Adventure Outdoors

Best Walkie Talkie For Hiking

It’s important to consider walkie-talkies for hiking that will include durability, long-lasting, and strong signals. Preparing yourself for an accident, or in the case you get separated from others, is good practice even if you aren’t an avid hiker. If you’re looking for a reliable communication tool, here are some of the best on the market.

What is the Best Walkie Talkie For Hiking?

To decide on the absolute best walkie talkie for hiking, we have examined dozens of walkie talkies for hiking and reviews left by real users who bought and used them. Based on what they experienced and shared, we have shortlisted the top 12 walkie talkies for hiking for you to consider, including their most important features, to help you make an informed decision.

On top of that, to make it easier for you, we have also compiled a list of key/ critical things and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to consider before buying walkie talkies for hiking. You can find it further down in the article. So without further ado, here’s introducing the best walkie talkie for hiking.

1. Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.3 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 1.1 x 1.9 x 5.2 Inches (2.8 x 4.9 x 13.3 cm)
Range: 16 miles
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries

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Motorola T100 Talkabout radio is appropriate for both indoor activities like shopping and outdoor activities like camping and hiking. It operates wirelessly and can cover a distance of about 16 miles. It is water resisant and it is powered by 3 AAA batteries. The radio can also receive and transmit signals from other FRS walkie talkies regardless of the brand. It has an auto squelch system feature that mutes unclear signals and also block you from receiving other radio transmission. But the batteries can not be replaced as it is made impossible to access the battery compartment and you can not also charge the batteries.

Pros

  • Water resistant,
  • Can transmit and receive signals from other FRS radios no matter the brand,
  • Built-in flashlight that gives you a low battery alert,
  • An auto squelch feature that reduces and prevent interuption from other channels.

Cons

  • Inabiltity to remove the battery compartment for replacement,
  • Batteries can not be recharged.

2. Dewalt DXFRS800 2 Watt Heavy Duty Walkie Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1.9 Pounds (0.8 kg)
Size: 2.2 x 2.6 x 7.3 Inches (5.5 x 6.6 x 18.5 cm)
Battery Life: 18 hours
Power Source: 2 lithium polymer batteries

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Dewalt DXFRS800 walkie talkie is suitable for indoor activities like being used in restautants, hotels and grocery stores. The radio that can cover up to 25 floors of range. The body is made to be anti-slip so that you can grip it easily. It produce a quality sound when you receive signals. The two-way radio is powered by 2 lithium polymer batteries and it automatically saves power when it is not used. It also has an LCD display screen that shows you information about your channel status and other necessary information. However, the radio can not be used for outdoor activities because of its inability to cover a long range and the battery cannot last for more than a day of continuous use.

Pros

  • Water resistant,
  • An anti-slip body design,
  • Shock resistant,
  • Produces quality and clear sound,
  • An LCD display screen that shows your channel status.

Cons

  • Battery can not last for more than 24 hours of use,
  • Low range coverage, Limited output of 2 watts.

3. Topsung M880 FRS Wakie-Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.2 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 6.3 x 3.2 x 2.4 Inches (16 x 8 x 6 cm)
Range: 4-16 miles
Battery Life: 72-96 hours
Power Source: 6AA batteries
Continuous Talktime:

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Topsung M880 two way radio is a quality walkie talkie that has the ability to cover a long range of about 4-16 miles. The radio portability also makes it light and easy to be carried around by children for a long period of time. Also, they utilize 6AA batteries which gives it a long stand-by time that is usually up to 3-4 days. Furthermore, the two way radio is made up of smart automatic software that helps you to store memory and other settings and also block squelch noises. It can also send notificatons concerning low battery and switching to power saving mode automatically. While the customer service for this brand is good, the cost of always having to replace the rechargeable batteries frequently might be something to bear in mind.

Pros

  • Light-weight and child-friendly,
  • FCC warranty for return in 30 days,
  • Functions like the auto squelch system that blocks white noises automatically

Cons

  • Battery is not durable.

4. Topsung NOAA 3 Pack Rechargeable Handheld Two Way Radio

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1 Pounds (0.5 kg)
Size: 6.1 x 2.2 x 1.3 Inches (15.5 x 5.6 x 3.3 cm)
Range: 16 miles
Battery Life: 48 hours
Power Source: 1000mAh NiMH AA rechargeable batteries
Continuous Talktime: 18 hours

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The Topsung NOAA 3 Pack Rechargeable Handheld Two Way Radio is suitable for both kids and their parents because of the fun design and variety of functions. Along with wide/narrow bandwidth selection, you gain access to 22 channels with 38 CTCSS and 83 DCS privacy codes. Also, the walkie-talkies come with NOAA weather scanning and alerts, VOX, and channel scan.

