Best Two-Way Radios for Mountains of 2019 – Our TOP 10 picks
Table of Contents:
- 1 Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios with Earpiece
- 2 BaoFeng BF-F8HP
- 3 Midland – GXT1050VP4
- 4 BTECH MOBILE UV-50X2
- 5 Retevis RT21
- 6 Ansoko Long Range Walkie Talkies
- 7 Greaval Walkie Talkies
- 8 SAMCOM FPCN10A GMRS Walkie Talkie
- 9 Cobra ACXT1035R FLT Walkie Talkie
- 10 Motorola T260TP Talkabout Radio
- 11 Buyer’s Guide
In this article, we have reviewed top 10 best two-way radios for mountains of 2018 for your benefit. The guide mentioned at the end will answer any questions that may arise in your mind regarding two-way radios. With the help of two-way radios, the safety of hikers and hunters can be ensured. Following are 10 of the best two-way radios for mountains of 2018 hat you must check out before you make any final purchasing decision!
What Exactly Is a Two-Way Radio
A two-way radio can receive as well as transmit signals and is used for voice communication between two people. They can be mobile, can have a stationary base or can be handheld & portable. Two-way radios can be portable, have a base somewhere or can be installed in an automobile making them mobile. Hunters and hikers can make a good use of these two-way radios.
Two-way radios, if used in the proper manner, can have a very important impact. Evolution of technology has added several features in Two-way radios that make these radios a perfect way for communication.
A simple Push-to-talk button is usually present on the two-way radio which is pressed in order to activate the radio’s transmitter. Upon releasing the Push-to-Talk button, you can listen to the other person, that is received.
Two-way radios are a great way for communication and can be used in several situations. If you are a hunter or a hiker, hiking across a mountain or simply out on a camping trip with your family, you can have a constant and reliable source of communication at your hand. If there is an emergency of some sort, a two-way radio ensures that you stay in contact with the other person having the radio.
Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios with Earpiece
Being compact and lightweight, Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios is easy to carry around. The working of this two-way radio is pretty simple. There are 16 channels already programmed in this two-way radio. The range of this radio is UHF 400-470MHz. It comes with 1500mAh rechargeable battery. The battery takes almost 2 and a half hours to be completely charged and lasts for almost 96 hours after a full recharge. In open areas with fewer obstacles, the range can go up to 5 miles.
It is made up of durable plastic and rubber and has a black and blue body. There is a microphone along with an LED indicator. Due to its sturdy construction, it can be used outdoors with ease. There is a built-in LED flashlight as well. This radio is waterproof as well but is not weatherproof. There is a 60 days money back warranty on this radio if you don’t like it. Overall, there is an 18-month guarantee on it.
- Range: UHF 400-470MHz
- Range Distance: 5 miles
- Battery Duration: Lasts for 96 hours
- Has earphones
- Overcharge protection
- 18-month long warranty
- Not weatherproof
- Difficult to attach with clips on the belt
BaoFeng BF-F8HP is a two-way radio with a lot of excellent features. The output power of this radio is 8W, which is a lot as compared to other two-way radios of the same brand. The body of radio is hard which makes it pretty durable. It has a 2000 mAh battery. The antenna is a V-85 antenna which gives a clear reception.
There are three power settings i.e. 1W, 4W, and 8W. There are three frequency settings as well i.e. high HF, very high VHF, and ultra-high UHF. The range of this radio is 65-108 MHZ. An instruction manual is provided with this two-way radio which helps novice users. It is an all-black radio, with a pretty classy look. You can screw the antenna on and off, making it very portable. This radio comes with a charger and a headset and it fits perfectly in your pocket.
- 2000 mAh battery
- Three power settings i.e. 1W, 4W, and 8 W
- Range: 65-108 MHZ
- Output Power: 8 W
- Powerful antenna with better reception
- Larger battery
- Easily programmable
- Comes in three colors
- Doesn’t have a high-power speaker
- Cable is required for connecting with PC for programming
Midland – GXT1050VP4
Midland- GXT1050VP4 two-way radio is perfect for outdoor use such as hunting, mountaineering etc. It has pretty amazing features such as flashlight and NOAA weather alerts. This radio is waterproof. The battery present in this radio is a rechargeable battery. There are 50 channels in Midland- GXT1050VP4 with 142 privacy codes. The range of this radio is pretty large, with the radio functioning for almost 36 miles. You can use this radio in a hands-free mode as well.
