The 10 Best Walkie Talkies

Updated June 23, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Walkie Talkies
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. From a great toy for the kids to professional grade tactical operations to units suitable for marine use, you'll find the right walkie-talkies for your needs from our selection. We've included models good for people operating fairly close together along with models that boast a range of over 30 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. Brainy Trade IMAGE

The Brainy Trade IMAGE have both a solid construction and lightweight feel that you don't often find combined in lower-priced models. They will reliably operate in warm climates or in temperatures well below the freezing point, but the battery only lasts about 8 hours.
  • multiple sets can be used together
  • can't use standard aa batteries
  • range is only about 2 miles
Brand BrainyTrade
Model BF-888S
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Uniden GMR5095-2CKHS

The Uniden GMR5095-2CKHS can be completely submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes and feature a durable, impact resistant housing, making them ideal for hardcore applications. They do have some static at ranges over three miles, though.
  • clear voice transmissions when close
  • conveniently palm sized
  • volume is not very loud
Brand Uniden
Model GMR5095-2CKHS
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. VECTORCOM RD-008

The VECTORCOM RD-008 are built into a convenient wristwatch design, so you can communicate with having to hold onto a device the entire time. They are perfect for cyclists or hikers who want to stay on the move, but they are best for just short range communications.
  • include earbuds and microphone
  • backlit lcd with time display
  • auto channel scanning
Brand VECTORCOM
Model RD-08
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Cobra ACXT545

The Cobra ACXT545 are water-resistant, so you can be ready in all conditions, and feature an integrated white LED flashlight. They allow for simple charging via any USB port, without the need to lug around a cradle, but releasing the lock button isn't very intuitive.
  • total of 3124 channel combinations
  • rugged housing with a solid build
  • can also work on alkaline batteries
Brand Cobra
Model ACXT545
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Motorola MR350R

The Motorola MR350R can be set to use the VibraCall vibration alert, or one of 20 different tones to catch your attention when someone is trying to contact you. They offer a 35-mile range and iVOX hands-free communication without the need for an additional audio accessory.
  • single cradle charges both devices
  • available in camo and black
  • extra large buttons
Brand Motorola Consumer Radio
Model MR350R
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Retevis H-777

The affordable Retevis H-777 come in a five-pack, making them a great choice for team operations anywhere inside of a three-mile radius. They are lightweight, at just 180g, so constantly carrying them around won't be cumbersome.
  • emergency alarm function
  • chinese and english voice prompts
  • low battery alerts
Brand Retevis
Model H-777
Weight 4.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Motorola T600 Talkabout

The Motorola T600 Talkabout are extremely versatile. They feature a durable IP67 waterproof housing with a built-in flashlight that has both white and red LEDs. They broadcast over 22 channels with 121 privacy codes to ensure your communications are secure.
  • float if dropped in water
  • use frs and gmrs frequencies
  • push-to-talk power boost
Brand Motorola Solutions
Model T600
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Wouxun KG-UV8D

With their cross band repeat function, 999 memory channels, and large, easy to read LCD display, the Wouxun KG-UV8D are feature-packed machines that are also easy to use. In addition, they have an audio distortion quality of less than 5% for clear communications.
  • can operate in extreme climates
  • come with a detailed user manual
  • include a wrist strap and belt clip
Brand Wouxun
Model KG-UV8D
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Midland GXT1000VP4

The Midland GXT1000VP4 can broadcast clear signals for up to 36 miles on 50 different channels. They allow for vibration alerts for stealth applications, and receive NOAA and all hazard channels to keep you abreast of what's happening during emergency situations.
  • easy hands-free operation
  • 142 privacy codes
  • can make direct calls to other units
Brand Midland
Model GXT1000VP4
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Baofeng BF-F9 V2+

With an ultra wide frequency range, noise reduction features that block out unwanted background noise, and three power settings, Baofeng BF-F9 V2+ are ideal for a range of applications, including commercial work sites and tactical operations.
  • independent operation of a-b bands
  • tri-color display
  • very durable metallic housing
Brand Baofeng
Model 2PACK-BFF9V2BLACK
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 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 June 23, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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