In the age of smartphones, high-end devices, and super-fast internet, you might be asking yourself why you would need a walkie talkie. Those funny old gadgets seem so obsolete nowadays that you’re probably thinking that you don’t need them. Well, think again.
A walkie talkie can be a potentially life saving device. It allows you to communicate with your skiing companions in areas that aren’t covered by GSM signal or internet, where your iPhone or Android mobile would prove completely useless. We aren’t exaggerating when we say that a pair of walkie talkies is a must when you’re skiing.
Now, with the help of our buying guide, let’s find the best walkie talkie for skiing for you!
Choosing the Best Walkie Talkie for Skiing: A Buying Guide
When it comes to choosing the right model of walkie talkies, there are so many of them on the market now and, to the majority of people, they probably all look the same. However, their features differ, sometimes tremendously, and some models lack even the basic functions. On the other hand, some of these two-way radios are just too expensive.
The number one rule when buying a walkie talkie is this: it has to be reliable. It has to have a decent range to enable maintaining communication in critical situations. It has to have a durable and long lasting battery. Also, it must be resistant to wet weather conditions.
There are many other features and nuances worth mentioning, but, for now, let’s go on to looking at some of the best walkie talkie options for skiing this season!
Table of Contents
1. Cobra RX680 2 Watt Rugged Walkie Talkies – Best Overall
The Cobra RX680 is an excellent pair of walkie talkies. There’s no risk whatsoever when it comes to buying them, and that’s why they’re our top pick. They are waterproof, sturdy, affordable, and have a range of up to 38 miles.
These walkie talkies allow you to communicate through 60 different channels and 2662 channel combinations protected from unsolicited interference thanks to 121 privacy codes. Also, they enable you to monitor weather conditions through 10 NOA weather channels.
The IP54 international protection rating means they’re waterproof and dustproof. In other words, you’re free to use it in spite of showers or snow.
The 18-hours runtime seems promising, but keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that you can actively use your walkie talkie for that long. According to the manufacturer, the 18-hours runtime has been calculated according to a formula that can be summarized as 90% standby time, 5% talk time, and 5% listen time.
So, within those 18 hours, your walkie talkie should be idle for most of the time, and you would be able to use the walkie talkie for slightly less than two hours. It doesn’t sound impressive, we know, but when we realize that this device is just for emergencies, this seems like a decent battery life.
Speaking of battery life, this model requires two Lithium Polymer batteries, which are included in the package.
Furthermore, these gadgets are equipped with an emergency alert button.
Perhaps the best feature of these two-way radio devices is the voice-activated transmission (VOX). VOX allows you to use your gadget without taking it out of your pocket or even without touching it. As soon as you start talking, the device will detect your voice and transmit it through the radio channel. This feature is critical in emergency situations, as it allows you to keep your hands completely free.
The downside of this device is that the manufacturer had to disclose a warning related to California’s Proposition 65. This means that the material of which these walkie talkies are made from may contain potentially harmful chemicals. On the other hand, this note is great proof that we’re dealing with a reliable and trustworthy manufacturer.
- Package Dimensions: 10.91 x 7.44 x 3.23 Inches
- Item Weight: 1.23 Pounds
- Batteries: 2 Lithium Polymer batteries (Included)
- Package Content: 2 Radios with batteries, Charging cable, Charging base
- International Protection Rating: IP54 Waterproof
- Manufacturer: Altis
Verdict: Best overall – especially for skiers who need a large number of radio channels.
2. Motorola Solutions T482 Emergency Preparedness Rechargeable Two Pack – Best Budget
Motorola has been producing high-quality radio devices for ages. While these radios may not be the hottest ones around, there’s little chance that you’ll find such quality for this price anywhere else.
The Motorola Solutions T482 has an IP54 rating, which means it’s dustproof, waterproof, and can be used without any worries about rain or snow splashes.
A feature worth mentioning is the built-in LED light that offers an additional means of communication in emergency situations. This handy light source allows you to emit light signals as well as see your immediate surroundings in situations where light may be limited.
Push-To-Talk Power Boost is another advanced feature of this pair of radio devices. It allows you to increase the power of the transmitter whenever you need a transmission range boost. When you don’t need an extended range, it’s advisable to keep this feature turned off in order to save battery life.
In case of emergency, this radio allows you to easily activate the alert button, which transmits the sound of a siren to other radios, in order to signal that you need help or to warn others of danger.
While this next feature isn’t necessary, it’s definitely nice to have. That is, you can choose among ten call tones that callers would hear when they call you and wait for you to respond.
When using Motorola T482 on your ski trip, you can talk via 22 channels and use 121 privacy codes for each channel, as long as you’re within the 35-mile range.
In places where the NOAA weather radio service signal is available, you can receive it with these Motorola ski walkie talkies.
The sound quality is more than decent. Hands-free communication is enabled thanks to the iVOX/VOX feature.
Last, but certainly not least, T482 has dual power. It comes with a powerful rechargeable NiMH battery, which is included in the package. While this battery allows you a maximum of 10 hours of use, you can add 3 AA batteries in order to stay connected for 26 hours.
