|1. Baofeng UV5RA||2. FosPower||3. Esky|
If you are out there in the wilds for a camping, hiking, or any other adventure trip, then a survival radio will come as a handy gadget to help you stay connected with the rest of the world. Basically, it is very similar to a regular radio that is compact size, easy to carry, and delivers required information as and when needed.
You need to add a best survival radio in your emergency kit. Such radio can also provide light, signaling capabilities and charging sources. You can charge your other gears like phone and iPad using survival radios.
In this guide, we will give you complete information about selecting a survival radio, along with a list of top 15 survival radio systems that are most suitable for the wilderness.
If you live in a zone or region which is prone to earthquake or tornado then you must keep a reliable radio with you. Apart from that, you can use such survival radio for your outdoor activities like, camping, trekking and hiking.
These radios can help you to overcome any natural disaster and you can use their signals to connect the world during an emergency. If there is any life-threatening event then your radio will give you a sound alarm and it can deliver real-time information about the hazard.
Fishermen communities are using such radio on their boat and they can get the real-time weather forecast on their radio.
Top 15 Best Survival Radios 2020
1. Baofeng UV5RA
This dual band transceiver from the house of Baofeng is an affordable survival radio that covers 2 meters and 440 MHz. The VHF receives 65 to 108 MHz through the FM broadcast band, and it can hold up to 128 memories in it. It also supports dual reception and dual watch. The frequency range of this radio is 65-108MHz (FM Receive only), and 136-174 MHz and 400-520 MHz (TX/RX).
You can adjust its frequency range from 2.5, 5 and 6.25 to 10, 12.5 and 25 kHz. You can also select RF power at 1 or 4 watts. Other notable features of the survival radio include dual band display, dual standby, 128 channels, VOX function, FM radio, LED flashlight, LCD display, emergency alert, low battery alert, battery saving mode, keypad lock, ROGER set, etc. This radio is equipped with Mac operating system.
Weighing 250g including antenna and battery, this radio is easy to use and carry. In the package, you receive the radio, along with an antenna, belt clip, earphone, adapter, desktop charger, hand strap, and a manual.
- 128 channels
- Light weight
- Compact size
- Decent output power
- Good frequency range
- Low battery and battery saving mode
- Designed with LED flash light and LED display
- Powerful operating system-Mac OS X
- FCC license required in the US
2. FosPower Portable Radio
This is a multipurpose portable radio that has not only a radio, but also LED flashlight, power bank USB charger, SOS alarm, reading lamp, and AM/FM radio. Whether you are looking for a useful gadget for your household use or for your outdoor emergencies, you can buy this one to stay connected.
The 2000mAh power bank integrated in this radio will allow you to keep all your devices charged even when you are stuck in the outdoors. You can recharge the radio not only with its AAA batteries, but also through its solar panel and a crank lever.
This means that it has three power sources to stay charged. The weather forecast aspect gives you enough idea about the output and the condition of weather around. Emergency news broadcast helps you to stay updated.
When you have this survival radio with you, you don’t need to worry about darkness as well, as it has a 1W flashlight and also 4 LED reading light.
Access to NOAA emergency weather broadcasts will keep you informed about the upcoming weather emergencies, so that you can stay ready for the impending dangers. It is quite durable and it is water-resistant that means you can also take it for major camping expeditions.
The limited lifetime warranty that comes with this radio gives you peace of mind and a guarantee of durability.
- A combination of flashlight, AM/FM radio, reading lamp, and power bank
- NOAA weather broadcast access
- Limited lifetime warranty
- 3 power sources: battery, solar and hand crank
- Package includes the radio, a carabiner and a user manual
- Limited waterproofing
- Batteries not included in the package
3. Esky Radio with Flashlight
This survival radio stays on all the time, thanks to its triple power source with battery pack, hand crank and solar panel. The USB port given in the radio allows you to charge your mobile devices in times of need.
