There are many two-way radios available in the market today which might make it difficult in picking one that will suit you, especially if doing it for the first time. We have however stated what we think a walkie talkie must have to make it the best. If the one you pick meets all these then rest assured that you will enjoy your exploration to the fullest without any interference. The radio you choose will, however, depend on where you intend to use or for what.
Features of Best Walkie Talkie on the Market
Most radios often use GMRS or FRS frequencies for communication. The FRS channels have been designed for families and do not need a license to operate. GMRS channels provide a long range but should have an FCC license to operate. VHF channels are designed for marine to be used only on water when sailing for communication. Amateur radios come with many frequencies with long range but you must get a written test for you to be given a license.
☑ Privacy codes
These are extra channels to the 22 FRS/GMRS channels added to enable you to get places that are quiet for clear communication. It is only compatible with radios designed by the same manufacturer. It helps in keeping eavesdroppers away or users within the same channel from your conversation by allowing you to chat with the other person privately.
Range greatly relies on conditions such as if there are obstructions or not. Radios may specify to cover up to 36 miles but in many cases, it may not unless it is an open area. It is great to understand that GMRS frequencies cover up to 5 miles while the FRS frequencies cover up to 2 miles in areas with obstructions.
As much as radios may be said to be waterproof many of them are just water resistant. If you are going to use it in wet areas then make sure waterproof rating is good. JIS or IP rating enables you to know how resistant they are. JIS4 and IPX4 are splash resistant while IPX7 is waterproof up to 3 feet. A radio with a high number is the best.
☑ The type of battery
Lithium-ion batteries are best for cold environments while there are some that use AA or battery pack. There are those that will charge by using a solar charger or USB power pack. Always keep in mind where you will use it or how to charge it. For outdoor activities, a solar backpack will be the best.
☑ Battery life
Some batteries when fully charged can last go some hours or days depending on how you use it. You should also consider if you will be able to take along extra batteries.
You should put into consideration the amount of stuff your pack will carry. We recommend that you go with small and lighter radios for comfort in long hours.
☑ NOAA weather channels
The Radios with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) channels enables you to receive alerts of local weather in advance. In case of severe weather, you will be able to know so that you can call for help or evacuate early before it strikes.
☑ Multiple uses
There are some radios with VHF or GPS to save you from carrying 2 items for purposes which can be done by one.
☑ Mobile phone extension
There are two-way radios which allow you to plug your phone in so that you can communicate with other phones within the same range. This helps you in communicating with family or friends easily. For long range walkie talkie, read on this comprehensive review here.
For good communication, make sure to pick a two-way radio that is the best to avoid disappointment. If you are buying it for the first time, we advise you that you go through reviews of people who have bought it and used it in similar surrounding or activity. This will help you to know the range it covers or how long the battery can last to help you plan in advance. The best two-way radio will guarantee you smooth and clear communication between you and your group or team.