A waterproof walkie talkie can be a necessity in several conditions. It may simply be to work with your recreational activities like fishing or kayaking. Or, you could need them for work situations where dealing with rain or water is a necessity. I’ve put together a list of the best waterproof walkie talkies, in the hopes that it will be useful for your search.
Top 8 Waterproof Walkie Talkies
- Midland – GXT1000VP4
- Motorola MS350R
- Uniden MHS75 Waterproof Handheld 2-Way Marine Radio
- Cobra ACXT1035R FLT Walkie Talkies
- Motorola Talkabout T460
- DEWALT DXFRS300
- Uniden MHS126 Handheld Submersible 2-Way Marine Radio
- Midland – GXT1030VP4
A Buying Guide To The Best Waterproof Two Way Radio
Waterproof Versus Water Resistant
Do you need your walkie talkie to be waterproof or water-resistant? A water-resistant radio will handle some exposure to water without damage. For example, being exposed to rain for a few minutes won’t destroy the radio.
A waterproof walkie talkie will be able to withstand being exposed or submerged in water. In this case, if your walkie talkie falls into water, a submersible two way radio will remain unscathed. A water-resistant radio is unlikely to survive being submerged in water.
It is worth noting, that there are limitations to consider. For example, a waterproof radio may be capable of surviving a one-meter depth of water for up to an hour. Others may go higher or lower on that scale. Point is, it is your requirements that should guide your choice for picking a water-resistant or waterproof radio. Waterproofing may not be the essential requirement for a walkie talkie for cruise ship, but it certainly is important for kayaking.
Submersible And Floating Walkie Talkies
A floating walkie talkie, well… floats! If you accidentally drop the walkie talkie into water, rather than going to the bottom, it will rise and stay on the surface. This is a handy feature, considering it may not always be possible to recover a walkie talkie from the bottom of a stream or lake.
A submersible walkie talkie will go to the bottom of the water. A location where recovering the walkie talkie isn’t a problem is suitable for submersible walkie talkies. Consider a shallow, flowing stream. I’d rather not be running after a walkie talkie being carried away by water! A submersible radio is more useful in this scenario.
The intended location for use plays an important role, as does the use itself.
Do You Want A Marine Radio?
In some cases, users may actually need a marine radio, rather than a waterproof radio. These radios operate on VHF frequencies and are used for communication by ships, harbors, boats, etc. Many of these are waterproof considering the environment, though that is not a necessity.
NOAA And Weather Alerts
Keeping up to date with weather is important. Especially so, if you’re in the outdoors kayaking, fishing, or in a flood-prone zone. Having a radio with access to NOAA and weather alerts is important in these situations.
Waterproof Two Way Radio Reviews
1. Midland – GXT1000VP4
Midland GXT1000VP4 is a popular and feature-rich radio. It has an impressive range that should work to the benefit of those fishing and kayaking. The advertised range is 36 miles, although you can expect it to lower; perhaps about 5 miles over water. Since the range is affected by the presence of obstacles, that number too can vary wildly depending on the presence of obstacles and line of sight.
It is worth noting that this walkie is rated JIS4 weatherproof. That means it protects the device from dust and is water-resistant. It will handle being exposed to rain or water, but it is unlikely to survive being submerged in water for too long.
The radio works on GMRS frequencies and will need an FCC license to operate. Most of the radios on this list do require a license, unless otherwise stated. Midland GXT1000VP4 scans 10 weather channels, and brings alerts from NOAA. In case there is a severe weather alert from NOAA in your location, the walkie talkie will sound an alarm.
The walkie talkie also has a hands-free operation mode using eVOX. In the box, you’ll find the walkie talkie, headset, rechargeable battery, belt clips, a desktop charger, AC adapter, DC adapter, and a manual. If necessary, you can use four standard AA batteries in place of the rechargeable battery.
