Kayaking is an amazing fun activity. We’re sure you already know that if you own a kayak. In many parts of the world, kayaking is also a fun sport for competitive riders. But let’s imagine you’re new to kayaking, there are several calm rivers and canals you can try out before you begin to consider lakes and seas (if you ever do).
Unlike large boats and ships, kayaks do not usually come with communication equipment for contacting control towers or rescuers. Many of them do not even have installed GPS. What you need is a walkie talkie for kayaking.
Imagine going out of sight while exploring a nearby river and your paddle gets damaged; or you lose your trail and find yourself in the swamps surrounded by crocs, what do you do? It’s simple; you radio in. But you cannot do that if you do not have the right walkie talkie for kayaking. And how do you tell what’s right for you? We’ll look at important factors you should consider before you invest in a walkie talkie for your next kayaking adventure.
List of Best Two-Way Radios for Kayaking and Fishing : By Best Feature
Buyer’s Guide: Factors to consider before buying a Walkie Talkie for Kayaking or Fishing
Let’s understand the basics; kayaking is done on water, could be characterised by strong winds, might go on for several hours, and may also be done for several miles. With these in mind, here’s a useful buyer’s guide for you;
Range has to do with the reach and coverage of your walkie talkie. While some rivers can stretch for several miles, it is important you consider the range of your walkie talkie so you don’t go out of reach.
But more importantly, you should get a walkie talkie with a relatively long range so that you can be sure of help within reach whenever you sail into trouble or just need to be kept company. We advise you look out for two-way radios with range of at least 15 miles.
2. Build Quality/Waterproof
The quality of your walkie talkie is a necessity if your choice activity is kayaking or fishing. Out on the open waters, splashes are inevitable. There is also the possibility of having a small pool of water in your kayak.
Worst case scenario; your radio drops into the river. What this means is that your walkie talkie has to be waterproof. There are also some walkie talkies with floating ability, while others provide good protection for the speakers against water.
Whatever you do, remember that the best walkie talkies for kayaking must be waterproof.
3. Battery Life
This is certainly another important factor you must consider before you buy a walkie talkie for kayaking or fishing.
Think about it, what sense would it make if you get a radio you can’t use when you’re out on the open waters? There are different types of batteries; the Lithium-ion batteries and the NiMH batteries which can be recharged at any point in time (and as long as there’s a power source).
The NiMH batteries can also be replaced like the regular AA batteries. Any of these would suffice as long as they have good battery life.
However, it may be better to get a walkie talkie that supports multiple battery types, just so you can switch batteries whenever the need arises.
4. Signal Strength
It is not strange to experience strong winds when you set out to kayak. Although calmer rivers rarely experience strong winds, it is best to go prepared. This means having a walkie talkie that can split through the noise and get your message across.
VHF signals seem to travel far, but UHF signals can penetrate through walls and obstacles. Also, the output power (often measured in watts) is another factor.
Although GMRS radios are stronger than FRS radios in terms of output power, they usually require a license, which can be too expensive for a leisure radio user like you.
5. Channel Options
How many channels does the radio have? How many privacy codes are there? How many channels does it have access to? These are important questions you must ask if you’re looking out for walkie talkies for kayaking.
When in a situation like an emergency, you need a radio that can get access to as many channels as possible, so you can call for help. Otherwise, you may find yourself in serious trouble.
6. Weather Alerts/Channels
The fact that you’re out on the waters means that anything can go wrong. You need to be able to tell if there’s a storm coming or a hurricane that you should know about.
With weather alerts and channels, you should know when it’s time to return to shore and pack up your kayak for a later date.
This is one of the most important factors for buyers. However, we put it last because it shouldn’t be your deciding factor unless you’re truly on a budget. As much as you want the best, there’s really not much you can do if you can’t afford it.
Top 5 Best Walkie Talkies for Kayaking or Fishing
1. Midland GXT1000VP4 Radio for Kayaking or Fishing
Value for Money
The Midland GXT1000VP4 walkie talkie is one of the best you can think of when it comes to radios for water adventures. The radio stays alive and functional even if it is submerged in water.
But that is not all, the reason this radio tops the list of best radios for kayaking is that it combines that waterproof feature with incredible reach, multiple channels and privacy codes, dual-battery options and a superb weather alert that keeps you updated with what’s happening around the elements.
If you’re a kayaking enthusiast for sport or just for relaxation, this is one radio you can’t go wrong with.
Specifications of Midland GXT1000VP4 Radio
- Comes with 50 GMRS Channels
- Range of about 36 miles on flat surfaces
- JIS4 Waterproof Protection
- 142 privacy codes with 3,124 channel options.
- NOAA Weather Alert
- Can use Rechargeable and AA Batteries.
Key Benefits of Midland GXT1000VP4 Radio
- Great waterproof feature
- Multiple channel options, so you can never be stranded.
- Incredible reach.
- Weather alert ensure you stay informed.
- Can use replaceable batteries where there are no charge options.
- Battery can last up to 9 hours.
- Quite budget friendly.
