Like other snow-bound adventures, skiing needs some investment in the right gear. Having the right gear will increase your performance while also ensuring your safety. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best walkie talkie for skiing so you can find the best one for your next trip to the ski hill.
One of the most important pieces of skiing gear is actually the walkie talkie for skiing. Walkie talkies come in handy when skiing because they are much easier to use than cellular phones. Phones are disadvantageous in this sense because no matter their sophistication or the cutting-edge tech used in them, there is a lot fiddling involved in using a phone, even if you only wish to make call.
If you are skiing and you have gloves on you, you have to remove your gloves to begin even swiping and searching for contacts. It can take acwhile to get your gloves off and in an emergency situation in subzero temperatures, a phone might not necessarily be your best friend.
Walkie talkies are much easier to use in a skiing environment as you simply have to press the PTT (Push-to-Talk) button on your radio even when you still have your gloves on. With walkie talkies, you also don’t have to touch the device to get the incoming messages. Depending on the design of the walkie talkies, you can simply clip them onto your backpacks and you will be able to use them easily without fiddling around.
If you want to ski and scrimp on the costs, you will obviously love the fact that two-way radios do not cost you any call charges. The savings can be particularly significant if you are skiing in a foreign country with a roaming line and don’t want to incur the exorbitant international calling rates.
The bottom-line is that mobile phones are simply too much of hassle when you are out here skiing in subzero temperatures and you will better off with a good walkie talkie for skiing. In this article, we look at some of the best walkie talkies for skiing that you can take with you on your next snow-bound outings.
Midland GXT1000VP4 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio
Amazon ASIN: B01786WDT4
The Midland GXT1000VP4 ski walkie talkie is a 50-channel two-way radio of good size and excellent range. It is durable and easy to use and with excellent volume and audio quality.
It has a convenient water-resistant finish that enables you to use the walkie talkie in the snow without worrying about water damage. It delivers enhanced power and excellent battery life all for a relatively good price.
It remains one of the best two-way radios for use in various kinds of snow sports and snow-bound adventures. The Midland GXT1000VP4 is a popular choice for top-tier skiers and is kitted with a JIS4 waterproof protection that will give you excellent waterproofing in icy conditions, protecting your device from rainfall drips and splashes. You can take it to extreme weather conditions without worrying about a possible breakdown or malfunction due to water damage.
The Midland GXT1000VP4 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio features a maximum legally allowed X-TRA talk power that gives extra clear transmissions during your communications.
It has 3214 channel options assuring you of a free channel of use. Every bit of functionality in the GXT1000VP4 is cleverly designed for ease of operation including its PTT button, the volume knob, built-in speaker and the mic. This skiing walkie talkie also features extra earphone and mic jacks to provide for extra versatility. No matter your skiing environment, you can be sure that the GXT1000VP4 will deliver with top end reliability.
- 50 channels
- Delivers a range of up to 36 miles
- 24-hour battery life with the AAA and 8-hour with NiMH.
- Waterproof protection
Verdict: The Midland GXT1000VP4 ski walkie talkie is a large radio with good range. It is not perfect for all situations and the battery life is poor. However, its long range is its biggest selling point. On other fronts, it doesn’t offer a considerable superior advantage over other walkie talkies.
DEWALT DXFRS800 2-Watt Heavy Duty Walkie Talkies
Amazon ASIN: B07J2DGCLT
The DEWALT DXFRS800 is a heavy-duty walkie talkie that comes in sixes and with an impressive range of 300,000 square feet as well as up to 25 floors. If you are out on the slopes with this device, you clearly won’t have a problem communicating with other people.
It features more than 2,500 channel combinations that enable you to have relative privacy in your conversations. You can use the swivel to position the walkie talkie in numerous ways.
The build of the DEWALT DXFRS800 is super-premium with plenty of top-quality features. It is a well-built and very durable walkie talkie for skiing. It is dust-proof and most importantly waterproof, enabling you to use it in extreme wintery conditions without the risk of damaging the device.
It has a rugged and robust design and will withstand up to 2-meter falls. The shock resistance of the DEWALT DXFRS800 is incredible. The device also features a hands-free mode that enable you to communicate with it easily.
- 22 preset channels with privacy codes
- Range of up to 300,000 square feet
- IP67 standard waterproof and dustproof build guarantees maximum protection.
- 2W RF Output
Amazon ASIN: B00MAULSOK
The BaoFeng BF-F8HP combines raw power with a super rugged design. This is a dual and handheld walkie talkie which is a new generation UV-5R, a considerable improvement over the BaoFeng’s dual band two-way radio. It gives you extra transmission power by deploying a new generation chipset complete with a concierge service.
The BaoFeng BF-F8HP gives you up to three power levels- 1, 4 and 8 watts. It is equipped with a 2000mAh battery as well as a High-Gain V-85 Antenna. There is an in-depth guide as well as a concierge support.
