10 Best Walkie Talkie For Hunting | Reviews & Top Picks 2018

Best Walkie Talkie For Hunting
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From a toy for the kids to professional grade tactical, to unit suitable for marine use, there are different walkie talkies for your needs. But this time, I’m going to be focusing on a more exciting topic, which is hunting.

That’s right, in this article, I’m going to be going through some of the best walkie talkie for hunting as well as how to choose one according to your needs.

Learn the advantages and disadvantages of hunting with walkie-talkies with this in-depth guide that’s made especially for those that want to take their hunting game to whole a new level.

Why You Need A Two-Way Radio?

Well, isn’t it obvious? You need to have a second pair of eyes keeping a lookout for your prized buck and need someone to communicate via text or a two-way radio. That being said, these aren’t your normal walkie-talkies.

To be more precise, the way radios that are used for hunting often have some features that set them apart from normal walkie talkies.

These are sophisticated machines designed to communicate in long range with some additional features that are specially used for hunting.

Weather resistance, clarity, privacy codes, tough build quality, camo aesthetics and much more. Some even have a silent mode, headphones, and eavesdrop reducer feature that filter out broadcast from other users.

Quick Note: In some states, hunting deer with two-way radios is illegal. Make sure to check your state regulations before you buy and use one.

Requirements for Using a Two-Way Radio

There are different requirements for different bands. Some radios operate within HAM bands which needs a proper Amateur Radio license to use. I would recommend you to get at least a TECH level license to use the products mentioned here.

If you don’t have one, don’t worry. Just get the Amateur Radio license and you’ll be fine. If you don’t have a license but operate within the HAM bands, it could get you a sizable fine from the FCC.

However, most of the radios mentioned here don’t require a license from the FCC. Please check Legalities Of "Walkie Talkie" Use While Hunting before you go hunting.

Most of the walkie talkies here will use the FRS/GMRS bands. It’s basically two different services combined with one. Keep in mind that, although the FRS/GMRS radio type will give you extensive range, using it legally will require permission.

You can apply for a license by applying online or manually file FCC Form 605. You don’t need to go through any test. It’s just standard procedure.

Related: Best Hunting Equipment of 2018: Basic Gear for Avid Hunters

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing the Best Walkie Talkies

1. Do you hunt solo or are you a team player?

Suppose you are hunting with partners and one of them spotted a deer. By having radios, he/she can give out the location or tell if a herd of elk is coming your way or not.

You can also call one another for help when you need to do some field dressing. Although some of the hunters think it’s against the law of fair chase and fair hunt policy. But, I doubt that.

You can’t actually rely on your cell phones because, out there on the wild, it will be out of coverage for sure. The best way to communicate is to use the best two-way radios for mountains and forests.

2. Do you want extra security out there in the wild?

Having a reliable communication method can give a feeling of security. Often you are out there a mile or two from the nearest town and can’t actually rely on cellular-based communication.

It may be due turbulence created by the dense forest or mountains. But, having a long-range walkie talkie can help you communicate even at those scenarios.

With the press of a button, you know you can reach out to someone for help. Most modern hunting walkie talkies have long battery lifespan, lightweight and reliable.

As long as they are allowed in your state, I don’t see any reason why you should not get one.

3. Do you have a license to operate a two-way radio?

You need some legal papers before you can use these radios for hunting. As I have said before, you should also check whether it’s allowed in your state or not. Go to the FCC’s Universal Licensing System and apply online.

4. Do you need a longer battery life?

When you are out there, you can’t always charge your radios. Unless you have a camp set up there, which most hunters don’t do. For campers, that’s another thing because they travel heavy.

But for hunters, they prefer to travel as light as possible. That’s why you need something that can get you through the day. Go for the radios that have rechargeable batteries and can operate on AA or AAA batteries.

Quick Note: If your walkie talkie comes with signal booster feature, it will drain those batteries faster than normal when boosting the signal.

5. Do you need to use headsets?

A cool feature that some of these two-way walkie talkies have is the headset option. I would love to see those on all the device. When you have your hands full, these wired or Bluetooth headset can be a lifesaver.

Bow hunters will really appreciate this feature. If you can, don’t miss out on getting a radio with this feature.

6. Are weather alerts and waterproof feature important for you?

If you ask other hunters, they will definitely recommend these features. Most radios that hunters use will have NOAA weather alerts. It’s a feature that locks into the nearest weather channel and will keep you updated of the current weather.

Some device will automatically search for nearby weather stations. If there is rain in the forecast, you don’t have to worry too much if your device is waterproof. I don’t think I need to stress enough about this.

