Last Updated on September 2, 2020
Are you looking for the best BaoFeng radio? I’ve reviewed them and in this article you will see the best of these amazing radios.
Being able to communicate when you are in an emergency situation and out in the woods is important. If your cell phone fails you, then you need to make sure that you have the best tech to help you make it through the crisis.
BaoFeng radios are designed to meet your communication needs while still being highly affordable. These are some of my favorites available.
Check out the quick list below for price and customer reviews of my picks if you are in a hurry, or read on for the full reviews:
- BaoFeng UV-5R UHF VHF Dual Band Two Way Radio Five Pack
- BaoFeng UV-5R UHF VHF Dual Band Two Way Radio Walkie Talkie w/ Earpieces
- BaoFeng BF-888S Two Way Radio and USB Programming Cable 10 Pack
- BaoFeng BF-F8HP Eaight Watt Dual Band Two Way Radio Full Kit
- BaoFeng UV-82HP High Power Dual Band Radio Portable Two Way
- Baofeng UV 5RA Ham Two Way Radio
- Baofeng DM-1701 Dual Band Analog Two Way Radio
- Baofeng BF-888S Two Way Mobile Radio
- BaoFeng Pofung GT-3TP Mark III Two Way Radio
- BaoFeng Tri-Band UV 5RX3 Walkie Talkie
The best way to find the right BaoFeng radio for you is to think about the features that are the most important to you. Then compare the available models until you find one that offers the features that you need.
I make it sound so simple right?
I know how overwhelming this can be, especially if you are just starting your research into BaoFeng radios.
By considering the following features, you will find that choosing the perfect radio for your needs is a lot faster and easier.
One of the first things that you will want to take into consideration is how many channels the radio offers.
The more channels that there are, the better your chances of being able to communicate with others, which becomes increasingly important when you are in an emergency situation.
Most amateurs can enjoy a radio that only offers 128 to 200 channels, but there are some radios that have up to 1,000 channels!
You also need to take into consideration the type of antenna that is included with your radio.
While you can update your antenna to one that will better meet your needs, this plays a huge role in the sound quality that you enjoy when using your radio, as well as how far away you can be when communicating with others.
BaoFeng Radio Advantages
Because BaoFeng radios are so portable, durable, and small, you can either use them in the safety of your own home or take them with you on the road.
I seriously love these radios and there are models for the beginner up to the expert.
They are great for ham radio enthusiasts, as well as those who hold GMRS licenses.
This means that you can easily connect with others either for your own enjoyment or when you are faced with an emergency or need information during a grid-down situation and you can’t communicate via other methods.
Unlike other types of walkie-talkies that masquerade as being as powerful as BaoFeng radios, these have significantly larger ranges.
This means that you can easily reach other people and authorities, although your communication and range will be affected by terrain, as well as your environment.
But this is the case with all two ways.
What to Look For
Many BaoFeng radios come with features that the beginner and intermediate operator will find useful.
Some come with a built-in flashlight and the ability to listen to radio broadcasts.
This ensures that you can stay in the loop when you are not near your home or car radio.
For the best use of your new radio, you will want to look for one that allows you to monitor two different frequencies at once.
This allows you to keep it on your normal channel for regular communications, as well as to listen in on another channel quickly.
Doing so will let you scan emergency channels for problems and disasters. This is a HUGE bonus!
How to Use Your New BaoFeng Radio
Many BaoFeng radios require you to program them.
And while they are all a little different, there are many guides online that can walk you through this process and make it easier for you to understand and to complete.
After you have programmed your radio, you will be able fire it up!
I recommend considering updating your antenna right away so that you can choose a better one that will provide you with superior performance. (Check out the video below)
By setting one channel to be the channel that you use to communicate with your group and another to scan mode, you can constantly be updated when there are problems or situations in your area.
One neat feature that I like, when I am listening to the radio on walks in the neighborhood is that broadcasts over the two channels will override the music from the radio so that you can hear the broadcast.
When the broadcast is over the radio station will fade back in. This handy feature has prevented me from missing out on important information when listening to the radio.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
It’s important to remember that these are not toys.
BaoFeng’s are incredibly powerful radios that will allow you to connect with others in a wide ranging area.
(Disclaimer) Because they operate with GMRS frequencies and ham frequencies, you need to make sure that you have the correct license to legally operate these radios.
It’s important to check with your local authorities and make sure that you take the necessary classes to get your license before trying to operate your new radios.
Best BaoFeng Radio
These powerful BaoFeng radios offer a number of different features from prior models, making them great if you are advanced and already know how to correctly use a BaoFeng radio. They can easily be programmed via the keypad or connected to your computer if you want more power and control over settings. Not only are these radios versatile, they are lightweight and easy to carry with you anywhere you go.
