If asking any skiing expert for the best way to communicate on the slopes, the same answer you’ll get is walkie talkie. While boasting a rugged, durable way of keeping in touch, it attracts no cellular communication charges for cost-free advantage.
Regardless, finding the best walkie talkie for skiing is not difficult. As long as you’re following the guide below.
Here are the best walkie talkies for skiing you can buy in 2020:
- Best Overall: Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio
- Longest-Range: Midland - GXT1000VP4
- Best For Multi-Day Use: Midland - LXT630VP3
- Best Overall: Cobra MRHH350FLT
- Best For Adventuresome Skiers: Standard Horizon HX870
- Lightweight: Standard Horizon HX300
Best Overall: Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio
- Compact and easy to use – ideal for youngsters and low-tech people
- Can be compatible with any FRS/GMRS 2-way radios for flexible usage
- Equipped with a keypad lock to avoid kids from changing the settings accidentally
- No backlit LED display
- Don’t include any wrist strap
- Offer low mile range
Truth to say, Motorola T100 doesn’t stun us as the way that other best-overall products would do, however, the brand really knows how to make their product outstanding.
The most notable feature is its compatibility with other radios, which enables you to communicate with any FRS or GMRS walkie talkie. This means you don’t have to buy other pairs from the same brands, just ensure they are on the same privacy codes and channels.
Another bonus is its compactness and simple settings – a thing that even kids or low-tech people can easily learn how to use.
And yet, there’s still a keypad lock to avoid kids from changing the settings accidentally.
|Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio Specifications|
462 – 467 MHz in the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Band.
Flashing low battery alert
Compatible with any Radio
Being one of the user-friendliest walkie talkies we have ever tested, the Motorola T100 flopped its way into our hearts and brought home our Best-Overall Choice Award.
Longest-Range: Midland - GXT1000VP4
- Offer 36 miles of range to contact the others easily within distances
- You can make secret conversations with other members, using the provided 3124 options from its 28 pre-programmed privacy channels
- Feature a backlit LCD screen that can be used in low-light conditions
- The settings are a bit complexed – not ideal for beginners or low-tech people
- Lack of a universal charging connector
Leaving the strongest impression on our team testers is this Midland – GXT1000VP4.
What you’ll get from this handheld design is a similar long-range to any commercial walkie-talkie device, which is 36 miles in no obstruction environments.
Unlike the Motorola T100, the LED screen of this unit is backlit to let you easily read the information displayed in low-light conditions.
While providing a loud and clear voice, you can take advantage of its 28 pre-programmed privacy channels and 3124 options to make discreet conversations with your ski team, especially during a race.
To ensure your safety during emergencies, the product is built with locator signals and SOS siren alerts. There is also NOAA weather scan to help you upgrade instantly the changing weather.
|Midland – GXT1000VP4 Specifications|
0-25 degrees F
Feature 50 GMRS channels
The JIS4 Waterproof Protection; splash resistant
142 CTCSS/DCS privacy codes
Up to 3,124 channel options to block other conversations
When it comes to purchasing the best long-range walkie talkie, you won’t find any better option than the Midland - GXT1000VP4.
Best For Multi-Day Use: Midland - LXT630VP3
- You can use this device completely hands-free thanks to the built-in Sound Activation Transmission and Easy Voice Recognition
- Allow you to screen out any channel and block out other transmissions
- Offer hi/lo power settings to conserve battery if needed
- No GMRS channels
- Not completely waterproof
Out of many options we’ve tested, the Midland – LXT630VP3 is the most trustworthy and affordable unit.
It features a water-resistant construction, weather alerts, and hands-free function (including the Sound Activation Transmission and Easy Voice Recognition).
What draws our attention to this unit in the first place is its 36 channels with 121 privacy codes to capably amount 2,662 possible channel combinations. Therefore, you can screen out any channel and block out other transmissions like a breeze.
We also love the added Xtreme Range. Although it provides not as a long-range as the previous sibling, we believe 30 miles are still a decent choice for long-range communication.
All-in-all, a perfect choice for skiing, trekking, hiking, or other multi-day uses.
|Midland – LXT630VP3 Specifications|
Feature 36 FRS channels
The bold yellow faceplate provides high visibility
121 CTCSS PRIVACY CODES
Providing weather alerts, convenient hands-free operation, and multiple channel options, the Midland - LXT630VP3 is versatile enough for multi-day usage
Best Overall: Cobra MRHH350FLT
- Provide a belt clip to let you wear the radio on your body
- Include an external mic jack for hands-free capability
- Offer multiple output power options so that you can easily communicate no matter where you’re standing on the slopes
- The belt clip is a bit flimsy
- There’s no USB charger
Cobra MRHH350FLT is one of the best VHF handheld two-way radio for the money currently in the market.
It is compact, lightweight and yet, features a bigger LCD screen display to let you read all information more easily. For those who have the habit of wearing their radio on their body, this Cobra provides a spring-loaded belt clip.
The biggest selling point lies in its multiple output power options – available in 1, 3, and 6 watts for easier communication in long to short distances. There’s also an external mic jack for hands-free capability.