In spite of the considerable improvements in the BaoFeng BF-F8HP, the walkie still retains perfect backward compatibility with the earlier BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two-Way Radio. The robust and very rugged design combined with relative affordability makes it one of the best walkie talkies for skiing.
It has an impressive and up-to-date N5R-340A firmware which is not found in any other walkie talkie model.
- 8-watt power output
- 2000mAh long lasting Li-ion battery
- 400-520Mhz UHF frequency range
Motorola 22-Channel Weatherproof Two Way Radio
Amazon ASIN: B0140A5I1G
The Motorola 22-Channel Weatherproof Two Way radio is another skiing walkie talkie workhorse. Its weatherproof capabilities are excellent. With an IP54 rating you can bet the device will withstand splashes of water and some level of immersion.
Also known as the Talkabout T460, this is a walkie talkie that you can use in the wide outdoors with a lot of confidence. It will withstand not only snow but also rain and anything out there which the elements can throw it.
It is also one of the easiest walkie talkies to use. With just a press of the button, you will be good to go. You can use it to connect with the friends and enjoy skiing and communicating with one another within a 35-mile range, theoretically. In practice, the range will be much small but still satisfactory. It also features lots of emergency features as well as hands-free communication.
With the Motorola 22-Channel walkie talkie, you won’t have to worry about losing one another if you are skiing in a group.
The range of 35 miles should be adequate for most group skiing activities. Should a white-out warning scatter your group during a ski outing, you can be confident of locating your group members and staying in touch.
The two-way radio gives you up to 22 channels. The T460 leverages FRS/GMRS channels enabling you to connect to other radios in its range through the same channels.
This multi-channel support will enable you to reach everyone in your vicinity and get help. It also features 121 privacy codes to provide you with a more secure connection in your radio communications.
You can use the rechargeable batteries or AA batteries to operate the device. Even without a charger, you can still use the Talkabout T460 with the alkaline batteries.
- Get 22 channels each of which has 121 Privacy Codes. It is easy to find a channel with the 2,662 combinations.
- Range of up to 35 miles (theoretically, in lab-like conditions).
- IP54 waterproof
- PTT Power Boost
- Has iVOX and VOX Handsfree operation
Motorola MR350R Ski Walkie Talkie
Amazon ASIN: B001UE6MJ8
Next on our list of the best walkie talkie for skiing is the Motorolla MR350. Like the Motorola T460, the MR350R is also a 22-channel two-way radio with a 35-mile range. If you are looking for a cheaper Motorola alternative which packs a punch, you can run with this option. Each of its 22 channels has 121 privacy codes so like in the T460, you get a total of 2,662 combinations which simplifies the task for finding a suitable channel.
It is a two-way walkie talkie with an impressive 35-mile radius in open valleys and mountains which should adequately serve you in case of any emergencies during your snow-bound adventures. In practice, you will get a range of 6 miles in water as well as 2 miles in obstructed areas.
You get other useful additions such as the NOAA national weather service for up-to-date weather updates. This ski walkie talkie enables you to even set weather alerts. It is equipped with other handy features such as a built-in flashlight for use during emergencies or blackouts.
You also get some great waterproofing and dust-resistance build thanks to its IP51 rating in its finishes. It is easy to tug along on your skiing adventures. You can easily tack them inside the zippered pockets of your ski pants. The MR350R is widely popular with many skiers thanks to its premium build and affordable cost.
- Has 22 channels each of which has 121 Privacy Codes giving you loads of combinations.
- Two radio pairs with a range of up to 35 miles (in ideal lab-like conditions). The practical range will of course be much lower but still adequate.
- IP51 rating
- VOX/iVOX Handsfree Operation
Motorola T600 H2O Talkabout Radio
Amazon ASIN: B01DM7AKOI
The Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio is just the kind of walkie talkie that you can take anywhere with you, including in your wildest skiing adventures. The walkie talkie features a rugged and waterproof design and with plenty of emergency features that make it an indispensable piece of safety gear when you are out skiing in the most extreme weather.
It packs impressive radio features and has top-line 35-mile range. The radio can even float so should it fall or accidentally drop in water, you can still retrieve it and use it to call for emergency help just in time.
It is equipped with a water-activated flashlight that will switch on if you drop it in water to enable you to quickly locate it. It also has a bright yellow-green color that enables you to easily locate it in snow. The flashlight in the T600 H2O Talkabout has a red LED to help you retain night vision. The T600 H2O has premium radio features for reliable communications in the wildest of outdoor adventures.
IP67 rating standard offers you excellent waterproofing, ensuring you stay connected in extreme weather conditions. Each of its 22 channels contains 121 Privacy Codes giving you a total of 2,662 combinations that allow you to easily find an available channel. A NOAA radio service offers you real-time weather updates in advance. There is also a low battery alert that lets you know when you are about to run out of juice so you can quickly recharge before you embark on risky adventures.
