous design to prevent loss
IP67 waterproof rating
Keypad lock and vibracall features
Backlit LED screen
23 hours of battery life
22 channels and 121 privacy codes
NOAA weather radio
Compatible with any walkie talkie
With NOAA radio compatibility, you can make sure that you’re always up to date with the latest weather alerts when using these radios.
The fact that Motorola offers these devices with GMRS/FRS radio performance also means that they can communicate with devices from any other provider with no problem.
One possible issue you might have with this device is that it doesn’t have the best range.
Long range walkie talkies are available in a variety of styles to suit any need.
These Midland X-Talker T71X4VP3 walkie talkie radios are some of the more convenient products that we’ve seen so far, with a massive 38-mile range – perfect for outdoor adventures.
You’ll get a longer range if you’re in an area with little obstruction.
The Midland walkie talkies come with a quick scanning functionality and 36 family radio service channels, as well as 121 CTCSS privacy codes.
There’s also a silent operation option to remove all tones.
Like many outdoor radios, these walkie talkies come with NOAA weather scanning and alert to automatically keep you up-to-date with severe weather conditions.
Most impressively, these walkie talkies are excellent for hands-free operation with easy voice and sound activated transmission.
You even get a set of belt-clips included.
The Midland radios feature:
36 family radio service channels
Channel scanning function
121 CTCSS privacy codes
NOAA weather scanning
Hands-free easy voice operation
Belt clips included
Rechargeable battery packs
38 miles of range
Silent operation feature
The Midland X-Talker radios come with a crisp and clear set of communication features, to help you connect with loved one in a hurry. Plus, the water resistant design will keep you safe when unexpected showers happen.
Gear up for your adventure with the X-Talker T71X4VP3 two-way radio. The T71X4VP3 is fully loaded with features to keep you and your group safe as well as supporting your communications needs while out on your big adventure.
The Tenway UV-5R Pro is a great way to combine your ham radio hobby with the function of a walkie talkie. The high-quality built-in speaker produces loud and crystal clear sounds that are perfect for experimenting with radio waves.
This Cobra Floating Walkie Talkies are the perfect radio for your next hike, camping trip or other outdoor adventure. The radios' compact design make them ready for anything you or mother nature can throw at them.
Choosing the best walkie talkies is just like investing in any kind of radio technology. Everyone will have their own unique requirements to consider.
The needs of a company purchasing walkie talkies for a work site will be different to the demands of an individual who wants walkie talkies for a family camping trip.
To help you make the right decision when buying walkie talkie radios, here are some factors you might want to consider:
Range: In most case, your walkie talkie radio manufacturer will specify the range you can expect from your device. It’s worth remembering that you might not be able to achieve the maximum range if you’re in an area with a lot of obstructions, or poor weather.
Features: When purchasing a two-way radio, keep an eye out for extra features. Functions like NOAA radio alerts so you can keep track of the weather are a good investment. You might also look into flashlights, and “say again” features where you can rewind the last several seconds of audio in a call.
Call quality: You’ll need to ensure that the audio quality of your radio is good enough to convey a clear sound when you need to communicate. Most of the top-performing walkie talkie radios are excellent for removing noise and distortion.
Design: There are a few things to think about from a design perspective. First, you need your walkie to be compact, so you can take it with you on the move, wherever you go. You also need a device that’s durable. IPX7 water resistance is a good feature to look for if you want your investment to last.
Usability: Your walkie talkie should come with a wide selection of channels to choose from, and an easy interface so you can scan through channels quickly. The easier it is to use your radio in a hurry, the better off you’ll be.
Battery life: Make sure that your walkie talkie can last for as long as you need it. Multiple charging methods, including outlet and battery options can come in handy when you spend a lot of time outdoors.
What is the best walkie talkie?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to which walkie talkie will be best for you. You’ll need to think about what you need from a two-way radio.
Consider how you’re going to be using your device – will you be taking it camping, or staying connected to colleagues on a construction site? Think about how much functionality you want from your walkie talkie too.
Aside from being able to communicate through two-way radio channels, do you also want access to an emergency flashlight and NOAA weather signals?
Are you going to be using your walkie talkie to help with your ham radio hobby in your spare time?
To learn more about all the wonderful things you can do with radio waves, and the different kinds of radio devices available, check out our other articles here at Radio Fidelity. Good luck finding the walkie talkies that speak to you!