Are you searching for the best long range walkie talkie?
Not all two way radios are capable of handling long distance communication. The top long range models can go for miles while maintaining clear audio. I have reviewed the most popular models available on today’s market and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.
Check the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my picks, or read on for the full review:
- Retevis RT1 High-Power Two Way Radios Long Range UHF 70CM 16CH VOX
- Retevis RT-5R 2 Way Radio 128CH FM UHF VHF Radio Dual Band Two-way Radio Rechargeable Long Range Walkie Talkies with Earpiece
- Midland – GXT1000VP4, 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio – Up to 36 Mile Range Walkie Talkie
- Ansoko Long Range Walkie Talkie Rechargeable FRS/GMRS 16-Channel Handheld Two Way Radio with Earpiece
- Midland – LXT630VP3, 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio – Up to 30 Mile Range Walkie Talkie
A long-range two-way radio, also known as a walkie-talkie, is a great way of maintaining contact with the rest of the crew across extensive distances. These small handheld units hold a significant level of importance as they’re the same devices used by rescue teams and emergency responders as a means of communication during their missions.
Features to Look for in a Long Range Walkie Talkie
The distance in which a long-range two-way radio can operate in will vary depending on whether you’re in a densely populated area or not. This is mainly because the effective range of such devices is susceptible to interferences by other overlapping frequencies or physical obstructions.
Most manufacturers advertise their products as being able to cover ranges that reach up to 20 miles or more, which is only applicable in ideal situations where there are no interferences whatsoever. Realistically speaking, you should be expecting long-range walkie-talkies to have a maximum operating range that’s around 4 miles.
The power output, also known as the wattage output, is the amount of power that the radio is capable of putting out. The more the power output is, the more range you’ll get, and vice versa. Larger walkie talkies usually have a power output that’s around 4 to 5 Watts, while smaller models tend to have a power output of 2 to 3 Watts.
Screen display is a time-saving feature that allows you to keep track of your radio’s settings while being able to toggle it without having to reprogram your device with every minor change. It also keeps you aware of the batteries life and which channel your radio is on. Digital radios have also included additional features like private calling and texting.
Stable battery life is a crucial component in a walkie-talkie, after all, you don’t your battery dying out on you during an emergency. You want to check if the battery is able to last a sufficient amount of time without needing to be charged. You also want to keep an eye out for models that offer a power saving mode, which will help you get the most out of the battery.
Walkie-talkies that have longer antennas will have better reception than models with shorter ones. Also, if you intend on using your device in an area that’s known for heavy rain or in the ocean, then you might want to consider buying a walkie-talkie that has a waterproof design. You also want to make sure that you get a lightweight walkie-talkie that won’t weigh you down.
This feature basically lets you know whether your device is in or out of range without you having to fiddle with it. The way this takes place is through your radio transmitting a code to the other device, if the other device communicates back, then that means that your radio is in range.
Other alerts you might want to consider are the weather and call alerts. Weather alerts scan nearby channels and notify you about the current weather condition in your area. Call alerts grant you the ability to pick specific tones when receiving calls from your group, which usually includes the option to pick a vibrating tone as well.
Channels & Frequencies
Basic walkie-talkies usually feature 2 or 4 channels, while high-end models can offer up to 22 channels. Typical models tend to use a single frequency for their operation to ensure smoothness. However, a unit that features a single frequency is most likely to have poor reception. For that reason, it’s always preferred to choose a two-way radio that features a variety of frequencies and channels.
VHF & UHF
Radios that use VHF technology are able to communicate with radios that use UHF technology, but you need to know that the opposite is not true, which is why you need to make sure that your units are compatible with each other in terms of frequency. VHF technology is favored because it’s operational distance and signal are both a lot greater than UHF radios. Low-band VHF radios tend to have a frequency range of 49 to 108 MHz, while high-band models tend to have a frequency range of 169 to 216 MHz.
5 Best Long Range Walkie Talkies
Retevis RT1 High-Power Two Way Radios Long Range UHF 70CM 16CH VOX
The Retevis RT1 provides a sturdy design that provides an accurate 4-mile range even in heavily populated regions and wooded areas, which is pretty impressive compared to bold claims from other manufacturers. The 3000 mAh battery supports around 260 hours of standby use and the high/low power output ensures a very stable signal.
The VOX feature grants you the convenience of using hands-free operations. The scramble function, coupled with the non-standard analog tone, provides privacy and security throughout the call. Another cool feature is the squelch adjustment, which helps filter out excessive noise and improves the call quality. On the flipside, despite the rugged design, this unit isn’t waterproof. Also, this radio comes at a pretty steep price tag.