- Feature-rich and convenient to use
- Water-resistant with JIS4 weatherproofing
- Good signal strength and range
- Crystal clear sound quality on device
- Complex menus make it difficult to use for some settings
- Only water-resistant, not waterproof
- Headset is below average
2. Motorola MS350R – Motorola Waterproof Walkie Talkies
Motorola MS350R 35-mile Talkabout waterproof 2-way radio is one of the best-regarded radios in terms of waterproofing. It is rated IP67 waterproof. That means this radio can survive being submerged in a water depth of up to one-meter (approximately 3.3 feet) for 30 minutes. It is also dustproof and will not be harmed by exposure to dust.
Of course, the 35-mile range is a stretch. For our Motorola MS350R review, let’s consider the range to be a more realistic 3-4 miles. Again, that is dependent on the presence of obstacles.
If waterproofing is your primary concern, this radio certainly is worth a shot. It operates in the GMRS frequency range, offering 22 channels, 121 privacy codes, and 8 repeater channels.
Power comes from an included NiMH rechargeable battery. In case you need quick backup, you can also use 3 AA batteries to power the radio.
Other features include VOX for hands-free use, an LED flashlight, and NOAA channels scan and weather alert.
- Good range
- Convenient to operate
- Questionable value for money
- Seemingly has a problem communicating not just with other brands, but other Motorola radios as well
3. Uniden MHS75 Waterproof Handheld 2-Way Marine Radio
Uniden MHS75 marine radio has been built to handle the climate and weather conditions that come with being on the water. It operates on marine VHF frequencies and is compatible with US and Canadian marine channels. The radio can also handle GMRS (ground) frequencies. It is rated JIS8 waterproof. It will survive being submerged in five-foot water for up to 30 minutes.
Depending on how far you want to communicate, the radio can switch its power between 1, 2.5, and 5 Watt. That allows it fairly good range, and depending on your communication requirements, you can manage the battery usage to your advantage. That also makes it one of the best long range walkie talkie contenders for this segment.
A triple watch mode allows you to keep track, or “watch” for activities over channels 16 and 9, while you stay active on another channel of your choice. The battery life under optimal use is about 10 hours, but expect it to be lower if you use higher power modes for transmitting.
- Can work on marine VHF and GMRS frequencies
- Multiple transmission power modes
- Excellent waterproofing
- Good sound quality
- Easy to use
- Build quality is not up to expectations
4. Cobra ACXT1035R FLT – Cobra Waterproof Walkie Talkies
Cobra ACXT1035R FLT Walkie Talkies perform splendidly where waterproofing is concerned. These Cobra waterproof walkie talkies are certified to IPX7 standard, which means they can handle being submerged in water. Submersion isn’t that big a problem though, since these are waterproof walkie talkies that float. Plus, the orange color makes it pretty easy to spot, reducing the chance of you losing the radio if it drops in the water. That quality makes these pretty good waterproof walkie talkies for kayaking.
Operating over GMRS, the radio has a claimed range of 37 miles. Again, expect the real range to be 2-4 miles, depending on obstacles. For communication, you’ll have access to 22 channels and 121 privacy codes. Another great feature is the VibrAlert. A vibrating feedback lets you know of incoming transmissions. That should work better than a loud voice booming over the walkie talkie, especially if you are in a crowd.
Rewind-Say-Again technology system in the Cobra ACXT1035R lets you replay the last 20 seconds of any transmission. It’s awesome and makes sure you don’t miss something important. Other features on the walkie talkie are VOX, flashlight, NOAA weather alerts, and a dual port charger. If necessary, you can skip the included rechargeable battery and choose to power this Cobra Walkie Talkie via standard AA batteries.
- Excellent waterproofing
- Good value for money
- Useful features
- Easy to use
- Sound clarity is underwhelming
- Build quality could be better
5. Motorola Talkabout T460
First thing to know about the Motorola Talkabout T460 is that it has IP-54 weatherproofing. That means it is fairly well protected from dust and is splash-proof for water. It is water-resistant, but don’t expect it to hold up too well for long in the rain. Motorola Talkabout T460 is a fairly basic unit operating in the GMRS frequencies, with 22 channels and 121 privacy codes. It’s a fairly well-qualified member of the Motorola T600 family.