7. What is the best walkie talkie for hunting?

There is no single best product out there that I can say is best for hunting. It’s because different products have different features and price. It depends on how much you are willing to spend what features you want to get.

To narrow down the list, I’ve recommended some of the best radio for mountain hunting, see the list of reviews and make your decision.

These are some of the common features that most first-time hunters will look for. There are other features out there, but these are the most basic ones.

At the end of the reviews, I will be sharing an In-Depth buying guide for all you that want to know more about these radios or want to make the decision by yourself.

Here are the top 10 best 2-way radios for hunting in no particular order.

5 Best Walkie Talkie For Hunting Comparison Table

Photo
Midland - GXT1050VP4, 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio - Up to 36 Mile Range Walkie Talkie, 142 Privacy Codes, Waterproof, NOAA Weather Scan + Alert (Pair Pack) (Mossy Oak Camo)
Cobra ACXT1035 FLT CAMO Walkie Talkie
Midland Consumer Radio MID-LXT535VP3Midland LXT535VP3 22-Channel Camo GMRS with 24-Mile Range
(2) COBRA CXT1045R-FLT-CAMO 37 Mi Waterproof Floating 2Way Radios Walkie Talkies
Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)
Title
Midland GXT1050VP4 Two-Way Waterproof Walkie Talkie
Cobra ACXT1035 FLT CAMO Walkie Talkie
Midland Consumer Radio MID-LXT535VP3
COBRA CXT1045R Waterproof 2 Way Radios Walkie Talkies
Motorola MR350R 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)
Range
36-Mile Ranges
37 Mile Range
24-Mile Range
37 Mile Range
35 Mile Range
Channel
Up to 3,124 channels
2662 Channel Combinations
22-Channel Camo GMRS
2662 Channel Combinations
11 Weather Channels (7 NOAA)
Ratings
Photo
Midland - GXT1050VP4, 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio - Up to 36 Mile Range Walkie Talkie, 142 Privacy Codes, Waterproof, NOAA Weather Scan + Alert (Pair Pack) (Mossy Oak Camo)
Title
Midland GXT1050VP4 Two-Way Waterproof Walkie Talkie
Range
36-Mile Ranges
Channel
Up to 3,124 channels
Ratings
Buy now
Photo
Cobra ACXT1035 FLT CAMO Walkie Talkie
Title
Cobra ACXT1035 FLT CAMO Walkie Talkie
Range
37 Mile Range
Channel
2662 Channel Combinations
Ratings
Buy now
Photo
Midland Consumer Radio MID-LXT535VP3Midland LXT535VP3 22-Channel Camo GMRS with 24-Mile Range
Title
Midland Consumer Radio MID-LXT535VP3
Range
24-Mile Range
Channel
22-Channel Camo GMRS
Ratings
Buy now
Photo
(2) COBRA CXT1045R-FLT-CAMO 37 Mi Waterproof Floating 2Way Radios Walkie Talkies
Title
COBRA CXT1045R Waterproof 2 Way Radios Walkie Talkies
Range
37 Mile Range
Channel
2662 Channel Combinations
Ratings
Buy now
Photo
Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)
Title
Motorola MR350R 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)
Range
35 Mile Range
Channel
11 Weather Channels (7 NOAA)
Ratings
Buy now

Top 10 Best Two Way Radios For Hunting

1. Midland Gxt1050vp4 36-Mile 50-Channel Frs/Gmrs Two-Way Radio

The Midland Gxt1050vp4 is two-way, 50-channel radio that’s made for hunting. It’s rugged and waterproof with a bunch of options that make this radio a tough competitor to beat.

This radio uses Frs/Gmrs service which means that you’ll need to get the proper FCC license to use this one. Although, the manufacturer claims that it has a range of 36 miles, but in a typical scenario like forests and mountains, you’ll get somewhere between 3 to 4 miles.

It has a nice camo design that’s perfect for stealth operations. This two-way radio is packed with features like direct/group calling, privacy codes, SOS siren, NOAA weather radio, silent operation, animal call alerts and many more. It’s one of the best two-way walkie talkies out there.

The clarity on this one is top notch. Even in whisper settings, you can hear what others are saying. Even if you speak quietly, the other person can easily hear what you are saying. On top of that, it can operate on AA batteries. If you are hunting in a group, don’t go without this one.

Pros

    • Nice camouflage design.
    • Crystal clear clarity.
    • Optional drop-in charger.
    • All features included.

Cons

    • Very long charging time.

2. Cobra ACXT1035R FLT CAMO Walkie Talkie

The ACXT1035 FLT CAMO walkie talkie from Cobra gives out that adventurous look. Although there are other design patterns available, the RealTree Max 4 design gives the most outdoor vibe. The large orange buttons with the camouflage look make it a complete outdoor companion.

