The 5 best Walkie Talkies for Preppers

Smartphones are a reliable form of communication and are widespread in today’s market. Almost everyone already owns one, and thus, networks have established themselves to service people from around the globe.

However, what happens if these infrastructures were disabled. Let’s say a natural calamity struck or a terror attack has happened, so the lines were cut. Smartphones will be rendered useless as they mostly use sim cards with advanced wireless technologies that rely primarily on cell broadcasting that requires tower infrastructures. Internet connection is also impossible since blackouts would happen, and worse, fiber cables and tower broadcasters might suffer some damages.

Survival walkie-talkies are your friend when unexpected things happen to you and your family. As a prepper, you might have already known how this device works. Walkie-talkies utilize radio signals and don’t need any physical infrastructure to connect to.

Modern two-way walkie-talkies crafted for survivability in mind can reach ranges of up to 12 km and even more, depending on the brand and pricing. They also feature plenty of channels, which is more than enough for emergencies. What we’re looking for in this article are those devices that have built-in weather notifications and alerts so that even if no internet or cellular data is available, you’ll still be able to react immediately in case of imminent disasters.

In this list, I will include and compare several walkie-talkies that I deem excellent so that you’ll have a lot of options in mind.


5 best Walkie Talkies for Preppers

#1 DeWalt DXFRS300

The DeWalt DXFRS300 is a heavy-duty walkie-talkie meant to survive drops and accidental shocks. It is an essential feature to have if you’re looking for a device to use when calamities and disasters happen. With its VOX functionality, you don’t have to use both hands when operating the device. It is ideal if you’re preserving energy or you’re in an unfortunate situation.

When thinking about emergency scenarios, you need a device that could last for hours or even a day. DeWalt DXFRS300 can operate up to 18 hours and has an extended run-time that can add battery life of up to 12 hours through its power saver functionality. Such a feature is essential if you’re dealing with a life or death situation, where every second of communication counts.

Despite having the ability to withstand drops from a certain height, the DeWalt DXFRS300 is almost impossible to let go unintentionally with its anti-slip design. Moreover, this device features a great range of 250,000 feet but still might be affected by the terrain and obstacles around you.


  • Brand: DeWalt
  • Range: up to 250,000 sq. ft.
  • Power output: 1 watt
  • Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS)
  • Battery: 1,000 mAH rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery
  • Size: 6.22 x 2.37 x 2.15 inches
  • Weight: 0.66 lb (without batteries)
  • Waterproof: yes (IP67)
  • License needed: no

Pros of the DeWalt DXFRS300

  • Great range
  • No licensing or service fees required
  • Amazing rugged and ergonomic design. Even if you drop it frequently, it still works!
  • Good volume control
  • It is user-friendly
  • It has a lifetime warranty.
  • The battery charge is long-lasting

Main Plus:
The DeWalt DXFRS300 is a good buy for people considering getting a backup walkie-talkie since you never have to pay any licenses and subscriptions upfront. It has excellent range, excellent volume control and could easily be replaced or repaired with its lifetime warranty. It has a range of 250,000 feet, which is consistent despite having changes in environments or even if you’re in rough terrain.

Cons of the DeWalt DXFRS300

  • Audio quality is not as crystal clear compared to other devices in its class
  • A design flaw breaks the antenna housing easily
  • Plastic clips behind the radio are not held securely, and repeated movement over time might weaken the tab.
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#2 Midland T51VP3

It’s easy to call the Midland T51VP3 the jack-of-all-trades in this comparison article for its overwhelming features that are also useful. I’ll start with its unique dual power system, where you can swap between three triple A batteries and NiMH ones which are rechargeable power sources. It would allow you to have spare power options that may be handy when disasters spark out of nowhere.

Knowing everything about the weather is also crucial for anyone’s survivability—good thing the Midland T51VP3 is equipped with channels powered by NOAA Weather Alert. The feed is from the National Weather Service station, so you’ll know that all the information you can get is accurate and helpful. With its eVOX functionality, anyone may use the device through voice detection.

