Walkie talkies have come a long way since they were developed by Don Hings—a Canadian—in 1937. Their use during the second world war was essential in supporting soldiers to succeed in battle. Today, during leisure or business, adults and children can enjoy the experience of instant communication through handheld devices.
All they need to do is tune in to the same frequency band or channel and push a button to talk. To help you find the best walkie talkie available, we’ve reviewed a selection of the best brands and models.
The Best Walkie Talkie Reviews 2020
1. Komvox Rechargeable Walkie Talkies for Adults Long Range
- 2-WAY RADIOS - These walkie-talkies feature 22 (Family Radio Service) channels, along with channel scan to check for activity. The bold yellow faceplate provides high visibility. It is rechargeable Walkie Talkie can support the USB charging. That will be big benefit for you using the smartphone charge.
- 10 KM RANGE - Longer range communication in open areas with little or no obstruction. 10KM at Sea, 5KM in Woods, 2KM in Town. The distance may vary in different environment.
- 121 CTCSS PRIVACY CODES - The Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System gives you up to 2,662 channel options to help block other conversations. Use silent operation to turn off all tones
Featuring 22 channels plus channel scanning, walkie talkies offer high visibility. They’re bright yellow, rechargeable via USB and designed for outdoors. They suggest they offer 10KM range at sea, 5KM in woods and 2KM in town. They also offer VOX transmission with 3 levels for hands-free operation.
These are great looking walkie talkies. Because of their bright color, they could be great for use on camping trips. Alternatively, they would probably be great for kids to play with. They could be a good option for indoors or outdoors.
They have excellent sound quality, which comes through very clearly. As soon as we started using them, we found the transmission came through perfectly.
The range seemed to hold out very well too. We used them in the wooded and open country and got a range up to 5KM.
Battery life is excellent and maybe the best feature – they lasted 3 days after a charge. It’s a nice feature to have USB charging too, as it means you can charge up your phone. It’s worth noting they can only be recharged when there are rechargeable batteries inside.
There are nice extra features, like the flashlight. Again, this may come in handy when camping.
We did find the voice activation a little difficult to use. If you want this feature it may be worth checking it out.
It’s also worth noting there’s a lack of weather protective features. There aren’t any NOAA channels or waterproofing, so may not be appropriate for wet weather.
In short, these are bright and easy to use walkie talkies suitable for adults and children. They could work well outdoors and indoors, and retain excellent sound quality and range.
Battery life is very strong, with a USB port, and nice extra features like the flashlight. These could be a good option for kids and adults when camping.
- Brightly colored with good visibility for camping
- Sound quality is very good
- Matches the stated range
- Battery life is very strong
- USB port and flashlight are good features
- VOX difficult to use
- May not be suitable for wet weather
2. Motorola T100TP Talkabout Walkie Talkie
- Included Components: 3 Radios, 3 Belt Clips, 1 User Guide
Motorola have designed some simple, compact and easy to use walkie talkies here. They state a range of up to 16 miles, with 22 channels. It uses 3 AAA alkaline batteries but has 18 hours of use. These run on FRS/GMRS 462-467 MHz and come in blue.
These seem to be very high-quality manufactured units. They’re very solid and quite durable, with a quality that seems like it would last a few knocks or drops.
They’re compact and have a nice, ergonomic design that sits well in the hand. They’re also pretty lightweight. We had no problems at all using the buttons and the functionality. Overall, these could be great for both adults and kids to use.
The battery life seems good. We used them a little every day and the battery life only died after a few days of use.
Sound-wise, they’re also pretty reliable. We didn’t get too much static or distortion on these at all. We found these to work very well in close proximity, so they could be ideal for use around the house. Perhaps they could be a solid investment for kids to use.
One thing we were disappointed with is that we found the range to be quite poor with these. This was surprising considering they claim 16 miles, which is farther than most others advertise. In general, they worked fine when indoors.
The AAA batteries are not rechargeable, which means you have to carry additional sets with you.
In short, these are very well made, long-lasting and reliable sets. They’re designed well and are lightweight, so it could be great for adults and kids to use. Because the range is not so strong, they could be perfect for use at home.
- High-quality manufacturing
- Compact and pleasing design
- Easy to use
- Good battery life
- Sound seemed good most of the time
- Range is poor and unlikely to get as far as 16 miles
- AAA batteries aren’t rechargeable, so better for infrequent use
3. MOICO Professional Long Range Rechargeable Walkie Talkie
- 【Rechargeable Two Way Radio】Each radio comes with 4* 800mAh AAA rechargeable batteries and a AC charging cable provide long standby.These professional rechargeable walkie talkies can 15 hours continuous, 40 hours standby
- 【22 Channels Each with 99 CTCSS】The walkie talkies with 22 GMRS/FRS channels plus 99 set of CTCSS tones.The continues tone coded squelch system gives you 2178 channels to choose.You can block other conversation requests and get a private chat channel.
