Hiking is one of the most intriguing hobbies that you could ever take up. To enjoy every hiking trip, however, you need to have the appropriate equipment with you. The right gear ensures that you have the ultimate hiking experience, and one of the most crucial equipment for hiking is a walkie-talkie. The problem, however, comes in when you want to select a walkie-talkie because you will find a wide range of walkie-talkies in the market from the many manufacturers out there. If you have been looking for the best walkie-talkies for hiking but you can’t make up your mind on the one to get, we could help you out. This article will review the best two-way radios for hiking that you can get. It also includes a detailed buyer’s guide that could help you identify the best set for your hiking adventures.
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1. Midland – GXT1000VP4 – Our Best Pick
If you are an enthusiastic hiker, then you know how crucial it is to have the proper gear with you. You, therefore, might want to check out Midland – GXT1000VP4 for all your hiking needs. They come in a pair pack.
These two-way radios come with 50 GMRS channels and a channel scan to let you check for activity. Interestingly, the radios are designed with JIS4 waterproof qualities to prevent any damage from splashing water. Another interesting detail about these radios is that they have a 36-mile range in areas that have a little obstruction. They also come with Easy Voice and Sound Activation Transmission (eVOX) for a seamless hands-free operation.
What’s more, they come fitted with the NOAA weather scan feature to alert you of the current state of the weather in the area you want to hike. The radios also include 142 CTCSS and DCS privacy codes to prevent interference from other operators.
- The radios have an impressive range
- Operating them is easy because of the user manual
- It has waterproof qualities
- You don’t need an external microphone
- Not suitable for someone in a rush to charge
- You may hear some noise with the receiver
2. Befove Walkie-Talkies, 22 Channel – Best Walkie-Talkie for Kids
If you are looking for walkie-talkies to enjoy your hiking adventure, you might consider checking out Befove Walkie Talkies. These walkie-talkies are ideal for individuals who have families because they can also be used by kids.
Befove Walkie Talkies have an attractive and ergonomic design with rugged edges to provide you with an excellent grip. They also feature high-quality construction, which consists of ecological materials that are safe for the environment. The walkie-talkies feature a lightweight design, making them quite portable so that even kids can carry them.
Moreover, each radio is designed with buttons and a display to provide you with easier control. They are designed with a 22-channel PMR system, and your kids can send and receive signals using the buttons. Interestingly, they have an adjustable volume level for better sound quality.
Each radio utilizes 3 AA batteries, which you have to purchase separately. This, however, is not so bad considering their affordability. The walkie-talkies use disposable batteries.
- Very easy to use
- They fall in the lower price range
- Have an ergonomic design
- Have durability issues
- They are not rechargeable
3. Walkie-Talkies 2-Way Radio BaoFeng Radio Series UV-5RH – Best High Power Walkie-Talkie for Hiking
Have you been searching for a two-way radio to go hiking with? If you have, you could consider checking out BaoFeng Radio Series UV-5RH. It is the updated version of Baofeng UV-5R. The radio could be ideal for hikers looking to find a dual band walkie-talkie.
This two-way radio is designed to deliver a maximum power output of up to 8 Watts. The high power settings enable the device to have a transmission range of up to 5 miles. You can use the device to listen to commercial FM radios at a frequency range from 65 to 108 MHz. Also, it has a VHF ranging from 136 to 174 MHz and a UHF ranging from 400 to 520 MHz. You could also customize the channel names using the PC03 FTDI programming cable.
The device also has a sturdy build, and it uses a 1800mAh battery. This walkie-talkie has many buttons, and it includes an auto keypad lock to prevent accidental tampering of the settings. It also has a dual display.
- It’s economically priced
- Has a high power output
- Includes an automatic keypad lock
- Hard to switch to FM stations
- The range is greatly affected by obstacles
4. Midland – LXT630VP3 – Best Lightweight Walkie-Talkie
The next walkie-talkies that you might consider getting yourself are Midland – LXT630VP3. They could be ideal for people who want a lightweight device to travel around with on different terrains. They are also suitable for family use.
These two-way radios operate on 36 FRS channels, and they have a channel scan to search for other activities. One of the most impressive things about these walkie-talkies is their yellow design, which increases their visibility. When you use them in areas where there are little or no obstacles, they have a range of up to 30 miles.
They also have 121 CTCSS privacy codes with up to 2,662 channel options. The radios are designed with the silent operation to help you turn off any tones. Additionally, these devices have NOAA weather scan, which means that they will alert you to lock onto weather channels. Moreover, they have Easy Voice and Sound Activation Transmission with three sensitivity levels.
