The 10 Best Walkie Talkies

Updated May 18, 2018 by Sam Kraft

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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you're looking for a stimulating toy for the kids, a device for professional tactical operations, or a model suitable for extended outdoor use, you'll find some walkie-talkies to suit your needs in this selection. We've included options useful for people operating fairly close together as well as units with ranges that stretch for many miles. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best walkie talky on Amazon.

10. Luiton Outdoor

The slim design of the Luiton Outdoor means it will look discreet once it’s clipped onto your belt, which is nice for security workers or others who don’t want to draw attention to themselves. It has a voice prompt feature and a speaker that’s loud and clear.
  • comes in 2-pack or 6-pack
  • 16 preset channels
  • earpiece can be flaky
Model pending
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Floureon Handheld

Since the Floureon Handheld effectively mutes pesky background noises, you’ll enjoy steady sound quality when communicating with your friends or associates. The maximum range for this unit varies based on terrain and weather conditions.
  • available in 5 colors
  • runs on 3 aa batteries
  • belt clip is rather flimsy
Brand floureon
Model FLOUREON188190601_1
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Proster Original

For outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking or hunting, the Proster Original comes in handy for keeping everyone in touch. It’s not the most powerful option, but it’s convenient and low-maintenance, with a comfortable earpiece and hands-free operation.
  • led emergency flashlight
  • charging takes about 3 hours
  • range is somewhat limited
Brand Proster
Model WT-5286
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Motorola Talkabout

Designed for outdoor enthusiasts, the Motorola Talkabout has a range of up to 35 miles and an estimated battery life of about nine hours. It even comes with an emergency preparedness checklist, in case the unthinkable happens on your next adventure.
  • emergency alert button
  • includes a decent user guide
  • volume could be louder
Brand Motorola Solutions
Model MR560R
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Baofeng BF888S

Despite a healthy arsenal of capabilities — such as 16 channels and a nifty low voltage alert function — the Baofeng BF888S is super easy to use, making it a quality solution for those of you who wouldn’t describe yourselves as tech-savvy.
  • volume is adjustable
  • easy to switch on and off
  • highly resistant to water
Model BF-888S
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Dr. Fasting Wireless

Available in three vibrant designs, the Dr. Fasting Wireless stirs excitement in children before they even discover how to use it. Even though it’s compact and easy to grip, it’s durable enough to withstand a drop if it slips out of a kid’s grasp.
  • ideal for ages 4 and up
  • 10 call tones to choose from
  • designed for small hands
Brand Dr.fasting
Model pending
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

4. Arcshell Long Range

If a basic model won’t get it done, you should consider the Arcshell Long Range with its powerful noise reduction technology and built-in LED flashlight. It’ll produce high-quality sound at up to five miles as long as no substantial obstructions exist.
  • comes with earphones
  • reliable overcharge protection
  • easy to access push-to-talk button
Brand Arcshell
Model WT-0529
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Retevis H-777

The Retevis H-777 come in a pack of five, making them a smart choice for team operations as long as individuals don’t stray too far from the group. They are lightweight, so carrying one at all times should not be an issue for anyone.
  • emergency alarm button
  • weigh just 180 grams each
  • come with a 1-year warranty
Brand Retevis
Model FCAA1044A5
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

2. Baofeng Tri-Power

With a vast frequency range, effective mechanisms that block out unwanted background noise, and three power settings, the Baofeng Tri-Power is ideal for a range of applications, including worksites and high-pressure security jobs.
  • easy-to-read color display
  • transmission power of 8 watts
  • very durable metal housing
Brand Baofeng Radio US
Model WT-5224
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Retevis Covert

When your business or your safety depends on your ability to communicate effectively, a superior model like the Retevis Covert can be the difference between success and failure. It comes with a tough shell, an impressive battery life, and a low power alarm.
  • 30-day no-questions returns policy
  • solid belt clip
  • clear sounding acoustic earpiece
Brand Retevis
Model CAA9104A10-C9003A10
Weight 9.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

What Separates a Good Walkie Talkie From a Great One?

