While on the skiing slopes, communication is very important. Keeping in touch with your group or the base station is a very essential safety measure. Therefore, it is a no-brainer that you’d need the best walkie talkie for skiing to be on the safe side of safety and enjoy your skiing.
The major problem when you go shopping for a suitable walkie talkie for skiing is that there are so many of them. Deciding which one is the best is a major stressor for many newbies. It is a common mistake to choose one based on aesthetics, low price tag, and perhaps, awesome ad pitches and reviews.
However, this review is the ultimate DIY guide on how to choose the best walkie talkie for skiing. We’ve come up with 5 of the best walkie talkie you can buy or recommend for your group, eliminating the need to use your gut instinct that most times leads to purchasing a mediocre walkie talkie.
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Ultimate Buying Guide of Best Walkie Talkie for Skiing
All the best walkie talkie for skiing come packed with certain features and functions. These features vary depending on the model and year of manufacture. To a large extent, the price tag on many walkie talkies is determined by the variety and number of features on them.
That said, the features below are common to the best walkie talkies in the market:
The range – Skiing, especially in cross country skiing, is about traversing enormous distances. People easily get separated from their group because of this.
It is therefore very necessary that the range covered by the walkie talkie is large. The range refers to the furthest distance the walkie talkie can transmit radio waves effectively.
Walkie Talkies with a distance of up to 30 miles range is the most ideal. Anything less than a range of 5 miles should never be a part of your skiing gear.
Battery life – The battery life is also one of the most important features of a walkie talkie for skiing. While on the slopes, it is unlikely there are power outlets to charge the battery of mobile devices.
All the walkie talkies in this review have batteries that can last several hours. At least, when you are disoriented and need to get your bearings back, making radio contact with somebody with walkie talkie won’t be a problem at all.
Battery power also affects the range. You would need a strong battery to efficiently transmit your radio signals over long distances.
If you are stranded somewhere, consider switching off non-essential walkie talkie features to save battery life. Some features such as the Vibracall, found in some Motorola models, are known to consume battery power fast when turned on.
Finally, when buying a walkie talkie, it would be smart to purchase extra batteries especially if the walkie talkie has dual charging options.
Tough and Rugged – Skiing is a challenging sport for both skiers and their equipment. Falling down while skiing with the walkie talkie strapped to tour body is inevitable. Sometimes, you could also drop the walkie talkie in a moment of carelessness.
To be considered the best walkie talkie for skiing, the gadget must be able to survive these falls.
Unfortunately, the ‘tough and rugged’ test can only be determined after putting the walkie talkie through its paces. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that since all the units in this review were tested for these two variables and passed with top marks.
Waterproof – The ability to keep out water and moisture also ties in with the ‘tough and rugged’ features. Skiing slopes are moisture havens even if all the water has frozen to ice.
The walkie talkie you purchase must still be functional after being exposed to so much atmospheric moisture or dropped in a puddle of water.
Size and weight – Skiing with a heavy walkie talkie is not smart. You don’t need to add extra weight to all the gear you would be carrying up the slope. That would only slow you down.
A small, lightweight radio is the best choice if it has the important features listed here.
Weather Channels – In remote places, getting advanced knowledge of inclement weather is very important.
With the necessary NOAA weather channels integrated into your walkie talkie, you can easily take safety measures when you get reports of approaching severe weather.
Top 5 Best Walkie Talkie For Skiing In 2019
1. Motorola Talkabout T460
If you are serious about taking up skiing and other outdoor adventures, the 22-channel Motorola T460 should be one of the first items to include in your cart when you start shopping for your skiing gear.
Practically every single feature in the walkie talkie was designed to ensure you get best while skiing. You would love the Push-to-talk (PTT) feature that allows you to boost power to increase the range that is already at 35 miles.
Other features that would aid communication while skiing include the NOAA weather channels and alerts, 121 privacy codes to encrypt messages within a group, a built-in flashlight, and dual power mode with rechargeable batteries or 3 AA batteries.
You can get up to 10 hours of talk time with the rechargeable batteries and 26 hours with the 3 AA batteries.
With its IP54 rating, it can easily withstand the effects of snow, rain and other extreme weather conditions.
