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Best Road Trip Ready Walkie Talkies for 2024

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Looking for the best walkie talkies for road trips? We’ve got you covered.

The best road trip walkie talkies 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. As a family we like to bring walkie talkies for safety & keeping in touch on the road. Because sometimes cell phones just don’t work.

If you are looking for a set of walkie talkies for car trips for your next adventures, keep reading. We’ve grabbed our picks for the 7 top rated walkie talkies, from budget friendly and simple, to the most durable with all the bells and whistles. Plus check out our tips for what to look for at the end of this post.

Do Walkie Talkies Work While Driving?

Yes walkie talkies work while driving. They 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 long road trips where cell phone service was spotty to non-existent, and wished I had brought walkie talkies. Especially in more remote areas.

We now like to make sure we have walkie talkies and follow safety tips for the road.

These are the best walkie talkies for driving so you don’t have to wish too.

WALKIE TALKIES FOR CAR CONVOYS

Here’s our quick list of our top choices for the best walkie-talkies for car convoy recommendations. Plus one kids favourite for camping, road trips and playing with friends. So they don’t miss out on the fun too.

Route 66 road through desert with Joshua Trees on either side.
Best walkie talkies for driving through Route 66 or on any road trip.

BEST ROAD TRIP WALKIE TALKIES

1. Motorola Talkabout T475 – Best Overall Walkie Talkie

Motorola Solutions Talkabout T475 Extreme Two-Way Radio Black W/Yellow Rechargeable Two Pack

Motorola is an iconic electronics brand for two-way radios. This weatherproof Motorola Talkabout T 475 is a rugged travel companion for adventures from road trips to the great outdoors. 

The 12 hour battery life will give you at least a full day’s use, or more if not using continuously.

We like the weather safety feature,  good range, durability, and easy to use controls. Range is 35 miles in optimal conditions, most users found 2-3 miles more common.

PROS:

  • Reasonable Cost
  • NOAA weather channel and alerts
  • Weatherproof & durable 
  • Built in LED flashlight
  • Quiet Charge
  • Vibration Call
  • Rechargeable batteries / AAA batteries
  • Hands Free option

CONS:

  • Some users found the manual hard to understand
  • A lot of features you may not need / use
  • Doesn’t come with a belt clip
  • Hard to get maximum range of 35 miles (common in these types of walkie talkies)
Road through mountain, and walkie talkie in front of map.

2. Midland GXT1000VP4 – Best Hands-Free

Midland 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio - Long Range Walkie Talkie with 142 Privacy Codes, SOS Siren, and NOAA Weather Alerts and Weather Scan (Black/Silver, Pair Pack)

The Midland GXT 1000VP4 50 Channel, two-way radio is another great all round car to car walkie talkie choice & for outdoor activities. 

We love that this model comes with mic headsets, for a hands-free radio. Useful for traveling the highways and byways. 

It’s water-resistant, includes NOAA weather channels / alerts and has lots of channel options to choose from. So easy to communicate while driving, hiking or camping in Maine, and other places.

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 radio), which typically requires a FCC license in the US, its low wattage technically classifies them as FRS radios. Channels 8-14 are FRS only. 

A license only costs around $35 so if you think you’ll use the other channels, it’s better to be registered to avoid potential fines.

PROS:

  • Water Resistant & Sturdy
  • NOAA weather channels / alerts
  • SOS siren for emergencies
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Backlight option LCD display
  • Up to 36 miles max, but expect 1-3 miles depending on conditions
  • Multiple charging options; desktop charger, AC adapter, DC adapter

CONS:

  • 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
  • Need a FCC license to use all the channels

3. Retevis RT22 – Best for Larger Groups

Retevis RT22 Walkie Talkies Rechargeable Hands Free 2 Way Radios Two-Way Radio(6 Pack) with 6 Way Multi Gang Charger

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 RT is one of the best long range walkie talkies for road trips. We love the affordability, excellent sound quality and hands free VOX options. 

Definitely a travel essential for families.

PROS:

  • Inexpensive – great product for the price
  • Lightweight & compact
  • FRS two way radio; 16 channels
  • Voice activated transmit function allows real hands-free operation
  • Great audio quality & battery life for the price
  • Emergency Alarm

CONS:

  • Comes only with a 6-way charging station ( No USB option)
  • Can’t use alkaline batteries 
  • Simple design, no bells and whistles
  • Not water resistant

4. Retevis RT628 – Best Kids Walkie Talkie

Retevis RT628 Walkie Talkies for Kids,Toys Gifts for 3-14 Years Old Boys Girls,Long Range 2 Way Radio 22CH VOX,Birthday Gift,Family Walkie Talkie for Camping Hiking Indoor Outdoor

Use the kids version Retevis RT628 for your 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!

Two Kids walkie talkies on a wooden backgorund.
These are the kids walkie talkies we use for road trips and camping trips

5. Cobra ACXT645: Best Waterproof Two-Way Radio

Cobra ACXT645 Waterproof Walkie Talkies for Adults - Rechargeable, 22 Channels, Long Range 35-Mile Two-Way Radio Set (Pack of 2)), Black and Orange, 1.74 x 2.54 x 6.74 inches

If you’re looking for a multipurpose, waterproof walkie talkie then the Cobra ACXT 645 is a great choice. Road trips, camping, hiking, you name it.

We like that it’s waterproof, with clear sound, good range and great product & quality for the price.

PROS:

  • Completely waterproof & drop proof
  • NOAA weather reports / alerts
  • Hands-free VOX
  • LED Built-in Flashlight
  • Rechargeable Batteries

CONS:

  • 35 mile range in optimal conditions only – 0.5 to 2 miles common
  • Many features you may not use

6. Arcshell AR-5: Best Budget Friendly

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios with Earpiece 2 Pack Arcshell AR-5 Walkie Talkies Li-ion Battery and Charger Included

The Arcshell AR-5 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.  Their affordability, clear sound, good range for price and ease of use make this a favourite. 

PROS:

  • Compact & lightweight
  • Water resistant
  • VOX Hands free options with ear piece
  • Rechargeable Li-ion batteries

CONS

  • Not super durable
  • No bells and whistles, simple design

7. Motorola Solutions T260TP  – Best for Family & Friend Convoys

Motorola Solutions T260TP Talkabout Radio, 3 Pack, White

This Motorola walkie talkie is perfect for car convoys and outdoor adventures because it’s also waterproof.

We like the clear sound, reasonable range (0.5 to 2 miles in non-optimal conditions) and are and useful long-range walkie-talkies.

PROS:

  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • NOAA weather channels and alerts
  • VOX hands free
  • Use AA batteries, or rechargeable

CONS:

  • Some people found they needed to replace the rechargeable batteries
  • Slow charging using the micro USB chargers  
  • Rarely meets the max range (like all in this range) – 0.5 to 2.5miles under various conditions

Other Two-Way Radios

  • Baofeng BF-F 8HP – Amazing performance, but requires a ham radios operator’s license.  
  • Dewalt DXFRS – Heavy duty radio, excellent sound quality, hours of use.

Features to Consider – Walkie Talkie for Road Trips

Type

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 on the radio waves, 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. 

Range

What you are using the walkie talkie for, will determine the range you need. You’ll get longer ranges in open areas.

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. 

Safety Features

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 phones coverage can be handy.

NOAA weather stations give real-time weather updates so you better plan out your routes, and activities for the day.

Channels

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. When choosing a walkie talkie for car convoy, you likely don’t need one with the most channels.

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. 

Charging Options

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.

Battery Life

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. Read some Inspirational Road Trip Quotes here.

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.

Price

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 (2023)

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:


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