The best walkie talkies for road trips offer a long battery life with rechargeable batteries, a decent range, at a reasonable price. When traveling in a group by car or RVs it can be a pain in those areas that lack cell phone coverage to flag down your travel mates to exchange info, directions or change of plans. They are also handy to give your kids more freedom when you stop for the night at a campground.
If you are looking for a set of walkie talkies for car trips for your next adventures, keep reading. We’ve graabbed our picks for the 5 top rated walkie talkies, from budget friendly and simple, to the most durable with all the bells and whistles.
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Do Walkie Talkies Work While Driving?
Yes. Walkie talkies are designed to work in variable conditions such as when driving, hiking, or camping. Typically they have a 1-3 mile range in these types of situations. Walkie talkies make communicating with your car convoy much easier than relying on cell phone coverage in areas that are limited.
Just make sure it’s a passenger, not the driver who is doing the talking.
I have taken many road trips where cell phone service was spotty to non-existent, and wished I had brought walkie talkies. These are the best walkie talkies for driving so you don’t have to wish too.
BEST WALKIE TALKIE FOR ROAD TRIPS (2022)
If you don’t have time to read all of the reviews below, look no further. This is our top recommendation for the best overall walkie talkie for road trips.
Best Combo of Features & Price:
- Great value, with an easy to use design
- Good range, that is perfect for road trips
- Top rated walkie takies
- VOX feature can be used with a headset for hands-free option
- Safety features include 11 NOAA Weather Channels with a built in flashlight
- Weather resistant
- Rechargable Batteries
- Designed to consume less power when idle
WALKIE TALKIES FOR CAR CONVOY
Here’s our overall chart for the top 5 walkie talkies for car convoys and a kids favourite for camping, road trips and playing with friends. So they don’t miss out on the fun too.
|Motorola T420||Best overall road trip walkie talkie||$$|
|Midland 50 Channel||Hands-Free Walkie Talkie||$$|
|Retevis RT22 - 6 Pack||Reliable Walkie – Talkies For Larger Groups||$$$|
|Kids Retevis RT628||Fun Walkie Talkies for Kids||$|
|Motorola T470||Rechargeable Battery & Battery Life||$$$|
Features to Consider – Walkie Talkie for Road Trips
If you are looking for a road trip walkie talkie, without having to get a two-way license then you’ll want to grab a Family Radio Service (FRS). FRS are the most common radios bought for personal and recreational use.
They’re an ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio for families or groups that want a reliable way to communicate over relatively short distances. Their 22 channels are limited to the 462 and 467 frequencies and use up to 2 watts of power..Max range in direct sight is up to 36 miles. Typically 1-3 miles can be counted on when driving around or outdoors in nature.
General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) on the other hand requires a valid GMRS license, which covers the primary user and their immediate family members. The range is similar, but the higher wattage ( greater than 2 watts) allows for better signal within a range of about 5 miles. Plus the ability to use extenders, which you guessed it extend the range of walkie talkies.
What you are using the walkie talkie for, will determine the range you need. If you are just wanting to check-in with fellow road trippers, than one with a decent range of 1-3 miles under regular conditions should do the trick. If you are looking for longer distances than you’ll need a GMRS which will require a license.
Weather Stations – Having weather stations and alerts is a great safety option. Weather patterns can change from one mile to the next, so having this info at your fingertips, especially in areas with spotty to no cell coverage can be handy.
NOAA weather stations give real-time weather updates so you better plan out your routes, and activities for the day.
The more channels you have, the more likely you’ll find a private channel to chat with your travel companions. Use the privacy codes to help prevent others listening in on your conversations.
Design & Durability
Are you prone to dropping your cell phone in the toilet, or have kids who will be using the walkie talkies too? If yes, then choosing a model that is more durable, and water resistant is key.
Look out for smaller, more light weight designs, as they are easier to hold, and less likely to slip out of your hand.
Other design features to consider are hands free options like mic / headsets for easier use while driving and dust resistance for variable conditions.
Having flexible options is always easier. A car walkie talkie that takes either disposable alkaline AA batteries or rechargeable batteries is useful for long days / nights without access to an electric plug-in.
How long and often you will be using your walkie talkies will determine your battery life needs. Each device will have their own method for charging, so determine whether you want more flexibility or not.
Ease of Use
Who really wants to be fumbling with difficult features or hard to understand how to use a walkie talkie instructions. Road trips are supposed to be fun.
PRO TIP: Try out your long range two way radio well before your trip, to make sure it works and so you understand how to use all the features.
You get what you pay for, for the most part, but your budget will dictate how much you’re willing to spend.
