The Best Walkie Talkie For Hiking

by Christine Howland | Last Updated: March 11, 2021

Whether you are going hiking in a nearby mountain or into the backcountry, a pair of walkie-talkies will make it easier for you to keep in touch with your partner. Even when you are out of the cell phone signal area, you can use the walkie-talkies to communicate.

Best Walkie Talkie For Hiking

Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio, 2 Pack

Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio, 2 Pack

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Here is another model from the Motorola brand. The walkie-talkies are durable, lightweight, and have a sturdy build. It has many safety features, such as a flashlight, weather alerts, alert buttons, and more.

Features:

You can use this T600 two-way radio either on land or in water bodies. This walkie-talkie comes with an IP67 waterproof design. There is a water-activated flashlight, and you can find this at the bottom of the device. The walkie-talkie comes with an easy-to-retrieve design, and it can float up.

Your personalized settings will be safe, all thanks to its keypad lock. The flashlight consists of both white and red LEDs. If you encounter emergencies during the night or sunset, you can choose the white LED option on the built-in flashlight.

These walkie-talkies can run on alkaline batteries for up to 23 hours and rechargeable NiMH batteries for about 9 hours. There is a low battery alert that rings when the batteries are running out of power.

There are 22 Channels, and each one has around 121 Privacy Codes. By using them, it is possible to make 2,662 combinations to discover an available channel. This walkie-talkie is compatible with every brand of radios, and also FRS and GMRS radios. You can connect with them by using the same channel and privacy codes.

You can also keep track of the weather conditions by turning on the weather channels. There are a total of 11 NOAA radio weather channels, and you can choose one from them. If the ringing is intrusive and wild, you can use the VibraCall feature.

Pros

  • It includes a water-activated flashlight.
  • This model has an IP67 waterproof design.
  • Low battery alerts
  • There is an emergency alert option.

Cons

  • It is not compatible with Bluetooth.

Cobra Electronics CXT 1035R FLT Floating Walkie Talkies

Cobra Electronics CXT 1035R FLT Floating Walkie Talkies

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If you want a better range two-way radio, then you can choose this model from the Cobra brand. This model is good if you and your friends plan to go for a long hike or a survival trip.

Features:

You and your partner can communicate up to 37 miles. This walkie-talkie gives a better signal range, and it has a total of 2662 channel combinations. Due to this, you can find any available channel within minutes. It is also one of the best and high-end GMRS radios.

This walkie-talkie comes with a built-in NOAA radio receiver. You can turn this on to get NOAA weather alerts. Using this feature, you can escape hurricanes, rain, and other bad weather conditions. There are separate and durable enough volume, call, start, and other buttons.

The walkie-talkie has a portable design and rubberized grip. Due to this, you can hold it easily, even in dirty and wet conditions. You can communicate through this walkie-talkie without using your hands. It is compatible with (VOX) Voice-activated transmission, so you do not have to carry it in your hands.

One standing-out feature of this walkie-talkie is the Rewind-Say-Again function, which allows you to replay missed radio calls. Besides that, this device can automatically record the last 20-second clip of the incoming audios.

You will never miss this radio because it has a noticeable floating design with an orange core. Even if you drop the walkie-talkie into the water by mistake, it is easy to find it. This model is also available in a camouflage pattern.

Pros

  • It has a floating design with a bright orange core.
  • The package includes a dual-port charger.
  • It has a built-in NOAA radio receiver.
  • Works on three AA batteries

Cons

  • The roger beep is quite disturbing.
  • The instructions in the manual are too tiny.

Kenwood TK-3400U16P ProTalk 16 Channel Compact UHF FM 2-Watts Portable Two-Way Radio

Kenwood TK-3400U16P ProTalk 16 Channel Compact UHF FM 2-Watts Portable Two-Way Radio

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This Kenwood portable walkie-talkie is one of the best wireless models. This device has a traditional two-way radio design with an all-black pattern.

Features:

Here is another 16 channel walkie-talkie on our list. It has a mobile design which can fit in your hand perfectly. Using this two-way radio, you can communicate with your pattern for about 6 miles.

This two-way radio uses two-watt transmit power. It can cover up to 250000 square feet (23,220 square miles) when you use it in steel or cement buildings. If you are in high-rise towers or structures, this device can transmit signals up to 20 floors.

This walkie-talkie has 90 UHF pre-programmed banked frequencies. There are QT, DQT, Encode, and Decode options. It also features an audio scrambler. You will get a calling alert, and there are LED lights in four different colors. It also includes a modern snap-on-side voice cover.

