The best waterproof walkie talkies

(When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.)

In this article, I review the best waterproof walkie talkies:

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here is my recommendation:

I recommend the DEWALT DXFRS800 walkie talkies.  – They are dustproof and completely waterproof / submersible. Their sturdy design, very long battery life and lifetime warranty from a very reputable company make these walkie talkies an excellent choice.

Things to consider when choosing waterproof walkie talkies

Waterproof rating

Walkie talkies (and all electrical devices) have a standardized waterproof rating that defines how resistant the device is to water. There are 2 equivalent standards to measure a device’s resistance to water. – JIS rating and the IPX rating.  Both of these standards give a waterproof rating from 0 to 7. 0 is the lowest rating (not at all waterproof) and 7 is the highest (completely waterproof and submersible). In between, the rating of 4 means the device is “splash proof”, in other words, it will keep the rain out.

FRS and GMRS

In the USA, there are 2 types of walkie talkie service that are authorized by the FCC. These services are FRS and GMRS:

FRS

FRS stands for “Family Radio Service”. You do NOT need an FCC license to use FRS.  FRS is not as powerful as GMRS and has a maximum of 2 watts transmitting power. Consequently, the operating range of FRS in normal conditions is about 1 mile.  

The FRS is allocated 22 channels in the 462 MHz and 467 MHz range in the ultra high frequency (UHF) band.  These same channels and frequencies are also used by GMRS but the big difference is that FRS has tighter power restrictions per channel.

(The allocation of channels and frequencies as well as the power restrictions for both FRS and GMRS are summarised in the comparison table further down this page.)

FRS uses FM (frequency modulation).

GMRS

GMRS stands for “General Mobile Radio Service”. GMRS can transmit at up to 50 watts on certain channels and requires a license from the FCC to operate. At the time of writing, a GMRS license costs $70 and is valid for 10 years. You do not need to pass an exam to receive a GMRS license.

GMRS also uses FM (frequency modulation) and is allocated a total of 30 channels in the 462 MHz and 467 MHz range in the ultra high frequency (UHF) band. The first 22 channels are the same as FRS. The additional 8 channels are used as repeater inputs, meaning they can communicate with repeaters, which greatly increase the operating range. These 8 repeater input channels are unique to GMRS and are what make GMRS superior to FRS.

GMRS is also authorized to transmit with more power (up to 50 watts on some channels) and can therefore achieve a higher operating range when compared to FRS. The operating range of GMRS is described as “line of sight” and a range of 2 miles can be achieved and even up to 5 miles if located in an elevated area.  Using repeaters service increases the range significantly. The range for GMRS radios using repeaters can be over a hundred miles.

FRS vs GMRS comparison table

FrequencyFRS
Channel
FRS PowerFRS
Bandwidth
GMRS PowerGMRS
Bandwidth
462.5625 MHz12 W12.5 kHz5 W20 kHz
462.5875 MHz22 W12.5 kHz5 W20 kHz
462.6125 MHz32 W12.5 kHz5 W20 kHz
462.6375 MHz42 W12.5 kHz5 W20 kHz
462.6625 MHz52 W12.5 kHz5 W20 kHz
462.6875 MHz62 W12.5 kHz5 W20 kHz
462.7125 MHz72 W12.5 kHz5 W20 kHz
467.5625 MHz80.5 W12.5 kHz0.5 W12.5 kHz
467.5875 MHz90.5 W12.5 kHz0.5 W12.5 kHz
467.6125 MHz100.5 W12.5 kHz0.5 W12.5 kHz
467.6375 MHz110.5 W12.5 kHz0.5 W12.5 kHz
467.6625 MHz120.5 W12.5 kHz0.5 W12.5 kHz
467.6875 MHz130.5 W12.5 kHz0.5 W12.5 kHz
467.7125 MHz140.5 W12.5 kHz0.5 W12.5 kHz
462.5500 MHz152 W12.5 kHz50 W20 kHz
462.5750 MHz162 W12.5 kHz50 W20 kHz
462.6000 MHz172 W12.5 kHz50 W20 kHz
462.6250 MHz182 W12.5 kHz50 W20 kHz
462.6500 MHz192 W12.5 kHz50 W20 kHz
462.6750 MHz202 W12.5 kHz50 W20 kHz
462.7000 MHz212 W12.5 kHz50 W20 kHz
462.7250 MHz222 W12.5 kHz50 W20 kHz
467.5500 MHzN/AN/AN/A50 W20 kHz
467.5750 MHzN/AN/AN/A50 W20 kHz
467.6000 MHzN/AN/AN/A50 W20 kHz
467.6250 MHzN/AN/AN/A50 W20 kHz
467.6500 MHzN/AN/AN/A50 W20 kHz
467.6750 MHzN/AN/AN/A50 W20 kHz
467.7000 MHzN/AN/AN/A50 W20 kHz
467.7250 MHzN/AN/AN/A50 W20 kHz

Size and weight

Walkie talkies are mobile devices. You are going to be carrying them around a lot so size and weight are important factors.

