Best Two Way Radios

The Best Two Way Radios in 2018 – Top Picks & Reviews

Going out for your outdoor adventure without one of the best two way radios is suicide. How do you communicate? Where will you get your weather alerts from? There are so many reasons why you need the best two way radios when you go out into the field.

In our commitment to finding the best 2 way radios, we have pored over reviews and test from professional hunters and mountain hikers. This guide has been organized in other to provide you with the best radios based on performance, ease of use, design, and price.

At a Glance: Our Best Two Way Radios

Midland GXT1050VP comes with a long range of up to 36 miles and produces clear quality sound. You can also call other members of the group exclusively with it.

Another walkie talkie with a long range is the Motorola MT350R which is also waterproof and comes with a IP-54 rating that makes it both dust and water proof.

Uniden Submersible is lightweight, with a 50-mile GMRTS/FRS band suitable for kayaking and other activities with a potential to get wet. This walkie talkie can actually go underneath the water

Motorola MR350R 35-Mile has a large display screen with LED display light. It features a USB charging port for charging them inside the car.

Motorola MH230R is a rechargeable walkie talkie with a Voice Activated VOX control. It has a hands-free feature that allows you to talk wirelessly. This two-way radio can be powered by a rechargeable battery or 3 AA batteries.

2018’s Reviews of Best Two Way Radios

  • Ranking   
  • Product   
  • Channels   
  • Mile Range   
  • Rating   
  • #1   

  • Midland GXT1050VP4
  • 22 Channels
  • 36 Miles


  • #2   

  • Motorola MT350R FRS
  • 22 Channels
  • 35 Miles


  • #3   

  • Uniden Submersible
  • 22 Channels
  • 50 Miles


  • #4   

  • Motorola MR350R
  • 22 Channels
  • 35 Miles


  • #5   

  • Motorola MH230R
  • 22 Channels
  • 23 Miles


#1 – Midland GXT1050VP – Editor’s Top Pick

Best Two Way Radios
When it comes to hunting, you need a long range two-way radio. The reasons are obvious. Your senses will usually be limited to a certain area as the size of your area is usually determined by your setup.

When you are equipped with the Midland GXT1050VP, which happens to be #1 on our list of the best two way radios, then you can actively communicate with your partner and share sighting or what you hear around you, thereby increasing the chances of zoning in on the hunt.

The Midland’s GXT1050VP4 two-way, 22-channel radio is a must have equipment for hunters who want to maximize his range in other to complete the operation. It comes with a reported range of 36 miles and provides excellent performance even in situations with about 2 to 5 miles apart. They are designed using the GMRS operation, which means you will have to acquire the proper FCC license to use them as this band is not free as the Family Radio Service band.

The stand out feature for this 2 way radio is the clarity in the sound. Even when you whisper out of fear of not scaring away the prey, you will still be heard clearly by the other party. The Midland’s GXT1050VP4 radio also allows the use of privacy codes for interference, direct group calling, whisper function SOS siren and a whole lots more.

 

Pros
  • Has a long range, up to 36 miles
  • Produces clear sound quality
  • Has group call functionality
Cons
  • Not waterproof
  • Too large to fit the front pocket

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#2 – Motorola MT350R FRS Weatherproof Two-Way

Best Two Way Radios

We all need a waterproof gear every time and this is not because a lot of people are starting to take into kayaking fishing. Irrespective of the activity you engage outside your house, there is usually a tendency of having wet weather conditions.

While your bag might have been advertised as waterproof, it might not be 100% waterproof. Risking your communication gear in this situation could be the difference between life and death.

Our list of the best 2-way radios continues with the Motorola MT350R FRS. This two-way handheld radio has an IP-54 rating making it water and dust proof.

It has a 35-mile range as well as NOAA channels that sends you alerts about future weather emergencies like winter storms or flash flooding. With added channels for weather alerts, the Motorola MT350R will definitely suit you and your buddies for long trips.

best 2 way radios

Its battery life can also last up to 3 days under a heavy use. This walkie is not just great at what it does, we consider it a necessity for anyone serious about their outdoor adventures

Other than its waterproof capabilities, battery life, and sturdy construction; the Motorola MT350R FRS doesn’t take up much space and can fit in nicely in your pocket which makes it easy to carry around than the clip it usually comes with.

The MT350R is definitely built for abuse. It will survive the worst weather conditions – snow or rain. Some current owners have also praised it for its ability to float on water, although we have not been able to give this a test at our center.

 

Pros
  • Small in size
  • Has a 35-mile range
  • It has IP-54 rating
  • Long lasting battery life
Cons
  • A bit pricey

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#3 – Uniden Submersible

Best Two Way RadiosThe Uniden Submersible 50-Mile GMRS/FRS Two-Way Radio is a lightweight two way radio suitable for kayak fishing and other outdoor activities where you will get wet. It has the highest advertised range of 50 miles, though under normal conditions there will be disturbances and you will probably get 2 to 5 miles of clear reception

It includes weather alerts, 22 radio channels(15 GMRS, which can’t be operational unless you get a license and 7 FRS band which is free)

The Uniden is a submersible walkie talkie that can go underneath the water up to 3 feet or 30 minutes in compliant with the JIS7 requirements. This two way radio actually floats on water should you drop it by mistake while kayaking.

Uniden Submersible 50-Mile GMRS/FRS Two-Way Radio is well designed with a backlit screen which comes in handy when you’re out in the night, there is a simple battery indicator that tells you how long you can use your battery for before replacing them. This model is a big step forward from the previous GMR4040 model which was a top seller in its category for a number of years.

Other features embedded in this two-way radio includes a direct call feature, 22 radio channels for optimal communication and an SOS strobe light that can be used to alert others when in troubled situations.

