9 Best Long Range Walkie Talkie for Hikes & Hunting 2021 – Reviews & Guide

Best walkie talkieNowadays, people basically use smartphones to connect with each other, but for places with complex terrain, mobile phones basically have no signal, so we need to use a walkie talkie.

What are Two-way radios?

Don’t get confused with the lingo! Two-way radios are simply more expensive walkie takies that are used for business purposes.

These come in three types: FRS (Family Radio Service), GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service), and FRS/GMRS hybrid.

The first type has a limited power output (0.5 W), has 7 channels, and does not require any licensing to be done. The latter type is specifically targeted at commercial use, because of the greater number of channels, range, and power.

Users of GMRS radios need to pay a licensing fee to FCC to be able to operate legally.

Where to Begin?

The very first question you need to ask yourself as a user is:

Where I will be using my portable radio?

There are many possible answers to this. If you’d like to use your walkie in closed areas, where are there are lots of concrete obstacles, then a portable radio working in the UHF (462-467 Mhz) radio frequency is your choice.

On the other hand, if you’d like to communicate over open spaces, where there is little to no hindrance to the electromagnetic waves, then walkies that work in the VHF (136-174 Mhz) radio frequency are your safest bet.

What is the difference between the two?

Apart from the radio frequency, their main difference is in the length of the radio wave; UHF operates on a 27 inch frequency, meaning their short waves can perfectly navigate through closed spaces and pass through any interference found in a city building, while VHF radio waves are of 78 inch length, which makes them incompatible to operate within city structures, but perfect for open fields and outdoor settings. If you’re going for an indoors/outdoors combination then stick with VHF.

Technical Specifications

When selecting a portable radio the best bet would be to carefully study the technical specifications of the product. Often the retailer will trick you into thinking that the models with the same product title have the same specs, but this is not true.

Technical Specifications two-way-radio-walkie-talkie

Additionally, retailers often like to outline the coverage range of the (over 20 miles or more) radio, yet this is only achievable under perfect conditions.

Here’s a short cheat sheet that will help you refine your search:

#1 Channels 8-14

These channels are reserved exclusively for FRS, and do not require you to possess a license from the FCC. The same applies for CB (Citizens band) radio operating within the 27 Mhz band. Operating on channels 15-22 with a hybrid FRS/GMRS radio on the other hand requires you to have a license.

#2 Power of the transmitter

The more wattage your radio has the stronger the signal will be.

#3 Radio frequency

Are you going to use it indoors, in your car, at a site, or in an urban area? Based on this you will pick up either a UHF or VHF radio.

#4 Length of the antenna

A single most important factor that you should take into consideration. The effectiveness of the antenna is usually represented by its length, and the lengthier it is the more effective it is at radiating its power. Don’t overdo this tip though: a portable radio may become that “uncomfortable thing that you have to carry”.

#5 Size and weight

Do not go with miniature walkie talkies, as you should be willing to compromise aesthetic looks for a greater range and better signal quality.

#6 Compatibility

It makes sense to buy a pair of walkie talkies of the same brand to avoid any compatibility issues. For instance, VHF and UHF-operable radios are incompatible with one another.

#7 Jam protection

This is measured in dB, and a higher number will tell you that a walkie will have a higher coverage range if the channels are somewhat overloaded.

#8 Intensity of use

Hybrid FRS/GMRS radios are perfect for indoor, personal use. Frequent use in business settings however will quickly deteriorate your FRS walkie, so it is generally recommended to use business two-way radios (more expensive) for this purpose.

How to Choose the Best Walkie Talkie?

Whether you want to keep up with the pack on an outdoor excursion, guide a large group of people, or track your friends (or your children), the best walkie talkie can help you stay in touch without having to receive signals or running out of power.

In order to make sure you get the best experience from a walkie talkie, we have gone ahead and compiled a list of 9 of the best radios on the market.

The walkie talkies discussed in this article have been selected based on several factors including:

  • Price vs performance
  • Durability
  • Functionality
  • Battery Life
  • Channels
  • Communication Range

Eager to know which walkie talkie made it to our top 9 list?

