What Are the Best Walkie Talkie and Their Reviews?
Two-way radios have grown in popularity in recent years due largely to improvements in technology and the fact that they have no cell signal to lose. They are commonly referred to as “walkie talkies,” because, let’s face it, it’s much more fun to say walkie talkies.
Walkie talkies are all designed to do the obvious: allow you to communicate with at least one other person. Beyond that, some docome equipped with unique characteristics that make them more attractive to certain buyers.
Keep reading to find answers to all the questions you have about how to pick out your walkie talkie.
Different Types of Walkie Talkies
Once you start looking at good walkie talkies, it doesn’t take long before you notice how many types and uses there are. You can lose your mind trying to figure out which ones are better and for which reasons.
Walkies talkies can be generally broken down using a few different criteria. They each operate under certain bands and frequencies (UHF, VHF, HF), maximum power guidelines and range. Some also work on assigned channels or require you to have a license to use them.
For the most part, they can be broken down by the service they use. Listed below are the walkie talkie services that are most relevant for our purposes here.
Amateur Radio Service (Ham Radio)
There is no age requirement to operate on Ham Radio. If you’re twelve – even six – you can use this service. You have to get a license to use it though, so you might have to get a paper route.
Depending on which of the three license options you qualify for, you can have anywhere from 5 watts to 1500 watts of broadcasting power. Not too shabby for an amateur.
Ham Radio isn’t a normally sought after by those of us looking for a top rated walkie talkie,but there are good ones out there.
Citizen’s Band Radio Service (CB)
Breaker 1-9. Did I travel through a worm hole and end up in a seventies trucker film? Nope, still here, and so are CB radios, your basic, stripped-to-the-bones two-way radio communication using HF, AM and SSB (single side band) bands.
Still mostly used among over the road truckers, Citizen’s Band Radio has the best of both worlds. You don’t have to buy a license and you don’t have to wait until a magic birthday to be an operator. No more need for that paper route.
This band isn’t generally used by your everyday walkie talkies either. It did make for some pretty entertaining songs and movies in the seventies though. Roger that.
Family Radio Service (FRS)
Started in 1996, FRS is primarily used for short distance communications. It can be used to facilitate your personal group activities, or you can use it for your business. You need a license if you use it for business, though, which hopefully isn’t a paper route.
FRS has fourteen channels assigned and shared with General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), which is another service we’ll get to next. Range is about two miles.
As with CB, there are no age restrictions for using this service. No surprise, then,FRS is used by a lot of the more popular general use walkie talkies on the market.
General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
This is the one I told you we’d get to. It has fourteen assigned channels on the UHF band; seven of its own, and seven shared with FRS. As such, GMRS radios are usually sold as hybrid GMRS/FRS handheld walkie talkies.
Like FRS, range will be about two miles depending upon how many hills are between you and the other units. Radios of this type are allowed up to five watts of transmit power. Again, a good antenna should help with that.
The service requires you to have a license to operate on it, but one license covers the entire family. They don’t cost much, so you might have to draw straws if one of you needs that paper route.
Like FRS radios, GMRS radios are more popular among people looking for good walkie talkies for general use.
Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS)
MURS was first brought to us in 2000 by the FCC. MURS is assigned five different frequencies on UHF and is for personal or business use.
We’re back to no licensing, no age requirement and no paper route with MURS. It might be lonely, though; fewer people use this service than its FRS/GMRS brethren. One the other hand, maybe that’s what you’re looking for.
Radios on this service will give you a maximum range of three miles on open terrain. Also, they tend to be a little more well-built than some of their counterparts.
Top 10 Best Walkie Talkies
You can end up with spirals for eyeballs looking at all the choices of walkie talkies. How do you ever pick one out that is best for what you want it for? That’s why we’re here.
We’ve done the research; you just relax, put your feet up, and take a look at what we’ve come up with.
