How much are you prepared for the next hunting party? For most, a formidable arsenal of weapons takes center stage. Well, I don’t dispute that. However, staying in touch with colleagues is just as crucial. Cellphones might work but are a bit limited in remote areas. Plus, they need airtime to operate. Hence, the trick is to find yourself the best two way radios for hunting.
Overall, you need a radio that’s durable, portable, and with excellent signal strength. And in the case of harsh weather, a water-resistant design is paramount. Well, I’ve done some digging and found such radios. Without further ado, I introduce the best walkie talkies for hunting.
10 Best Two Way Radios for Hunting
1. BaoFeng BF-F8HP 3rd Generation Two-Way Radio
BaoFeng has an impressive lineup of two-way radios. As it stands, BF-F8HP is the most powerful. It’s an extremely compact and affordable dual-band radio. Hence, I’d recommend it to amateurs who need low-cost mobility.
High gain dual-band antenna
BaoFeng BF-F8HP is a dual-band radio. Hence, it can operate on two separate frequency bands. It can communicate in VHF 136-174MHz and UHF 400-520MHz range.
The dual-band technology gives you more flexibility. You can use the short-wave UHF band for indoor use. Also, you can switch to long-wave VHF for outdoor use.
Three power levels
BF-F8HP radio boasts 30% larger battery. At 2000mAh, it provides long-lasting radio experience.
What makes BF-F8HP even more impressive is the adjustable power levels. You can set it to 1, 4, or 8 watts. On average, BF-F8HP provides up to 20 hours of use.
BF-F8HP doesn’t have the best range. At least not when compared to other brands. But at 10 miles, it’s still commendable.
An extensive set of accessories
The package includes other extras. It comprises a belt clip and hand strap for easy portability. Also, you get a battery charger, earphone, and an in-depth manual.
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2. Midland GXT1050 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio
Midland promises quality radio communication for every adventure. And with decades of innovation and experience, it delivers as advertised.
GXT1050 GMRS is among its best creations. It’s a feature-packed long-range radio that boosts your hunting experience.
Mossy oak camo
GXT1050 boasts mossy oak camo. It’s an all-around camo pattern and one of the most effective ever devised.
The mossy oak camo offers cutting-edge concealment. Hence, it gives you the chance to close in more on the target.
Incoming call alerts and animal call alerts
Mossy oak camo isn’t the only thing that makes this radio a hunter’s best friend. It also includes animal call alerts, such as wolf, turkey, goose, and cougar. Alongside that, it has ten ringtones for incoming calls.
Moreover, you can switch it to vibration mode to silence all tones. For that, it rewards you with more stealth.
NOAA weather scan and alert
GXT1050 provides real-time updates on the current weather conditions. Also, it alerts you in the event of severe weather patterns. That gives you the chance to prepare before heading out for the hunt.
50 open and private communication channels
GXT1050 has 22 standard channels and 28 extra channels. Also, you can allocate a code to each channel for a private conversation. Overall, GXT1050 has 142 privacy codes.
Alongside that, it has a channel scan function. It automatically scans the channels for any activity.
In open areas, GXT 1050 has a range of up to 36 miles. All the while, it allows for clear and crisp communication.
Rugged, water-resistant construction
GXT1050 offers rugged durability and water-resistant construction. It can withstand light showers and splashing water. Also, it holds up well to daily abuse.
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3. Motorola Talkabout Radio MH230R
Motorola has a near-legendary status in the world of two-way radios. Its range of walkie talkies, in particular, is the market’s gold standard.
The MH230R is among those models that never cease to impress. It’s lightweight but packed full of essential features.
22 channels with 121 privacy code support
A multitude of channels and privacy codes offer up to 2,662 combinations. Hence, it’s easier to find an available channel. Also, when the need arises, you can keep the conversation private.
NOAA weather channels and alerts
In the event of extreme weather, the MH230R alerts you in advance. It has 11 weather channels and an alarm alert.
A range of 23 miles
Motorola MH230R rewards you with a 23-mile range in open areas. Even in crowded neighborhoods, it still manages a 1-mile range. Hence, it’s as good for the country trail as it’s for the crowded urban areas.
The MH230R boasts an IP-51 rating. Thus, it’s resistant to dust and dripping water. Also, it’s ruggedly built to withstand vertical drops.
You can power the MH230R using alkaline or rechargeable batteries. You’ll get 14 hours on alkaline batteries and 12 hours on rechargeable batteries. Also, the package includes a dual drop-in charger.
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4. Midland – LXT500VP3 22-Channel FRS Walkie Talkie
Midland LXT500VP3 is a super-affordable, license-free walkie talkie. It’s the cheapest on the list, no doubt. Surprisingly, it offers clear, long-range communication. Even more, you can pair with other FRS and GMRS radios from Midland.