Well, here we go…

Best Long Range Walkie Talkie

Model ChannelDistanceWaterproofPrice
Arcshell Two-Way Radio
165 MilesNo Check Price
Midland GXT1000VP4
(Editor's Choice)
5036 MilesYes Check Price
BaoFeng UV-5R12820 MilesNo Check Price
Uniden BC125AT
50030 MilesNo Check Price
Motorola T1002216 MilesNo Check Price
BF-F8HP Dual Band12825 MilesNo Check Price
Retevis H-777
166 MilesNo Check Price
BTECH UV-5X3 Tri-Band Radio12850 MilesNo Check Price
Midland LXT500VP32224 MilesYes Check Price

In a hurry? Just check the quick editor’s choices:

1. Arcshell Two-Way Radio – Best  For BeginnersArcshell Two-Way Radio

If you are new to the world of walkie talkies, then this 4 pack radio will be the best fit for you. The radio has a range of 5 miles.

The UHF waves of the walkie talkie have the ability to penetrate steel, concrete, and wood. This gives you a better range and performance when you are in urban places or around buildings.

The Arcshell Two-Way Radio has 16 channels that you can choose from and a frequency range of up to 470MHz. When fully charged, it can last up to 96 hours.

Some of the features you will find in this radio include a Push-to-talk button, overcharge protection, scanning function, and a built-in LED flashlight.

The package comes with 4 two way radios, 4 Li-ion batteries, 4 chargers, 4 SMA-female antennas, 4 hand straps, 4 earphones, 4 Belt clips and 4 user manuals.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Water resistant
  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for beginners
Cons
  • Has a short range
  • Low-quality sound

2. Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-way Radio –  Best For The AdventurersMidland GXT1000VP4 Two-way Radio

This is for those who love a little bit of adventure. With a range of 36 miles, you can be able to communicate effectively while exploring nature.

The Direct Call Function enables you to contact a member of your group without alerting the others. The walkie talkie also has 10 Call Alerts that notify you of an incoming call. The Auto Squelch feature functions by removing all annoying background noise. This enhances the sound quality.

This two way radio has 50 channels. It comes with a Dual Watch that enables you to monitor 2 channels at the same time. The NOAA Weather Alert Radio feature automatically scans the local weather channel and alerts you of severe weather conditions. The SOS siren, on the other hand, enables you to send out signals in case of an emergency situation.

The two way radio has JIS4 Waterproof feature that offers protection against splashing water or rain. The walkie talkie comes with belt clips, a pair of radios, desktop chargers, Mic headsets, rechargeable batteries, AC wall adapter, DC adapter and user manual.
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Good range
  • Clear sounds
  • Easy to access buttons
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • The user manual is complicated

3. BaoFeng UV-5R Two Way Radio – Best Bang For The BuckBaoFeng UV-5R Two Way Radio

What? You have less than $30 to spare on a walkie talkie? Well, no problem! The BaoFeng UV-5R is by far the cheapest, yet durable walkie talkie on the market.

Going for just $24, you get 128 channels and a frequency range of 136 to 174. You can customize the names of the channels and monitor 2 different frequencies.

The BaoFeng UV-5R supports the Dual Reception as well as the Dual Watch. In addition to this, it has a Built-in VOX Function and an Emergency Alert function.

When you purchase this package, you will get a two-way radio, Li-ion battery, antenna, earphone Mic, belt clip, hand strap, adapter, desktop charger, and a user manual.

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Long lasting battery
Cons
  • Can be difficult to program

4. Uniden BC125AT Two Way Radio – Best For The ProsUniden BC125AT Two Way Radio

The extensive installation and programming set up of this walkie talkie make it more suitable for the pros.

The two-way radio has a total of 500 channels. The channels are divided into 10 storage banks. You can organize the channels by location, department, or any other way you like.

You can assign each of the channels with an AlphaNumeric Name. This enables you to keep track of what you’re listening to.

The radio enables you to listen to more than 40,000 frequencies. There is a Compact Bearcat Handheld Scanner that enables you to listen to both civilian and military air bands.

It has Built-in Auto Service Searches which you can use to search for things such as Fire, Police, Air, and Marine.

The walkie talkie also enables you to receive important safety and weather alerts. The Close Call Technology tunes to signals from nearby transmitters. There is also a Do Not Disturb Mode that prevents Close Call Checks.
Pros
  • Has 500 channels
  • Suitable for pros
  • Long lasting battery
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Difficult to set up

5. Motorola T100 Two Way Radio – Most Compatible Walkie TalkiesMotorola T100 Two Way Radio

This Motorola walkie talkie was designed to be used both indoors and outdoors. One feature that sets this radio apart from the rest, is its compatibility with other radios.

