Adventure Outdoors

Best Walkie Talkies For Off Roading

One of the things you should know about off-roading is that you’ll probably be needing some form of communication between the various groups and that cell reception will probably not be the most ideal. That’s when you need a reliable walkie talkie for your off-roading trips. Don’t worry as we’ve compiled a list of some of the best walkie talkies for all-terrain vehicle use.

What are the Best Walkie Talkies For Off Roading?

To decide on the absolute best walkie talkies for off roading, we have examined dozens of off roading walkie talkies and reviews left by real users who bought and used them. Based on what they experienced and shared, we have shortlisted the top 9 walkie talkies for off roading 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 off roading walkie talkies. You can find it further down in the article. So without further ado, here’s introducing the best walkie talkies for off roading.

1. Motorola T260 Talkabout Radio 2 Pack

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.4 Pounds (0.2 kg)
Size: 6.4 x 2.1 x 1.2 Inches (16.3 x 5.4 x 3.1 cm)
Range: 25 miles
Battery Life: 12 hours
Power Source: 800mAh NiMH rechargeable or alkaline batteries
Continuous Talktime: 8-10 hours

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Thanks to 22 channels with 121 privacy codes, Motorola T260 Talkabout Radio 2 Pack won’t let anyone disturb you during your conversation. For extra security, it has 11 built-in weather channels, including 7 NOAA channels and alerts. The screen is user-friendly, and the controls are straightforward, making it an option worth considering for anyone.

The design is very compact and durable, and the provided belt clips offer hands-free use. Speaking of which, the walkie-talkies come with a VOX function, so you don’t need to press the button to talk once it is active. It’s a shame that the included batteries have low capacity, but the product comes with a micro-USB port that allows charging on the go via your power bank. According to several reviews, you might hear static at times even at shorter distances as well.

Pros

  • Compact and durable,
  • LCD screen and belt clip,
  • Weather channels and alerts, VOX,
  • Micro-USB charging port and earpiece port

Cons

  • Drain batteries fast,
  • Might get some static

2. Retevis RT21 2-Way Long-Range Heavy-Duty Radios 6 Pack

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.4 Pounds (0.2 kg)
Size: 8.9 x 2.1 x 1.2 Inches (22.5 x 5.4 x 3 cm)
Range: 2.5 miles
Battery Life: 72 hours
Power Source: 1100mAh Li-ion batteries
Continuous Talktime: 10-12 hours

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The Retevis RT21 2-Way Long-Range Heavy-Duty Radios 6 Pack is a rock-solid set that easily withstands shock and vibration while remaining lightweight. Each unit boasts 2 watts of power and 16 FRS channels with a wide-narrow bandwidth selection. Thanks to the large dock station with triple protection, you can recharge all radios simultaneously. After 3 hours, you’ll get up to 12 hours of continuous use here.

The walkie-talkies come with a built-in scan, emergency alarm, busy channel lockout, time-out timer, and squelch. Additionally, you can activate the VOX function, but you’ll need to buy a programming cable separately for that.

When used outside, the signal goes as far as 2.5 miles, and the sound quality is decent. However, the speaker can be too quiet for the warehouse or construction site, so it’s better to use them with the headsets.

Pros

  • Lightweight and user-friendly design,
  • Withstands shock and vibration,
  • Scanning, BCLO, emergency alert, squelch, voice prompts, and VOX,
  • Six-unit charger with overheating, overcharge, and high voltage protection

Cons

  • Speaker can be too quiet,
  • The set doesn’t include programming cable

3. Gocom G2 FRS IPX4 Waterproof Long Range Two Way Radios

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.6 Pounds (0.3 kg)
Size: 7.1 x 2.2 x 1.3 Inches (18 x 5.5 x 3.2 cm)
Range: Up to 16 miles

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The Gocom FRS Long Range Walkie Talkie boasts the ability to automatically scan for 10 weather channels and select one with the most signal to provide you with up-to-date weather updates so that you are able to plan for any undesirable weather events. One handy feature is that this walkie-talkie has a lock feature which prevents the transmission buttons or any other buttons from being pressed accidentally. However, it is worthy to note that the PTT (press to talk) button is placed on the front face of the walkie-talkie instead of the usual placement at the sides. This can make for some awkward angles for one-handed usage. It also uses AAA batteries so unless you’re using rechargable batteries, it’s better to prep additional alkaline batteries to prevent any surprises.