22 FRS channels
Midland LXT500VP3 rewards you with 22 family radio service channels. Moreover, it supports a scan function that checks the channels for activity.
Xtreme range technology
Most FRS radios don’t have an extra long-range signal. Thanks to Xtreme range technology, this radio offers a longer range signal. For instance, you get a signal range of up to 24 miles in open areas.
The keypad has a lock function. Hence, it prevents accidental activation. Also, the keypad control allows for audible tones or silent operation.
This radio has two power options. You can use rechargeable batteries or alkaline AAA batteries. Also, the package includes an onboard charger for two walkie talkies.
5. Retevis H-777 Walkie Talkies
H-777 is pretty much a straightforward walkie talkie. Well, it has a default frequency out of the box. Hence, you can unpack and use straight away.
Well, the H-777 might have a minimalist design and super affordable price tag. Nonetheless, it packs more features for a wide range of applications.
This walkie talkie has 16 channels, each with a reliable signal. And with a secure code, it keeps your conversation clear and free of traffic. Alongside that, H-777 enables you to scan and monitor channels.
Rugged and non-slip construction
The H-777 rewards you with rugged durability. For instance, it can withstand repeated drops. Also, it has a visible tread on each side to provide a non-slip grip.
The flashlight provides a constant beam of light. Hence, you can use the walkie talkie long into the night.
Large capacity fast-charging battery
At 1000mAh, the battery provides 8-9 hours of use. But it’s the fast charging time that makes it stand out. It attains full charge in as little as 2-3 hours. Also, the walkie talkie comes with a USB charging station.
6. Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout 2-Way Radio
The MS350R is a bit expensive, but for valid reasons. It’s a high-performance, ultra-durable radio designed for extreme outdoors.
Also, the MS350R combines both function and style. The sleek, contemporary look gives it an undeniable appeal.
More channel combinations
Motorola MS350R has 22 standard channels. Plus, it adopts both FRS and GMRS frequencies. Hence, it rewards you with a multitude of channel combinations.
Alongside that, this two-way radio has eight repeater channels. And with 121 privacy codes for each channel, you can eliminate any interference.
Most radios are water-resistant at maximum. But with an IP-67 rating, the MS350R is one step ahead. You can immerse it one meter deep for half an hour. Also, you can use it in a heavy downpour. Overall, it feels at home in any wet conditions.
Well, the MS350R is more than just waterproof. It’s also extremely resistant to dust for all-around protection.
An impressive 35-mile range
The range of this two-way radio is very commendable. In an area free of interference, it can range up to 35 miles.
The MS350R comes with a rechargeable battery pack. But should you choose, you can use 3 AA alkaline batteries. On the rechargeable batteries, you get up to 9 hours of continuous use.
7. COBRA ACXT545 Walkie Talkies
Cobra Adventure Series promises enhanced functionality on the go. Well, they’ve pretty much nailed it, thanks to the ACXT545 walkie talkie.
It’s a feature-packed walkie-talkie, no doubt. Still, it remains lightweight and ultra-compact for easy portability.
Extensive signal range and channel combinations
At its best, the ACXT545 as a signal range of 28 miles. Hence, it covers an extensive area. Again, it has up to 2662 channel combinations.
NOAA weather channels and alert
ACXT545 walkie talkie scans through 10 government-operated weather channels. Hence, you can prepare in advance for storms and emergencies.
Five tones for different parties
Five selectable tones make it easy to tell apart the different incoming calls. You can allocate a different tone for each party. Also, you can switch to vibration mode for silent operation.
It doesn’t sound like much, but commendable nonetheless. Well, IPX2 is pretty much as the lower scale of water-resistant performance. But at least, it can withstand water droplets at an angle.
Voice-activated transmission is standard for most two-way radios. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning. It eliminates the need to press any buttons. Hence, you can use your hands for other tasks.
8. LUITON LT-188H VHF Walkie Talkie
LT-188H is a high-band VHF radio for outdoor enthusiasts alike. Also, I’d say it’s among the few programmable radios out there. And it’s this feature that makes it one of the best out there.
Industrial design tailor-made for amateurs
LT-188H boasts rugged industrial-grade construction. Hence, it can withstand repeated drops.
Also, it’s simple to operate. All you do is install the antenna and turn on the button. Such simplicity makes it ideal for amateurs.
LT-188H is PC-programmable to custom frequencies. Using a programming software and USB cable, you can fine-tune it to your liking. Also, the programming software enables you to adjust the power output.
Priority channel scan
Well, LT-188H supports 16 channels. However, you can activate the priority channel scan feature. It enables you to prioritize certain channels over others.
Thanks to a 10-watt output, this radio covers greater distances. It has a signal range of up to 20 miles in open areas.
Extended battery life
This walkie talkie uses a rechargeable 2800mAh lithium-ion battery. It lasts longer than other counterparts. For instance, it can last days in standby mode.
