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Best Survival Walkie Talkie [6 Choices For Preppers]

Communication channels may break down due to natural calamities or terror attacks. How do you signal for help or reach your loved ones when there is no phone signal? This is where survival walkie talkies come to the rescue.

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Today almost every person owns a smartphone. However, as a survivalist, you need to be cautious of the fact that these devices are not 100% reliable.

Channels of communication may break down due to natural calamities or terror attacks. How do you signal for help or reach your loved ones when there is no phone signal? That is where survival walkie talkies come to the rescue.

Walkie talkies do not require mobile networks. They function using radio signals, making them the best fit for survival scenarios. The frequency range of these two-way radios can reach up to 12km and connect to over 8 channels makes them excellent for emergencies.

Advancement of technology has seen modern walkie talkies installed with more security features and heightened sensitivity levels for effective communication.

This article has extensively compared the latest models in the market to provide you with the best survival walkie talkie options.

In a hurry? If you just want to get to our conclusions, here are our top picks and recommendations!

Last update on 2024-05-06 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Is A Walkie Talkie?

A walkie talkie typically resembles a telephone built with an extra-large speaker, a microphone, and a mounted antenna. They draw their ancestry from the military backpack radios used in the infamous World War 2 for communication between infantry units and their commanders.

Over the decades, numerous modifications have enabled walkie talkies to reduce in size while increasing in functionality. These handheld portable radios communicate using radio waves of single or shared bandwidths.

The half-duplex functionality means that you can only one person can talk at a time. A Push-To-Talk (PTT) button has to be pressed for one to speak, and on release, you get to hear from the other party.

Today, the handheld transmitters, as they were previously called, are widely used. You can find these radios in the military, police, emergency personnel, factory, and construction sites. They have also found themselves in our homes. They have become valuable equipment when going hiking, hunting, or fishing.

Survival walkie talkies have flooded the market to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for these gadgets. They say prevention is better than cure, so don't wait for a disaster to strike before acquiring one for your household or bug out bag.

Survival Walkie Talkie Benefits

  • Easy to use – They require no expertise and can be used by virtually anyone.
  • Cost – Walkie talkies are license-free. No subscriptions or communication costs are incurred.
  • Durable – They are made from sturdy materials and have cool features such as waterproof and shockproof abilities lasting more than smartphones despite their vigorous outdoor usage.
  • Connectivity – The ability to communicate instantly without using mobile signals can be used in any terrain or catastrophes.
  • Security – Provide for secure channels when having confidential or sensitive communication.

Survival Walkie Talkie Disadvantages

  • Range – Each device's scope is limited to a relatively short distance and is affected by the terrain and obstacles such as buildings.
  • Half-duplex communication – Only one user can speak at a given time, although several users can effectively listen in.

The 6 Best Survival Walkie Talkies Reviewed For 2021

Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio

The Motorola T600 ticks all the boxes when you are looking for the best survival long range walkie talkie. It has a crispy clear audio frequency range of up to 35 miles, a long-lasting battery, and a bright green rugged construction.

The radio offers you 22 channels, 121 privacy codes, and 2662 different channel combinations. The water-resistant features of the T600 have surpassed all the IP67 rigorous testing and come in handy, whether at sea or during wet conditions.

The Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio can be submerged up to 3 feet in water for close to 30 minutes without any water seeping in. Furthermore, it floats with the front-facing up. With a water-activated flashlight, it floats with the front-facing up; it's easy to spot and retrieve.

This walkie talkie is relatively easy to use with its large buttons and LCD screen. A keypad lock ensures you save on power and unnecessary button pressing while walking around or during storage.

You can also send a distress signal to your buddies by pressing an alarm button. This activation transmits an alert siren coupled with verbal or incidental sounds.

Motorola developed an advanced flashlight that emits red or white LEDs. The white LED setting will provide enough light as you find your path, and the red LED setting acts as night vision for reading charts or maps.

The price tag may seem a bit higher than the other products on this list, but its superior functionality and durability make it worth every penny.

Last update on 2024-05-06 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio Benefits

  • License-free
  • Compatible with any radio on the same frequency.

Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio Disadvantages

  • Costly

Midland X-TALKER T51VP3 Walkie Talkie

Midland enthusiastically designs each product with the latest technological advancements for optimum performance and quality. The X-Talker T51VP3 dual way radio is must-have equipment in case you separate from your friends and your smartphone can’t access cell service.

You can comfortably communicate with your group through 22 FRS/GMRS channels within a range of 28miles. For secure transmission, 38 CTCSS and 836 channel options allow you to encode the messages you can send out, allowing you to conveniently communicate with your group without giving your location away to third parties.

