10 Best Walkie-Talkies [2022 GUIDE]


Welcome to the best walkie-talkies review and buying guide to help make your purchase decisions easier.

Best Walkie-Talkie for the Money:

Retevis RT22 Two-Way Radio Long Range Rechargeable

The RT22 is lightweight yet packs a punch in ease-of-use and audio performance. You get four radios at an unbeatable price.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Long Distances:

BaoFeng BF-F8HP 8-Watt Two-Way Radio with Large Battery

You get an excellent range with the BF-F8HP. The 128 programmable channels on the VHF and UHF frequencies ensure versatility to suit any outdoor use.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Water Activities (boating, kayaking, fishing):

Retevis RT47 Waterproof IP67 Walkie-Talkies

It is an FRS radio with excellent waterproofing capabilities to give you peace of mind when you venture outdoors or into the water.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Outdoor Activities (survival, hunting, camping, hiking, ski):

Retevis RT81 Long Range Waterproof Heavy-Duty Walkie-Talkie

The RT81 is a purpose-designed radio for the rough and tumble of the outdoor extremes. Its plastic-metal build quality and reception range are impressive.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Indoor Use:

Proster 16-channel UHF Walkie-Talkie

You do not need to spend a fortune on a fancy walkie-talkie with expensive features for the indoors, and the Proster 2-radio pack fits the bill.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Parents:

Topsung Rechargeable Family Walkie-Talkies

These radios may be for parents and kids, but they offer features found in more expensive radios. They carry a reasonable range indoors and outdoors, so you can stay in touch with the children several blocks away.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Kids:

Qniglo Walkie-Talkies for Kids

They are walkie-talkies with surprisingly sturdy build quality and clear audio performance with its noise-canceling technology. These radios are fun for the kids, and you get to stay in touch with them as they play outside the house.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Commercial Use:

Retevis RT22 Two-Way Radio Long Range Rechargeable (6 Pack)

The RT22s are license-free radios that feature 16 channels and excellent sound quality. The pack of 6 radios is ideal for team use in commercial settings, such as restaurants, hotels, and offices.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Industrial Use:

Retevis RT22 Two-Way Radio Long Range Rechargeable (6 Pack)

There is a reason why the RT22 is highly recommended. It is incredibly well-built and provides top-notch performance with crystal-clear audio, suitable for the loud industrial environment. The 6-radio pack retails at an unbeatable price.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Construction:

Dewalt DXFRS800 2-Watt Heavy-Duty Walkie-Talkies

These Dewalt walkie-talkies are waterproof, dustproof, shock-resistant, and can cover up to 300,000 sqft or 25 floors – all the two-way radio qualities you need for the job site.

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Best Walkie-Talkie for Loud Environments:

Retevis RT22 Two-Way Radio Long Range Rechargeable

The audio is clear and crisp with its 2-watt power, and the 16 programmable channels on the FRS frequencies are versatile for any environment.

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Best Wearable Walkie-Talkie (cycling, rock climbing):

Dewalt DXFRS220 1-Watt Wearable Walkie-Talkies

They provide excellent range and are IPX4 water-resistant and wearable – ideal when you go cycling or engage in extreme sports.

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Best GMRS Walkie-Talkie:

BTECH GMRS-V1 Repeater Capable Two-Way Radio

With 128 channels that include the 30 GMRS channels, clear audio, excellent build quality, and impressive features to boot, you will be hard-pressed to find a better-performing GMRS radio at the price point.

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#1 Retevis RT22 Two-Way Radio Long Range Rechargeable

Retevis makes quality walkie-talkies, and the RT22 performs admirably at a reasonable price for four radios.

It is pocket-sized and lightweight, and the Voice Activated Transmission (VOX) hands-free function makes operating the RT22 effortless.

The 16 channels are programmable on the FRS frequencies, and you do not need a license to operate them at 2 watts per the revised 2017 FCC Rules.

Running the radios at the maximum allowable wattage gives you excellent range and a better-than-average audio quality.