The walkie talkie enables you to communicate with other radios regardless of the brand. This makes it be more user-friendly.

The Motorolla T100 has 22 channels and a range of up to 16 miles. The range varies depending on weather conditions, obstructions, electromagnetic interference, and terrain. It has a long lasting battery that can go up to 18 hours when fully charged.

The walkie talkie has a Call Tone instead of a default ring. This feature grabs the attention of people who are calling you before you even start to talk. The package includes 2 radios, 2 belt clips, and user manual.

Pros
  • Compatible with other radios
  • Easy to use
  • Long lasting battery
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
Cons
  • Low mile range

6. BF-F8HP Dual Band Two Way Radio – Best High Transmission Power RadioBF-F8HP Dual Band Two Way Radio

When it comes to high transmission power, the BF-F8HP tops the list. The walkie talkie can transmit up to 8 watts. The radio has 3 power levels that you can choose from.

The Low Level transmits 1 watt, Med Level transmits between 4 and 5 watts while the High Level transmits between 7 and 8 watts.

We have to admit, BaoFeng has really outdone themselves with this radio. The radio has the latest N5R-340A firmware that is not found on other models.

In addition to this, it has a high-gain antenna, FM radio and a tri-color display that is customizable. Not only is this the best dual band radio on the market, but it is also relatively inexpensive compared to other dual bands.

When you buy the package, you will get the BF-F8HP radio, battery, battery charger, antenna, power adapter, belt clip, earpiece, hand strap, and a user manual.

Pros
  • High transmission power
  • Long lasting battery
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Value for money
Cons
  • Lack of channel selector- You have to manually use the up and down buttons.

7. Retevis H-777 Two Way Radio – Best For Your BusinessRetevis H-777 Two Way Radio

If you have a business, then you should consider buying this 10 pack radio for your staff members. The Retevis H-777 offers reliable coverage. With this feature, you will reduce communication costs while increasing work efficiency.

The walkie talkie has 16 channels. All the channels have an encrypted 50 code that ensures smooth communication without any interruptions.

You can easily change from one channel to another. It has a frequency of 400 to 470 MHz.

The radio supports both USB and DC charging. When fully charged, it lasts between 8 to 9 hours. When not used, however, the battery can last up to 72 hours.

The radio comes with 10 two way radios, 10 antennas, 10 battery pack, 10 chargers, 10 belt clips, 10 hand straps and 10 user manuals.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • High-quality sound
  • Ideal for business
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Long lasting battery
Cons
  • Some headsets tend to be faulty

8. BTECH UV-5X3 Tri-Band Radio – Best Value for Money Tri-band RadioBTECH UV-5X3 Tri-Band Radio

Most of us tend to steer away from tri-band radios because of how expensive most of them are. Well, this tri-band radio only costs $59! And the best part is that it is durable, easy to use and has 128 channels.

The radio gives you the option of removing and adding channels that you want on the menu. For an optimum experience, it is recommended to pair this walkie talkie with the Nagoya NA-320A Antenna.

You can enter the range and frequency you want to scan in the Frequency Mode.

The walkie talkie responds to commands such as Stun, Kill and Revive. The Stun command is for transmitting Disable while the “Kill” command is for disabling all functions of the radio. You can also use the “Revive” command to remove the radio from the Kill or Stun state.

The kit includes the BTECH radio, dual-band antenna, battery, single band antenna, charger, adapter, wrist strap, earpiece kit, belt clip and user manual.

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Excellent sound quality
  • The wide range of channels
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Does not include a triband antenna
  • Difficult to program with CHIRP

9. Midland LXT500VP3 Two-Way Radio – Best FRS Walkie Talkie On The MarketMidland LXT500VP3 Two-Way Radio

If you are a fanatic for Family Radio Service (FRS) walkie talkies, then you’re going to love this radio.

The Midland LXT500VP3 has 22 FRS channels that you can choose from. The Channel Scan feature checks channels for activity while the Auto Squelch feature removes background noise.

The radio has a 24 miles range. The dual power options enable you to use the rechargeable batteries that come with the walkie talkie or you can use 4 AAA alkaline batteries.

The radio enables you to connect to other GMRS or FRS walkie talkies. When you buy this package, you will get 2 two way radios, 2 rechargeable battery packs, a desktop charger, 2 belt clips, AC Wall Adapter and a user manual.

