Best Long Range Two-Way Radios of 2018

When was the last time you used a walkie-talkie to talk to someone rather than your phone or computer? These days, there are so many forms of communication available that we seem to take the most basic ones for granted.

But, there are plenty of reasons to have a set of long-range two-way radios around. These come in handy when the power goes out as well as when the kids are playing outside. Not to mention, they're great to have on hand when you go away camping or to a theme park.

Walkie-talkies give you the freedom to enjoy the great outdoors and plenty of peace of mind without leaving you totally disconnected. Plus, they keep you safe when trouble comes your way.

You need the best walkie-talkie set for the job to be as well-prepared as possible. Use the following guide to help you make the right choice!

What to Look for When Shopping for Long Range Walkie-Talkies

It's one thing to realize you need a pair of walkie-talkies, and another to find the best walkie-talkie to suit your needs. You can probably get away with a standard set of short-range radios for activities around the house. For anything when you plan to be out and about and split up your group, though, long-range is the best way to go.

This is only the first thing to consider. Once you figure out you do in fact need long-range radios, you have to think about all of the details below.

The Right Antenna Length

When it comes to antennas, length does matter. The longer the antenna is, the better your reception will be, too. Always check to see you have a good antenna length before purchasing the radio set you think is best.

You can also look into buying an aftermarket antenna if the manufacturer's antenna isn't to your liking. Make sure you can swap them out first, though.

Multiple Power Options

The next detail to pay attention to is the power source. Are you going to need batteries or do you have to rely on an outlet to charge your new walkie-talkies? Can you increase the wattage or lower the energy settings in order to preserve the battery?

These may seem like simple alternatives but they make a big difference. The last thing you want is for your radio to give out on you when you're out on a long hike or hunkering down during a hurricane.

A Digital Compass

Speaking of being out and about with your radio, it's a good idea to get one with a digital compass if you can. This way, you'll always be able to tell where you are and where you need to go. Not to mention, you can better communicate your location with the person on the other walkie.

You may already have a handheld compass or some other piece of gear that helps you tell where you are. Still, you can never be too careful when it comes to your safety and finding your way home (or back to camp).

An Out of Range Alert

Here's something to consider: you're out on a trail, or waiting in line for a ride, or sitting around the house, and one walkie goes out of range from the other. While this is hard to do with long-range radios, it's still an important possibility to consider.

Thankfully, some walkies come with an out of range alert to warn you when you're about to be out of reach. This keeps you and the person on the other end of the walkie much safer than you'd be if one of you were to just wander out of range. It allows you to stay connected 24/7 without worrying about losing connection.

Durability

Last but not least, research how durable one set of long-range walkie-talkies is versus another. This is absolutely necessary if you plan to go do a snow sport, be out on the water, or under some other sort of extreme conditions.

You don't want to spend a significant amount of money on safety equipment like this just to have it give out when it touches water or receives a strong impact. You need it to last throughout all of your adventures and excursions - or at the very least, not break on your first time out with your new radio.

The Best Long Range Two-Way Radios of 2018

Ready to start shopping now that you know what to look for in a long-range walkie-talkie? Of course, there's one more thing to consider: the actual range you can go before losing your signal.

This and all the factors mentioned above are covered in the walkie-talkie reviews below. Here are 7 of the best walkie-talkie options for communicating across long distances in 2018.

1. Midland GXT1000VP4

The first Midland model on the list is sure to be a strong contender when you're figuring out which set to choose. The GTX comes with all-day power capabilities, a private communication setting, and a special weather alert.

It tells you when storms are rolling in and keeps you in the loop of all the most important facts by scanning weather channels in the area as you're out and about. This walkie-talkie set also comes with a free headset which is great if you need your hands to set up camp, fish, or hunt. It's nice for snow sports or just a casual walk, too.

But, the features don't stop there! You can enjoy all of this at a range of up to 36 miles from one walkie to the other. Feel free to speak loud and proud or take things down to a whisper - either way, the microphone will catch everything you need to say.

The main downside? This walkie-talkie set isn't waterproof. Keep it covered if you're by the water or when out in the snow. It's fine if a little water splashes or falls onto one of the walkies, but immersing it in liquid means you're out of luck.

2. Midland LXT630VP3

Up next is the Midland LXT. This model kind of takes care of the water problem mentioned above thanks to the rubber shell it comes with. It's still not suitable for heavy downpours, but it can handle light rain or be held with a wet hand so long as you don't drop it into the water.

