You may not realize how important music is to you, it just plays an essential and irreplaceable role in your daily life. Especially, when you are having fun outside, some music or amusement could be the icing on the cake.
For example, if you want to laze around on the beach, you will need some music to keep you company. Then, a portable outdoor radio is a perfect choice for you to enjoy your day outside. If you have trouble selecting a suitable one. Here are our top picks for the best portable outdoor radio to help you choose the right one.
Best Portable Outdoor Radio Comparison Chart 2020
8.3 x 2.3 x 5.3 inches
3.23 x 9.21 x 4.8 inches
8 x 2.4 x 3.4 inches
9.06 x 2.95 x 7.28 inches
10.25 x 2.5 x 5.35 inches
Monster Nomad Portable Bluetooth Speaker and Radio
15 x 8 x 11 inches
11.73 x 10.55 x 13.46 inches
The Best Portable Outdoor Radio Reviews 2020
1. Kaito KA500 Waterproof Portable Radio With Powered Solar Power
- 6-way powered portable emergency radio with hand crank generator, solar panel, compartment for 3 AA batteries (not included), 5V USB input, 5V AC/DC input with a wall power adapter (sold separately), built-in NiMH replaceable and rechargeable battery pack
- Comprehensive coverage of AM, FM, 2-band shortwave and 7 pre-programmed NOAA weather channels for entertainment, sports, talk-shows, breaking news around the world, and 24/7 real-time weather forecast (USA and Canada ONLY) with PEAS (Public Emergency Alert System)
- Works as an emergency mobile battery charger with built-in standard DC 5V USB output port for charging mobile devices, such as smart phones, GPS units, MP3 players, digital cameras, and etc. Other features include a 5-LED reading lamp, LED flashlight and a red LED S.O.S. beacon light
Charging can always be a key point you will consider when choosing a portable outdoor radio because outside conditions are usually unfavorable even bad. Then Kaito can fix this annoying problem.
The most eye-catching feature of this radio is that it can be charged by as many as six ways. Normally, it can be powered by AA batteries.
Apart from this, you can use a USB input to get it charged. Solar panel and hand crank are also able to power this product, it’s amazing. What’s more, you can use NiMH batteries and AC/DC wall power adapter too.
Given that there is a USB port, you can use it to charge your phone by a USB output. So this little radio can be charged easily and share the power with your mobile devices. That offers a big convenience and saves much energy when you hanging out.
Something special that we would like to talk about is the useful facilities. You may spend nights outdoors or encounter a bad weather day when going on a trip, a lamplight, LED flashlight, and red LED emergency light will be needed. Fortunately, this product brings you backups and safety.
The downside is that sometimes the frequency marker would not move. There could be frequency dial dysfunctions.
In conclusion, if you don’t mind the occasional dysfunctions, this radio is worth buying for it has multiple functions and it is easy to get powered.
- Six power sources – provide much convenience
- Waterproof– can adapt to bad weather
- Impact-resistant – make it durable
- LED and emergency lights – offer safety and help when in need
- USB output –can charge other mobile devices
- Frequency dysfunctions– cause disorder
- Charge difficulty– solar power needs luck
2. Sangean U4 Ultra Rugged Weatherproof Portable Outdoor Radio
- AM/FM-RBDS/Weather Alert/Bluetooth/Aux-In Digital Tuning Utility Radio 5 FM1, 5 FM2, 5 AM and 5 Weather Band Station Pre-Sets
- Built-in Bluetooth Wireless Audio streaming with indicator, simply touch to pair with NFC technology Supports aptX decoding for high fidelity music and low latency
- Rain resistant, Dust resistant and Shock resistant that is IP64 Certified for Dustproof and Waterproof
If you like all kinds of outdoor activities, including those adventurous ones like hiking, Sangean will be a perfect choice. This is one of the most sturdy and durable transportable outdoor radios. It was designed impressively.
Apart from being water-resistant, this radio has a rugged construction. It is unlikely to be broken even if you drop it incautiously, which is quite important for you because you might face such situations outside. It is a really tough item.
Another highly attractive feature is that this product has a very good reception. It can receive signals far away. And it sounds great for having a single speaker to project the sound. You can always enjoy the good sound quality from this.
Something else we like about this radio is the intuitive control. The control is straight out of the box, so you don’t have to look at the instructions to figure out how to deal with it. You can switch between AM, FM, and AUX flexibly. And there are about 10 presets available, which provide you a quite large range of options.
Besides, the tuner of it is very precise. It has an adequate tone adjustment. Also, the volume is sufficient. So if you are a rocker, you are gonna love it.
However, the advantage is that it is not independently rechargeable, so you have to buy rechargeable D batteries and a charger, which will cost some extra money.
