Explore the world at your own pace and get set; go for a road trip with your friends and family. A road trip is a perfect way to unwind yourself from work, daily burdens, and mundane life. Driving through mountains or hiking with your friends is an experience of a lifetime. Well, but before planning a road trip, make sure that you are ready with all your essentials, especially the two-way radio devices commonly known as a walkie talkie.
You must be asking why we need a walkie talkie when we are living in an iPhone era?
Because these so-called old-fashioned walkie talkie devices are a lifesaver when you are on a route without cell coverage. It helps in coordination between groups or multiple vehicles. In case of route changes, stops for food or gas, or alerting everyone in emergencies like bad weather, vehicle breakdown, getting lost, etc. they are useful. Also, they are affordable, less expensive than satellite phones, and work well even in remote locations.
Today, we are here to help you pick the best from the lot available in the market. Something reliable, have a clear sound quality and is durable. But Before we proceed to guide you about the top five walkie-talkies available in the market, let’s first discuss the crucial factors to be considered while selecting a particular model for your road trip.
Top 5 Best Two-Way Radios for Road Trips: By Best Feature
Buyer Guide to Select the Best Walkie Talkie for Road Trips
Features to look at before you buy the best two way radio for a Road trip and to avoid any misadventures as far as communication is concerned.
On a road trip, the vehicles or group might likely get separated, sometimes by miles. In that scenario, it becomes essential to stay connected, update each other’s location, send, and receive messages even to the furthest group member or car.
Thus, the range of the device plays a vital role in solving such a problem. The lowest acceptable range for a walkie-talkie for road trips is considered to be 2 miles, and the more, the better. It ensures hassle-free communication between groups.
2. Battery life and charging
Always go for WTs (walkie talkies) with a minimum battery life of 8-10 hours. Also, choose a model that operates on standard AA or AAA batteries as you might not get a charging port everywhere.
Presently most of the models come with an inbuilt rechargeable battery and a charging dock or USB port. For a road trip, it recommended to go for a model that also operates on standard batterie.
3. Frequency Band/ radio service
All leading walkie talkies model runs on UHF (ultra-high frequency) or VHF (very high frequency) radio waves. The former is used for short-distance /indoor locations, whereas the latter works for long-range(136-174Hz) and is preferred for road trips.
Apart from these, there are FRS (Family radio service) and GMRS (General mobile radio service), which are also used for consumer recreational purposes. (think families, or friends, or road trips).
Also, opt for license-free Walkie talkies as there are guidelines for license from Federal Communication Commission(FCC).
4. Channels and privacy codes
The number of channels provided by a walkie talkies means how much free frequency you get to communicate. The more, the better. A decent count in a model, especially for a road trip, would be 22 channels on dual-band sets (FRS/GMRS).
On the other hand, privacy codes help keep your calls encrypted and provide you with more secondary channel combinations.
5. Ease of use
Road trips are taken up to relax and chill out with your group. So you need a device that is handy and easy to use with complicated operations. Look for those models which can be easily set- up. Some models come with a backlight display, which is quite a handy feature during the night.
6. Weather stations and alerts
As you transit from one route to another, there is a possibility of change in the weather pattern. So need an update from time to time. On a road trip, it becomes crucial to avoid routes with harsh weather conditions. If selected two-way radio has an NOAA weather scan, then that a plus.
Voice-activated transmit feature allows you to use your device hands-free. While driving a car or riding a motorbike, this feature is a handy feature on a road trip. Once you start speaking, it automatically transmits the signals and then switches off once you stop talking.
8. Design and structure
The material generally used in a walkie talkie is plastic. The design should be lightweight. The structure should be compact, anti-slip, and should easily come under your grasp.
9. Other additional features
Look out for additional features like water resistance ability, GPS enabled noise cancellation feature, number of handsets, pricing, etc.
Top 5 Best Walkie Talkies for Road Trips
Now let’s get started by talking about the best 5 two way radios researched in different categories.
1. Motorola T200TP Talkabout Radio
Best for: Battery life
Motorola’s walkie talkies are the most popular two- way radio devices worldwide. They are the most used devices under the FRS/GMRS frequency services.
Their outstanding features include NiMH rechargeable batteries, low battery alert, VOX hands-free, customized call tones, auto scanning, etc. These Motorola walkie talkies are durable and strong, works for a whole day once it is fully charged with 3 AA batteries.
The Motorola Talkabout walkie talkie has a long-range coverage of up to 20 miles. So it keeps you connected with your group members wherever you are when traveling.
With 22 channels, each one having 121 privacy codes for private communications. The set of 3 also comes with a charging adapter, belt clips, and user manual.
Product specifications of Motorola T200TP Talkabout Radio
- No. of channels is 22 with 121 privacy codes.
- Range up to 20 miles.
