There are times when we need to take some precautionary measures especially as we live in a world of uncertainty. Even though weather forecasters help to keep us informed and ready, there are times when storms happen. This is why you are not entirely out of order as a prepper.
Before I go on, a prepper is someone who takes care to plan for unforeseen events and sudden disaster. This might sound like a lot, but remember that there are times when you had run out of something and it was a neighbor that helped out. This is a major advantage of being a prepper. One major item that preppers should have is a Walkie Talkie.
Top 5 Best Two-Way Radios for Preppers: By Best Feature
Buyer Guide: Critical Factors to be considered before you Select the Walkie Talkie for Preppers
Most times, communication is cut off when disaster happens, especially unexpectedly. That thunderstorm might cause a power outage and cut off the communication grid for a while. In times like these, you need to be prepared.
This is why you need to buy a Walkie Talkie, especially if you are a prepper. But before you go ahead to purchase one, there are certain things you need to know about Walkie Talkies as this will help you make an informed decision on which product to buy. Some of these factors include:
A walkie talkie is a tool of communication that picks up signals on a particular frequency within a certain distance. Many two way radios use a scan feature to browse through channels with available signals while sorting other walkie talkie users on frequencies that can cause a jam.
The signal strength of a Walkie Talkie is determined by the number of channels it can access. The more number of channels a Walkie Talkie has, the stronger its signal is likely to be.
This is why a prepper needs a walkie talkie with multiple channels so they can always be reached or be able to reach out for further help or warn of impending danger.
Many products with antenna also have stronger signals. Upgraded versions of two way radios have removable antennae that can be swapped with external ones during emergencies.
During emergency, you will need a walkie talkie that can access different frequencies. Whether a marine, aviation or emergency responder frequency, a walkie talkie should be able to access at least one of these. So, when you choose a two way radio for preppers, be sure to consider this factor.
There’s no telling how far out you can be as a prepper when you need to be contacted or when you need to get a word out. When you shop for a walkie talkie for preppers, be sure to get one with the right range and coverage.
Apart from signal and frequencies, the coverage of a walkie talkie is another very important factor. The coverage refers to the distance which a walkie talkie can cover on a particular frequency.
Coverage is more commonly called range. Many walkie talkies have different ranges for land, water and elevated heights (e.g. mountains). Take note of all these factors as a prepper.
No matter how strong the frequency and signal of a Walkie Talkie is, if you cannot audibly hear what is being said, then the communication is altered- and this is not what you need in case of an emergency.
A prepper should always get and give out accurate information for the rescue operation to be successful. This is why you must be on the lookout and ensure that you get a product that has fine-tuned audio quality.
Pricing is key. In fact, for many people, it is the most important factor. Most preppers are volunteers and do not get paid for what they do, so it is important for them to pick walkie talkies that are affordable.
I mean, as much as no one wants to buy a ridiculously expensive product with little or no use; it is still important to buy a product with as many essential features as possible.
Many Walkie Talkies with additional features might cost a little more than your budget, so be ready. But be rest assured, most Walkie Talkies are quite affordable.
6. Charging Requirements
There are two basic types of walkie talkie batteries; NiMH batteries and Li-Ion batteries. Many NiMH batteries are alkaline batteries that can be removed and easily replaced.
Li-Ion batteries, on the other hand, usually need to be powered from time to time by plugging them to an electrical source. During a storm, the last thing you need is a walkie talkie that dies and needs to be powered electrically.
As a prepper, you wouldn’t want a walkie talkie that won’t last. Now, this does not mean that electrically-powered walkie talkies are useless. In fact, many of them last longer than expected even during use. But you need to explore the available options depending on the ease of use.
7. Build Quality, Design and Usability
All three are intertwined as they determine ease of use of the walkie talkie you would eventually buy. Some walkie talkies are sturdier in their build, while others are lightweight.
The design of the walkie talkie determines how well it would be handled (as well as its weight), which in turn affects the usability of your gadget. A prepper requires as much useful accessories as possible, and the best two way radios for preppers offer such quality.