The Midland X-Talker T51VP3 walkie talkie has a VOX feature with 3 sensitivity levels. This function detects voices automatically before activating transmissions. Moreover, an NOAA Weather Alert feature sounds an alarm if there is a potential adverse weather pattern around your vicinity.

The 1.8 inch LCD screen provides you with essential data such as the selected channel and the battery percentage. The walkie talkie comes with a 700mAh battery that typically offers you 10 hours of usage. You can recharge it either by connecting it via a USB cable to a 220V adapter or connecting the charging station to your desktop charger.

The Auto Power Save mode of the radio prolongs the battery life by over 50%. Considering all these features, it's no surprise the Midland walkie talkie is one of the best survival two-way radio manufacturers.

Last update on 2024-05-06 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Midland X-TALKER T51VP3 Walkie Talkie benefits

  • Fast charging system.
  • The NOAA Weather Alert.

Midland X-TALKER T51VP3 Walkie Talkie disadvantages

  • Relatively low battery capacity.

DeWalt DXFRS300 Walkie Talkie

The chunky design and the bright yellow faceplate gives theDeWalt DXFRS300 a beautiful appearance. It is not just all about good looks; it is a heavy-duty survival walkie talkie that can withstand a fall of 2 metres, shock resistant, dust, and waterproof.

The DXFRS300 is license-free and provides effective communication when the conventional avenues are temporarily unavailable or non-existent. The 121 CTCSS DCS privacy codes offer you an excess of 2662 channel options providing you with superior sound quality and transmission. Interference is kept at a bare minimum with weak transmissions being automatically switched off.

With the DeWalt DXFRS300, you enjoy 22 pre-set channels that can connect to up to 250,000 square miles or 20 concrete floors on the same frequency.

 A customizable key tone will notify you when there's an incoming transmission ensuring you don't miss out on any plea for help or rescue. Additionally, a vibration function enables you to be alerted and also receive calls discreetly.

The VOX feature has 5 sensitivity levels that offer a hands-free functionality of the radio. You can also use the headset with a microphone for crystal clear communication with the rest of your group.

The 1000mAh battery of the DXFRS300 charges using a micro USB cable compatible with the standard smartphone charger adapter or using the provided charging dock. The walkie talkie has a power-saving feature that automatically switches it to battery saver mode when there are no transmissions within 10 seconds. 

Last update on 2024-05-06 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

DeWalt DXFRS300 Walkie Talkie benefits

  • Good sound quality.

DeWalt DXFRS300 Walkie Talkie disadvantages

  • The belt clip easily falls off and may lead to a loss.

Cobra RX680 Walkie Talkie

The quality of Cobra products is globally renowned, and the RX680 further enhances this appeal. It makes for one of the best survival walkie talkies due to its 38-mile frequency range, a giant leap from the pioneer AM245 model with a 5-kilometer range.

The walkie talkie has an adequate reception for UHF/FM frequencies offering stable and high-quality broadcasting. You enjoy access to 60 pre-set channels, 2662 channel combinations, and 121 privacy codes for a stable connection and minimize interference.

You are afforded an early warning on storms and weather patterns with an inbuilt NOAA radio receiver, essential for surviving out in the wild.

The Cobra RX680 has a high-quality body frame. IP54 approved water seal in the battery compartment, and a burp function that blows out any water from the speaker grill makes the walkie talkie water-resistant.

The RX680 is powered by a lithium battery giving you up to 18 hours of usage. The radio automatically goes into battery saver mode after 10 seconds when no transmissions are received to save on battery drain. A low battery beep tone alerts you when the battery is low so that you can recharge or replace them.

Last update on 2024-05-06 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cobra RX680 Walkie Talkie benefits

  • Roger beep tone that signals when it’s clear talk
  • Noise suppression feature for quality calls.

Cobra RX680 Walkie Talkie disadvantages

  • Not ideal for use around buildings and obstacles.

Retevis RT21 Walkie Talkie

The 16 channel Retevis RT21 boasts a high-fidelity audio unit that filters out the crackling sounds associated with most walkie talkies, ensuring a crisp, clear sound quality. This is due to the 50CTCSS 210DCS feature that prevents the RT21 from locking unto other frequencies when communicating.

You can comfortably reach your friends over long ranges thanks to the high-frequency non-removable antenna. The middle frame is made from thickened alloy metal for a robust body frame dissipating heat and fall resistant capabilities make its ideal for preppers.

A 1100mAh Lithium-ion battery lasts up to 12 hours when in active use, giving you enough time to trace and reunite with your friends. The 72-hour standby mode and other various power-saving modes offer an extended battery life.