- It features 22 channels each of which has 121 Privacy Codes
- IP67 waterproof rating
- Get up to 23 hours of battery life (alkaline batteries) and 9 hours of battery life for NiMH.
Midland LXT630VP3 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio
Amazon ASIN: B01NC0O22H
With the Midland LXT630VP3, you get a set of not two but three walkie talkies all available in bright yellow-black colors. It is a well-kitted two-way radio with 36 channels each of which has 121 Privacy Codes. It also comes with chargers, belt clips and loads of batteries.
It has excellent waterproofing and the rugged build allows you to use it in the most extreme of weather conditions. You get a superior reception with this 36-channel two-way radio with clear point-to-point communications. It also has excellent quality transmission and sound. With the Midland LXT630VP3, you can get limitless connections to the other GMRS and FRS two-way radios at the same frequencies, a convenient capability that ensures you can always make contact in case of emergencies.
The faceplate has a bright yellow color for high visibility, particularly in snowy conditions. It has a communication range of up to 30 miles and its 36 channels along with 14 extra channels give you easy button access. Other features include a Dual Power Option which enables you to choose between two different power sources: the rechargeable battery pack or three AAA alkaline batteries. The rechargeable pack gives you up to 12 hours’ worth of juice. This is an affordable and full-featured two-way radio well suited for long-range communications when you are out there skiing.
- 36 channels each of which has 121 CTCSS Privacy Codes
- Has a theoretical range of 30 miles and is therefore suited for long-range communications.
Retevis RT48 Walkie Talkies
Now here is a walkie talkie that is specially designed for skiing. It is a waterproof and weatherproof two-way radio with 16 channels featuring built-in CTCSS/DCS. You can get a lot of functionalities and capabilities with the RT48 including an emergency alarm, channel scan, power save mode as well as VOX handfree operation. It has multiple features all of which are designed to meet your skiing and hiking excursion radio needs.
The Retevis RT48 walkie talkie is 100% waterproof with a top rating of IP67. This is a two-way radio that you can literally take with you anywhere during your outdoor adventures. It will give you a stellar performance in wet and extreme snowy weather. It is also a license-free radio that you can use without a certificate. It comes with a rechargeable Li-ion battery with good battery life. You can even charge it with USB enabling you to charge it in your car and even on the on the go with a power bank. Emergency alarm features allow you to easily call for help.
- IP67 waterproof rating
- 1200mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery that will last you 10 to 12 hours.
- VOX and iVOX Delay Handsfree Operation
- Busy channel lockout
What is a Two-Way Radio?
A two-way radio refers to a radio that can both transmit and receive audio. They are available in various formats such as stationary radios and the handheld radios. The stationary radios can be put on a desk or fitted in vehicles. The handheld two-way radios are more commonly known as walkie talkies. Both stationary and handheld radios have a button known as PTT (Push-to-Talk). When you press the PTT button, you can transmit the audio (your voice).
Are Walkie Talkies Legal?
The legality of the walkie talkie depends on its power and the jurisdiction. Different kinds of walkie talkie have different legal requirements depending on the country where you plan to use it. In the UK and EU in general, the basic and shorter-range walkie talkies which adhere to the EU-wide “PMR446” standard can be used without licensing. These are usually radios with a power output of just about 0.5 watts and with a much shorter range. The more powerful walkie talkies with a power output of 4-5 watts are licensable in the EU and UK.
In the US, the licensing for walkie talkies is regulated by the FCC. The FCC has the following classifications for two-way radios:-
- Family Radio Service (FRS)
- General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
- Multi-use Radio Service (MURS)
The FRS radios do not require a license while the GMRS radios need an FCC license. To use a walkie talkie labeled ‘GMRS’, you will need to pay a fee and file in two FCC forms- 159 and 605.
Can I Use Walkie Talkies Abroad?
Walkie talkies work independently and can work anywhere in the world but it is important to understand the legal terrain regulating the use of walkie talkies in each jurisdiction. A license-free walkie talkie in the US may not necessarily be legal in Europe and vice versa. When you are planning to use your walkie abroad, check if your type of walkie talkie can be used license-free in your destination country. The key factor to look out for here is the frequency: determine if your radio’s frequency is unrestricted in the country where you are planning to use it.
You can use your license-free walkie talkie in most of the EU countries that have implemented the PMR446 standard. This is standard is also used in the UK. The frequencies that have been set by the PMR446 standard ensure that the frequencies of the license-free users do not interfere with those of the licensed users.
Should I Buy a Digital or Analog Walkie Talkie?
The type of walkie talkie you choose, whether digital or analog, will depend on your individual requirements. Overall, the digital walkie talkies will give you a superior functionality than analog walkie talkies. The digital two-way radios have clearer audio quality as well as better coverage. The analog walkie talkies aren’t as clear and will give you less coverage than digital walkie talkies.
