When you’re looking for some essential hardware that will kick your beach day into overdrive, a walkie talkie set could be exactly what your family needs.
With a walkie talkie set, you’ll get the ability to wirelessly communicate for hours at a time, even when you’re far away from the person on the other end of the line.
The only catch with walkie talkies is that not all walkie talkies are created equal.
Many walkie talkies are for children, which makes them much harder to use for adults who need a more serious product. In this article, we’ll walk you through ten of the best walkie talkies so that you’ll know which will be ready for the worksite after your day on the beach.
By the time you finish reading, you’ll understand what to look for in a walkie talkie and how to avoid walkie talkies that are just for children. We’ll also help you to figure out which of the best walkie talkies are right for your needs and which might be too intense for your family.
In this section, we’ll walk you through ten of our picks for the best walkie talkie. While this list isn’t comprehensive by any means, it’ll be enough to guide your purchasing decision and give you a few ideas about what distinguishes one walkie talkie from another.
Our pick for the best walkie talkie overall is the DeWalt DXFRS220 because of its dead-simple and highly durable design.
With the DXFRS220, you’ll get a workhorse walkie talkie that’s easy to clip on your belt. The blocky design of this walkie talkie is an eyesore if you’re trying to look trendy on the beach, but on a worksite, it’ll fit right in.
Speaking of the beach, this DeWalt walkie talkie is splashproof which means that you can carry it along the beach or near the pool without worrying that you will lose a valuable piece of hardware to an errant interaction with water.
Critically, seawater will be a lot harsher on your walkie talkie than freshwater, but the DeWalt should be protected either way.
Aside from the excellent splash proofing, the DeWalt also has a 10-hour-long battery life, quick charging capabilities, and drop resistance for up to 2 meters. The drop resistance means that if you hold your walkie talkie above your head and let it drop to your feet, it will be fine.
In other words, you don’t need to worry about breaking your walkie talkie if you have butterfingers when you use the DeWalt.
Our runner up for the best walkie talkie is the KOMVOX walkie talkie set. The KOMVOX walkie talkies include multi-channel functionality as well as a robust channel-scanning feature.
This feature means that when you’re using your walkie talkie in crowded airspace, you will still be able to find a free channel to talk with your friend.
When you’re at a major beach area where there might be dozens of other people using walkie talkies, features like multi-channel functionality make it so that you don’t need to listen to interference from strangers.
Furthermore, the KOMVOX walkie talkies have an excellent range in areas with unobstructed lines of sight. On level terrain like the beach, you can expect the KOMVOX to get at least 10 km of range. In town, however, these walkie talkies will probably only reach 2km.
This steep falloff in the range is true of more or less every walkie talkie, however. Therefore, you should appreciate the KOMVOX walkie talkie’s high maximum range — most walkie talkies only get 5 km of effective communication range, even on level terrain.
The primary drawback of the KOMVOX is that it isn’t waterproof. You should be very careful with these walkie talkies when you use them around the beach.
The Motorola T110TP Talkabout walkie talkies are all-around excellent walkie talkies as a result of their simple design, decent range, and excellent build quality.
While the T110TP isn’t going to win any awards for excellence in any specific feature category for walkie talkies, it also has no major flaws. This fact means that it will be difficult for you to go wrong with these Motorola radios.
The battery life on these walkie talkies is good, with up to 7 hours of talking time. Similarly, the channel range of the Motorola radios is slightly above the industry standard given that it supports 22 different channels.
At the same time, the T110TP will be compatible with many other walkie talkie systems produced by different manufacturers.
This means that if your friends have different walkie talkies, you can still use the same channel and communicate with them.
While this is a feature of most walkie talkies, the automatic privacy coding function of the T110TP means that you don’t have to sacrifice privacy when you communicate.
The only risk is that the Motorola walkie talkies might not be up to the task if you have a specific feature which you need your radio to excel at.
The Arcshell walkie talkies are fully-featured two-way radios which shine thanks to their extensive set of accessories that you’ll get right out of the box.
These accessories include an earpiece and a charging dock for each walkie talkie. While with many products it might not be the best idea to make a purchase based on the included accessories, with walkie talkies the difference is more significant.
Walkie talkies aren’t always compatible with third-party accessories, so finding good accessories can be a challenge. With the Arcshell, you can avoid the issue of finding compatible accessories entirely.
Aside from its accessory set, the Arcshell is a solid walkie talkie. These walkie talkies have access to 16 channels. More importantly, they have a stellar battery which can provide you up to 90 hours of energy.
In terms of talking time, you can expect to get around 9 hours with the Arcshell. For the sake of comparison, the industry standard for talking time is roughly 8 hours, so these walkie talkies are slightly better than average.
The battery takes around 2.5 hours to charge from empty to full, however, so you’ll need to plan your time on the beach accordingly.