The Retevis RT21 Walkie Talkie provides you with a USB cable compatible with your phone adapter so that you can recharge your battery while on the go. For private calls or avoiding snoopers, you are provided with a classy air acoustic earpiece resembles the ones used by the Secret Service.

This lightweight radio is easy to carry and also features a belt clip for hands-free storage. The low price makes the Retevis RT21 one of the best survival long range walkie talkies.

Last update on 2024-05-06 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Retevis RT21 Walkie Talkie benefits

  • Cheap
  • License-free

Retevis RT21 Walkie Talkie disadvantages

  • Non-water resistant

Baofeng BF-888S Handheld Walkie Talkie

The Baofeng BF-888S walkie talkie has the biggest battery of our featured products. The 1500mAh rechargeable Lithium batteries provide you with power for a longer duration, whether it's in use or on standby.

It has an LCD screen with a battery level indicator located on the top right of the screen. Together with a low battery alarm, the indicator ensures you can monitor your battery levels and when to recharge using the provided desktop charger.

The battery powers a flashlight that comes in handy during stark darkness or limited visibility due to unfavourable weather.

The programmable Baofeng BF-888S Handheld Walkie Talkie scans and connects to UHF 400-470MHz frequencies, 16 memory channels, and a whopping 155 privacy codes (50 CTCSS and 105 CDCSS).

An Auto Squelch functionality ensures weak transmissions are automatically filtered out for clarity. The BF-888S VOX sensitivity feature enables you to communicate hands-free, and an earpiece ensures your conversations' confidentiality.

Baofeng issues you with a pair of wrist wraps as a precautionary measure against the walkie talkie slipping from your hand; however, it is highly unlikely due to the firm grip provided by the rugged body design of the BF-888S. You also get a 60 day "no questions asked" return option for both the walkie talkie and its accessories.

Last update on 2024-05-06 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Baofeng BF-888S Handheld Walkie Talkie benefits

  • Big battery capacity.

Baofeng BF-888S Handheld Walkie Talkie disadvantages

  • You need a licence to operate it.

Essential Attributes of a Good Two Way Radio

1. Size and Weight

You never know when an emergency shall arise, so it's paramount that the walkie talkie of your choice to be portable enough to carry around in your backpack or even in your pockets.

Your walkie talkie should also be of a decent size to comfortably fit in your hands during use.

2. Range

The radio should have a broad frequency range that will keep a strong and clear signal, even over obstacles and buildings. The clearer the signal, the better the sound quality, which in turn facilitates effective communication.

FRS frequencies give you 1-2 mile range while GMRS offers approximately 4-10 miles. It’s important to note that the manufacturer’s provided frequency range is usually stated as tested on open fields and may not be entirely accurate.

3. Battery Capacity

When lost or separated in the wild, it’s uncertain when help might arrive. It’s therefore paramount that the walkie talkie has a big battery to keep you in touch with the respondents till they come to your aid.

Check out for models with bigger capacity as well as power-saving features. Rechargeable batteries are safer and economical.

4. Design

This has to do with the manufacturing materials that ultimately correlate to its functionality and durability.

Most walkie talkies have a rugged body to enhance the grip during usage, while others are water-resistant and shockproof for use under unfavorable weather conditions.

Walkie Talkie Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can my kids comfortably use a walkie talkie?

All of the 2-way radios we have featured in this article are relatively easy to use even for children. Kids are fast learners, and you can guide them through how they work.

Alternatively, you can acquire one from a wide variety of customized walkie talkies for kids. They are significantly cheaper and have fewer functions than the standard walkie talkies.

2. Can I use the walkie talkie as a baby monitor?

Despite the VOX sensitivity, the radio can’t be used as baby monitors because they cannot hold the Push-To-Talk button to speak or cry as they often do.

3. Does a bigger battery mean a more comprehensive frequency range?

This is not entirely true as the walkie talkie's range is dependent on the manufacturer's customization and the environment. The range is relatively higher in an open field than when in a building or crowded area such as a city.

A bigger battery capacity usually means you can use it for longer without recharging.

4. Can you charge both radios at the same time?

Yes. Most models come with dual USB cables, and this can be used to charge not only the two-way radio but also the docking station simultaneously.

Best Survival Walkie Talkie Conclusions

When selecting the best survival walkie talkie, you must identify one that is most compatible with your communication needs.

The reviewed survival walkie talkies are guaranteed to give you the best performance when you need alternative ways to communicate.

Remember, don't rely just on conventional phones. Walkie talkies might not have the greatest range, but in a survival situation where you need to get in touch with your group, they can be a great prepper tool.

If you're looking for even more ways to communicate in survival situations, check out our extensive guide on off grid communication methods.

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Hi, I'm Russ!

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