The 6 Best Walkie-Talkies of 2021

Communicating with friends, family, or co-workers is better with walkie-talkies

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown
Best for Overall:
Midland GXT1000VP4 at Amazon
Capable of a 36-mile range in open areas.
Lauded for its economical price point, lasting battery charge, and clear reception.
Comes with a pair of colorful lightweight radios that are simple to use and transmit.
Best for Large Parties:
Retevis H-777 Two-Way Radio at Amazon
Programmed to use the same frequency after they’re manufactured.
Best for Businesses:
Motorola RMU2080D at Amazon
Remarkable range, durability, and easy-to-operate controls make this walkie-talkie well-suited for large staff communications.
Best Waterproof:
Uniden MHS75 at Amazon
If you're working in any maritime environment or just in particularly deplorable weather, the Uniden MHS75 is the perfect radio for you.

The best walkie-talkies incorporate extensive battery life, range, clarity, and durability. Apart from letting you fulfill your wildest big rig fantasies, the best walkie-talkies are a fantastic way to keep small teams in touch with one another. There are tons of things to consider when looking for a set that meets your needs. Any two-way radio is a fantastic gadget to have on hand where closed-loop communication is required, or where cell service is spotty or would otherwise be impeded.

Besides providing a means of constant communication that can withstand some remarkably harsh operating conditions, some of these radios come equipped with some cool features to turn them into true workhorses. Some boast features like built-in LED flashlights, FM radios, and emergency weather updates. While just about any smartphone can be turned into a de facto walkie-talkie through dedicated apps, they can still fall victim to spotty cell service and have a fraction of the battery life. Any of our best walkie-talkies are fantastic for anyone frequently escaping to the boonies or just needing a constant line of communications between teams.

Best for Overall: Midland GXT1000VP4

Midland GXT1000VP4
What we like
  • Impressive range

  • Scans through a broad spectrum of weather channels for alerts

What we don't like
  • Waterproofing could be better

  • Technically requires a license to use

These walkie-talkies are ideal for any emergency situation that require a long line of communication. Midland’s GXT1000VP4 walkie-talkies are capable of a 36-mile range in open areas and include a number of features designed to help you out in dire circumstances.

The GTX1000VP4 walkie-talkies measure 9.75 x 2.5 x 1.75 inches and weigh 2.15 pounds. They include up to 50 channels of crisp, uninterrupted communication, with an added 142 privacy codes. The walkie-talkies also have a bright backlit LCD display, making it easy to read in dark lighting conditions.

Designed for emergencies, these walkie-talkies are water-resistant for up to 30 minutes and are capable of handling light rain or minor splashing. Included NOAA weather alert notifications will let you know about potential severe weather. You can also send SOS siren alerts and locator signals in case you’re lost, and turn on the vibrate mode with a whisper feature if you need to be silent. Like other high-end units, there’s a keypad lock feature and a monitor scanner to check for any activity that you might find within your channel.

Customers who bought this product love the walkie-talkies for their impressive range with an affordable price point. More critical ones have mentioned that at the 36-mile range, the reception gets a little fuzzy, that the design isn’t as rugged as advertised and that the features can be a bit overwhelming. 

Colors come in black, black/yellow, and camouflage, which all vary in price. Rechargeable batteries are included.

Battery Life: 10.94 Hours | Range: 36 Miles | Channels: 50 | Weight: 0.3 Lbs

"Overall, we found this radio to be superior in terms of reception and sound quality."Andy Zahn, Product Tester

Best Value: Midland LXT500VP3 22-Channel GMRS

Midland LXT500VP3 22-Channel GMRS
What we like
  • Multiple broadcast channels

  • Variety of power options

  • Clear transmission

What we don't like
  • Feels a bit flimsy

  • Rechargeable battery is tricky to install

The Midland LXT500VP3's wide range, affordable price, and charging station make it one of the best walkie-talkies on the list. The walkie-talkies come in black and camouflage, are water-resistant, and measure 1 x 2 x 6 inches. They feature 22 channels of clear communication, allowing for multiple assigned units in each transmission. Any buyer concerned with long-distance communication will be happy to know that the radios offer a range of 24 miles in open areas such as forests or deserts.

One of the best features of the walkie-talkies is their power conservation. The units include rechargeable batteries and dual desktop chargers. You can adjust the power settings with the included HI/LO battery life extender feature, too. Other features include a keypad lock to prevent any accidental activation, as well as an incoming call alert, roger beep, auto squelch, and silent operation. These features are specifically designed to ensure that there’s not only concise communication but also understanding.

The product has been raved for its economical price point, lasting battery charge, and clear reception over 15 to 20 city blocks. Some downsides, however, may be the low maximum volume output and fuzzy reception if inside a building with thick walls.

Battery Life: 12 Hours | Range: 24 Miles | Channels: 22 | Weight: 1.37 Lbs

Best for Children: Retevis RT628 Walkie Talkies

Retevis RT628 Walkie Talkies
What we like
  • Multiple channels

  • Great for small hands

  • Lengthy battery life

What we don't like
  • Limited range

When you’re buying walkie-talkies for small children, the two biggest things you’ll want to keep in mind are ease-of-use (because they’re kids) and price (because they might lose it). The Retevis RT628 covers both of these with no issue.

The Retevis RT628 comes with a pair of colorful lightweight (90 grams) radios that are simple to use and transmit as long as both radios are on the same frequency. With kids in mind, these radios have a small number of buttons, there’s a channel lock to keep them on the same frequency and each radio has an included belt clip to keep it on your person. The walkie-talkies run on three AA batteries, which are not included, so be sure to buy some of those, too.