The 140 lumens bright light keeps you away from darkness, and the AM/FM radio frequencies allows you to stay entertained even when you are alone. It is compact and the brightness of the light does not dazzle you, but you can easily use it for all types of expeditions. In case the station does not broadcast, the signal will not be channelized.
NOAA access keeps you informed about the upcoming weather conditions, so that you can find a comfortable retreat in time. The radio is water resistant, so that you can use it even in wet conditions.
It is light in weight and compact in size, which means you can easily slip it into your pocket. You can easily carry it from one place to another and the signal capturing also becomes easy in the process.
- 3-way power source
- NOAA access
- AM/FM radio
- Light weight
- Compact size
- Attached lanyard
- USB port to charge mobile devices
- Available in yellow and red colors
- Battery is non-removable
4. Motorola Solutions T480
This is a two-way survival radio system that allows you to communicate with your friends who are as much as 35 miles away from you. With 121 privacy codes and 22 channels, you can choose a channel from a total of 2662 combinations.
Thus this radio ensures maximum outdoor safety and you can also get all the updates about the real-time weather and climatic conditions, for instance, the forecast about any storm. The siren alerts you in this regard.
The device is not just easy to use but the calibration and the navigation part is also equally interesting. This is the best survival radio that also consists of a PTT power boost, with which you can extend your transmission range by boosting power output of the transmitter.
Other key features include FM radio, in-built flashlight, weatherproofing, dual power source, USB charging port, etc.
However, the weather forecast feature will depend on the proximity of the radio towers around the place that you are in. NiMH rechargeable batteries can keep the radio powered for 10 hours, while 3 AA batteries can keep it on for 26 hours.
- Dual power source
- 121 privacy codes and 22 channels
- Emergency alert button
- In-built flashlight
- USB charging port
- Weatherproof design
- Long battery life
- PTT power boost feature
- A number of other versions available
- Poor voice quality at times
5. Eton Hand Crank Survival Radio
This survival radio from Eton is a rechargeable digital radio that can be powered with a hand crank. It features not only an AM/FM radio, but also a weather band, along with a flashlight and a glow-in-the-dark radio locator that can be easily spotted in the dark. the presence of the digital flashlight helps you to avert any form of accident.
This is a multifunction radio that also features a 3-LED flashlight which you can use in the dark. It comes with a mini-USB cable, with which you can recharge the radio using any USB port around you.
A headphone jack is also included, so that you can enjoy your music individually. It is ideal for home, office, outdoors, camping sites and also if you are taking the radio to commercial and industrial sites.
The radio features all seven NOAA weather band stations. Within 1 minute, you can charge the radio with the hand crank to get 10-15 minutes of output.
You may also place the radio in the sun for quick solar charging. The 1000 mAh battery included in the radio can charge your phone. The glow in the dark locator helps to ifnd places easily so that maximum safety gets ensured.
- Different sources to charge the radio
- Features a USB charging port, flashlight, and headphone jack
- 1 minute of hand cranking can charge the radio to stay on for 10-15 minutes
- Glow-in-the-dark radio locator to find the radio quickly in the dark
- Solar charging supported
- No lanyard for hanging
6. Eton Dual Powered Bluetooth Radio
This Bluetooth radio is not only an AM/FM receiver, but it also works as a digital tuner and NOAA and SAME signals receiver. For your help in a survival situation, it also features a red emergency beacon and ambient light and a bright LED flashlight to keep you safe in the darkness.
The emergency light and the ambient light with dimmer help you to optimize the brightness as per your requirement. The solar power charging facility and Bluetooth enabling device makes it more approachable as an electronic set. The lithium battery lasts long.
- 3 way power source
- Bluetooth enabled
- NOAA and SAME signal receiver
- LED flashlight included
- No indicator to indicate full charge
7. Eton American Red Cross Survival Radio
If you are going for an outdoor activity in the wilderness, then you should never forget carrying this emergency radio with you. The 3-way power source of this radio will keep it turned on all the time, so that you can receive any weather alerts and broadcasts directly wherever you are.
