How to Choose the Perfect Walkie-Talkie for Long Range Applications

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Written By David F

If you want to communicate over long distances without a cell signal, good quality walkie-talkie for long range can help. Also known as two-way radios, walkie-talkies come with innumerable specs and features. Not to mention, there’s a large number of brands available in the market, which can make the buying process quite tricky.

In this guide, we explain how to choose long-range walkie-talkies with both FRS and GMRS capabilities. Keep in mind, these walkie-talkies won’t be covering a distance of 100 kilometres like some of the most powerful radios out there. However, a high quality set will allow you to communicate 20 to 30 miles away, based on your surroundings.

How to Choose the Best Walkie-Talkies for Long Range

In this section, we have listed down some of the main factors that should be considered when buying a long-range walkie-talkie. We have tested both the long-range Family Radio Service and the General Mobile Radio Service options as well as more affordable devices.

So let’s get to it.

FRS vs GMRS Capabilities

FRS walkie-talkies are licence-free units that are popular among non-commercial outdoor users. These are an excellent solution for people who do not need crystal-clear audio quality within a distance of three miles.

However, if you need better audio, then we recommend GMRS units. These units require a licence to use; however, they offer a longer peak-to-peak range than FRS units for a higher price.

Transmission Range

Most walkie-talkie advertisements claim that their transmission range reaches tens of miles. But, that is only possible when you have a clear line of sight without any obstacles impeding the signals.

The maximum range of a walkie-talkie depends on various factors, including the external environment, and of course, how powerful the unit itself is. A 5-watt walkie-talkie system might allow you to transmit a message 10 miles or 16 km away.

For most business applications, a walkie-talkie with an 8 to 10 km range will do the job well. If you want to transmit a message over 15 km distances, however, you should invest in a more expensive GMRS radio.

Battery Life

The last thing you need when going long distances is to find that your battery is dead. Because of this reason, it is essential that your walkie-talkie has a long battery life. Typically, lithium-ion batteries last longer than basic alkaline ones. In addition, many walkie-talkies also use nickel-metal hydride batteries that can be recharged. These batteries can last for eight or more hours, so they won’t leave you high and dry. Additionally, you should also consider bringing AA or AAA alkaline batteries with you in case you need backup.

The number of features and functionalities your walkie-talkie has also affects how long the battery lasts. You can also opt for long-range walkie-talkies that come with battery-saving features for optimal performance over long distances.

Audio Clarity

Since walkie-talkies are audio-receiving and audio-sending devices, they need to have voice clarity. This is particularly true for long-range walkie-talkies, which send and receive messages from long distances that are liable to become distorted due to impediments.

Make sure you always opt for a high quality two-way radio; otherwise, you will be setting yourself up for a world of miscommunication.

Water Resistance

If you are a person who is prone to bouts of clumsiness, then it is essential that you buy walkie-talkies that are waterproof. Waterproof walkie-talkies are useful devices, particularly when you are on an outdoor adventure and encounter a little summer shower.

The best long-range two-way radios are resistant to water. In fact, some high-end models come with a better water protection rating. As a result, you can use them in rainy, snowy, or wet conditions.


One of the most essential qualities of the best range walkie-talkies is their durability. Since walkie-talkies are often used as outdoor devices, they need to be tough and sturdy.

Therefore, when buying a long-range walkie-talkie, be sure to invest in a high quality brand. There are plenty of cheap brands available in the market, but you can bet they are not worth the money you pay for them and will break down when you need them the most.

Extra Features

If you like bells and whistles in your long-range walkie-talkies, then you can invest in a unit that offers you lots of features. The best long-range walkie-talkies come with several enhancements like voice-activated transmissions, quick pairing, privacy protection, ringtones, and settings lock.

Some walkie-talkies also come with weather and hazard alerts. These can be particularly helpful since they can notify you about a broad range of natural disasters or civil emergencies. Some modern models also sync with phone apps and allow users to send text messages or their coordinates to other members with the same long-range two-way radio model.


If you want to invest in long-range walkie-talkies with the most advanced features, you need to pay for them. The more money you spend on your two-way radio, the more features you can expect. In addition, feature-rich walkie-talkies also perform better.

Just make sure that whatever you buy, you don’t bust your budget and the unit offers you long-lasting value.

Final Words

So, there you have it. These are the top factors you need to consider when buying a walkie-talkie for long-range applications. There might be many brands of walkie-talkies but the most expensive brand does not always mean the best option for you. Keep in mind your needs, preferences, and budget, and then buy a good quality and reliable walkie-talkie that has a decent range, a long battery life, weather resistance, and durability to keep you company.

If you want to learn more about the best handheld walkie-talkie for long range, feel free to explore our free guides. We offer great information for both newbie and professional walkie-talkie users and can give you all the guidance you need to make an informed buying decision.

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