Can Other People Hear My Conversations on a Walkie Talkie?
Your conversations on two-way radios can only be heard by people who have tuned in to the same frequency within the range of the walkie talkie.
What is the Range of a Walkie Talkie?
The range of a walkie talkie refers to the maximum distance within which the walkie can communicate with other radios in the vicinity if there are no barriers like landscapes and buildings between them. Short-range low-power walkie talkies will have a range of as low as 4 miles. The majority of walkie talkies will have a range of between 20 and 50 miles. Most of the walkie talkies we have reviewed above have a reasonably good theoretical range of between 30 to 36 miles. However, keep in mind that the listed range of walkie talkie will be attenuated by factors such as the physical and atmospheric obstructions in the location and in practice, the actual range will be much lower.
What Batteries Do the Walkie Talkies Use?
Walkie talkies use different kinds of batteries depending on the manufacturer. The lower-end two-way radios use AA or AAA batteries. Most of the latest walkie talkies use rechargeable Lithium-ion, Nickel-Cadmium or Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries. Typical battery life for the rechargeable batteries usually lies in the range of 9 to 12 hours. The AAA batteries have a battery life of up to 24 hours. When going out on your snow-bound activities, it is prudent to estimate the length of time that you will spend outdoors so you can carry spare batteries.
What is the Typical Battery Life of Walkie Talkies?
It ranges from 9 to 12 hours for the rechargeable batteries to 24 hours for the AAA non-rechargeable batteries.
Are Walkie Talkie Batteries Rechargeable?
The latest walkie talkies come with rechargeable battery pack of either Lithium-ion, Nickel-Metal Hydride or Nickel-Cadmium batteries that you can insert in the two-way radio. Some even come with a charging station which can hold both walkie talkies
Can it Work With Non-Rechargeable AAA Batteries?
Yes. Most walkie talkies are dual charge and have a provision for use with regular AAA alkaline batteries. However, make sure you verify this before purchase.
What is the IP Rating of a Walkie Talkie?
IP rating stands for Ingress Protection Rating and measures a device’s resistance to liquids and solids. IP rating can be written as IP46 where the first digit, in this case ‘4’ measures the device’s resistance to solids such as its dust resistance and the second digit such as ‘6’ in this instance measures the device’s resistance to liquids. IP ratings of IP65, IP66 and IP67 are almost 100% weatherproof and waterproof.
Are Walkie Talkies Waterproof?
It depends on the IP rating of the walkie talkie. Walkie talkies designed for use in damp environments are generally 100% waterproof and weatherproof. A walkie talkie with low IP rating isn’t 100% waterproof and some water will seep into it and might interfere with its operations if it is immersed in water.
However, a walkie talkie for skiing usually has a higher IP rating and will be weatherproof and waterproof. Waterproof walkie talkies can withstand splashes of water and light rain. Some with higher IP rating will withstand even harsher conditions and you can even immerse them in water for a period of time and they will still work.
Do I Need License to Use the GMRS Frequencies?
Based on information on the FCC website, you will need a license to use GMRS walkie talkies. Check above on the legality of using licensed and unlicensed walkie talkies in various jurisdictions.
What Walkie Talkie Channel Can I Use?
All walkie talkies come with a scanning feature that enables a receiver to hear what is happening in the various frequencies. When a frequency is being used, you will hear what is being broadcast on that frequency. If the frequency is clear, you should hear a hiss. When using a walkie talkie, look out for a frequency and the privacy code that you plan to use and then set the clear frequency for your channel.
Are the walkie talkie channels universal?
Theoretically, all two-way radios can communicate with one another when both are operating at the same frequency. The walkie talkie channels are therefore universal irrespective of the model, brand or geographical region.
Can a Walkie Talkie be Tracked?
It is very difficult (almost impossible) to trace walkie talkies unless the two-way radio is equipped with a GPS chip. However, there are very advanced technologies that can be used to triangulate the direction of any radio signal.
Can a Mobile Phone Communicate with a Walkie Talkie?
There are mobile phone apps that you can use to transform your phone into a walkie talkie or into a two-way radio. However, these only work when you have a network connection and this improvisation will not give you the performance that matches that of a real walkie talkie.
Which are the Best Walkie Talkie Brands?
When shopping for a walkie talkie, it is prudent to stick to the major well-known brands with proven two-way products. These include Motorola, Midland, BaoFeng, Cobra and Retevis.
Conclusion Best Walkie Talkies For Skiing
We hope you enjoyed our guide the best walkie-talkies for skiing. If you have any questions regarding this article or any of the products featured on it please be sure to reach out in the comments below. If you did enjoy this guide please be sure to check out some of our others such as our guide to the best snow sunglasses or the best snowboard butt pads.