The backlit LCD screen makes it easier to adjust the volume or find your favorite call tone. The button lock would be a nice addition here, as the included function locks only the menu. The micro-USB charging port gives you freedom so you can refill the battery without having to carry the dock station. Lastly, the housing is not very durable here, but the price is affordable.

Pros

  • 22 channels with 38 CTCSS and 83 DCS privacy codes,
  • Backlit LCD screen,
  • Scan, VOX, and NOAA weather alert,
  • Adjustable volume and call tones

Cons

  • Housing could be more durable,
  • The lock function doesn’t work properly

5. MOICO 22 FRS Channels Long Range Walkie Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.9 Pounds (0.4 kg)
Size: 6.3 x 5 x 3.3 Inches (16.1 x 12.7 x 8.4 cm)
Range: 3-5 miles

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MOICO walkie talkie is a 22 FRS channel radio that can be used for both indoors and outdoor activities like camping. It has the ability to transmit signals through a long distance of about 3-5 miles. You can transmit information by pressing the push to talk button or by using VOX voice activation. The VOX has a great sensitivity, after you activitate it, you can put the radio in front and around your upper body so that it can pick your voice and send signals directly without using the push-to-talk button. However, it also gives clear and quality sound to the receiver when you transmit signals. It also has an LCD screen that gives a green backlight for visibility at night. You should also know that it is difficult to access the battery compartment because of the belt clip obstructing it.

Pros

  • Water resistant,
  • Suitable for both indoors and outdoors actvities,
  • Light weight and portability,
  • In-built LED torch for emergencies and flashlight,
  • Transmits quality sounds.

Cons

  • Poor battery quality,
  • Difficult to access the battery compartment due to the belt clip.

6. Professional Rechargeable Walkie Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 8.8 Pounds (4 kg)
Size: 2 x 1.4 x 2.2 Inches (5 x 3.5 x 5.5 cm)
Range: Up to 10 miles
Power Source: ‎6 Lithium Polymer batteries

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The Professional Rechargeable Walkie Talkies has all the standard qualities one would expect from a typical walkie-talkie. It has 22 channels each with 121 privacy codes; can be charged using a USB port (no worries about suddenly losing power); compatible with any other FRS radio; and has an easy voice activation feature to provide a hands-free experience. However, one thing to note is that the advertised feature of being “rechargable” may be misleading as it apparently refers to the chargability of any rechargable batteries you placed within them. However, this can be easily remedied with using rechargable batteries. Overall, this is a basic walkie without any frills that can serve your usage on a camping trip, but again, this is subjective and depends on your usage.

Pros

  • 22 channels each with 121 privacy codes totalling 2662 combinations,
  • Can be charged with a USB charging port,
  • Compatible with any other FRS radio,
  • Easy voice and sound activation to provide a hands-free experience.

Cons

  • “Rechargable batteries” in the product description may be misleading as separate rechargable batteries will have to be purchased for it to be ‘chargable’,
  • Instruction manual can be improved.

7. Gocom G600 FRS 2W Long Range Walkie Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.2 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 2.2 x 1.6 x 7.1 Inches (5.5 x 4 x 18 cm)
Range: Up to 32 miles
Battery Life: Up to about 15 hours continuous using time and it can standby for about 20 days
Power Source: 6 AA batteries

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IPX4 waterproof-certified, this Gocom walkie talkie is designed to withstand any rainy/snowy weather you will encounter in the great outdoors. It has a nifty feature that scans through the 11 weather channels available and locks into the one with the strongest signal to provide you with up-to-date weather reports. In case of incoming adverse weather conditions, it even has a 1050Hz weather alarm that activates so you don’t miss out on it. The automatic power saving mode will be enabled if there are no transmissions within 5 seconds which is a handy feature to help you save on your battery life. However, a frequent complaint among some users is that since FRS walkies are very susceptible to external interferences and any obstacle within the path that will greatly influence the signal strength, they encounter connectivity issues. Hence, be mindful how best to use it based on the terrain you’re going to use the walkie on.

Pros

  • IPX4 waterproof design to withstand any rainy/snowy weather with water-resistant keypad,
  • Automatically scan through the 11 weather channels available and locks in to the strongest to alert you in case of incoming bad weather,
  • Has a 1050Hz weather alarm if the risk is severe,
  • Automatic power saving mode will be enabled if no transmissions are detected within 5 seconds.

