Two-way radios and walkie talkie are generally the same thing which operates by sending and receiving signals for communication. Since the two-way radio/ walkie talkie has an antenna of its own, the walkie talkie will not require a tower to send signals.
Actually, there is even camouflaged walkie talkie which are specifically designed to cater for hunters. But to me, I think choosing the right two-way radio/ walkie talkie depends very much on its specifications and performance.
Why do you need a two-way radio/ walkie talkie?
When you are hunting, you would want to stay in touch with your friends at different hunting spots for several reasons. This may be due to
Furthermore, two-way radios are really rugged, lightweight and even compact because they are made for such a scenario.
Note: Since animals will also camouflage with their surroundings, I would recommend the use of binoculars for seeing in near vision while spotting scopes are used to see at farther places. Here are tips to care for your binoculars too.
Top two-way radio or walkie talkie comparison table
If you are looking for a quick glance on the specification of each walkie talkie, you can refer to the table below.
|Product||Range||Channels||Signal||Number of units||Privacy Codes||Price|
|Motorola MH230TPR||23 miles||22||FRS/GMRS||3||121||$$$|
|Midland GXT1050VP4||35 miles||50||FRS/GMRS||2||142||$$|
|Motorola MT352R FRS||35 miles||22||FRS||2||121||$$$|
|Cobra microTalk CXR925||35 miles||10||FRS/GMRS||2||142||$$|
|Uniden Submersible FRS/GMRS||50 miles||22||GMRS||2||121||$$$$|
Criteria to consider before buying a two-way radio/ walkie talkie
Range of coverage
Although there are many two-way radios that has a range up to 25 miles in a very clear day, it should be wise to take note that it is not the case in the real world. Nearly ninety percent of the time, you will meet some obstacles when you are hunting.
The range of coverage is also highly dependent on the radio channels used. For FRS-only models, you can put out a maximum of half watt for FRS which gives you a range of 5 to 6 miles. But for GMRS channels, it can allow a power output of 50 watts which can aid you to have a coverage from 8 miles to a total of 25 miles!
The range of coverage required is highly dependent on the topography and weather of where you hunt. There may be many trees obstructing the signals of the two-way radio which means you need a stronger signal for that case.
A rule of thumb is that two-way radios that uses higher wattage can have a wider range of coverage but it is generally more expensive and it sucks your battery life.
Hence, you have to weigh out the need for coverage and battery life. Ask yourself, do you really need a wide range of coverage? What is the behavior of the animal you are hunting for? These questions can save you a load of trouble in the near future.
For example, if you purchase a two-way radio just to keep track of your family members when they are out in the wild with you, a low wattage FRS two-way radio may be just the right pick.
Size and weight
This factor is highly dependent on individual preference but there is still some basic guidelines to adhere to for a best-fit two-way radio.
If you are the kind of person who loves to venture out in the outdoors and move a whole lot, a lightweight walkie talkie will do the trick. As for this case, having a walkie talkie that is not too bulky should be considered because it can save you a whole lot of space in your hunting backpack. If you are interested for some rangefinder binoculars, please look at the post here. As for the binoculars which are at the cheaper side of the spectrum, you can check out here.
There is also a tip to choose a walkie talkie which is the same length as its antenna. This will ensure that the two-way radio will provide maximum coverage in the most compact size possible.
Usually when we are in areas which are busy in signals, all of the 22 channels can be easily occupied. It is because of this reasons many two-way radios now come with a Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) or Continuous Digital Coded Squelch System (CDCSS) which will allow you to subdivide main channels. These subdivided channels will be equipped with privacy codes will help you to contact a specific person easily.
The use of privacy codes can help you to reduce and not eliminate outside chatter which is a real pain when you need to decipher what your friends are saying to you.
A very important note is that privacy codes will definitely not make your chat private where it can still be accessed by a third party. It is a tool to eliminate interference and not block out any other people from receiving the signals.
Availability of weather radios
If your radio has NOAA weather band stations, you can listen to your local forecast for the weather patterns in your hunting location. It would be awesome if your two-way radio can effectively get signals from weather forecast of your local area providing the alerts of bad weather if there is one.
