The 5 best Walkie Talkies for Skiing

Walkie talkies are still the best communication device when it comes to outdoor sports. Skiing takes place in snowy mountains, where the best gadgets to use are the ones that communicate via a single frequency band. That is why walkie talkies are encouraged for use when it comes to extreme outdoor activities instead of phones.

These devices pick up signals better and can endure harsh weather. Not to mention, walkie talkies are cheaper. Walkie talkies also come with emergency alert systems and range that phones do not have, making it more useful for skiing.

Here are the best walkie talkies for skiing.

 

5 best Walkie Talkies for Skiing

#1 Motorola Talkabout MR350R

The Motorola Talkabout MR350R tops this list for many reasons. It is a reasonably priced walkie talkie that covers a lot of coverage. The pros of this walkie talkie make it worth purchasing.

Specifications

  • Brand: Motorola
  • Range: 35 miles
  • Power output: 0.5-1.5 watts
  • Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
  • Battery: NiMH rechargeable battery or 3 AA Alkaline batteries
  • Size: 7.6 x 2.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 0.32 lb
  • Waterproof: yes (IP51)
  • License needed: yes,  if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)

Pros of the Motorola Talkabout MR350R

  • Long battery life
    The MR350 has a standard battery that lasts 23 hours. It comes with spare rechargeable batteries that last eight hours.
  • LED Light
    The walkie talkie has an integrated LED light, a great addition to use when skiing in the dark.
  • Large buttons and dials
    The Motorola Talkabout MR350R has large buttons and dials. When you ski, you’re using bulky gloves. The large buttons make it easier for you to dial and manipulate the device.
  • Wide range
    The maximum capacity of this device is thirty-five (35) miles. In case of emergencies or extreme weather disturbances, the MR350R can easily catch signals and help you communicate for help. That maximum range packs a lot of power for such a small device.
  • USB Charging Option
    The MR350R comes with a dual charger. It also has a USB Charging option, making it a practical choice since you can charge it using a wall plug, a power bank, and with your car.
  • NOAA Weather Channel
    The MR350R receives weather alerts from the NOAA Weather Channel. That gives you time to seek shelter in case of incoming weather disturbances in your chosen ski area.
  • Hands-free Communication
    The walkie talkie has a VOX function and a headset connector, so you can use it hands-free.

Cons of the Motorola Talkabout MR350R

  • Motorola has stopped production of the MR350R 2-way radio.
  • The belt clips that come with this radio set are rather flimsy and can break easily.
View on Amazon* Read the review

 

#2 Midland GXT1000VP4

The Midland GXT1000VP4 comes second to the MR350R, but that does not mean it has fewer specs. It is a serious competitor to the prior walkie talkie, and here are the reasons why.

Specifications

  • Brand: Midland
  • Range: 36 miles
  • Power output: 5 watts
  • Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
  • Battery: NiMH rechargeable battery or 4 AA Alkaline batteries
  • Size: 7.9 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.3 lb
  • Waterproof: yes (JIS4)
  • License needed: yes,  if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)

Pros of the Midland GXT1000VP4

  • Wide Range
    Similar to the MR350R, the GXT1000VP4 has a maximum wide range of thirty-six (36) miles. It works perfectly for ski resorts or snowy mountains. However, it won’t work well near the buildings.
  • Boom Headset
    The GXT1000VP4 walkie talkie comes with a boom headset specifically designed for it. The altitude affects the sound. The headset is vital in protecting the ears of the speaker to hear the audio clearly.
  • Water/Snow-resistant
    This walkie talkie is JIS4 certified. That means that in case of light rain or snow, the GXT1000VP4 will still work well, and the signal will not be affected.
  • Alert Siren
    The alert siren is a wonderful addition to the Midland GXT1000VP4. In case of emergencies, such as an avalanche or a skier getting lost, the SOS siren will catch rescuers’ attention within a designated radius.
  • Private Communication
    The walkie talkie comes with privacy codes. In the case of search and rescue operations, the privacy codes make the interaction nonpublic.
  • Weather Alerts
    The GXT1000VP4 receives weather news broadcasts to alert skiers if it is a good day to ski.
  • Hands-free Communication
    The walkie talkie has a VOX function and a headset connector, so you can use it hands-free.

Cons of the Midland GXT1000VP4

  • It is not so user-friendly.
  • The walkie talkie has average battery life.
  • It is expensive compared to other similar or more simple radios.
View on Amazon* Read the review

 

#3 Motorola T600

Two Motorola walkie talkies made this list because Motorola Solutions is one of the leading companies in the walkie talkie industry. That’s why there’s no doubt that the Motorola T600 is packing, despite landing the third spot on this list.