What you get with this walkie-talkie:

  • 4 radios pack.
  • License-free FRS radio with 16 programmable channels.
  • VOX function.
  • 2-watt power.
  • Rechargeable 1000mAh lithium-ion battery.
  • 12-hour battery life.
  • USB charger and belt clip included.

#2 BaoFeng BF-F8HP 8-Watt Two-Way Radio with Large Battery

The BF-F8HP is incredibly powerful, with a maximum of 8 watts of power at your disposal. You get an excellent range with it but will need an FCC license to operate the radio above 2 watts.

Expect to get approximately a 1-mile range in urban settings with many barriers, 3 miles in suburban locations, and 6 miles in open, unobstructed areas. You can purchase an extended antenna separately if you want to improve the range.

The radio has 128 channels to tune and program on the UHF and VHF frequencies to suit the application.

What you get with this walkie-talkie:

  • 128 programmable channels.
  • Dual-band antenna.
  • VHF frequency range: 136-174 MHz
  • UHF frequency range: 400-520 MHz
  • Max. 8-watt power.
  • Rechargeable 2100mAh lithium-ion battery.
  • Charger, earpiece kit, wrist strap, and belt clip included.

#3 Retevis RT47 Waterproof IP67 Walkie-Talkies

The RT47 is one of two waterproof walkie-talkies that made the list – #3 and #4.

Both are IP67-rated, which is suitable for the outdoors. But if you want a radio for fishing, kayaking, or other watercraft that does not break the bank, the RT47 will do the job nicely.

It is an excellent 16-channel FRS radio that does not require a license to operate. The VOX function makes communication effortless as it is voice-activated rather than the more-traditional push-to-talk.

The 1100mAh battery should last you the entire day before recharging.

What you get with this walkie-talkie:

  • 2 radios pack.
  • IP67 waterproof.
  • 16-channel license-free FRS radio.
  • 2-watt power.
  • VOX function.
  • Working temperature: 14 to 122 degrees F.
  • Rechargeable 1100mAh lithium-ion battery.
  • Charging dock included.

#4 Retevis RT81 Long Range Waterproof Heavy-Duty Walkie-Talkie

The RT81 is a worthy upgrade from the RT47 in many aspects.

While the IP67 waterproof rating, VOX feature, and excellent build quality exist in both, the RT81 is digital-mode capable, providing an improvement to the already-crisp audio quality.

It handles the outdoor extremes capably with its broader working temperature window, providing you versatility no matter the weather condition or harsh environment.

The 2200mAh lithium-ion battery should provide you with improved battery life before the next charge.

What you get with this walkie-talkie:

  • 2x DMR (Digital Mobile Radio).
  • IP67 waterproof.
  • Supports analog and digital modes for superb sound quality.
  • VOX function.
  • Working temperature: -4 to 122 degrees F.
  • Rechargeable 2200mAh lithium-ion battery.
  • Charger, sling, and belt clip included.

#5 Proster 16-channel UHF Walkie-Talkie

Suppose you are looking for a set of walkie-talkies for work or home use or other outdoor purposes, not requiring an extensive range beyond a mile. In that case, the pair of 16-channel FRS radios are affordably-priced but without sacrificing performance.

The earpieces and built-in LED flashlight are handy additions that extend the radios’ versatility in various use cases.

Each walkie-talkie has its own charging dock, so you do not need to queue the lithium-ion-powered radios for recharging overnight.

What you get with this walkie-talkie:

  • 2 radios pack.
  • License-free FRS radio with 16 channels.
  • Operates on UHF frequencies: 400-470 MHz
  • Lithium-ion battery.
  • Built-in LED flashlight.
  • Charger dock, earpiece, sling, and belt clip included.

#6 Topsung Rechargeable Family Walkie-Talkies

Parents need to communicate with their kids when they play outdoor while the chores keep them busy indoors. A set of walkie-talkies is handy for that purpose and safety reasons.