This is a really beneficial tool because you do not want to hunt while you are drenched in rain!
The Motorola MH230TPR has an advertised range of up to 23 miles under a favorable condition. It is stated by the company that the communication range quoted is calculated based on unobstructed line of sight test which is under optimum conditions where there is zero structural or atmospheric interference. Since the actual range will depend on the terrain you are in, it will be much less than what is stated.
A rough guide on the communication range, you can get over 20 miles when you are in the hills with very little obstruction. This is an extremely good feat for a two-way radio. You can bet that you will be able to hear everyone clearly too. Then, the line of sight for this radios are really good too.
The two-way radio comes in a package with three earbuds with push-to-talk microphones equipped for your comfort. There is even one dual desktop charger, three belt clips, one wall adaptor and three rechargeable (NiMH) batteries. Since there are only 2 radio charger stand, you can pick only two walkie talkie to charge at a time. You have the option to get a USB to charge your third walkie talkie.
Next, the size of the two-way radio is considerably small and it is light in weight too. As a bonus, there is even a built-in LED flashlight for unexpected emergencies.
Furthermore, the two-way radio has a total of 22 channels. Each channel is equipped with 121 privacy codes which can account for 2662 combinations. The Motorola MH230TPR also has a privacy monitor where the “privacy mode” can be activated and you will only be able to talk to other Motorola of the same modal. If you still want more privacy, you can use the sub channels available.
As a bonus, you can have custom alert tones for each call you receive. Hence, you will be able to know which person is calling you when the two-way radio rings.
In addition, you will be satisfied with the quality of sound these Motorola MH230TPR two-way radio will provide as there would basically be no static or interference. You can get really loud and clear communication which will not lose signal especially when you are out in the wilderness. The use of hand phones will provide weak signals because the wilderness has less or no satellite coverage.
If you have children who are still too young to own a cell-phone, these two-way radios will be perfect for you to bring them into the wilderness while tracking them to make sure they are safe.
As for the batteries, the two-way radio is dual powered which can last up to a total of 10 hours. You would need three alkaline AAA batteries or it can be 8 hours if it is used carelessly. The batteries given are made from the chemical compound of NiMH. You will definitely be amazed by the battery life because it can sustain long hours of heavy use. Remember to charge your batteries correctly so that it can last longer.
Just charge it full and you can aspect to use it for several weeks and the battery will still not get fully depleted after that heavy use. Just charge them at night and you are ready for the next day.
Moreover, Motorola MH230TPR has 11 weather channels which includes all seven NOAA weather channels. This also comes with alert and scan feature which is very useful for forecasting the news. Not only you get a hand-held walkie talkie for communicating with your buddies, you also get a fully-fledged weather radio in your one-off purchase.
The two-way radio can carry alert options which is almost the same as the NOAA weather radios which warns you about the weather in the place of your interest.
These two-way radio also comes with iVOX hands-free communication which does not need any audio accessory for usage. Basically, the iVOX feature will allow you to speak hands-free which means you do not have to waste time to pull up the walkie talkie up-close to talk. They act like a speaker where the iVOX will not obstruct you when speaking.
As for the negative aspects of this two-way radio, the button on the side may be a little difficult for you to push and activate the microphones. The 3 pairs of earpieces that came with the set is also a little bit sensitive too.
In conclusion, the Motorola MH230TPR two-way radio has really great quality, good range and amazing battery life. Also, these two-way radios are considerably cheap and provides really good performance for intended functions. Not only you get a two-way communicator / weather radio, the set also include charging unit and other accessories! Even if you use it long-term, you will still get good communication range and battery life.
First off, the dimension for this two-way radio is 2.44” x 7.91” x 1.52”.
Moreover, you are getting really great HT for the price. There are a total of 50 channels provided by the two-way radio with a stated communication range of up to 36 miles. There are actually 22 channels plus 28 extra channels if you fulfill the conditions. No doubt that you can get clear and crisp communication with a button which is easy-to-reach. The radios are already giving you maximum output power with the Xtreme Range Technology used for better coverage.
Furthermore, a rough estimation is that in a bad condition and a heavily wooded area, the place can have a coverage of nearly 6 miles in a clear area with no obstructions. As for the line of sight, you can still see it even after 100 yards with many in-between obstructions.