Midland T51VP3 is also crafted to resist some water damage. The device also has a handy feature called automatic channel scan, where you’ll instantly know what channels are occupied. It has 22 channels in total and is inside the range of 462 MHz – 467 MHz, and it is divided into a variety of FRS and GMRS channels and some shared by both types. These channels function in a range of 28 miles, not impressive but more than average.


  • Brand: Midland
  • Range: 28 miles
  • Power output: 0.5 watts
  • Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
  • Battery: NiMH rechargeable battery or 3 AA Alkaline batteries
  • Size: 6.1 x 2.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 0.3 lb
  • Waterproof: no, but water-resistant
  • License needed: no

Pros of the Midland T51VP3

  • dual power options with low power indicator
  • water-resistant
  • 28 miles range of connectivity
  • hands-free operation thru eVOX
  • silent mode capable
  • NOAA weather alert ready
  • lead-free
  • power consumption optimal
  • channel selection automated ready

Main Plus:
This walkie is packed with many features that I can personally say that this is an excellent buy. It has a decent and compact build, and it features a bright yellow color that would help anyone standing out in emergencies. The Midland T51VP3 is capable of going in silent mode, and you’ll never be disappointed with its power consumption since it does its own thing to save some to last for a long time.

Cons of the Midland T51VP3

  • less usable in mountainous terrain
  • currently unavailable on Amazon
  • not fully waterproof
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#3 Motorola T402

Motorola T402 is small but terrible. With its bulky and straightforward design, you’ll know that this walkie-talkie is made to save you from emergencies. As a prepper, I must have a device that could be held with no effort, and it’s easy to say that this device impressed me on that criteria. Not to mention that it also has a bright yellow color, which is an essential aspect as it certainly aids if you’re operating in a dark environment.

A built-in rechargeable battery initially powers the Motorola T402. In case of blackouts and unfortunate situations, you may swap them out with three double-A batteries that can be easily carried around. You can say that Motorola built this for preppers because of its installed flashlight that can light up even the darkest parts of any environment. Another feature that backs up this claim is its IP54 standard water resistance, making sure that the device will still function in case of calamities like flash floods and intense raining should happen.

Lastly, I would like to point out its range, reaching up to 35 miles. It has 22 channels; 11 dedicated for weather updates, and seven are for NOAA reports.


  • Brand: Motorola
  • Range: 35 miles
  • Power output: no information
  • Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
  • Battery: NiMH rechargeable battery or 3 AA Alkaline batteries
  • Size: 7.54 x 2.26 x 1.37 inches
  • Weight: 0.43 lb
  • Waterproof: yes (IP54)
  • License needed: yes, if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)

Pros of the Motorola T402

  • The range can be up to 35 miles.
  • Real-time weather conditions (as per 11 weather channels along with 7 NOAA channels)
  • Built-in LED flashlight
  • Battery rechargeable and the option to use AA batteries.
  • Waterproof ability
  • Affordability (as I get what I’ve paid for)

Main Plus:
Motorola outdid themselves when it comes to the design of this particular model. It has an antenna, and anyone can quickly locate the device with its bright colors. It’s also a perfect walkie-talkie to get for emergencies because of its built-in flashlight and ability to submerge underwater and still function. Lastly, you can get all of these features at a very affordable price, and the best part is you never have to buy another one after years or even decades since this product’s lifespan is phenomenal.

Cons of the Motorola T402

  • No emergency alerts (except for real-time weather alerts)
  • Talkabout App for Bluetooth Functionality not enabled
  • Low battery life as compared to other Motorola Talkabout Series Models (T100 & T200 series)
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#4 Retevis RT29

Retevis is a well-known manufacturer of walkie-talkies, and most of their models have been performing well so far. One that caught my attention is the RT29 variant that looks very durable thanks to its high-quality materials. The device has a total of 16 available channels that you may choose from.

