This article is all about best two way radio for hunting - So if you are looking for best radio for hunting or best walkie talkie then you are in the right place. Read on !!!
Imagine this, you and your buddies are out hunting and due to no fault of your own, you end up getting lost or worse getting injured.
In such a situation there are only two options try and patch yourself up like in the movies or call on your buddies for help.
Now I do not know about you but the second option sounds far much better than the first. And is why I always carry a two way radio when going out hunting and so should you.
Because whether you like it or not the best two way radios for hunting or best walkie talkie is often the difference between life and death. With this in mind, if you are in search of the best two way radio, then you have come to the right place. Join me as I explore what makes these handy communication tools important.
While at the same time reviewing some of the best 2 way radios on the market. But before we get to it, here is a comparison chart of how different radios compare with one another.
Comparison Of Best Hunting Two Way Radio
Hunting Two Way Radio
Midland - GXT1050VP4, 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)
Midland - GXT1000VP4, 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio
Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair)
BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio
Midland - LXT630VP3, 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio
Two Way Radio Buying Guide - What To Know Before Buying One
There are a lot of things you need to think about when buying a two-way radio. However, in this article, I am going to restrict myself to the most important things. And so without further ado let us look at some of the essential things to consider when buying a two-way radio.
Range is probably the most critical factor to consider. The range of your two-way radio should match the size of space you and your buddies are hunting on. This means that if you are hunting in large spaces dominated by thick brush a long-range radio will come in handy. This is because of thick brush cause signal blockages. This signal blockage can make communication almost impossible.
To counter signal blockage go for a radio with a long range, as longer range equals more signal power. The best two way radios on the market normally have a range of between 20 miles and 50 miles. It is important to note that the range given by manufacturers is based on tests conducted in optimal conditions.
Therefore, it is wise to go for a radio whose range is more than you need. This way you factor in all the external factors that can hinder signal penetration such as trees, and hills.
For a walkie-talkie to function properly it needs power. As such, the other important factor to consider is battery life. Two-way radios are powered either by rechargeable batteries or by disposable batteries. There are two types of rechargeable batteries NiMH and NiCD. For outdoor appliances and tools, NiMH batteries are more suitable. The reason being they can operate at diverse temperatures and also do not suffer from memory loss.
Apart from rechargeable batteries, two way radios can also be powered by alkaline or lithium-ion disposable batteries. Lithium-ion batteries usually have a longer lifespan, last longer and work in different temperatures. Therefore, go for radios that are powered by either lithium-ion batteries or NiMH rechargeable batteries.
Privacy codes and channels
Two way radios use either the Family Radio Service (FRS) or the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) band with 22 channels. For outdoor use GMRS radios are ideal. Of worth noting is that to use a GMRS radio you will need a license from the FCC. Other than that, with an FRS/GMRS radio, you have access to 22 channels. And on a busy day, the chatter from all these channels can hinder communication between you and your buddies. It is for this reason that most radios come with privacy codes that are used to filter out unnecessary transmissions.
In essence, privacy codes filter out any transmission not using your channel and privacy code combo. The best 2 way radios normally feature upwards of 120 privacy codes.
This means that you get up to 2500 possible combinations. The more the channel combinations the better especially if you are using your radios on a busy day for example during peak hunting season. There are radios that have a call feature that lets you call a specific member of your hunting party.
Ruggedness and durability
Mother Nature is unpredictable and as such you need to be always prepared. This means using gear that can handle Mother Nature’s wrath in all its form. The Best Two Way Radios for hunting should be waterproof and rugged enough. This is especially if you are hunting in an area prone to heavy rainfall.
In keeping with the unpredictability of Mother Nature, I have found radios that offer access to NOAA weather forecasts to be very useful. With these radios, you get alerts on any weather changes. There are some radios that are tuned to the NOAA weather channel and thus you receive all weather forecast information on the radio. All in all, the weather alert feature is a very useful feature to have on a two-way radio.
In trying to be competitive manufacturers are continually introducing new features. Some of these features you can do without while others can be of great help. The Voice Activated Transmit function or VOX is one such feature. This feature makes using a two way radio hands-free possible.
The VOX function transmits your message as soon as you start talking. For a hunter, this can be a very useful feature, especially if you have a lot of gear to handle. However, this feature can be burdensome as it needs to be paired with a headset and mic.
Bluetooth compatibility is another feature that can be useful. Though not as important as others on this list, it is still one worth considering. This feature particularly comes in handy when you are using moto cycles.
Camouflage is important to hunters. Thus, another thing you might want to look out for is the color of radio. Radios with camo design patterns are ideal for hunting since they blend in well with your surroundings.
Best Long Range Two Way Radios For Hunter
As a hunter, you require a two-way radio that has a long range. In fact the longer the range the better. So, which of the many two way radios available on the market is perfect for hunting. Personally, if I had to choose I would settle on the Midland GXT1050VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio. The latter is arguably the best long range two way radios for the hunter, and here is why.