- 【Long Range Communication】This two way radio communicate up to 5 miles communication range in little or no obstruction, provide 1.2-2.0 miles communication in built-up areas or obstructed conditions.Suitable for biking,hiking,famliy camping,roadtrip,at school.It can also contact your children when you are in the house and they are playing at garden.
This set of 2 walkie talkies claims a range of up to 5 miles in open areas and is fully rechargeable. It also has 22 channels, runs off FRS/GMRS and has additional features of VOX, scan, LCD backlit screen and flashlight.
Out of the box, this set looks great and seems sturdy. They’re not expensive but offer a few great features. They’re also easy to use and navigate around.
A key thing we loved about this set was that they come with 8 rechargeable AAA batteries. There’s also a charger to keep the power coming, which we found was helpful to have. Battery power is probably the best feature of these.
Saying that the sound is also pretty good. We found there were only a few occasional distortions or glitches that came through.
This is a very basic set; however, the flashlight and light-up screen are excellent additional features. These could be really great for home or away camping trips, where they wouldn’t need to endure too many harsh weather conditions. We loved that these were included.
A small problem we found was with the instruction manual. It seemed a little confusing to read.
The other concern is that the range didn’t work so well for us. We couldn’t get up to even 1 mile of range, so the claim of 5 miles could be overstating things. This may vary depending on the circumstances they’re used in, though.
Overall, these are affordable, basic and easy to use walkie talkies with good battery charging. They also have nice additional features that support use in the nighttime, either at home or for outdoor use.
- Affordable price
- Easy to use
- Rechargeable batteries using AAA batteries (included)
- Sounded good
- Good for nighttime – flashlight and backlit LCD screen
- Range didn’t perform as well as stated
- Instructions were a little unclear
4. Rivins RV-7 Walkie Talkies
- 【Ultra-portable 2-way Radio】 Preset 22 GMRS/FRS channels plus 99 set of CTCSS tones (privacy codes), provides an extensive frequency usage (up to 2178 combinations), License-FREE in the US.
- 【Long Range & Easy Operation】UHF radios support up to 5 miles communication range in open fields, provide 0.6-1.2 miles communication in built-up areas or obstructed conditions. Walkie Talkies for adults in outdoor activities hiking camping road trip as well as for kids to keep in contact with parents.
- 【Built-in Backlit LCD Screen, Speaker & Mic】 LCD display shows you the battery status, channel number as well as the sub-tones, Volume level, and signal status, etc. Built-in flashlight for night use or emergency.
This set of 4 walkie talkies have a range of up to 5 miles, with preset 22 channels using UHF. They’re available in black or orange, have an LCD screen and a VOX feature. They run on both AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries.
For such a cheap option, these units deliver a lot. They’re good quality and come with belt clips and easy-to-understand instructions. You’ll need a set of AAA batteries to run them and you’ll be set.
They’re very straightforward to use. You can play with the settings easily, and setting up the VOX feature seemed to be no problem at all.
They also work well in terms of sound quality. We didn’t get any static, distortion or interference. We tested out the range as far as 5 miles. In an open area they reached 3 miles before cutting out. For this product, the range is our favorite feature.
In terms of battery power, we were a little concerned with the AAA battery source. However, there is a helpful battery life display bar. This makes it easy to know when you’ll be close to topping up, so it didn’t seem like too much trouble to stay on top of.
These are family-friendly-set and could appeal to both kids and adults. Although you don’t get any weather protection features, they can be used in the house or outside in the right conditions.
Occasionally, we could hear some background noise. This seemed especially acute when we were close to other electronic equipment.
However, in general, this is an excellent starter set for use indoors or outdoors in contained surroundings. They’re inexpensive yet deliver a great range of signal, good sound and are easy to use. Just keep a back-up set of AAA batteries!
- Inexpensive but efficient starter set
- Easy to use
- Sound quality generally very good
- Holds a good range of around 3 miles
- Battery life display bar helps manage replacement batteries
- No weather protection features
- Some static and background interference at times
5. GOCOM Walkie Talkies For Adults Two-Way Radio
- Two-Way Radio - These walkie talkies can compatible with any radio one to one or one to more. The bold LCD faceplate provides high visibility. Each radio comes with a single-earbud style microphone built in earpiece, belt clips, a dual USB charging Line and 6 rechargable AA battery.
