Best Walkie Talkies for Mountain Use 2021

by Martin C | Last Updated: November 16, 2021

If you are planning to scale a mountain in the near-future, you might be concerned about the physical challenge this feat presents. However, many climbers may also be unaware of the technical difficulties they will encounter along the way.

Communicating via walkie talkies can be especially challenging in mountainous settings with varied terrain. These landscapes make it difficult for radio waves to travel between communication devices due to natural features blocking their path.

The good news is that there are plenty of good walkie talkie models designed to offer reliable communication in such settings. A two way radio can make your journey far easier and safer, so consider looking into the long range walkie talkies we discuss below.

Best Walkie Talkies for Mountain Use Reviews

There are plenty of great walkie talkie options out there. We researched the best ones available on the market and compiled them in the following list.

Midland GXT1050VP4 Walkie Talkie Review

The Midland GXT1050VP4 is among the most popular walkie talkies available. It is renowned for its great performance in mountainous settings. This is thanks to its extraordinary great battery life and long range. This model is also durable and features an easy-to-use design.

Its lengthy antenna allows it to catch long-range signals, while its sturdy build helps it withstand the elements. This Midland radios model is also versatile when it comes to power options. It can run on both rechargeable batteries as well as AA batteries. So if you ever run out of battery while trekking, you can simply swap them out for new ones and continue on your journey. Many consider the GXT1050VP4 to be the best overall walkie talkie for the mountains.

The Midland GXT1050VP4 performs incredibly well in mountainous settings. It has a range of up to 36 miles under flat and open terrain conditions. This translates to a range of several miles in a mountains.

We should note that the Midland GXT10500VP4 isn’t ideal for communicating in heavily wooded areas. If you’re expecting to walk through a forest during your mountain trek, it may be a better idea to go with one of the other hunting walkie talkies on our list.

The Midland GXT1050VP4 is still an attractive option for mild to moderately mountainous areas for its performance and range of features. It’s reasonable price also makes it a winner in the best overall walkie talkie category.

Backcountry Access BCA Link 2.0 Radio Review

The Backcountry BC Link 2.0 is a special two way radio system. It was designed for for hikers, campers, and others who spend a lot of time out in the mountains and woods. The BC Link 2.0 stands out for its whopping 80 hours battery life, which is considered exceptional for a two way radio.

It cranks out a respectable 2 watts of power. This helps it transmit strong signals that reach several miles. The BC link 2.0 also features variable power settings, thereby allowing you to adjust the radio frequency output as needed.

This model is compatible with other walkie talkies models, making it easy to communicate with your trekking partners on the mountain. Overall the BCA Link 2.0 is a great handheld radio designed for use in mountain settings.

The BCA Link 2.0 excels in many areas where other handheld radios fail. However, it isn’t perfect. The device features a mic and cord that can be tricky to use if you fail to attach it your body or backpack correctly. That being said, it is just as versatile and easy to use as other radios on the market.

Backcountry Access is known for its high quality two way radio devices that boast strong radio signals in challenging settings. The BCA Link 2.0 is a great addition to their line up and features the same great design that its other UHF radios provide.

Cobra RX680 Walkie Talkie Review

The Cobra RX680 is a great option if you plan to be in or around water, as its fully waterproof and dustproof and has a durable shell. The RX680 offers up to 38 miles of range, though you should expect just a few miles in tough conditions. What really stands The Cobra RX680 is a great choice for hikers and trekkers that may be in or around water. This waterproof radio functions well in wet conditions. It’s durable shell also gives it extraordinary dust protection. 

This two way radio offers a respectable 38 miles of maximum range in flat and open settings. This translates to a range of a few miles in mountainous settings. However, the RX680’s standout feature is its great battery life. This device can run for up to 18 hours without dying, placing it leagues above most radios on the market.

This means hiking and trekking enthusiasts can use it for multiple days without having to recharge the device. You can definitely count on the RX680 in emergencies. This handheld radio also offers Vox hands-free capability, NOAA weather alerts, and is compatible with other consumer two way radios on the market.

Motorola Talkabout T800 Walkie Talkie Review

The Motorola T800 is a high-tech walkie talkie that packs a range of unique and exciting features. Features that would be especially useful a mountainous setting. This two way radio offers a maximum range of 35 miles, long battery life, and a solid design that keeps it safe from water, dust, and dirt.

Its crisp display offers great legibility in different lighting settings. The device also packs solid buttons that offer satisfying tactile feedback when pressed. All these are features are packed into a sleek and attractive design that helps it stand out from most walkie talkies available on the market.

If communication is a walkie talkie’s primary purpose, then the T800 has you covered. It offers Bluetooth compatibility and supports Motorola’s Talkabout phone app. This apps lets you track your your own location as well as the locations of other people in your party. It also lets you send messages even if you aren’t receiving general mobile radio service.

The T800 can transmit signals up to 20 miles in ideal settings. However, this transmission range will be lower in the mountains. The T800 is the right choice for you if you’re looking for one of the best walkie talkies with Bluetooth and offline features.

Motorola T600 Walkie Talkie Review

The Motorola is one of the premier walkie talkies for outdoor settings. This device is part of Motorola’s Talkabout series which are renowned for their great range and reliability.