What makes it an excellent pick for preppers is its ability to switch in different power outputs. You can select from low, medium, or higher depending on how much of the walkie-talkie you’ll be using. It has rechargeable Li-On batteries that are rated at 3200 mAH. Such high numbers only mean that it can last for a long time, which is confirmed on their website as the model can go on for 30 hours of constant use and 250 hours when it’s on rest mode.

In terms of emergencies, you’ll never worry about communication as Retevis RT29 is revealed to reach a range of up to 10 miles. With its squelch feature, you’ll never be bothered by loud noises ruining your communication with someone. Lastly, I’d like to point out that the RT29 variant is a tiny device that can easily fit in the palm of your hands.


  • Brand: Retevis
  • Range: not stated, but can handle long-distance
  • Power output: not stated
  • Frequency ranges: 400-480MHz / 430-440MHz (UHF), 144-148 MHz / 136-174 MHz (VHF)
  • Battery: Li-On rechargeable batteries
  • Size: 5.9 x 2.3 x 1.5 inches (with antenna)
  • Weight: 0.74 lb
  • Waterproof: yes (IP67)
  • License needed: yes (amateur / FCC license)

Pros of the Retevis RT29

  • Long-distance range
  • Impressive battery life
  • Small and Handy
  • Dust and water resistance
  • Affordable price
  • Customizable

Main Plus:
Despite looking very basic, the Retevis RT29 is a capable device that is also comfortable to use and handy. It’s small, but its resistance to dust and even water is enough compensation, especially if you plan on using this device in emergencies. Retevis also ensured that their buyers would get the most out of their money, so they made it customizable without being too aggressive.

Cons of the Retevis RT29

  • Does not support disposable batteries
  • Need a license to use
  • It can be a bit pricey for some
View on Amazon* Read the review


#5 Cobra CXY800

Cobra CXY800 looks a lot cuter when compared to its name. However, this particular design is a perfect pick for people who are constantly preparing and those who are into survival. It has an antenna that sticks out, long enough to reach ranges up to 35 miles. Like most two-way radios in the market, this one is crafted with performance and safety in mind. It can go up to 18 hours before needing a recharge, which is an ample amount of time if you’re waiting to be rescued, or you’re stuck somewhere.

Preppers would also like Cobra’s CXY800 because of its NOAA integration. It is responsible for every weather forecast delivered to your device. When specific environmental changes are significant, for instance, when a storm is imminent, a feature like this could come in handy. The CXY800 model also comes with fifty pre-set channels. You don’t even have to worry about bringing the device underwater since it’s water-resistant.


  • Brand: Cobra
  • Range: 35 miles
  • Power output: 2 watts
  • Frequency ranges: no information
  • Battery: rechargeable battery or 3 AA Alkaline batteries
  • Size: 2.6 x 1.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Weight: no information
  • Waterproof: yes (IP54)
  • License needed: No

Pros of the Cobra CXY800

  • Waterproof with an IP54 standard
  • Power-saver option for battery life extension
  • 2 free rechargeable battery packs
  • Rechargeable with a free USB power cord
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
  • Weather alert feature provided

Main Plus:
Cobra CXY800 is a tiny yet portable device that thrives in the harshest and unexpected situations. With so many built-in channels and a power-saving option, you’ll never worry about being stranded or lost since you can easily communicate with someone very close. This model can also send weather alerts now and then, which is crucial for monitoring weather-related disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

Cons of the Cobra CXY800

  • Poor sound quality
  • Limited range depending on the environment
  • Poor reception
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How to Choose the Best Walkie Talkie for Prepping

A walkie-talkie is one effective and proven device that could save you in emergencies. Still, you have to consider some factors to get the most out of the purchase. If you’re having a hard time with your choices, then this buyer’s guide is the one for you. Below, I have compiled some of the features you should be checking when looking for an emergency walkie-talkie.