Power source / battery type

Be sure to check how the walkie talkies are powered. What type of batteries do they take and how many? Can the batteries be recharged and if so how? Are the batteries included with the walkie talkies? In addition to batteries, can the radios be powered via the mains with a power cord? Are the power cords and charging cables included?

Battery life

Battery life is closely related to the type and number of batteries that a walkie talkie takes. The stronger the battery and the more of them of them that are used / needed, then the longer the battery life will be.  Another factor affecting battery life is operating output power and usage. As an example – A GMRS radio operating at maximum power of 50 watts on channel 20 will have a lower battery life than an FRS radio operating on the same channel 20 at its maximum permitted output power of 2 watts.  So be sure to check the battery life data and the operating conditions used to test that data.

Earpieces / headsets

A very useful feature of a walkie talkie is an earpiece or headset with a “push to talk” button.  Headsets and earpieces are very useful in environments where privacy and discretion are important because they prevent communications from being heard by people close by. Also, earpieces and headsets allow for hands-free usage.  Not all walkie talkies have this capability so be sure to check if this is important to you.

Half duplex vs full duplex

Half duplex and full duplex are 2 possibilites for the direction of transmission.

Half duplex – transmission in both directions is possible, but not at the same time. This is the most common setup for walkie-talkies. While you are pressing the transmit button and talking, you can’t hear anything the other party is saying.

Full duplex – Transmission is possible in both directions at the same time (simultaneously). This mode is how telephones operate but it is also possible in some advanced walkie-talkies.

Privacy codes

Since all walkie talkies operate on the same channels, interference can occur between several unrelated users using the same channels at the same time.  Privacy codes are designed to tackle this problem.  With privacy codes enabled on a pair of walkie talkies that you have bought, each walkie talkie in the pair will filter out all communications that do not contain your privacy code.

The best waterproof walkie talkies from our review

DEWALT DXFRS800 walkie talkies

These DEWALT DXFRS800 waterproof walkie talkies come as a pair and are built on the FRS (Family Radio Service) platform. They are perfectly suited to work applications such as hotel front desk and reception, retail, restaurants and jobsites. They have a waterproof rating of IP67 which means they are dustproof as well as completely waterproof / submersible. Their 2 watts of power, strong design, long battery life (18 hours) and hands-free voice activation function are just some of the features that make these walkie talkies an excellent choice.

Features & specifications

No license needed: The walkie talkies use FRS which do NOT require an FCC licence or any service fees.

Power source and charging: Each radio uses a 2000mAH rechargeable lithium polymer battery (included).  The radios are charged with the dual charging dock (also included).

Battery life: Each radio has a battery life of 18 hours when used in the following conditions – 90% Standby / 5% Talk / 5% Listen. There is a very useful power saver function – If there are no transmissions within 10 seconds, the unit will automatically switch to battery save mode.

Range: The official information from the manufacturer states 37 miles but that is “mountain to mountain.” In a flat rural environment without obstacles like on a lake, you can get a range of 9 miles. In an urban environment, the range is 2 miles.

22 Preset Channels: Channels are preset with privacy codes to minimize unwanted interference from others.

Waterproof and dustproof: The walkie talkies are rated IP67 (dustproof and totally waterproof / submersible)

Shock resistant: Can withstand 2-meter drop.

VOX Voice-activated transmission: There is no need to press a button to transmit. Just start talking.

Roger beep tone: A confirmation tone indicates the completion of your transmission and signals to others that it is clear to talk.

Vibration Alert: Enhanced vibrating feedback to notify you of incoming transmissions.

Auto squelch: Filter out weak transmissions or unwanted noise, static and interference due to terrain or range constraints.

Key lock: When activated, provides key pad security by preventing accidental channel changes.

Clear audio: These walkie talkies use FM on the UHF band which has very high audio quality.

Speaker / microphone jack: Allows use of wall charger, or earphone speaker/microphones (not included) for hands-free use.

Belt clips: Belt clips are included and they can be swivelled 360˚in all directions.

