Best Two Way Radios With NOAA Weather Channels – Buying Guide
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In the great outdoors, plans can change in a moment’s notice. It is difficult to form any sort of expectations regarding the world around us, and we have to do our best that we can make quick, swift adjustments when change occurs. One of the more volatile aspects of the world around us is the weather. That’s why two way radios with NOAA weather channels are some of the best gadgets you can equip yourself in the wilderness.
When immersed in nature, we are constantly at the whim of the elements. We may look at the forecast, plan our trip accordingly, organize all of the necessary equipment, and still find that a storm has just popped up on the radar effectively ruining our trip. In the event of a significant alteration in weather patterns during our excursion, we need to put ourselves in the best possible position to get a leg up on the elements and make the necessary adjustments. Whether it be our campsite location, our date planned to return home, or any other aspect of our trip that can be impacted by the weather, knowledge truly is power.
But so is communication. If we are on a trip with our family or friends and something comes up, we need to be able to communicate effectively with everyone on the trip. This is where two way radios come in.
Picture this: in the evening, you and your partner are relaxing at the campsite and beginning to gather materials to build a fire. Your children are over at the lake swimming and having a good time. You are curious as to the weather conditions for the rest of the night, so you pick up your two way walkie talkie with the capability of accessing one of many different channels provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). When checking the weather, you see that a massive front is on its way towards the lake with an estimated arrival time of 7:32pm. It is now 7:20pm. You need to contact your children and you need to do it as soon as possible. So you switch off of the NOAA channel and onto the correct channel to reach them. Using your two way radio, you inform them of the impending storm and tell them to head back to the campsite as quickly and safely as possible. Moments later, they arrive and you weather the storm in the tent as a family until the bad weather passes.
This situation seems ideal right? The ability to check the weather and communicate with your children all from the same device is near impossible without a two way radio. Out in the wilderness, we can forget about our cell phones or our tablets working. There is often no service, and there is definitely no wifi. Two way radios with NOAA weather channels are the universal solution for any sort of communication and weather needs. These devices are efficient, light weight, cost effective, and can make your trip much smoother. But how do we know what two way radios to equip ourselves with? What are the best two way radios with NOAA weather channels, and which of these walkie talkies are best suited for our needs?
Below, you will find a comprehensive buyer’s guide to the best two way radios with NOAA weather channels. Depending on your preferences and the outdoor settings that you plan to use the radios in, you may find that one two way radio with NOAA weather channels suits you perfectly. You may find that a two way radio with NOAA weather channels that you thought was for you may not fit your needs as well as a new one that you have discovered. All in all, you need to make sure that you take everything into consideration when selecting the best NOAA weather channel two way radio. Having NOAA channels is great, but there are many other factors to consider. Let’s take a look:
- Protection Level: JIS4
- Average Cost: From $67.99 (Digitalnerds)
- Description: This radio has a 36 mile communication range with 50 different channels. One of the cheaper options on the market, it is a simpler model that brings the user maximum utility. The Midland GXT1000VP4 has ten different alerts that signal incoming calls from other users as well as a SOS Siren that you can use if you find yourself in danger. It has 142 privacy codes that block out any other conversations that are occurring on your set radio channel. When it comes to two way radios with NOAA weather channels, the Midland GXT1000VP4 is an extremely convenient option. With ten different NOAA channels to prepare yourself for any environmental changes, there are many different perspectives on current weather conditions. However, this model automatically reads your location and locks onto the local channel, preventing you from having to search through the options in a pinch.
- Protection Level: JIS4
- Average Cost: $69.95
- Description: Similar to its relative, the Midland GXT1000VP4, the Midland GXT2050-VP4 has 50 different channels for communication within a 36 mile range. It also has 142 different privacy codes to secure your conversation and prevent other users of the channel from interfering. What sets the Midland GXT2050-VP4 apart is its technical specifications. This model comes with an extreme lithium ion polymer battery pack, giving you enhanced battery life for hours longer than any other Midland model. Additionally, it has a 2 hour rapid charge time allowing you to get back up to full charge rapidly. The battery life and charging abilities give the user the opportunity to explore for longer periods of time. The high definition dynamic audio also gives your conversation clarity in any environment.
Protection Level: IP54
- Average Cost: $69.00
- Description: 22 different channels, 121 privacy codes, 35 mile mountain to valley range, 6 miles open water range, 2 mile neighborhood range; what’s not to love? Seven out of the eleven weather channels are NOAA affiliated and the radio locks into your local channel for the most accurate report. There are three different ways to power up your radio, but the NiMH 8.5 hour battery is the most effective. If you are using the radio in your vehicle, whether it be a car, truck, or all terrain vehicle, you can use a micro-USB cable to connect it to a constant power source. It also connects to a computer. With just three AA alkaline batteries, the Talkabout T400 can last up to 21 hours if you do not have access to a consistent power source. For hikers and climbers, the Talkabout T400 has iVOX/VOX technology, which acts like a speakerphone. This gives you the ability to use the device hands free while in rough terrain.
Protection Level: IP54
- Average Cost: $79.00
- Description: Just like the Motorola Talkabout T400, the Motorola Talkabout T460 has 35 miles of mountain to valley range, 6 miles of open water range, and 2 miles of neighborhood range. It may seem like the same radio, but there are certainly differences. For example, the NiMH battery life lasts for 10 hours compared to just 8 hours in the T400. Additionally, 3 AA alkaline batteries carry the two way walkie talkie for 26 hours compared to just 21 hours in the T400. The Push-to-Talk power boost allows the user to enhance the signal output and send their transmission further, all while saving power.