- Item Dimensions: 1.37 x 7.54 x 2.26 Inches (LxWxH)
- Item Weight: 1 Pound
- Power Source: 1 NiMH battery (Included) or 3 AA batteries (Not included)
- Number of Channels: 22
- Water Resistance: IP54 Water resistant
- Included: 2-way Radio pair, 2 Rechargeable batteries, 2 Battery charging docks, 2 Battery charging cables
Verdict: Best quality for the price.
3. Midland 50 Channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio-Long Range Walkie Talkie – Best Runner Up
The Midland Waterproof Two-Way Walkie Talkie has similar features to the previous models we reviewed, but there are some notable differences.
The most obvious difference is that these have a JIS4 rating, which means that they can be submerged into water for a brief time without any unwanted consequences. If you’re looking for a waterproof alternative to the Cobra walkie talkie, then this is the perfect choice for you!
It does, however, have fewer channels (50 to Cobra’s 60), which is why we’ve listed it as our runner-up. Depending on your needs though, this walkie talkie could be your number one!
With a 36-mile range, and the eVOX feature, communication is easy. Just like the previous models, you get a NOAA weather scan and alert in areas when available.
If your friends and family members use other Midland FRS and GMRS walkie talkies, you can connect with them as well, as this model is cross compatible. The numerous CTCSS/DCS privacy codes means there are more than 3000 private channel options available.
On the downside, these devices are made of plastic that contains chemicals that aren’t compliant with California Proposition 65.
- Style: Pair Pack – Black/Silver
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 2.4 x 1.5 Inches
- Item Weight: 0.3 Pounds
- Batteries: 1 Lithium Metal battery (Included)
- Battery Life: 10.94 Hours
- Voltage: 0.1 Volts
- GSM Frequencies: 5.17 KHz
- Number of Channels: 50
- Number of Privacy Codes: 142
- Water Resistance Level: JIS4 Waterproof
- Range: Up to 36 miles
Verdict: Best splash resistant, fully waterproof pair of radios.
4. Retevis RT49 Walkie Talkies Rechargeable – Best Under $40
The Retevis RT49 Walkie Talkies are significantly cheaper than any of the other brands we’ve reviewed, but that doesn’t mean that their features are bad. Any disadvantages of these devices are minor when we consider the price, and if you need a no-frills walkie talkie, these get the job done.
These walkie talkies support 22 channels and 11 NOAA channels. Hands-free use is enabled, as well as voice activation. The sound is clear, and the volume level is adjustable, and it has a function that reduces background noise. It also has 20 ringtones to choose from!
The manufacturer claims that they haven’t used any harmful chemicals and that this product is completely safe to use.
This model is IPX4 weatherproof, so it’s also safe to use regardless of weather conditions. It can even survive the occasional water splash!
The design might be a bit bulky for some. But, if you appreciate larger keyboards, then this is the perfect walkie talkie for you.
This model uses replaceable, non-rechargeable AA batteries (an initial pack is included in the package). But, this could be seen as an advantage since it’s easy to find, buy, and replace batteries.
- Product Dimensions: 10.35 x 9.06 x 2.56 Inches
- Item Weight: 1.32 Pounds
- Number of Batteries: 6 AA batteries required (Included)
- Noise Level: 40 dB
- Number of Channels: 22
- Voltage: 3.6 Volts (DC)
- Display Type: LCD
- Water Resistance Level: IPX4 Waterproof
Verdict: Most affordable pair of walkie talkies on this list.
5. DEWALT DXFRS300 1 Watt Heavy Duty Walkie Talkies – Best Alternative
We’ve saved the best for the end. While most radio features are around average, this model stands out thanks to its resilience. It’s more expensive than the other options, but if you want something special and hardy, this is the one to go for.
It’s IP67-certified, which means it’s fully waterproof and dustproof. If you drop it into water that’s less than one meter deep, and leave it there for less than 30 minutes, it will still work!
In addition to water protection, the DEWALT DXFRS300 is resistant to shock and can survive a drop from two meters. If you’re still worried about dropping your device, this one is not very likely to slip from your hands or pockets, thanks to its rugged anti-slip design.
The product has fewer channels than our best overall and runner-up picks, but if you’re more worried about durability and longevity, you can’t go wrong with this walkie talkie.
- Item Dimensions: 2.15 x 2.37 x 6.22 Inches (LxWxH)
- Item Weight: 0.66 Pounds
- Water Resistance Level: IP67 Waterproof
- Batteries: 2 Rechargeable lithium polymer batteries (Included)
- International Protection Rating: IP67
- Signal Range: Up to 250,000 square feet
- Number of Preset Channels: 22
- Special features: Shock resistant, VOX, Key lock, Power saver, Auto squelch, LCD display
Verdict: Most resilient walkie talkies we’ve reviewed so far. Superb choice for those who don’t mind paying for advanced features.
With so many walkie talkie models to choose from, sometimes it’s hard to pick the perfect device for your needs. We hope we’ve helped you find the best walkie talkie for skiing. For more recommendations, please feel free to check out our other buying guides!