Best Two-Way Radios Reviewed & Rated for Quality
The best two-way radios are a perfect addition for runners who love the outdoors. They will allow you to get in touch with your loved ones when you need it most—especially when the unexpected happens. Two-way radios will ensure you can get in touch with someone if an emergency occurs and they are really easy to use—so if you find one you can’t figure out make sure to stick to the two-way radios featured on our list.
If you love to run off the beaten path, take a look at our top 10 best two-way radios featured below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
Automatic weather warning scan
Comes in 4 different colors/patterns to choose from
- Midland GXT1030VP4
- Motorola MT350R
- Midland GXT1050VP4
- Galwad 888S
- Motorola T260
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Two-way Radios
1. Midland GXT1030VP4
Automatic weather warning scan
Comes in 4 different colors/patterns to choose from
Battery issues, be sure to follow instructions for initial charge
This option comes with two handsets and is weatherproof and rechargeable. It comes with a feature that automatically scans 10 weather channel frequencies to bring you up to date alerts of severe weather warnings. They're highly reviewed and have a 36-mile range in unobstructed terrain.Read more
The company advertises these as having a 36-mile range, however that only holds true in completely unobstructed terrain. Real-world effectiveness through forests and over hills etc. seems to be about 5-6 miles which is quite good for a set in this price range.
They have heavy-duty, weather-resistant construction that holds up to rain and snow, but we wouldn't recommend submerging them underwater.
There do seem to be some battery issues for some users however, but that could be due to them not following the directions when charging them for the first time. An automatic severe weather warning function is a nice touch, especially for trail runners in the backcountry.
These aren't the lightest nor the heaviest option and are about average sized for this type of product. Included belt clips are a nice touch and they're still small enough to fit in a hydration pack.
These two-way radios are worth every penny! Sure, these are a little on the pricey side, but if you want a pair of radios that will last you for the long haul, then you will absolutely love these!
2. Motorola MT350R
Comes with a regular wall charger and a mini-USB charger
Warns of extreme weather and amber alerts
Tough and durable
Range not as far as advertised
This highly-reviewed option is made tough for use in extreme conditions. They're sealed against dust and moisture so they're perfect for use in desert environments, the dusty backcountry, or ski resorts. They have all sorts of neat features such as a mini-USB charger so you can charge them on the go or while traveling and a vibrate mode, and can be used with radios from other companies that you might already own.Read more
These are claimed to have a 35-mile range, but users experience is closer to 4-6 miles when used in places with obstructions such as hills and trees, which is still pretty good and makes the usable and effective.
They're designed to prevent dust and moisture from entering.
These are built tough by one of the biggest names in communication and users were happy with how long they lasted. Beyond simple communication, they have a setting that when turned on will automatically warn you of extreme weather events, tornado warnings, and even amber alerts. They come with a regular wall charger as well as a mini-USB charger that's great for charging them on the go.
These are about average size for products on this list but are still small and light enough to be carried in a hydration pack or vest.
If you have a higher budget and don't mind spending a pretty penny, then you will find that these two0way radios are worth every cent. Yes, they are expensive, but given the additional benefits and features that they offer, we would say that they are worth it.
4 radios included
Comfortable to hold
Crystal clear sound
Solid battery life
Not weather resistant
The Arcshell rechargeable radio comes with four in a pack. They include earpieces and are UHF 400 to 470Mhz. They are created small so that they fit comfortably in your hand and come with Li-ion batteries and chargers included. If you are on a long run and need to keep in touch with other runners, this set is a great way to do it.Read more
With 16 pre-programmed channels to choose from, you shouldn't have a problem being able to reach anyone when you need too. They also feature a mechanical rotary switch dialer, so you can tune in the channel you need to contact someone else.
If you want a set of two-way radios that can handle anything that comes their way, no matter the weather, then you will love these. Not only are they durable, but you will find that they will be reliable when the weather decides to take you by surprise.