The T600‘s 35-mile range puts it above many competitors at the same price point. It also offers a respectable range of a few miles in wooded and mountainous areas.

Fully waterproof, this device comes bundled with many accessories including a micro USB-charger. It is synced with NOAA weather band stations, giving you access to NOAA weather alerts. And, its iVOX hands-free tech also lets you communicate even when if you can’t handle the walkie talkie directly.

Offering a battery life of around up to 9 hours active use on its rechargeable battery, the device typically takes eight hours to charge up fully from a completely flat battery. It is compatible with all other FRS and GMRS walkie talkies on the market allowing you to communicate with other folks in your party with different walkie talkies.

The T600 it’s a great choice thanks to its strong, features and accessories.

Uniden SX507

The Uniden SX507 is one of the most powerful long-range walkie talkies on the market today. With up to 50 miles of range, this two way radio offers reliable communication even in wooded, hilly, and mountainous areas. Uniden designed their FRS two way radios for outdoor use, and specifically for camping, hiking, and mountain use. Like other walkie talkies, it offers the standard 22 channels for communication. It also packs a host of privacy codes to ensure your communications remain safe and secure at all times.

The SX507 stands above other handheld radios and walkie talkies thanks to it JIS7 certification. This means it offers excellent waterproofing and dust proofing. The device also features buoyant housing which is designed to float if it is ever dropped in water.

The SX507 offers up to 14 hours of battery life, which means that you can get a full day or two of use without needing to charge it. The SX507 charges up easily thanks to the included base charging station which can completely power up the device in just a few hours. It comes bundled with a belt clip, a rechargeable battery set, and walkie talkie earpieces to make hands-free communication easier.

The SX507 performs fairly well in mountainous settings, so we’re confident recommending it for your next outdoor adventure.

Best Walkie Talkies for Mountain Use Buyer’s Guide

We’ve covered some of the important criteria you should consider when evaluating the best walkie talkie for mountain use. 

Safety

Safety is a key concern when you’re out in the mountains. This is because a minor injury or accident could spiral into an emergency situation in an isolated located. For this reason, it is vital to have a set of reliable two way radios or walkie talkies you can count on. Each of the walkie talkies reviewed on this list not only have strong range and battery life, but also have access to some form of emergency weather alerts to keep you covered in emergency situations.

when you’re out in the mountains, because even a normal injury or accident can become an emergency situation because of your isYou should think about where and when you will be using these walkie talkies to help you narrow down which is best for you. If you’re planning to use the device near or on the water, make sure you go with the Motorola T600, Uniden SX507, or another device that has floating and waterproof features.

Antenna

Most standard walkie talkies in the $100 price range won’t allow you to swap out the stock antenna directly built into the device. This is an important consideration because modifying the antenna could potentially increase the device’s range and offer better performance in the mountains.

If you’re looking for options that offer truly spectacular communication, you should consider using a device like the Midland MXT400 MicroMobile GMRS radios which features repeater capability and enhanced range for GMRS channels. You could also go with walkie talkies such as Baofeng or Retevis ham radio that allow you to modify the antenna but you’d obviously need to have a license to use these.

Power

You should also consider access to charging options when purchasing new walkie talkies. Most of the walkie talkies on our list offer dual power options. This means you can use either rechargeable batteries that you charge from a base station plugged into an electrical outlet, or normal AA batteries. Given that you’ll likely be in the mountains without power, we recommend buying multiple sets of AA batteries before going on your trip.

Weatherproofing and Durability

Rain, snow, and dust can be significant concerns when you’re out in the mountains. These weather elements can speed up wear and tear on your two way radios. For this reason, you should ensure you have a walkie talkie that is not only long range, but also durable and rugged. All of the two way radios and walkie talkies on our list meet these criteria. They are certified for extreme conditions thanks to their enhanced durability, shock drop testing, and water and dust and dirt resistance.

Waterproof walkie talkies could save you in an emergency, so keep these considerations in mind when choosing a new device for your mountain treks.

Walkie Talkie for Mountains FAQ

We’ve answered some of the most common questions about using walkie talkies and two-way radios in the mountains, as there can dWe’ve answered some of the most common questions related to using walkie talkies and two-way radios in the mountains.

Do walkie talkies / 2 way radios work in the mountains?

Yes, two-way radios work in the mountains. However, some models may find it challenging to perform optimally due to large obstacles and dense forests obstructing signals. That’s why it’s so critical to have a walkie talkie which works in these environments like the models we’ve listed in this article.

What is the strongest walkie talkie for mountains?

The strongest mountain walkie talkie on our list is the Uniden SX507 or Midland GXT1050VP4. These devices come out on top in terms of range and durability.

Are walkie talkies suitable for use in mountain ranges?

While specific environmental obstacles may impact the range of your walkie talkies on the mountain, you can still expect a few miles from even the top-end devices. This is especially true for dense forests, high elevation areas and sloped mountains. That being said, it is possible to achieve a much longer range if you are communicating horizontally on a ridge or bluff.

I've been passionate about radio communication for as long as I can remember. From walkie-talkies to CB and ham radio I've tried them all and still use the radio on a day-to-day basis to communicate with family and friends. If you have any questions or need any advice, please feel free to email me at martin@walkietalkiecentral.com