Best Long Range Walkie Talkie Reviews

Updated November 27, 2020

In today’s digital age, walkie-talkie apps can be downloaded on smartphones, allowing us to use our mobile devices as two-way radios. However, these apps rely on mobile data and strong cellular signal, and these might not be ideal when exploring varied terrain and communicating with multiple users.

Long range walkie talkie radios are still the best choice when engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or skiing. They can deliver powerful performance even in mountainous areas and dense forests. They are also useful when traveling in a convoy or coordinating among teams in an urban setting.

In our search for the best long range walkie-talkies, we found these top six picks in the market today.

Best Long Range Walkie-Talkies

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1 Motorola Talkabout Radio MH230R
Best For Higher Budgets
Motorola MH230R Long Range Walkie Talkie
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2 Motorola MR350TPR Talkabout 2-Way Radio Triple Pack Motorola MR350TPR Long Range Walkie Talkie
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3 BaoFeng BF-888S Two Way Radio BaoFeng BF-888S Long Range Walkie Talkie
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4 Retevis_RT21 Emergency Long Range Walkie Talkie Retevis RT21 Long Range Walkie Talkie
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5 Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios with Earpiece
Best Overall
Arcshell Two-Way Radio Long Range Walkie Talkie
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6 LUITON LT-199H Walkie Talkie for Hiking
Best For Low Budgets
LUITON LT-199H Long Range Walkie Talkie
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1. Motorola MH230R Long Range Walkie Talkie

Highlights
  • 23-mile range
  • NOAA Weather Channels and Alerts
  • 1VOX/VOX Hands-Free
  • FRS and GMRS approved
Best For Higher Budgets
Motorola Talkabout Radio MH230R

Whether you’re looking for a walkie-talkie for a country trail, a suburban neighborhood, or a city building, the Motorola MH230R is one model worth considering. The MH230R has 22 channels and 121 privacy codes that provide protection from interference. This makes it ideal as a long distance radio for broadcast during various group activities within the workplace or in the great outdoors.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love the features of MH230R, including NOAA weather channels with alert features, 10-hour battery life, water-resistance, and a powerful 23-mile range on open area. Its lightweight construction and hands-free capability also make it easy to carry and use while doing other activities.

Specifications

Range:
Up to 23 miles
Channels:
22 channels
IP Rating:
IP-51
Battery Type:
3 AAA (Alkaline or NiMH rechargeable)
Battery Life:
14 hours (alkaline) or 12 hours (NiMH)
Warranty:
1 year

Pros

  • Range of up to 23 miles
  • Reliable even on rough terrain
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Has no built-in flashlight
  • Belt clips are not that durable

2. Motorola MR350TPR Long Range Walkie Talkie

Highlights
  • 35-mile range
  • iVOX/VOX hands-free function
  • VibraCall alert
  • 11 Weather Channels (7 NOAA) and Alerts

With a range of up to 35 miles in ideal conditions, the Motorola MR350TPR is one of the longest range walkie talkies in the market today. This is an excellent choice for hikers and skiers looking for water-resistant, lightweight, and durable units. It also has extra-large buttons that can easily be used even with gloves on. 

Another nifty feature of the MR350TPR is a channel lock that prevents users from accidentally changing the frequency. This is especially useful for parents or guardians with kids that they need to stay in touch with when they’re camping, hiking, or playing in the neighborhood.

Specifications

Range:
Up to 35 miles
Channels:
22 channels with 121 privacy codes
IP Rating:
IP-51
Battery Type:
3 AA (alkaline or NiMH)
Battery Life:
23 hours (alkaline) or 8 hours (NiMH)
Warranty:
1 year

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Illuminated display
  • Has built-in flashlight
  • Has channel lock feature

Cons

  • Belt clip is fragile
  • Battery pack drains fast (extra alkaline batteries are needed)

3. BaoFeng BF-888S Long Range Walkie Talkie

Highlights
  • 6-km range
  • USB desktop charger
  • VOX function
  • FRS compatible

The long battery life of BaoFeng BF-888S makes it the best choice for camping. On standby, it can last up to 4 days. Even on constant use, it has enough power for a full day’s service. Moreover, it has a battery save function and a low voltage alert that alerts you about low battery. 

Other features that make this ideal for camping are its emergency alarm function, built-in flashlight, VOX function, and weatherproof case. When it comes to durability, the BF-888S delivers as well. It will still work even if gets accidentally dropped from a 4-feet height. The only downside to this model is that it doesn’t come pre-programmed for FRS. You’d have to program it via your computer to avoid interference with local law enforcement.