2. Motorola MR350R Walkie Talkie for Kayaking or Fishing
Best Build Quality
Where two-way radios are mentioned, you’re sure to hear Motorola come up. With several years of producing some of the best communication technologies across the world, Motorola comes with just the right walkie talkie for your kayaking adventure.
From an impressive range to waterproof quality and amazing adventure-specific features, this certainly makes the list of best radios for kayaking.
Apart from a weather alert feature to warn you of impending danger (like a storm), this radio also has access to the 7 NOAA channels that give constant advice on weather outlook. This will keep you prepared for the next time you embark on a kayaking adventure.
Specifications of Motorola MR350R Walkie Talkie
- Has 30 channels
- Gives you 121 privacy codes
- Can use 3 AA batteries or rechargeable NiMH batteries
- NOAA weather channels
- Weather alert feature
- Features LCD battery meter
- Built-in flashlight
- IP67 Waterproof rating
Key Benefits of Motorola MR350R Walkie Talkie
- Great array of channels
- Privacy codes to prevent eavesdropping
- Has a great range
- Waterproof feature to keep your radio safe from a dip or heavy rainfall.
- Has a belt clip to keep it on an elevated position
- Built-in flashlight for night-time vision
- Battery meter tells you when it’s time to recharge or replace your batteries
3. Cobra MR HH450 Camo Walkie Talkie for Kayaking or Fishing
We particularly love the exterior design and appearance of this radio. But for the Cobra MR Camo Walkie Talkie, it’s beyond just appearance. One of the reasons this radio features on our list of best walkie talkies for kayaking is that you don’t have to worry about losing your radio.
Even if it drops on water, it doesn’t sink; it floats. All you have to do is pick it back up. This strength and protection are also evident in the speaker area.
A vibrate feature ensures water can’t get in. Add these to NOAA weather channels you have access to and you’ll see why this is a great choice for you.
Specifications of Cobra MR HH450 Camo Walkie Talkie
- Waterproofand water-float feature
- NOAA weather channels
- Camouflage design
- Dual battery mode
- Long-range VHF Frequency
- Comes with about 25 channels
Key Benefits of Cobra MR HH450 Camo Walkie Talkie
- Waterproof feature for guaranteed safety
- 6-watt output power for clear audio
- Has about 25 channels for flexible communication
- Gives you power to monitor weather
- Battery can last for up to 10 hours
4. Retevis RT6 for Kayaking or Fishing
Best for: Battery Life
Retevis is another brand that keeps coming up with regards to walkie talkies for outdoor adventures. This is as a result of its durable and outstanding build quality.
Take this walkie talkie for kayaking and boating for instance, you can be sure that your kayak won’t be damaged by water. This radio can survive more than 30 minutes submersion in water.
More so, the battery power and functionality are one of the best you can find out there, giving you up to 12 hours of talk time. There’s also a power-saving feature. To cap it all up, the radio operates on a dual band of both VHF and UHF.
Specifications of Retevis RT6
- Works on both VHF and UHF bands
- 128 channels
- 2 radios in the pack
- Rotating belt clip
- IP67 Waterproof feature
- 1,800 mAh Li-ion battery
- Waterproof earpiece included
Key Benefits of Retevis RT6
- Unique waterproof earpiece included for uninterrupted communication
- Long-lasting battery
- Contains hand strap for easy carry
- Tri-color LCD for vivid operation
- Unbeatable channel options
- Clear signal and audio quality.
- Walkie talkie can withstand submersion.
5. Motorola T600 Walkie Talkie for Kayaking/Fishing
It shouldn’t be a surprise that another Motorola model comes up on this list. The T600 was built to suit your kayaking and boating adventure at a price you can truly afford.
Considering its quality, it ranks as one of the best priced radios for kayaking on the market. With as much as 35 miles in range, 11 weather channels, and NOAA weather alerts, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be somewhere in your cart.
Specifications of Motorola T600 Walkie Talkie
- Features 11 weather channels
- NOAA weather alert feature
- 35-mile range
- 22 channels and 121 privacy codes
- Pack of 2 radios
- Comes with 2 NiMH batteries
Key Benefits of Motorola T600 Walkie Talkie
- Access to multiple channels
- Good range
- Budget friendly
- Can get warnings from weather channels and alerts
- It is waterproof
- Also features emergency alert button
Comparison of Top 5 Walkie Talkies for Kayaking and Fishing
|Range||Weather Alert/Channels||Waterproof||Channels||Dual Battery|
|Midland GXT1000VP4||36 miles||Yes||Yes||50||Yes|
|Motorola MS350 Radio||35 miles||Yes||Yes||22||Yes|
|Cobra MR HH450||36 miles||Yes||Yes||25||Yes|
|Retevis RT6||More than 36 miles||Yes||Yes||128||No|
|Motorola T600||35 miles||Yes||Yes||22||Yes|
If we all agree that having a walkie talkie during a kayaking trip gives a sense of safety and companionship, then we can all agree that getting the best radio is a necessity. All the products reviewed here will give you great value for your money, so you can pick anyone based on your preference. This review of best walkie talkies for kayaking has been carefully put together to give you nothing short of a truly safe and exciting experience.