You get vibration alerts with Midland- GXT1050VP4. Microphone and a headphone jack are also present. With the help of NOAA weather alert service you can get notifications regarding the weather conditions. There is a feature for group call on this radio. With the help of the 10 available call tones, you can set different tunes for 10 different people. Being JIS4 waterproof, it can be used safely in rain, storms etc. without worrying about the radio failing. With the help of eVOX, you get voice activation in 9 levels. The bright LCD display makes it easy to read the radio in dark as well.
- Channels: 50
- Privacy codes: 142
- JIS4 Waterproof
- eVOX: 9 Levels
- Range: 36 miles
- Hands-free operation
- NOAA weather alert
- 50 channels with 142 privacy codes;
- The range of 36 miles
- Rechargeable NiMH battery
- Takes a long time to charge
BTECH MOBILE UV-50X2
BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 comes with a customizable Multi-Color LCD which has 9 colors. The channels can also be customized in a way that it shows the setting of the frequency. It has a range of VHF of 136-174mhz. The dual sync features make it a pretty smart choice. 4 channels can be displayed simultaneously with the help of the channel monitor.
In BTECH MOBILE UV-50X2 you can scan the different frequencies and channels. Even if the power is interrupted, the two-way radio will save the scanning preferences. BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 includes a 3.5mm Line In/Line Out multiple jacks that gives the capability of remote audio input and output. You can adjust the gain of the microphone with the help of the button for the in-menu audio adjuster.
- Range: VHF 136-174mhz
- Dual sync feature
- 9 colors in LCD
- 3.5mm Line In/Line Out multiple jacks
- A customized Multi-Color adjustable display screen
- Resumes scanning even when power is disrupted
- Can monitor Channels in a single line display
- Mono Speaker-Output cannot be used without the appropriate adaptor
Retevis RT21 has a very great quality and can be used with a high level of ease. It comes with 16 channels. There is a scanner which helps to find open channels. With the help of encryption protocols, your conversations can be kept private and are safe from interception. It is effective both as an indoor and an outdoor two-way radio. If used in a residential area, they work well within a radius of 2 to 3 blocks. Retevis RT21 comes with an earpiece to have better use out of this two-way radio.
You can tailor the onboard function with the help of the Retevis software. With the help of voice command, you can work in hands-free mode. You can recharge the battery with the help of charging cradles. You can get alerted to the level of low battery with the help of the indicator. There are options for battery saving which as well will preserve the battery when not being used.
- Channels: 16
- Encryption protocols
- Retvis Software
- 1-year warranty
- CTCSS/DCS function
- Low battery alarm
- Emergency Alarm
- Bandwidth Selection
- VOX Function
- Battery Save Function
- Amazing indoor communication
- The battery life is very long
- Comes with a channel lock functionality
- Hands-free operation with the help of earpiece
- One-meter fall protection
- Has an emergency alarm for help
- Can activate the voice command in both English and Chinese
- Cannot be charged using USB cables
- Needs a charging dock
- Accessories like belt hook are not pretty durable
Ansoko Long Range Walkie Talkies
Ansoko Long Range Walkie Talkie is a long-range two-way radio model. It works for a distance of 3 miles. It has a full black finish. Anosko Long Range Walkie Talkies are available in the form of 2,4,6 and 10 packs. They are portable, and the size of Anosko Walkie Talkies makes them perfect for being a hand-held radio. It is also durable and long-life. Ansoko Long Range Walkie Talkies is powered by 1500 mAh Li-ion battery. The battery works for 8 to 12 hours after a full recharge, and the standby time on these radios is up to 7 days. It takes 5 hours to completely charge these walkie talkies.
The Ansoko Long Range Walkie Talkies have a range of 400 to 470 MHz. Because these walkie talkies have UHF, the two-way radios can go through steel, wood etc. In overcrowded areas, these walkie talkies have a range of 0.6 to 1.2 miles. The range in mountains and open areas is almost 3 miles. Long-range two-way radios from Ansoko are extremely durable. They can be used perfectly in outdoor conditions and for activities such as skiing, mountaineering etc. The Ansoko Long Range Walkie Talkies have an 18-month guarantee. There is a 30-day money back warranty as well.
- Range: 3 miles- 400 to 470 Mhz
- Battery: 1500 mAh
- Battery timing: 8 to 12 hours
- 18-month warranty
- Amazing Range of up to to 3 miles
- Good battery life
- Not weatherproof
Greaval Walkie Talkies
Greaval Walkie Talkie is pretty easy to use and comes with a charging dock. This two-way radio comes with a rechargeable 1500mAh Li-ion battery. After a full recharge, you can use this two-way radio for 12 to 20 hours. You can charge this two-way radio in 3 to 4 hours. There are 16 programmable channels in this two-way radio. The radio frequency of the two-way radio is UHF 400-470MHz. You can communicate up to 2 to 3 miles in open areas, while in residential areas it has a range of 0.6 to 1.5 miles. It is pretty easy to use and is not very complicated.