Specifications

Range:
6 km (3.7 miles)
Channels:
16 Channels
Battery Type:
1500mAh Li-ion
Battery Life:
10 hours
Warranty:
1 year

Pros

  • Durable construction withstands accidental drops
  • Built-in emergency flashlight
  • Outstanding sound quality
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Layout of control buttons takes getting used to
  • Long antenna gets in the way

4. Retevis RT21 Long Range Walkie Talkie

Highlights
  • Clear secret-service style earpiece
  • 10-hour battery life
  • UHF capability
  • FRS/GMRS compatible

Retevis RT21 is an excellent walkie-talkie for handling both indoor and outdoor events. Its UHF capability penetrates walls and structures, ensuring crystal clear sound transmission within any building or outdoor location. It also has a private code function, so your team can communicate without interference from other channels. 

Another awesome feature that makes the RT21 ideal for events and gatherings is its clear secret-service style earpiece. The form-fitting earpiece is discrete and cancels out surrounding noise for clear reception. It also comes with a durable belt clip and a hand strap, allowing you to use the device hands-free.

Specifications

Channels:
16
Battery Type:
3000 mAh Li-ion
Battery Life:
10 hours (continuous), 2 weeks (on standby)
Warranty:
2 years

Pros

  • Covert air acoustic earpiece
  • Noise-cancelling feature
  • Long battery life
  • Private code function

Cons

  • Decreased clarity when used on long distances
  • Not water-resistant

5. Arcshell Two-Way Radio Long Range Walkie Talkie

Highlights
  • 16 pre-programmed channels
  • UHF 400-470 MHz band
  • 5-mile range
  • VOX function 50 CTCSS/105 CDCSS
Best Overall
Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios with Earpiece

If you’re looking for walkie-talkies for your team, you might want to check out the Arcshell Two-Way Radio with Earpiece. This model comes pre-set with 16 channels and makes it possible to set custom channels for more private team communication. It also enables band selection, so you can set it to either broadband or narrowband, depending on the area you’re using it in.

Its earpiece, PTT button, and built-in mic make it easy to use even in noisy environments. Its VOX function enables hands-free use, while its belt clip secures the unit in place. The Arcshell Two-Way Radio is also among the most affordable walkie-talkies, making it a cost-efficient choice for large groups.

Specifications

Range:
5 miles
Channels:
16
Battery Type:
1500mAh Li-ion
Battery Life:
8 to 96 hours
Warranty:
18 months

Pros

  • Comes with single bud earpiece
  • Good for large groups
  • Possible to set custom channels
  • Loud speaker

Cons

  • Takes 2 to 3 hours to fully charge
  • Naximum transmitting power is only 3 watts

6. LUITON LT-199H Long Range Walkie Talkie

Highlights
  • 22 Channels
  • 10-watt Power Output
  • VOX Function
  • UHF Capability
Best For Low Budgets
LUITON LT-199H Walkie Talkie for Hiking

Hiking enthusiasts will find the LUITON LT-199H as a good option. This model has a different frequency function that allows you to choose ranges from 136-174MHz, 400-470MHz, and 450-520MHz. While it operates on UHF, it also has a VHF radio that provides better transmission in wide open spaces.

The LT-199H also has a VOX function for hands-free use—a feature that’s extremely helpful when hiking. It has a built-in flash torch, durable structure, an anti-wrestling feature, and a time-out timer, all of which are also useful when in the great outdoors. Indeed, the LT-199H is a good unit for extreme outdoor use.

Specifications

Range:
up to 15 km
Channels:
22 channels
Battery Type:
2800mAh rechargeable Li-ion
Battery Life:
18 hours on standby

Pros

  • Different frequency function
  • Busy channel lockout
  • Low battery alert
  • Built-in flashlight

Cons

  • Not pre-programmed
  • Requires older operating system such as Windows 7 for programming

Long Range Walkie-Talkie Buying Guide

Walkie Talkie Longest Range

When choosing a long distance walkie talkie, factor in the area you’ll be using it in. Keep in mind that the specified range is for optimum conditions and may be different from the actual range. The practical range depends on the landscape or the environment.

Expect shorter range capacity in areas that are mountainous or have plenty of buildings. Range capacity is also affected by bad weather conditions. To amplify range capacity, antennas can be used. The higher the height of the antenna, the longer the communication range.

200 miles

Airband radios are able to have a range of 200 miles even with just 5 to 8 watts of power. This is because there are no obstacles in the air. Aircrafts fly very high and base stations are always located on top of buildings.