As a prepper, every device you own should have increased durability in certain things. For instance, they should be drops and shock resistant so that they can still function despite slipping away from your hands. Aside from that, water resistance is also essential since you don’t know when you’ll encounter flash floods and other water-related disasters. Overall, durability means that you’ll be able to use your device for an increased amount of time and that they can still function despite the odds.



Communicating with someone in an unwanted environment or scenario is crucial. I would even go far as to call it a life or death situation. Getting someone to know where you are would make things easier regarding rescue operations and pinpointing what to do to locate you.

Walkie-talkies mostly use radio frequencies to communicate. They are divided into types to differentiate their range and functionality across the terrain and unwanted obstacles. As a prepper, I look for a device that utilizes wall penetration or an extension like an antenna that would help improve the signal. Along with the device’s range, there’s also the clarity aspect that you have to worry about. You have to make sure that every word you speak is being received by the other end instantly and clearly.


Hands-free Communication

Vox and iVox features are responsible for the hands-free communication of many walkie-talkies. Almost all modern ones these days offer this technology, so you can’t go wrong in this department unless you buy something from a decade ago. That said, you still have to look at the specs and features if the hands-free communication does work by giving a quick look at the reviews.

Even if both of your hands are occupied, using a device is underrated, and it is especially essential when you’re facing an emergency. Conserving energy is necessary and timely, so multitasking with a walkie-talkie is a big deal.


Battery life

Before you consider other advanced functionalities first, it’s suggested that you know more about the device’s power source that you’re eyeing. When talking about survival, walkie-talkies with over more than one power source win the competition. Look for a model that offers both triple-A and rechargeable Li-On batteries.

Many manufacturers have realized the importance of a backup power source, so you’ll never have a hard time finding one perfect for your setup.


Weather & Emergency Alert

Weather channels are provided mainly by NOAA, and fortunately, we see them a lot on modern devices, making it easier for you to narrow down your choices since you already know where to look. These channels are already configured and are automatically generated, so you only have to tune in and listen to the reports right away. It is imperative if you’re facing storms or tornadoes, which are devastating as they draw nearer in your location.

Why should I have a Walkie Talkie as a Prepper?

 As a prepper myself, I find modern smartphones lacking in terms of features that you can use in times of emergency. These devices aren’t also meant to be durable, and even if some manufacturers claim that they are waterproof, some would still cease to operate when exposed underwater for a long time.

It is where walkie-talkies come in; a stripped-down version of a smartphone. Although limited, it is everything you could ask for when facing disasters and emergencies. They utilize radio frequencies, operate through rarely congested channels, and are operational 24/7. As long as you are connected to a radio channel, rescuers will get more information from you and understand how they can locate and save you.

Resistant to different types of shock and high drops, they will last a whole lifetime with you, as long as you treat and maintain it now and then. When appropriately used, walkie-talkies could last days with a single power source. What’s more is that you can easily swap one with another, increasing your chances of survivability in case you’re stranded or lost somewhere that you’re not familiar with.

Having the prepper mentality is always a benefit, and depending on the devices you brought along with you, you might be able to dodge life-threatening situations. Walkie-talkies are portable and capable devices that anyone can operate. What’s more, they’re made to be affordable these days so that anyone can have the opportunity to own one.

Conclusion – The 5 best Walkie Talkies for Preppers

Terror attacks, natural disasters, and unexpected personal emergencies are just some of the scenarios that preppers are getting ready for. As part of this movement, I understand how they operate and what devices they use. That’s why I suggested several walkie-talkies that could help you in case any of these mentioned situations instantly happen.

However, just picking a random walkie-talkie isn’t suggested since you should buy a particular model that will suit your lifestyle and your current situation. I recommend that you look once again at all the models we listed and carefully pick what will help you in your endeavors. Do you like extended battery life? Are you conscious of resistance? Or do you want a walkie-talkie that you can carry everywhere? The decision is still up to you, and I hope my recommendations help you reach a reasonable conclusion.



Founder of & Tech enthusiast. Interested in gaming, computers, and walkie-talkies.

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