- Have an impressive design
- The range on flat grounds is quite impressive
- Has weather capabilities
- Poor battery life
- Poor customer support
5. Retevis H-777 2 Way Radios UHF Two Way Radios – Best Walkie-Talkie for a Hiking Group
Hiking might be one of the most interesting hobbies that you could do but it requires you to have the right equipment. One of the devices that you could get yourself are the Retevis H-777 Two-Way Radios. These radios could best be suited for people who hike in groups because they come in a 20 pack.
These radios operate on a UHF ranging from 400 to 470 MHz. Each radio has a belt clip to allow easier portability, and they are all easy to operate. Additionally, every radio has its own intelligent USB charging base but with no adapter and a Li-ion battery. When the battery levels go low, you will get notified by the radios’ low voltage alert.
The radios also have multi-feature functions in addition to allowing long-distance communication. The radios are ergonomically designed, and they all have antennas to enable clear sound quality. An added feature on this set is the clear voice prompt that reminds you to turn on your walkie-talkie with the current channel.
- The pack comes with a 1-year warranty
- The radios have a clear voice prompt
- Includes intelligent USB charging
- Quite expensive
- They are fragile
6. SAMCOM FPCN10A Walkie Talkie – Best Walkie-Talkies for the Money
There are numerous brands of walkie-talkies in the market, and the devices that you could consider checking out are SAMCOM FPCN10A Walkie-Talkies. These units are ideal for hikers who are looking to spend more on a two-way radio.
The radios have a frequency range of 400 to 470 MHz with a power output of 2 Watts. Interestingly, these radios allow you to choose between holding an individual private talk and holding a conversation with a group of people at the same time. It would be ideal for guiding fellow hikers.
Each of the radios has an LCD display and several buttons to enhance operations. What’s more, each device runs on a 3000mAh rechargeable battery that delivers 33 hours run time and 190 hours when on standby mode. When hiking in an open area, you could communicate over 2 to 3 miles with clear sound quality. Each radio also includes a belt clip for easier portability.
- Has noise reduction qualities
- Great battery life
- All have a sizeable LCD
- Includes a lifetime quality warranty
- It’s a pretty costly pack
- May do good with more sound
7. Ansoko Long Range Walkie-Talkie – Best Mid-Range Walkie-Talkies for Hiking
Hiking couldn’t get any more interesting than when you can clearly communicate with your fellow hikers even at a range. If you need a communication device, you might want to check out Ansoko Long Range Walkie-Talkie. This 6 pack radio is ideal for hikers looking for a mid-priced communication device.
The walkie-talkies have a frequency range of 400 to 470 MHz with a transmission range of up to 3 miles. What’s more, they have a power output of 2 Watts and the batteries can store charge for up to 12 hours under continual use. When on standby mode, however, they can last up to 7 days. The radios operate on 16 channels that are easy to operate, and they come with 50 CTCSS and 105 DCS codes to prevent interference.
Besides having an ergonomic design, the radios are rugged and have a lightweight design. Moreover, each radio features a built-in LED flashlight to aid in visibility when it gets dark. The radios also have VOX capabilities to allow hands-free operation.
- Includes an LED flashlight
- It is easy to use
- Fairly priced
- Has VOX capabilities
- Only suitable for short-range communication
- The earpiece produces a clicking sound
8. BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) – Best Hiking Walkie-Talkie with FM Radio
Lastly, we have BaoFeng BF-F8HP. It might be a suitable choice for hikers who like listening to FM radio as they hit the terrain.
It is a dual-band two-way radio designed with a lot of buttons and a display, thus making it easier to control. The manufacturer has put in enough work to ensure that you have a seamless user experience. For instance, it comes with a comprehensive user manual and you can customize the channels using a PC03 FTDI programming cable.
This walkie-talkie is more advanced than its previous versions. It features a 30 percent larger battery with a power output of 8 Watts. Additionally, it includes a V-85 high gain antenna for better signal reception.
- It has quality construction
- It allows a seamless user experience
- It’s fairly priced
- You can customize the channels
- The FM frequency is a bit hard to tune
- You have to reprogram it before use
Tips to consider when getting walkie-talkies for hiking
Getting a walkie-talkie that is suitable for your hiking task is not an easy task. You have to keep in mind that there are several brands on the market and each product differs from the other. As such, it is imperative that you know what defines the best walkie-talkies before venturing out in the market. This ensures that you settle on a high-quality product whose value matches its price. Failure to conduct your research can lead to you purchasing a two-way radio that will malfunction in a few days.