This is an incredibly powerful radio, which means that it is best suited for an intermediate or advanced user thanks to all of the features that it offers. It’s important that you only buy these if you are tech-savvy as they do not come with any pre-programmed software, so you need to download a driver and free software on your own. However, once they are set up, they offer clear sound from miles away. If you are not comfortable programming it is something fairly easy to find help with.
This BaoFeng radio is a much better option for beginners who don’t have a lot of experience using radios and are unsure of how to set up their new communication device. While you still need to set up the software and program the radio, it is incredibly easy to do so, and most people won’t have any difficulties.
Using the programming cable and CHIRP you can easily set up your new radio so that you can start using it right away. And thanks to the three power settings, you won’t have to worry about draining your battery too quickly. While the included antenna is powerful, if you want to upgrade your unit and make sure that you can clearly communicate with others, it’s a good idea to replace it with something a little more powerful and advanced.
This is a powerful BaoFeng radio that will allow you to easily communicate long distances in an emergency. Being able to tune into radio stations will also help you stay connected while out of your home. This radio performs very well inside a car, while others are often inhibited when used in vehicles. It’s a great option for any radio enthusiast who is on a budget.
Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio
This is an excellent mobile uv handheld radio. It has fifty privacy codes that are programmable. It comes equipped with a battery saver function, key lock, and a built in flashlight. I found this particularly handy. Comes able to CTCSS and DCS scanning along with CTCSS and DCS direct input. This Baofeng radio has an emergency alarm and a background light selector. This is one of Baofeng’s best value mobile ham radios making perfect for work or home use and your go bag.
- 105 Codes DCS with 50 privacy codes
- CTCSS and DCS scanning and direct input
- Durable for a mobile ham radio
- Excellent value
- Some have reported the charger life is short
Baofeng DM-1701 Dual Band DMR Analog Two Way Radio
This is a high end mobile ham radio that is perfect for those who do not want to comprimise on performance and features. It is both digital and analog compatible including VHF and UHF bands. The multi function display is easy to read reach the features. You can scan both the digital and analog channels along with five keys that can be customized for the features you use the most. All software and firmware updates are free for the lifetime you own it. Seriously, the feature list is long and they work well. This is one of the best mobile Baofeng radios you can get.
- Excellent performance
- Durable construction
- Huge list of features
- Quality display
- Premium price
BaoFeng BF-888S Two Way Radio
This is a great two way radio for work or home. The Baofeng BF-888S is an excellent value for those who need to keep in contact with multiple people (the 20 pack is a very good value). The frequency range is 400-470Mhz. The Li-ion battery has good life and it has a low battery alarm to make sure you stayed charged and connected. The range is up to three miles and the reception for me was still good up to the max range. This performed reliably in the test and is a great overall handheld two way Baofeng radio.
- 3 mile range
- Good reception
- Excellent value
- Durable construction
- Good battery life
- Lacking display screen
BaoFeng Pofung GT-3TP Mark-III Tri-Power 8/4/1W Two-Way Radio
The GT-3TP Mark III is a high quality mobile radio. It has an impressive eleven KM talking range. It came in clear with moderate tree coverage up to the max range. It has a long list of features and they all worked well in tests. The frequency range is 65-108Mhz and covers Broad, Narrowband, and high and low power. The construction quality is good and it feels durable in the hand. I found it pretty straight forward to learn the functions as well. This is another top model that would excel at work, home, and in your bug out bag.
- Durable and quality construction
- 11km range
- Loaded with excellent features
- Great for work, home, and bug out bags
- Premium price
Tri-Band Radio BaoFeng Series Walkie Talkies UV-5RX3
This is another great value walkie talkie mobile Baofeng radio. Solid build quality should hold up to extended use with a simple display and button configuration. It won’t take long to get familiar with the features and up and running. This is a tri-band radio with a frequency range of 136-174Mhz, 200-259Mhz, and 400-480Mhz. It covers the ham radio band at 200-259Mhz. With the combined performance, ease of use, and value this is a great choice for businesses as well as family’s with multiple members. I wouldn’t hesitate to add this to my family’s emergency preparedness gear.
- Durable construction
- Easy interface
- Tri-band including ham frequency
- Excellent value
- Average screen resolution
I think that if you are just getting started with a BaoFeng radio, then it’s a good idea to opt for the BF-888S. These radios are very easy to set up, they offer clear communication for miles, and they are built to be very rugged and long lasting, which means that you don’t need to worry about accidentally damaging your new radio if you drop it. Additionally, I like the power-saving features to ensure that your battery lasts for a long time, as well as the scanning and emergency alarm functions.
But honestly, every radio on this list will be a great choice. BaoFeng makes high quality radios and even the beginner models can be upgraded with a new antenna.
Fred is the Ready Zeal owner and editor. He has been passionately pursuing all things emergency preparation since working alongside his grandfather as a boy growing up in the Midwest. When not working on the family homestead he can be found brewing coffee and reading a good book or backpacking in the wilderness. Contact Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org