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Best Weather Radio

9 of the best weather radio options to handle any storm

America is an incredible country, but it’s also an unpredictable one. 

With such a changeable climate to consider, extreme weather can strike at any time, causing hurricanes, floods, and house-destroying storms. 

Properly preparing for any potential weather forecast will give you peace of mind when you need it most. 

This could mean stocking up on canned foods, in case you can’t go outdoors, or having a back-up generator for when the power goes out. 

The question is, how do you stay connected to the community around you when disaster strikes?

When storms of floods occur, communication networks like AM/FM radio aren’t always available. Even if your computer, TV, or smartphone is available, it might not be safe (or suitable) to use. 

The best weather radio could be the ultimate answer to your problem. A weather alert radio goes beyond AM/FM frequencies, to provide another source of information in times of crisis. 

Many of these tools also feature alternative charging options, so you can still use them if you don’t have access to an outlet. 

Today, we’re going to check out some of the most high-rated weather radios on the market, to help you feel as prepared as possible. 

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1. Eton FRX5BT weather radio (best with Bluetooth)

We start our weather radio reviews with the slim and lightweight, ultra-portable Eton FRX5BT emergency weather radio. It’s excellent in a crisis. 

This high-performance weather alert radio doesn’t just give you access to all of the NOAA and SAME channels you need; it also comes with Bluetooth streaming too. 

The range of features means that this device is excellent for emergencies, hiking trips, and camping. 

If you want a weather radio that can play your favorite music, and keep you connected in times of trouble, then Eton has you covered. 

This device even features multiple charging options, from a built-in lithium battery to a hand crank power generator. 

When the product is fully powered, you can plug your smartphone in with the USB cable for a quick energy boost.

For a relatively low price of around $55, features include:

Pros:

  • Charging for smartphones
  • NOAA, SAME, AM and FM radio
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Flashlight and emergency beacon
  • Hand crank power available

Cons:

  • Crank feels a little flimsy
  • Difficult to follow the instructions
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2. Vondior weather radio (best pocket radio)

If your ideal all-weather radio is something that you can keep in your pocket, then Vondior has you covered. 

This compact emergency weather radio comes with a powerful, long-lasting transistor. 

The device is battery powered, so you don’t have to worry about finding an outlet to plug it into, what’s more, it boasts some of the best reception the market has to offer. 

The upgraded DSP chip in the Vondior weather radio means that you get a crystal clear broadcast, no matter what’s going on with the great outdoors. 

Thanks to its hefty battery size, your Vondior weather alert radio should last for days after the storm has passed. 

With a great price of around $30 features include:

  • Long-lasting battery
  • 6-inch antenna
  • High-power reception with DSP chip
  • AM/FM and NOAA radio
  • 3-year warranty protection
  • Pocket-sized portability

There’s no solar power or hand crank option included with this emergency radio, which will be a problem for some people. 

It’s usually easy enough to ensure you have a set of batteries on-hand. 

One downside is that the tuning is exceedingly small, and therefore quite fiddly to use. 

Pros:

  • Compact, lightweight, and portable
  • Excellent battery power
  • AM, FM, and NOAA radio
  • Easy to use 
  • Great DSP chip performance

Cons:

  • Buttons and dials are small
  • No alternative charging methods
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3. ROCAM emergency weather radio (best with compass)

Created for the dedicated prepper, the ROCAM emergency radio is a portable device with plenty of amazing features to discover. 

You can power this weather alert radio either with standard AAA batteries, a li-ion rechargeable battery or solar power. 

There’s also a hand crank for when you can’t find any sun for alternative energy. 

Aside from NOAA weather radio channels, the ROCAM also features AM/FM and shortwave connections, with excellent reception. 

The 10.3-inch telescopic antenna will help you to pick up broadcasts wherever they are.

There’s a flashlight included and an alternative reading light so that you can find the best illumination for any occasion. 

All that, and you get an extra-loud SOS alarm, a flashing beacon, and a compass built-in. 

For around $50, features include:

  • Compass
  • Flashlight and reading light
  • Loud SOS alarm
  • Emergency beacon
  • Multiple charging options (battery, rechargeable battery, solar and hand crank)
  • AM/FM and shortwave radio
  • NOAA radio stations
  • Compact design with water-resistant shell

Although this product is water-resistant, it’s not completely waterproof. The IPX3 rating means that your investment will withstand some light splashes and rain, but it shouldn’t be submerged in water. 