Midland is an American manufacturer, and its GTX1000VP4 is a nifty little radio. Packed full of features for the outdoorsman, it operates on the GMRS service, offering50 channels on five watts of available transmitting power.
Its Weather Scan feature finds the nearest NOAA broadcast so you can always stay ahead of whatever the weather blows up. Whisper allows you to speak gently while being heard clearly by the others in your party.
The GTX1000VPF sports a range up to 36 miles. That means as long as you’re on the Bonneville Salt Flats or somewhere equally lacking in terrain you’re fine. Walkie talkie reviewswill tell you two or three miles is more realistic.
This radio is waterproof against light rain and water splashes. Its SOS siren allows you to send out a distress signal in the event of an emergency. It also has a 120-volt charger, so you can plug its charging station into your car or truck for quick charging on the fly.
BaoFeng, a Chinese electronics maker, scores its first of several hits on our list with the BF-F8HP. It doesn’t take long to figure out why: This little thing does just about everything but your laundry.
It operates as a HAM radio, so you do need a license to use them. As the name suggests, this is a dual-band radio, which means it can operate on either the UHF or VHF bands.It also can switch between narrowband and wideband communicating.
It haseight watts of transmitting power.You don’t have to use all eight if you don’t want to though.The BF-F8HP gives you three separate power levels for better reception or battery life.
Check this out: BaoFeng even offers one year concierge customer service on this model. Can’t argue with that.
BaoFeng makes it two out of three, putting the BF888S at number three. This is a nice little walkie talkie too. Another that uses HAM Radio, it’s a transceiver that gives you two watts of power on the UHF band.
This walkie talkie, like the BF-F8HP, can use both narrowband and wideband communicating. The wideband, for higher frequency communications, allows for communicating using platforms such as Wi-Fi. That could be very useful in case of emergency.
This unit fits nicely in the palm of your hand, and, weighing in at a whopping 1.4 pounds, you barely know it’s there.It runs on one lithium ion battery and is backed by a manufacturer’s warrantyfor the first year.
Again, you have to have a license to operate this one, but it’s one of the best walkie talkiesout there in its price range.
Another HAM Radio user, this walkie talkie makes it three out of four for BaoFeng. Any batter will take that average.
The BF-UV-5RE is a solid little walkie talkie that uses the VHF band at a frequency of 65-108 MHz and will also allow you to receive FM transmissions.
Another light radio, its 1.6 pounds makes it easy for you to carry around while you listen to those tunes. It includes an earpiece/microphone for silent communicating, which could come in handy on the hunt.
You can operate on your choice of 128 different channels. Its VOX function (Voice Operated Transmission) means hands-free communicating while your hands are full. Best of all, this walkie talkie won’t break your bank account either.
Coming in at number five is the 36-mile range LXT600VP3 by Midland. This walkie talkie is made with the outdoorsman in mind.
If you find yourself deep in the woods with a dying battery, the HI/LO power settings lets you to adjust the transmit power. That allows you to extend the battery life, buying you extra time to get back to the charging station.
The LXT600VP3 has 22 GMRS channels. It also comes equipped with NOAA weather radio stations, so you’re always one step ahead of the weather.
You can operate these walkie talkies on silent, and the auto-squelch feature allows you to remove irritating background noise that could give up your position.
Another tri-band offering from Baofeng is the dual-powered UV82-HP. This one comes with two different power settings; low and high.
The UV-5X3 operates on UHF and VHF bands under assigned frequencies. It will also receive FM bands. It also comes with VOX for those that needs it. Since it’s another HAM Radio, it’s another that requires you to get a license.
The high-gain antenna gives you maximum use of the five watts this walkie talkie offers.The UV-5X3 also comes equipped with a earpiece kit and wrist strap in case you need all your limbs if you run into more trouble than you’re looking for.
Midland’s GTX1000VP4 is one of the best walkie talkies for outdoor use. It has 50 GMRS channels and up to 36 miles in range. Its Weather Scan feature finds the nearest NOAA broadcast, allowing youto stay ahead of the weather.