- 2662 Channels - GOCOM walkie talkies feature 22 (Family Radio Service) channels and 121 CTCSS PRIVACY CODES system which gives you up to 2,662 channels options to help block other conversations, along with channel scan to check for activity.
- Vox & Weather Scan - NOAA Weather Scan will automatically scan through 10 available weather (WX) band channels and locks onto the strongest weather channel to alert you of severe weather updates. Vox scan will check which channels active now.
These are two-way radios with 2,662 channels, rechargeable with a USB port plus weather features, LED flashlight and VOX feature. They have a range of 16 miles, stating 8 miles at sea, 3 miles in woods and 1 mile in town.
Out of the box, these are simple, lightweight walkie talkies that seem good quality and look good. They have a simple functionality that is easy to use, with buttons that aren’t too hard to manage. It’s a straightforward set to use.
They’re also very lightweight and certainly sit in the palm of your hand with ease.
Despite these not being HAM radios, probably the best feature is that they have a range of 16 miles. We didn’t test the full extent of this, but we did not have any problems at all with signals.
The model comes with some excellent features that could be great for outdoor use. Specifically, the NOAA weather scan really sold it for us. You will also get an LED flashlight. When you consider how affordable they are, these radios seemed to be a good set of all-rounders.
One problem we found, however, was that there didn’t seem to be enough volume settings. On occasions, they sounded too loud. It may be the way we used them though.
Also, the battery life is not great. We managed to get 4 hours out of it before it stopped working. It may be OK if you want to use only occasionally for short bursts.
In general, these are very affordable, simple, lightweight walkie talkies with an excellent range. They’re straightforward to use and easy for indoor and outdoor, with some weather features and a flashlight.
- Very affordable for a solid set of walkie talkies
- Simple functionality and easy to use
- Lightweight and fits in the hand
- Excellent range of up to 16 miles
- Great additional features
- Can be loud, with no enough option to change the volume
- Poor battery life
6. Retevis RT628 Kids Walkie Talkies
- Small and light body allows kids easy to use and just 90g per radio is easy to carry; power with 3 AA batteries and not included
- Easy to operate and allow the children themselves to assemble the belt and hang on the anywhere they want
- One-to-one and one-to-more communication function allow more walkie talkie communicate on the same channel
These children’s walkie talkies have been designed especially for use by smaller hands, aged 4-12. They weight 90g per radio and need 3 AA batteries to operate. They have an adjustable volume, a belt clip and a facility to lock the keyboard.
The first thing you’ll notice with these is that, of course, they’re for kids. Most kids can expect to use them outdoors or indoors for simple activities. Like being in the part or around the house. You also notice how lightweight they are – less than 100g each!
They also seem quite durable and like you could drop them a few times with no problems – they’ve been made with a solid design.
For a set of kid’s walkie talkies, the sound quality was surprisingly very good. When we tested them out, they had a pretty decent range ability too.
They are a few features that kids could find enjoyable. For example, you can change the ring tone and even use a VOX feature. They also have a solid belt clasp.
One downside may be that they seem a little confusing to use for smaller children. We couldn’t imagine being 6 years old and being able to confidently navigate them!
We also found the channels got quite a bit of static and interference when we used them. This may just be a case of finding the right channels that work.
In general, these are pretty affordable, lightweight and durable kids’ walkie talkies. They sound great for children’s versions. They also seem very sturdy. They could be good for using when camping, or otherwise at home in different bedrooms or outside.
- Lightweight kids’ walkie talkies
- Durable to a few knocks
- Impressive sound quality
- Great features including VOX
- Belt clasp for easy transporting
- Seemed complicated for small children to operate
- Some interference on the channels
7. BaoFeng BF-888S Walkie Talkie
- 2 Watt Programmable Handheld Amateur Radio
- Frequency Range: UHF: 400-520 MHz(Rx/Tx).The BF-888S include a built-in high illumination flashlight and an emergency alarm
- Customize Programming by Using the PC03 FTDI Programming Cable
These classic-looking walkie talkies from BaoFeng have 16 channels and are very affordable. They run on a UHF frequency at 400-520 MHz and can be custom-programmed to your needs. They also have a built-in flashlight and emergency alarm.
First off, for the price you pay for this set they seem particularly well built and solid. They look like your classic walkie talkies and have some great features. They’re also compact and smaller than others. They seem to fit into a pocket with ease and would certainly take a few knocks with ease.