Specifications

  • Brand: Motorola
  • Range: 36 miles
  • Power output: 0.5-2 Watts
  • Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
  • Battery: NiMH rechargeable batteries or 3 AA Alkaline batteries
  • Size: 7.78 x 2.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.40 lb (without batteries)
  • Waterproof: yes (IP67)
  • License needed: yes,  if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)

Pros of the Motorola T600

  • Long battery life
    Similar to the MR350R, the T600 has a packing battery life of twenty-three (23) hours. It also comes with two rechargeable battery packs.
  • Broad Compatibility
    The T600 can communicate with other walkie talkie models, along with FRS/GMRS radios.
  • Waterproof
    There are times when you might drop your walkie talkie on the ground. Dropping the T600 will not give you a heart attack as it is waterproof and, in a sense, snowproof. It also floats and can survive submersion.
  • Wide Range
    The T600 has a staggering range of thirty-five (35) miles. Unlike the GXT1000VP4, its signal is not affected by nearby buildings.
  • PTT Power Boost
    The Push-To-Talk (PTT) power boost temporarily increases your transmission range, which you can use in case of emergencies.
  • Alert Features
    The T600 comes with a radio alert button that you use to activate the alert siren. It also comes with a whistle belt clip.
  • Weather Alerts
    Like the MR350R, the T600 comes with the latest updates from the NOAA.
  • Hands-free Communication
    The walkie talkie has a VOX function and a headset connector, so you can use it hands-free.

Cons of the Motorola T600

  • The radio feels bulky.
  • iVOX/VOX function is not as good as other devices in the same category
  • The user interface is not the best.
View on Amazon* Read the review

 

#4 Retevis RT27

The Retevis RT27 made the list for being a good walkie talkie choice for novice skiers. It has a good design and is packed with specs that make it worth considering, especially when on a budget.

Specifications

  • Brand: Retevis
  • Range: 1+ miles
  • Power output: 0.5-2 Watts
  • Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS)
  • Battery: rechargeable battery
  • Size: 4.13 x 2.32 x 1.33 inches (without antenna)
  • Weight: 0.41 lb
  • Waterproof: no
  • License needed: no (exclusive for FRS use only)

Pros of the Retevis RT27

  • Stable battery life
    Compared to the other devices on this list, the RT27 is slightly shorter. However, it does have good battery life. It can run up to 11 hours of uninterrupted usage.
  • Wide Range
    Novice skiers are not expected just to go out and explore the outdoors so easily. That is why RT27 is an excellent device to use. The range is limited but still broad and dependable for a walkie talkie.
  • Built-in LED flashlight
    The LED flashlight of the RT27 is strong, making it a useful guide light.
  • Earpiece
    The RT27 comes with an earpiece, allowing the walkie talkie to provide clearer audio in the desolate mountains wherein the wind may affect the sound.
  • Emergency Alarm
    This walkie talkie comes with an emergency alarm, an excellent tool if you need help on something. As a novice skier, you will need a lot.
  • One-meter durability protection
    If you drop this on a rock, snow, or ice, the RT27 can sustain a one-meter fall.
  • Hands-free Communication
    The walkie talkie has a VOX function and a headset connector, so you can use it hands-free.

Cons of the Retevis RT27

  • Battery performance tends to reduce over time due to repeated charges and discharge.
  • Belt clips loosen unexpectedly.
  • It cannot be programmed for Windows 10.
View on Amazon* Read the review

 

#5 Cobra ACT220B

Another great walkie talkie for novice skiers is the Cobra ACT220B. Out of all the walkie talkies on this list, the ACT220B is the one best wearable. It is a compact two-way radio device that even advanced skiers will consider when shopping for a walkie talkie.

Specifications

  • Brand: Cobra
  • Range: 12 miles
  • Power output: no information
  • Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
  • Battery: rechargeable battery
  • Size: 2.39 x 2.36 x 1.22 inches
  • Weight: 0.58 lb
  • Waterproof: yes (IPX4)
  • License needed: yes, if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)

Pros of the Cobra ACT220B

  • Solid Range
    The range of the ACT220B is up to 12 miles. It is still broad and strong for a limited range.
  • Waterproof
    This walkie talkie is waterproof and can endure snow and hailstorms.
  • Compact and wearable
    Out of all the walkie talkies on this list, the ACT220B is the only perfect wearable. It is a compact, square-shaped, two-way radio device which you can manipulate hands-free. It is used with a belt clip.
  • Good battery life
    The Cobra ACT220B has a battery life of an uninterrupted 10 hours.
  • Rechargeable via MicroUSB
    The ACT220 is charged with a micro-USB, making it convenient for users to charge anywhere.
  • Twenty-two Channels
    The walkie talkie comes with 22 channels, including weather alerts. Like the T600, it can also communicate with other GMRS/FRS walkie-talkie and two-way radios.
  • Beep Tone
    The beep tone serves as a confirmation tone to indicate the completion of the transmission. This signals people when to talk.
  • Hands-free Communication
    The walkie talkie has a VOX function and a headset connector, so you can use it hands-free.