Overall, customers have been very happy with these walkie-talkies and strongly recommend them for children.

Battery Life: 2-3 Days | Range: 6000 Feet | Channels: 22 | Weight: 3.25 Oz

Best for Large Parties: Retevis H-777 Two-Way Radio Long Range

Retevis H-777 Two-Way Radio Long Range
What we like
  • Built-in flashlight

  • Affordable

  • Easy to program

What we don't like
  • Range could be better

  • Not very durable

If you’re buying in bulk and plan to have a large family camping trip or hike, these are the walkie-talkies for you. The Retevis H-777 is a pack of 10 two-way, single-band 16-channel radios that make for an affordable bulk buy.

Easy to use and functional, the Retevis H-777 walkie talkies are programmed to use the same frequency after they’re manufactured, assuring a clear channel of communication. They feature a built-in LED torch and voice response function making them suitable for various scenarios. Included is a 1500mAH Li-on battery that can be charged in two to three hours and allows for eight to nine hours for continuous walkie-talkie use.

The walkie-talkies have been praised for their affordable price, long battery life, and clear communication. Some negatives, however, may be that the two-mile communication distance can be spotty at times.

Battery Life: 12 Hours | Range: 2.5 Miles | Channels: 16 | Weight: 14.2 Oz

Best for Businesses: Motorola RMU2080D

Out of the five products in the Motorola RMU series, the 2080D features the best overall specs. Its remarkable range, durability, and easy-to-operate controls make it well-suited for running communications between a large staff. The walkie-talkie holds eight channels, including the National Weather Report, offering 24/7 forecasting for outdoor workers. It transmits laterally across 250,000 square feet, or vertically through a 20-story building, which is the longest range offered on our list. Additionally, the 2080D operates on 99 UHF business-exclusive frequencies and offers 219 PL/DPL codes, including six customizable codes to ensure stronger connectivity.

Design-wise, the 2080D is built to last, meeting military standards for wind, dust, and shock resistance. The walkie-talkie also comes equipped with a 1,500-mW speaker, delivering strong audio without distracting feedback or background noise. For construction sites, multi-level corporate buildings, and large-scale events, the 2080D’s hefty price tag is worth the investment, as it ensures reliable communication across long distances.

Battery Life: 15 Hours | Range: 500 Feet | Channels: 8 | Weight: .56 Lbs

Best Waterproof: Uniden MHS75 Submersible Two Way Marine Radio

What we like
  • Extremely waterproof

  • Robust build quality

  • Amazing channel options

What we don't like
  • Belt clip is a bit flimsy

If you're working in any maritime environment or just in particularly deplorable weather, the Uniden MHS75 is the perfect radio for you. Robust construction ensures that this radio can withstand the nastiest of abuse. The real selling point however is the IPX8 waterproof rating, making this walkie-talkie capable of withstanding submersion in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. Despite its durability, this radio is also remarkably light, weighing in at just over 10 ounces.

The MHS75 can last up to 12 hours on a single charge, covers all US and Canadian marine channels as well as 10 weather-alert channels. Despite the staggering array of features, the MHS75 remains an affordable option for anyone looking for an especially durable and waterproof two-way radio.

Battery Life: 15 Hours | Range: 10 Miles | Channels: 88 | Weight: 1.35 Lbs

Final Verdict

Our top walkie-talkie pick is the Midland GXT1000VP4 (view at Amazon). This unit brings together the vast majority of what we look for in our favorite walkie-talkies without being exorbitantly expensive. This durable and waterproof doublet of radios features a 36-mile range, NOAA weather service alerts, and over 3,000 channel options. The only drawback is the small number of units, so if you're managing a large team you might be better served by the Retevis H-777 (view at Amazon), which comes with 10 units total. 

About Our Trusted Experts

Alex Williams has been writing professionally for the past five years. He covers a range of tech topics and has reviewed everything from video games to wearable technologies. 

FAQs

Can I pick up police radio traffic on a walkie-talkie?

No, police use their own frequencies outside of the civilian band that vary based on location. Regardless of how many channels your walkie-talkie has, you won't be able to access these frequencies.

Can someone else eavesdrop on your conversations with a walkie-talkie?

While it is possible, it is extremely unlikely. Walkie-talkies operate on a predetermined frequency that allows them to speak with other devices on the same frequency within a given range. If there is another device in relatively close proximity, however, it will be able to listen and respond if it has access to the band your radios are operating on.

Why would I use a walkie-talkie if my entire team has phones?

While there are a number of limitations presented by walkie-talkies that would be better handled by a cell phone, there are certain benefits, as well. Walkie-talkies offer near-instantaneous communication while keeping lines of communication open between small teams with multiple handsets. These benefits make walkie-talkies ideal for construction, warehouse management, or security teams that need to stay in touch.

What to Look for in a Walkie-Talkie

Range

The most essential feature to consider when purchasing a walkie-talkie is the device’s range of communication. While some models can communicate over 24 miles, others are only able to make it to the other side of a family house. Make sure when selecting your device to choose a model that can support the range you need.

Battery Life

Nothing could be more dangerous than having a walkie-talkie’s battery die in the middle of an emergency operation. Depending on your needs, be sure to check what type of batteries your device requires and how long they are rated to last. Rechargeable lithium batteries might sound great, but in the middle of the woods, a pack of AA batteries might be the best bet.

Durability

When purchasing a walkie-talkie. be sure to consider its overall durability. Some options might be designed with children in mind (with thin plastic exteriors), while others will be covered in thicker materials (even rubber) to ensure that they keep working even after a nasty fall.

Was this page helpful?