The battery is solar power enabled and it lasts long so as to give you the best performance. Apart from the signal receiver, this device also features an LED flashlight, a red flashing beacon, an alarm clock, a digital display, and a USB port to keep your smartphone charged all the time.
- Easy to read digital display, including an alarm clock
- 3-way power source
- USB port to charge your smartphone
- LED flashlight to keep you safe in the darkness
- Receives all 7 NOAA and Environment Canada weather bands
- Easily adjustable digital tuner
- Long battery life
- Clear sound quality
- It is accessible to Smartphone, Tablets and all new age phones
- The antenna may poke your eye in the darkness, as it does not have a light on its tip
8. Midland ER310 Survival Radio
It contains a rechargeable 2600 mAh battery that you can recharge with an electrical outlet in your access. The lithium ion battery can be charged in the sun through its solar panel, or you can also recharge it using a hand crank provided with it.
The radio also has an emergency flashlight that can keep you going even during darkness. If you get lost or get stuck somewhere, you can use its bright CREE 130 lumens LED light to send light signals for help.
There are two brightness settings to choose from, as low brightness setting will save power, while high brightness setting will give out maximum light in times of need.
The low brightness setting helps to conserve battery for a long time. The alarm update gives you an ultimatum about the sudden extremities in weather condition.
The NOAA weather scanner will scan 7 weather band channels in the US and automatically select the channel with the strongest signals.
The radio also has a USB port, with which you can recharge your smartphone with the help of a USB cable included. With the ultrasonic dog whistle, you can help rescue teams to locate people during emergencies.
- 3 power sources
- Battery power of 32 hours
- Can scan 7 weather band channels
- Automatic NOAA weather scanner
- USB port and dog whistle
- Solar panel is too weak to quickly charge the radio
9. Vondior Silver NOAA Weather Radio
This is a hand-held portable radio from Vondior, which you can easily carry in your pocket. The NOAA gives you an immediate alert when there is some critical weather condition like an approaching storm.
With such critical information, you can have enough time to prepare yourself for the impending danger, and resort to a safe place in time with your family.
The 2 AA batteries included in the radio will last for days even if you have no access to an electrical outlet. The 6-inch telescoping antenna and the upgraded DSP chip of the radio produce audible sound.
Vondior is reputed in the market to offer best quality products and 24/7 customer service. This survival radio from their house comes with 3 years of warranty.
- Light weight
- Compact size
- Long battery life
- Crisp audio quality
- Folding antenna
- 3 years warranty
- Only one power source
10. RunningSnail NOAA Weather Radio
You can charge it using the solar panel, its hand crank, 3 AAA batteries, or a Micro USB cable. It broadcasts NOAA weather alerts in real time, so that you can make the necessary preparations in time.
The charging facility keeps the radio go on for a long duration and the emergency light helps you to track path. The radio also includes an SOS alarm that you can use to grab attention of other people.
A smartphone is a necessity these days, and if you are stuck in a survival situation, a single phone call or text message can bring a rescue team to you. So, the 4000 mAh battery included in the radio can power up your smartphone, so that you can stay connected with others until help arrives.
- Four charging methods
- Bright white lights
- Big display screen
- Long battery life
- 100% refund guarantee
- A little big in size, cannot fit into your pocket
11. Kaito KA700 Bluetooth Survival Radio
This is not just a survival radio with NOAA weather channels, but it works as a complete music gadget with MP3 player, AM/FM channel reception, SD card slot, Bluetooth speaker, and Voice Recorder. Apart from that, it also keeps your connected with its calendar, alarm clock and text browser features.
The Kaito KA700 radio can be charged using any of the four power sources, including the Micro USB port, the integrated rechargeable battery, the solar panel, or the hand crank. Other features included in the radio are flashlight, SOS light, and 5 LED reading lamp.