Next up, the sound quality is brilliant. At all times these came through with very high-quality sound. For a set this cheap we were impressed with the clarity. You also don’t get annoying noises when you push the button.
Thirdly, the range of transmission reached around 2 miles before getting some static. This, again, was surprising for a radio priced at this level.
It also has some great features. For example, the radio includes channel scan when on channel 16. To also get a flashlight thrown in makes it versatile for evening use, maybe camping or to play with at night. The battery life seemed to be good.
A downside is that the radios will need to be programmed. If you’re not a tech or electronics specialist, this may prove to be a drag to do.
They also do not have any weather-protection features. For the price, however, this is a minor issue.
To summarize, these are cheap, well build little radios that are excellent at what they do. The sound is strong and clear and transmission at close range is good. Features are exactly what you need as extras, making them useful for adults and children.
- Very affordable price, yet well designed and built
- Compact and lightweight
- Excellent sound quality and transmission range
- Great features including flashlight
- Good battery life
- Requires programming via PC
- No additional features
How To Choose A Walkie Talkie: A Buyer’s Guide
The best walkie talkie shouldn’t be too hard to find. In essence, all you need to do is think through how you plan to use them. For casual use, most people will be fine using an FRS radio signal. This is usually adequate for communication within close proximity.
If you’re planning on using them for longer excursions, perhaps on adventurous trips, it may be that GMRS is better. If you do go with GMRs, you’ll need to obtain a license. Particularly if you plan on using a range of longer than 2 km.
If you’d rather not pay an additional fee for a license, you should find radios usually run on FRS with a power output of 0.5 watts.
So, once you’ve decided whether you’ll use your set at home, outdoors, with the kids or between adults, use our criteria below to assess which one may be best for you:
VHF stands for Very High Frequency. This usually ranges from 150MHz to 175MHz and usually requires a clear line of sight to be effective.
UHF stands for Ultra High Frequency. It ranges from 400MHz-475MHz and tend to work better when used in built-up areas.
Range of Transmission
If you plan to use a set for the kids to communicate with, you probably won’t need a longer range. Most sets will offer somewhere up to 5 miles. In practice, what you can actually achieve can vary depending on your circumstances.
If you do need something suitable for use in outdoor terrain, like hiking, consider a long range walkie talkie instead.
Maybe you need a few basic channels to get started? It’s worth having a few to play with.
Presets can make life easier. The frequencies of these channels will already be set, making life easier. There are also options to program your own set using PC software.
Perhaps you need something loud enough to hear over background noise? Or maybe simple communication between different rooms?
Give some thought to the quality of sound. This is often linked to the quality of transmission and signal.
Size, Weight, Durability
If you plan to take them camping, you won’t want something too big and bulky. It would be wise to consider a sturdy, well-made set that will last. However, if they’re too heavy, and contain a large battery pack, it may not be easy to transport.
If you’re planning to use them with the whole family, you may want ones designed to fit in big and small hands. Perhaps you need them to be versatile and resist a few knocks and drops?
There are many with classic designs and others that are brightly colored, which may help with good visibility at night.
Getting the right power supply for your needs depends on how you plan to use them. There are many walkie talkies which take AAA batteries, which can be easily replaced.
If you’re planning to use walkie talkie regularly, you may want to consider rechargeable batteries. This will give probably save you time and money, especially if you plan to use them outdoors.
Some sets may feature battery life indicators and USB ports. These can help to keep things economical and ensure you don’t run out.
If you do plan on using walkie talkies when camping, consider the amount of visibility you’ll need. You may want them to be bright and easy to see in the dark. Perhaps a flashlight or backlit LED screen would be good too.
If you’re using them in wet conditions, check if they’re waterproof or have NOAA alert features. You may want to consider dustproof features too, if you’re taking them outside.
PTT and VOX abilities
It may be that you get some fun out of having Push-To-Talk features. Or, perhaps you’re less able to use smaller, flimsy buttons. If that’s the case, Voice Activated Transmission or VOX can help you. This is a hands-free mechanism that can help to support easier communication.
And the winner is…
We’ve reviewed many great products here, most of which are affordable, easy to use and offer great features.
Our clear winner today is the Komvox Rechargeable Walkie Talkie.
We chose these based on their high-quality build, high visibility, overall great sound and range plus a flashlight. In particular, the battery life with these was excellent with a bonus of a USB port.
This makes them a good option to consider for longer use, both for camping trips and for indoor use.
As an affordable choice, these could be a great option for the whole family.