Cons of the Cobra ACT220B

  • It is cumbersome.
  • There is no display to show information.
  • Walkie talkies with the same features are often cheaper.
View on Amazon* Read the review

How to Choose the Best Walkie Talkie for Skiing

When buying a walkie talkie for skiing, you should not buy the most expensive walkie talkie on the market. What you need to do is to compare the specs and match them with your abilities. Don’t go for an ordinary one either. Here is a buying guide to help you in choosing the walkie talkie for skiing.

 

Hands-free Communication

The probably most important feature of walkies talkies for skiing is hands-free communication. While skiing, your hands are normally not free but on the ski poles. Accordingly, you cannot use the PTT button to talk.
The VOX function is a solution to this problem. VOX stands for Voice Operated Transmission. It allows using the walkie talkies hands-free by automatically transmitting when a certain volume is exceeded.
To use this function correctly when skiing, two additional features are required. On the one hand, a belt clip should be available to attach the device to the ski suit. On the other hand, a headset connector is recommended. With a headset, better call quality can be achieved when skiing.

 

Emergency Alert and Life Guides

Emergency alerts and life guides are an integral part of a walkie talkie. Now it may sound dramatic when people say life guides, but that is what it is. A flashlight, emergency light, SOS alert, and NOOA weather alert are considered life guides. These are essential aspects you should consider when buying a walkie talkie.

First, the NOOA weather alert or any other weather alert channels warn you of weather disturbances such as avalanche, snowstorms, and hail storms. Basically, anything that can go wrong on ski trips. The flashlights enable you to see at night and guide you, in case you get lost. The SOS alert ups your chances of being found. Look for walkie talkies that have all of these specs included.

 

Durability

The durability of these walkie talkies is vital. That is because it will be exposed to high altitudes and harsh environments. Not only that, but skiing will also involve heavy work, and that can make ordinary walkie talkies break. That is why you should look for walkie talkies that can withstand all of these harsh elements.

The walkie talkies should at least be resistant if not waterproof or snowproof. It should withstand a one-meter drop or at least survive one. The batteries should also be durable and can withstand the cold.

 

Range

Perhaps one of the considerations skiers often neglect is the range. The range is essential for communication. When you ski in the mountains, the signal is affected both by the area and the altitude. Opt for walkie talkies with a range of at least 10 miles if you are a novice skier going for a small, leisurely ski trip.

For adventurous and professional skiers, consider a range of 20 to 30 miles. You are more prone to getting lost. That and the wind and altitude are dense and harsher in higher, snowier mountains. That affects the range, and getting the ones with maximum range ups your chances of communicating well with other skiers and search and rescue officers. In case of emergencies such as you getting lost or a storm takes place, the SOS alert can reach the rescue officers easier.

 

Battery Life

Your walkie talkie’s battery life is crucial in the outdoors—that and how it is charged. For example, in the ski resort, or if there is no ski resort, how do you charge your walkie talkie? The battery life of your walkie talkie should be an interrupted average of 10 hours. That and the maximum is over twenty hours. Those are already good battery lives.

However, do not depend on the battery. Always have spare batteries at hand, not one battery, but two or more spare batteries. Most of the batteries here can be charged using a USB port, making it convenient for skiers.

 

Design

When you are skiing, it is expected that you will wear gloves all the time. The walkie talkies in this list were chosen because their designs were easy to navigate using thick gloves. The design also covers the dials and how easy it will be to manipulate for you. For example, the ACT220B is hands-free, and the MR350R is the easiest one due to the dials being bigger. The design is something to consider for specs when shopping for a walkie talkie.


Children can also use walkie talkies for skiing.

Why Should I Use a Walkie Talkie When Skiing?

The simple answer is, phones are still limited and not durable enough to endure harsh weather and get signal. Walkie talkies communicate through a single-frequency band, having a scope that can endure the weather on snowy mountains and the adventurous activity which is skiing.

Phones don’t do well with ice, nor depend on emergencies in desolate areas and harsh environments. Walkie talkies can survive that. The signal is also limited due to the altitude. That is why you should use a walkie talkie when skiing.


Conclusion – The Best Walkie Talkies for Skiing

Walkie talkies are the best communication devices when skiing. The list of devices above showed just why you should purchase one when planning your next ski trip. The list’s goal is to give you an idea of what to consider when buying a walkie talkie and the best ones you can buy when you’re indecisive.

A walkie talkie is a good investment for novice skiers who plan to go on more trips in the future.

 

Leave a Comment