Overall, the ROCAM is a convenient and durable device, but the solar panel could be more efficient, and the tuner is quite challenging to use. 

Pros:

  • Compass and beacon included
  • AM/FM and shortwave radio
  • Flashlight and reading light
  • Water-resistant compact design
  • Multiple charging options

Cons:

  • Solar panel isn’t efficient enough
  • The tuner is difficult to use
  • Limited water resistance
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4. Midland ER310 weather radio (best for battery)

In times of crisis, you need an AM FM weather radio that’s going to keep working, no matter what. 

The Midland ER310 is one of the best weather radios on the market for its fantastic battery life, which extends up to 32 hours! You can also supplement the battery on this device by topping it up with the included hand crank or solar panel. 

If you run out of charge at any time, there’s also an option to use 6 AA batteries, if you happen to have some available. 

Aside from an extremely reliable battery, the Midland also comes with an SOS emergency flashlight and ultrasonic dog whistle. 

Whether you’re browsing between AM/FM and NOAA radio stations, or charging your external devices, the Midland is an excellent tool. 

Currently available for a price of around $90, features include:

  • Emergency hand crank and solar power
  • 32 hours of battery on a single charge
  • NOAA weather scanning 
  • FM and AM radio
  • 130-lumen flashlight
  • Ultrasonic dog whistle
  • SOS emergency beacon
  • Emergency power bank (charges external devices)

This all-weather radio is sure to keep you feeling confident in a crisis. 

The ultrasonic whistle and in-built beacon will help you to attract attention from rescue teams. What’s more, the device is easy to use, with tactile buttons that aren’t fiddly when your fingers are cold. 

Unfortunately, the FM radio signal could do with a boost on this product. 

Pros:

  • Great battery life
  • Ultrasonic dog whistle and beacon
  • Charging for external devices
  • Batteries, solar panel, or hand crank
  • Excellent NOAA scanning

Cons:

  • Not much volume
  • FM signal needs a boost
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5. C.Crane CC pocket radio (best with sleep timer)

The C. Crane CC pocket radio is one of the best weather alert radios for anyone who loves camping in the great outdoors. 

If you want a device that doubles up as both an emergency radio, and an alarm clock, then the C. Crane is perfect for you. 

With rubber-coated sides to ensure a firm grip, and ruggedized design elements throughout, the C. Crane will come in handy on any hike or outdoor adventure. 

Aside from NOAA stations, the C. Crane also offers AM FM weather radio performance too, with 5 one-touch pre-sets to choose from. 

Despite its tiny size, this device has excellent sensitivity to radio broadcasts, and you can choose between listening to the in-built speaker or using headphones. Although there aren’t any extra advanced features, this best buy weather radio will give you peace of mind when you need it. 

With a price tag of around $65, features include:

  • Battery operation for portability
  • Backlit LCD screen
  • Sleep timer clock and alarm
  • Removable belt clip
  • Built-in speaker or headphone input
  • Excellent sensitivity for AM/FM radio
  • NOAA channels
  • 5 one-touch pre-set channels

Small enough to fit in your pocket, the C. Crane weather radio is easy to use, reliable, and powerful. 

With only 2 AA batteries, it can deliver up to 75 hours of playtime. That’s incredibly impressive for any emergency radio. 

Just don’t expect the best audio quality or volume from a small device. 

Pros:

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Sleep timer, alarm, and clock
  • 75 hours of battery life
  • Excellent AM/FM and NOAA radio
  • 5 memory pre-set buttons

Cons:

  • Very low volume
  • Limited audio quality
  • AM radio is just “okay.”
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6. Sangean MMR-88 (best with flashlight)

Many of the best weather alert radio products on the market today come with extra features to support you in times of trouble. 

It’s common to find capabilities like built-in flashlights, and a USB input so you can charge your smartphone. 

The Sangean MMR-88 is a great example of a weather alert radio that delivers fantastic radio quality, and plenty of extras. 

This all-weather radio comes with an illumination lamp which can either act as an emergency beacon, a reading lamp, or a flashing tool for Morse code. 

The blinking light automatically delivers SOS messages while you wait for a rescue! 