The NOAA weather alert feature will keep you updated for upcoming storms and emergencies. Hands-free calling for those hunters who have their hands full with other equipment. It can detect the user's voice and transmit without the need to press buttons.

The ACXT1035R has a floating design, and the orange shade is visible underwater. For those of you who love kayak fishing, this camo radio is perfect. It’s one of the best rated hunting walkie talkies out there and ready to use out of the box. Feels very rigid and the rubberized grip makes it easy to use in wet conditions.

This IPX7 certified also comes with Cobra’s patented Rewind-Say-Again technology. It’s a feature that records 20 seconds of the audio call from the ones that you missed. Additional features such as dual port charger and LED flashlight are also present.

Pros

    • Nice camo design.
    • Durable and rigid device.
    • Easy to operate.
    • Patented VibrAlert.

Cons

    • Mic sound isn’t that good, but that’s how waterproof radios are.

3. Midland Consumer Radio MID-LXT535VP3 Midland LXT535VP3 22-Channel Camo GMRS with 24-Mile Range

The LXT535VP3 is the Black/Mossy Oak Version out of the three models in this series. It’s a two-way radio that uses the Family Radio Service channels. Keep in mind that you need a proper license to use this one. There is also a channel scan feature to scan for nearby channels.

You can consider this one as the best walkie talkies for mountain use. In a dense forest with lots of obstacles, you’ll get roughly 2 to 3 miles of coverage. In open areas, it’s close to 24 miles range. One unique feature of this device is the Hi/Lo power settings. You can manually adjust the transmission frequency to preserve battery life.

There are two power options. You can either use the Ni-MH rechargeable battery or use 4 “AAA” batteries. It’s a pair bundle with two radios, two belt clips, two rechargeable batteries, one desktop charger, and one AC adapter.

Other noticeable features are auto channel scanner, battery life extender, auto squelch, silent mode, call alerts, roger beeps, and easy to use buttons. It’s a nice budget-friendly solution for any outdoor enthusiasts.

Pros

    • Built-in battery life extender.
    • Easy button access.
    • Removes background noise.
    • Water-resistant.

Cons

    • Although the manufacturer said that this device is license fee, it’s not.

4. Motorola Mt350r Frs Weatherproof Two-Way – 35 Mile Radio

IP-54 and IP-67 rated waterproof and dustproof two-way radio is the key selling point of the Motorola Mt350r. Not only you can use it in the wettest weather, but it’s also impervious to dust. It has a compact design that fits in your pocket.

It comes with 22 channels with an additional eight repeater channel each having 121 privacy codes. This is a commercial grade product that’s widely popular in construction sites and huge area. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use it for hunting.

Although the aesthetics aren’t good for forests, the compact size can hide the bright yellow color. This durable and high-performance waterproof walkie talkie is no joke. It’s perfect for extreme weather. Additional features like VibraCall, NOAA and PTT Power Boost, are there. The Mt350r can also be used with 3 AA batteries.

It operates using FRS/GMRS frequencies. Without any obstacles, it can cover up to 35 miles. It’s a Motorolla product so expect great clarity. The small shape is perfect for any outdoorsman. It also comes with a mini-USB charger. You’ll also get 1 NiMH rechargeable battery pack with purchase.

Pros

    • Robust design.
    • Water and dust proof.
    • It can handle extreme weather condition.
    • Removes background noise.
    • Water-resistant.

Cons

    • Very expensive.

5. Uniden GMR5089-2CKHS Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios w/ Charging Kit

The Uniden GMR-5089 is an ideal two-way walkie talkie that’s perfect for hiking, boating, camping, and other outdoor adventures. This radio is lightweight, palm-sized and rugged. On top of that, it’s waterproof. It’s also fully submersible. Good for kayak fishers.

Just the ones from Cobra, this too has a floating design. If dropped, it will float on the surface of the water. It has nice coverage too. Not 50 miles though, but it will be enough to get by. NOAA weather alerts, ability to change weather broadcast channel and many more features packed into this one.

The emergency strobe light feature is something that I personally love. This high-intensity flashlight can light up the night, act as a torchlight and can even send SOS signal to others.

It operates using GMRS frequencies. The device operates using two lithium-ion batteries. You can also use a regular battery with this radio. The frequency is good, but the range is somewhere between two to three miles.

Pros

    • Floating design.
    • Palm-sized body.
    • Lightweight and rigged.
    • Ability to switch between weather channels.

Cons

    • Not for long distance communication.