Each radio has a high-quality built-in speaker that ensures the voice you hear on the other end, and your voice as well comes through crystal clear and without interference. They also work up to five miles if there is nothing obstructing them, a little less if the area you are in is congested.
In terms of portability, you can take these radios anywhere you go. These radios are really lightweight and designed to be incredibly portable!
These are cost-effective, especially since there are four in the pack. They also come with earpieces and fit comfortably in your hand. The range is good, so they are well worth the money you will spend to buy them.
4. Midland GXT1050VP4
Several colors to choose from
Lightweight and portable
Comes with a rechargeable battery pack
The Midland GXT1050VP4 two- radios are available in lots of color options and offer tons of additional features you will love. They are easy to use and completely waterproof—so you can be sure that they are durable and designed to stand up to the test of time.Read more
These two-way radios offer several private channels and have up to a 36-mile range, which makes it one of the longer options on our list. They also offer a weather scan that will alert you of any weather changes near you.
If you want a pair of waterproof two-way radios, then you will love these. Not only are they splash and water resistant, but they can handle moisture and sweat as well.
This is a great set for those of you that like to hunt because they offer 5 different animal alerts to choose from—wolf, crow, cougar, turkey, and duck. They also have privacy codes that you can use and access to weather alerts. They feature rechargeable battery backs and a headset with a mic as well.
When it comes to portability, these two-way radios are really lightweight and compact. This allows them to be easy to take with you anywhere you go—so you can rely on them no matter how light you need to pack.
These two-way radios are on the pricey side, but they certainly are not the most expensive options on our list.
5. Galwad 888S
16 channel frequencies
Crystal clear transmission
Great battery life
Features a low battery alarm
Many users reported the charger for the radios as being rickety
Some users reported the set coming with wires broken
The Galwad 888S is a two-piece set that is long range and has 16 channel frequencies. It also comes with a rechargeable battery and a headphone wall charger for easy charging. Not only is the sound crystal clear, but the set is also easy to use and can be used by all ages. This means it's perfect for a runner and perfect for runner's kids as well.Read more
Not only does this set come with a low battery alarm, but it also allows you to catch frequency over 16 different channels, ensuring you can reach whoever is on the other end with ease. It has a 400 to 470 MHz frequency to recommend it.
If you want a pair of two-way radios that can withstand the weather and ensure that you can rely on them when it decides to surprise you, then you will love these! They are durable and built to last--so you can trust they will be there for you when you need them most!
This set features a low battery alarm that warns you when the battery is low and needs to be charged. With this handy feature, you won't be caught out on a run and have the battery die on your radio.
When it comes to portability, these two-way radios are some of the best out there. They are really lightweight and easy to take with you no matter where you decide to go.
This long-range set is one of the best-priced sets on the list. They feature 16 channels, crystal clear sound and even have a low battery alarm. This set is well worth checking into for sure.
6. Motorola T260
Weather-proof including against dust
Can be set to automatically alert you to severe weather warnings and amber alerts
Range isn't as far as advertised
Some users had battery issues
This is a compact option that's great for trail runners, hikers, and campers. They have a setting that automatically scans for inclement weather alerts and are compatible with other radios you might already have.Read more
These are claimed to have a 35-mile range but that would be in a place that's totally flat with absolutely no obstructions. Real world range is closer to 4-6 miles which is plenty for most users.
These do a good job of standing up to the elements so they're great for use in the dusty backcountry, the desert, or while skiing and snowboarding.
These are built tough by a well-known and reputable company and are designed for long-lasting performance. Some included extras that users found useful are the automatic scan for nasty weather, tornado warnings, and amber alerts.
These are a nice size for running and are small enough to fit in a hydration pack or vest.
In terms of value, these two-way radios are a great one to consider if you are on a budget because they won't cost an arm and a leg. They are worth every penny and you will find that you will be able to make use of these for the long haul.
