There are many long-range walkie talkies available today but which will work best for your needs? That’s exactly what we are going to find out in this article.
Brands like Motorola, Midland and Cobra are reliable brands and that’s why they’re featured in many Top Lists. However, if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that some lesser-known brands like LUITON offer great long-range two-way radios as well.
What Exactly are Long-Range Walkie Talkie?
As the term implies, these types of walkie talkies allow you to send and receive radio transmissions over very long distances. Having long-coverage like this is quite useful in a variety of different scenarios.
For instance, if you’re part of a crew that runs a large-scale warehousing operation, then the best walkie talkie can help you keep in touch and coordinate with the other members easily.
Long-range walkie talkies can also keep you tethered to society while you’re out hiking or camping out in a remote location where cell phone coverage is nonexistent. That’s especially handy if you find yourself in need of urgent help.
The Motorola MH230R boasts a range of up to 23 miles, which sounds really impressive. However, bear in mind that this range gets shortened to around 2-3 miles in highly urban and even dense woodsy areas. This is due to the greater number of tall physical obstructions present.
It’s quite lightweight too and you’ll barely notice it if you walk around with it clipped to your belt. But don’t let that fool you! The MH230R is quite sturdily built and can survive falls onto hard surfaces. In addition, its casing is designed to protect the internal components from both dust and dripping water.
Plus its ergonomic, curving design makes sure your hands don’t get fatigued when you grip the device for long periods of time.
The MH230R gives you 22 channels to play around with, including both FRS and GMRS. In addition, each channel is compatible with up to 121 privacy codes. This means you’ll hardly ever have to worry about outside interference due to imperfectly dialling in a frequency!
But that’s not all! The MH230R is equipped with iVOX, meaning you can set up the walkie talkie to transmit when you speak at a certain volume. This is very handy when you urgently need to communicate with someone while your hands are occupied.
With 7 dedicated NOAA channels, the Motorola MH230R is able to bring you weather alerts. This feature, coupled with the fact that it has a 10-hour battery life, makes it the ideal companion for your next outdoor adventure.
eSync Rechargeable Walkie Talkie
Not all cheap two-way radios are bad quality. That is exactly what the eSync Rechargeable walkie talkies demonstrate. At just $15 apiece, this unit comes with enough features to compete with other walkie talkies that are twice or thrice the price.
First of all, it offers 16 UHF channels, which is plenty for the average user. Operating on the short-wavelength UHF band, the eSync doesn’t offer the longest range on this list. However, it’s still good enough for most outdoor and indoor purposes, especially since UHF can easily penetrate concrete, brick, and wood.
The eSync Rechargeable walkie talkie has a lot of features that you really wouldn’t expect, given in its price. First of all, it comes with 50 CTCSS and CDCSS tones which you can use to limit outside interference. The unit has a VOX feature as well for hands-free operation.
Other features include:
- Scanning Function
- Emergency Alarm
- Built-in LED Torch Light
- Time-out Timer
- Channel Monitor…etc.
All of this for just $15! It would definitely make a great inexpensive present for kids and adults alike.
Midland X-TALKER T75VP3
One look at the mossy oak camo design and you can immediately tell that the Midland X-TALKER T75VP3 was specifically designed for hunting.
First of all, these walkie talkies have a rugged build and can definitely survive being dropped onto hard surfaces. Despite being strong, they’re light as well, which is pretty convenient when you have to lug around heavy hunting gear.
The T75VP3’s spec sheet claims a range of 38 miles. While this might be true if you’re standing on an open plain (and there aren’t any strong winds), you won’t get that kind of coverage while you’re hunting in the woods. Still, the actual range should be more than enough for you to keep in touch with the rest of your party.
The T75VP3 gives you access to 36 FRS/GMRS channels, along with a scanning function which makes it easy to search for frequencies. Plus with 121 CTCSS privacy codes, you’ll have a perfect lock on the channel your hunting party is using.