Cons

  • Only water resistant and not waterproof,
  • Maximum working range may not always be as advertised.

8. Retevis RT22 Rechargeable Voice Activated Walkie Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1 Pounds (0.5 kg)
Size: 8.8 x 7.2 x 3.9 Inches (22.3 x 18.4 x 10 cm)
Power Source: 4 lithium ion batteries

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Retevis RT22 rechargeable walkie talkie is specifically made for outdoor activities like skiing, hunting, camping and hiking. It is portable in size and it is also powered by 4 lithium ion batteries. This radio has an emergency button that you can press when in an emergency situation and it also automatically saves the battery life when it is not in use. They offer a 2 years warranty and 2 months warranty for the radio accessories. The two-way radio has a short and fixed antenna which makes it easy for you handle and pocket, but the antenna can cause limitations in the range covered by the radio because it is short and can not be replaced.

Pros

  • 2 years warranty from the customer service,
  • Portability,
  • Provides VOX voice function, An emergency alarm button you can press during emergency situations, An auto-squelch function,
  • Automatic power saving mode

Cons

  • No display screen,
  • A short, fixed and irreplaceable antenna,
  • Specifically for outdoor activities

9. Seodon SED-8 Two-Way Walkie-Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 3.5 Pounds (1.6 kg)
Size: 10 x 2 x 1 Inches (25.4 x 5.1 x 2.5 cm)
Range: 11 miles
Battery Life: 72 hours
Power Source: 1500mAh Li-ion batteries
Continuous Talktime: 6 hours

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At first glance, you’ll notice the simplistic and user-friendly design of the Seodon SED-8 Two-Way Walkie-Talkies. However, looks can be deceiving, and you can see that with the variety of functions like channels scan, VOX, time-out timer, and power-saving mode.

The good news is the price tag is low, and the radios boast 2 watts of power and 16 channels with 50 CTCSS and 105 DCS. The knobs are intuitive, and a USB port for fast charging is convenient as well.

Many buyers like this product, but there are some drawbacks like short battery life and limited range. While the manufacturer has specified up to 72 hours of battery life and 11 miles of range, the radio will only work for about 12 hours and transmit the signal for 5 miles.

Pros

  • 16 channels with 50 CTCSS and 105 DCS,
  • Channels scan, VOX, TOT, and battery-saving function,
  • Come with hand straps, belt clips, earpieces, and charging stations,
  • USB charging socket and mic port

Cons

  • Drain batteries fast,
  • Shorter range than specified

10. Luiton LT-458 Long-Distance 2-Way Radio

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1.7 Pounds (0.7 kg)
Size: 5 x 2 x 1 Inches (12.7 x 5.1 x 2.5 cm)
Range: up to 3.6 miles
Battery Life: 4-8 days
Power Source: 1500mAh Li-ion batteries
Continuous Talktime: 6-12 hours

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While the Luiton LT-458 Long-Distance 2-Way Radio leaves an impression of a classic walkie-talkie, it comes with multiple features like VOX for hands-free operation and Voice Scrambler for secret communication. The standby time of 1 week is outstanding, especially with its ultra-thin design. In addition, you’ll get a belt clip to make it simpler to carry.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to buy a programming cable if you want to enable VOX feature, and this increases the price of this budget-friendly model. On the other hand, it will take the customization to the next level.

The charging station allows placing an empty battery on it either with or without a radio. The built-in indicator will tell you when it’s full.

Pros

  • Slim and easy-to-carry design,
  • Voice Scrambler function,
  • Impressive battery life,
  • Allows recharging the detached battery

Cons

  • Cheap earpiece,
  • VOX and other features require programming

11. MTM 22 Channels Hands-Free VOX Walkie Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 14 Pounds (6.3 kg)
Size: 6.7 x 4.7 x 3.3 Inches (17 x 11.9 x 8.3 cm)
Range: Up to 3 miles
Power Source: 3 AA batteries

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The MTM Walkie Talkies has all the standard qualities one would expect of a run-of-the-mill walkie. From having the generic 22 channels with 121 privacy codes to hands-free VOX activation, it also has a LCD display to provide vision at night. It is perfect for people who wishes to stay connected during emergencies or for those who wants to stay connected while engaging in outdoor activities. Despite a minority of users noting that the signal might be weak while used in urban environments and the batteries tending to run out fast, these can be easily circumvented.