To sum up, if you don’t mind the recharging trouble, this radio can be dreamy. It was strongly-built and waterproof so that it can meet nearly all your demands when enjoying outdoor time, even if on a bad weather day.
- Highly durable and waterproof construction– can be used any outdoor conditions
- Includes 10 presets– have a wide optional range
- Good reception quality– guarantee superior sounds
- Simple AM/FM tuner with a backlit display– easy to operate
- Single speaker– sufficient sound volume
- No USB ports– disable to connect other devices
- Only one power source– require rechargeable batteries and a charger
3. Panasonic RF-2400D Portable AM/FM Radio
- RF 2400 AM/FM Analogue Tuner: Frequency Range FM 87 to 108MHz (50kHz step) AM 520 to 1730kHz (9/10kHz step)
- 10 centimeter Speaker and Ferrite Antenna for good sound
- Audio System Power Output (RMS): 770mW Max other power source battery DC 6V (R6/LR6, AA, UM 3) x 4, AC 120 V, 560Hz
As you expect, this little radio has excellent quality as any product of Panasonic, which enjoys a high reputation around the world. If you want to buy a simple and small size portable outdoor radio, don’t miss this little thing.
This radio is famous for its small package. There is a little dimple in the middle of the carrying handle which makes it easy for you to loop one finger around the handle and carry it around with you. Especially when you are laze around on the beach, it is quite convenient for you to carry.
Something else we like is that the sensitivity is impressive. It has a telescopic antenna to receive the signals. Also, this radio does not get any interference from either airport or mountains. Even if you live about 70-100 miles away from the closest FM stations and this radio pulls them in. The sound quality is decent.
Another feature that can’t be neglected is that it has an optional corded connection. Unlike most portable radios which have permanent, built-in batteries. It operates on 4 x AA cells and can be independently recharged. You don’t need to waste batteries if you have a perfectly good power outlet.
Additionally, if you want a large dial display, with a large tuning knob (NOT tiny buttons that take forever to tune and hurt your fingers) and a volume wheel (instead of those nasty little buttons). This is a suitable one.
But the negative is that it is a bit bassy on the AM band. It could bother you if you want a low tone switch.
All in all, if your purpose is simple and you merely want high sound quality and portability, this is perfect. And old people are even more fond of this.
- Highly sensitive antenna– can better receive signals
- Independent batteries– avoid wasting batteries
- Small package – offer perfect portability
- Large turning knob– convenient to tune
- A volume wheel– easy to operate
- No Bluetooth– disable to connect other devices
- Mono speaker– bassy sound
4. Monster Nomad Portable Bluetooth Speaker and Radio
- 30-Hour Playback Battery Life
- IPX4 Water Resistant
- 30-Watt High-Power Sound
If you want to stay outdoors for a little longer, Monster Nomad is the right one you should purchase. It is a well-known long-play portable outdoor radio, which is supplied with 30-watts of power, making it pretty strong.
The very feature you will love best is the long life given by a huge battery. The battery can hold for about 30 hours. That means if you just listen to music on a lower volume level, I believe you could make it very close to 30 hours.
If you want a higher volume to ensure a normal outdoor sound level, then it can last for at least one entire day, which will guarantee a qualified entertaining outdoor day.
Another favorable feature is an outstanding volume. It is a portable Bluetooth speaker radio with more volume than the average speakers out there. The max volume is about as loud as it could be without bothering people around. So the sound quality is stunning. It is twice as loud as it looks. It must ensure a beautiful sound world.
The built-in features are appealing too. It comes with an adapter for the guitar amp port, it comes with an aux cord, a charger, and everything is pretty much perfect. The fact that you can use it to charge your USB devices is a huge bonus. And the Bluetooth connects quickly and reaction time from device controls is quick as well.
However, there are also disadvantages. You might need to select a perfect position to ensure perfect sound quality, particularly when you are in open areas. Besides, there are no buttons in the speaker for you to control the Bluetooth devices.
In a nutshell, it is a good one if you are more concerned about the long life and huge volume, despite its inconvenience of control.
- Huge battery – provide a long life
- Plenty of volume – offers perfect outside sound
- USB cables– can charge other devices
- Water-resistant – tolerant bad conditions
- Compact size– easy to carry
- No speakerphone capabilities– hard to control
- Unstable sound quality– need to be positioned properly
5. Sangean PR-D15 AM/FM Rechargeable Portable Outdoor Radio
- Excellent reception and stereo Audio performance with bass and treble controls, stereo/ mono switch and loudness on/ off
- 200mm ferrite AM antenna bar to allow best AM reception with fine tuning control (AM fine tuning with 1 kHz steps/ FM fine tuning with 10 kHz steps)
- 10 station presets (5 FM, 5 AM) with Auto seek station, real time clock, alarm, snooze and sleep timers
When you choose a portable outdoor radio, portability must be the most important factor you will think about. As a typical Sangean product, Sangean PR D15 is very transportable and a perfect one for you to carry outdoors.