Pros

  • Has 22 channels and 121 sets of CTCSS/CDCSS audio,
  • Automatically scans 10 available weather channels and lock into one with the strongest signal,
  • Flashlight feature to illuminate in the dark,
  • Keypad lock feature to prevent any accidentally trigerring in the outdoors.

Cons

  • Awkward PTT button design (button is on the face instead of the side),
  • Uses AAA batteries which is not rechargable.

4. Midland 50 Channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.3 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 2.5 x 9.8 x 1.8 Inches (6.4 x 24.9 x 4.6 cm)
Range: 60km
Battery Life: 8 hours
Power Source: AA batteries

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The Midland 50 Channel Walkie Talkie is water resistant. It also has a 36 mile range which has clear transmission,

The NOAA Weather Scan + Alert scan feature scans through 10 weather channels and alerts you when there is a risk of severe weather. The privacy codes give you a host of 3124 channels to allow for private conversations removing the possibility of eavesdropping.

The belt clips are sturdy which make sure that the Walkie Talkie is held in place in case you are doing a hands on activity. This Walkie Talkie is great for communicating around the house and neighborhood with your family or child when they are out playing.

Pros

  • NOAA Weather Scan + Alert feature,
  • It has a 36 mile range,
  • Has privacy codes,
  • It has a belt clip.

Cons

  • The SOS button is faulty,
  • Short battery life.

5. Cobra RX680 2 Watt Rugged Walkie Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1.3 Pounds (0.6 kg)
Size: 10.9 x 6.9 x 3.5 Inches (27.6 x 17.5 x 9 cm)
Range: 38 miles
Battery Life: 18 hours
Power Source: 2 lithium polymer batteries

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Cobra RX680 watt walkie talkie is a two-way radio that is known for is ruggedness, all the buttons are sturdy and durable. This radio might be limited to only indoor activities because of its low range coverage. It makes use of 2 lithium polymer batteries that can last for up to 18 hours of use. Furthermore, it possesses a built-in NOAA that notifies you on weather and climate emergency. It also has a VOX Voice-Activated Transmission that help you transmit signals without pressing the buttons. However, you should know that this hand-held radio is only resistant to water and dust splash, it cannot survive being dipped in these substances because it is rated IP54.

Pros

  • It is strong and rugged,
  • Choice of multiple channels ,
  • Presence of VOX voice activated transmission,
  • Presence of an in-built NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) for weather emergency alerts.

Cons

  • Not water resistant,
  • Low range coverage.

6. Midland – X-TALKER T71VP3, 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 2 Pounds (0.5 kg)
Size: 2.6 x 1.4 x 6.1 Inches (6.6 x 3.6 x 15.5 cm)
Range: 61 km
Battery Life: 10 hours
Power Source: 3 AA batteries

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The Midland X-Talker Walkie Talkie is a hands free device which means transmission is activated by sound or voice. This feature allows you to still be in communication while doing other hands on activities.

It also has a NOAA weather scan and alert which gives you an alert when there is risk for adverse weather in your area and thus can plan accordingly. They are licence free and have a very long range of communication. It has a 10 hour battery life and has an option to use regular batteries that do not require charging. They are also water resistant. These features allow you to be out without worrying that it may die on you or that the rain and water may cause some damages.

It has a belt clip that is sturdy and great for when you are hiking or doing other thongs with your hands.

If you are a hunter or want to go camping with your friends, this would be the perfect fit.

Pros

  • Waterproof,
  • Has an NOAA weather Scan + Alert Feature,
  • Licence free,
  • Long range of communication,
  • Hands free device.

Cons

  • The belt clip is abit loose,
  • its not durable.

7. SAMCOM Two-Way Black and White FWCN30A Radios

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1.2 Pounds (0.5 kg)
Size: 7.1 x 1.6 x 1.1 Inches (18 x 4 x 2.8 cm)
Range: 36 miles
Battery Life: 40 hours
Power Source: 1250mAh Lithium-Polymer batteries
Continuous Talktime: 10 hours

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Along with an informative backlit screen, the SAMCOM Two-Way Black and White FWCN30A Radios offer 22 channels and multiple functions. For instance, you’ll get NOAA and Call alerts, VOX, low-battery alarm, and power-saving mode here. As if it’s not enough, you can make group calls on different channels for announcements.

Each radio also comes with a built-in flashlight and has durable housing. It would be much better if the manufacturer had chosen to make them waterproof, but it’s hard to complain given the price tag. As for the accessories, you’ll get belt clips, Y-type USB charging cables, and earpieces.

Despite the variety of channels and modes, the radios have a very limited reception indoors.

