Nothing has changed in the old adage:
“Communication is key”
No matter the endeavor if you are spending time in the outdoors having a set of reliable two way radios makes things very simple on the two communicating parties.
It’s very important to have a reliable way of communicating particularly when you reach that magical elevation or distance from civilization. That magical moment when the last bars drain off your cell phone and you know that no one can reach you and vice versa.
Two way radios are a staple for many camping trips, particularly those where whole families are included. The idea that you can get the whole family to agree on anything is laughable and having dependable two way radios allows for some necessary separation. Parents can hike and keep tabs on older children.
The technology of two way radios is incredibly improved. For a reasonable price, you can get your hands on a piece of equipment that communicates between 20 and 50 miles if conditions are good. This is a powerful range for a two-way radio.
We are going to look at these two-way radios with several things in mind.
- Safety Features
- Other Features
Two-Way Radio Reviews
Midland LXT600VP3 36-Channel GMRS
Your two-way radio is the vital connection to the rest of your party. Having the power to go the distance and a range to accommodate that distance is such an important part of this Midland two-way radio.
What you find is that these two ways do an incredible job on 36 channels with an impressive range and it also offers up some bonus features.
- Channel ScanWater Resistant
- Backlit Display (LCD)
- Auto Squelch
- Roger Beep
- Keypad Lock
- Keystroke Tones
- Accessory Jacks
- Drop-In Charger Capable
- Battery Life Extender
This impressive list of features assure that you have a serious communication tool capable of meeting your needs in the field. Beyond these features the Midland also offers serious capabilities outside of what’s listed.
Its 26-mile range gives your party some serious room to operate as well as gives you the option to cover swaths of land, if you are hunting or to keep on party stationary while the other heads out.
One of my favorite features on these radios by Midland is the fact that they can be powered in two ways. The main power source is three AAA batteries.
I don’t know about you but I am over batteries and technology that allows me to get around that is my favorite kind. That said, these radios also have base chargers that get the job done as well. These can be plugged in at the car or even rigged to solar power in the field. These are powerful options to the adventurer.
These two-way radios also have access to NOAA Weather Alert Radio and Weatherscan. We all know that the weather can be unpredictable, particularly when you are in higher elevations.
It helps to have access to a weatherscan that can update you on severe conditions when your only shelter may be a one-man tent. This is just a bonus on these already powerful hands held radios.
None of the reviews tested these radios to their max range in open space but everyone seemed very pleased with their ability to pull off what was needed. They are just over $40 and for all the great features who could argue that price.
Whether you are paintballing, hunting, hiking, camping or even just event planning these two-way radios have the range and the durability to get the job done.
- Great 26 mile range
- Multiple charging options
- NOAA Weatherscan
Midland LXT600VP3 Summary:
- 36 channels capability
- 26-mile range
- Powered by 3 AAA batteries
- Just over $40
Motorola Talkabout T465 Rechargeable Two-Way Radio
Motorola has been a name in American communication for decades now. They have produced a reliable set of walkies here that offers some great features that come standard.
The Motorola Talkabout T465 comes with a range that is impressive even if it is degraded by various impediments like structures in a city. This model will fulfill your two-way radio needs and comes with a two-package set.
Let’s kick this review off by talking about range. Range is always one of the most important parts of the two-way radio. You always want a range that is longer than that which you will typically use the radio. That is because the range suffers when obstructed.
The Motorola offers an amazing 35-mile range. Now, in a city environment that may suffer but even if you get 15 miles it will more than likely meet your needs.
The Talkabout also comes with an emergency distress signal that when pressed omits an alert signal as well as spoken sounds and sirens. This is a great option for those who are taking these walkies on an outdoor adventure or who are working in dangerous areas like construction.
The list of standard features doesn’t stop there. This model offers hands free operation which is perfect for when you are carrying a gun or even hiking.
Here is a collection of what else the Talkabout offers:
T465 Key Features
- 22 Channels, each with 121 Privacy Codes
- NOAA Weather Channels and Alerts
- Built-in Flashlight
- Emergency Alert Button
- IP54 Weatherproof
- Dual Power
- PTT Power Boost
- iVOX/VOX Hands-free
- Micro USB Charging Port
- Carry Case and 2 PTT Earbuds Included
Motorola has created a two radio that is packed with dependable features and a great range to make communication a breeze.
The model reviewed well and though it was not tested at great distances in the review there was a lot of good things said about its ability and clarity behind concrete walls and city settings.