Many walkie talkies are designed with earpiece and hands-free function, making it easy for you to move around. In fact, some products have LED flashlight (great if there is a power outage during an emergency) in addition to their sleek design.
Many sellers include a warranty for their walkie talkies, sometimes up to 3 years. Some other sellers offer 24-hour technical assistance for easy maintenance of their products.
Apart from this, you need to look out for dustproof and waterproof products because dust, debris and water can affect the lifespan of your walkie talkie. Besides, as a prepper, you never know when or where a disaster might happen, so you must be armed with the right walkie talkies designed for preppers.
Top 5 Best Walkie Talkies for Preppers
1. Midland GXT Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio
Best For: Value for Money
The Midland GXT GMRS Two-Way radio was built for emergencies. This walkie talkie can not only tune to 50 channels, but has the Xtreme Range tuner technology that ensures that the audio quality on every channel is top notch.
This product works up to a range of 36 miles, with access to National Ocean and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) weather scan and alert. The accessories of this rechargeable product (headset mics, belt clips, desktop charger and adapters) ensure that your safety remains a priority.
The best part? This product is waterproof, so you do not have to worry if it gets wet. And this is why it is one of the best walkie talkies for preppers.
Specifications of Midland GXT Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio
- 50 channels with two-way radio.
- 36-mile range.
- Li-Ion battery that can last up to 16 hours.
- 142 CTCSS DCS codes with up to 3,124 combinations.
- 7.9*2.4*1.5inches (L*W*H)
- Hands- free feature with a headset microphone.
- NOAA channels and alerts.
- Designed according to JIS4 splash resistant standards.
Pros and Cons of Midland GXT Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio
- This product comes with a rechargeable pack of 4 AA batteries.
- You can receive calls with this product.
- This product has a long range of communication.
- It is splash resistant.
- Provides you with access to weather alerts.
- You might need a GMRS license to communicate at some frequencies.
- The standby time is quite short.
2. KOMVOX GT60 Rechargeable Walkie Talkies for Adults
Best For: Price
Not only does this product have an attractive color, it is also as efficient as it looks. The KOMVOX walkie talkie is a two-way radio with up to 22 channels. The long range of 10 miles makes it easy for you to communicate with a receiver at a far distance.
It uses a 3-level sensitivity for sound transmission (eVOX) to ensure that the audio remains clear on every frequency. You possibly cannot deal with bad audio transmission during an emergency.
As one of the most budget-friendly walkie talkies for preppers on the market, this offers quite stable audio quality for its price.
This product is powered with 6 AA NiMH batteries, but also has a USB cable for charging. And the best part, the USB is a micro-USB that is compatible with many smartphones. So you can charge this product with your smartphone if need be. All of this comes at an extremely affordable price.
Specifications of KOMVOX GT60 Rechargeable Walkie Talkies
- Two-way radio with 22 channels.
- 10-mile range.
- NiMH batteries that can last up to 20 hours.
- 121 CTCSS DCS codes with up to 2,662 combinations.
- 1.97*1.38*2.17 inches (L*W*H)
Pros and Cons of KOMVOX GT60 Rechargeable Walkie Talkies
- This product has high audio quality.
- It is rechargeable.
- Has a license-free feature that allows easy communication especially during emergencies.
- It is highly affordable.
- High number of channels for ease of communication.
- The batteries have to be bought separately.
3. Cobra ACXT345
Best for: Performance
This set of walkie talkies is not just one of the most competitive in terms of price but also packs a whole lot of performance as well. With 23 miles in range with access to as much as 2662 channel combinations on the 22 channels.
It is really portable, comes with 5 call alert tones to distinguish between callers, has several weather channels to help you stay in your game when you’re out prepping and weather resistant to keep you going even during rainfall and harsh weather.
As a prepper, this walkie talkie is certainly going to help you with your rescue or emergency situation whether you’re in the wild or confronted with a disaster.
