The Best 2-Way Radios For Hunting: Stay Informed And Secure

Women Hunter

The best two way radios for hunting are essential companions outdoors.

You don’t always have full control over where you’re hunting. After scouting out a particular location for a long time and seeing no viable targets, you may get frustrated and start moving around. You may eventually find a good target, but without you noticing, you may have also wandered into a part of the woods that you’re not familiar with.

In some cases, bad weather may also cause you to become disoriented. Finding your way back to your truck or your base camp may prove impossible to do on your own in that scenario.

Two way radios will prove helpful to you if you ever find yourself in either situation.

We will introduce you to some of the finest two way radios for hunting that are available right now. You can also pick up pointers for selecting the two way radio that will suit you best by reading on.

5 Top Rated Two-Way Radio For Hunting

Motorola MS350R (Waferproof)

Being loaded with features is a good thing. You want versatile tools accompanying you outdoors.

However, there’s also something to be said about a simple and straightforward product that just does its job consistently well. This two way hunting radio from Motorola is that type of product.

You’re getting two radios for the price of one if you decide to take Motorola up on their offer. Both products are solid performers as well.
They feature a range of 35 miles in perfect conditions. Even with interference, they still perform well.

The radios also provide access to 22 channels and an additional 8 repeater channels. For each channel made accessible via these two way radios, you are given 121 privacy codes.

In terms of resistance to the elements, these two way radios do a great job of repelling dust and similarly small particles.

The issue with these items is that they don’t hold up as well to water damage. If you happen to drop them into a nearby river or other body that’s on the deeper side, the chances are that you will have to purchase a new radio to use during your hunting trips.

On the plus side, the durable frame of these Motorola products enable them to hold up well against the normal wear and tear of regular usage.
They are also a bit heavy, but they will fit nicely into the palms of your hands.

Pros
  • Offers good range
  • Each channel comes with 121 privacy codes
  • Repels dust particles very well
Cons
  • Vulnerable to water deeper than 1 meter
  • Somewhat heavy

Midland GXT1050VP4 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio (Best For Long Range)

Also offered in pairs are these two way radios from Midland. To appeal further to hunters out there, the folks over at Midland have added certain features that could make attracting animals easier.

More specifically, the manufacturers added 5 animal call alerts. The animal call alerts are for cougars, crows, ducks, turkeys, and wolves.
Honestly, the animal calls aren’t of the best quality, but they can still work in certain situations.

In terms of range, the manufacturers note that these radios can communicate even if they are 36 miles apart. Functionally speaking, they won’t reach that far. You would need absolutely no obstructions for that to happen.

The good news is that the radios still have decent range even if there are obstacles in the way.

While these radios also offer decent battery life, charging speed is another matter. Make sure to charge them long before you plan to use them because the process takes a while.

The radios give you access to as many as 22 different channels. You are also given 142 privacy codes to work with.

Another handy feature of these two way radios is the NOAA Weather Alert and Scan. The aforementioned feature will go through the list of available weather channels until it finds one with the strongest signal. You can then listen in to hear if there are any upcoming weather systems you should be worried about.

The radios also provide weather alerts. You should seek shelter as soon as you learn that bad weather is coming.

Pros
  • Provides users with 5 animal call alerts
  • 142 privacy codes available
  • Alerts users to incoming bad weather
Cons
  • Radios have to be charged for a long time

GXT1000VP4, 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio (Best For Mountain Hunting)

Regardless of how well-prepared you are for your hunt and how many pieces of quality equipment you’ve brought along to ensure your success, things can take a turn for the worse in a hurry when you’re outdoors.

The weather is always going to be a wild card and you need to insulate yourself better against the bad kind of it. These Midland two way radios will help with that.

If you start to notice the sky turning dark even though the sun should still be out, you can activate the NOAA Weather Scan feature and check through the available channels. Once the channel with the clearest signal has been found, you can listen to the latest weather update.

These radios can continue to protect you from bad weather even if you didn’t initiate the scan. They can send alerts if bad weather is heading for your location.