Pros

  • Comply with FCC standards,
  • 22 channels each with 121 privacy codes to prevent any external interference,
  • Hands-free VOX activation,
  • LCD backlit display day or night.

Cons

  • Potentially weaker signal when used in an urban environment with man-made infrastructure around,
  • Batteries may drain quite fast depending on usage.

12. Baofeng Long Range FRS Two Way Radios with Earpiece BF-888s

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 2.9 Pounds (1.3 kg)
Size: 14 x 9.3 x 2.5 Inches (35.6 x 23.5 x 6.4 cm)
Range: Up to 5 km
Battery Life: 5-7 days in standby mode
Power Source: 1500mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery
Continuous Talktime: 8-12 hours

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The Baofeng Long Range Two Way Walkie Talkie is the only one on this list that features an emergency alarm that can be activated should you need it in times of crisis. It also features a LED screen to provide slight illumination in the dark. However, there is a reputation that this walkie-talkie may come pre-set not on an FRS frequency as advertised, which might take one with programming knowledge to reset it to the desired frequency. Despite this, the Baofeng Long Range Two Way Walkie Talkie is claimed to be operating on its own unique frequency that makes it incompatible with otther brands and models. This can be both a positive or negative point depending on whether you intend to use it in tandem with another device.

Pros

  • Built-in LED light on screen to illuminate in the dark,
  • 16 channels with 50 CTCSS and 105 CDCSS,
  • Noise reduction to allow for crisp transmission,
  • Emergency alarm function in cases of emergencies.

Cons

  • FRS function might not work as well,
  • Might not compatible with other devices as it supposedly works on their own pre-programmed channels.

Verdict

Following all the research, comparisons and information we have gathered about these top walkie talkies for hiking, we can confidently say that Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio is the best walkie talkie for hiking out in the market.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Topsung M880 FRS Wakie-Talkies as an affordable alternative.

Lastly, if you are looking for something with all the best features made with high-quality materials and would like to consider all the premium options out there, we strongly recommend the Dewalt DXFRS800 2 Watt Heavy Duty Walkie Talkies.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying Walkie Talkies For Hiking

Hands Free Communication

Hands-free communication in a walkie-talkie set is a combination of two features, the VOX and the second one is jacking for the microphone.

A VOX (Voice-activated) feature turns on the microphone whenever you speak towards the radio from an adequate distance. Thus, it lets you operate the walkie-talkie in a hands-free mode. Mountain bikers and hikers found it to be a very useful thing while on a voyage.

Jacks for microphone and headphones are the other feature in a walkie-talkie that enables hand-free communication where you cannot hold the set like while cycling, kayaking, or skiing.

Walkie talkie models with a PPT button placed at an access point is a more convenient option rather than a VOX feature where you cannot fully control voice transmitting.

Range Of Coverage

The range of a walkie-talkie is one of the most important factors to look for when buying this device. Regardless of solid construction, a good walkie-talkie set should provide an optimum range coverage of 25 to 30 miles on limited frequencies of 400-512 MHz with some ultra-high frequency range.

The range coverage may vary due to unclear whether or location-based obstacles. It can be increased by optimizing the built-in components like antenna and signal receivers that may also enhance its overall functionality. Always remember that range coverage of a walkie-talkie set largely depends on the weather, location, distance, and geography factors.

Durability

When we take walkie talkies on expeditions, chances of it getting damaged are high. They can be kicked, smashed, or dropped by mistake no matter how much care you put into handling them. A good walkie-talkie should have a casing made of ideally steel or plastic and most of its parts should be able to resist any small hurts. Water-proofing and dust-proofing are major factors to determine the durability of a walkie-talkie. It can be tested through an IP number passed by International Electrotechnical Commission for each device. The combination of these two numbers will tell you of the protection level of a walkie-talkie. For instance, it is 0-6 for dust resistance and 0-9 for water resistance. The higher the number is, the better the protection will be.

Battery Life

Usually, a walkie-talkie battery shelf life can lasts up to 18 to 24 months. Currently, most of the walkie-talkies come with rechargeable batteries that you can use and recharge multiple times before their final point of exhaustion.

The component that determines the battery life of a walkie-talkie is the cell. There are two types of cells: premium-grade cells and low-tier cells. Each type has its impact on capacity and cycle life. Generally, picking a walkie talkie with premium-grade cells will ensure a longer capacity of 10% more than the standard one.