If you’re looking for a walkie talkie set that’s at home on the beach or in a skyscraper, these Retevis RT22 walkie talkies are a great option.
The RT22 walkie talkie has a sleek design and an understated aesthetic, which makes it easy to conceal in a suit jacket or a pair of shorts. Furthermore, the sound quality of the Retevis walkie talkie is very high.
You won’t need to worry about asking for your friend to repeat themselves after hearing a garbled transmission.
These walkie talkies are also somewhat durable, particularly at the point where the antenna connects to the body of the radio. The advantage of the Retevis’ triangle-shaped antenna is that the antenna won’t snap or get warped if it’s treated roughly by accident.
You should be aware that the battery life on these walkie talkies is fairly consistent regardless of how much talking you do, however. In other words, if you talk for 8 hours on the walkie talkie, you’ll only run out the battery life a few hours faster than if you didn’t talk on it at all.
Thus, these Retevis walkie talkies have poor energy efficiency, which may be irksome for some people. On the other hand, if you plan to charge the walkie talkies every night after getting home from the beach or work, you won’t have any issues.
Midland radios like the GXT1000VP4 are known for their great feature set, high build quality, and broad-spectrum channel access.
With this Midland walkie talkie, you’ll get everything that you expect from the Midland brand: 36-mile range, more than 140 privacy code options, waterproofing, and access to more than 50 radio channels including shortwave government channels like the NOAA weather channel.
Furthermore, the GXT1000VP4 also includes a headset, a belt clip, a charging dock, and two power adapters for charging with either AC or DC.
These accessories mean that the Midland walkie talkies are among the very best walkie talkies that are ready for intense use right out-of-the-box.
Accessories aside, the Midland walkie talkies will serve you well if you plan to spend a lot of time on crowded beaches or other areas where the spectrum is busy with other people on walkie talkies.
You won’t need to compromise your privacy while communicating either thanks to the abundance of privacy codes which the Midland is capable of using. Because it has a capacity of up to 142 codes, the Midland walkie talkies are among the most secure.
Of course, these walkie talkies aren’t perfect. In particular, they aren’t the simplest walkie talkies to use. If you aren’t sure which radio channel you should be using, you will have a hard time figuring it out with these walkie talkies because there is no channel scanning feature.
Midland’s LXT630VP3 walkie talkies are the Midland offering, which is the best suited for family use thanks to their replaceable battery packs and intuitive user interface.
With the LXT630VP3, you’ll find that reading the manual is optional. Each button is labeled and elicits a change on the unit’s display when pressed.
These features mean that you can hand the walkie talkie to someone who has never used one before and spend a minimal amount of time explaining what to do. Even people who aren’t technologically savvy will operate this walkie talkie with no problem.
Unlike most other walkie talkies intended for casual use, these radios have access to 36 different channels.
While most families will probably not need a walkie talkie with more than 12 channel capacity, the additional channels can help find one with minimal interference.
Channels with no interference typically provide better sound quality, which is helpful for older adults who may not be able to hear very well.
The cheerful yellow exterior of these walkie talkies is also a nice touch because it makes them friendlier and more approachable.
When you’re on a worksite that’s flush with hazards for your walkie talkie, these DXFRS300s will ensure that you don’t need to worry about losing a radio to damage.
The main appeal of these walkie talkies is their durability. Much like with DeWalt’s other offerings, the DXFRS300 is dustproof, drop-proof, and waterproof at one meter for up to 30 minutes.
Of these durability features, the dust proofing is what separates this DeWalt from other walkie talkies. Sand and dust can get inside of all of the small crevices that walkie talkies tend to have, so dust proofing ensures that these dust particles never make it to the electronics inside.
Thus, if you’re looking for a walkie talkie that is ready for the beach or the worksite, these DeWalt walkie talkies are tough to beat because they won’t fail when exposed to sand or saltwater.
These durability features have a cost, however. As with many DeWalt walkie talkies, you’ll find that these DXFRS300s are heavy and bulky. The extra weight doesn’t come from the battery pack like it would with most walkie talkies.
Instead, the weight and bulk come from the protective shell that surrounds the sensitive electronics.
Therefore, if you don’t care very much about battery life or weight, the DeWalt walkie talkies are among the most durable on the market.
Walkie talkies for kids are seldom the best walkie talkies in terms of their features or their durability. However, these DilissToys walkie talkies buck the trend by being powerful and durable enough to be a great choice for adults who need a simple walkie talkie.
Unlike most walkie talkies for kids, these walkie talkies have a range of up to three miles, good sound quality, and 22 different channels to choose from. Similarly, the user interface of these walkie talkies is not dumbed down in any way.
For children, getting these walkie talkies to work will be more difficult than for less intense radio products for children. However, if you’re an adult, you will find these walkie talkies easy to use and effective at what they do.