Includes chargers for all units
Includes built-in LED flashlights
Some users report that the belt clip on the radios is flimsy
Some customers reported that the range is bad
The Ansoko is designed for amateurs, which means you don't have to be an expert in their use to use them on your run. They have 16 channels and come in a pack of 4, for your running mates as well. The set features a built-in LED flashlight and has loud, clear sound so that your voices aren't garbled.Read more
When it comes to the connectivity these two-way radios these offer, they have16 channels to choose from! They offer a great, reliable connection that you can depend on when you need it most!
In terms of weather resistance, these can handle quite a bit--so, if the weather decides to switch it up on you last minute then you will want to check these out because you can certainly rely on these for the long haul
Enjoy 8 to 12 hours of continuous use with these durable products. They also come with a separate charging base for each. This set features built-in LED flashlights on each radio so that you can see if you are ever out on the run or the track at night.
If you want a set of two-way radios that you can take with you anywhere you go, then you will certainly love these. This pair is incredibly lightweight and easy to take with you wherever you go!
You get four with this set and they come with built-in flashlights, so this in itself makes them worth the money being asked.
Includes belt clips
Earpieces included for hands-free talking
Many users reported that the sound quality of these is not great
Some users reported that the two-way radios were cheaply made
Luiton long-range two-way radios are ideal for adults, who are going camping, running, or just out and about and need to keep in touch with their family and friends. The radios feature a voice scrambler and come with earpieces as well. It features a slim design for easy holding and a belt clip so you can easily carry it on your run with you.Read more
This walkie-talkie features a voice scrambler so that you can keep your conversations secret whenever the need arises, like if you are on a run and decide to meet and don't want everyone knowing the meeting place.
Although these are not the most weather resistant options out there, you will find that these are certainly reliable when the weather decides to take you by surprise.
If you want a lot of additional features, then you will love these. Not only are they really portable, but they also offer the voice scrambler features and come with ear pieces when you purchase them!
This two-way radio features a super slim design that makes it easy to hold. The included earpiece also makes it possible for you to talk and still concentrate on your run handsfree.
This two-way radio is very affordable and a good one for the price. If you are looking for something simple and easy to use to take on your runs, then this is the two-way radio to meet your needs.
10 to a pack
Affordable for what they do
Crystal clear transmissions
Many users reported the range not being as far as they needed it to be
Some users reported that the two-way radios wouldn't hold a charge
The Retevis is a rechargeable two-way radio that comes in a pack of 10. It features a low battery alarm, an emergency alarm, a VOX function, and even a battery save function, so you can keep it on until you can get back to charge it when you're on your run and it starts to die.Read more
This two-way radio offers excellent connectivity that you can rely on, especially when there is an emergency or unexpected situation.
This two-way radio features a durable body, so it can be taken outside and used, without you having to worry about it falling apart. Many walkie-talkies are made of flimsy materials, but this one isn't, making it perfect to take on your daily runs.
For each of the 10 phones in the package, each comes with their own earpiece and their own charger so you don't have to charge on at a time.
If you want a portable set of two-way radios, then you will love these. This set is incredibly lightweight and easy to take with you wherever you go--so they are a great option for all outdoor enthusiasts out there.
One of the higher priced on the list, this one is worth the price because there are 10 two-way radios in the package. Each comes with its own accessories, which is an added bonus.
Comes in two color choices
Includes a voice scrambler
Some users reported that it is illegal to use these two-way radios without a license
Some users reported that the set doesn't hold a charge that well
These Amcrest two-way radios have 16 channels and come in your choice of two different color options. It features a lithium-ion battery and comes with headphones and a microphone. It also includes a scrambler and LED flashlight and long-range talking capacity. Choose black or camo colors as well.Read more
Each radio includes an LED flashlight as well for night use and the capacity for long-range talking, making it the perfect setting to choose if you are camping and go for a run to keep in touch with people at your campsite.
If you want a set that is weather resistant and won't stop working at the sight of inclement weather, then you need to take a look at these! This set is incredibly durable and designed to be reliable, no matter what the weather may be.
There are a few extras included with this package. These include headphones, belt clips, desktop chargers, and wrist straps for both phones.