There is a built-in Led torch in this radio, so you can see your way in the dark. It has its own batteries and accessories such as belt clip, antenna, and charger. It has an earpiece which makes hands free operation possible.
- Battery: 1500 mAh
- Battery timing: 12-20 hours
- Channels: 16
- Range: up to 1.5 miles
- RF: UHF 400-470MHz
- Two-way radio frequency
- 16 channels
- 4 charging docks
- 2W output power
- Built-in Torch
- Can be used for 20 continuous hours
- Cannot be disassembled
SAMCOM FPCN10A GMRS Walkie Talkie
The SAMCOM FPCN10A GMRS long range walkie talkie has many several features. If you want to deliver emergency calls notifications, this is the perfect two-way radio since it features a group button which gives you the capability of letting you talk to all channels at the same time. This two-way radio uses 3000 mAh rechargeable battery. It can work for one complete day after one full charge.
It has a frequency range of 400-469.995MHz. You can communicate for a distance of almost 4km. The communication is clear and pretty loud. This device is portable and comes with an added belt clip. It comes with an earpiece as well which gives the capability of hands-free communication. A lifetime warranty comes with this two-way radio which makes it more alluring.
- RF: 400-469.995MHz
- Battery: 3000 mAh
- Range: 4 km
- Group button feature
- Portable and lightweight
- Features a group button
- Works for almost 4 km
- Lifetime guarantee
- Some issues with charging might be faced
Cobra ACXT1035R FLT Walkie Talkie
The ACXT1035 FLT has an amazing camouflage design which gives it an adventurous look. It comes with NOAA weather alert functionality which will keep up to date about the storms and weather conditions. There is a hands-free mode on this radio as well. It can be used underwater as well. It also has a rubberized grip which makes it easy to use in water.
If you miss any audio call, 20 seconds of the audio call can be recorded. It has a dual port charger. There is an LED flashlight available in this two-way radio which makes it perfect for use in the dark as well.
- Range: up to 37 miles
- NOAA Weather Alert
- Rechargeable NiMH batteries
- Two-port charging dock
- Cool looking design
- Easy on the pocket
- Built-in flashlight
- Easy to use
- Can be encrypted
- Has a backlit screen feature
- Has a Micro USB port
- Buttons are present above the display
- The sound of the microphone is average
- The display is a bit crowded
Motorola T260TP Talkabout Radio
Motorola T260TP talk about radio is Weatherproof. It has an IP-54 rating. The design gives it protection from dust, weather conditions such as snow and rain etc. It has a Quiet Talk feature which allows the radios to communicate with other Motorola products that are compatible. With the Dual Power functionality, you can use this radio for a longer period of time.
Motorola T260TP talkabout radio not only looks pretty great but has a strong and sturdy built. The size of the buttons on this radio make them easy to use even with gloves on. There is a USB charger so that you can charge the radio inside your automobile.
- NiMH rechargeable batteries
- 11 weather channels
- 22 Channels
- 21 Privacy Codes for each channel
- Comes with a mini USB charger
- Resistant to water
- Dual Power Functionality
- It might transmit white noise
Before you go out and buy a Two-way Radio for Mountains, it is important to keep a few things in mind. All Two-way Radios have different and advanced features which distinguish them and make them unique. It is surely a nuisance to see several Two-way Radios available and not being able to make an informed choice.
The features of the Two-way Radios are different from each other. The usage instructions and compatibility of each are different. Since there are a lot of Two-way Radios available, it may seem difficult to choose the perfect one. Here are a few things which you should keep in mind and look for in Two-way Radios before you decide to buy the one you think is the best!
The maximum distance for the transmission and receival of signals that is possible with the help of two-way radio is its range. The range depends on the type of radio being used, that is FRS radio has a maximum range of 6 miles while a GMRS radio has a maximum range of 50 miles. Moreover, the range which is given by the manufacturer is the range under perfect, optimal conditions. The real-time range of a two-way radio is going to be slightly different since there will be interference by obstacles, weather conditions etc.
This means that if you are in an open area, like on a hill with not a lot of trees on it, then you will be able to communicate quite far. But if you are in the built-up residential area, your range might be considerably shortened. So, it is better to buy a two-way radio with a greater range as compared to your requirements, because it is going to be affected by several factors in the real world.
The durability of a radio is pretty important. You need to know under what conditions will the radio not work, like weather conditions plus whether the radio will be able to survive crashes or falls etc.