Pros
  • Water resistant
  • Silent operation
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Easy to use
  • Good range
Cons
  • Batteries don’t last long

Buying Guide: Things to Consider to Choose the Right Walkie-talkie

How to choose the Two-Way Radio

Walkie-talkies are meant to ease communication among a particular group of people in a specific location. It could be a group of workers at a construction site, soldiers in operation in the forest, a troop of scouts on a campout or the security personnel in a factory or restaurant.

In choosing the best Walkie Talkie, you have to bear in mind the nature of the activity at hand. However, the following are the non-negotiable basics to consider when looking for effective best two way radios:

#1. Communication Range

Since Walkie-talkie is all about reaching out to persons out of sight, you have to be concerned about how far its frequency can reach. An ideal Walkie-Talkie should offer extensive coverage of communication. There are two-way radios with 24 miles coverage in open areas like deserts. Some have short-range coverage and so lose clarity faster the further you go.

#2. Quality Of Communication

Voice quality matters in communication for a full understanding. An ideal walkie Talkie should relay a clear voice without scratchy sounds or on-and-off connections that cause words to miss.

One misunderstood word can lead to severe consequences especially if about critical instructions to be carried out. Some are clear when you communicate out in the open but lose clarity when you get inside a building.

#3. Battery Life

If you are going to use the product away from the main power, you have to consider its battery life. Some walkie-talkie batteries get drained so soon. Having to recharge it time and again may interfere with normal operations. An ideal battery should last for not less than eight hours once fully charged.

#4. Volume

An ideal two-way radio should have adjustable volume buttons that work from minimum to maximum set-points. There are situations when the low volume is necessary and times when the maximum amount works better. A good walkie talkie should give the standard maximum volume if needed, not a still low maximum volume that is hard to hear.

#5. Channels

Consider the number of channels depending on the number of people to communicate with. Go for one with several channels with many assigned units in each transmission. Make sure each channel offers clear communication.

#6. Simplicity

Go for an easy-to-use walkie-talkie with simple and clear buttons,if you have new employees you want to learn to use them faster without intense training. Some walkie talkies are complicated, with too many confusing buttons that it takes time to master how to use them correctly.

#7. Water Resistance

Water Resistant walk radio

A mariner will prefer a water-resistant walkie-talkie that doesn’t go dead if a splash of water reaches it. A good walkie talkie can handle little rain for about 30 minutes without losing its functionality.

#8. Camouflage

If misplaced a walkie-talkie shouldn’t be easy to spot by the evil eye,especially in warfare situations. That is why color matters when choosing the right walkie-talkie. They come in many colors, so you decide which suits you. Consider the dominant colors of your area and select a suitable color you believe will blend well with the surroundings.

#9. Backlight

Because there are situations they have to be used in dark or semi-dark areas, walkie-talkies should have a bright backlight to display buttons. That also makes it easy to read messages in poor lighting places. LCD backlight display is highly recommended for it’s easy to read.

#10. Weight

Some walkie talkies are just too heavy and large to comfortably move around with all the time. Go for a light and small one but which offers many of the features the best walkie talkie should have.

#11. Privacy Codes

The information in the walkie-talkie should always be safe even when it falls into the wrong hands. A walkie-talkie requiring the password to unlock keypads is more suitable in an environment where trust is low-key. Keypad locks also prevent accidental activation by the rightful holder.

Walkie Talkie FAQs

How many miles can walkie talkies reach?
In general, the maximum communication distance is about 4 to 6 miles on a flat terrain with no obstructions. So for those that can reach 25 miles or more on the manual, it’s just the ideal distance to communicate.
Which is better UHF or VHF walkie talkie?
UHF walkie talkie is very suitable for cities, cross campus and enterprises where workers go in and out all day. On the other hand, VHF walkie talkie is better in open space.
Can Walkie Talkies be traced?
Two way radios are hard to track. Two way radios, also known as walkie talkies, are still popular even after the advent of mobile phones.

Conclusion

There is a walkie talkie out there for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are a novice, professional, business owner or just an adventurer. We hope this article has given you some inspiration and great ideas for your next walkie talkie.

Gilbert
I'm Gilbert, Founder of the Listoutdoor. As veteran online buyers ourselves, we realize that our experience will create value for readers time-wise and money-wise. This is why we build this site. Our team is trying best to present in every review a Well-Organized Buying Guide, a Clear Comparison Chart and Carefully Shortlisted Products with Concise Remarks, Pros & Cons brief. We do all the research for you and pay special attention to user experience and after-sales service.