Walkie talkies have been in existence since the late 1930s when they were heavily used in the Second World War. The oldest radio to be nicknamed the ‘walkie talkie’ was the Motorola SCR-300, which was so large that it had to be strapped to the backs of soldiers like a backpack. Today, walkie talkies can fit snugly in the palms of our hands. They are still used in the military but also in business operations and even make great toys for children!
Whether you’re a rock climber, a film production coordinator or a parent who’s looking for a great present for their kid, walkie talkies can be quite handy. The only problem is that there are so many brands out there that it’s easy to get option paralysis! Hence, we’re going to make things easier for you by listing our personal picks for the top 5 walkie talkie brands. They are listed in no particular order.
You’ve probably heard of this brand before and that’s because their products usually make the cut in a lot of top five and top ten lists for walkie talkies. Midland has been in existence for more than fifty years now and they also make other electronic products such as marine radios and Bluetooth intercoms.
Midland walkie talkies are known for their streamlined designs and long-range capabilities. The Midland GXT1000VP4 in particular is said to have a range of more than 50 kilometres and is capable of tuning into 50 channels. Such a wide coverage is useful when you’re out camping in a place where you may not get a phone signal. Certain Midland models also have features like ‘whisper mode’ which is extremely useful if you go hunting with your friends.
Cobra has been around since the 1940s, producing walkie talkies, marine radios, GPS units, CB radios and even digital cameras. Cobra produces a variety of walkie talkies at different price points. So regardless of whether you’re a hobbyist or in need of a professional-grade device for work, you’ll be able to find one that is right for you.
If you want a walkie talkie but don’t want to burn a hole through your wallet, then consider the Cobra ACXT390. It has a range of about 37 kilometres, is weather-resistant and has VOX (which allows you to transmit without a talk button).
Motorola is one of the oldest walkie talkie manufacturers around and still considered among the best. Their devices are built sturdily but are lightweight at the same time. Some of their top-end walkie talkies have ranges of up to 56 kilometres. With Motorola, there’s a wide range of devices to choose from at different price points. If you’ve got the money to splurge, we highly recommend the Motorola MR350R which is one of their flagship walkie talkies.
Garmin has been around for three decades and is a big name in both the GPS receiver and walkie talkie markets. A distinctive feature of Garmin’s walkie talkies is their classic antenna profile which is said to resemble a pair of rhinoceros horns. Thanks to their roots in the GPS industry, most of Garmin’s walkie talkies also have built-in navigation capabilities. Hence, if you’re the type of person that goes camping or hiking a lot, then this brand is for you. The technological innovation doesn’t stop there because some of their models also contain colour screens as well as messaging capabilities between devices.
The only downside is that they’re the most expensive brand on this list.
Last but not least we have Uniden, which is a company primarily based in Japan. In addition to walkie talkies, they also design police scanners and cordless phones. Uniden is known for manufacturing some of the most durable walkie talkies that are highly resistant to the elements. They are even waterproof to the extent that you can submerge them underwater! With their top-of-the-line devices, you’ll get a range of up to 70 kilometres, beating any other brand on this list.
And these are our picks for the top 5 walkie talkie brands!