Walkie Talkies & Two-Way Radios

Stay in Touch With Walkie-Talkie Radios

When you're out in the field or on a large piece of property, you'll want to stay connected with others so everyone knows what's going on. Having walkie-talkies can be invaluable in certain situations, especially when there is no cellphone reception. Used two-way radios can come at a variety of price points with a variety of features and capabilities.

Types of walkie-talkies

There are several ways to classify walkie-talkies. Some distinctions you'll find among the radios you'll find for sale are:

Family Radio Service (FRS) or General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS): FRS 2 way radios let you communicate with small groups in a localized area. They're the most common kind of walkie-talkie you'll find in general because there aren't restrictions on usage. Though GMRS radios can also be for personal use, they require licensing. GMRS units are long-range walkie-talkies, able to broadcast at least as far as 5 miles away.

Kid products versus adult units: Walkie-talkies for kids are usually made out of lightweight plastic. They can come in all sorts of colors and designs on them, like ones themed after popular children's media. Kid walkie-talkies are likely powered by AA or AAA batteries for easy replacement. Adult walkie-talkies are often heavier and larger.

VHF versus UHF: VHF stands for Very High Frequency, and these two-way radios operate between 126 and 174 MHz. This level is ideal for long distances when there are no buildings or large hills interfering with the signal; trees and leaves are typically not an issue. UHF stands for Ultra High Frequency, and UHF radios operate at 400 to 512 MHz. UHF radios can send signals through building walls, making them suitable for urban environments.

Some features of walkie-talkies

LCD screen: An advanced walkie-talkie may have an illuminated screen that shows the time, battery life, and even compass readings.

Hands-free ability: If you anticipate being on the move, consider getting a unit that allows you to plug in a microphone or headset. Some modern walkie-talkies even have Bluetooth built in, allowing you to use wireless headphones instead of the traditional 3.5mm jack.

Talk confirmation: With a signal that lets you know when a transmission begins and ends, you'll know when it's your turn to respond.

Waterproof: Some walkie-talkies are specifically made to be waterproof, ideal for outdoor activities like fishing or hiking near rivers and lakes.