Protection Level: IP54
- Average Cost: $93.99 (Amazon)
- Description: It can be difficult to sift through the different specifications and identify little adjustments that the manufacturer has made to similar models. While some may find it frustrating, these small tweaks can be blessings in disguise. Take the Motorola Talkabout T465, for example. Just like the two models mentioned previously, the T465 has a 35 mile mountain to valley range, a 6 mile open water range, and a 2 mile neighborhood range. It has the same 22 channels with 121 different privacy codes, the same number of informative NOAA channels, and even the iVOX/VOX hands free capabilities. So why T465 and not T460 or T400? Mainly, the T465 has a variety of unique privacy features. The Quiet Talk feature hones in on other Motorola two way walkie talkies that have this feature, eliminating transmissions from other non-Motorola radios that may be on the same channel. This is great for highly trafficked areas, such as ski resorts. However, the T465 is compatible with other FRS/GMRS radios that are not Motorola brand as long as they are linked on the same channel and privacy code. The T465 is also environmentally friendly, using a half of watt of power when idling.
Protection Level: IP54
- Average Cost: $59.00
- Description: This model combines efficiency, convenience, cost-effectiveness, and entertainment all into one device. Let’s start with the efficiency and convenience aspects. iVOX/VOX acts like a speakerphone, giving users the ability to use the T480 hands free. Earbuds can be plugged into the two way radio and with a belt clip that snaps to the user’s clothes, the radio can go with you everywhere. Onto the cost-effectiveness. As one of the cheaper options in the Motorola Talkabout family, it has the same technological specifications as all other models. The only main difference is the neighborhood communication range, which is only one mile compared to two miles in most other models. Now, the entertainment aspect is where the T480 gets really fun. This model doubles as a FM radio as well as a two way radio, allowing users to enjoy their favorite tunes when not transmitting signals to other radios. Coupled with the earbud capabilities, this two way walkie talkie is essentially a three-in-one device. There is also an LED flashlight that can light the way in caverns or dark forest settings. You can even customize call tones with a series of ringers and animal sounds that can be assigned to different contacts, alerting you that you have an incoming transmission.
Protection Level: IP54
- Average Cost: $108.00
- Description: The Motorola Talkabout MU350R is the Ferrari of two way walkie talkies with NOAA channel capabilities. With Bluetooth capabilities, the Talkabout MU350R can be linked to a variety of hands free devices, including headsets, speakers, and many others. The NOAA features provide users with not only weather, but emergency alerts for tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events. Combined with the LED flashlight capabilities and an emergency alert button that notifies all other parties on your device network of impending danger, the Talkabout MU350R is a safety marvel. This two way radio has four different charging methods: micro-USB via desktop, micro-USB in the car, micro-USB plug-in for a wall charger, and a micro-USB that plugs into your laptop when there is no direct power source available. Add in the incomparable Digital Signal Processing technology and the class D amplifier for maximum clarity and strength of tones, the extended life batteries, the energy efficiency, and the scanning feature to determine what channels are being used in any given moment, and we see every reason why the Talkabout MU350R is one of the elite options on the market.
Protection Level: JIS7
- Average Cost: $75.60
- Description: Uniden offers two way radio models that have many of the same specifications that are commonly found across the board in the two way walkie talkie market, but there some features that simultaneously set it apart. The mountain to valley communication range is a whopping 50 miles, compared to the 35 mile range that is boasted by many of the Motorola models mentioned previously. This model is completely submersible, meaning that it can be wholly covered in water and still survives with no damage. If it is dropped in water, the Uniden GMR5095-2CKHS will float to the surface immediately, eliminating the need to dive into treacherous waters to retrieve it. The complete waterproof feature makes the Uniden GMR5095-2CKHS perfect for users who are planning a canoeing or kayaking trip. An interesting aspect of this model is the direct call feature. Using a specifically assigned four digit pin code for each two way radio in your network, you can call a user as if the radio were a cellular phone. When making a direct call, no other user in the network can hear your transmission as long as the correct pin code is assigned. This brings about a whole new level of privacy in certain situations when it may be warranted.
Protection Level: JIS7
- Average Cost: $86.16
- Description: Like its cousin, the Uniden GMR5095-2CKHS, the Uniden GMR5088-2CKHS has a 50 mile communication range, is completely submersible in water for up to 30 minutes with floating capabilities, and has 22 different channels with 284 privacy codes, allowing for users to obtain maximum privacy with innumerable combinations. It also features various NOAA alerts as well as an emergency strobe light as a way to provide users with a sense of security if danger were to arise. What sets this model apart from the rest is its aesthetic appeal. With a RealTree Xtra Camoflauge pattern, any user trying to blend into their surroundings will be able to do so with ease. This two way radio is perfect for hunters and wildlife observers.
So, there you have it folks. In a world where the need for communication is essentially constant regardless of environmental conditions or location in the world, two way radios with NOAA weather channels can be our best friends. Some two way radios are best suited for the mountains, while other may be best served for the open water. Some are more durable than others. Regardless of what two way radio with NOAA weather channels you choose, ensuring that it is fitted with one or many NOAA channels will provide you with safety and security in all of your outdoor pursuits.