Two-way radios usually use AA/AAA batteries. Alkaline batteries that are meant to be disposed of after being used as well as nickel-metal hydride batteries which can be recharged are compatible with two-way radios. Some two-way radios have their own rechargeable batteries which come with the two-way radios.
The batteries will drain fast if the output power of a two-way radio is high. The two-way radios which go into battery-saver mode after a while are a pretty good choice.
You need to know how long your batteries will last after they will be completely charged. Knowing the time after which your batteries will drain plays a crucial role in determining how long you can go without a battery backup. Make sure you are stocked up on batteries, if your radio works on rechargeable batteries, or if they are rechargeable, how long will they go without a recharge.
You don’t want to keep a battery on you, you can get a two-way radio that is capable of charging through a USB and works with a solar charger.
Size & Design
Design, weight, and size of a two-radio are very important especially in situations where you are carrying all your belongings on your back. If the two-way radio is small in size, compact and lightweight, it will be pretty easy and convenient for you to keep it inside your bag, or keep it attached to your belt, or maybe keep it inside your pocket. Small two-way radios may have the added benefit of being cost-friendly as well. But they may not come with a lot of functionalities. On the other hand, big in size, a heavy-duty two-way radio which may have crush and impact-resistant make would definitely weigh more but are a good choice for outdoor usage, especially mountaineering and hiking.
The length of an antenna on the two-way radio is also important since the length plays a role in determining the range, plus the clarity of transmission.
Some two-way radios have the feature of Voice Activated Transmit functions, VOX. With the help of VOX, you can use your two-way radio without using your hands. It is a better useful functionality in a radio, especially when you are hiking and need both your hands on the task. This feature automatically starts broadcasting when you begin to speak in the direction that is of walkie talkie’s consequently, letting you operate it without using your hands. This is best suited for you if you are a mountain biker or a skier.
With the help of a noise filter, your signals get clearer and you get an enhanced range. Make sure whether the two-way radio that you are buying comes with a noise filter or not. This serves as a noise canceller and also tends to enhance signals.
If your two-way radio is a weather radio, this means you can tune into the NOAA weather band stations where you can hear the local forecast and weather conditions. This feature is useful for everyone, but mostly campers and mountaineers can derive maximum benefit from it.
Although two-way radios which have GPS functionality in them will be a little bit costlier, they allow you to navigation capabilities. You can also have peer-to-peer positioning with these kinds of two-way radios with the help of which your location coordinates will also appear on the partner screen.
It doesn’t matter if you are keeping your two-way radio in a small protective bag or are not using it quite often. Your two-way radio is going to come in contact with natural elements one way or the other. Waterproofing, safety from sun exposure, signal clarity in storms etc. are all things you need to keep an eye out for before you buy a two-way radio.
If the place where you live, or the place where you are going for mountaineering or hiking is a cold area, you should know the operational temperature range so that you can know whether the radio will work at extreme temperatures or not.
Licenses for Two Way Radio Use
The maximum number of channels on a two-way radio is 22. The channels have been grouped into the following categories:
- Family Radio Services Channels- 7
- General Mobile Radio Service channels-8
- Shared FRS/GMRS channels-7
In order to use GMRS channels, you will need a license from the FCC.
If you use the 22 channels available on two-way radios, it is possible that you will hear the transmissions from all people using the same channel, thus missing out on important communication. With the help of privacy codes, you can filter out those radio transmissions which don’t have the same channel and code as you. It is like another form of identification for your radio. Radios come with up to 120 privacy codes, and when they are combined with channels, you can get more than 2,500 possible combos. If you are going to use your two-way radios in a busy area, you should buy radios with a large number of privacy codes.
With the help of a privacy code, your communication is not going to become private. It is more like an elimination of transmissions which do not have the same privacy code as the one set by you. In areas which are busy, 22 channels get occupied very quickly. Consequently, many radios provide CTCSS or CDCSS that enables you to use a busy channel by employing the use of some codes.
The use of CTCSS or CDCSS “codes” can reduce the amount of unwanted noise on the main channel the user would be hearing otherwise.
Some two-way radios give you a notification or sound an alarm when the partner radio is going out of the range of communication. This is a pretty handy feature and you should look for this before buying your radio.
When you choose a two-way radio, you basically choose a means to enhance your communication. By selecting the right one and making a choice that best suits your needs, you will be satisfied that you have started off on the right foot as far as the aspect of communication is concerned. This way you will not only have all the benefits of having two-way radio communication but will also be able to avoid any common drawback of having to replace old radios that will not be the ones to work with what should have been your initial choice in the first place.