Best Emergency Two Way Radios

5 Best Emergency Two Way Radios (Reviews Updated 2020)

Two way radios come in many different types. They are also very versatile and can serve a wide range of purposes.

However, when you’re looking for something as specific and important as emergency communication, you can’t just go with any option unless you know what you should look for emergency communication. You must also note that emergency two way radio as an emergency communication option is different than emergency radios in general, which we have reviewed before.

With that said, we have made it easy for you by doing extensive research and finding the 5 best emergency two way radios for you.

Best Emergency Two Way Radios

Here are our emergency two way radio reviews.

1. DEWALT DXFRS800

Dewalt Dxfrs800

When a company manufacturing power tools makes a two way radio, you can tell it’s going to have rock-solid durability, and the DEWALT DXFRS800’s durability is second to none, which makes it great to use as an emergency radio.

It comes in a pack of 2 units with 2 watts of power, and the range is pretty decent up to 300,000 sq. ft. in good conditions. However, users use these walkie talkies in all types of conditions and find nothing to complain about the range.

These FRS walkie talkies have 22 preset channels, ability to rotate for multiple positions, VOX activated hands-free communication, long battery life and clear reception, and a great convenient feature in the PTT (push to talk) button. It’s also waterproof, dustproof and shock resistant, so it’s indeed designed to be an emergency radio and works really well as one.

Pros:

  • Incredibly durable; waterproof, dustproof and shock resistant
  • Impressive overall functionality with decent range, clear reception, long battery life and more
  • Comes with preset channels and the VOX function
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

Cons:

  • No NOAA built-in channels

If you’re only looking for something for emergency communication though, then the DEWALT DXFRS800 is going to be hard to beat.

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2. Retevis RT22

Retevis Rt22

These handheld two way radios come in a pack of 10 units at a great price per unit, and are ideal for emergency communication for a group or in your office. These are FCC certified and license-free, so you don’t need to have any license to operate them.

These are small, easy to use but surprisingly clear and loud with great reception. The range is decent despite the unusually small antennas. The battery life is pretty good, and the build quality is solid with users being able to use them when biking, hiking or in other rough conditions.

These FRS UHF radios also come with 16 preset channels, an emergency alarm, squelch function and the VOX function for hands-free use. More importantly, these offer the CTCSS/ DCS privacy code, which makes them great for private, secure communication as well, adding to their emergency functionality.

Pros:

  • Great price for 10 units
  • License-free, simple operation
  • Compact, lightweight, but very durable
  • Very functional with a lot of great features and decent battery life

Cons:

  • No NOAA channels or flashlight

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3. Motorola T100

Motorola T100

If you’re after a cheap but reliable emergency communication option, then the Motorola T100 won’t disappoint you. It’s priced great for a 2-pack walkie talkie option, both of the units being very durable and well-made.

These are very simple and easy to use, compact and lightweight, and come with a great range and 22 channels. They allow you to communicate on both the FRS and GMRS bands.

The battery life is impressive with a low-battery notification, auto squelch function and clear reception. These also make great kids walkie talkies.

Pros:

  • Cheap but reliable option
  • Durable, well-designed units
  • Easy to use, compact and functional
  • Long battery life, decent range, and other useful features

Cons:

  • Do not expect very advanced operation due to the limited range
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4. Midland GXT1000VP4

Midland Gxt1000vp4

First things first, these Midland GXT1000VP4 walkie talkies are fairly cheap walkie talkies with some great functions, but don’t expect military grade quality. These may not last you forever but with some careful use, they will last long enough to be worth their price.

With that out of the way, these are one of the few emergency two way radios that come with features like the NOAA weather scan and alert, as many as 142 privacy codes for secure communication during emergencies, better range than most other walkie talkies in this price range, and 50 GMRS channels as well. There’s also the VOX function.

These are fairly durable with waterproof operation till some extent, and have a great battery life.

Pros:

  • Cheap but very functional
  • NOAA weather scan and alert
  • 142 privacy codes, 50 GMRS channels, VOX function and better range
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Some units may have some quality issues
  • You will never get the promised range of 36 miles, but you wouldn’t get this kind of range with any other similar option either
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5. BaoFeng BF-F8HP

Baofeng Bf F8hp

The BaoFeng BF-F8HP is a slightly different choice in that it also comes as a single unit, but it’s a “real” dual band two way radio with 8 watts of power. If haven’t used HAM radios before you may have to spend some time getting familiar with it, but once you do it will turn out to be a great choice.

The incredible power and performance allow you to communicate with people at a really, really long distance, something you wouldn’t imagine with the walkie talkies we reviewed above. Both the reception and transmission are very clear and loud across a very long range making it easy to hit local repeaters too.

There’s a lot more that it offers, including a great battery life, rock-solid durability, easy programming, and easy operation. If you want to use it without license, you will not be able to use it at a power greater than 1.5 watts.

Pros:

  • Incredibly powerful emergency communication option with 8 watts of power
  • Amazingly long range compared to the above walkie talkies
  • Great reception and transmission
  • Long battery life, solid durability and easy programming, among many other features

Cons:

  • Comes as a single unit and significantly more expensive than the above options
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Emergency Two Way Radio Buyer’s Guide

Here’s everything you need to know about buying an emergency two way radio.

Durability

While users generally don’t see the durability as the most important factor when choosing two way radios and rightly so, but when it comes to emergency use we believe it’s of paramount importance. You wouldn’t want a radio that can’t handle the shock and rough situations of an emergency condition.

All the radios we picked above are very durable, although some or more than the others which we made sure to clarify when reviewing them.

Range

You don’t need a very long range if you’re just looking for emergency communication with your own people, but the range still needs to be long enough to not break the signal when you get a little far from one another.

This is especially true when using the radios in long buildings or in conditions like mountains or while doing things like hiking. However, you never know in an emergency situation so it’s better to go with something that offers a decent range.

The BaoFeng BF-F8HP offers the longest range but the others we reviewed offer a good enough range for emergency communication as well.

Functional

Yes, the radios must also have clear reception, good sound, long enough battery life and be lightweight and easy to carry. Again, we understand this requirement and picked our options accordingly, so the two way radios we reviewed above are everything they need to be a good emergency communication option.