Simple settings are another thing making this unit well-loved by most low-tech skiers. It doesn’t take long to program everything.
|Cobra MRHH350FLT Specifications|
156 – 163 MHz
All NOAA Weather Channels
3 channel maps
In need of a walkie talkie that’s affordable but packed with all need features? We highly recommend the Cobra MRHH350FLT.
Best For Adventuresome Skiers: Standard Horizon HX870
- Can be quickly charged within 3 hours to not take much preparing time of yours
- Allow you to easily send a distress call for help
- You can call other DSC radios with no needs for calling on Channel 16
- Feel free to share your position with others
- Confusing instruction
Speaking of the Standard Horizon HX870, it’s nice to know that with a simple push on the emergency button that you can immediately send a distress call for help. It doesn’t require you to be an experienced user to use it, which is very practical in realistically urgent situations.
DSC calling is perfect. Without calling on Channel 16, you’re still able to call another DSC walkie talkie.
You can even set it up to share your position to the one personally-selected individual or anyone, or, do a position request if needed.
|Standard Horizon HX870 Specifications|
Supplied with an 1800 mAh Li-Ion Battery
3-hour quick chargers
Submersible IPX8 waterproof rating
Designed with safety and function in mind, we find the Standard Horizon HX870 is the best for adventuresome skiers. You actually don’t need a fancy GPS moving map at all.
Lightweight: Standard Horizon HX300
- Weighing just 1.2 pounds -> you can easily carry it anywhere
- Feature LED flashing feature to let you find it easily when accidentally losing it somewhere
- Allow you to hear it clearly in harsh conditions
- Can work consistently in 10 hours
- The wrist strap is slightly short
- No DSC provided
Standard Horizon HX300 is considered one of the lightest and smallest VHF radios in the market nowadays. It’s measured just 9 x 3 x 6 inches and weighs 1.2 pounds to not cumbersome when carrying along.
It also appears to be durable with a shock-absorbent rubber shell, IPX8 waterproof rating and LED flashing feature to let you easily spot out its location.
Its loud internal speaker audio is the best part to let you hear the transmissions in strong winds or stormy weather.
A long battery life is another bonus. Thanks to the 1560 mAH batteries, it can work consistently up to 10 hours instead of 6 or 7 hours like other counterparts at this price point. So rest the heart to count on this when you need it the most.
|Standard Horizon HX300 Specifications|
Large 1.75″ LCD
5 or 1 Watt of transmit power
All scanning functions including Programmable
Priority Scan and Dual/Tri Watch
The Standard Horizon HX300 is a superb, ultra-lightweight, VHF walkie talkie to be a flawless choice of any budget-minded skiers, making your outdoor experience safer and more secure than ever.
How To Choose The Best Walkie Talkies For Skiing?
- This is an inevitable feature to have in any skiing walkie talkies because you’ll use them in snow conditions.
- Make sure that it, at least, meets certain standards for protection and features good waterproof rating (IPX4 to IPX6 would be fine). Snow-proofing capability is also worth-considering.
- While setting out to find the best walkie talkies for skiing, we also noticed how important of its battery life.
- This feature is dependent on certain factors, such as the battery types, LCD screen clarity setting, the number of additional features, and how much you use it.
- To sum up, a good radio would work averagely within 8 to 24 hours.
- Of course, the longer the range, the better.
- Our suggestion would be within 5 to 6 miles in high inference conditions and 30 to 35 miles in the line of sight for safety.
- When looking into this indicator on radio, don’t blindly trust on the number provided by the manufacturer because it was usually measured in perfect environments while the fact that most skiing areas always have more or fewer obstacles. And they will shorten the range.
Which Brands Make The Best Walkie Talkies For Skiing?
- Founded in 2011, Motorola Solutions has now been one of the most successful US brands in terms of data communications and telecommunications equipment.
- When it comes to two-way radios, Midland is a go-to brand of many pro skiers because of its wide range of high-quality devices that are specifically designed to fit different consumer needs.
- With over 50 years’ expertise, Cobra becomes the leader in the electronics industry by pursuing unsurpassed product designs with innovative technology applications.
How far can walkie talkies go?
In high inference environments, like dense forest and mountainous terrains, it’s averagely within 3 to 7 miles.
In flat, little obstacle conditions, it can be up to 50 miles.
How do you use the walkie talkie in the mountain?
It’s worry-free if you are on a slope/mountain with little to no obstacles like trees, rocks, and intervening ridges.
But in a dense forest or mountainous terrain with multiple inferences, it’s advised climbing to a ridgetop for stronger signals and better connection.
Do I need a license to operate my radio?
If your walkie talkie is labeled “FRS/GMRS” or “GMRS” then yes, you’ll need a license from FCC.
What is the average range of a walkie talkie?
Averagely 3 to 50 miles.
There are numerous things to consider when choosing the best walkie talkie for skiing and above are all basic pieces of information to start with no confusion.
The key to helping you find out a good one is (always!) identifying the sweet spot between your needs and budgets.
Well, that’s all for this article.
Thanks for reading!