The 7 Best Walkie Talkies of 2020

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

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The Rundown
Best for Overall:
Midland GXT1000VP4 at Amazon
"Capable of a 36-mile range in open areas."
"Raved 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 Battery Life:
Baofeng UV-5R MK5 at Amazon
"Contains a powerful 1,800 mAH battery with 7.4 volts, promising one of the longest charges on the market."
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."
"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 2-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 Service 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

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 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.

Best Value: Midland LXT500VP3 22-Channel GMRS

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.

Best for Children: Retevis RT628 Walkie Talkies

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.

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

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 the affordable price, long battery life, and clear communication. Some negatives, however, may be that the two-mile communication distance can be spotty at times.

Best Battery Life: Baofeng UV-5R MK5

The Baofeng UV-5R MK5 sets itself apart from the competition with an energy-efficient tri-power feature. This allows you to switch between three modes, ranging from one to eight watts. The UV-5R MK5 contains a powerful 1,800 mAH battery with 7.4 volts, promising one of the longest charges on the market. Depending on the wattage output, it offers a respectable frequency range: 65-108MHz at the lowest setting, 136-175 MHz on medium, and 400-520MHz on high-power. This model also comes with a dual band 7-inch antenna, significantly extending your walkie’s reception, and also comes with a built-in FM radio, VOX function, emergency alert, and an LED flashlight.

The UV-5R is great to have on hand, especially for blackouts, camping trips, and other scenarios involving unreliable cellular service. This particular model weighs 15.7 ounces and measures 8 x 4 x 4 inches. Baofeng also sells multiple versions of the UV-5R, with varying specs, including an older model that contains a 3,800 mAH battery.

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 8 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.

Best Waterproof: Uniden MHS75 Submersible Two Way Marine Radio

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 2-way radio.

Final Verdict

Our top walkie talkie pick is the Midland GXT1000VP4. 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 feature 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, which comes with 10 units total. 

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 needs 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.