Hunting is sometimes a solitary activity, but it is even more fun and fulfilling when you hunt with a partner or partners.
You will most likely be miles apart from each other. A two-way radio will come in handy when you need to team up to catch prey, for emergency signaling and in keeping you updated on weather reports.
Or you may be injured and need to call for help. Basically reliable communication is indispensable, and a two-way radio is the best option.
Why can’t you use cell phones? You wonder.
Cell phones can be unreliable because they run out of charge quickly, have poor coverage in certain weather conditions and most of them aren’t rugged or water-resistant.
Knowing that a call for help is only a button-press away, makes you feel more secure in your hunting escapades.
Most two-way radios are designed as lightweight hence; you have no excuse as to why you can’t have one as long as your State’s policy permits you to have it.
Radio bundles are also available from the manufactures and come in groups of up to six, or you can opt to purchase them in pairs.
Most importantly, you need to buy the two-way radios from the same brands if you plan to hunt in pairs or groups because privacy codes don’t necessarily work between different radio brands.
To help you with your selection of a two-way radio, we have compiled this list of the 10 best two-way radios for hunting, to keep you in touch with your family or hunting buddies.
Our Top 10 Picks
1. Midland GXT1050VP4
This two-way radio is specifically designed for hunting and has amazing features when it comes to tracking prey.
It features General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) channels and is splash-resistant with a JIS4 Waterproof protection.
It has 5 different animal call alerts (crow, duck, wolf, cougar and turkey) and has a vibrate feature.
- You can directly call one person if you don’t want to broadcast to the whole group.
- It comes with a rechargeable battery and in case it runs out you have the option to use 4 AA batteries.
- It is available in several colors; camouflage, black and yellow, or black.
- It has a NOAA Weather Scan feature that allows you to receive updates on severe weather, together with an alarm alert.
- The package includes 2 radios, 120v dual desktop charger, boom mic headsets, AC adapter, 2 belt clips, an owner’s manual and a DC adapter.
- The battery charge status indicator is inconsistent.
- It has a short battery life.
2. Midland GXT1000VP4
This device is very similar to the GXT1050VP4 but with fewer features. However, it beats the GXT1050VP4 in the sense that it is available in different pack sizes instead of just a two-pack.
Basically, you can make one purchase to outfit 12 people!
It features 50 General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) stations and has 142 DCS privacy codes that allow you to block other conversations with channels up to 3,124.
- It offers a 36-mile range communication.
- The 9 sensitivity levels allow for a hands-free kind of operation.
- The package includes 2 belt clips, AC/DC adapters, an owner’s manual, boom mic headsets and 2 packs of rechargeable batteries.
- It is water-resistant.
- It has weather alert and distress signal features.
- Potential battery challenges as with the GXT1050VP4.
- It is only available in one color-black.
3. Motorola Talkabout MR350R
This device is built to handle the outdoors exceptionally. It is rugged, lightweight and covers a range of up to 35 miles.
It features 22 channels with 121 privacy codes each.
- It has extra-large buttons that allow you to operate with gloves on.
- It comes with an adapter and belt clips.
- It features a flashlight, 20 tones and a vibration alert option.
- It can be powered by AA batteries or rechargeable batteries.
- It is not waterproof.
4. Motorola Talkabout MH230R
This device is packed with essential features for hunting or other extreme outdoor activities. It has a long range of up to 23 miles and weighs 1.3 pounds.
It has 11 weather channels with alert features (NOAA). It also has a total of 22 channels with 121 privacy codes each.
- It is light in weight.
- The package includes 3 AAA batteries.
- It comes with a dual drop-in charger, 2 belt clips and one adaptor.
- It is hands-free.
- The belt clip is easily breakable.
5. Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radio
This two-way radio has a frequency range of UHF 400-470MHz and weighs 5.5 oz. It features a Push-to-Talk button, an earpiece plug and a built-in microphone.
It is powered by a 1500mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that gets fully charged in 2.5 hours.
Its range of up to 5 miles is normally dependent on terrain.
- It is water resistant.
- It packs 4 removable belt clips.
- It comes with 16 pre-programmed channels.
- It has a VOX function.
- Intelligent charging.
- The package includes 4 SMA-Female antennas, 4 earphones, a user’s manual, 4 hand straps, 4 chargers, 4 1500mAh Lithium-ion batteries and 4 Arcshell AR-6 two-way radios.
- The earpiece cords are quite fragile.
6. Midland LXT630VP3
This device comes with a bold yellow faceplate for high visibility. It features a Weather Scan + Alert Technology that enables it to automatically scan through 10 weather band channels, to get you onto the strongest one for severe weather updates alerts.
It has a range of up to 30 miles and weighs 1.0 pounds.
- It is water resistant.
- It comes with 22 channels and 121 privacy codes.
- It is hands-free with 3 sensitivity levels.
- Silent operation.
- 2 AAA batteries are included in the package.
- It is only limited to AAA batteries.