- Dual power option with a rechargeable battery
- Micro-USB Charging.
- Compatible with Other 2-way Radios.
- Eco Scan
- 20 customized Call Tones.
Pros and Cons of Motorola T200TP Talkabout Radio
- It is very reasonably priced
- The battery performance is superb.
- 3 radio per set.
- High sound quality.
- No weather scan and alerts
- The actual Range might not be up to 20 miles, as mentioned due to some interference and obstructions.
What makes Motorola T200TP Talkabout Radio best walkie talkie for road trips?
The double battery options make Motorola Talkabout walkie talkie the best family radio. The NiMH rechargeable battery with the Micro-USB port lasts for 12 hours, and if you use the 3 AA batteries option, then power your device increases for another29 hours.
2. Uniden SX507-2CKHS
Best for: long-range
Uniden SX507-2CKHS FRS radios are great devices with an impressive 14 hrs battery life. It is a top-rated option in the current market. It is affordable, durable as well as portable.
Its excellent range coverage within 50 miles keep you in touch whether you are out camping, biking, or caravanning on the highway. Another impressive feature is that SX507 operates on industry-standard frequencies. You can easily communicate with other models.
The NOAA Weather alerts keep you ahead of bad weather. In terms of channels, this radio comes with 22 tracks, providing uninterrupted communications.
Your connectivity range may be restricted by buildings, trees, hills, and other obstructions to an extent but you will never lose touch with anyone with this device in hand.
Uniden SX507 two-way radios have 7 Weather Channels. There is an Internal VOX Circuitry, and this two way radios is 100% TRU Waterproof.
Other feature includes a Channel Monitor with Channel Scan Group Scan option. This enables the device to auto check for any activity going around. As soon as the radio finds a signal, it locks that channel and send the reception to the speaker. There is a Keypad Lock feature available on this device.
Specifications of Uniden SX507-2CKHS
- 142 Privacy Codes with 22 channels
- Up to 50 Mile Range FRS radios
- Direct Call with Name Display
- 10 Selectable Call/Ring Tone Alerts
- Battery Level Meter
- Rechargeable AA NiMH Batteries
- Dual Charging Cradle with AC Adapter
Pros and Cons of Uniden SX507-2CKHS
- Enhance talk over a long distance.
- Free LED flashlight.
- Performs very decently in adverse weather conditions.
- Easy to carry and compact design.
- Waterproof body.
- Value for money
- You have to buy a rechargeable cable port.
What makes Uniden SX507-2CKHS best walkie talkie for road trips?
It is our top pick in the long-range walkie talkie category as it enhances your communication within 50 miles’ area. Its work very well in hills and valleys through the actual range may be varied due to terrain and weather conditions.
Also, due to FCC requirements, the range may vary, but it still performs the best compared to other models in the same category.
3. Cobra RX680 2 Watt Rugged Walkie Talkies
Best for: Weather alerts
The best walkie talkie for road trips must be a radio device that is tough and durable against every weather condition. Cobra RX680 Rugged Walkie Talkies is built mainly for this purpose.
The nicely styled walkie talkie provides clear communication for more than 38 miles. There are a total of 2662 possible channels & 121 privacy codes to select from.
Cobra walkie talkie comes with ten pre-programmed NOAA radio receiver weather alerts channels that keep you alert on the bad weather condition and other emergencies in your route.
There is an emergency alert button. The cobra walkie talkie is perfect for a road trip with its dual battery option. It uses rechargeable batteries with an Ultra-long runtime of up to 18 hours, which you can quickly recharge with a Micro-USB charging cable.
With NOAA weather alerts features Cobra RX680 radio is the right choice when you want the best and durable walkie talkie for road trips, hiking, hunting, etc.,
Product specifications of Cobra RX680 2 Watt Rugged Walkie Talkie
- Long Range up to 38-Mile.
- NOAA Weather Alert.
- FRS frequency
- Waterproof & Dustproof Rate IP54
- Rechargeable battery.
- Set of 2 Pack
Pros and Cons of Cobra RX680 2 Watt Rugged Walkie Talkie
- This walkie talkie is reliable, durable, and weather-resistant
- It comes with 10 NOAA channels for weather updates
- The two way radio has a decent battery life
- It is cost-effective
- Good signal strength.
- The audio can be weak sometimes.
Why should you choose Cobra RX680 2 Watt Rugged Walkie Talkie for road trip?
Whenever there is a weather situation, this walkie talkie will produce a tone and instantly change to the NOAA weather channels for details. The exciting feature is that Cobra RX680 2 Watt Rugged Walkie Talkies is weather-resistant and keeps moisture out automatically. They are dustproof and waterproof.