It’s got a weather scan function as well, which automatically locks onto the strongest weather channels. This way you can look up weather alerts with ease no matter where you are.
Hunters are sure to be delighted by the 5 built-in Animal Call alerts. This includes the calls of turkeys, crows, ducks, wolfs and even cougars! On top of that, it comes with both eVox and vibrate features. The former allows you to keep your hands on your gun all the time. The latter enables you to keep completely silent while you’re approaching your target.
You’d really be hard-pressed to find any ‘Top Walkie Talkies’ list without seeing any mention of the Midland GXT1000VP4. It’s one of those walkie talkies that seems to have it all.
First of all, this unit offers 50 channels in total. This includes 22 ‘regular’ channels and 28 channels that have privacy codes pre-programmed into them for additional privacy. Of the 22 regular frequencies, eight are GMRS, seven are FRS and the remainder are shared by the two bands. You also get 10 dedicated weather channels for 24/7 alerts.
This might sound a little bit complicated when you’re trying to dial in. However, the included channel scanning and dual watch monitoring features take care of this. In addition, there are around 300 privacy codes (both CTCSS and DCS) at your disposal, which are sure to keep interference out of your radio conversations.
Even though the Midland claims that this unit has a range of 36 miles, it’s simply not the case in non-laboratory conditions. Practically, you can expect coverage of 2 to 5 miles in most locations, which is still plenty for intense outdoor activities and even commercial operations.
One of the more interesting features that the GXT1000VP4 comes with is the ‘Whisper system’. It basically sends your whispers to others in full volume. This is very useful if you need to send an SOS message while in a dangerous situation.
Another handy feature is the ability to call a specific two-way radio directly. There are also other ways to distinguish who you’re communicating with, including the use of caller ID and setting up a unique caller tone for each individual.
That’s still not all the GXT1000VP4 offers! It also comes with:
- Vibrating alerts
- eVOX with 9 sensitivity settings
- Waterproof exterior
- Switchable power settings and standby modes for battery conservation
- Keypad lock so that you don’t clumsily end up changing any important settings
- Backlit LCD display for easy operation in low-lighting conditions.
All of these incredible features make the Midland GXT1000VP4 one of the world’s most powerful walkie talkies and an all-time favourite of ours!
For $50, the LUITON LT-188H is definitely a solid choice for a long-range walkie talkie. Firstly, its structure is both sturdy and comfortable, with an ‘anti-wrestling’ design which allows easy gripping.
It’s got a power output of 10 watts which, in combination with the use of VHF frequencies, gives you great coverage. According to LUITON, the following ranges are possible based on the environment:
- 1-5 miles in cities
- 3-8 miles in less urban areas like sparsely populated villages
- 5-14 miles on a highway
The exact range will always depend on the particular environment. Keep in mind that unlike UHF frequencies, VHF ones aren’t particularly good at penetrating solid material.
In addition to the long coverage, the LT-188H offers up some great features. It’s got a built-in flashlight which is great if you’re ever doing some night-time outdoor activities. Thanks to its 2800mAh Lithium-ion battery, the unit has a long lifespan. You can even extend it further by switching to a low power setting. In addition, it comes with an auto battery save feature for the same purpose.
Locking on to a frequency is easy with the LT-188H, thanks to the 155 different privacy codes that are available for each channel and the priority channel scan. You also have the ability to turn out annoying interfering noise by using the squelch level control.
As a bonus, the LT-188H comes with a free programming cable with each purchase. The actual programming software is very easy to use and you’d hardly need to touch the manual if you’ve got some prior experience with configuring walkie talkies.
The only real downside to this walkie talkie is the fact that it doesn’t have a backlit display. This makes it quite hard to use it without proper lighting.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, we really like Midland walkie talkies! That’s why we have yet another radio from them on our list: the LXT500VP3.
Like all Midland’s offerings, the LXT500VP3 sports a sturdy build and yet is lightweight. The shape is quite ergonomic and both the PTT (Push-To-Talk) and headset feature a rubberized cover, which feels nice to the touch.