The device is durable, uses high-end materials, and shows resistance to water. It has an inner VOX feature, so you can keep your hands free while talking with your partners. Besides that, you can find the scan with temporary nuisance delete options.

Though this model is not perfect for long-range distances, it works well for short distances. The package arrives with a Li-Ion battery which can run up to 22 hours. You will also receive the battery charger as an extra add-on.

Pros

  • It covers up to 250000 square feet.
  • The device has a two-year warranty.
  • It has pre-programmed banked frequencies.
  • Durable and water-resistant body
  • The package includes a battery charger.

Cons

  • Not ideal for long distances.
  • It is expensive.

Motorola Talkabout T402 Rechargeable Two-Way Radios (2-Pack)

Motorola Talkabout T402 Rechargeable Two-Way Radios

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These walkie-talkies are by far the best two-way radios for hiking. You can also use them for other outdoor recreational activities. They have a decent shape with a sturdy design.

Features:

The Motorola Talkabout T402 Rechargeable Two-Way Radios (2-Pack) is perfect for hiking and other outdoor activities. The easy-to-use walkie-talkie works up to a 35-mile range in open conditions. It has a built-in LED flashlight which is useful at night times, emergencies, or power outages.

The walkie-talkie comes with an IP54 weatherproof design. Hence, it can tolerate water, snow, rain, and more weather conditions. It has 121 privacy codes and 22 channels with a total of 2,662 combinations. Hence, it is easy for you to discover an available channel.

You can use NiMH rechargeable batteries or 3 AA batteries to power the walkie-talkie. If you want to charge the NiMH rechargeable batteries, plug in the micro-USB cord to your desktop, powers socket, or car adaptor. To keep track of the weather conditions, switch on the weather channel. Besides, you can also turn on the weather alerts.

The iVOX or VOX works like a loud speakerphone which allows you to have hands-free communication. Hence, when you are hiking at a steep surface, you can use your hands to balance yourself without pausing to answer your partner’s call.

The walkie-talkie includes 20 different customized call tones. Some call tones consist of bell sounds, animal noises, and more. There is a lock keypad function to secure your personalized settings. The walkie-talkie assures smooth communication as it includes a quiet talk (QT) function.

Pros

  • Two rechargeable battery packs
  • It is compatible with every FRS or GMRS walkie-talkies
  • Low battery alerts
  • One year product warranty

Cons

  • No emergency alerts
  • Not compatible with Bluetooth

Retevis H-777S Long Range 2 Way Radios Walkie Talkies

Retevis H-777S Long Range 2 Way Radios Walkie Talkies

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The Retevis H-777S Long Range 2 Way Radios Walkie Talkies are the best short-range walkie-talkies for hiking. They are shockproof, dustproof, and show resistance to several weather conditions.

Features:

The Retevis H-777S Long Range 2 Way Radios Walkie Talkies is the perfect pick for a large group of people. There are a total of 10 walkie-talkies in the package, two each in one box. It does not need a license and has a built-in LED flashlight with an exceptional LCD screen.

Every walkie-talkie has G-type ear hook earpieces. Hence, you can hear clear messages from your other fellow hikers. This unique ergonomic design is a perfect fit for your ear. Besides, it is also super comfortable as well. Even when you use them for a long time, they won’t harm your ear. These earpieces give perfect voice quality and decrease the noise. Moreover, they help in restoring the voice authenticity.

The walkie-talkie comes with a sturdy and thick long antenna. These long antennas would not break easily. They cover 20% extra area in comparison with the other two-way radios. The walkie-talkie comes with a VOX function. Hence, you can have hands-free real-time communication.

While speaking with other people using the walkie-talkie, you can charge the extra batteries, which can save your time. To charge the batteries, you can either plug into an electric socket, or Power bank, or a vehicle adapter.

These walkie-talkies show resistance to humidity, snow, salt, water, vibration, and more. They are also shockproof and dustproof. All these walkie-talkies have reliable detachable belt clips, which last longer and are comfortable to use.

Pros

  • Two-year warranty
  • The battery lasts for a long time
  • Five user guides or instruction manuals
  • Heavy-duty and durable plastic body
  • The product includes a built-in LED torch

Cons

  • It has a thin antenna

Proster Rechargeable Walkie Talkie 1 Pair

Proster Rechargeable Walkie Talkie 1 Pair

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The Proster Rechargeable Walkie Talkie 1 Pair is one of the best lightweight two-way radios. It is good enough for both outdoor and indoor activities.

