The 6 Best Emergency Radios of 2020

Stay informed in the midst of a crisis

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Best Overall: Sangean MMR-88 Emergency Radio

Sangean MMR-88

Courtesy of Amazon

With a built-in phone charger and LED flashlight, the Sangean MMR-88 radio is a great combination of all the basics. Measuring 2.71 x 5.98 x 3.3 inches and weighing only .86 pounds, the MMR-88 can be powered via hand crank, solar panel or USB jack. It has a rugged and durable frame, as well as an AM/FM public alert certification for severe weather warnings with 19 preset channels for quickly finding the most important stations. The adjustable LED flashlight includes variable settings of high, low and blinking, as well as SOS Morse code functionality for situations that turn really dire. Rounding out the feature set is a built-in speaker, built-in clock, stereo headphone output and a 90-minute shut off feature for preserving battery life.

Most Pocket-Friendly: C. Crane CC Pocket AM, FM, NOAA Weather Radio and Alert with Clock and Sleep Timer

With a super pocket-friendly size of 2.5 x 1 x 4.2 inches in size and weighing only four ounces, the C. Crane pocket radio is an excellent compact emergency solution. With AM/FM and NOAA weather band support, the Crane adds five one-touch memory presents for quickly circling back to emergency stations. The built-in speaker works great for the whole family to listen in, while the packaging includes earbuds for a more personalized listening experience. With two AA batteries (not included), the Crane can last for around 75 hours of play on a single charge. Extras such as a backlight, sleep timer, clock and alarm clock, as well as the ability to disable the display for longer battery life all make the Crane a standout purchase.

Best Hand Crank: Midland ER210 Emergency Radio

Already one of the best emergency radios around, the inclusion of hand crank charging on the Midland ER210 makes it a must-own purchase for any emergency; it can also be powered by the sun (and can operate for 25 hours on a single charge).

It has AM/FM and NOAA band radio support, plus a 130 lumen LED flashlight for nighttime conditions. The included 2000mAh rechargeable lithium battery allows ER210 users to charge portable devices via USB output.

If an emergency does happen, the ER210 is prepared with an SOS flashlight beacon flashing Morse code to quickly discover your location. And just 60 seconds of hand cranking provides more than 45 minutes of radio and 30 minutes of flashlight power.

Best Solar: RunningSnail Emergency Radio (Upgraded)

The RunningSnail emergency radio helps you stay up to date at all times and is capable of receiving all seven NOAA weather channels. The included LED "table lamp" turns right on to help illuminate a small room in the event of a power outage. Featuring IPX3 waterproofing, the MD-090 can take on rain or snow without skipping a beat.

The RunningSnail can be charged via hand crank, micro USB cable, three AAA batteries or solar power. Additionally, the 2000mAh rechargeable battery can provide up to 12 hours of light or four to six hours of radio time (it can also charge up portable devices such as smartphones and tablets).

Best Multifunction: Kaito KA500 Emergency Radio

The durable, water-resistant Kaito KA500 is capable of being charged via hand cranking, solar panel, micro USB cable, standard wall outlet or batteries. The KA500 also has AM/FM radio with an LED signal indicator for pinpoint channel-tuning, two-band shortwave for access to the public emergency alert system, as well as all seven NOAA channels. The telescoping antenna reaches 14.5 inches in height for extra sensitivity for radio broadcasts.

Fortunately, the KA500 feature list doesn't end there. It also adds a 5V DC USB output port for charging mobile devices, cameras and GPS units, and has a five-LED reading lamp, LED flashlight and red LED SOS beacon light.

Best Durable: Eton Scorpion II Emergency Radio

The Eton Scorpion II portable emergency weather radio is the ideal rugged choice. With a fully charged battery, the Eton brings over 12 hours of radio time, while the inclusion of a solar panel, hand crank, DC jack, and micro USB make for easy methods when you need to recharge. With 15 minutes of hand crank charging on the Eton, you can completely charge up a mobile device, but the 800mAh battery adds a secondary option for charging up portable devices.

All the standard radio channel options are available, including AM/FM and NOAA weather bands for staying informed. The Eton also adds an IPX4 water-resistant rating to deal with heavy rain and splashes of water or any accidental drops. The built-in LED flashlight offers 20 feet of visibility, while a bottle opener takes the place of more emergency-based features like a Morse code beacon or siren (because sometimes, you just need to crack a cold one).