In terms of portability, these are some of the best. Not only are they lightweight, but this radio set also isn't super bulky so you can count on them to be easy to take with you wherever you go.
This set is reasonably priced, especially if you add in the extras that are included. You will want to give this set of walkie-talkies a try.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
One of the most important things to consider when you are searching for the right sets to take with you on a run or to a race is the range that walkie-talkie is capable of reaching. The options we went with are able to reach pretty long-distance ranges. You need to determine which of these has the best range and find one that will suit your needs. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s always better to have too much range, than not enough range when you are out on the track or running in the woods.
Something to keep in mind when you're looking for a two-way radio is that the effective range that the company advertises is much different than it will be in real life. In fact, it's usually only about 15-20% of what they say it is. Companies want to show how effective their products are, so they'll say that the device has a range of 35 miles for example. But that would only be the case if that 35 mile was completely flat and free of any trees or other obstacles that can get in the way of the radio waves. Obviously, that just isn't realistic. Most of the products on our list have an effective range of at least a few miles, which should be plenty for most runners.
As a runner, you might be running in the drizzling rain, in the heat of the summer when you sweat the most and even occasionally get caught in a downpour, so it’s pretty important that what you choose is waterproof if possible. Depending on the type of environment you live in, this could very well be a feature you have to have in your two-way radio. Many of the top-rated ones on our list feature waterproofness as well.
Not only do you want it to be waterproof, but you'll also want one that is weather-resistant as well. You also need sets that offer access to NOAA and access to the local weather forecast when you are on a run, camping or at a big race for the day. The top-rated usually have access to one or both of these features. Do your research to determine which ones do offer these features and if they are right for your needs.
The top-rated products in this buying guide range from 16 to 30 channels. The amount of channels you have is helpful when it comes to finding the best channel to avoid any type of interference when you are talking to someone. Not only do you want a variety of different channels to alternate between to find the one with the less interference, but you also want a set that features private channel security codes as well. The top-rated on our list has private channel security codes to offer.
The power of the set that you choose is measured in watts and is directly tied to your radio’s transmission power and the range it gets as well. The top-rated on our list have great audio quality for crystal clear sound and great signal strength, so you don’t have to worry about reaching the person that is on the other end.
Appeal and Design
Even though this product is one that you will want to take on your runs and even just out on family outings, appeal and design can still come into play for many runners. Of course, you have already determined if the product is lightweight enough for your needs, has the extra features you want and is durable enough to withstand your runs, but what about the way it feels in your hand or the way it looks? Appeal and design are just as important as any other consideration on the list. The top-rated in this guide come in a range of designs to make you happy with your choice of product.
When it comes to finding the right setting to meet your needs, everything from appeal and design to the extra features included is important. Make sure that you do your research because durability is one of the key factors you want in a product that will be going with you on the trail or during a race. The top-rated here have all of that and more!
No matter what type of product you are searching for, the reviews for that product are important. Make sure to check a number of the reviews on the product before you make that final, all-important decision. The top-rated on our list all have mostly positive reviews that ensure the product is something that will help you on your runs and be clear enough and have enough of a range to ensure you can use it without worry. Remember, there will always be bad reviews on anything you might purchase, so take any negative reviews with a grain of salt and do your research before making a final decision on your purchase.
The weight and size of the walkie-talkies you carry are vital, especially if you are going to be running. You don’t want a heavy bulky product dragging you down. There are many lightweight and small yet durable options on this list. These walkie-talkies are lightweight and have a slim elegant design so that you can hold it in your hand easily when you run, or even clip it to your jogging pants when it’s not in use. No one wants a bulky two-way radio bouncing against their leg as they run. It’s distracting and can hurt as well.
Many times, though you would love to buy the top of the line, that’s just not possible with the budget you are allowing yourself to purchase one to take on your runs. The top-rated on this list range from $30 to almost $200, according to the number of two-way radios that come in the package and the range, weight, and amount of channels the two-way offers.
