If you’re in the market for an inexpensive and reliable way to communicate with members of your household, colleagues at work, or keep in touch with a large group during a trip, walkie-talkies are a fun and functional piece of technology that can eliminate the need for expensive cell phone bills and a constant line of sight.
Walkie-talkies are a great way to stay connected to friends and family when cell phones aren’t an option. Many purchase walkie-talkies for trips on cruises or camping when cell phones are either too expensive to use with roaming charges or there aren’t any nearby cell towers. Walkie-talkies are also an easy way to maintain contact when on a road trip with a large group, with each car having their own walkie-talkie and eliminating the need to use cell phones.
A longstanding favorite toy with kids, walkie-talkies aren’t just great for little ones to use with one another, they’re also a cost-effective way for parents to stay in contact with their children. Rather than purchasing a cell phone and data plan for your child, stay in touch with them while they play at the nearby park or a friend’s house thanks to inexpensive and reliable walkie-talkies.
In professional settings, walkie-talkies are ideal for security personnel, construction workers, farmworkers and members of the military.
Whether you’re preparing to hike the great outdoors with a large group, want to keep an eye on your kids or need to add extra security measures to your workplace, we’ve got a walkie-talkie that fits your lifestyle.
1. Midland 50 Channel Two-Way Radio
Whether you’re taking part in military exercises, camping in the great outdoors, or working in a remote area, the Midland can handle just about any setting. The two-way splash resistant walkie-talkies (six are included) can reach up to a 36-mile range in areas with little obstruction. The Midland has access to 50 GSMR channels and privacy codes with 3,124 channel options to ensure no one can hear your conversation. Ideal for outdoor use, the Midland has a NOAA Weather Scan that can alert users of inclement weather in their area. The Midland has handy shortcuts, like direct calls to instantly contact members of your group and different ring tones for different members. It also features a dual watch to allow you to monitor two channels at once and safety measures like quiet vibrate alerts and an SOS siren. The walkie-talkies come with two boom mic headsets and belt clips for easy use.
Pros: The Midland 50 Channel Two-Way Radio has an impressive 36-mile range and voice and sound activation for hands-free use. A pioneer in two-way radio technology with 50 years of experience, Midland is an ideal choice for those who need a walkie-talkie that can literally go the distance.
Cons: Only comes in multi-pack options.
2. Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios
The Arcshell is ideal for home and work use, with the range suitable for use on a camping trip, in different cars on a convoy, or in an office or warehouse setting. The four included walkie-talkies have a UHF 400-470MHz range and built-in speaker and mic with additional ear-bud attachments. The walkie-talkies can last between eight-96 hours depending on use, with a single charge taking only 2.5 hours. Arcshell also boasts quality customer service.
Pros: The Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios comes in a four-pack and is easy to use thanks to its small size and straightforward commands, with 16 channels available and up to five miles in range.
Cons: The walkie-talkies aren’t waterproof and it’s difficult to gauge when the battery is getting low.
3. Retevis Walkie-Talkies
The Retevis has a durable body that can withstand use by small children. With 22 channels, an easy to read LCD screen, and smart buttons with a favorite function, these are a great item for family use. The Retevis come in a pair and additional walkie-talkies can be purchased and paired for large group use.
Pros: Lightweight and easy enough for kids to use, the Retevis Walkie-Talkies feature secret buttons for the battery compartment and the ability to lock the keypad to ensure users don’t change the channel.
Cons: The Retevis has a much shorter range than the first two options and only has a limited number of channels.
4. Retevis RT22 Walkie-Talkies
For a walkie-talkie that can work in hands-free mode, we recommend the Retevis RT22 Walkie-Talkies. The set of six walkie-talkies feature 16 channels and have a voice activation hands-free mode that makes them an excellent option for security guards, first responders or people with mobility issues. Each walkie-talkie has an emergency alarm that will instantly alert other users of danger. The slim design and custom clip makes these walkie-talkies convenient to carry. A large charging station recharges the walkie-talkies quickly and each walkie-talkie can also be recharged individually using their unique USB ports.
Pros: Unlike many other walkie-talkies, the Retevis are adept at pushing their signal through walls and buildings.
Cons: The Retevis have a shorter range than other walkie-talkies.
5. FLOUREON Walkie-Talkies
Keep in contact with friends, family and employees who are a short distance away using the FLOUREON Walkie-Talkies. The pack of four walkie-talkies are available in black (shown here), orange and red and provide access to a 22 channel PMR system. The LCD screen doubles as a flash and emergency light in low-light situations. The walkie-talkies run on three AA batteries and have a max unobstructed range of up to five kilometers. The bottom of the small and lightweight walkie-talkies include ports for headphones and the included charging cord.
Pros: The LCD backlit display tells users which channel they’re on and indicates if the battery is low.
Cons: The Floureon walkie-talkies are not waterproof and the instructions for use can be difficult to follow.
6. Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio
For a walkie-talkie that the whole family can use, we recommend the small but powerful Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio. Available in bright blue or pink, the T100 has up to 22 channels and can reach a maximum distance of 16 miles without any obstructions in between. The straightforward design of the radios makes them easy to use with clearly marked buttons for sound and menu. The small display tells users which channel they’re using, how much battery life they have left and their volume level. Both radios come with a convenient belt clip and instructions.
Pros: The T100 is a great basic radio that can be used by both children and adults and features an extended 18-hour battery life and up to 22 channels.
Cons: The radios do not have an automatic shut off and if users forget to turn them off, the battery will be drained. The alkaline batteries must be removed and recharged in a separate recharger, which can be cumbersome.