Features:

The Proster Rechargeable Walkie Talkie 1 Pair is ideal and perfect for hikers who want a short-distance walkie-talkie. It is suitable for activities like hiking, backpacking. Besides, it is useful for security cops and building construction staff. The walkie-talkie comes with an ergonomic design that is lightweight and easy to hold.

The frequency range of the walkie-talkie is UHF 400-475 MHz, and it has 16 channels. You can use the built-in flashlight to see the ground during power outages or when you are at low-light places.

These walkie-talkies have a rugged body design, and even if you drop them on the ground, they will remain in their shape. It has an earpiece that ensures clear and crisp voice transmission in almost every type of surroundings.

You can keep in touch with your partner for about 2 miles. Due to the short distance range, these walkie-talkies offer crisp and accurate communication. The walkie-talkies come with CTCSS and DCS function, which helps in blocking the interference signals and decreases unwanted sounds.

The Proster Rechargeable Walkie Talkie 1 Pair works using 1500mAh lithium metal batteries, which can run for about 8 hours. These walkie-talkies include USB chargers which you can use to recharge the batteries from time to time. Besides, you can also charge the batteries either from your car adapter or computer.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • It has a 400-457 MHz UHF frequency
  • License-free walkie talkie
  • The product comes with a pair of earphones
  • Good enough quality

Cons

  • Not suitable for long-distance
  • It only has a few channels, and it does not have privacy codes

SAMCOM FRS Two Way Radio 22CH

SAMCOM FRS Two Way Radio 22CH

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This walkie-talkie is one of the easiest to use with good enough battery runtime. It comes with a unique design charging cable. There are different call tones as well.

Features:

The SAMCOM FRS Two Way Radio 22CH comes with an FCC certification. It is also a license-free FRS walkie-talkie. These walkie-talkies can work up to 36 miles in open areas. And at construction sites or urban places, they function well up to 2 miles.

The walkie-talkie has 22 channels with 104 CDCSS and 50 CTCSS privacy codes. Hence, you can have safe and private communication. It has a unique two-in-one split-zipper charging cable. Using the cable, you can charge both the walkie-talkies at the same time.

It also has a backlit screen which gives great visibility. Hence, even in the darkest areas, you can set up the walkie-talkie with ease. You can use the built-in flashlight as an emergency light in low light areas. It is also good enough to use for nocturnal emergencies.

You can attach the walkie-talkie anywhere as it comes with a removable belt clip. It is easy to install and detach the belt clip. There is a particular GROUP function that lets you instruct every group member even when they are in different channels. It includes a powerful and thick integrated antenna which is not easy to break.

Using the 10 call tones, you can set different tones for each member. They have 1250mAh batteries, which can run the walkie-talkies for over 10 hours. Besides, in standby mode, it can work for about 40 hours. You can have hands-free communication, thanks to its loudspeaker feature.

Pros

  • Easy to use, install, and remove
  • A useful keypad locking feature
  • Allows group talk
  • Detachable belt clip
  • It includes a built-in flashlight
  • Sends NOAA weather alerts

Cons

  • Not ideal for places with heavy obstacles like mountain ranges

DEWALT DXFRS800 2 Watt Heavy Duty Walkie Talkies

DEWALT DXFRS800 2 Watt Heavy Duty Walkie Talkies

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These walkie-talkies have a durable body and feature a good enough LCD. It has an anti-slip design and comes with powerful 2000mAH batteries.

Features:

The DEWALT DXFRS800 2 Watt Heavy Duty Walkie Talkies are perfect for long-range and can work up to 56 miles. You can have ultra-clear communication with smooth reception. The walkie-talkies are resistant to shock and can even survive a 2-meter drop.

These walkie-talkies come with 22 preset channels and privacy codes to reduce unwanted interference signals from other sources. They give a more signal range with a total of 2,662 channel combinations. Using the volume knob, you can adjust the volume level with ease.

The walkie-talkies include a 360 degrees swivel holster which you can use to rotate sideways for many positions. It also has a VOX function, so you can enjoy your hands-free communication. The auto squelch function will turn off the unstable transmissions and unwanted noises.

There is a confirmation tone or roger beep tone feature. When you hear that tone, it means that one’s message is over and the other people can talk. The keypad locking function prevents the chances of accidental personalized channel changes.

The walkie-talkie features a unique power saver feature. This is a circuit that helps in extending the run time of your batteries. When there is no communication for 10 seconds, the circuit will change to the battery-saving mode. There are vibration alerts that inform you about the upcoming transmissions.