There’s also a built-in clock with a 90-minute timer and the option to power your device via hand crank if you run out of battery life. 

For a price of around $55, features include:

  • Clock and timer built-in
  • Headphone or speaker output
  • LED light with Morse code
  • Emergency buzzer
  • Hand crank or solar panel power
  • AM and FM with 19 presets
  • NOAA weather radio 

Chunky and durable, this powerful product from Sangean is small enough to fit in any bag, or robust enough to stand the test of time. 

The rubber edges help the product to withstand knocks and drops, although there’s no weather-proofing included. 

One possible downside of this radio is that it takes a long time to charge. 

Pros:

  • AM, FM and NOAA radio
  • Hand crank and solar panel included
  • Handy LED light with Morse code
  • Emergency buzzer
  • Built-in clock with timer

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to charge
  • No weather-proofing
  • Inefficient solar panel
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7. Kaito Voyager Max (best with recorder) 

Kaito is a popular company in the emergency and weather alert radio market. Offering a wide selection of tools to suit every budget, this company knows how to keep people connected. 

The Kaito Voyager Max is one of the more expensive, but also more impressive tools from Kaito. 

This product comes with a built-in Bluetooth function, NOAA radio, and AM/FM/SW frequencies too. 

If you run out of battery with the Voyager Max, you have plenty of options for juicing up again. Aside from DC wall-power, you can also use the solar panel or hand crank. 

One of the more powerful weather radios we’ve seen, the Kaito Voyager Max maintains a constant stream of 24/7 weather forecasting. 

You can also record your voice with the in-built microphone and SD card slot – ideal for novel writers and vloggers. 

For a price of around $100, features include:

  • Multiple power options, including solar and hand crank
  • Comprehensive AM/FM and shortwave radio
  • Constant NOAA weather channels
  • Recording function
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Micro SD card and aux-in slot
  • USB input for phone recharging
  • Telescopic antenna
  • Excellent radio memory
  • 5 LED reading light

Brimming with capabilities to ensure that you’re ready for any emergency, the Kaito Voyager Max will quickly become the most important item in your camping or hiking toolkit. 

Finding a radio station is easy, and with the option to stream music, you’ll never run out of entertainment. 

Just note that the hand crank is a little flimsy in its design. 

Another issue with the Voyager Max is that it can be complicated to figure out. 

Pros:

  • Bluetooth streaming
  • AM/FM and shortwave radio
  • Recording with SD card slot
  • USB charging for your smartphone
  • Reading light included

Cons:

  • Quite a flimsy hand crank
  • No weatherproofing
  • Difficult to use for some
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8. RunningSnail weather radio (best ease of use)

Sometimes, the best all-weather radio will be the one that you can grab in an emergency and use without stress. 

While high-performance radios with lots of features are useful, it can be handy to have something a little simpler in your backpack. 

In our weather radio reviews, we found the RunningSnail is one of those easier options. 

This AM FM weather radio comes with a powerful flashlight, a reliable power bank for your smartphone, and an SOS flashing beacon. 

For power, you can choose between a high-performance lithium battery, or a hand crank or solar panel. 

This might be one of the more basic weather alert radios we’ve seen, but it’s a great tool to have in a pinch. 

For less than $30, features include:

  • Durable but lightweight design
  • High-performance li-ion battery
  • Rechargeable with solar panel or hand crank
  • AM/FM and NOAA radio
  • LED flashlight and beacon
  • 12-month warranty
  • USB charging for smartphones

An easy to tune and use weather radio for beginners, the RunningSnail will give you the functionality you need when you’re dealing with extreme weather conditions. 

What’s more, this product is small enough to easily fit into any backpack or pocket when you’re out and about too. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Easy to use with no complex features
  • FM, AM and NOAA radio
  • SOS light and flashlight
  • USB charging for external devices

Cons:

  • No advanced features
  • Not the best quality of sound
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9. VMEI crank radio (best for transport)

Weather alert radios are always handy to have around the home in case of an emergency. It’s also helpful to have something you can take with you when you travel too. 

The VMEI crank weather alert radio provides easy radio access in any emergency situation. 

There’s a built-in compass, a clip to help you attach the radio to your bag, and so much more. 

With a hand crank and solar panel for extra sources of power, you’ll never be left without a radio when times are tough. 

