Some people might object to buying from our guide the best long-range walkie-talkies. Really? A walkie-talkie in this day and age? Isn’t that for kids?
Truthfully, these two-way radios are helpful in many situations.
Examples include if you are in a low-coverage cell area with heavy rain or reduced visibility due to smoke from a nearby wildfire. Or perhaps you enjoy the great outdoors in a forest or the mountains.
Whatever the case, we’ve put together the best professional selection.
Some features we’ll be looking for are range, durability, waterproofing, battery life, voice clarity, and encryption, among others.
Let’s dive right in!
The best long-range walkie-talkies
The shortlist of the ones we deserve are the top of the line include:
|DEWALT DXFRS800 2 Watt Heavy Duty Walkie Talkies – Waterproof, Shock Resistant, Long Range & Rechargeable Two-Way Radio with VOX (2 Pack)||Check Price on Amazon|
|Ailunce HD1 DMR Radio, Digital Dual Band Two way Radio, GPS IP67 Waterproof FM Radio, SMS 3000 CH 200000 Contacts 3200mAh, Long Range Handheld walkie talkie for Camping Traveling (1 Pack)||Check Price on Amazon|
|pxton Walkie Talkies Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios with Earpieces,2-Way Radios UHF Handheld Transceiver Walky Talky with Flashlight Li-ion Battery and Charger（2 Pack）||Check Price on Amazon|
|Walkie Talkies, MOICO Long Range Walkie Talkies for Adults with 22 FRS Channels, Family Walkie Talkie with LED Flashlight VOX LCD Display for Hiking Camping Trip (Orange 2 Pack)||Check Price on Amazon|
|Motorola Talkabout T800 Two-Way Radios, 2 Pack, Black/Blue||Check Price on Amazon|
Long-range walkie-talkies reviews
1. Moico Long-Range Walkie-talkie.
Moico is a Chinese brand that has come up with this cheap radio. Surprisingly, it works pretty well for the price tag and comes with some features one would expect from higher-end models.
It ranges between 3 miles (ca. 5 km) to 5 miles (ca. 8 km) of operation when you are out in the open, with no natural barriers or buildings.
Of course, that range will rapidly diminish depending on the surroundings; inside buildings, it may not be what you want or expect.
It has 22 FRS channels, and it supports the hands-free operation.
Furthermore, it doesn’t come with rechargeable batteries. Instead, you have to feed it AAA batteries for it to work.
The voice sound is clear, and it has little feedback.
2. Motorola T800 Two-way Radios
Motorola is a solid and trustworthy brand that reflects on the unit. It is well-built and comes with some exciting features.
It has GPS, so you can text and send your location to another Motorola radio, provided they are in range. Note that this is a great feature you won’t find on many devices.
Another is the ability to pair via Bluetooth to your phone, enabling additional functions via their app.
One thing we don’t like is their false advertisement. You’ll never get the 35 miles (ca. 56 km) voice range from the radio part; it likely is because of pairing it with your cell phone.
Don’t be fooled! Many users think they’ll get the 35 and find they get stuck with less than a mile of proper reception, depending on where they are using it.
3. Pxton Rechargeable 2-Way Radios
Pxton is another Chinese brand that brings quality products to the market.
These devices are meant for heavy use by regular or professional users. Therefore, they come with features like earpieces, rechargeable docks, belt clips, hands-free operation, and rechargeable batteries.
The rechargeable batteries can take between 3 and 4 hours to charge fully. So you can get 8 to 12 hours of almost continual operation.
The range is similar to the above models, with 0.5 miles (0.8 km) indoors and up to 3 miles (ca. 5 km) in an outdoor coastal scenario.
4. Ailunce HD1 DMR Radio Waterproof
Many radio enthusiasts and professionals rave about this radio, and for a good reason! It comes jam-packed with features:
- GPS function.
- IP67 Waterproof.
- FM and DMR radio.
- Rock solid build quality.
- 3000 channels in 256 zones.
- Can encrypt communications.
- Support for SMS text messages.
- 3200 mAh large battery capacity.
- Supports digital and analog communication.
- Versatility to engage with HAM repeaters, GMRS radios, etc.
However, there are a few negatives to know about:
- Encryption is proprietary. That means you can only communicate with others who have the same radio.
- You won’t find many compatible accessories to add to the unit.
- It’s way pricier than the others we’ve reviewed.
5. DeWalt Heavy Duty Rechargeable Two-Way Radio
Saving the best for last is the DeWalt model. It has enough features to thrill us without being overly expensive.