Output power: 2 watts (This is the maximum permitted power for FRS radios)

Dimensions (per walkie talkie): 2.2 x 2.6 x 7.3 inches  (56 x 152 x 185 mm)
Weight per walkie talkie (without batteries): 12.35 ounces  ( 350 grams)

Pros

  • Sturdy design – The radios are shock resistant and very strong.
  • Waterproof and dustproof – The IP67 rating means that they keep the dust out and are completely waterproof / submersible.
  • VOX voice-activated transmission (optional function) – If you enable this function, you don’t need to fumble about to try and press the PTT button. You can just start talking and the radio will transmit automatically.
  • No FCC license needed and no fees to pay.
  • Long battery life – With 18 hours of battery life, you won’t be wasting time recharging.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Lifetime warranty – Dewalt is a very good brand and these radios come with a lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • The belt clips are a bit flimsy.

Midland GXT1000VP4 walkie talkies

These Midland GXT1000VP4 walkie talkies are sold as a pair. They use the more powerful GMRS radio system and with the maximum transmit power of 5 watts, these radios have a range of up to 36 miles (depending on conditions). They have a waterproof rating of  JIS4 (splash proof).

These walkie talkies come with lots of useful features:

Features & specifications

GMRS radio – These walkie-talkies have 50 GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) channels.

Scan function – Each walkie talkie can rapidly scan all 50 channels and stop on any active channel. It will resume scanning after 4 seconds when the channel is no longer active.

Call alerts – You can transmit a choice of 10 call alerts for a fixed length of time. To send a call alert, you press the CALL button, the TX icon will appear and a tone can be heard on the speaker for confirmation.

SOS siren – You can emit a very loud SOS siren by pressing and holding down the SOS button for 5 seconds. The SOS siren icon will appear on the display and the display backlight will flash. To deactivate the SOS siren, you press the PTT button twice.

Splash proof design – The JIS4 rating means that the radios are splash proof. They will keep the rain out.

Operating range –  Up to 36 miles (depending on conditions)

Voice-activated transmission –  There are 9 sensitivity levels of voice-activation so that you can transmit without having to press buttons. This allows for hands-free operation.

Silent mode – All “beeps” and “tones” are disabled.

Roger beep (end of transmission) tone – When the PTT (press to talk) button is released, the radio will beep to confirm to other users that your transmission has finished.

Vibrate alert – Be alerted on an incoming communication via a vibration of the device.

Whisper function – You can transmit a normal volume communication even if you are in fact whispering.

Dual watch function – You can scan 2 channels for activity – the current channel plus one other channel of your choosing.

142 CTCSS/DCS privacy codes – The privacy codes combined with all the available channels give you up to 3,124 channel combinations to block out other unwanted conversations.

NOAA weather scan and alerts – NOAA weather scan function will automatically scan through 10 available weather (WX) channels and locks onto the strongest weather channel to alert you of severe weather updates with an audible alarm.

Power source / charging – Each walkie talkie operates with either 1x NiMH battery pack (included) or  4x AA alkaline batteries (not included).  The NiMH battery pack can be recharged using the desktop charger (included). Initial charge time is 24 hours with a charge time of 12 hours thereafter.

External speaker and microphone jacks – You can plug in an external speaker/ microphone or headset (included) and therefore use the walkie talkies hands-free.

Dimensions: 4 x 2.4 x 1.4 inches  (102 x 61 x 36 mm)
Weight:  4.8 ounces ( 137 grams)

In the box

  • 2x Midland GXT1000VP4 walkie talkies.
  • 2x Rechargeable battery packs.
  • 2x Boom mic headsets.
  • 2x Belt clips.
  • 120V dual desktop charger.
  • AC adapter.
  • DC adapter.
  • User manual.

Pros

  • Splash-proof design will keep out the rain.
  • Lots of advanced features (scan, call alerts, SOS siren, silent mode, whisper function, voice-activated transmissions, NOAA weather alerts)
  • Choice of rechargeable battery pack or alkaline batteries.
  • 5 watts of power give you a large operating range of up to 36 miles (depending on conditions).
  • Boom mic headsets are included.

Cons

  • The headsets are a bit uncomfortable.
  • It takes 12 hours to recharge the batteries.

Cobra CXT1095FLTCW walkie talkies

These Cobra CXT1095FLTCW walkie talkies (sold as a pair) are FRS compliant that don’t require an FCC license to operate. They are completely waterproof / submersible and float in water.

Features & specifications

Waterproof / submersible and floating – With a maximum rating of IPX7, each radio is completely waterproof and submersible in water. If you do accidentally drop one of the radios in water, it will come back up to the surface and float! The “burp” feature enables you to to expel water from inside the speaker grill so that you can continue to clearly hear all incoming communications.