Specifications of Cobra ACXT345
- Up to 25 miles in range
- 22 channels and 121 privacy codes with access to 2662 channel combinations
- Up to 10 NOAA weather channels
- Hands-free operation with VOX feature
- Package includes 2 radios
- IPX2 Water resistant
Pros and Cons of Cobra ACXT345
- Protected from water
- Very affordable
- Performs really well
- Can communicate with other radios as far as 25 miles away
- Ability to talk hands-free
- Very portable design
- No built-in flashlight
4. Retevis RT85 Dual Band 2-Way Radio
Best for: Build Quality
When you see the Retevis RT85 Dual Band 2-Way Radio, you will agree with its durability. This product can withstand the shock that comes with many emergencies. As a prepper, you need a walkie talkie that can withstand shock and impact through and through.
This walkie talkie has both VHF and UHF frequencies for powerful transmission. You can even choose a more preferred frequency for a better audio quality.
There is a Voice Exchange (VOX) feature that allows you use this product hands-free. The 1400mAh battery of this product keeps it going for up to 10 hours uninterrupted.
What’s more, no prepper would want to send out a false alarm. The product has a “keypad lock” feature that locks the buttons of the walkie talkie from accidentally changing and jamming other frequencies.
The Retevis RT85 radio has a DTMF Decode feature that allows specific commands be exchanged between group users. This product is quite affordable too.
Specifications of Retevis RT85 Dual Band 2-Way Radio
- 50 channels with two-way radio.
- 5-mile range.
- Li-Ion battery that can last up to 10 hours.
- 105 CTCSS DCS codes.
- Hand held speakers.
- 2.08*5.04*9.72 inches(L*W*H)
- DTMF Decode feature with remote stun/kill.
Pros and Cons of Retevis RT85 Dual Band 2-Way Radio
- This product is highly durable.
- DTMF Decode feature allows private commands to be sent over certain frequencies.
- Has a high number of communication channels.
- This product has a keypad lock to avoid signal interruption.
- It has hand held speakers .
- This product has a short range.
- Some users consider this product to be pricey.
5. Motorola Solutions T480 Talkabout Rechargeable Emergency Preparedness Two-Way Radio
Best For: Design
This product is so sleek, you would experience a “love at first sight” feeling. Motorola is no stranger to production of gadgets, and they raise the standards with the T480 walkie talkie.
Don’t be deceived by its beautiful look and features, this walkie talkie also has the rugged functionality that all preppers desire. It allows you tune in to over 20 channels with strong audio quality up to 35 miles.
There is a Push-To-Talk (PTT) feature that allows you increase the range of transmission. You also have access to NOAA weather alerts and channels which are displayed on the LCD screen.
Specifications of Motorola Solutions T480
- Two-way radio with 22 channels.
- 35-mile range.
- 3 AA batteries that can last up to 26 hours.
- 121 CTCSS DCS codes.
- FM Radio, Flashlight, Emergency Alert Button and PTT Button feature.
- 1.37*2.26*7.54 inches(L*W*H)
- IP54 Weatherproof standards.
Pros and Cons of Motorola Solutions T480
- This product is very sleek.
- The extra features of this product makes it useful during emergencies.
- It is quite affordable and comes in attractive colors.
- This product has a long battery life.
- ● This product has a long range of communication.
- The radio can cause static on some frequencies.
Comparison of Top 5 Best Walkie Talkies for Preppers
|KOMVOX GT60 Rechargeable Walkie Talkies for Adults||Cobra ACXT345||Midland GXT Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio||Retevis RT85 Dual Band 2-Way Radio||Motorola Solutions T480|
|Range||10 miles||25 miles||36 miles||5 miles||35 miles|
|Battery Life||20 hours||18 hours||16 hours||10 hours||26 hours|
|Access to NOAA Channels and Alerts||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
If I am asked to pick a winner from this category, I would choose Midland GXT Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio without hesitation. You might find another product that catches your fancy when making an actual purchase, but you will never go wrong if you use the factors highlighted above to make your purchase. You can use your walkie talkie once or twice, before keeping it ready for that emergency. Remember preppers are always prepared.