6. Midland Gxt1000vp4 36 Mile 50 Channel Noaa Weather Alert

Another product from Midland and this time it’s the Gxt1000vp4. It’s quite similar to the Gxt1050vp4, and, in all honesty, there is not much to tell about this one. It can give you an amazing 36-mile coverage without any obstacles in the environment. In the forest, expect 2 – 3 miles range.

You can purchase this radio in pairs. The GXT1000 vibrate alert for a silent function and offers ten different call alerts. It’s great for hunting in the wild, and when you have your hands full making that perfect kill shot. You won’t scare away any animals.

For your outdoor safety, it comes equipped with NOAA weather and all-hazards alert functionality. With a purchase, you’ll get the base charger, rechargeable batteries, and headsets. It’s a complete package at a reasonable price.

It can operate on a set of AA batteries. It uses GMRS frequencies with 50 channels. This radio comes with 142 privacy codes, and with these codes, you can block up to 3124 channels. Other features include eVOX, SOS siren, dual power options, hands-free operation and many more.

Pros

    • Nice rigid design.
    • Packed with features.
    • Two power options.
    • Clear and crisp communication.

Cons

    • Not for extended use.

7. Cobra CX112 Walkie-Talkie Two-Way Radio

It’s probably the cheapest in the Cobra’s two-way radio lineup. The Cobra CX112 Walkie-Talkie is not only dedicated to the outdoor use, but you can also use it anywhere. Think of it as a multipurpose tool with a bunch of features.

It has a very clear and crisp long-distance reception. You can easily access all 22 channels with the push of a button that’s located at the front panel. Not much-complicated functions here. Plain and simple device.

You can know the radio’s status just by looking at the small easy to view display. There is a nice little feature that shuts off weak transmissions automatically. It can even reduce unwanted background noise.

It’s a compact radio very lightweight. There is a built-in weather radio receiver. Other features include power saver circuitry, roger beep, call alert, and battery power saver.

Pros

    • Clear transmission.
    • Reduces unwanted noise.
    • Battery Saver extends battery life.
    • The earphone jack is on the top.

Cons

    • Not for long-range communication.

8. Cobra Cxt1045r-Flt-Camo 37 Mi Waterproof Floating 2way Radios Walkie Talkies

It’s the new version of the CXT 1035r but is it ay better than its predecessor? The Cxt1045r from Cobra can cover up to 37 miles. It’s suitable for campers, hikers and other outdoor adventure. The max performance range is for ideal environments without any obstacles. In dense forest, it will be way less.

This two-way walkie talkie is compact and easy hold because of the rubberized grip. Even in wet condition, you can hold it firmly. It has a floating design. If by chance you drop it in the water, the bright orange color can help you pinpoint its location.

This water-resistant camo radio comes with NOAA Weather & Emergency Radio receiver. It will keep you updated about upcoming storms. There are some extra features such as the LED flashlight, privacy codes and many more. The best part of this is the Rewind-Say-Again feature. It will automatically play back all the missed calls and record the last 20 seconds of the audio clip.

Last but not least, the 22-channel option with 2662 Channel Combinations. It comes with 6 AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries as well as dual charging ports. If you need some extra juice, you can use regular alkaline batteries too.

Pros

    • Great for emergency situations.
    • Very rugged and durable.
    • Good for kayak fishing.
    • The earphone jack is on the top.

Cons

    • Doesn’t come with any headsets.

9. Motorola Mr230tpr 2-Way Frs/Gmrs Radio

Another two-way radio from Motorola and this time it’s the Mr230tpr. This compact radio is waterproof and can cover up to 23 miles without any obstacles on the way. Typically, you would get around 3 to 4 miles in dense forest. This unit is lightweight and can be a good companion for hikers who want to travel light.

You have to option to tune into 22 channels and 121 privacy codes. The total number of combinations is 2662. That’s enough to filter out most radio frequencies. The button is large enough to use with gloves.

Additional features such as NOAA Weather alerts, Dual Power charging options, iVOX/VOX Hands-free calling are all built into this small device. It’s IP-51 rated which means it is dustproof and can withstand dripping water.

Motorola Mr230tpr is a bundle pack that includes 3 radios, rechargeable batteries, earbuds, one charging adapter, user manual, and accessories brochure. It’s everything you want in your walkie talkie and much more. This one can hold up well in most extreme and demanding environments.

Pros

    • Extra-large buttons.
    • Good battery life.
    • Easy to operate.
    • Rigid body.

Cons

    • There are some complaints about charging issues.

10. Floureon 4 Packs 22-Channel Frs/Gmrs Two Way Radios Up To 3000m/1.9mi Range

Looking at these walkie talkies reminded of those toy radios that I have at my home. However, looks can be deceiving. These are made for outdoor adventure, and a pack of four is better than two.