Pros

  • Slim design and USB Y-charging cable,
  • LCD screen and led flashlight,
  • Group calls and VOX-ready,
  • NOAA and Call alerts and power-saving mode

Cons

  • Limited range when used indoors,
  • The housing is not waterproof

8. 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.

9. Baofeng UV-5R+ Plus Two-Way Radio

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.6 Pounds (0.3 kg)
Size: 3.9 x 2 x 1.3 Inches (10 x 5.2 x 3.2 cm)
Range: up to 30 miles
Battery Life: 12 hours
Power Source: 1800mAh Li-ion battery
Continuous Talktime: 6-8 hours

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Unlike the previous version, you can find the Baofeng UV-5R+ Plus Two-Way Radio in a number of colors. The walkie-talkie has a metal plate on its housing to keep the important components protected should you drop it.

Luckily, this model boasts not only visual differences but also allows installing an upgraded battery and antenna. Many owners recommend doing this so you can get a better max range, clearer signal, and more hours of use, which is especially important because it drains the included battery within 12 hours.

Right out of the box, the radio offers 128 channels with switchable 420-450MHz and 144-148MHz frequencies, has a built-in VOX function, TOT, and emergency alert. It has adjustable screen colors, a flashlight, and supports CHIRP and CPS software. While you can reprogram it manually, the process will take a lot of time, so finding a PC cable will make it more convenient.

Pros

  • Reinforced housing with metal plates,
  • Adjustable LCD screen and built-in led flashlight,
  • VOX, time-out timer, and emergency alert,
  • Supports CHIRP and CPS software,
  • Comes with an earphone, belt clip, belt strap, and desktop charger

Cons

  • Manual programming takes a lot of time,
  • Battery capacity is low

Verdict

Following all the research, comparisons and information we have gathered about these top walkie talkies for off roading, we can confidently say that Motorola T260 Talkabout Radio 2 Pack is the best walkie talkie for off roading out in the market.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Gocom G2 FRS IPX4 Waterproof Long Range Two Way Radios 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 Retevis RT21 2-Way Long-Range Heavy-Duty Radios 6 Pack.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying Walkie Talkies For Off Roading

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.

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.

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.

Channels And Privacy Codes

Not all the walkie-talkies in the market are private and secure. If you want to build safe and reliable communication, you need to have a privacy code enabled walkie-talkie set to function on specific channels.

Privacy codes are an effective way of communication via radios while you need an end to end encryption. It is beneficial to have privacy and interruption-free communication. These days, advanced walkie-talkies are coming with Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) or CDCSS (Continuous Digital Coded Squelch System) that lets you set your privacy codes to keep others away from your channels.

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.

Questions and Answers About Walkie Talkies For Off Roading

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.

Do walkies talkis work car to car?

Car-to-car communication is possible with walkie-talkies and it very useful for car convery road trips or even campervan trips. However, it is vital to keep some factors in mind, such as the range between vehicles and the battery life of the device. Choosing a model that supports automobile charging also helps to ensure your devices can sustain and have a long battery span.

Why should I use a walkie talkie for road trip?

Walkie-talkies allow you to maintain a constant connection and eliminate the unavailability effect of cellular network coverage as in the case of cell phones especially in a far distance area to the city. Aside from the walkie-talkie being independent of a cellular network, the long-range coverage makes it of utmost importance and the ideal, dependable, and capable gadget to keep you linked within your party and across multiple vehicles for that long road trip. You can have a safe road trip with careful planning when including the use of walkie-talkies for all-around communication.

What is VOX mode on a walkie talkie?

VOX, also known as “voice-activated transmission or exchange” allows for users to start transmitting without having the need to press any button. It is made possible because it detects sounds over certain frequency threshold and activates the trasmission, which makes it perfect for hands-free operation of the walkie talkie. Most walkies have both a PTT (push-to-talk) and VOX function.

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.

What does 104 mean on a walkie talkie?

“10-4” is a walkie talkie lingo used by users to affirm or acknowledge something transmitted. It can also used to signify that you understand what the transmittor is talking about. A walkie talkie lingo might be useful if you’re intending to use a walkie to communicate to a big group or simply as fast efficiennt communication in case of emergencies.

Which is better UHF or VHF walkie talkie?

UHF (ultra high frequency) walkies are suitable for usage both indoors and outdoors. The waves do not travel as far as VHF but they do a better job at penetrating obstacles between the transmissions. VHF (very high frequency) walkies are generally more suited for surroundings which has almost no obstructions and tends to operate best at ‘near-the-ground’ tranmissions. Thus, it is more suited for outdoor terrains.

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