Updated October 20, 2018 by Sam Kraft

The 10 Best Walkie Talkies

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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

9. Floureon Handheld

8. Proster Original

7. Motorola Talkabout

6. Baofeng BF888S

5. Dr. Fasting Wireless

4. Arcshell Long Range

3. Retevis H-777

2. Baofeng Tri-Power

1. Retevis Covert

What Separates a Good Walkie Talkie From a Great One?

Most walkies advertise a range that falls somewhere in between 10 and 40 miles.

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 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.

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.

During the 1950s police began using them, and soon after, civilians began purchasing walkie talkies as well.

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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Sam Kraft
Last updated on October 20, 2018 by Sam Kraft

In addition to his corporate career as a marketing and communications professional in Chicago, Sam runs a popular blog that focuses on the city’s flourishing craft beer and brewery scene. He received his degree in journalism from DePaul University (which spurred his interest in freelance writing) and has since spent years developing expertise in copywriting, digital marketing and public relations. A lifetime of fishing, hiking and camping trips has left him well-versed in just about any outdoors-related topic, and over several years spent working in the trades during his youth, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge about tools and machinery. He’s a travel junkie, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid biker.


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