4. BaoFeng BF-888S 2 Way Radios
Best for: UHF & VHF Frequency
The distance covered through BaoFeng BF-888S two-way radio sets is about 3 miles. But as it uses UHF signals, it can enhance effective communication. In terms of weight, it stands at 5.3oz, which makes it very small and lightweight.
It can be carried around without being burdened. Battery Life lasts for 8-10 hours on a single charge. There are 50 CTCSS/105 CDCSS. It has to Push to the Power button.
This device has a solid built, but its not waterproof. The device can be used with CHIRP or the BF-888 software. Communication very clear and crisp with the earpiece provided in the package.
Baofeng’s devices are road trip-friendly as they are enhanced with better speakers, and also with best frequency range (400-470MHz). The emergency alarm and the presence of flashlight also make it a perfect companion on your road trips.
Specifications of BaoFeng BF-888S 2 Way Radios
- The range is about 3 miles
- No of channels 16
- 1500mAh Li-ion battery
- VOX Function
- PC Programming
- Emergency Alarm
- Intelligent Charging
- Low Voltage Alert
- operates in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) range
Pros and Cons of BaoFeng BF-888S 2 Way Radios
- At a budgeted price of $70, this walkie talkie offers great value for money.
- The battery life of this device is excellent after a single charge.
- The device is portable
- Small and lightweight.
- Customer service is excellent.
- It doesn’t come with any light, so it can’t be used in Dark conditions
- The look and design are lovely.
Why is BaoFeng BF-888S 2 Way Radios best for road trips?
Since it operates in UHF, The Baofeng BF-888S Plus UHF Walkie Talkie earned it a spot in our list as one can be sure of getting quality coverage at all times. UHF devices are more adaptable to road trips as the waves are short and easily penetrate obstacles—imposing frequency range.
5. Midland GXT1000VP4
Best for: Value for Money
The Midland GXT1000vp4, built from durable plastic, is both strong and sturdy two-way radios, providing great communication with sound clarity. This set is ideal for outdoor camping or road trips to the river or desert.
This walkie talkies come with 50 channels and can communicate as far as 36 miles, depending on the environment. With the eVOX technology, this modern walkie-talkie is hands-free, transmitting signal automatically when the user’s voice is detected.
The audio this two way radio produces is loud and clear. The GXT1000VP4 is fully waterproof. Thus it is ideal for any weather conditions. The device receives forecasts, warnings, and other weather hazard data from NWR (NOAA weather radio).
In case of an emergency, it can send out locator or distress signals. The device comes with a rechargeable battery pack, which can last for about 8 hours. Their Compact size proves useful when you’re trying to operate it with gloved hands.
The Volume/Power button this walkie talkie has is effortless to use. It comes in sets of 4/6/8.
Products Specifications of Midland GXT1000VP4
- Range up to 36 Mile
- The number of channels is 50, with 22 primary channels and 28 privacy code channels
- Weather Scan & Alert
- JIS4 Waterproof
- Call & Vibrate Alert
- SOS siren for emergencies
Pros and Cons of Midland GXT1000VP4
- The devices come with a car adapter and a desktop charger.
- Compact size and lightweight.
- Auto-scan alerts for extreme weather conditions.
- Superb sound quality.
- Battery performance is good as it lasts for 8 to hours.
- It has a Powerful microphone with whisper mode on.
- Long charging time.
- Little noisy at the receiver end.
- The glass cover of the screen may probably suffer small scratches.
Why is Midland GXT1000VP4 best walkie talkie for road trips?
GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio is Midland’s most powerful consumer two-way radio. With a good quality built, relatively affordable, these walkie talkies will prove themselves most useful in your road trip journey.
We recommend Midland GXT1000vp4 as an excellent pick at this price range, providing seamless communication with decent sound clarity.
Comparison of Top 5 Walkie Talkies for Road Trips
|Maximum Range (miles)
|Channels / Sub Channels
|22 (121 PRIVACY CODES)
|22 (142 privacy codes)
|22 (121 privacy codes, 2662 possible channels)
|50 (with 22 primary channels and 28 privacy code channels)
|Dual Charging Cradle
|NOAA Weather Channels
|No. of Set in package Includes
These walkie-talkies are super proficient and carry plenty of range to help when cell-phone coverage is speckled or non-existent. Though it may be an extra item to carry on a road trip, a walkie-talkie is a seamless way to stay in communication and is a crucial part of every emergency and survival kit.
The best walkie talkie for a road trip is one that is affordable, dependable, and will keep you connected within your group and across multiple vehicles. It is the main form of communication when you’re coordinating a road trip between multiple drivers.
After sorting through hundreds of models and from the premium range to budget offers, we have researched thoroughly to bring out the best walkie talkies on the market so that you get the perfect companion for your road trip.
Remember, each model comes with an assortment of functionalities and designs, ensuring your conversations smoother during your journey. The cherry on the cake is that they are pocket friendly based on their advantages.