2 way radio recommendations


I am looking for a 2 way radio that has NOAA capability, at least a 5 mile range and is at least weather resistant. Can anyone provide feedback on what has worked best for them?


VHF Radio

– Last Updated: Mar-13-04 6:40 PM EST –

Standard Horizon HX350S. It is submersible. I've dunked mine many times. It's a little bulky. Not a pocket radio.


Try the Icom M1V or the M88. Both are small and waterproof.

Uniden Voyager also good

Noted the submersible ICOM M2A is now $149 at Boaters World and $159 at West Marine after $20 rebates. It’s a good price.


Uniden President
Very good, very reasonable ($109.00) very floatable. Like it well enough I bought two - one for me and whomever is paddling with me.

Cobra HH200
Thanks for all the input! Any feedback on the Cobra HH200?

I bought a Shakespeare based upon it’s using NIMH or Alkaline batteries (easy to carrt back-ups). Other than that, you should have a wide range to choose from.

One important item: Save enough money to buy a waterproof pouch. Even submersible units can be compromised if the plug pops out of the charging jack. And a dunking may fill the mic and speaker grilles with water, distorting the sound. A pouch at $25 is very cheap insurance. And you can usually add enough air to float the unit!


Motorola T5950
This radio has both 2 mile and 5 mile range channels and some channels that can be received by both 2 mile and 5 mile radios. It’s NOAA compatable, and has all the bells and whistles that Motorols offers.


Hers’s a link


I forgot to ask whaere you will be paddling. If you are coastal or spend time on Coast Guard controlled waterways you would be better off with a marine VHF. Most all models have NOAA channels. If you simply want communication, and will never need to contact the “authorities” then you could use ane of the GMRS units from Motorola. There is a licensing process involved for the 5 watt setting. And remember, the rule-of-thumb is 1 mile per watt, but only line of sight.


Anyone know if the Motorola 2 ways (Talk About Series) are submersible in water?

I’m also looking in to 2 way radios and thought about purchasing a pair of these for basic communication.

VHF Radio
The Stadard Horizon 350X is the best, hands-down. If you research all the options, you’ll see this excels in submersible tests, general quality and warranty. It’s not small nor fancy, but it’s the workhorse of the VHF fleet. I just bought one and like it a lot. This is totally overkill, but I also bought the aquapac VHF bag for it and the set-up pretty much assures that I’ll have what I need if things go south - as long as I don’t lose it. I still wrestle with where to store it. A deck bag seems like the easiest option.

Motorola Family Band Radios
I have not found a waterproof model, but my wife and I still carry family band radios in waterproof boxes. truthfully, we never use them.

I’m happy with my Icom M88 VHF radio and it’s apparent we’re going to need to buy a second VHF radio in the future.


The Best
I can’t find the link! There was a review/test of 5 or 6 different handheld VHFs and the HX350S was rated the best. That’s why I chose mine. Lost the dang link!

a word of caution
Caution expecting to actually GET 5 miles out of your 5 mile two-way radios. I’ve used the land-lubber Motorolas and a great Standard Horizons submersible VHF radio.

It’s only under the best of condtions that you’ll actually get that 5 mile signal to carry that far.

That said, I’d still buy the 5 mile models…as last I check they’re the most powerful you can get. I’m just saying don’t expect the signal to carry that far when you need it in an emergency.