Plus, there are plenty of cool features to make up for the water sensitivity. This walkie-talkie set is incredibly small and lightweight which means it's perfect for long backpacking trips or when you only need to take the essentials on a short day hike.

The battery life is super long and there's a sensor with voice activation features that allows you to turn the radio on just with your voice. You can extend the battery life even further if you need to by alternating between high and low power. And, yes, this one comes with weather alerts, too.

However, you're going to have to reprogram your settings every time you turn the walkie on and off because there are no memory functions. This applies to everything from the energy levels to your private communication preferences, which come with confidential does. The codes are pretty cool, but the constant back and forth between all your settings isn't.

This feature works for up to 30 miles between walkies.

3. Midland Talkabout

The final Midland option on this list is the Talkabout. Made to keep you connected for up to 35 miles, this long-range radio set can (almost) do it all. The main shortcoming is the lack of water protection.

Aside from this detail, though, there is much to get out of this radio. There are 22 channels available to you which include important weather alerts and dual-band frequencies.

Also, you can talk to your friends and family or stay in the know all day long thanks to the help of the dual power source design. This system allows each walkie-talkie to run on either the rechargeable battery or a set of AA batteries. Between the two power sources, you have about 26 hours of use when both kinds of batteries are fully-loaded.

It may not be the most durable option out there, but it can get the job done very well when you're not expecting to do anything too strenuous or extreme.

4. Cobra MR HH450

If you're looking for something outside of the Midland range of walkie-talkies, check out a couple of the options Cobra has to offer. The first one worth considering is the MR HH450 model.

This gives you communication capabilities for up to 35 miles in standard conditions and 8 miles across the water. It's great for those who love to hike, rock climb, and bike as well as the deep-sea fishing enthusiast in the family. Whatever you're up to, you have 15 channels available to talk back and forth on and open to receive important alerts, too.

But, always be sure to charge it before you head out for the day. The battery only lasts for about 11 hours, which isn't ideal for emergency situations but it is enough for most activities.

5. Cobra ACXT645

Another Cobra walkie-talkie set to take a look at is the ACXT645. These long-range radios pretty much have it all. Seriously - they work for up to 35 miles, providing 10 national weather channels, a hands-free operation system, and even 3,124 channel combination choices.

Why would anyone need that many? Well, think about particularly crowded places like cruise ships, tourist-packed city centers, and theme parks. With so many people looking for a channel, it's nice to have an extensive list of options at your fingertips in order to find a good, clear, and uninterrupted reception.

That's not all that's possible with this set! The Cobra ACXT645 walkie-talkies are also waterproof and they come with a built-in flashlight. As such, they make an excellent emergency/survival walkie-talkie choice.

6. Kenwood TK-3402

Still, haven't found what you're looking for? Check out the Kenwood TK-3402. This set of walkie-talkies comes with 90 pre-set frequencies, providing easy ways to check in and quickly communicate when you're on the go.

There's a helpful low battery alert and the walkies are water and dust resistant, too. The main setback, though, is that you can only go about 7 miles before you're out of range. It's nice for a campsite when everyone plans to stay in roughly the same vicinity or when you need something last-minute before heading to Disney for the day.

Don't choose this set if you know you, or someone in your group, like to wander.

7. Uniden GMR5095

When 7 miles doesn't even come close to the amount of distance you plan to cover and 30 just won't do either, go for a long-range walkie-talkie that can cover over 50 miles. That's what the Uniden GMR5095 can do, at least.

This set comes with a simple, yet strong design. It's lightweight and durable which makes for easy packing and a great level of peace of mind as you're out and about. The battery life is pretty reliable; it runs on rechargeable batteries that you can swap out if you're smart enough to carry extras and happen to run out while on a trail or away from your group.

As with the other options on this list, you can receive local weather alerts to stay safe and beat the storms before they hit. Not to mention, you'll be okay if you do end up caught in the rain and need to contact the other walkie thanks to how strong the shell on this model is.

 

Deciding on the Right Walkie-Talkie Set for You

Researching all the best long-range two-way radios will only get you so far. At the end of the day, the choice comes down to you. Think about what features are your biggest priority and what you really need out of a walkie-talkie.

Can you afford to buy a set that isn't waterproof or one with a limited amount of battery life? Would you rather invest in something more durable, or an option that runs on a dual-energy system?

The more you think about these details, the easier your final choice will ultimately be. If you want to explore more interesting outdoor gear and communication technology, click here!

Leave a Comment