Two-way radios can be an important part of a safety kit or in field communications. They’re so effective that many states make it illegal to hunt without one operating radio on your person. They work especially well in areas without cell coverage. If you think you might need one on your next trip, check out our guide to the best two-way radios for hunting. You can get your hands on any of these easily and make sure they work when you need them to.
Summary: Top 5 Best Two Way Radios for Hunting
Getting the Right Radio
To get a good two-way radio for hunting make sure you define what you’re going to use it for. Just merely shopping around you’ll start to see just how expensive they get and how many options you have at hand.
For hunting, focus on three main things, ruggedness, range, and channels. If the radio isn’t rugged, don’t rely on it in the field. Most radios will take a certain leave of abuse but a hardened model will shrug off drop and water easily so you don’t have to worry.
The range of a model is going to be severely limited by the canopy and terrain you’re in. Bigger is always better here! You can’t have too much, just don’t pay more for a difference of just a few miles. In reality, field conditions will limit you to just a few miles anyway.
Channels are the frequencies the radio operate sat, more is better. Crowded areas make it difficult for you to have a private conversation.
Some models have features like security codes and direct calls so you can avoid things like broadcasting where you left your truck or where you camp is.
In high use areas on public land if thieves in the field might steal or vandalize your equipment, or worse, hunt your stand!
Two Way Radio Reviews
If you need a basic two-way radio for hunting this is an excellent option because not only do these radios meet the requirements for outdoor travel in the way of ruggedness and battery life, they’re cheap enough to outfit everyone in a hunting party with one.
They have more than enough range of 36 miles and a huge option of up to 50 different channels in case you’re in a high use area. No, they don’t have a fancy camouflaged finish or rubberized coating but you can’t beat the price for two radios, a charging base, two ear pieces, a car charger and the huge range and channel options you get with this option.
Pros: Simple and rugged design, Includes a car charger
Cons: Lacks security features or a camo finish
By far one of the most reviewed and best selling two-way radios you can buy this is a semi-professional grade two-way radio that is a bit more technical to use but an excellent model in the field.
With every commercial channel option, available via the dial pad and extended antenna you can reach people as far away as the receiver can pick up. This is not yet a commercial grade model, but very good features like custom names for channels, fully programmable features, auto key lock, and color display. This is an excellent option for someone who plans to use their radio as safety equipment or use their radio often.
Pros: Commercial grade radio, Professional style features
Cons: Complicated for a new user
If you insist on total camouflage for you and your equipment, then you have few choices and your best bet is this set from Uniden. If you’re heading out to chase turkeys in the spring then these are the radios to take with you because they’re completely waterproof for up to 3 feet for 30 minutes, camouflaged and ruggedized so if you drop, bump, or dunk one of them, you’re still good to go.
The range of these radios is good to go at 50 miles, with 22 channels to choose from. However, one of the best features of this radio set is the direct call feature, so if you have more than two people on the same channel you can call that person directly rather than blast out a message to the whole crew.
Pros: Camouflage finish, Waterproof
Cons: Fewer channels than other models
This is one of the radios on the market that appears to have been designed from the ground up as a two-way radio specifically for the outdoors and for hunting. The radio has a Realtree AP finish, 35 miles of range, and every major channel including 7 NOAA channels while still being outdoors ready.
They float, are waterproof and will work whether wet or dry. Perfect for hunting just about anywhere these radios are good to go and work will work for anything you would need a radio for.
Pros: Waterproof, Ruggedized and float in water, Camouflage finish
Cons: Lacks security features and charging accessories out of the box
This is just a no frills good quality two-way radio for hunting, general camping anything else you may need a radio for. The yellow case may stand out in the woods but that’s the point. If you throw this radio in your pack “just because” odds are when you reach for it, you’re going to need it right then.
The 26-mile range encompasses 36 channels and gets all NOAA alerts and includes over 100+ security codes to make sure you have privacy while you’re speaking into the radio. This is a great radio if you’re not sure you’re going to use it and you’d like one for emergencies.
Pros: Security codes, Direct calling, Easy to see finish
Cons: Bright yellow finish stands out if you don’t carry it in a pocket, lacks range and channel options
Radio can be a very important part of communities in the field. Especially in areas where cell coverage is none existent or unreliable. Expect to have some difficulties in the mountains or heavy canopy. The ideal solution is to have a high powered unit like Uniden GMR5088-2CKHS so you can really reach out a great distance just in case.
No matter what though, the radio won’t do you any good turned off in a storage locker. Get in the field and take your radio with you!