As an updated version of RP D5, RP D15 has a carrying handle. That is very meaningful and useful for outdoor fanatics. To ensure good enough sound quality, you might want an outdoor radio which is not a too small size. That means you could not put it in your pockets. Then a handle can solve the carrying problem, and you can move it as easily as possible.
Besides, it has a built-in charger, which can get power directly. If you have ever used rechargeable batteries, you will find it inconvenient to have to remove the batteries and recharge them in a separate charger.
In the PR-D15, that’s no longer an issue. All you have to do is plug in the radio and the batteries will recharge inside the radio. And there is a light indicator to remind you of the charging process.
Turning to the controls, the radio has separate treble and bass controls, so you can adjust the sound to your personal preferences. And there are also loudness and off options for you to operate according to your requirements.
Moreover, there is also a signal strength indicator on the LCD screen, and the strength is displayed in bars. Surprisingly, it has a backlit display which shows what you are listening to. It has two stereo speakers to ensure you a prohibitively good sound quality.
On the other hand, the radio doesn’t have USB ports, so you can not connect this to other devices.
In a word, although it has no USB ports to allow you more convenience, the overall functions are well and it is highly portable.
- Built-in charger – provide easy charging
- Separate controls– convenient adjustment
- Backlit screen – display contents better
- Carrying handles – offer the most portability
- Two stereo speakers –bring the perfect sound quality
- No USB ports– unable to connect other devices
- Unstable reception– affect the listening
6. Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio
- MULTIPLE POWER SOURCES - The ER310 features 3 sustainable power sources to recharge your radio: Solar Panel, Hand Crank, & Rechargeable 2600 mAh Battery. SOLAR PANEL - Simply recharge the internal lithium ion battery with direct sunlight. HAND CRANK - Recharge the radio during a power outage or anytime away from a power source. RECHARGEABLE 2600 mAh BATTERY - The rechargeable & replaceable long life battery provides up to 32 hours of radio operation. The ER310 can also be powered by 6 “AA” Batteries (Not Included) as a backup power solution.
- EMERGENCY FLASHLIGHT - The SOS FLASHLIGHT BEACON flashes Morse code in an emergency scenario and the Bright CREE LED (130 Lumens) can be used to signal for help. Select the Low brightness setting to conserve battery life or the High brightness setting for maximum illumination.
- NOAA WEATHER SCAN + ALERT - NOAA Weather Scan will automatically scan through 7 available weather (WX) band channels and locks onto the strongest weather channel to alert you of severe weather updates. NOAA Weather Alert will sound an alarm indicating that there is a risk of severe weather in your area. AM/FM radio is also available.
Midland-ER310 is outstanding for its battery and charging function, which equipped it a perfect option when you are outdoors or far away from residence. Also, it is an emergency dealer for there are some functional lights.
The first and foremost feature is that it comes with a lithium battery that can be powered by three sources: solar, hand crank, and rechargeable lithium battery.
Besides, it can also use standard batteries and standard AC power. Moreover, the battery can last for up to 32 hours. So you will never worry about a power outage because such flexibility during a power outage is pretty amazing.
Besides, there is an emergence flashlight and a dog whistle feature. That dog whistle can be used when search dogs are looking for you in the emergence events, such as a building collapse, buried under snow, and so on.
Some obvious features are attractive. Large buttons allow the radio itself to operate easily. The LCD panel is easy to read and has a backlight, so you can read the panel in the dark. You can also get AM, FM, and weather channels as well as a WX alert, which satisfied your various needs.
However, it is not water-resistant. That could be a problem if you meet really terrible weather. You need to protect it from being wet.
To summarize, although it is not waterproof, this radio can be a hero which prevents you from any inconveniences caused by power and unpredictable emergencies.
- Long battery life – avoid frequent recharging
- Multiple recharging ways – eliminate power outage worries
- Emergency flashlight and dog-whistle – provide safety
- Solid housing – durable
- Telescopic antenna –ensure a high-frequency range
- Not water-resistant– may be damaged by the rain
- No memory setting– affect the re-listening
7. Sony ICF-506 Analog Tuning Portable AM/FM Radio
- Integrated AM/FM radio tuner
- Powerful mono speaker for big sound
- Built-in carry handle for easy portability
If you have never tried a portable outdoor radio, Sony ICF-506 is qualified to be your first try. The size, portability, and functions are all good enough to recommend.