BEST ROAD TRIP WALKIE TALKIES (2022)
Best Overall Walkie Talkie for A Road Trip: Motorola T402
The Motorola T402 is one of the best long-range walkie-talkies for a friend and family road trip. With a decent range of 2 miles on the go, 6 miles on open water, and up to 35 miles direct line of sight.
We like that it is weatherproof with a built-in flashlight, and 11 weather channels so great for keeping up with varying weather conditions and outdoor use. The USB rechargeable batteries last around 8.5+ hours between charges. Disposable batteries last about 21 hours.
Plus the reasonable price point make it our top of the list choice as the best walkie talkie for road trips.
- Easy to use with an easy to read display
- Weather proof with built in flashlight
- 11 NOAA Weather Channels
- Rechargeable Battery
- Affordable Price
- 22 channels and 121 privacy codes – easy to find channels
- Designed to consume less power when idle
- Design is not the most durable out there
- Not completely waterproof
- Need a flathead screwdriver to open the battery compartment
Best Hands-Free Walkie Talkie – Midland 50 Channel
The Midland GTX1030VP4 is another great all round car to car walkie talkie choice. We love that this model comes with mic headsets, for a hands-free radio. Useful for traveling the highways and byways.
With 22 channels and 28 privacy codes, you’ll have lots of options to choose from to communicate while driving, hiking or camping.
There are flexible battery & charging options as well, including choosing between the rechargeable batteries included or AA disposable batteries.
While labeled a General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), which typically requires a FCC license in the US, its low wattage technically classifies it as an FRS radio. Channels 8-14 are FRS only.
- Water Resistant
- NOAA weather channels
- 22 Channels & 28 privacy codes
- Rechargeable batteries
- Up to 36 miles max, but expect 1-3 miles depending on conditions
- Multiple charging options; desktop charger, AC adapter, DC adapter
- Rechargeable batteries last fewer hours than disposable (common)
- Some found the voice activation feature difficult to use
- Leaving on the charger too long will kill the battery life
Reliable Walkie – Talkie for Larger Groups – Retevis RT22
This 6 pack Retevis RT22 is a great choice for larger car convoys ( or those with kids who want to get in on the radio action too).
Lightweight, compact, and with excellent range, the Retevis RT22 is one of the best long range walkie talkies for road trips. Users love the affordability, excellent sound quality and hands free VOX options.
- Inexpensive – great product for the price
- Lightweight & compact
- FRS two way radio; 16 channels
- Great audio quality & battery life for the price
- Emergency Alarm
- Comes only with a 6-way charging station ( No USB option)
- Can’t use alkaline batteries
- Simple design, no bells and whistles
- Not waterproof (most aren’t)
Kids Walkie Talkie – Retevis RT628
Use the kids version Retevis RT628 for youe kids when camping, so they can run around with friends and still stay in touch. They work at a surprising distance. Or on road trips, play dates and hikes as a safety measure.
Kids Walkie Talkies – let them join the fun too!
Motorola Talkabout T470 2-Way Radios
Motorola is an iconic electronics brand for two-way radios. The Motorola Talkabout is a rugged travel companion for adventures from road trips to the outdoors.
The great battery life will give you at least a full day’s use, or more if not using continuously. Alkaline batteries up to 28 hours, rechargeable NiMH 800 mAH (included) up to 12 hours and rechargeable NiMH 1300 mAH up to 18 hours.
Users like the weather safety feature, good range, durability, and easy to use controls and easy to read screen.
- 22 channels plus 121 privacy codes; group-call function with easy pairing
- NOAA weather channel and alerts
- Water resistant
- Built in LED flashlight
- Vibrating Call Option
- Mini USB Charger
- Quiet Charge
- Rechargeable batteries
- Water resistant
- Some users found the manual hard to understand
- A lot of features you may not need / use
- Not waterproof (Most aren’t)
Budget Friendly Car to Car Walkie Talkies – Arcshell
The Arcshell is one of the most budget friendly road trip walkie talkies. These rechargeable long range two-way radios feature a sleek compact design that is easy to carry and pack away when not needed.
It comes with a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery that charges quickly. Users love their affordability, clear sound and reasonable range.
- 16 Channels
- Compact & lightweight
- Water resistant
- VOX Hands free options with ear piece
- Decent range
- Easy to Use
- Not super durable
- No bells and whistles, simple design
CONCLUSION: BEST ROAD TRIP WALKIE TALKIES (2022)
Walkie Talkies are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family on the road. They don’t require cell service, work fairly long distances, and can be fun to use. There are many options out there you can choose that suit your budget and needs. I hope these recommendations help steer you in the right direction ( pun included!).
Other road trip tips, ideas and destinations:
- Save money on road trips with these frugal tips
- Road Trip Packing List Essentials
- Big Sur Road Trip: best places to visit, hike, stay & eat
- Travel lover gift ideas for all ages
- Camping Gift Ideas for Kids
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