There are many walkie-talkies for parents and kids on the market, but these Topsung radios stand out for durability, battery life, and sound quality despite the modest price.

They have an extensive feature list that parents would look for: choices of bright colors for easy identification from far away, excellent range around the house or outdoor family adventures, and a low-battery alarm, so you don’t find flat batteries when you need them.

What you get with this walkie-talkie:

  • Choice of 2, 3, or 4 radios pack.
  • Multiple color choices.
  • 22 channels.
  • Operates on UHF frequencies; excellent for the indoors and outdoors with many obstructions.
  • VOX function.
  • Rechargeable AA-sized batteries provided.
  • Low battery alarm.
  • Micro-USB charger for three radios at a time.

#7 Qniglo Walkie-Talkies for Kids

A reliable set of walkie-talkies are handy for kids to play with and parents to monitor them. They are excellent instant communication tools for promptness and safety.

Further, you do not want the kids to stay on the smartphones or internet for extended periods, and walkie-talkies are fun and keep them occupied.

These walkie-talkies may be for kids, but they are sturdy and cover a reasonable range with clear sound quality. The rechargeable batteries are also a plus point.

The voice-activated VOX function is convenient for younger children as they do not have to learn to push a button before speaking. Note that you need to turn on this function manually.

What you get with this walkie-talkie:

  • 2 radios pack in green or pink.
  • 22 channels.
  • 10 ring tones.
  • VOX function.
  • Rechargeable 1100mAh lithium-ion battery.
  • USB charging cable included.

#8 Dewalt DXFRS800 2-Watt Heavy-Duty Walkie-Talkies

Construction sites and rough working environments for small or large teams need robust two-way radios to withstand the conditions.

The Dewalt 6-radio pack is ideal for the manager to communicate with the supervisors and forepersons spread over a large area around the job site.

The 2 watts of power gives the radios an extensive coverage of up to 300,000 sqft or 25 floors. Furthermore, the waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant features suit any condition the team works in.

What you get with this walkie-talkie:

  • 6 radios pack.
  • 22 pre-set channels with privacy codes.
  • 2-watt power.
  • Can cover up to 300,000 sqft or 25 floors.
  • Rugged anti-slip design.
  • IP67 waterproof and dustproof.
  • Shock-resistant.

#9 Dewalt DXFRS220 1-Watt Wearable Walkie-Talkies

Traditional push-to-talk (PTT) walkie-talkies are useful in many working conditions. However, there are activities where you will need a non-handheld radio you can wear for convenience and safety.

The DXFRS220s are compact and lightweight two-way radios operating on the license-free FRS channels. Its IPX4 water-resistant and shock-resistant features are ideal for outdoor activities in various weather conditions.

The build quality and durability are mediocre and have room for improvement considering the brand-name.

What you get with this walkie-talkie:

  • 2 wearable FRS radios pack.
  • 22 channels.
  • 1-watt power.
  • Can cover up to 100,000 sqft in open terrain.
  • IPX4 water-resistant.
  • Shock-resistant.
  • Built-in rechargeable Li-polymer battery.
  • Roger beep tone.
  • Micro-USB charging cable provided.

#10 BTECH GMRS-V1 Repeater Capable Two-Way Radio

The GMRS-V1 has an impressive features list (see below) and is one of the best-performing GMRS radios on the market.

Its build quality and battery life are excellent. You also easily get a 1-1.5-mile range without a repeater.

An FCC license is necessary to take full advantage of its capabilities.

What you get with this walkie-talkie:

  • GMRS handheld radio.
  • FCC license required.
  • Compatible with all brands of FRS and GMRS radios.
  • Compatible with GMRS repeaters.
  • 128 channels: GMRS two-way channels on 1-22, GMRS repeater channels on 23-30, programmable scanner channels on 00 & 31-127 for receive-only.
  • 0.5-2-watt power.
  • Built-in receiver.
  • Dual-band antenna (VHF: 136-174.99MHz, UHF: 400-520.99 MHz)
  • 50 CTCSS privacy tones.
  • 346 DCS digital privacy tones.
  • NOAA Weather Radio Compatible.
  • Tri-color adjustable backlight.
  • Built-in FM radio.
  • Built-in flashlight.
  • 1800mAh lithium-ion battery.
  • CH-8 charger, CH-8 110V adapter, earpiece kit, wrist strap, and belt clip included.