To begin with, It has an analog tuning system and lights that help you fine-tune your desired station. Although tuning is not digital, it does have a very wide analog tuning range that allows you to easily tune in a station, unlike those radios where you have to delicately try to tune in a station with a narrow analog dial range.
Another feature is that it has a built-in handle, which allows you to carry it flexibly. As it is an outdoor radio, an easy handle can always appeal to you. And that improves the portability.
Something else we want to mention is that it is an integrated AM/FM tuner. And the tuner is highly sensitive. This radio picks up many more stations than you may expect. Both AM and FM come in very clear. It is very easy to tune this radio and lock in on a station. If you have the ability to fine-tune the dial then you’ll be able to bring in even more stations.
And some built-in features are worth mentioning. It has powerful mono speakers, so the sounds are in good quality, which boosts your listening experience. Besides, the LED that turns on when the station is tuned helps you see the names of them.
But it doesn’t have USB or AUX ports. You might feel inconvenient without a port to connect your phone or other devices. It is not water-resistant either. So you need more care when using it outdoor.
All in all, it is user-friendly because of its proper size, weight, and good sound quality.
- Powerful mono speakers – ensure the sound quality
- Built-in tuning analog – provide a large station range
- LED indicators– provide convenience reading
- Good sensitivity – receive signals better
- Handle –easy to carry
- Not water-resistant– may be damaged by the rain
- No USB or AUXports – can not connect other devices
What to Consider When Buying a Portable Outdoor Radio?
Given that there is a rich supply of different types and brands which seem all good and worth buying, you might feel puzzled about how to choose the special one. And taking what we have discussed above into account, we can look at the factors you need to consider when choosing one.
Now, let’s look at some points and tips we gathered to think about when selecting:
If you want to buy a portable outdoor radio, the size will matter a lot because you are going to take it with you wherever you go. Generally, the portability depends much on the size of an outdoor radio.
A big one will take a large place to carry when you go out for fun, and you would not be willing to take it for such an inconvenience. So a small one could be very convenient to bring. Whether you are going to go camping or hiking, you can just put the little radio in your clothes pocket or the side pocket of your bag.
Besides being small, weight is another factor that affects the potability of an outdoor radio. If you want to go for a light model, then purchasing a heavier one is not a wise choice.
You could know the exact weight by consulting the sellers about the material. It could be made of metal or plastic, and the weight can be very different. A light one can save much of your energy.
How it is powered is also a worth-considering point when choosing a suitable radio. Most portable radios can be powered by batteries, although some of them demand more power than others. Of course, the smaller radios only need a handful of batteries to run for a quite long time, but you need to take some alternatives in case they should run out.
So you’d better choose those which can be recharged so that you won’t spend too much money on new batteries. And, if you see one whose batteries can be recharged by solar energy, you should take it without hesitation.
The reason why you bring a portable radio with you is that you want to simply press a button to enter a station and enjoy some music or entertainment. So the available presets can be a key factor to help you save time tuning stations manually.
And the number of presets is variable from radio to radio. You can choose a favorable one according to your preference. If you want more optional stations, choose a sophisticated one. Otherwise, you could choose one with a few preset stations, that would be simple and easy to operate.
Compared with a regular or indoor radio, a portable outdoor radio could suffer more wear and tear. You could carry outdoor radio anywhere you spend your leisure time. If you go camping or hiking, the radio might experience many reels, stumbles, bumps, and drops. Sometimes, it could encounter water contact or submergence.
So it has to have a prohibitively durable housing to protect itself from being damaged. Meanwhile, it should be water-resistant. So select those with tough and waterproof hulls, you can use it for a much longer time.
Speakers and Sound Quality
A good outdoor radio should have a speaker in good quality and large size. And the quality is more important because all the sounds you hear from the radio are affected by the speaker.
Also, a large speaker could improve the potential volume of sounds. Besides, unlike smart-phones, radios are famous for being adept at receiving AM and FM signals. So the radio must be very good at picking up signals. And this could be relevant to the AM/FM antenna.
Handles should not be ignored when talking about how portable outdoor radio is. However, what kind of carrying handles a radio has depends on its size. That means, if you buy a small one to use when going hiking, then it doesn’t need a handle because it’s more convenient to put in pockets.
But if you wanna enjoy your day on the beach, you may need a larger one with a handle to carry and move. Just consider your own needs and purposes.
Many great options to choose from
As you can see, there are many great portable outdoor radios on the market to suit almost any budget. If you have decided you’d like one for your trip but are having trouble choosing, any of the picks in our review would be a great place to start your search.