2. Cobra Electronics CXT 1035 FLT
The Cobra CXT 1035 FLT is the perfect radio for skiing and other outdoor activities. You would love the real-tree camo design that adds to the ruggedness of the radio.
It comes with a 37-mile range to provide an extended signal range to the 2662 channel combinations you’d have when you purchase it. Some of the channels include important NOAA channels with an alert to warn you of any impending severe weather condition.
The orange core, apart from adding a dash of color to the device, makes it easy to spot and retrieve the phone when it is dropped in dark crevices or water. And you don’t have to worry about water damaging it: it is waterproof and actually floats.
The pre-charged walkie talkie comes with an in-built flashlight, dual port charger, VibrAlert to alert you of incoming transmissions, VOX capability for hands-free operation, and rubberized grip design that makes it easy to carry in wet conditions.
3. MIDLAND GXT1000VP4
This Midland GXT1000VP4 walkie talkie offers the best functionality you can get for at this price range. The unit is all about efficiencies at all times with little room for frills.
With over 50 channels, including 10 NOAA weather channels, your skiing group would love the 142 privacy codes, SOS feature available to the team and the 36 miles range in ideal conditions.
Other great features of this GMRS radio include VOX for hands-free communication, JIS-4 standard for protection rain and splashing water.
You can get up to 11 hours of talk time on a full charge. And the dual power/charging mode means each radio can work with 2 AA alkaline batteries too.
The box comes packed 2 walkie talkies, two rechargeable batteries, two boom mic headsets, two belt clips for each set, 120V dual desktop charger, AC and DC adapters and owner’s manual.
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4. Motorola MS355R FRS
The Motorola MS355R FRS is a sleek, contemporary-looking, completely waterproof walkie talkie that you must have if you want a secure and reliable skiing trip with your friends. The compact, hourglass design ensures it would fit snugly into your hand.
It has 1P-67 rating implying it can withstand exposure to water, dust, and raindrops. Submersion in up to 1M of water for about 30 minutes is not enough to stop it from working.
It boasts a 35-mile range; a headset jack connector and ear bud with PTT functionality; NOAA weather channels; and a repeater function that works excellently with any local repeater station to further boost your radio signal.
A pack containing two walkie talkies contains 2 belt clips, a dual drop-in charger, a charging adaptor, 2 rechargeable batteries, an emergency preparedness checklist sheet, a user guide, and an accessories brochure.
5. Uniden GMR5095-2CKHS
With its 50-mile range, 22 channels, 121 encryption codes to keep communication private, and much more, there is a lot to like about the Uniden GMR5095 as a walkie talkie for skiing.
The gadget has 15 GMRS and 7 FRS channels to give you a wide range of options from the two communication systems and NOAA channels for important weather reports.
It also features a dual charging option: you can use the included USB charging cradle or a USB mini cable. This makes it convenient as you can recharge the battery with your laptop or desktop computer.
And you don’t need to bother with water or liquids damaging your radio. It can survive for up to 30 minutes submerged in water. That is not surprising since it has a specification of JI-57.
Walkie Talkie Weather Proof Ratings 101
The walkie talkie weatherproof/waterproof ratings, also known as the Ingress Protection (IP) ratings, points to how likely a particular walkie talkie would perform optimally in severe weather conditions and when exposed to water.
The IP symbol is followed by a number to denote the degree to which it can withstand severe weather or exposure to water.
The rating a divided into two categories: Solid Particle Protection and Liquid Ingress Protection.
For example, walkie talkies with can have the following ratings, IP57, IP59, 1P68, IP54, IP67. The last digit or number specifies the IP Liquid Ingress protection while the first number or digit specifies the solid particle protection when the walkie talkie is exposed to dust and other fine particles.
The higher the two digits, the more waterproof and weatherproof the walkie talkie is.
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The best walkie talkies for skiing featured in this guide are what you need if you want to go skiing either alone or with your group. The units all come with some of the best features to expect from a walking talkie.
A deliberate attempt was made to give you wide options based on features, budget, and models to make your choice from. No matter your personal preference and budget, we are sure you would get a suitable one in this review.