21.05.2020 By nask1980 0

Best walkie talkie for long distance

Walkie talkies may seem to be out of date and even useless – who will need them it the age of mobile phones? But mobile devices are not as reliable as we think. There are still areas without cell coverage – let’s say, jungles. Modern smartphones run out of power in no time and you need to recharge them with power banks. Last but not least – you still have to pay for mobile connection, and if your balance is close to zero, your phone turns into a hi-tech toy, nothing more.

A long range walkie talkie is a ‘must have’ for every hiker, camper, mountaineer and adventurer. It’s the cheapest and the most efficient way to keep in touch with the rest of the group and call for help when necessary.

 

Motorola Talk about Radio MH230R

Pros

  • Range up to 23 miles even with obstacles
  • Clear sound
  • Several days battery life
  • User-friendly, controls are intuitive, and manuals are coherent and easy to read
  • Lightweight
  • Very attractive price

 

Cons

  • Fragile case
  • Battery life is shorter if batteries are not brand new

Summary

One of the best walkie talkies for long distances – cheap, durable and convenient. Best choice for children or tough weather conditions.

 

Uniden Submersible

Average price: $90+ for a Twin Pack

Pros

  • Up to 50 miles range
  • Completely submersible
  • NOAA alert and weather channels
  • Clear sound even at rough terrains
  • 15 GMRS channels, 7 FRS channels
  • Direct call option
  • Auto channel change
  • LED emergency strobe light and SOS signals

Cons

  • Poor range in suburban areas
  • A little bigger and heavier than other models
  • Low volume
  • 50 miles range may be a kind of exaggeration

Summary

As it is obvious from the model’s name, it’s a waterproof walkie talkie. Undoubtedly the best choice for sailing, kayaking, canoeing etc. The overall quality and a full package of options and features are absolutely worth their price.

 

BAOFENG BF-888S

Average price: $30 for a Twin Pack, also 6-unit packs are available

Pros

  • Very modest and affordable price
  • Very compact model with a solid case
  • Full battery charging takes 4 hours, long battery life: 9-10 hours of regular use
  • Emergency flashlight

Cons:

  • Absence of a keypad
  • Poor design
  • Long fixed antenna
  • Poor range

 

Summary

An ideal option for beginners who want to start dealing with 2-way radios. This model is not recommended for professional sailors and hikers, but can me used as means of communication for security staff in shopping malls or builders at the construction site.

 

Motorola MT352TPR FRS

Average price: $70+ for a Triple Pack

Pros

  • Weatherproof, withstands all types of falls and harsh conditions
  • Walkie talkie range is about 35 miles
  • 22 channels, including a weather channel
  • Vibrating ringer
  • Emergency flashlight
  • Rechargeable batteries with a USB charger

Cons

  • Belt clip instead of a carry case
  • Poor performance in dense urban areas
  • Not so many features as other models have

Summary

Very decent choice for all sorts of adventure seekers: water- and dust resistant, reliable, convenient. This model is especially famous for its excellent battery performance, and if you have a power bank, you can recharge it even far from civilization, somewhere in the woods or high in the mountains.

 

LT-188H VHF

 

Average Price: $60 for 1 unit

Pros

  • Does everything it promises to do, all the described features and characteristics are true
  • Power saving mode
  • 10-mile range
  • Hands-free walkie talkie headset
  • Button lock feature

Cons

  • Poor manuals, extra googling may be needed
  • Poor flashlight
  • Non-illuminated display

Summary

One of the most “honest” models with the most accurate range assessment. It is definitely worth its price.

 Range Channels Battery Extra features
Motorola Talkabout Radio MH230R 23 miles 22 3 AAA Batteries or Rechargeable Battery Pack Call tones, Hands-free mode, Emergency alert, USB-port
Uniden Submersible 50 miles 22Rechargeable Battery Pack Waterproof, Includes 2 headsets, Direct call, Weather channels, Glowing Keys, Emergency Strobe/Flashlight and many others
BAOFENG BF-888S2 miles 16Replacement battery Emergency alarm, Battery saving mode, High illumination flashlight
Motorola MT352TPR FRS 35 miles 223 AA Batteries or Rechargeable Battery Pack Dual channel walkie talkie watch, Hands-Free mode, LED flashlight, Battery Saver, Vibrating call alert and much more
LT-188H VHF 12 miles 162800mAh(Li-Ion) Weather resistant, Auto battery save, Time-out timer, PC programmable, Flash torch

How to choose the best walkie talkie

Before deciding on a model, think, where you are going to use it as it is extremely important. Two-way radios work differently in a backyard, heavily wooded areas or buildings. The next step is defining a budget, and last but not least – functionality.

So, we recommend taking the following points under consideration:

Area of possible usage It is essential not only because the official range is possible only in open air with no obstacles, but also because for camping you’ll definitely need an illuminated display and a flashlight. For mountaineering you may consider buying walkie talkies with headphones etc.

Range

Range is one of the key characteristics of every two-way radio. Never believe the official information, just read the reviews or test

the model yourself. Range will vary crucially depending on the landscape and weather conditions.

Channels

You don’t need dozens of them as long as you are not a police officer or a cruise ship captain, but you’ll need at least a few.

NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) channels will keep you informed on weather conditions in your area.

VOX

A hands-free option, very handy while hiking or climbing.

Power options

Rechargeable batteries are the best, but they serve even better combined with alkaline ones. Get sure that your walkie talkie will not die in the middle of nowhere leaving you without any means of communication.

Out-of-Range alert

It can save your life someday.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between licensed and license free walkie talkies?

License free models are cheaper, but weaker, with small coverage and less functions. Usually they have all the specs which an amateur user needs, though.

What does the range depend on?

The range depends on the landscape, weather conditions, power output and an antenna. Every obstacle reduces this parameter drastically.

What is better: VHF or UHF?

VHF – Very High Frequency – is a wave length between 136–174 MHz. Ideal for communicating in an open air with no obstacles.

UHF – Ultra High Frequency – 400–512 MHz. Mostly used for communicating in dense areas or buildings.

What is an average battery life?

It depends on a model and usage, but usually it should be no less than 8-12 hours.

Can walkie talkies cover 30 miles area or even more?

Yes, in ideal conditions, somewhere in a plain with no trees and under lucid blue sky. In real life it is hardly achievable.

Conclusion

Walkie talkies (or two-way radios, whatever you call them) are comparatively cheap and can be really handy while hiking, during guided excursions, at the farms or even at schools.

We’ve mentioned only 5 models, so if you decide to buy one, waste some time on searching more information and comparing different options.