Most of the Motorola build models have used premium-grade cells.

Belt Clip

Apart from the standard components of a walkie-talkie, a belt clip is also considered an important part of it. It allows you to keep your hands free from holding the bulky walkie-talkie set while continuing the communication over a wirelessly attached earpiece.

There is a range of belt clips available from the original equipment manufacturers but you can also use a cross-brand compatible belt clip with your walkie-talkie. Make sure to have a test run before buying because it may face hindrances in connectivity or signal broadcasting.

Noaa Weather Alert

Having a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) enabled walkie-talkie is a must-have while planning outdoor recreational activities like hiking, camping, or going to mountains in order to avoid any unforeseen weather surprises.

A walkie-talkie with the support of the NOAA feature can proactively tell you in advance about emergency weather conditions that may arise in your way ahead. They constantly broadcast weather alerts from your local NOAA stations while roaming around the outskirts. The SAME is the most advanced technology in this regard, by which you can limit the alerts based on your described area and the alert type needed. There are some models that perform well in waters while others are good in forests and mountains.

Weight

The weight and size of a walkie talkie is determined by the weight of the battery that powers it. Walkie talkie that uses lithium ion battery are usually the lightest in weight, this makes them easier and more portable to carry than the other types of radio. The lithium battery also helps to prevent the radio from frequent memory burn and overcharging. But they use a special charger that is different from other radios and they are the most expensive type of battery in the market. you should also know that small size walkie talkies have limitations in the range they can cover because of the reduced antenna and transmitter. Radios that are light weight are good for outdoor events like camping and hiking because you will be convinient moving with it for a long period of time. But because of the limitations in the range that they can cover, you might be at a disadvantage when you need to send a message through a far distance. Walkie Talkies of bigger sizes and weight are suitable for outdoor event also because of their ability to cover long distances.

Questions and Answers About Walkie Talkies For Hiking

Do walkie talkies work in the wilderness?

Walkie-talkies work in the wilderness because the workings of a two-way radio that is not dependent on cellular network coverage to communicate. Cell phones, which are a common mode of communication in cities and less remote areas, may not work in such situations as the wilderness due to lack of cellular coverage, but because walkie-talkies do not require this technology to communicate, they are an ideal way to connect and interact while on wilderness adventures and explorations.

What is the farthest a walkie talkie can reach?

Manufacturers often label what is the furthest range their walkie talkies can handle. However, one important thing to note here is that often, manufacturers will indicate the furthest distance base on the assumption that there is no obstruction between two walkies. However, they fail to apply it to real-life situations where one will face a lots of natural obstacles in the way like trees, rocks and terrain. Thus, it is still important to read reviews of the walkie-talkie you have in mind first prior to purchase.

Do walkie talkies have a distance limit?

Most walkie talkies operate on radio waves which can only travel in a straight line. Thus, any disruptions to the line will affect the reception of the walkie. Most brands/models will advertised a tranmissible distance of up to 25-30 miles and those figures are indeed true but one will have to understand how they arrive at that number. It was measured in a perfect condition that has no obstructions between two of the parties, which most users will never encounter in real life usage.

Can you use a ham radio as a walkie talkie?

Technically yes, a ham radio has a much broader range of 8W compared to a GRMS walkie of up to 5W of power. However, it is illegal in the US to connect ham with RS/GRMS walkies. First off there’s an issue with licenses. FRS walkie operators is not required to be FCC registered while GRMS walkie users require an FCC license. As for ham radios, users willl have to go through tests in order to obtain up to 3 levels of licenses. If ham radio connect with GRMS/FRS walkies, it may cause them to go over their legal frequency.

Can you talk to a CB with a walkie talkie?

CB Radio stands for citizen band radio and is a two-way radio communication system similar to walkie-talkies. Even though CB and walkie-talkies use the same radio waves technology system, CB and walkie-talkies do not communicate since they use separate frequency channels.
While CB radios operate on a frequency of 27MegaHertz to communicate, walkie-talkies use a frequency of 30 MegaHertz to 300MegaHertz.
CB will only transmit over CB and not over walkie-talkie or any other two-way radio based on the core principle of a radio system that must operate on the same frequency channel for them to talk to each other.

Can walkie talkies be traced?

Walkie talkies can still be traced albeit it being more challenging and less accurate than locating it with a GPS. Assuming the walkie talkie does not have any GPS functions, one can trace the location of a walkie using triangulation, trilateration and fox hunting methods due to the radio waves released when the device is on.

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