Radio waves have long fascinated scientists, physicists and engineers for quite a long time. The fact that they include a variety of frequencies ranging from physical light to some that can kill you even though you have no idea were around you made for fascinating studies.

Over in frosty Canada though, one inventor was busy at work for a company. His work, though secret, gave rise to the first device that could put radio waves to good use for communication. Then further development of this device helped to change how wars, and more specifically the Second World War was fought.

From being able to communicate to units next to each other, to asking for help from units that were able to come to their aid, radio communications made it easy to pass information from person to person and up the chain of command. This was a turning point.

The war was won and militaries and police organizations all over the world were seeing the importance of having a radio by their side. But it’s not only them that needed to have a radio. This instant communication over distances meant that individuals and companies could better coordinate their activities and be more productive.

Today though, the walkie talkie has made it into a lot of our activities. From being able to coordinate the kids while planning something at home, to having one at standby whenever you need to communicate to emergency services, the walkie talkie has become an integral part of everyday life.

Here are eight of the best walkie talkies for long-distance communications.

Top Long Range Walkie Talkie in 2020

Product Name

Price

Rating


Motorola Talkabout MH230R

$$$

Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio

$$

Motorola T200 Talkabout Radio

$$

Baofend BF-888s

$

Baofeng BF-888S Plus

$

Midland LXT500VP3

$

Luiton LT-188H 10

$

Uniden SX377-2CKHS

$$

1. Motorola Talkabout MH230R


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

It would be impossible to talk about walkie talkies without at least referring to Motorola. As walkie talkies were still in development, Motorola was one of the companies that spearheaded this development. In fact, the first walkie talkie used by the US was a Motorola model.


With this model, they put in over 80 years of knowledge and expertise into developing a walkie talkie that covers a range of up to 23 miles over undulating hills. This makes is a must have for the group outings when you’re sure someone is going to need some help getting back to camp.

Pros

  • Beauty and brains have melded perfectly with this device
  • As usual, the range is just fantastic
  • Easy to use, hold and look at

Cons

  • Cold temperatures can severely affect the performance of the device

2. Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

Well, it’s no secret that one way or another, you will have to brave the elements if you’re going to get someone over the radio. In most cases, the radios will not be capable of facing the kind of situations you will be in. Not this one though.


This radio was purposely designed to be both weather and dust-proof should you need to make emergency communications in difficult weather. And while you're facing the elements, it would also be prudent to assume that you also won’t be near a power source to recharge your batteries. That’s the reason why this model comes with such a great battery life.

Pros

  • The battery life may be the only reason why you should never think of any other device
  • Can take a beating and still get back up for some more
  • It is easy to use and to hold

Cons

  • For the price, there really isn’t much to talk about
  • Performance in heavily built areas can be a problem

3. Motorola T200 Talkabout Radio


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

Okay, now this is turning into an ode to Motorola, but it would be difficult to discount just how good they’ve been since they got into the radio business. This third model, which I try and promise will be the last, is just an indication of the expertise they have. It is also showing how they can use that expertise to achieve multiple aims.


With this one, they realize that while you are out there in the countryside, the person you may need to talk to won’t necessarily be a stone throw away. With this, in a fair country, a 10-mile communication distance isn’t an impossibility. And while you’re out there, you may need a torch to illuminate what you’re doing. 


Guess what, this model has one.

Pros

  • The hands-free feature is the one to beat
  • The great ranges of communication in an open country are amazing
  • The ability to use AAA batteries means you can stock up on batteries

Cons

  • The battery life may not be great and you may end up using the AAA batteries
  • The belt clip can break off easily

4. Baofeng BF-888S


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Okay, now that I’ve been forced to tone down on my love affair with Motorola, it’s time to see what the others bring to the table and Baofeng has not been joking around. They may have been unknown 10 years ago, but right now it’s difficult to push them aside. This model is a good idea of why.


Here is a model that can achieve a lot of what the Motorola’s can do (okay, last mention, promise.) at a fraction of the price. And what’s more, the weather resistance on this is just as good. Whether you’re in fair country, or in an urban setting, you can still communicate clearly with whoever you want to.