Its Whisperfeatureallows you to speak gently while being heard clearly by the others in your hunting party. That’s a perfect feature for a hunter or fisherman who wants to keep a low profile.It also has a nice SOS siren that allows you to send out a distress signal in the event of an emergency.
The GTX1000VPF is waterproof against light rain and water splashes, and It also has a 120-volt charger, so you can plug its charging station into your truck for quick charging on the fly.
Number eight is the MHS75, made by Japanese manufacturer Uniden. Perfect for the fisherman, it’s not only waterproof, but fully submersible, so no worrying about dropping it out of your boat. If you do, though, it’ll float back to you.
It also offers a silent operation option, which silences all tones.It has the N.O.A.A weather channels and even all American, international and Canadian marine channels. It will give you a range of up to 30 unobstructed miles.
The MHS75 is equipped with 36 GMRS channels. Its battery will last twelve hours on a charge. A lanyard, belt clip and DC clip-on charger for on-the-go charging are included.
Midland lands its fourth entry on our list with the capable LXT630VP3. It offers 36 channels on the GMRS platform and a range up to 30 miles.
Take this water resistant little gem on your next fishing trip and communicate boat-to-boat.Its VOX option allows you to speak hands free while landing that trophy bass. If night fishing floats your boat, no problem with the backlit LED screen.
It also gives you options for powering it. Use three AAA batteries or the rechargeable battery pack provided depending on what you’re up to.
Retevis sneaks into the top ten with its stylish H-777. It’s a single band walkie talkie with 16 channels on the UHF band frequencies 400-470 MHz. This is another nice walkie talkie for someone who likes to be outdoors.
At 14.2 ounces, you can forget you have this little guy in your hand. That makes it nice if you are carrying with a bunch of other gear on a hike. Use the belt clip to hang it wherever’s convenient.
Taking that hike at night? Go ahead, and take the H-777 with you and use its built-in high intensity flashlight.
These are crisp and clear sounding walkie talkies. The earpiece included brings that clarity straight to your ear for when it’s not convenient to hold it.
Features Any Good Walkie Talkie Must Have.
With the many manufacturers, powers, ranges, and channel options coming at you, it’s a wonder anyone can pick out a walkie talkie.
Some have bells and whistles that make them stand out a bit, but for the most part they all do the same things. In the end, you just have to decide whether you want to pay for a license.
Below are some features you may want to key on to help you make the best choice for you.
You can use any of the walkie talkies listed above for outdoor fun, but some you have to pay to use, and others you don’t. You’ll have to decide if it’s worth it to you to pay or not.
Most of these walkie talkies offer good range, as long as you understand the terrain can significantly reduce it.
This is a great feature for the outdoorsman. You don’t want to leave them lying in the water for hours on end, but some are fully submersible without damage.
This is the amount of wattage the device has and it’s regulated by the service you’re on. Some, like HAM Radio, offer higher wattage for longer-distance communicating.
NOAA Weather Radio
Another helpful tool for anybody who likes adventure. Stay ahead of the weather so you can bug out if you need to.
Hands Free Capabilities
This can be big if you’ve got a fish on the line or are sighting in a 12-pointer. It’s a nice feature to have.
Vain? I think not. It is all about value for money. A little shopping around will show you that you shouldn’t have to spend much to get the best walkie talkies.
Assuming that you have already got one from what we have covered. Do you know how to communicate with others using one? Usually, we have slangs for that; adapted from the military.
Watch this video to learn some basic ones.
As I’ve pointed out, there is an incredible amount of data you can pour through in choosing your walkie talkie. It helps to know what you’re looking for, and that’s why you’re here.
You can also check out user reviews to get answers to questions you may have. The world of walkie talkies is open to you. Now that you’re equipped with the right knowledge, do you want to buy that license, or don’t you?