Expect the range to be a few miles, towards 2-3 miles. The included rechargeable NiMH battery offers a use time of 10 hours. In case it is necessary, you can use 3 AA batteries as a backup. Other features include NOAA weather alerts, vibration alert to incoming transmissions, emergency alert button, VOX for hands-free communication, and a built-in LED flashlight. There’s a PTT power-boost button that enables the device to transmit to a longer distance.
- Good weatherproofing
- MicroUSB rechargeable
- Good material and construction quality
- Water-resistant, not waterproof
- Sound quality is below average
- Battery backup could be better
6. DEWALT DXFRS300
DeWalt DXFRS300 is built to be a heavy-duty walkie talkie that can take a beating. Its solid build can survive rough use; a 2-meter drop will leave the walkie talkie unscathed. As for waterproofing the walkie talkie is rated at IP67. That means it is dustproof and waterproof. The walkie talkie can survive for 30 minutes in 1-meter deep water.
It operates in the GMRS frequencies, has 22 channels, and 121 privacy codes. An interesting feature is the 360 ̊ swivel holster. It’s fairly convenient and makes for easy access to the walkie talkie. Vibration alert keeps you informed of incoming transmissions without making a noise. Another useful feature is VOX for hands-free communication. The included battery can keep this walkie-talkie powered for up to 12 hours. The lack of NOAA weather channels is quite noticeable.
DeWalt DXFRS300 has a fair transmission range and will hit up distances of 1-2 miles. It is pretty good for indoor communications as well, and in an urban environment has an advertised range of 20 floors in a building. The latter is a feature that makes it one of the best professional walkie talkies available.
- Rugged and durable design
- Excellent waterproofing
- Easy to use
- Questionable value for money
7. Uniden MHS126 Handheld Submersible 2-Way Marine Radio
Uniden MHS126 is an excellent marine radio operating over VHF frequencies. A worthy sibling of the Uniden MHS75 that we see on this list, the Uniden MHS126 is equally impressive. The device is compatible with US and Canadian marine channel transmissions.
This radio is rated IPX8 waterproof, which means it can stay submerged in water for a long time without taking much damage. It is also dustproof. The one downside is that it isn’t built to be tough. It may survive water, but it will not fare well with any amount of rough usage.
While the transmission range is exceptionally good thanks to VHF transmission, the ability to control transmission power makes it better. You can operate the Uniden MHS126 at three power levels. These are 1, 2.5, and 6 Watts. Depending on your requirements, you can switch between the modes. Obviously, using the radio at a higher power will drain the battery faster.
Moving on to the battery, the radio is powered by a 1160 mAh Li-ion battery. That doesn’t seem much, but the unit handles power well enough to last for almost 11 hours on battery power.
Other features include NOAA weather alerts and a built-in LED light.
- Excellent range
- Great waterproofing
- Easy to use
- Build quality could be tougher
- Several consumer complaints about the battery not lasting beyond a few months of use
8. Midland – GXT1030VP4
It would perhaps be hasty to call the Midland GXT1030VP4 a cheap radio, for it is indeed good value for money. The walkie talkie is rated JIS4, which means it is water-resistant. It will survive a few minutes in the rain and some splashes of water, though it’s best to keep it away.
Midland GXT1030VP4 packs in several features, including 142 CTCSS/DCS privacy codes over its 22 channels on GMRS. While the advertised range is 36 miles, expect the range on water to be in the neighborhood of 2 miles.
Power comes from a 700mAh NiMH rechargeable battery, and you can use 4 AA batteries for backup if necessary. Other features include NOAA weather scan, vibrating alerts for incoming transmissions, and eVOX for hands-free communication.
- Simple to use
- Good range
- Battery life could be better
- Sound quality is average at best
The Best Waterproof Walkie Talkies For Your Adventures
As we’ve seen on this list and reviews, several features can govern your choice of the right walkie talkie. It’s always worth it to put your requirements and usage first. Do keep in mind, marketing terminology may not necessarily line up with your requirements. A cheap waterproof walkie talkie may turn out to be water-resistant at best. And an advertised range of 50 miles could be practically useful for 2 miles. I hope this list helps you find the right walkie talkie or at least narrows down your shortlist.