Battery life is excellent on the LXT500VP3. You’ll get around 8 hours on low power mode with medium-level usage. The unit comes with a rechargeable battery and base but is also compatible with AAA batteries, which is a lifesaver if you don’t have access to a power outlet.
In terms of range, this unit is on par with most long-range Midland two-way radios. Realistically, you can get about 2 to 5 miles in range with the LXT500VP3, depending on environmental conditions.
The LXT500VP3 offers 22 FRS channels, along with 10 dedicated to bringing you alerts from NOAA channels. It’s easy to dial in frequencies thanks to the channel scan feature and the ability to use privacy codes. There are about 38 CTCSS codes and 176 DCS ones that are available to choose from, though some aren’t all that useful.
PTT isn’t the only way to transmit messages using the LXT500VP3 because it also comes with VOX built-in. As far as sound quality goes, there’s nothing to complain about. Thanks to the included squelch control, it gets rid of any kind of interfering noise from your transmissions.
With all this for just $40, the LXT500VP3 is hard to beat!
Here’s yet another offering from Midland: the GXT1030VP4. The GXT1030VP4 has a lot in common with the GXT1000VP4, other than simply belonging to the same series. For instance, its spec sheet also boasts a 36-mile range and 50 channels. The latter is, of course, split into 22 regular ones and 28 other channels that are pre-programmed with privacy codes. Plus you get 10 NOAA channels as well.
Just like the GXT1000VP4, the GXT1030VP4 is splash-resistant. So it’s perfect for your next hiking or backpacking adventure!
Here are some of the other ways in which the Midland GXT1030VP4 impresses us:
- The scan feature automatically helps you find active channels
- Included squelch technology helps cut out ambience
- It’s got an LCD display which is back-lit
- The eVOX is adjustable with 9 sensitivity levels
- The X-TRA TALK Power feature allows you to send a distress signal immediately.
Cobra ACXT1035R FLT (Longest Range Walkie Talkie on this List)
The Cobra ACXT1035R FLT is an outdoor-ready walkie talkie. The ‘A’ in ACXT1035R supposedly stands for ‘Adventure’ and its list of features is clearly indicative of the fact that it’s geared towards hikers, mountain climbers, off-roaders, hunters…etc.
First of all, the ACXT1035R FLT sports a very compact design, making it incredibly easy to travel with. The casing is rubberized so you don’t have to worry about it slipping out of your grip even wet. Furthermore, not only is the ACXT1035R waterproof, but it’s also designed to float on water! It’s the perfect walkie talkie to take along on a fishing trip or boat ride.
Its spec sheet claims coverage of 37 miles, which technically makes it the longest range walkie talkie on this list. However, when you’re out in nature, things like trees and dense growth are going to cut this supposed range significantly. That being said, you’re likely to get a bit more coverage than even the Midland GXT1000VP4.
The ACXT1035R comes with a total of 22 channels, which is perfect for the average user. With 121 privacy codes available, you’ll get a precise lock on each one.
Here are some other significant features which make the ACXT1035R the best fit for outdoorsmen:
- 10 separate channels to bring your alerts about the weather
- VOX functionality to keep your hands free while you traverse rough terrains
- Rewind-Say-Again technology: this lets you replay the last 20 seconds of any incoming transmissions you might have missed
- A flashlight for nightly activities
- VibrAlert feature which, when set, causes your walkie talkie to vibrate when it receives incoming transmissions. This keeps you extra alert to any incoming messages.
Rounding up this list is the Motorola MR350R a 22 channel FRS/GMRS walkie talkie. Like any Motorola two-way radio, these are built to last and the recessed sides make them very comfortable to hold. While the MR350R sports a very compact design, the extra-large buttons on its body makes it easy for even large fingers to operate. The same is true if you’re trying to use it while wearing gloves.