Just like most two-way radios, the maximum range can be achieved only when you are over water or even open rural areas. This is provided there is optimum conditions which takes into account the weather.
Then, the two-way radio has features such as having privacy codes while providing direct or even group calling. There are a total of 285 privacy codes which can provide you with u to 6270 channel options which aids significantly in blocking other conversations. You can definitely hear your partner really clearly. It is either you can hear your buddy clearly without any static or you would not get a signal at all.
If you are a little bit clumsy, do not worry as this two-way radio has JIS4 waterproof protection. There is basically protection from water at all directions which is used to defense against rain or even splashing water.
There are even NOAA weather radio which will alert you of the coming storm, silent operation, whisper function and even a SOS siren. As for the people avid about the wilderness, there is even five animal call alerts included in the radio. For the five animal call alerts, the animals included are turkey, duck, crow, cougar and wolf. The vibrate alerts would be great too.
Additionally, the Midland GXT1050VP4 two-way radio has a total of 9 levels of VOX for hands free operation. Not only that, the Push to Talk button works extremely well and it is solidly built.
The NOAA weather alert radio will automatically lock onto your local weather channel to provide relevant information. Basically, you will have all the hazard weather channels that comes with alerts and even weather scans for better prediction.
There are even 10 call alerts which are different call tunes where you can customize for yourself. With this, you can immediately get notified which group is calling you.
I would suggest getting the Midland GXT1050VP4 with camouflage which is the Mossy Oak Break Out camo. It would be much better for hunting as most animals will not be able to spot the radio.
Also, the two-way radio is really rugged and weatherproof package which is really suitable for hunting.
As for the physical aspect of the Midland GXT1050VP4, the two-way radio is relatively robust as it can withstand much more pressure than most of their peers.
Talking about the batteries, the Midland GXT1050VP4 two-way radio can last to about 10 hours a day. Make sure you charge the batteries fully before use so that you can use the two-way radio in the most efficient manner possible.
Then, the Midland GXT1050VP4 has X-TRA TALK Power which is the maximum allowed by the law. According to the law, the FCC limits the total amount of power output to 5 watts on all GMRS radios. A SOS siren will enable you to be able for sending out signals if you are met with an emergency in the wilderness.
Even so, the walkie talkie may be bulky in size and larger than other radios which may be a bit uncomfortable to carry. They will still fit into your shirt or pants pocket though. It can even be equipped on your belt clip if you have one.
To conclude briefly, the Midland GXT1050VP4 has an excellent communication range coverage and a camouflage finish which makes it perfect for hunting. There are even included headsets with the walkie talkie having a lot of features. Definitely one of the better value radios in the market. There is even one year of warranty provided by Midlands.
To start off, the Motorola Talkabout MT352R is made for hunting as it can withstand extreme weather conditions and harsh environments. These two-way radios can be handheld too.
Then, this two-way radio has a stated range of up to 35 miles which is great for hunting and other similar outdoor activities. With this set of two-way radios, you can stay connected with your loved ones despite the bad weather conditions or uneven land. These walkie talkie can go up to 0.5 miles crystal clear, 0.6 miles with a little noise. You can get more than 2 miles of communication if you are on a free driveway and more! You will be surprised with how clear you will get!
Furthermore, the Motorola Talkabout MT352R two-way radio is equipped with VibraCall silent vibrating ringer which is extremely useful to stop your walkie talkie from ringing while scaring off your prey. If you do not want your call to be intrusive especially during a sporting event, this function can help you to do just that.
The Motorola Talkabout MT352R two-way radio has 22 channels while each is fixed with 121 privacy codes which can make up to about 2662 combinations.
The size of this two-way radio is 7.89” x 1.57” x 2.81” and it weighs about 5.44 ounces.
Also, the Motorola Talkabout MT352R two-way radio is suited for hands-free communication. Especially when you found your target and want to communicate with your comrades to lock-in on the target, you need to make sure that your hands are free for other functions. This two-way radio comes with iVOX which acts similarly to a speaker phone where you will experience hands-free communication. Now, you can continue your movement without the need to purposely answer a call.