Best Walkie-Talkie Under $100:

Retevis RT22 Two-Way Radio Long Range Rechargeable

The RT22 is a license-free FRS radio with 16 programmable channels and impeccable build and audio quality. It is a bargain with four radios at well under $100.

Best Walkie-Talkie Under $50:

Qniglo Walkie-Talkies for Kids

This pair of FRS walkie-talkies have excellent build quality and audio clarity at an affordable price. They are ideal for family members to use indoors or outdoors.

Best Walkie-Talkie Under $30:

Proster 16-channel UHF Walkie-Talkie

The 2-radio pack is affordably-priced but no slouch in performance. The radios can reach a maximum range of up to 2 miles in the outdoor open areas.

Walkie-Talkie Buying Guide

How to Choose a Walkie-Talkie?

There are walkie-talkies more suited for indoor use, home or work, while others perform better at greater distances when you venture outdoors for camping or hiking.

What is the best walkie-talkie to buy that will suit your needs without compromising performance?

Consider these 7 factors before buying a walkie-talkie:

  • Purpose – home vs. commercial use – choose radios with more power and channels for work purposes; indoor vs. outdoor use – hiking in the woods require radios of higher specifications than those for use around the home; dry vs. wet activity – a waterproof walkie-talkie protects your investment when you expect it to get wet.
  • Coverage – each additional wattage for the radio ensures a broader coverage.
  • Power – most 0.5-watt walkie-talkies are adequate for home use; higher wattage will be necessary for multistory buildings or greater distances outdoors.
  • Number of radios – 2 radios for parents and kids will suffice, but a team at work may require multiple units at various corners of the premises.
  • Battery capacity – you want a longer-lasting battery for a less frequent recharge.
  • Frequency type – UHF radios suit the indoors with more barriers; VHF suits the outdoors with fewer obstructions.
  • License – GMRS channels operating above 5 watts will require an FCC license.

Differences between HF, VHF, and UHF

High Frequency (HF), Very High Frequency (VHF), and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) are standard terms you will come across in radio communication and operations.

Radio waves in the HF band can reflect off the ionosphere layer in the atmosphere via skywave propagation (source) to cover great distances. They are suitable for commercial applications such as radio and tv broadcast and weather and aviation communications.

On the contrary, VHF and UHF radio waves travel over line-of-sight and cover distances of up to a few miles, making them ideal for short-range wireless two-way radios such as walkie-talkies.

 High Frequency (HF)Very High Frequency (VHF)Ultra High Frequency (UHF)
Frequency3-30 Mhz30-300 Mhz300-3000 MHz
Wavelength100-10 m, or 330-33 ft10-1 m, or 33-3.3 ft1-0.1 m, or 3.3-0.3 ft
Average CoverageIntercontinental3 miles radius0.5 mile radius
Best ForVery long distances, via skywave propagation.Long distances outdoors with minimum barriers.Mid distances indoors, around buildings, and wooded areas
Differences between HF, VHF, and UHF

What Are GMRS and FRS?

Both the General Mobile Radio Services (GMRS) and Family Radio Services (FRS) refer to services that use overlapping frequency bands between 462 and 467 MHz. They are less restrictive frequencies which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set aside for the public to use in handheld two-way radios such as walkie-talkies.

What channels can you use or not use on your walkie-talkie?