It is important to remember that although a radio doesn’t have to be expensive to operate well, you don’t want to go with a cheaply made one either. Do your research and get the best one out there for the price you can afford. Oftentimes, the price is higher on these because of the extra features that are offered. In this case, it’s best to decide what the extra features are and if they are features you can indeed do without.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Some of the products on our list have a lot of cool features, but if you're just going to be using a two-way radio to communicate with a running partner, or maybe while kayaking or canoeing, you might not need all of that. Really consider what's important to you and choose one based on those factors.
All of the products on our list have rechargeable batteries, but even if you choose a different one we highly recommend getting one that's rechargeable. Otherwise, you'll end up spending a ton of money on new batteries, and all of those old ones will also end up in the landfill which is bad for the environment.
Other Factors to Consider
Most of the top-rated products on the list comes with a few extra features. Some of these features are push-button controls, voice scramblers, VOX, voice-activated transmit, headset jacks, earpieces and more. These extra features cost a little extra to add, which will drive up the cost. You have to determine what are the most important extra features for you and work them into your budget.
These are the majority of the criteria and metrics we used to find the best two-way radios on the market today for you as a runner. Whether you are spending time with your family at the beach and you go on a run or at the biggest race of the year and you are miles down the track, you need a way to keep in touch with not only your family, but your team, and your coaches as well.
The sets on this list can do that for you. From the durability to the range and from the channels to the price, we have taken everything into consideration with this buying guide. We hope this has helped you choose the best two-way radios to take on your runs. Now, read on below for a few of the top most common questions that are often asked to be answered. Maybe your question is on the list!
While you wouldn’t think it was that important, how durable the means of communication you use on your runs is very important. If you are out on a run and you drop your radio, if it is lightweight but heavy-duty you certainly have less chance of it breaking.
Normal everyday wear and tear is something that is hard on these sets as well, so you want to be assured that yours is made of materials that can withstand your runs, the weather, and everyday life has to offer. The top-rated products in this buying guide can do just that and are durable to boot.
Everyone knows that these sets are the best way to keep in touch over short and long distances. Whether you are out camping with the family, at a big race, or just out on your daily solitary run, you want to know that should something happen, you will be able to contact someone to do something about it.
Now, that we have determined what the best 10 sets are on this list and listed those sets and their pros and cons for you, it’s time to tell you the criteria and metrics we used to figure out the top-rated on the list. A few of the criteria we used include range, channels, whether they are waterproof or not, whether they are weather-resistant, the weight, price and much more. This should help you determine which is the best fit for your needs as a runner. The one thing you don’t want to do is go out on a run alone and have no cell service, then need someone. With a reliable, sturdy, two-way radio hanging from your jogging pants, you will be safe and secure in the knowledge that you can call someone when the need arises, or even if you just too to keep in touch.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do you need to program these?
There are a few of the top-rated on our list that you can take out of the box and start talking right away. There are also a few that will need to be programmed. Your best bet is to check the information on the website that you order from to see if it is easy to use or if it takes major programming.
q: What is the typical range for two-way radios?
The range that you can reach with your set differs with the brand and type you purchase. The products on our list have different ranges. It’s important to look at the range before you purchase, and it’s important to take into consideration congested areas, hills, and other things that might interfere with the range you’re seeking.
q: Do they come with a charging dock?
This is according to the brand you buy and how many two-way radios are in the package. Our top-rated walkie-talkies range from 2 to 10 in the package and most of them coming with separate charging docks, and many other accessories as well.
q: What is the best brand on the market today?
There is no one brand that can be recommended as the best. The top-rated on this list are different brands and have different features, weights, ranges, and other criteria to recommend them. Glance through the list to decide which of these is right for you, not by the brand, but by what they offer you to meet your needs as a runner.
This concludes our buying guide on the best two-way radios on the market today. As a runner, it’s important to concentrate on your running, but it’s also important to concentrate on your safety at the same time. Whether you are taking a solitary run through the wooded trail behind your home, on a busy street in the city, or on the track for the main racing event of the year, you should have a reliable, durable walkie-talkie to communicate with your team or your friends and family should the need arise.