To add on, there is even emergency alert features where the built-in LED flashlight and the NOAA weather channels can help you to prepare for emergency through communication. Keep yourself updated with the latest weather forecast!
Moreover, the battery that this two-way radio use is Lithium ion. The battery for this two-way radio is superior to that of its peers as it can last to about 15 hours. If you want to be in the field for longer hours, this would be the walkie talkie for you.
For the Motorola Talkabout MT352R two-way radio, there is a Push-To-Talk Power Boost which allows for extra power. When you activate it, it can allow you to extend your transmission range by augmenting the transmitter power output because the more power used efficiently, the greater the transmission coverage. You can also save your battery juice by disabling the power boost function when not needed.
In addition, the Motorola Talkabout MT352R two-way radio is equipped with Talkabout Clear. It is basically a highly efficient class D amplifier. The Motorola Talkabout (MT) series of radio can deliver enhanced sound quality by significantly reducing the distortions especially at high volumes.
To shed more light on the weatherproof capabilities of the Motorola Talkabout MT352R two-way radio, it is proofed to have an IP-54 rating where the ID design makes it excellent for all kinds of weather. Basically, the two-way radio is protected from dust and wet weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow falling. In the IP-54, the 5 basically stands for dust resistance while the 4 is for water resistance. There would be protection against contact with other objects and this radio is immune to water splashing.
Since you are provided with a mini-USB charger, you can use the two-way radio conveniently anywhere! You can use the mini-USB charger at home or even when you are outside. If you are having a long hunting trip, you can even utilize the mini-USB car charger too. Basically, you even have the option to charge it with your desktop charger by using the mini-USB PC cable to charge the two-way radio when there is no power plugs nearby. Even if the above options are not available, you can just put in a standard set of alkaline batteries for longer use.
To conclude, the Motorola Talkabout MT352R two-way radio comes in a packet with good radios, 2 NiMH rechargeable batteries, 2 belt clips, 1 Y cable wall adapter (which also includes 2 mini-USB connectors for charging), 1 Emergency Preparedness checklist sheet, 1 walkie talkie user guide and one accessories sheet. This will be definitely a good buy as you will get a weather resistant with a considerably amount of power two-way radio.
The Cobra Walkie Talkie micro talk CXR925 has a stated communication range of up to 35 miles. This two-way radio has a UHF/FM feature where you can get an ultra-clear long distance reception. Although the stated extended range capacity is 35 miles, the range will still vary depending on the terrain and weather conditions present. Definitely the walkie talkie for you if you go to a no cell-phone service area.
As a rough estimation in contrary to the advertised communication range, the Cobra Walkie Talkie microTalk can have up to 5 miles of range. If you know how to use this walkie talkie properly and in the right conditions, the communication range can even go up to 10 miles.
Moreover, the Cobra walkie talkie has the standard 22 channels and 142 privacy codes for private channels for clearer communication. Within the 142 privacy codes, 38 of them is CTCSS codes and 104 DCS codes. The security code feature is extremely useful as it can allow you to hear each other with your buddy without any interception.
If you still crave for more features, the Cobra Walkie Talkie microTalk has hands-free operating system which is the VOX. With the VibroAlert silent paging, you can activate it to make sure you are smooth and quiet with the animals. There are a total of 10 selectable tone for call alerts, scanning functions to scan channels which can be equipped with privacy codes and a single pin speaker.
As for the coverage, you can even select high or even low power GMRS, where high power means better coverage but more battery consumption. If you are not satisfied, you can utilize the maximum range extender too.
There is even a key lock and a roger beep which can be activated or deactivated. Not only that, the two-way radio has key stroke tones which is optional, a low-battery indicator, power saver mode, the interface shows the signal strength meter, an auto squelch and a belt clip.
Then, there is a total of 10 channels for the NOAA radio where you can get all the latest weather forecast. You can get storm and emergency alerts from the NOAA radio.
Also, the Cobra walkie talkie is powered with Li-ion (Lithium ion) batteries. For a quick comparison with other batteries used by its peers, the Li-ion batteries can last for a longer period of time and they even weigh less!
