If you are looking for a way to stay in touch with your hunting buddies, friends and family while you are out in the field, you need a set of hunting two-way radios. With hunting 2-way radios, you can team up to track prey, receive important weather alerts, and stay safe in the wild. While 2-way radios will never give you the clarity of a cell phone, they do give you reception in areas where you may not be able to get a cell signal. They also include features designed especially for hunters.
Need help choosing a set of hunting 2-way radios? Check the comparison table below to review prices and features for popular products on Amazon.com.
Still not ready to pick out a set of hunting walkie talkies? Read on to learn everything you need to know to make the right purchase decision.
What is a Hunting Two-Way Radio?
Hunting 2-way radios are just like standard walkie talkies, except that they include features which are aimed specifically at hunters. They may for example come in camo colors and include silent operation features. We will share these features with you in-depth below. But first, let’s look at some questions you should ask yourself when shopping for a two-way hunting radio set.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Hunting Two-Way Radio
Where will you use the 2-way hunting radios?
This is an important consideration when evaluating range. If you will be hunting in dense woods, you will get a shorter effective range than you would hunting on the plains. Look for a long antenna and other range-boosting features if you will be in densely wooded areas.
How long are your hunting trips?
If you routinely go out for days at a time, you may want to shop for radios with extra-long battery life. Also check which types of batteries are compatible.
Do you need bells and whistles?
Some hunting radios include a lot of extra features like LED flashlights or even animal call alerts. Features like these will add to the price, but also to the value. Some extra features may drain your batteries, but in most cases you can deactivate them when they are not needed, so this is a minor consideration.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For When Shopping for a Hunting Two-Way Radio
While many radios advertise that they can get “up to 35” miles or more in reception, that is only the case in completely flat unobstructed locations. Your realistic range will be closer to three miles in most locations.
It can be difficult getting good reception in dense woods, and manufacturers know this. This is why many hunting 2-way radios include extra features to boost range. These may include a longer antenna, adjustable wattage, and built-in repeater channels. Repeater channels can transmit through a local repeater station to boost the range of your signals.
NOAA weather alerts let you know when inclement weather conditions are on the way. This is an important safety feature when you are out in the wilderness.
Many hunting 2-way radios are camouflaged so that they blend in with your surroundings alongside the rest of your camo gear. This is not an absolutely essential feature, but it can be nice to have.
You are not going to want to juggle a 2-way radio while you are also attempting to sit still and shoot your prey. For this reason, you will want to make sure the radio you are purchasing is compatible with a headset of your choice. Some models even come with headsets in the box, which can cut back on the cost and hassle of getting set up.
Water and dust resistance
While hunting, your radio is probably going to be exposed to dust, dirt, mud, and rain. Look for a sturdy model which is going to hold up to rough handling and which will not be damaged the first time you drop it in a puddle. Some two-way radios are even fully submersible. This could be very important if you do a lot of your hunting in marshes or areas with lakes or rivers.
The last thing you want when you have the perfect shot lined up is for your hunting 2-way radio to beep and alert your prey to your presence. Shop for a model which features silent operation so that you do not spook your prey.
Now you know the features which are most important to shop for in a hunting 2-way radio. Think about where you will hunt, how long your trips will be, and what range you will need. Then scroll back up to the top of this page to take a closer look at our comparison chart. There you can check out the prices and features of top-selling, highly rated 2-way radios for hunters on Amazon.com!
Midland LXT535VP3: Best Camo Radios for Hunting
Customers looking for radios which are ideal for hunting will want to check out the Midland LXT535VP3 camo GMRS radios. These radios can easily blend in with the foliage.
- Speak on 22 channels across a 24-mile maximum range.
- Call Alert lets you know when someone from your group is trying to contact you.
- Silent Operation shuts off all tones—another perfect feature for hunters.
- Auto Squelch cancels out background noise.
- Additional features include dual power options, channel scanning, water resistance, and extended battery life.
Customers say that these radios have a great range and work intuitively, making them easy to use for hunting and more. Note however that this model does not include any privacy sub-channels.
Midland GXT1050VP4: Perfect For Hunters
The GXT1050VP4 allows you to send out alerts in the form of animal calls. It also comes in camouflage, allowing you to stay hidden once you find the perfect bush to stalk your prey.
- SOS siren. If something goes wrong and you need help in the woods, just press the SOS button to send out a warning to everyone listening in.
- Multiple channels. If you don’t want to disturb your other hunting buddies, you can easily set up private chat on a designated channel.
- Good for hunting and fishing. You can activate the Midland GXT1050VP4 without having to physically press a button, freeing up your hands when you need them to hold a fishing rod or a gun.
- Comes with a high quality headset. Some 2-way radios come with cheapo headsets, but the GXT1050VP4 ships with a nice quality one.
- Outstanding value. Considering all the accessories that ship with the GXT1050VP4, the price is actually quite low for what you get.
- 3 year warranty. If anything goes wrong with the walkie talkie itself, you can ship it back to Midland and get a replacement one.
- Animal call alerts. Few other walkie talkies allow you to send out animal calls to your hunting buddies.
- Midland customer service is top notch. However, their warranty does not cover the batteries or the stock Midland headphones that come with the GXT1050VP4.
- It’s not completely waterproof. Though the GXT1050VP4 resists rain and water splashes, it doesn’t last for long when fully submerged.
Motorola Talkabout T465: Features a Built-In Flashlight
The T465 is a well-made two-way radio that comes with a set of nice accessories and features. The built-in flashlight is quite bright and could get you out of a jam if you ever get lost in the woods at night.
- USB charger. You don’t need a special charger to recharge the T465, just any kind of USB port and a cable.
- Loud, clear speaker. On a good day you can hear the T465 clearly from about 10 feet away.
- You don’t have to program it. All the settings are hard-coded and cannot be changed, which is a good thing if all you want is a basic walkie talkie.
- Handy built-in flashlight. If you want to find your way in the dark or take a closer look at a map, the T465’s built-in flashlight will come in handy.
- Fits in the palm of your hand. Some two-way radios are bulky and heavy, but this one is light and easy to carry.
- Weatherproof. The T465 won’t give out on you if it starts to rain.
- Backlit display. The display allows you to communicate in the dark with ease.
- The T465 is nearly unbreakable. However, its plastic belt clip is quite flimsy.
- You can’t remove the T465’s antenna. But if you could, it probably wouldn’t be as weather resistant.