Channels / frequencies:  These walkie talkies have the standard 22 FRS / GMRS channels. They are compliant with FCC regulations with regards to FRS because on FRS channels 8 through 14, the radio automatically switches to  0.5 watts of power.

Adjustable power – You can transmit selectively at 0.5, 1, or 2 watts of power, depending on the intended range.

Power source and charging – Each walkie talkie is powered by 3x AA rechargeable batteries (included) or 3x non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. You can recharge the batteries inside each walkie talkie using one of 2 methods. 1)Plug one end of a USB charging cable into the walkie talkie and the other end into a power source or 2) Plug one end of a USB charging cable into the desktop charger and the other end into a power source. The desktop charger is included. Charging time is 15 hours.

Operating range – Up to 37 miles (depending on power options and conditions)

NOAA all hazards radio channels and alerts – You can listen to NOAA all hazards radio channels that are transmitting in your area. With the weather alert function, you can  automatically receive NOAA weather signals and warnings about dangerous weather.

Memory presets – There are 10 memory presets for storing your most frequently-used channels and channel/privacy code combinations.

Call alerts – There is a choice of 10 different call tone settings to transmit a call alert.

Vibration and call alerts – The walkie talkie can alert you to incoming signals by sounding an audible call tone and/or vibration.

Channel scan – You can automatically scan all channels until activity is found on a channel.

Tri-watch – You can scan three channels of your choice for activity.

Roger beep con­firmation tone – The listener will hear an audible tone when the person transmitting releases the PTT (press to talk) button. This tells the listener that the other person has finished talking.

LED SOS flashlight – There is a flash light integrated into each radio.

Auto squelch – The walkie talkie will automatically filter out weak transmissions and unwanted static/noise due to obstacles.

Lock Function – The lock function locks the following buttons to prevent accidental use: Channel Up, Channel Down, Volume Up, Volume Down and Mode/Power.

Privacy Codes – There are a total of 121 privacy codes (38x CTCSS and 83 DCS) which help you to filter out static and interference from other users.

Voice-activated transmission (VOX) – In VOX mode, you can use the walkie talkies “hands-free,” automatically transmitting when you speak. The sensitity level can be configured at the level of your choosing.

Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.7 x 6.7 inches  (64 x 43 x 170 mm)
Weight:   1.58 pounds (717 grams)

In the box

  • 2x Cobra CXT1095FLTCW walkie talkies.
  • 1x Micro usb charging dock (can charge both radios at the same time).
  • 2x Belt clips.
  • 6x NiMH rechargeable batteries (3 for each radio).
  • User manual.

Pros

  • Waterproof and they float – They are completely waterproof / submersible (IPX7) and will float if they are in water.
  • Lots of advanced features.
  • FRS compliant – You don’t need a FCC GMRS license to operate them.
  • NOAA weather channels and alerts.

Cons

  • Audio quality could be better.
  • Range – The operating range is advertised as “up to 37 miles” but in more common and normal operating conditions, a range of 2 miles is more realistic.

Motorola MU350R two-way radios

These Motorola MU350R two-way radios / walkie talkies are sold as a pair. They have all the usual 22 FRS/GMRS channels and also have 121 privacy codes to filter out unwanted communications and interference. These walkie talkies can be paired with a Bluetooth headset. Each radio can also receive NOAA weather broadcasts and alerts.

Features & specifications

Bluetooth compatible – Pair the walkie talkies with your Bluetooth headset.

Channels / frequencies: Each radio has 22 FRS/GMRS channels. Channels 8-14 are FRS 0.5 watt only (in compliance with the FCC regulations) and all other channels are GMRS.

Power output: 1.5 watts (except for FRS channels 8-14 where the output is 0.5 watts.)

Operating range – Up to 35 miles (depending on conditions)

Weatherproof – This radio is weatherproof to IP-54 standards. It is dust/splashproof from any direction.

Power source / charging – Each radio can use either 1x NiMH rechargeable battery pack (included) or 3x AA alkaline batteries. The radio battery icon shows the battery charge level from full to empty.  The radio beeps when the batteries are low. The NiMH rechargeable battery pack can be recharged with the Y cable wall adapter with 2 mini-USB connectors (included). After the initial charge, an empty battery will be fully charged in 7 hours.

Call tones – You can transmit one of a choice of 20 call tones call tones to other radios in your group to alert them that you want to transmit.

Privacy codes – You have the use of 121 privacy codes which reduce interference by blocking transmissions from unknown sources.