You will have 22 channels and 142 privacy codes to use if you decide to purchase these two way hunting radios. These radios can also be operated hands-free.

The range for these radios can go up to 36 miles if you happen to be in perfect conditions. Otherwise, the range is reduced quite significantly, but still more than workable.

Remember to charge these radios well before heading out as their batteries take a long time to fill up.

Pros
  • Sends alerts when bad weather is incoming
  • Can be used to scan for weather channels
  • Allows for hands-free operation
Cons
  • Charges slowly

Cobra MR HH450 CAMO Marine Radio

Smartphones shouldn’t really be brought on hunting trips. They’re too delicate and vulnerable. One slip of the hand and you may find yourself shopping for a new smartphone as soon as you get back home.

For hunting trips, you should really only bring equipment that’s suited for the wild, such as this two way radio from Cobra. The protective housing of this radio is capable of absorbing plenty of impact, moisture, and weathering the elements that often endanger gadgets being used outdoors.
It’s a sturdy two way radio that can handle a beating.

Of course, that durability does come at a bit of a price. You will want to avoid carrying this two way radio around in your hands all day because it’s heavy. The weight can also hamper your movement if you’re trying to chase down a target.

Still, that added weight is a reasonable price to pay for a radio that can even float on water.

Beyond durability, this item also offers a watt selection feature that enables you to receive clearer transmissions. That’s an important addition because it can be difficult to hear what the person is saying on the other end through this radio.

Another feature gives you the option of recording and listening to VHF calls.

This radio will also draw your attention to bad weather, but you won’t be able to scan for warnings yourself.

Pros
  • Remarkably durable housing that can protect the radio in varied environments
  • Capable of floating
  • Allows for recording of VHF calls
Cons
  • Heavier than most two way radios
  • Does not always transmit loudly

Kenwood TK-3402U16P ProTalk 5 Watt Two-way Radio

For those hunting trips when you know you’ll be in a remote location for an extended period of time, it’s best to equip yourself with the kind of gear that can keep you connected with others should any kind of emergency arise.

A two way radio can serve as that piece of important equipment, but only if it possesses the ability to stay functional for a long time. That just so happens to be one of the strong points of this two way radio from Kenwood.

It’s bundled together with a rechargeable 2000 mAh lithium ion battery pack. The radio itself has a battery saver feature and it will provide an alert if the battery level has gotten very low. As long as you fully charge this two way radio before you head out and utilize the battery-saving features, it should remain serviceable for nearly 18 hours.

Filling up the radio’s batteries is not that big of a bother as well as the radio comes with a fast charger. The battery should be completely filled up in just 3 hours.

The manufacturers have added some other notable extras in this two way radio such as a voice scrambler, a manager lockout feature, and even cloning capabilities.

This two way radio does lag behind its competitors in some areas though. Its range tops out at only 7 miles and it also only provides 16 channels. Weight can be an issue with this radio too.

Pros
  • Batteries can last for up to 18 hours
  • Can be fully charged in 3 hours
  • Includes cloning capabilities and a voice scrambler
Cons
  • :
  • Heavy for a two-way radio
  • Does not feature great range

Things To Consider When Buying A Two-Way Radio

The many two way radios that are available today can offer users with a wide array of features. Listed below are the ones that you need to pay attention to the most.

Channels

Channels are important not just for the radios you have in your car or at home. They are also important features of two way radios because they make it possible for the users to communicate more effectively.

TechWholesale.com notes that channels on two-way radios can be likened to phone numbers. Just as you need to dial a phone number and the person who owns that number needs to answer your call so that you can communicate, you and the person you want to talk to also have to tune in to the same channel on the two way radios before you can start conversing.

Channels also help ensure that you will be able to talk to the person you want to as soon as you turn on your two way radio.

Many two way radios offer somewhere around 16 channels. That should be enough if you’re just planning to use your two way radio during hunts, but if you would like the devices with more channels, you should be able to find them pretty easily.