- Four power option to recharge the device
- USB port to recharge your smartphone
- Multiple music friendly features to keep you entertained
- Flashlight, reading lamp and SOS light
- More than 30 hours of battery life
- Solar panel works slowly to charge the radio
12. Yoby Red Survival Radio
This survival radio is a self-powered device with solar panel and flashlight. It can be charged via multiple power sources, including the solar panel, hand crank, or USB port. You can also charge your smartphone, MP3 player, tablet and other devices using the 1000 mAh power bank included in it.
This is one of the very few survival compact and lightweight radios that also comes with a lanyard, that you can use to hand the radio in your wrist, in a hook of your backpack, on a tree branch, or anywhere else as per your convenience.
- Self-powered radio
- Flashlight included
- Multiple power sources
- 1000 mAh power bank to charge up your other devices
- Lanyard included for easy handling
- Light weight
- Attractive red color build
- Sound quality is not up to the mark
13. Ion Audio iPA95 Survival Radio
This is an ideal survival radio that receives AM/FM radio signals with shortwave, along with seven NOAA weather bands. With this by your side, you can receive NOAA weather alerts as and when they are broadcasted. Apart from the 2300 mAh rechargeable battery you can also charge it on solar power.
You can be completely sure about the safety of this radio, as it is IPX4 water resistant, which means you can continue using it even during a rainy or snowy condition.
A quick start guide also comes with the radio to give you complete information about the device usage, features and maintenance. The quick start guide that is available with it, and the survival scout will help you to know better about the features.
- Multiple charging options
- Decent sound quality
- Clear display
- IPX4 water proofing
14. Maokot Red 3-Way Powered Survival Radio
This is an ideal survival radio with a flashlight, that can stay on all the time to give you real-time weather alerts from NOAA. You can keep the device charged using any of the three power sources it supports, including the Micro USB port, solar power panel, and manual hand crank. Weighing only 200g, it is easy to carry in handsfree mode also.
If you are in the outdoors, you can use its 1000 mAh power bank to keep your smartphone or iPhone charged using a Micro USB cable.
- 3-way power source
- Works as a power bank to charge your phone
- Includes a flashlight
- Lightweight and compact
- Features lanyard for easy handling
- Sound becomes unclear when you turn on the flashlight
15. Hoshine Multi-Purpose Survival Radio
This survival radio from the house of Hoshine is a multi-functional device that also works as a flash light, a camping lantern, a power bank, and a speaker. To keep it going, you can charge it using any of the four power options it supports, including the hand crank, solar panel, battery, or 5V DC USB port.
The 8-LED lantern and the 5-LED flashlight integrated in the device are energy efficient, and give out bright light in the darkness, and the USB can be used for charging. The telescopic antenna and in-built speaker produce crisp and loud sound to keep you entertained.
- Multi-functional device with high quality sound
- Multiple features
- Four power sources
- Bright lights and energy-efficient
- USB port to charge your smartphone
- USB cable not included in the package
Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Survival Radio
If you are planning to buy the best survival radio that can keep you connected even in the wilds, then you need to look into a few of the below mentioned factors:
As far as access in terms of radio is concerned, it often revolves around AM/FM radio signals. FM radio will keep you entertained when you are alone or stuck in a location.
The radio that you buy should have NOAA access too.When your radio has NOAA access, you receive alerts whenever NOAA broadcasts a warning, alert or emergency.
2. Power Source
Since you will be completely out of touch when your radio battery dies down, you need to find a radio with multiple power sources. Most of the radios have batteries that you can recharge or replace from time to time.
Apart from that, some of the best survival radio communications systems also have a solar panel, so that you can charge your device in the sun during day, and keep it on for several hours. The hand crank facilitates manual charging.
3. Weight And Size
Size of the radio largely depends on the number of features included in it. The higher number of accessories it has, the bigger its size and heavier its weight would be. Since a survival radio can accommodate a number of useful features in a single piece, like a flashlight, hand crank, etc., compact size helps in carrying and storing.