- Impressive communication range of 4 miles
- Great call quality with no background noise
- VOX feature allows hands-free operation
- Steep price tag
- The design isn’t waterproof
Retevis RT-5R 2 Way Radio 128CH FM UHF VHF Radio Dual Band Two-way Radio Rechargeable Long Range Walkie Talkies with Earpiece
The RT-5R is a dual-band radio that functions on both UHF and VHF technology at a selectable high/low power output to suit your needs. The battery capacity is 1400 mAh, which is pretty average compared to other units on this list, but it’s enough to support your day working. The shining feature in this device has to be the crystal clear earpiece that allows for great hands-free operation when coupled with the VOX function.
The manual keypad set allows for easy adjustment even when you’re not familiar with the settings. This radio offers 128 channels for your convenience and the squelch function helps you filter out background noises and enhance the signal sensitivity. The problem with this radio is the not-so-durable belt clips, which seems to be a recurring theme with pretty much all Retevis radios. Also, the software is a little too simple and assumes too much knowledge in the buyer.
- Earpiece provides high-quality audio
- Compatible with UHF and VHF technologies
- Offers 128 channels for multiple calls
- Belt clips aren’t long lasting
- Software is oversimplified
- Not waterproof
Midland – GXT1000VP4, 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio – Up to 36 Mile Range Walkie Talkie
The GXT1000VP4 from Midland features 50 GMRS channels and a scanning channel to check for nearby activities. The manufacturer claims that the unit has a substantial 36-mile range in ideal situations, which practically boils down to 1.5 to 2 miles of effective range. Additionally, the unit features 142 privacy codes that provide up to 3124 channel options to help you filter out other conversations.
The waterproof design of this walkie-talkie makes it an ideal choice for those who live in areas known for heavy rain. Moreover, the weather scan function tunes into available channels to alert you of the weather condition in your area. Like other models on this list, this radio also features a VOX function for your hands-free convenience. A few setbacks that this unit seems to suffer from are the mediocre battery life and the fairly noisy receiver.
- Waterproof design ideal for rainy regions
- 142 privacy codes for increased security
- Weather scan and alert functions
- Battery life isn’t suitable for long trips
- The receiver is noisy and range limiting
Ansoko Long Range Walkie Talkie Rechargeable FRS/GMRS 16-Channel Handheld Two Way Radio with Earpiece
This UHF long-range radio from Ansoko features a solid effective range of 3 miles at a frequency range of 400 to 470 MHz. The range varies in different working conditions, of course. The 1500mAh battery is by far the best thing about this device. While average in terms of capacity, the battery supports 8 to 12 hours of continual use. Also, the time taken to fully charge the battery is 4 to 5 hours.
As far as the design goes, it’s pretty sturdy and light in terms of weight. This walkie-talkie is also accompanied by an earpiece that provides decent audio quality. Further, the Ansoko radio features VOX functionality, LED flashlight, and an emergency alarm. However, like a lot of other radios, the belt clips are pretty flimsy and could break easily. Also, the audio quality is mediocre and can use some improvements.
- Great battery life with short charging time
- Comes with a decent-quality earpiece
- LED flashlight and emergency alarm
- Belt clips can break easily
- Mediocre audio quality
Midland – LXT630VP3, 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio – Up to 30 Mile Range Walkie Talkie
The LXT630VP3 unit from Midland is a waterproof radio that’s compatible with FRS and GMRS radios of the same channel/frequency. This walkie-talkie features 121 privacy codes, a 3-level VOX function, and 36 scannable channels. And again, the whole 36-mile range is really just an effective range of 1.5 to 2 miles.
The dual power option grants you the ability to use the included rechargeable battery packs or 3 AAA alkaline batteries (not included). The battery life is pretty poor and it takes around 12 hours to charge it, which is a little too long compared to other models. Also, while the audio quality is pretty good, there’s a little delay on intercept.
- Very clear voice reception
- 121 privacy codes
- Compatible with FRS and GMRS radios
- Waterproof design
- Mediocre battery life with long charging time
- Prominent delay on the intercept
For more guides and tips read these articles:
Despite the steep price tag, it’s quite clear that the Retevis RT1 is the clear winner in terms of range and battery life. The only downside to this device is that it’s not suitable for rainy areas. If you’re in need of a walkie-talkie that can hold its own in the rain and you don’t mind compromising on battery life, the Midland GXT1000VP4 should do the job just fine. Which one of these 5 products do you think is the best?