Pros

  • 22 preset channels
  • Good enough LCD
  • Resistant to shock, dustproof and waterproof
  • 2W RF output
  • It does not need license and service fees

Cons

  • A bit costly

Buying Guide

Types of Walkie talkies

In the present-day market, you are likely to find two main types of walkie-talkies. They are FRS (Family Radio Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service).

FRS (Family Radio Service):

The FRS walkie-talkies do not need a license and are available at low prices. But all the FRS radios include a legal limit of 500 milliwatts. Generally, they come with a short-range of up to 2 miles. Hence, the FRS walkie-talkies are ideal for short distances and open land hiking trips.

GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service):

Having a license from the FRC (Federal Communications Commission) is necessary for the GMRS walkie-talkies. To be precise, these walkie-talkies are very expensive and will have more than 15 channels. Several GMRS walkie-talkies can cover up to 5 miles, and a few high-end models can even work up to 30 miles.

Importance of Walkie Talkies For Hiking

When you are hiking, you need some devices to communicate with your hiking partners. If you are hiking in places that are out of signal coverage, you cannot depend on mobile phones for communication.

Even though many of us have access to mobile and various networking services, the backcountry is still facing mobile signal problems. Hence, using a mobile phone is not an option for you.

So, to communicate in those kinds of situations, you have two available options. They are satellite phones and walkie-talkies. Satellite phones can work everywhere, even in the hidden corners or parts of the world. But you have to pay monthly service fees to use the satellite phones, which is quite expensive.

The walkie-talkies, which are popularly known as two-way radios, are the best choice. Many walkie-talkies do not need monthly fees and are accessible at a reasonable price. Besides, there are thousands of unique models with different features to choose from.

What to Look for In the Walkie Talkie for Hiking

Below are a few factors which you have to consider before buying a walkie-talkie for your hiking trip.

VHF versus UHF

The first thing to look for in the walkie-talkie is the type of frequency and its range. When you are buying more than a pair, then buy only one type of walkie-talkies. Because VHF and UHF walkie-talkies are not compatible with each other.

In general, the VHF (Very High Frequency) walkie-talkies operate between the range of 126 to 174 MHz. These are suitable for long distances where there are only a few obstacles. Besides, VHF radios have an extra extensive range, which enters through the leaves and plants with ease. Coming to the UHF walkie-talkies, they run between 400 to 512 MHz. The UHF walkie-talkie can pass through buildings, large landscapes, and skyscrapers. They carry small waves and have good enough interference capacity.

Features

When buying a walkie-talkie, it is necessary to check whether it has some extra features or not. We recommend that you select the walkie-talkies that have more features. More extra features mean more functionality. Several walkie-talkies have a backlit LCD keypad, hands-free communication, power saver, earphones, and loudspeaker. Other high-profile features are weather alerts, beep tones, noise cancellation, channel saver, keypad locking, talk confirmation, and incoming alert notifications.

Radio Channels

The walkie-talkies come with different and several channels. Many high-end and durable walkie-talkies have 22 channels. Having more channels makes communication smoother.

Battery life

The walkie-talkies run on several kinds of batteries. There are a few inexpensive walkie-talkies that run on AA or AAA batteries. But, the modern and durable walkie-talkies use high-end batteries. They are:

It is necessary to know the total runtime of the battery so you can get an idea of whether to carry a few extra batteries or not. It is better to avoid walkie-talkies with less than 8 hours of run time. The best choice will be the walkie-talkies with 15 hours or more runtime.

Distance

Another aspect you have to consider is how much distance the walkie-talkie can cover. Many walkie-talkies cover long distances in open or flat fields. Because flat areas have fewer obstacles. But they can only cover a short distance if there are large buildings or other barriers. The walkie-talkie, which you will use for your hike, should have a long covering range. There are several walkie-talkies whose spectrum is between 20 and 50 miles.

Conclusion

After testing and reviewing many walkie-talkies, we made a list of the best walkie-talkies. All the above walkie-talkies are the best for various outdoor recreational activities. Our primary pick isĀ Motorola Talkabout T402 Rechargeable Two-Way Radios (2-Pack), a license-free radio, affordable and also customer’s favorite pick. It includes a built-in LED flashlight, silent talk filter, belt clips, one year warranty. Besides, it has a battery saver feature along with an IP54 weatherproof rating. All these features determine it as the best walkie-talkie for hiking.

All the above five products are the top choices in specific fields. Moreover, they all have essential features. Depending on your requirements, choose the walkie-talkie that ticks every box on your list.