As for the extra features, there is even a rewind Say-Again Digital Voice Recorder to put your chats into memory. Basically, the voice recorder will allow you to playback the voice recorded in the last 20 seconds of audio, transmit save message or even record messages for your own self.
Furthermore, the Cobra Walkie Talkie micro talk CXR925 comes with 2 rechargeable Lithium ion batteries that comes with a desk charger. Talking about complete, the complete set of rechargeable batteries comes with 2-port desktop mini-charger.
The only drawback is there is no car charger but the manufacturer say you can build your own adapter and ask them for the wiring information.
To conclude, you can get the Cobra Walkie Talkie micro talk CXR925 with a ROHS lead-free packaging.
Uniden Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios (GMR5089-2CKHS) (with Charging Kit – Dark Grey) (Review)
First and foremost, the Uniden submersible two-way radio has a total coverage of 50 miles which is a really large range! This two-way radio has all the functions of a walkie talkie and more. Even if you plan to use it around your house only, this walkie talkie would be perfect by providing clear signals and communication.
Moreover, the Uniden Submersible two-way radio has a total of 22 channels for communicating. There are also 142 privacy codes which is necessary when you want to block out unnecessary signals. The radio can obtain signals from FRS and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service).
Furthermore, there are 10 call tones available for the Uniden 50 miles’ two-way radio. You can stay in touch with a few buddies nearly 50 miles which still of course depend on the terrain and other external factors. With this, you can keep each other informed regarding what is happening from your teammates.
One thing to note, you will not be able to get a long distance range on any two-way radio as advertised by the manufacturer. Basically, you cannot accomplish over two miles of coverage for a simple two-way radio. This is not a long-range communication unit and it is merely for collaboration for hunting or other activities. Do not believe in the listed ranges because it is listed based on the FCC, where it is the coverage of an ideal condition. As a rough guideline, the range of communication on open water is nearly 3 miles.
The rating of coverage is just for promotional purposes in all two-way radio and it is the norm in this industry. But this is still well-made enough and perform in realistic distances.
You would also need to have license for several channels in the two-way radio. You need an FCC GMRS license to use several functions.
As for the size, this two-way radio is as big as your palm making it much easier for you to grab it while your other hand is busy doing other things. Also, the sound in this walkie talkie is amazingly clear, this makes it feels very professional.
Not only that, the Uniden submersible 50 miles two-way radio can access to the latest weather forecast from the NOAA so that you can fit your plans according to the weather! With the Uniden GMR-5089 you can keep yourself and your family safe from unfavorable weather conditions. The two-way radio can even feature a Weather Radio Broadcast mode which will allow you to select a weather channel to get the latest weather alerts from the NOAA. You can definitely stay safe and informed with NOAA weather alerts!
Not only is the Uniden FRS/GMRS radios lightweight, they are extremely rugged. Turning water-proofing to a whole new level, Uniden has made these two-way radios fully submersible in water and still be functional. Even if you drop it into a river and have a hard time reaching it, the two-way radio even floats to the surface of the water to prevent further damage. You can use this two-way radio with zero worries because the radio will float back up for easy retrieval when it is dropped into water.
They can sustain falls from bikes and drops while you are hiking up the mountain. Just make sure you do not go overboard and leave the two-way radio outside.
To shed more light on the submersibility of this radio, this two-way radio complies with JIS7 water submersion specifications which means it can be submerged into three feet of water for a period of 30 minutes without any damage.
It is also noteworthy that the sound transmitted by the two-way radio is very clear and almost static free.
All and all, you can bet that you will be safe and stay in contact with your buddies during hunting. The Uniden Submersible 50 mile FRS/GMRS two-way radio is also perfect for hiking and even boating. Definitely worth the money to get a durable two-way radio which you can set up to a total of 50 miles in range!
Having two-way radios are a necessity be it communicating with your buddies just to increase your success rate in hunting or even tracking the safety of your family members! These are the 5 best walkie talkies/ two-way radios that are really good in price and performance. What do you think is the best walkie talkie in the market right now? Please share in the comment section below.
Side note: It would be better if you are able to navigate your way through the thick marsh by using a GPS.