This walkie talkie supports up to 22 channels. It’s easy to use. But doesn’t come with any batteries. There is a small LCD backlit display. Looks more of a toy radio though. But it’s fun.

It has adjustable sound and quality is not bad. Great for outdoor fun with friends and families. Don’t expect this to perform like the ones that pro-hunters use.

These radios can also pair with headsets. But you need to buy them separately. Even the batteries too. You’ll need three AAA battery to operate these radios.

Pros

    • Cheap and fun radios.
    • Lightweight.
    • Easy to use.
    • Comes in a pack of four.

Cons

    • Doesn’t have any additional feature for safety in the wild.

How to Choose a Two-Way Radio for Hunting: A Buyer’s Guide

At the beginning of this article, I’ve mentioned the most important features to look for when buying a new hunting walkie talkie. But, I’ve left out the additional features such as wattage, battery, aesthetics, and some others. These are for more advanced people who still want to find the top rated walkie talkies for hunting.

Range

Different walkie talkies will offer different ranges. It’s measured in miles. Usually, the higher the wattage, the better the range. Increased wattage means more price, but there is a catch here. It will drain out your batteries fast. Keep that in mind when going for more wattage.

Channels

If you want to avoid interference, go for the one that has the ability to alternate between channels. Some of the best two way radios have this feature installed as well as privacy code and related features.

Power

If you want better signal strength and better audio quality, go for more transmission power. It is measured in watts. Normally, the power output will determine the walkie talkies transmission capabilities.

Waterproof

If you plan to use your radio in the rain, consider getting the waterproof version. It will cost slightly more but it’s worth the investment. Buy a radio depending on your needs, not what everyone is after.

Weather

Access to NOAA and local weather forecasts is a must for every hunter. The best 2 way radios will give you constant update of the weather. It’s an essential feature that you don’t want to miss out on.

Weight

It’s not as important as other features but having something lightweight is certainly better than carrying around something bulky. The overall weight of a walkie talkie is determined by the material that is used in the construction.

Other feature includes camouflage, headset, digital compass, and animal calls. It’s all up to you whether you want them in your walkie talkie. Remember this, the more feature you want to get, the expensive it will become. Again, if you don’t need all this feature and only want the basics, then go for it.

No one is forcing you to pay a hefty amount of money for a feature-rich product that you won’t even have the chance to use.

What Are Privacy Codes and How Do They Work?

Privacy code is a feature that lets you find a chatter-free frequency. If you are out on a busy day hunting with the pack, it will let you select a pre-determined channel with a code.

With this code, you’ll be able to communicate with the person you want who is already tuned to the channel. Even if someone turned off the feature, they’ll still be able to hear you. Isn’t it cool?

Another useful feature to have the Voice-activated talking aka VOX. It’s a nice feature that removes the hassle of “push to talk.” You can adjust the volume level on some radios and talk when you are middle of something, or you have your hands full.

When you are hunting with a team, there is a feature called Direct/group calling. It will allow you to contact with a specific member of a team without alerting others.

You can also set call alerts on some radios to set a specific tone for a specific person. Although, it’s better to keep it on silent and let it vibrate when someone is trying to contact with you.

There is also a feature called All Hazard alert. You can send SOS siren, or someone can notify the group for emergency alerts such as landslide or fire.

Requirements For Using A Two-Way Radio

There are different requirements for different bands. Some radios operate within HAM bands which needs a proper Amateur Radio license to use. I would recommend you to get at least a TECH level license to use the products mentioned here.

If you don’t have one, don’t worry. Just get the Amateur Radio license and you’ll be fine. If you don’t have a license but operate within the HAM bands, it could get you a sizable fine from the FCC.

However, most of the radios mentioned here don’t require a license from the FCC. Please check Legalities Of "Walkie Talkie" Use While Hunting before you go hunting.

Most of the walkie talkies here will use the FRS/GMRS bands. It’s basically two different services combined with one. Keep in mind that, although the FRS/GMRS radio type will give you extensive range, using it legally will require permission.

You can apply for a license by applying online or manually file FCC Form 605. You don’t need to go through any test. It’s just standard procedure.

These are for more advanced people who still want to find the top rated walkie talkies for hunting.

Wrapping Up

Now that I’ve filtered the best from the worst, it’s time for you to take the final decision. Which one will it be? If you are not sure, check the must-have features and do a little bit of research on your own.

It was kind of a long guide, I’ve tried my best to fill in all the data that I could. Hopefully, you’ll now be able to pick the best walkie talkie for hunting without wasting too much time and money.

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