The VMEI also includes an SOS alarm with flashing light, constant NOAA radio alerts, and AM/FM access too. 

We’re particularly fond of the outdoor buckle, which will ensure your radio holds tight to your prepper kit when you’re on the move. 

For a price of around $35, features include:

  • AM/FM and NOAA radio 
  • SOS alarm 
  • Solar and hand crank charging
  • USB charging for external devices
  • Compass
  • Telescopic antenna
  • Outdoor buckle built-in
  • 18-month warranty

The biggest issue we found is that despite being designed for the outdoors, it doesn’t come with any weather proofing. 

There are no bumpers to protect from knocks and scrapes, and the design isn’t splash-proof. 

Another issue is that we couldn’t get the compass on this radio to work. 

Pros:

  • Handy compact design
  • Clip included for transportation
  • Great guarantee
  • SOS alarm included
  • Hand crank and solar panel

Cons:

  • No weather proofing
  • Compass can be difficult to work
  • Average sound quality

How do you use an all-weather radio?

Before you can choose the best weather radio for your needs, you need to make sure that you understand how to use them. 

Whether you’re living in an area where storms are common, or you just want to be prepared, a weather radio should always be part of your emergency preparedness kit.

Weather alert radios aren’t the same as your standard AM/FM emergency device. You need something with NOAA weather service broadcasts. 

This ensures that you continue to get messages from your local community, even when the traditional AM and FM stations are down. 

NWS forecasters can send special tones to activate local stations when severe weather conditions hit. 

A weather alert radio will give you vital weather information, and instructions on what to do next in dangerous situations. 

This ensures that you’ll know whether you and your family need to stay indoors for a little longer or seek a safer space. 

Aside from ensuring that you can hear the emergency broadcasts, weather alert radios often come with extra features to help out in an emergency. 

It’s common, for example, to have an all-weather radio that’s powered by other things besides typical outlet electricity. Your device could come with battery options, solar power, or hand crank features. 

Follow the instructions provided for your weather alert radio when you buy it. Usually, there will be a dedicated button or tuning station that you can turn to in times of crisis. 

How to choose the best weather radio

Weather radios are unique because traditional AM/FM options don’t issue NOAA weather warnings and information. 

There are a lot of different products out there to choose from, and each device comes with its own positives and negatives to consider. 

Most weather radios are lightweight and portable, but you can find some that are specifically designed to fit in a pocket. 

If you’re shopping for the ultimate best weather alert radio, here are some points to consider:

  • Connectivity: NOAA radio is a must-have for any weather alert radio. You may want options to listen to other frequencies, too, such as AM, FM, and shortwave. Some products, like the Eton FRX5BT emergency weather radio, even support Bluetooth. 
  • Size: As mentioned above, most weather radios are small so that you can keep your device with you on the move. If you plan on taking this device camping or hiking, you’ll need something that’s particularly lightweight, such as the Vondior weather radio. 
  • Extra features: Aside from offering NOAA weather alerts, leading weather radios can also feature extra capabilities. The ROCAM emergency radio comes with a compass to help you find your way. On the other hand, the C. Crane has its own sleep timer and alarm system. 
  • Battery life: Battery life is crucial in an all-weather radio. You need your device to last for as long as possible. The C. Crane radio provides up to 75 hours of playtime, but there aren’t any alternative charging methods available. The Midland ER310, on the other hand, has up to 32 hours of battery to offer, plus solar panels and hand crank functionality.
  • Ease of use: While bonus features and extra tools built into your radio can make it more appealing, it’s also important to make sure you feel comfortable using your device. The RunningSnail product we reviewed above offers excellent ease-of-use for beginners, and those who don’t feel overly comfortable with technology. 

Which is the best weather radio?

The best weather alert radio for you will depend on your unique circumstances. 

For some people, the ultimate product will be the one with the longest battery life. If that’s the case for you, then it’s definitely worth checking out the C. Crane or the Midland weather radio.

If, like us, you like the idea of having a radio that’s versatile enough to suit a range of needs, try the Eton FRX5BT. 

This emergency weather radio stands out with its fantastic Bluetooth connectivity, and wide range of frequencies. We also loved the fact that you could charge the Eton radio by battery, solar power, or hand crank. 

Good luck choosing the ultimate weather radio for your needs. Remember to check out our other reviews for more insights into today’s leading radio products. 

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