Its display is quite large as well and backlit for complete visibility at night.
The PTT buttons are quite comfortable, but if you want a break from them, you can always make use of the included VOX function.
Like all other walkie talkies on this list, all 22 channels of the MR350R are compatible with privacy codes. Just like with the Motorola MH230R, you get 121 codes to secure your transmissions. The additional 11 weather reporting channels make it a great companion when you’re on the road.
Motorola claims a range of 35 miles for the 121 MR350R but realistically it’s 2 to 3 miles, which is still plenty for most applications.
Just like with the Cobra ACXT1035R FLT, you can set the walkie talkie to vibrate when it receives a message. This way, you’ll never miss any transmissions.
What Should You Look For In A Long-Range Walkie Talkie?
Before we dive into our picks, let’s talk about what you should look for in a walkie talkie:
VHF or UHF?
VHF and UHF are names of frequency bands which two-way radios generally operate on. The former is an abbreviation for Very High Frequency and refers to a class of signals that operate on a range between 30 MHz to 300 MHz. In contrast, UHF (Ultra High Frequency) signals operate on a range between 300 MHz to 3 GHz.
The most important difference between the two is this:
VHF signals give you a longer range but are easily obstructed by solid objects. On the other hand, UHF signals provide shorter coverage but are excellent at penetrating obstacles.
The most important thing to remember is that walkie talkies rarely provide the coverage that their manufacturers claim they do. The numbers they get are usually from laboratory testing conditions, where there aren’t any buildings, trees, wind or rain to obstruct the radio signals. However, when you’re using a two-way radio, you’ll always have to deal with obstacles like that.
When manufacturers tell you that a walkie talkie gives you a 30-mile coverage, it’s more likely in the range of 2 to 5 miles. That being said, a 2 to the 5-mile range is definitely enough for most applications.
You definitely want to invest in a walkie talkie that can take some damage. The best way to find out if a walkie talkie is durable is to read customer experiences and expert reviews.
You have to think about what features are important to you. For instance, if you hike a lot then having weather alert channels may come in handy. You may also want the device to have a waterproof casing and a Voice Over Transmission feature so that you can always keep your hands free.
If you’re managing a crew, then you might like privacy code compatibility to limit outside interference. You may also like to have scan functions to automatically find active channels and even caller ID so that you can know who you’re getting transmissions from.
FRS or GMRS?
FRS stands for Family Radio Service and refers to channels used for short-distance personal communications. These don’t require an FCC license.
GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) frequencies, on the other hand, are only available to licensed users. They’re private and are used for long-range communication.
While there are walkie talkies that are capable of tuning into both FRS and GMRS channels, you still need a license to use the latter.
Frequently Asked Questions About Walkie Talkies
What Baofeng Radio Is Best?
When in doubt, always go with the BTECH UV-5X3. There’s a reason why it’s got an average rating of 4.4 stars on Amazon!
What Are The Longest Range Walkie Talkies?
The Midland GXT1000VP4, Cobra ACXT1035R FLT, and Midland GXT1030VP4 are among the longest range walkie talkies you can buy today. If you want something stronger, you’ll have to consider one of the more expensive Motorolas like the CP200D.
How Many Miles Can Walkie Talkies Reach?
Realistically, for commercially-available long range walkie talkies 50 miles or more is just not possible. In fact, for most long-range walkie talkies, 20 miles of coverage is only possible under near-laboratory conditions.
Why Do You Have To Say ‘Over’ On A Walkie Talkie?
‘Over’ is part of proper radio etiquette. It lets the other party know that you’re done talking your turn.
And those are our picks for best long range walkie talkies in 2019.
There are a lot of things to consider when picking the one most suitable for you. It should definitely have a sturdy build. Other considerations like the number of channels and the number of privacy codes available really depend on what you intend to use the device for. For example, a business operation like warehousing may need secure lines to transmit messages to and fro. In that case, you should look into a long-range radio with a high number of GMRS channels.