- With 2 watts of power, you get up to 300,000 sq. ft. of signal range. That’s enough to cover around 25 floors.
- It can withstand a 2-meter drop and has an anti-slip design.
- It is waterproof with an IP67 rating. That means it can endure 30 minutes under 1 meter of water.
- Has UHF/FM capabilities.
- It lasts for up to 18 hours of continuous work with rechargeable batteries.
- It is a trusted brand.
Chris Says: I own this device and can confidently say it is an excellent choice! The voice quality is super strong, and the range is among the best in rugged terrain.
In addition, I’ve tested it against other models from my neighbors and friends, and there is simply no comparison…
Our Long-range walkie-talkies selection criteria
When we choose these radios, we look at the following features.
First, we rejected anything below 1 mile (1.61 km) as a toy for children. Therefore, most of our selections work within a distance of 1 to 3 miles (ca. 5 km).
They are sufficient for most outdoor tasks, like coordinating with your family during a low-visibility scenario or enjoying the outdoors.
The more output the handheld receiver has, the longer its range.
My first walkie-talkie was from China. It was a cheap piece of junk that broke the first time I went camping.
Sometimes it’s best to pay a little more but get something in return that can take a slight beating. Or at least that can withstand a few drops to the ground.
Trust me on this one! Invest a little more, and you’ll be thankful in the long run.
Waterproof vs. Splash-Proof
Every extra feature comes with an increase in the price tag, and this one is no exception. A waterproof two-way radio can withstand submersion in a liquid for a few minutes.
In contrast, a splash-proof device can resist for a few minutes if you accidentally drop your beer on your talkie. Provided you make an effort to clean it up hastily.
I recommend you avoid buying a product that is not at least splash-proof.
Like your phone, a walkie-talkie needs energy. That can come from a rechargeable battery.
And, like your phone, it will work for only a few hours before dying on you.
So, depending on your needs, you might want to buy a radio with a more lasting battery. If not, either walk around with a portable charger or stick to replaceable batteries.
To hear or not to hear, that is the question…!
Depending on the device and technology employed, the audio quality can be either:
It can be so great that you think you are talking over a cell phone…
On the other hand, it can be so bad that you’ll believe the other person is talking underwater.
FRS vs. GMRS
FRS means Family Radio Service, a set of frequencies that are free for anyone to use for communication.
Simply put, FRS works okay at short distances and is cheaper.
In general, due to the frequency and 2 watts output restrictions, you’ll get around 2 km (ca. 1.24 miles) of range.
GMRS means General Mobile Radio Service. You get a 50-watt maximum output restriction and can use more antennas and repeaters.
As a result, GMRS has the best audio clarity and range, but it’s a lot pricier. In addition, you’ll require a license to operate it (HAM license).
Digital, encryption, or go analog!
Analog is generally cheaper. However, anyone with a bit of understanding of communications can listen in on your transmission. (Just like in the movies!)
Going digital allows you to get more quality, but that doesn’t mean you get encryption by default. However, if someone wants to listen to your communications, they’ll have to spend on better-quality interception gear.
Encryption (or military encryption level if you go for the top-end models) allows you to secure your communications.
Any intercepting user will need the key to decrypt the transmission, which is not something an average Joe can handle.
You have to be an expert to understand and manage wavelengths on your radio.
The short version is that lower frequencies using narrow bandwidths can travel longer distances, but not so much for digital frequencies.
High-frequency bands (HF bands) travel further. However, you require big antennas, which get super hot, and there’s much lag in the transmission.
Ultra-high frequency (UHF) works far better, transmitting data and audio fast. However, it requires a direct line-of-sight (LOS) to work correctly.
Some high-end models come with some extra features that can be interesting depending on your needs, tastes, and budget:
- Electronic compass
- Voice activation
- Hands-free operation
Last but certainly not least, pricing is a thing to consider. Chinese radios are generally cheaper, but their endurance or features are not the best.
- In the lesser price bracket, expect to pay around US$ 50 to US$ 100.
- Your average radio will come between US$ 100 and US$ 250. These models begin to have digital capabilities, better range, battery, endurance, and features.
- Premium radios start at US$ 250 and upwards.
Remember that you get what you pay!
The list above makes it easy to see that the best long-range walkie-talkies will be highly customizable. They can come with different features to fulfill a wide range of needs.
Many of these features are built into the digital walkie-talkies, which makes for a somewhat affordable option.
We sincerely hope this guide helps you to choose your next two-way radio.