Midland GXT1050VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio Review
The Midland GXT1050VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio is one of the best long-range radio I have ever used. With an impressive range of 36 miles in open terrain with minimal to no obstacles, it is a great tool to have in case of an emergency.
28 extra channels and 142 privacy codes
This two-way radio comes with the standard 22 channels accessible in all FRS/GMRS radios. But that’s not all you also get an extra 28 channels that drastically increase your communication options. And for blocking out the noise, it features 142 privacy codes that increase the number of channels up to 5560 options. Thus, you are able to block out the noise.
One of the things I really loved about this two-way radio is the SOS siren. This feature lets you send out a distress signal in case of an emergency. This locator signal lets other hunters locate you easily.
To ensure you are updated on weather patterns and changes, the radio locks on to local weather channels and sends out weather alerts from the NOAA channel.
LCD backlit display
The backlit LCD display on this radio is visible irrespective of what time it is. This means it can be used during the day as well as at night.
- Can be used hands-free thanks to its eVOX feature
- Has a mossy oak camouflage, which makes it ideal for hunting
- It is waterproof and can withstand light showers
- Allows for making calls to specific members of a hunting group without alerting the others
- Has three different power settings to help you conserve battery life
- Might not be suitable for use in the urban environment
- The included batteries do not last long
One of the things you realize about this two way radio when you use it for the first time is that it has features that are not common in other two way radios. And while its advertised 36-mile range is far-fetched, it still has a pretty decent range. When I tested it out in the forested and hilly terrains of Texas, it had a range of about ten mile, which is still impressive. With all this in mind, it is fair to say that it is one of the best 2 way radios for emergency.
Best Two Way Radio For Mountains Hunting
Not all 2-way radios can function properly in mountainous regions. And of the few that can, the Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio is the best. Hailed as one of the most powerful 2-way radio, it is a masterpiece that is worth checking out.
Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio
Regarding features, the GXT1000VP4 is quite similar to the GXT1050VP4. In fact, there are very few things separating the two. Nonetheless, this model does have more to offer in terms of the number of channels than its counterpart.
22 GMPS channels
Similar to the other Midland model, this version comes with 22 channels and an extra 28 channels. This gives you more communication options.
One of the best things about this model is the range. According to the manufacturer, it has a range of 50 kilometers. However, in real life scenarios, the range of this radio does not reach anywhere near 50 kilometers for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, compared to other radios its range is still quite impressive.
Better battery life
Powering this radio are 4 AA batteries. With these batteries, you can use it even without needing to recharge. Additionally, it comes with three power settings, high, medium and low, which you can adjust depending on the battery.
This radios scan’s local weather channels to give you updates on changes in the weather. This helps you be on the knowledge of any changes in weather patterns and conditions.
- t is a lightweight radio that is easy to carry along
- It has superb radio quality that you can even whisper and still get your message across
- It is very well made to withstand the harsh outdoor conditions
- It is waterproof and can withstand light showers
- It comes with a lot of controls, which can be confusing to newbie users
- It is pretty expensive compared to other two way radios
In all honesty, this Midland model has a lot to offer. Not only is it one of the best two way radio for mountains hunting, it also has impressive battery life. Additionally, with this radio, you get a wide array of communication channels. In terms of outdoor performance, very few two-way radios can match the quality you get from this radio.
If you are a mountain hunter check out these awesome best mountain hunting boots.
Best Weatherproof Two Way Radio for Hunter
A little rain should not stop you from enjoying the thrill of a hunt. This is why I recommend only using waterproof hunting gear. Speaking of waterproof, you will need the best weatherproof two-way radio for hunter that you can afford. If I had to recommend on I would go with the Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio.
Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio review
The Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio is not the cheapest on the market. However, given its features and rugged construction, it is well worth its rather hefty price tag. So, what makes this one of the best 2-way radios for outdoors use?
One of the best things about this radio is that it is waterproof. In fact, this radio can survive being submerged in water as well as heavy downpours. And that is not all, it also floats on water. This makes it an ideal option not only for hunters but also for anglers and paddlers.
8 repeater channels and 121 privacy codes
8 repeater channels and 121 privacy codes in addition to the standard 22 channels offer you the flexibility you need. You can minimize the chatter for more clarity. And thanks to the quiet talk filter you can whisper and still be heard
Motorola’s Vibral call is a vibrating alert feature to alert you when there is incoming communication. With this alert feature and the quiet talk filter feature, you can stay in touch with your friends while staying hidden.
The Ivox feature on this radio allows for easy hands-free communication without the need for an audio accessory. With this feature, you can stay in touch with your hunting party while on the go.
- Comes with a NiMH battery pack included, which lasts longer
- It is completely waterproof and can withstand heavy downpours
- Comes with weather alerts to alert you of the weather changes
- Can be used hands-free without an audio accessory
- Has an audible low battery alert
- It is quite expensive compared to other radios
- Weighs more than other two way radios
When it comes down to it, there are not many two way radios that can do what this Motorola creation can. And given that it is made by one of the best two way radio manufacturers its quality is unquestionable. Thus, despite its rather hefty price tag, it is well worth it.
