If you need to stay in contact with others when skiing, hiking, camping, or hunting then two-way radios, or walkie-talkies as they are sometimes called, can be extremely useful. Most models now offer the maximum 22 FRS (Family Radio Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) channels available. On top of that some offer privacy codes which further subdivides each channel to provide more private channels. There is also personal GPS navigation units with radio functions as well. Users should note that by law they are required to have a license from the FCC to broadcast on the GMRS bands.
Range claims from the manufacturer are based on optimal conditions. Those rarely exist in the real world and users should expect a range between half a mile and up to 2 miles. Some other important features you might want include tones/paging/vibrate functions, channel scanning, VOX (voice activated transmission), weather radio, noise filter, headset compatible, and different power settings or at least a low-power battery saving mode.
Below you will find our reviews and list of the best two-way radios. At the bottom of this article we also have a comparison chart to easily compare specs of each two-way radio.
The Uniden SX377-2CKHS comes with two radios, 6 rechargeable AA NiMH batteries (3 for each radio), charging station, loop belt clips, and two earbuds. Other features include VOX operation, NOAA weather channels with alert, and emergency LED flashlight with SOS strobe.
Overall the SX377-2CKHS two way radios are small, lightweight, rugged, and waterproof which makes them perfect for any outdoor activity.
Other features of the Motorola T605 Talkabout include 22 FRS/GMRS channels with 121 privacy codes, 11 weather channels, built-in flashlight with white and red LED to preserve night vision, and push to talk power boost. It comes with a rechargeable NiMH battery pack that is charged via micro USB that provides 9 hours of life. You can also use 3 AA batteries to go up to 23 hours of life.
Overall we would not hesitate to recommend the Motorola T605 Talkabout two-way radios to anyone.
Other features include NOAA weather alert, eVox hands free operation, vibrate alert, and low/medium/high power settings. You can use either the rechargeable batteries included or 4 AA batteries. This set comes with 2 radios, 2 headsets, 2 belt clips, desktop charger, ac adapter, and dc adapter.
Overall we highly recommend this Midland model for all users.
The Uniden SX329-2CKHS two-way radios include 2 radios, 6 AA NiMh rechargeable batteries, dual charging cradle, and 2 VOX earbud microphones. Other features include 5 call tones, vibrate alert, NOAA weather channels, and LED flashlight with SOS strobe signal.
The Uniden SX307-3C radios have a max range of 30 miles and no water resistance rating. They are powered by 3 AA NiMH batteries which recharge via micro USB. Other features include VOX operation, 5 call tones, and NOAA weather channels.
These radios are perfect if you need three instead of just two and you won’t be using them around water.
Other features of the Midland LXT600VP3 include NOAA weather alerts, eVOX operation, and water resistant to light rain or splashes. It is powered by the included rechargeable NiMH battery pack which lasts for about 8 hours or 3 AAA batteries.
The LXT500VP3 includes two radios that operate on the 22 FRS/GMRS channels. However, it is lacking many features including any sort of water resistance. It is powered by 4 AA batteries or the included rechargeable NiMH battery pack.
If you are looking for a cheap walkie-talkie then the Midland LXT500VP3 is a great choice. These radios won’t work as well as more expensive units, but for close range of a few hundred feet they work tremendous.
Best Two-Way Radio Comparison Chart
|Model||Rating||Price||Max Range||Channels||Water Resistant||Battery||Weather Alerts|
|Uniden SX377-2CKHS||9.3||$105.89||37 miles||22 FRS/GMRS (plus 284 privacy codes/direct call codes)||Yes (JIS7)||3 AA NiMH rechargeable (included)||Yes|
|Motorola T605 Talkabout||9.3||$98.99||35 miles||22 FRS/GMRS (plus 121 privacy codes)||Yes (IP67)||3 AA Batteries or Rechargeable NiMH Battery Pack (included)||Yes|
|Midland GXT1000VP4||9.2||$64.99||36 miles||22 FRS/GMRS + 28 others (142 privacy codes)||Yes||4 AA Batteries or Rechargeable NiMH Battery Pack (included)||Yes|
|Uniden SX329-2CKHS||9.0||$79.99||32 miles||22 FRS/GMRS (121 privacy codes)||Yes (JIS4)||3 AA NiMH rechargeable (included)||Yes|
|Uniden SX307-3C||8.9||$69.99||30 miles||22 FRS/GMRS (plus 121 privacy codes)||No||3 AA NiMH rechargeable (included)||Yes|
|Midland LXT600VP3||8.8||$42.48||30 miles||22 FRS/GMRS + 14 others (121 privacy codes)||Yes (JIS4)||3 AAA Batteries or Rechargeable NiMH Battery Pack (included)||Yes|
|Midland LXT500VP3||8.6||$29.79||24 miles||22 FRS/GMRS||No||4 AA Batteries or Rechargeable NiMH Battery Pack (included)||No|