The ergonomics of the DilissToys radios are also worth mentioning because they’re significantly better than most of the other walkie talkies on the market. You’ll find that these walkie talkies rest comfortably in your hand.
The disadvantage of this walkie talkie is that it has a short-range. For casual communications, you won’t have any problems, but if you’re in a city and trying to do intense communicating, you will find that tall buildings limit the range of the walkie talkies to a few blocks at the most.
These Dignel walkie talkies are great for children over age ten who are independent enough to wander. Thanks to Dignel’s lightweight and convenient design, your children will enjoy running around the neighborhood and chatting with each other over the radio.
If you want to check in on your child’s playtime, it’s as easy as dialing the radio to their channel and sending a call alert request. Your chat won’t be interrupted by errant interference thanks to the anti-interference features embedded in the antenna.
As a bonus, these walkie talkies are constructed with environmentally-friendly and kid-friendly materials. This feature means that you won’t need to worry about exposing your child to potentially hazardous materials like BPA when they use these walkie talkies.
Similarly, these walkie talkies don’t harm the environment when they’re manufactured. If your family cares a lot about protecting the environment, these walkie talkies may be among the best choices for children.
The weakness of these walkie talkies is their belt clip. As with many walkie talkies, the belt clip is prone to snapping. Furthermore, the antenna may poke some people in the belly as a result of the angle of the belt clip relative to the body of the radio.
Now that you’re familiar with a handful of the best walkie talkies on the market, it’s time to consider how to pick a walkie talkie for your family’s vacation needs.
The best two-way radios share a specific set of features. Recognizing these features will help you to figure out which will be the best walkie talkie for your needs and which will be more than you need.
The durability of your walkie talkie is critical if you plan to use it on areas like the beach. Beaches are tough spots for walkie talkies because there are threats like water immersion as well as threats like sand and dust.
Durability is the single most important feature for walkie talkies.
Thus, especially if you want to use your walkie talkies for business as well as leisure, picking a walkie talkie that is very durable is a good decision.
The range of your walkie talkie is a feature which many people overestimate the importance of as a result of the marketing claims by walkie talkie manufacturers.
Your walkie talkie needs enough range to cover the distance between you and the person you want to communicate with; there aren’t many situations in which you would be using the walkie talkies at the limit of their range anyway because the sound quality starts to drop off long before the maximum range.
Furthermore, the range of your walkie talkie varies by the type of terrain. All walkie talkies have a better range on flat terrain than in cities or mountains. Similarly, there aren’t any sets of walkie talkie features which can work around this drawback.
Thus, you should aim to find a walkie talkie that has a range which will be sufficient for your intended use case.
If you plan on using your walkie talkies in cities more than you intend to use it on the beach, you’ll need a much higher range to account for the interference caused by buildings.
The battery life of your walkie talkie is not very important so long as the batteries are easy to recharge or replace. For most casual days at the beach, talking time of eight hours is more than sufficient.
On the other hand, for trekking or hiking, you’ll want to maximize your battery capacity and ensure that you can carry a few rechargeable battery packs. Some walkie talkies have battery packs which are difficult to replace or extremely time-consuming to recharge.
Try to stay away from these and opt for walkie talkies which are for frequent swapping of battery packs.
Privacy codes are important if you plan on using your walkie talkies to communicate in areas with crowded radio waves. Privacy codes are very similar to passwords in that you can only communicate on a channel with someone if they share the same privacy code as you do.
Thus, walkie talkies with higher numbers of privacy codes are theoretically more secure because it would take an adversary more time to brute force the code to gain access to the channel and listen in.
Privacy codes also give walkie talkies more access to meta-channels which share the same spot on the spectrum with other channels.
For most people, however, having an abundance of privacy code options is not as important as having at least a few privacy code options. In other words, you don’t need a million different privacy codes so long as you have access to one code when you need privacy.
Ease of use is an underrated feature to look for in walkie talkies. Many walkie talkies have complex interfaces which require understanding something about the way radio works before you can communicate.
While this basic level of understanding is easy to accumulate, it remains a barrier to children and people who aren’t good with technology. Therefore, try to find a walkie talkie that has a self-explanatory user interface and a good manual.
Picking the right walkie talkie will help you to avoid situations where your radio breaks as a result of regular use. Especially if you plan on your walkie talkie being used by your children very frequently, don’t be afraid to prioritize durability over other features.
Overall, we think that the DeWALT DXFRS220 is the best for using on the beach because of its high durability and ease of use.
If you’re more concerned about having extra features packed into your walkie talkie and less concerned about durability, check out the Motorola T100TP Talkabout Radio.
That wraps up our review of the best walkie talkies. We hope that you’ve found our reviews to be helpful and that you have a better idea about which walkie talkie will fit your needs.