The most important feature whenever considering a walkie talkie is range. Most walkies advertise a range that falls somewhere in between 10 and 40 miles. That said, there isn't always truth in advertising, which is why it pays to take note of customer reviews. What you're looking for is any type of pattern - three or more customers who appear to be complaining about the same thing. If you notice certain keywords like, say, "interference" or "static," that should be a tipoff that the walkie talkie in question might have an unreliable range.

Along those same lines, you want to read each product description to get a sense of whether the walkie talkie offers a decent volume (aka decibel) level. Keep in mind that a lot of walkies are used outdoors where there is considerable white noise. You don't want to be holding the device up to your ear every time you need to hear somebody speak.

If you plan on using the walkie constantly, especially while working, it's recommended that you buy a model that comes with its own rechargeable docking station. If you plan on using the walkie outdoors, it's recommended that you purchase a model that's waterproof, if not compact. If you plan on hanging the walkie from a belt clip, it's recommended that you pursue a model that features some sort of rubber casing. Walkie talkies that hang from belt clips are prone to brushing up against solid objects. The rubber casing can protect the walkie from absorbing any shock.

When To Use a Walkie Talkie Instead of a Cell Phone

Most people in this day and age rely on their cell phones for everything, particularly communication. But cell phones come with a monthly charge, and most plans only allow for a set amount of minutes. That being the case, there are a wealth of situations where using a set of walkie talkies might actually make a lot more sense.

If you're a business owner, for example, and you need to stay in touch with your employees across a work site, or throughout a small region, walkie talkies are the most reliable way to do so. Almost all business owners have dealt with the frustration of trying to communicate an urgent message via phone or text, only to be met with no response due to the fact that an employee either doesn't have his cell phone on, or he doesn't have it with him. Arming employees with a fully-charged walkie talkie alleviates that issue, while also allowing everyone in the group to stay on top of what's being said.

If you enjoy the outdoors, particularly hiking or mountain climbing, walkie talkies are an ideal way to stay in touch with all the members of your party. People tend to hike or climb at their own pace, and in the wilderness there's an increased chance of getting lost (or losing cell phone coverage). Walkie talkies keep you in constant contact, while also allowing whoever is in front to provide updates of what to look out for on the path ahead.

If you live on an estate, walkie talkies are a great way to stay in contact with the staff (or your children). If you're young, walkie talkies are a great way to stay in contact with your friends. If you're sick, walkie talkies are a great way to stay in contact with a caregiver. If you need to communicate with anyone on a regular basis, walkie talkies are a cost-effective tool to have on hand.

A Brief History of The Walkie Talkie

Walkie talkies were originally used by the U.S. Military during World War II for communication. These early models, which came housed inside a backpack, were intermittently confused with a two-way radio known as the "handie talkie." A handie talkie looked - but did not function - like a larger version of the walkie talkies that we use today.

Motorola was the first company to publicly manufacture a walkie talkie. There is some disagreement, however, regarding who was responsible for inventing the transceivers which allowed for a walkie talkie to work. One camp credits a radio engineer named Alfred Gross who invented the primary technology surrounding a walkie talkie several years before World War II. Another camp credits a Canadian inventor named Donald Hings who was filing a patent for his "transceiver packset" at the same time World War II began.

Hings is officially recognized as the father of the walkie talkie, particularly because he not only filed the initial patent, but also aided in the production of early walkie talkies for the war effort. Alfred Gross went on to play a pivotal role in developing the early technology for a number of communication devices, including the cordless telephone and the telephone pager.

After the war, walkie talkies were designed to be more compact. During the 1950s police began using them, and soon after, civilians began purchasing walkie talkies as well. Today, walkie talkies remain the most reliable form of communication for countless outdoor businesses, organized events, police departments, military personnel, and more.

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Last updated on May 18, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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