Hands-free use – The iVOX function detects your voice and transmits when you speak into the internal microphone without having to press any buttons. You can also transmit hands-free more reliably with the use of a Bluetooth headset (not included).

Vibrating call alert – The walkie talkie will vibrate once every 30 seconds to alert you of an incoming communication on a channel and privacy code of your choice.

Talk confirmation tone – You can set your radio to transmit a unique tone when you finish transmitting. It is to save you having to say “Roger” or “Over” every time.

Dual watch scan – This feature allows you to monitor two channels at the same time.

Emergency alert mode – This feature can be used to signal members in your group of your need for urgent help.

Flashlight – Each radio has a built-in flashlight / torch that can be turned on and off as required.

Keypad lock – Prevents you from accidentally changing settings.

Channel scan – Use scan to search the 22 channels for transmissions from unknown parties, to find someone in your group who has accidentally changed channels, or to quickly find unused channels for your own use.

Weather Receiver – You can listen to broadcasts by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio and Environment Canada Weather radio.

NOAA weather alerts – A special alarm tone sounds an alert and turns on the weather receiver to give you immediate weather and emergency information in your area.

Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.6 x 2.8 inches (200 x 41 x 71 mm)
Weight:    1.51 pounds (685 grams)

In the box

  • 2x Motorola MU350R two-way radios.
  • 2x NiMH rechargeable battery packs.
  • 2x Belt clips.
  • 1x Y-cable wall adapter with 2 mini-USB connectors.
  • User manual.

Pros

  • Weatherproof (IP54) – Each radio is dust/splashproof from any direction.
  • Lots of advanced features like call tones, emergency alerts, channel scanning, flashlight, vibration alerts, privacy codes.
  • NOAA weather broadcasts and alerts.
  • Decent battery life of about 15 hours of above average use.
  • Bluetooth compatible – Pair these walkie talkies with a Bluetooth headset.

Cons

  • The audio quality could be better.

Uniden SX507-2CKHS walkie talkies

These Uniden SX507-2CKHS walkie talkies are sold as a pair and come with rechargeable batteries, a charging dock and hands-free ear buds.  The maximum range of these waterproof walkie talkies is 50 miles (depending on the channel, power options and conditions.)

Number of channels: 22 for communication + 7 weather channels

Operating Frequency (MHz)

FRS: 462.5500 – 467.7125
Weather WX: 162.4000 – 162.5500

Operating range by channel

Channels 1-7: Up to 18 miles (up to 50 miles with BOOST)
Channels 8-14: Up to 5 miles
Channels 15-22: Up to 18 miles (up to 50 miles with BOOST)

Power source and charging – Each radio uses 3x rechargeable 1000mAH AA batteries (included). The batteries are recharged by using the dual charging cradle with USB adaptor (included). Charge time is 16 hours. 3x alkaline batteries can also be used if preferred (not included).

Battery life: 8.5 hours with the following usage – 90% standby / 5% transmit / 5% listening

Features & specifications

  • 142 Privacy Codes (CTCSS Tone and DCS Code)
  • 143 Group codes
  • Hands-free communications with the earbuds (included)
  • NOAA emergency weather alerts
  • Waterproof (IPX7 / JIS7) – Submersible and Floats
  • Direct call with name display
  • Silent mode
  • 10 Selectable call / ring tone alerts
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Roger beep
  • Call alert / Vibrate alert
  • Headset jack – Hands-free earbuds are included.
  • Channel monitor
  • Channel scan / Group scan
  • Keypad lock
  • Emergency light
  • Last channel memory

Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 3.5 inches (178 x 102 x 89 mm)
Weight:  1.92 pounds (871 grams)

In the box

  • 2x Uniden SX507-2CKHS walkie talkies.
  • 2x Hands-free earbuds.
  • 2x Belt clips.
  • 6x AA rechargeable batteries (3 for each radio).
  • 1x Dual charging cradle with USB adaptor.

Pros

  • Waterproof (IPX7 / JIS7) – The walkie talkies are 100% waterproof and submersible. They will also float in water.
  • Battery life is a respectable 8.5 hours.
  • Hands-free earbuds are included.
  • NOAA weather broadcasts and alerts.
  • Lots of advanced features.

Cons

  • Charge time is 16 hours.
  • The advertised maximum operating range of 50 miles seems to be unrealistic. Actual range will be less than that.

Conclusion

So what are the best waterproof two way radios? I recommend the DEWALT DXFRS800 walkie talkies.  – They are dustproof and completely waterproof / submersible. Their sturdy design, very long battery life and lifetime warranty from a very reputable company make these walkie talkies an excellent choice.

Leave a comment

Don`t copy text!