100 miles 

With no obstacles on open water, marine radios can achieve ranges of up to 100 miles. However, a 25-watt marine radio would just typically have a range of 60 nautical miles or less. 

50 Miles

Most mobile radios have about 25 to 100 watts. Ideally, this would give them 25 to 100 miles of coverage as well. However, signals are affected by obstructions, so this range can only be achieved with the use of powerful antenna.

30 miles

Handheld walkie-talkies and car mobile radios typically have ranges within 30 miles or less. 

Features

Walkie-talkies come with different features, such as waterproof cases, weather forecast alerts, light weight, out of range alerts, and built-in flashlights. The relevance of these features depends on your needs. However, there are some features that you must always check regardless of the walkie-talkies’ purpose.

Frequency

Walkie-talkies typically operate in frequencies ranging from 136MHz to 900MHz. VHF (very high frequency) models operate at 136 to 174 MHz and are ideal for use in open spaces.

They are able to cover long distances, but only when there is a clear line of sight. On the other hand, UHF (ultrahigh frequency) that operate on 400-470MHz models have stronger penetration capacity and provide better performance indoors or in urban areas.

VOX

VOX is the short-term for voice-operated exchange. It’s a switch that automatically turns on when a sound is detected. A VOX function enables you to use a walkie-talkie hands-free, which is especially useful in emergencies or when engaged in activity. When you begin to talk, your radio turns on, and it turns off when it doesn’t detect any voice.

Channels

Channels are frequencies on which walkie-talkies function. Users must be in the same channel to be able to communicate with each other.

Two-way radios usually have 14 FRS (family radio service) and 15 GMRS (general mobile radio service) channels, with 7 channels shared by both services. Other channels can also be custom set. The best walkie-talkies would have multiple channels and privacy channels that help avoid interferences.

Power

The power output of walkie-talkies is measured in watts. It determines the range, signal strength, and audio quality of the unit. The rule of thumb is that every 1 watt provides 1 mile of coverage in ideal conditions.

So, a 10-watt radio may not always cover a 10-mile range when there are obstructions such as buildings, mountains, or dense forestation. But generally, high power devices deliver better performance but cost more.

Pricing Range

If you’re using walkie-talkies for leisure, there isn’t any need to spend enormous amounts for high-capacity heavy-duty radios. There are plenty of cheap long range walkie talkies that are durable and reliable enough for ordinary use.

Best Budget Walkie Talkie

Motorola, BaoFeng, and Arcshell are among the brands that offer the best budget walkie-talkies. They offer sets of multiple units at affordable prices.

Applications

Walkie-talkies have a variety of applications. Initially used as portable two-way radios in the battlefield during the Second World War, they are now used in various places including schools, hotels, bars, and camps.

Military Walkie Talkie

Unlike regular walkie-talkies that are prone to interferences, military walkie-talkies have encryption features that prevent eavesdropping. These units are also built for heavy-duty use and are resistant to dust, water, shock, and vibrations.

Hiking

The best walkie talkie for mountains would have a range capacity of at least 30 miles. If you’re hiking in mountainous areas, considering shelling out some extra dollars for a GMRS license. This would provide you with a longer range and more reliable signals. Also, make sure your units are weatherproof, durable, and lightweight since you’d be using them in rough terrain.

Leisure

Walkie-talkies can be used to communicate with friends while camping, skiing, or traveling. Young children can use them when playing in the neighborhood. For these uses, cheap walkie-talkies that operate on FRS would do fine. If you are in love with skiing and talking with your friends make sure you read our guide on walkie talkies for skiing.

Security

Most security teams in buildings and offices use walkie-talkies to communicate with each other. These provide them faster communication in a private channel. At home, walkie-talkies can also be used as a long-range baby or child monitor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What walkie-talkie has the longest range?
A:

The range of a walkie-talkie depends on its power output. The higher the watts, the longer the range. Standard walkie-talkies have maximum power of 12 watts. With a stubby or whip antenna, they would have a range of up to 35 miles on open terrain.

Among the walkie-talkies with the longest range is the Motorola MR350TPR, with a 35-mile coverage in ideal settings.

Our Verdict

The features you should look for in a long range walkie talkie would depend on how and where you’ll be using it. If it’s for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking, choose one with weather channels and emergency alerts.

If it’s for managing events or for indoor use, opt for one that operates on UHF and has an earpiece. For kids’ use, look for channel lock features and durable construction, as kids are prone to drop units when playing with friends. Whichever purpose you’re using any walkie-talkie, always choose one that has excellent post-purchase service and sufficient warranty.