Pros

  • The quality if sound is one of the best in class
  • A drop is not enough to kill this device
  • Easy to hold and operate

Cons

  • The button placement can take some time getting used to
  • The length of the fixed antenna can be a problem

5. Baofeng BF-888S Plus


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Well, here cone Baofeng again with an upgrade to the previous model. Whether this is a hit or a miss is highly dependent on how you look at it. Either way, this device will still function as it should, and still give you the high quality of service you demand from it.


This model is a step-down, design-wise. Whereas the previous model attempted to add some curves and aerodynamics to a slightly chunky device, this model is a return to the brick models that walkie talkies are known for. The only miss for me would be the exclusion of a back-lit screen. Again.

Pros

  • Surprisingly, that beefy design makes it more comfortable to hold in your hand
  • With battery life of 10 hours for every charge, this is one of the best devices
  • The price is amazing for the build quality

Cons

  • Even if it is more comfortable, that design is still terrible
  • Location of buttons may not be the best design

6. Midland LXT500VP3


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Here comes a company that has the reputation of being the oldest manufacturer of Citizens Band radios. All that expertise has been leveraged to build a radio that will give excellent communication, no matter the conditions. The only thing that will be affected is the effective range of communication.


While in perfect conditions it is possible to get at least 20-mile radius on it, with fair country conditions, half that is possible. But then again, this is true of most quality radios. The best thing about this device is the inclusion of a battery saving feature to help you power through long stretches without power.

Pros

  • The Battery Saver feature can be a literal lifesaver if you ever found yourself in a hairy situation
  • You can stock up on AAA batteries if you know you’re heading into a tough place
  • The price is actually quite a treat when you put into consideration how well it is built

Cons

  • Communication at longer ranges can be a problem
  • The belt clip can easily snap off if you’re not careful with it

7. Luiton LT-188H 10


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Here is another company that knows it has big competitors out there and if it has to get a seat at the table, it has to do things the right way. And that they did. While some companies would try some crazy features that may end up backfiring, Luiton stuck to the tried and tested and that’s how it ended up on this list.


Everything is pretty standard as you’d expect from a high-quality device. It also gives average ranges of 10 miles in mixed conditions, with the range getting better as terrain flattens out. They also included a flashlight, the all-important battery saving feature and a button lock to prevent but dialing the people on your channel.

Pros

  • The build quality is nothing less than excellent
  • The inclusion of a hands-free feature makes this an excellent device to use
  • The 10 miles is not just to pull you in and sucker punch you. It’s a realistic look at the conditions it can operate in

Cons

  • The flashlight is pretty poor in outdoor situations
  • The manual is poorly thought out and you’ll have to figure out a lot on your own

8. Uniden SX377-2CKHS Walkie Talkie


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Remember those companies that once in a while will try to change how things are done, but you’re not sure whether this is the direction you should be taking? This is not one. This is a company that is trying to change how things are done and we’re absolutely loving it.


As in, who makes a radio that can be submerged in water? That being said, we get that you’re trying to give people as much survival-bility as possible, even in deluges that would otherwise wipe out other radios. When you combine this with the great ranges it can achieve, who’s to say you shouldn’t definitely buy this model?

Pros

  • Survivability in less than perfect conditions
  • Even if you drop it into a pool of water, don’t worry. It floats in water!!!
  • The inclusion of a strobe light is excellent when you in a hairy situation

Cons

  • The volume isn’t the loudest

Bottom Line

An outing into the woods doesn’t mean you should go dark on communicating with people, well, unless you want to. This is especially true if you’re in a pack of individually adventurous people who may decide to go out on their own.

Whether they’re in the woods or trying to get across the Catskills, having a long-range radio would go a long way in knowing their status and keeping tabs on them. For this, the Motorola MT352TPR is best suited. I bet you saw that coming.

In situations where the radio might be the only way to call for help, you’ll want something from a manufacturer with over 80 years of experience. Check it out now for an experience that promises to be painless.