A bigger size multi tool will only end up in your house, and you will not be able to carry it outdoors. As far as a survival radio is concerned, it has to be light in weight and small in size, so that you can carry it in a backpack or in your pocket.
Since you would be carrying your survival radio in tough conditions and rough terrains, you need to make sure that it is sturdy enough to withstand rough use. It should be made up of durable material.
Whichever radio you choose, make sure that it is hard enough to withstand rough use, without compromising its strength and clarity.
Apart from access, features and functions, you need to make sure that it is good on the looks too. As you would be carrying it around in your pocket and taking it off every now and then, it should look good enough to turn eyes and grab attention.
Survival radios are available in a wide variety of colors, styles and designs, which you can choose as per your personal preferences.
As far as a survival radio is concerned, a lanyard attached to it plays a very important role. A lanyard is a piece of rope attached to the radio. You can use this lanyard to tie it around your wrist, or hang it on a strap of your backpack. A lanyard can be extremely helpful, as you may want to hang your radio on a tree branch for easy access.
7. Ease Of Use
Since a survival radio incorporates so many tools and features in a single device, its usage and functionality may confuse even the technical geeks out there.
The radio should be functional enough to support several functions at a time. It has been seen that when they charge their phone using the USB port of their radio, the voice clarity gets deteriorated and they can’t clearly listen to the radio stations. The overall functionality should mainly consist in the clarity of sound and the signal that you receive in the radio.
Since you would be using your survival radio in a variety of rough conditions, and you would be carrying it in water, fire, forest and other tough situations, the radio that you choose should have high resistance properties against fire, water, rust, mold and other such factors.
Make sure that the material used to make your tool has rust-protection feature, so that it does not develop rust and stays like new for years to come. Waterproofing and weatherproofing are extremely important.
9. Other Features
Apart from giving you radio access the best survival radio is the one that serves as a multi-purpose device when you are outdoors. Some of the most common features that these radios have include flashlight, headphone jack, and a USB charging port. With these features, you can stay safe during darkness, and this also facilitates charging.
It is important to give attention to the warranty of the survival radio you are considering buying. A product that comes with a decent warranty will give you peace of mind that if something goes wrong with the device, the manufacturer will be there to help you out.
The price of the radio you are planning to purchase should be reasonable. You have to pay more for good quality and variety of features included in the radio, but make sure that it is not too expensive than other similar products available in the market.
FAQs on Survival Radios
1. What Features Are A Must In A Survival Radio?
The main purpose of a survival radio is to receive NOAA signals, so that it can send you alerts regarding adverse weather conditions. But a device with some additional features would be a boon in times of need. Some of the features that the best survival radio definitely includes are flashlight, AM/FM signal receiver, USB port, etc.
2. Is Waterproofing Important For A Survival Radio?
Since you would be carrying your survival radio in multiple adverse conditions, you should always check whether it has waterproofing feature as well.
3. Why Almost All Survival Radios Have A Lanyard?
Lanyard plays a very important role in the ease of use and easy transportation of the radio. Using the lanyard, you can easily tie it in your wrist, hang it on a hook of your backpack, or hang it on a branch near your camp. The main issue is that you do not have to carry it everywhere.
4. With So Many Features Included In A Little Gadget, Does It Not Get Complicated And Difficult To Use?
Good survival radios are feature-rich, equipped with user manuals, and they have multiple power sources to keep them charged. Manufacturers take good care to include all of them in their small bodies. However, a good radio is the one that keeps all of them organized and easily accessible, without making it complicated.
Stay Safe, Stay Entertained, And Stay Connected With The Best Survival Radio By Your Side
Here, we have given you complete information about some of the best survival radio systems available out there. Have a look at their features, pros and cons, and buy the one that best suits your requirements, preferences and budget.
Survival radios are available in a wide range of sizes and colors with varied features. You need to give attention to all the factors we have mentioned above before buying one. Make sure that the radio you buy fulfills all these factors and best fits your requirements.