9. Uniden Atlantis 270 Floating 2-Way Marine Radio
Uniden boasts decades of innovative technologies to keep you in touch. Well, it enters the list with the first marine handheld radio.
Submersible and waterproof, Atlantis 270 adapts fully to marine environments. But its capabilities extend even further.
Floating waterproof design
Atlantis 270 floats on water, so you don’t lose it. Again, it boasts an IPX7 rating. Hence, it can stay submerged one meter deep for up to 30 minutes.
Three power levels
This marine radio has three power levels: 1, 2.5, and 6 watts. 1 and 2.5 watts give you maximum battery life. 6 watts, on the other hand, provides maximum transmission.
NOAA weather alerts
Atlantis 270 incorporates all weather channels. It alerts you in the event of severe weather so you can prepare in advance.
Extended battery life
Atlantis 270 marine radio comes with two lithium batteries. Hence, it provides double the talk time. Overall, it provides up to 10 hours of continuous use.
10. Kenwood TK-3402U16P ProTalk 5-Watt Two-way Radio
Kenwood needs no introduction. It’s a leading developer in communications equipment, including radios.
Among its best inventions is the ProTalk, a small 2-way radio. Despite the size, it’s ruggedly built and packed full of features. As such, it provides reliable communication in all weather conditions.
Balanced transmission power
At 5 watts, the transmission power is neither too low nor too high. Such a sweet spot offers sufficient coverage. Also, it preserves battery life.
90-preset UHF frequencies
Kenwood ProTalk uses deep-penetrating UHF frequency. It doesn’t have the range of VHF counterparts. Nonetheless, it has an impressive 7-mile range. Also, it doubles as an excellent radio for indoor use.
Well, this 16-channel radio has a frequency range of 451-470MHz. The channels are generously spaced at 12.5KHz. Hence, there’s less risk of signal interference.
Quiet talk codes
Kenwood ProTalk incorporates 207 privacy codes. It locks out unwanted parties to further minimize signal interference.
Water and dust-resistant
Kenwood ProTalk doesn’t boast a waterproof construction. Nevertheless, it affords water-resistant and dust-resistant construction. Hence, it can withstand light showers.
Generous battery life
This radio uses a 2000mAh rechargeable lithium battery. It provides long hours of use on a single charge. Also, it includes a charger and low-battery indicator for added convenience.
Best Two Way Radios for Hunting: Complete Guide
Most radios have a range of more than six miles. Well, that’s more than sufficient for hunting.
However, the maximum range tends to vary. It drops drastically in areas that have more obstacles. So, it would be best to go for more signal range when hunting in the thicket. Remote areas, on the other hand, will have little to no drop in signal range.
Since obstructions are a common occurrence, more signal range is the solution. I’d recommend a radio with a communication range of 8 miles or more. But keep in mind, some might require a license to operate.
Number of Handsets
The more the handsets, the cheaper they become. But it depends on the number of parties you plan to communicate with. For instance, if you plan to go hunting with a friend, a twin set will do. If it’s for a large group, then you’ll need more.
Privacy Codes and Channels
Most conventional, license-free radios accommodate 8-16 channels. They’ve got no restrictions, hence enable free communication. However, some tend to lack privacy codes. That makes them insecure, especially when discussing confidential issues.
So, should you want more privacy, a licensed radio will suffice. Plus, some have as many as 36 channels.
Water-resistant construction is essential when hunting in wet areas. For marine environments, an entirely waterproof radio is the best. Some can survive one meter deep inside the water.
If you plan to hunt for long hours, extended battery life is paramount. Lithium batteries are among the most preferred. But whichever you choose, aim for at least 8 hours of continuous use. More powerful batteries can last over 16 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What’s the best two-way radio for hunting?
Answer: Well, there are several contenders for the top slot. But I’ll set for two: Midland GXT1050 and Motorola MS350R. They provide a longer range communication, up to 36 miles. Also, they provide waterproof protection for all-season use.
Question: What’s the best two-way hunting radio for marine environments.
Answer: Most radios on the list can handle wet environments. However, none matches Uniden Atlantis 270. It’s submersible and designed to float on water.
Question: Which is better between UHF and VHF?
Answer: UHF radios can penetrate through walls and steel. Hence, they’re excellent for indoor use. VHF radios don’t have as much penetrating power. However, they reward you with a longer signal range. That makes them ideal for outdoor use.
Question: What’s the difference between a walkie talkie and two-way radio?
Answer: Well, a walkie talkie or two-way radio is the same thing. Both can send and receive radio transmission. It’s just that the terms are used interchangeably.
Staying in touch during the hunt has never been easier, thanks to 2-way radios. But to get more value for the dollar, you need the best. Well, I’ve done the hard part to give you a list of the best two-way radios for hunting. So, the final decision lies with you. Which two-way radio do you find the best for your next hunting expedition?