How to Choose a 2 Way Walkie Talkie

So, you’re in the process of deciding which 2 way Walkie Talkie is for you!

What 2 Way Walkie Talkie Features Do You Need?

Two way Walkie Talkies need to be simple.  You don’t want to spend all your time selecting variable features and messing about with awkward, fiddly knobs.  Keep it straightforward.

You may decide to select a 2 way Walkie Talkie radio with both GMRS and FRS channels.  It’s worth thinking about, especially if other users are in the same area.  The latter will result in less interference.

Try out a selection of two way Walkie Talkies to see what you like and what you don’t like.  For instance, the Cobra PR100 has a belt clip which you might like, until you find that it needs to be removed if you are to access the batteries.  Do you need to clip a Walkie Talkie radio to your belt when it fits easily into a shirt pocket?  On the plus side it has both GMRS and FRS channels.

Consider the power supply.  If you’re using it on a building site or anywhere where you can recharge it after a day’s work, then a rechargeable one may save you money, but if you’re wandering about in the vast unknown of the outback for long periods of time, you may want to consider the alternative.

What Radio Frequency is Right for You?

FRS is fine for hunting, walking, fishing or camping.  You won’t get interference and you don’t need a license.  For those of you who need a broader range, (up to 5 miles), and will be using your Walkie Talkie radio for more serious business communication, then GMRS is probably for you.

Then there are GPS-enabled Walkie Talkies.  They are ideal if you’re one for the wide open spaces.  They will map your location, your route and your destination.

Another alternative is the weather-alert enabled Walkie Talkies.  As the name implies, it will give you advance warning of adverse weather conditions.

When considering the range required, you need to think about what you’ll be using the 2 way radio for.  If you’re walking or cycling, then 2-5 miles will probably suffice.  Hunters, campers or hikers may opt for a greater range depending on the scale of the journey.

As for selecting channels, FRS and GMRS systems utilize channels 1-7.  Channels 8-14 are for use only by FRS.  Channels 15-22 are solely for GMRS.  Models vary as to how many channel options are available.  If you plan to use it in the city, where GMRS is the preferred option, you may wish to consider purchasing a 14-channel unit.

Which is the Best Walkie Talkie Brand?  Let’s look at a few.

Audiovox have some interesting features such as earbud microphones and a built in torch.  Some Garmin Rino Walkie Talkies boast a compass, a barometer, a weather receiver and an extensive memory.

Cobras are noted for their quality.  Kenwood also have a good name.  Midland Walkie Talkies offer an extensive range to choose from.  Sylvania boasts good audio input and Uniden also have a good reputation in that respect.  And, of course, Motorola, who have been making Walkie Talkies for decades, offers Walkie Talkie radios to suit every budget. that are well built and well designed.

In short, you need to think about what you will use your 2 way Walkie Talkie for and what you expect from it.  There’s a huge range available so take your time in selecting the appropriate Walkie Talkie for your own particular needs.

Couple using 2 way Walkie Talkies

Couple using 2 way Walkie Talkies

Photograph by oferiko

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon @ September 23, 2009 at 11:56 am

I’d add ICOM as another good brand, mostly because of the huge range of options that you can have with a handset and their completely waterproof walkie talkies as well

Walkie Talkie Reviews September 24, 2009 at 2:41 am

Hi Simon

Thanks for stopping by. I agree that ICOM Walkie Talkies are a good quality brand and their waterproof two way walkie talkie is ideal for outdoors use, such as camping, sailing, hiking and fishing.


George June 23, 2011 at 3:46 am

We are gong on a cruise in two weeks . there will be three adults a d three teenagers. I want at least on (OK to good) pair, on the cheep. Any specific sugestions?

Bradley June 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Hi George

If you want a good quality walkie talkie and great value, click this link and check out the:

Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair).

Also on that page, have a look at the fantastic review by Dr. Wilfredo M. Viray “Wally”; it is well worth reading, as well as the other reviews.

One of the features that may be particularly useful on board ship is the silent vibrating ringer so you can have the radios on even in situations where you need to be silent.

Another very popular and cheaper option is the:

Motorola MH230R 23-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)

I hope you find something suitable and have a great trip.


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