Best Two Way for Hiking and Camping
Hunters are not the only outdoor enthusiasts who need two-way radios for keeping in touch. Campers and hikers also require these useful outdoor tools. And that is why some two-way radios are designed specifically for hiking and camping. And the best walkie talkie for hikers and campers is the BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way radio.
BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio Review
The BaoFeng BF-F8HP has a rugged and old school that makes it suitable for use in the outdoors. It is one of the best hand held Ham Radio. Unlike the other radios on this list, it has a simplistic control panel that is easy to use.
Three selectable power levels
One of the best things about this radio is that it has three selectable power levels, low, medium and high. Thus, you are able to adjust the power consumption based on your needs as well as remaining power.
Also, unlike the other models on this list, this high-performance radio features a 7-inch antennae that really improves its range. In addition to this, it is a dual band radio that works with UHF and VHF bands.
Impressive battery life
According to the manufacturer the 2000 Mah battery that comes with this radio can last for up to 24 hours. While there might be some exaggeration I have to admit that this radio has one of the best batteries I have ever seen.
To make it easy to use, the radio comes with a user manual. While this radio is not that complicated, I found the user manual to be of great help. This is especially with regards to customization options
- Has an impressively long lasting battery
- Uses both VHF and UHF bands
- Has an impressive outdoor range of about 12 miles
- The rugged outer shell is designed for outdoor use
- It is quite heavy
This Bao Feng is a great piece of communication hardware packed with all the features you need. So, while it does have an unconventional design, it more than gets the job done. Its rugged outer shell is built to withstand harsh climatic weather and the occasional knock.
Best Waterproof Two Way Radio For Waterfowl & Fishing Trips
When it comes to fishing and waterfowl hunting, there are several waterproof radios you can opt for. However, I recommend going for the Midland LXT630VP3 36-Channel GMRS with 30-Mile Range radio.
Midland LXT630VP3 36-Channel GMRS Radio Review
The Midland LXT630VP3 is one of the best cheap two way radios out there. It is packed with a number of useful features that make it one of the best Waterproof Two Way Radio For Waterfowl & Fishing Trips
One of the standout features of this radio is its 36 channels. Instead of the standard 22 channels, this radio has 36 channels and 121 privacy codes. Thus in total, you have about 2662 channel options to choose from.
NOAA weather alerts
Another thing that I loved about this radio is the weather alerts feature. With this feature, the radio locks on to local weather channel to keep you updated on weather patterns.
When fishing noise is the one thing you have to be wary about. Thankfully, this radio comes with a silent operation feature that turns off all sounds. Thus, it operates quietly without spooking your prey.
Backlit LCD display
The backlit LCD display on the front of the radio is clear and super bright. With its backlighting, it is visible even in low lighting. This makes it ideal for fishing since most fishing activities are done at night or in low visibility.
- It is offered at an affordable price.
- Has an impressive range of 30 miles
- It is weather resistant and can, therefore, withstand harsh weather
- Comes with more than the standard 22 channels
- Lets you adjust power setting to conserve battery life
- The extra channels mean scanning takes longer
- The extra channels are not new but rather a pre-programmed mix of FRS and GMRS channels
This Midland radio comes with a high visibility yellow case, and an all-around ergonomic design. It might not appeal to big game hunters due to its color, but it is still a great radio. This is especially when you consider how much you are getting it for. This radio costs less than $50 and is why it is rated as one of the BEST WATERPROOF TWO-WAY RADIO FOR WATERFOWL & FISHING TRIPS.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do two-way radios work?
Answer: two-way radios function by transmitting and receiving radio waves, on a single shared frequency band.
Question: How to find two-way radio frequency?
Answer: There are two types of frequencies used in 2-way radios, VHF or very high frequency and UHF or ultra-high frequency. Finding a frequency will entail adjusting the frequency button on your radio until you get the optimal frequency, which is usually 130 to 174 MHz
Question: Do I need an FCC license for two-way radios?
Answer: Yes for radios that use General Mobile Radio Services
Question: How to get fcc license for two way radio
Answer: To apply for an FCC license you need to fill out two forms a form 605 and a form 159 which can be got from the FCC pages website.
Question: What is a two-way radio used for?
Answer: Two-way radios are mainly used for outdoor communication between groups of people
Question: How far do two-way radios work?
Answer: In optimal conditions free of obstacles two-way radios can work for as far as 50 miles. However, in realistic outdoor conditions, the range is much shorter due to obstacles.
Question: what two-way radio has the longest range
Answer: the radio with the longest range are those that use the UHF frequency
A two-way radio is a handy tool to have as an outdoor enthusiast. You never know when things will go wrong. And with the wide variety of options available choosing, one can be overwhelming. It is my hope that this article has been of help to you as you plan on buying a new two-way radio. And that now you have an idea of which is the BEST TWO WAY RADIOS for hunting