There are 22 Channels on the FRS/GMRS dual-service radios, each operating at a specific frequency and maximum power output:

  • Channels 1-7 operate at 462.5625 to 462.7125 Mhz on the FRS (max. 2 watts) and GMRS (max. 5 watts).
  • Channels 8-14 operate at 467.5625 to 467.7125 MHz on the FRS and GMRS (max. 0.5 watt).
  • Channels 15-22 operate at 462.5500 to 462.7250 MHZ on the FRS (max. 2 watts) and GMRS (max. 50 watts – require an FCC license).

You can manually program these channels into the radio device you buy if they do not come pre-programmed.

What Frequency Do Walkie-Talkies Operate On?

License-free walkie-talkies can only operate on frequencies set aside by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for public use. The frequency ranges from 462.5625 to 467.7125 MHz, corresponding to Channels 1 to 14, and subject to a maximum operating power of 2 watts on the FRS.

Are Walkie-Talkies Secure?

FRS radios typically have Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) and Digitally Coded Squelch (DCS) codes to filter out unwanted interference from other users on the same frequency. Still, communications on them are not secure and offer no protection from eavesdropping.

Do You Need a License to Operate a Walkie-Talkie?

Of the 22 Common Channels, 1 to 14 are FRS channels operating at 2 watts and below, and you do not require a license to use them. Channels 15 to 22 can operate above 5 watts on the GMRS but require an FCC license to use legally.


How Far is the Range of a Walkie-Talkie?

A walkie-talkie’s coverage depends on its power wattage and the number and types of obstruction between the signal transmitter and receiver. VHF and UHF frequencies operate on the line-of-sight propagation – more obstructions equal less distance.

Remember that peak power on the product label often is not reflective of its consistent operating power. Hence, the frustration users experience with the mismatch between product claim and actual performance.

As a rule of thumb, a 1-watt walkie-talkie covers a 1-mile radius on average. Every additional wattage after that should give you an approximately 0.5-mile increase in coverage:

1-watt1.0 mile
2-watt1.5 miles
3-watt2.0 miles
4-watt2.5 miles
5-watt3.0 miles
Walkie-talkie range

Walkie-Talkie Benefits

Almost every person on the planet today has a cell phone, but why are walkie-talkies still used?

Both are excellent communication tools, but walkie-talkies are still relevant today due to several benefits they provide over cell phones, including:

  • Instant verbal communication in one-to-one or one-to-many mode, ideal for greater efficiency and emergencies.
  • Communication at the press of a button versus the unlock-call-wait delays of a cell phone.
  • Excellent real-time group communication.
  • More versatile – do not require a cell network to function.
  • Not prone to dead zones, network outages, and cell tower overload.
  • Greater security – closed network vs. the public network of cell phones.
  • More durable (great for the outdoors) and can be waterproof (for water activities).
  • Cheaper to own.

If you don’t need two-way communication capability, emergency radios may work better for emergency situations as they can receive NOAA weather channels.

Walkie-Talkie Language

Walkie-talkies are a handy communication tool when you are at home, on the road, or in the wilderness. You can send short and instant messages at the press of a button, but only one person can speak at a time.

You can take advantage of a walkie-talkie’s functionalities by learning some basic walkie-talkie lingo and verbal codes to expedite actions and save battery life, so it lasts longer before the next charge:

Come inRequest acknowledgment that others hear you.
Radio checkSignal strength check.
Loud & clearI can hear you.
Stand byAcknowledges transmission, but busy now.
Standing byAwaiting further instruction.
Go aheadI am listening.
Roger or CopyMessage received and understood.
On itExpediting what was requested.
Say againRepeat the message.
OverEnd message.
OutEnd transmission.
WilcoWill comply.
DisregardIgnore the previous message.
What’s your 20?Requesting location.
Mayday (3x)Emergency.
Walkie-talkie verbal codes

How Long Do Walkie-Talkies Last?

Various factors influence how long a walkie-talkie lasts, including build quality.

Provided the device outlives its warranty period, the battery will determine the lifespan of a walkie-talkie, and a quality walkie-talkie can typically last 24 months or more. A rechargeable battery that takes a full-charge under 2 hours and lasts a full day of regular use should be your buying target.