 

Pros
  • Has an exclusive group mode with direct call that allows you to call anyone in your group while every other person’s radio is quiet
  • Keeps you connected with its 50-mile range
  • Submersible and floats on water for easy retrieval
Cons
  • The Uniden can only go on a 50-mile range on open plain with level ground.
  • The batteries lose power easily.

——————————————————————————————————–

#4 – Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)

Best Two Way Radiosbest two way radios
The Motorola MR350R is the most reliable and ideal tool for outdoor trips with family and friends to stay connected. It gives a good range (35-mile) and can be used to communicate long distances.

This two-way radio provides an emergency alert and weather alerts of incoming rain and snow storms coming into the area. It also features a large display screen for viewing the channels that you are currently engaged in. The display screen works with a built-in LED light which would come in handy when you’re camped out in the dark or away in areas with low light isibility.

It’s becoming a norm for the outdoor enthusiast to wear a glove when they out into the woods and it must be difficult using some of the walkie talkies available on the market due to the small button and dial that they are usually manufactured with. The Motorola MR350R has larger buttons and dials. This 2-way radio can also be used if you’re wearing bulky gloves.

This two-way radio uses rechargeable batteries that can keep you going for up to 8 hours after which it will require charging. While there are many radios with a longer battery life than the MR350R, very few come with a USB charging option which allows you to plug these radios into a car charger or your computer

 

Pros
  • It has a 35-mile range in perfect conditions.
  • Offers a long lasting battery life and can be charged via the USB points.
  • Receives weather reports and emergency alerts.
  • Way cheaper than an iPhone.
Cons
  • The case is not durable
  • The radio is not waterproof
  • Battery drains fast

——————————————————————————————————–

#5 – Motorola MH230R

Best Two Way RadiosBest Two Way Radios
The Motorola MH230R will keep you connected with your friends and partners when you go on that adventurous trip into the wild. We feature the MH230R in our list of the best two way radios for the 22 channels that you can connect for communication as well as 10 private codes.

When you get trapped under the rain without cover, you are rest assured that this two-way radio won’t get destroyed when it comes in contact with rain. It has a non-slip surface so you can hold it comfortably with a sure grip.

The Motorola MH230R radio is a rechargeable radio with an inbuilt repeater channels used to smoothly and effortlessly search for local stations that you can send your messages within its advertised range.

One of the things that we love with this radio that made it feature on our list is the Voice Activated VOX control that is capable of storing around 100 contacts. This radio is quite versatile and useful even at night. It has an inbuilt LED flashlight

Hands-free operation is a feature that a lot of customers want but is lacking in most walkie talkies. The Motorola MH230R gives you the freedom to talk wirelessly. The radio can use either a rechargeable battery (NiMH batteries) or 3 AA batteries (you have to buy separately). The juice from each power source varies as the NiMH batteries can power your radios for as much as 10 hours while the 3 AA batteries can be used for 26 hours.

 

Pros
  • Water resistant case
  • Lightweight radio with GMRS and FRS band
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • A bit pricey
  • Not suitable for used during cold weather

——————————————————————————————————–

  • Ranking   
  • Product   
  • Privacy Codes   
  • IP Rating   
  • Rating   
  • #1   

  • Midland GXT1050VP4
  • 142
  • IP-54


  • #2   

  • Motorola MT350R FRS
  • 121
  • IP-54


  • #3   

  • Uniden Submersible
  • 142
  • IP-54


  • #4   

  • Motorola MR350R
  • 121
  • IP-51


  • #5   

  • Motorola MH230R
  • 121
  • IP-51


Best Two Way Radios’s Buying Guide

Here are some tips to help you decide on how to purchase the best 2 way radios.

  1. Two-way Radio Channels

Most radios used for outdoor activities come with the two bands – the Family Radio Service (FRS) band or the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) band. The FRS uses channelized frequencies around 462 and 467 MHZ in the UHF band while the General Mobile Radio Service is a licensed radio service and is usually used for short distances among two=way  communication between handheld radios. If you want to communicate via a two-way radio without interference, then you need to get a 2-way radio that uses GMRS channels.

  1. Size and Weight

Hiking and skiing involve moving with a lot of gear. Don’t add to your weight by purchasing a cheap but heavy two-way radio that you have to attach the mesh opening in your waterproof backpack. You need a lightweight radio that isn’t bulky. The best two way radios have an ergonomic shape but the antenna length, which is quite critical to the overall weight of the unit must be similar to the length of the unit. This is how the unit will be powered.

  1. Privacy/Elimination Codes

Radios with as much as 22 channels can get occupied pretty quickly especially in densely populated areas like a ski resort, if your radio comes with a Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS), you can quickly subdivide the main channels by using the privacy codes. This way there are more potential lines of communication for you and your buddy.

  1. Scanning

IS the process of moving from channel to channel in other to find the one that your group is using. You can also use it to find empty channels for your group to use.

  1.  VOX/Hands-Free

Our list of the best 2 way radios includes products with VOX.

VOX stands for voice-activated and it allows you to start broadcasting to your group the moment you speak into the direction of your two-way radio. This is a very important feature for bikers, kayakers and others who might not be able to stop to answer the call.

Conclusion

Our detailed list of the best two way radios showcases the different brands and features that you need to consider before you buy a two-way radio for your outdoor activities. While having a radio with a long mile range is considered important for communicating with your team, we found out that the best 2 way radios are the ones that have long lasting batteries, lightweight and waterproof as well as providing you and your friends the much-needed clarity in sound that is required when you go out into the wild.

Overall, as our experience, we recommend our readers to try the Midland GXT1050VP as this is the best one in our list.

P.S. If you found this article helpful, consider using links in this post to purchase your item (whatever brand you go with). The small commission helps us keep the website running, community supported, and advertiser free.

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