You will receive two units for just over 90$.
- 35 mile range
- Emergency and weather options
- USB charging option
Motorola Talkabout T465 Summary:
- 35-mile range
- Weather channel access
- Hands free operation
- Priced at $90
Uniden Submersible FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios
We have a rugged two-way radio in this Uniden model that was designed for the outdoor adventure. These two ways present several great qualities that make them an excellent choice for your next outdoor excursion.
The Uniden Submersible also features a focus on safety which is always a concern when you are in the outdoors. All of this adds up to a great two-way radio that may be the perfect fit for you.
Usually the first and most important part of all these two-way radio reviews is the range. We will get to that but this model is called the submersible and I think we should start by talking about the durability that it offers.
These two-way radios are designed to float if they are dropped in the water. This makes them easily retrievable. For anyone who has spent time in the backcountry you know, only the most important things wind up in the water!
If it does get submerged it can go as deep as three feet for up to 30 minutes without losing functionality.
The Uniden boasts an incredible 50-mile range! As is common with most of these radios people rarely get out in the open country and use them at a distance that nears their max range.
Still this range creates clarity at closer ranges and through obstructions. These radios were highly recommended based on their inner-city range by a military couple who had plenty of experience with communication.
Popular for Kayak trips because of its submergibility and durability the Uniden also offers some serious safety features. Like many of the two ways we discussed earlier in the month this model also offers a great selection of safety features.
The weather channel and weather alert is available as well. This model also features an emergency strobe light. This light can flash an SOS signal as well.
These units were reviewed by a ton of people! The reviews are interesting because they are so varied in the reason for using these. Kayaking, crane industry, construction, couples, military, and others.
They were varied but most complained about the obstructed range. That said, many also enjoyed a clear, loud signal for miles in an urban environment.
The Uniden will come in at $77 for two radios a base charger and several other add ones.
- Submersible to 3ft
- 50 mile range
- Emergency strobe light
Uniden Submersible Summary:
- Waterproof up to 3ft
- 50-mile range
- Emergency strobe light
- Priced at $77
Retevis RT2 DPMR Two Way Radio
The Retevis is the most expensive two-way radio on this list. I want that to be right out front but I also want to say it is the only one that features an active GPS as well. If these are features, you are looking for, the bump in price is well worth the money.
Also, quality and price are often commingled and with these two ways you are not dealing with a high-priced gimmick.
One of the things I like best about the Retevis is that it doesn’t make a claim on range in its description and by doing so it forces reviewers to put it to the test.
What often happens with two way radios is they boast a range that is rarely tested and basically impossible to prove in even semi urban settings. It’s most commonly a letdown among buyers who don’t understand line of sight.
The Retevis has reviewers claiming they can get “hot repeaters at 50 miles away with clear voice quality.” With the Retevis you have 5w of power and that is enough to get these great results.
Of course, one of the most impressive features is the GPS capability. This offers a GPS tracking device that can find you no matter where you are. You can also send your coordinates to friends via message.
- 1 x Retevis RT2 2-way radio
- 1 x Earpiece
- 1 x Belt clip
- 2 x Antenna
- 1 x Desktop Charger (100V ~ 240V)
- 1 x Li-ion battery pack
- 1 x AC/DC adapter
- 1 x English User’s manual
The Retevis RT2 DPMR VHF/UHF Digital/Analog 5W Two Way Radio with GPS reviewed extremely well. All the reviews were long and detailed with tons of compliments. It seems this model at just under $140 is a great buy and has a combination of features and quality.
- Powerful range
- GPS capability
- Scrambler function
Retevis RT2 DPMR Summary:
- GPS capability
- 50 miles range
- 5 watts power
- Just under $140
How else can these powerful radios be used? They are great for hunting parties. The two-way radio is nearly perfect when you are running game and have two separate parties working together.
A powerful set of two way radios can follow you to the top of any mountain and in the valleys of the most remote areas in the country. This is a resource that is simply priceless. Whether you are concerned with losing a party or scouting multiple areas using multiple parties.
A set of powerful two way radios should be part of any disaster preparedness kit. These are perfect communication tools if cell towers are down or if phone lines are jammed due to a disaster.
These two-way radios could be your only communication option to a spouse or child following such a disaster.
Any one of these great models reviewed above would be a great addition. I personally like the Retevis because of its great GPS and messaging features. That said, if you are on a tight budget the other two models will perform well and get you in contact with those most important to you.