With that said, here are some of the essential features that you need to look out for before purchasing a walkie-talkie.
One of the critical things to keep in mind when looking for a walkie-talkie for hiking is its range. You should ensure to check the specifications of the two-way radio that you wish to get to determine its range. Additionally, you must know that there are walkie-talkies meant for indoor and outdoor use. For an outdoor activity, you should ensure to pick a walkie-talkie with a range that is suitable for outdoor environments. The majority of outdoor radios have a transmission range of up to 3 miles. It is also imperative to note that the range is usually affected by obstacles on your hiking terrain such as trees.
The battery life
Another major consideration that you should make as a hiker when you want a walkie-talkie is its battery life. The battery life of your walkie-talkie is crucial, especially when you go for long hikes. While in the market, you are likely to find walkie-talkies that come with built-in rechargeable batteries while others come with standard batteries. When hiking, a walkie-talkie that uses standard batteries is the best because outdoor environments don’t have a power source. It is also wise to select a two-way radio that has a longer battery life for more efficiency.
The build quality
There are different manufacturers in the walkie-talkie arena with each designing their devices distinctly. Therefore, before you settle for a two-way radio, it is critical for you to consider the build quality. Most of the radios are made of plastic material and some are sturdier than others. Experts advise hikers to select walkie-talkies that have strong construction because of their longevity.
After all, who doesn’t want a device that will last? The design of the two-way radio that you would like to get also matters a lot. This is because hiking involves a lot of movement. As a result, it is better for you to have a device that fits in your hands perfectly and one that offers an excellent grip. You can find a superb grip on walkie-talkies whose plastic body has a rubberized design.
A belt clip
A belt clip on your two-way radio plays a critical role when you’re hiking. You should get a unit that comes with a belt clip or one that includes an attachable belt clip. Although this is a feature that is incorporated in most walkie-talkies, it wouldn’t hurt you to check it out. The belt clip ensures that you have easier access to your device. Additionally, it saves you the trouble of having to hold it in your palm throughout the hike. This allows you to engage in other activities much easier.
The configuration of the walkie-talkie
If you didn’t know, two-way radios are designed to operate on different frequencies. The frequencies that are available include Ultra High Frequency (UHF), Very High Frequency (VHF), Family Radio Service (FRS), and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). While planning a hiking activity, you will be better off with FRS or GMRS two-way radios. An FRS radio is ideal on flat terrain and rough terrain that has plenty of tree cover. GMRS, on the other hand, is also quite strong and more powerful than FRS frequencies.
One of the most critical factors that you should look at when you’re choosing a walkie-talkie is the channels that it has. This is because the channels determine the number of people that you can talk to. Usually, a walkie-talkie that’s ideal for hiking should have a few channels.
As an outdoor enthusiast, you are well aware of how the weather fluctuates at times. You wouldn’t want to walk into a location that has terrible weather, which could bring about disastrous outcomes. As a result, it is imperative that you check the weather capabilities of the two-way radio you want. The ideal walkie-talkie should enable you to connect to NOAA – the national weather service. Through this feature, you can check for real-time weather updates and alerts. This allows you to set your hiking route appropriately.
Before you settle on a walkie-talkie on the market, you are required to check the wattage of the device that you have set your eyes on. Why is this an essential feature? Well, it affects the range of your walkie-talkie. Usually, walkie-talkies have a wattage ranging from 0.5 Watts to 8 Watts. The higher the wattage, the better the transmission range.
Weight and size
You have to consider the weight and size of a two-way radio before you make any purchase decision. Hiking involves a lot of walking and a heavy radio could be hard to carry. It would be wise to settle with a compact and lightweight device. Moreover, you don’t want a big walkie-talkie that will force you to keep it in your hand at all times or in your bag. Get a sizeable unit that can fit into your pockets.
When you’re hiking in new regions, you hardly know how to navigate the terrain. This means that the probability of getting lost is quite high, which is why you should look for a walkie-talkie that has a GPS or compass to help you navigate the terrains. It could also help your friends identify your location in case of an emergency.
Hiking is an outdoor activity that doesn’t require you to carry a lot or costly gadgets. In most cases, it only requires you to have a communication device with good reception. If you want such a device to take with you on your next hiking trip, you might want to try one of the walkie-talkies mentioned above. We pick Midland – GXT1000VP4 as the overall winner because the pack has an impressive range, and it can even be used by a beginner because it includes a manual. What’s more, the pair is water-resistant.