Durability

Just like any other piece of hunting equipment, the two way radio is often subjected to harsh outdoor environments. If you ended up getting a two way radio with lackluster protective features, don’t be surprised if it gives out on you after just a few trips into the wild.

The most important durability consideration for a two way radio is how it handles water and just moisture in general. Chances are you will have to use your two way radio in rainy and/or snowy conditions at some point you don’t want something that will break down right when you need to use it.
Resistance to dust and other small particles is also important, but protection against water needs to be prioritized.

How resistant a two way radio is to elements such as water and dust can be expressed in two ways. Some manufacturers prefer using the International Protection Rating Codes (IP Codes) while others use Japan Industrial Standards (JIS). You may find some two way radios that use both.

In any case, the absolute minimum level of protection you should look for based on the IP Codes is IP67. A rating such as that indicates that the radio can keep dust particles out and it also suggests that the radio can survive being submerged in about 1 meter of water.

A good JIS rating is anything at or above JIS-4. According to BuyTwoWayRadios.com, a JIS-4 rating indicates that the product in question can handle splashes of water.

Battery Life

There are no outlets in the wilderness, so you should take the time to look for a two way radio that’s powered by a big battery. Something that can last for over 12 hours would be ideal.

Longevity is not the only factor that matters though.

If the two way radio uses rechargeable batteries, you should also seek out those items that can charge quickly. You don’t want to take time out from your hunting trip just so you can wait for your radio to fully charge.

2-Way Radio’s FAQs

Can a two-way radio’s range listing be completely trusted?

Since you’ll be using your two way radio out in the wilderness, you will want something that can remain capable of sending and receiving communications even across long distances. To be more specific, you want a two way radio with plenty of range.

Manufacturers will often list the maximum range capability of their two way radios. When it comes to two way hunting radios in particular, it’s common to see products listed with ranges that go well over 30 miles.

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but the manufacturers often exaggerate the ranges of their two way radios. While yes, a product listed with a range of 35 miles can probably remain in touch at that distance, what’s not always clearly indicated is that there would have to be near perfect conditions for that to happen.

If there are even just a few trees in the way, the two way radio’s range may already be decreased significantly. Unfortunately, many manufacturers also refrain from listing the more realistic estimates of their products’ ranges.

So, what should you do if you want to ensure that the two way radio you’re getting is actually capable of communicating across long distances?
The best thing you can do is to look for radios that have features designed to boost range such as repeater channels and perhaps a longer antenna. Even with those features included, a two way radio may still not be able to communicate across 35 miles of distance, but it should be more effective in more realistic conditions.

What are privacy codes?

Something you may have noticed over the course of looking through the varied two way radios on the market is that many of them feature privacy codes.

But what exactly are those privacy codes and do you really need them on your two way radio?

First off, you should know that privacy codes are known by a wide variety of names. You may hear them sometimes referred to as squelch codes, quiet talk codes, and even elimination codes. For the most part though, they will be called privacy codes.

As their name implies, privacy codes provide owners of two way radios with a way to communicate in private without others intruding upon the conversation. A channel may be somewhat similar to a phone number, but the former offers significantly less privacy.

If someone tunes in to the channel you’re using, that person may be able to hear what you’re saying.

By using privacy codes, you can filter out the broadcasts that are currently being used by owners of other two way radios who may be nearby, according to Bass Pro Shops.

In order to use them properly, you will have to choose a specific channel and a specific code. The person you want to talk to must also use the same channel and code.

One thing to note about these privacy codes is that they don’t completely assure your privacy. Other two way radio users can still listen in if they happen to use the same channel and code or even if they just tuned in to the same channel with the privacy code feature disengaged.
The best that privacy codes can do is help you have a less interrupted conversation even while you’re using a two way radio.

What is the VOX feature?

Hands-free operation is not limited to smartphones. If you want to use two way radios hands-free, you can do that, but it must possess a certain feature.

The feature in question is known as VOX or voice-activated talking. The VOX feature should prove very useful to hunters because it allows them to talk on the radio even if their hands are on their rifle or their bow.

Look for this feature on the two way radio if you want a more convenient gadget.