7. Kenwood TK-3402U16P ProTalk
This two-way radio weighs 1.0 pounds and has a 5.0 Watt power output. It is designed to meet the waterproof standards of the military.
It has a total of 16 channels and has a 7-mile range. It is also compatible with radios that have the same frequency.
- It is an all-weather radio.
- It features a voice-scrambler to enhance privacy.
- It comes with a 2000mAh-capacity rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
- It has a belt-clip that is high quality.
- It can operate in extreme temperatures.
- It can be easily programmed while at the field.
- It is a tad bit heavy.
- It does not support AA batteries.
8. Floureon 22-Channel FRS GMRS Two-Way Radio
This device weighs 2.0 pounds and covers a range of 3.1 miles. This range may be affected in adverse weather or in a forest setup. However, adjusting the power to 1W will prove helpful.
It has an adjustable volume and good sound quality.
- It comes with a 1 year warranty and guaranteed zero-hassle returns.
- It has a battery status indicator.
- It offers a total of 22 channels.
- It has a long battery life.
- It is lightweight and affordable.
- It is limited to AA batteries only.
9. Uniden SX377-2CKHSM
This two-way radio has an exceptional long range of up to 37 miles. It has a Direct Call feature that allows you to mute all other users and focus on one for private communication.
You can also access weather alerts from NOAA attributed to its Weather Broadcast Mode.
It has numerous options for communicating with 284 Privacy Codes (142 exclusive, 142 standard group modes), combined with 7 FRS channels and 15 GMRS.
- It floats on water for easy retrieval.
- It can still function after being submerged for 30 minutes under 3 feet of water.
- It has NOAA alerts feature.
- It is not loud enough and you may not clearly hear each other in a noisy environment.
10. Cobra MR HH450 CAMO
This two-way radio is an all-terrain radio for all year round. It can be used for hunting, road trips, on boats, snowmobiles etc.
Its best feature is the exceptional waterproofing. It is designed to float on water and if the speaker grill comes into contact with water, it “burps” the water out. This allows for you to have clear reception even in wet conditions.
- It has a Rewind-Say-Again feature in case you missed out on a communication.
- It can be powered by AA batteries when its rechargeable lithium polymer battery is drained.
- It alerts you on weather emergency.
- It is long range.
- It includes an advanced feature called VibrAlert.
- The indicator of the battery status may be inaccurate.
How to choose the best two-way radio for hunting
These are the factors you should consider when shopping for a two-way radio on your next hunting escapade:
You need to keep in mind the distance that your two-way radios will optimally function. A longer range would be useful if you intend to cover large spaces with thick brush that have signal blockage.
Consider two-way radios that have rechargeable batteries or have provisions for either AA or AAA batteries as well as those that have a longer battery lifespan.
Stealth is important especially when hunting game. Animals are easily spooked by unnatural noises and most two-way radios were not designed with this aspect in mind. So a radio that has a headset design is definitely preferable.
Waterproof or water-resistant
You do not want to purchase a two-way radio that cannot handle some contact with water. Mostly because you might encounter rain or need to cross a river or a swampy area. A radio that is waterproof will still function in such wet conditions.
This depends on your budget and whether your trips are short or frequent. For shorter hunting escapades, you don’t need to break the bank by getting an expensive two-way radio. A radio that is affordable will still offer the features you need. However, if you will be making frequent trips, it will be advisable to invest in a high-quality two-way radio.
These features are also known as VOX (Voice Operated Transmission). Most two-way radios have it, enabling you to operate without touching the button. It simply detects your voice and transmits the communication.
Weather Alert Features
You will need to go for a two-way radio that has an in-built NOAA weather alert feature. It will notify you on any extreme weather conditions in your vicinity such as a tornado, thunderstorm or snowfall.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
What is a two-way hunting radio?
It is a radio that can both receive and transmit a signal. A two-way hunting radio is more or less like a walkie-talkie only that it is designed with more advanced features specifically for hunting.
How does a two-way radio work?
It uses a single radio channel, unlike a broadcast receiver and operates in a mode referred to as the half-duplex mode; where the user can either listen or talk, but can’t do both.
Will you need bells and whistles?
Some two-way hunting radios are packed with features like animal call alerts and LED flashlights. These additional features may come at an extra cost but it helps eliminate the need for whistles and bells.
What is the typical battery life?
Once it is fully charged, it should last for about 8-12 hours depending on usage.
Not all two-way radios available in the market are the best; and having to select from numerous brand options makes it even harder for you to distinguish the best from the average ones.
But in this buying guide, we have covered 10 of the best two-way radios for hunting and we are hopeful that you have found it beneficial.
Based on your need, we believe you are now equipped to make the best decision while selecting your hunting two-way radio.
You may also like
- Best Camping Tents
- Best Radio Antennas
- Best RF Bug Detectors
- Best Handheld CB Radios
- Best RC Radio Transmitters
- Best HF Radio Transceivers
- Best Hunting Jackets for Men
- Best Camping/Backpacking Axes & Hatchets