There is a lot of technological advancement going on in the communications sector. With all the advancements going on, there is an old-time favorite still making waves like it did when it first came on the scene more than 100 years ago.
We're talking about ham radios. Amateur radios, popularly called ham radios, are long-distance communication machines that can be used across countries.
Many ham radio users utilize this equipment for personal enjoyment purposes but they are crucial for emergency communications.
Ham radios have been around a long time but newer and more versatile models are available today. With that said, there is still a sea of products and brands to wade through if you're searching for the best ham radio for off-road.
Our informative review will give you insight into the best of the best so you can make a good choice from a good lineup.
Best Ham Radio For Off Road Reviews
1. BoaFeng UV-82HP Portable Amateur Radio
Based out of China, this manufacturer focuses on producing top-quality handheld transceivers and other communication equipment. The UV-82HP is one of their best Ham radios that is making waves all over the international market.
With BoaFeng, we always expect the best because the brand is focused on radio and radio accessories. They have not disappointed with this handheld ham radio. The UV-82HP is the second in BoaFeng’s UV-82 series.
This new and improved version allows for the selection of three different power levels. For VHF you can choose 1W, 4W, or 8W for low, medium, and high frequency respectively.
On the other hand, you can have 1W, 4W, or 7W for low, medium, and high respectively for UHF.
The dual push to talk function is a fantastic addition you can use to monitor two frequencies at the same time while off-road. You can monitor your battery levels to ensure you’re never caught on the road with a flat battery.
The battery voltage and reserve bars are easily displayed with the push of a button. to quench the boredom and silence on the road, you can listen to FM radio and still receive transmissions when they come in. Y
our FM reception will even resume when a call ends. This radio also has an LED flashlight that can strobe or shine steadily.
This radio is unlike anything BoaFeng has released in the past. It is fully upgraded with the latest PCB board and chipset, has better accuracy and range.
Although headquartered in Asia, this company has its tentacles in the USA which guarantees fast and reliable customer service.
- 1watt, 5watt, and 7/8 watt power output.
- 1800 mAh battery.
- VFO/MR frequency lockout option.
- 128 memory channels.
- SMA-female antenna connector.
- Single or dual push to talk feature.
- The kit includes a belt clip, earpiece, wrist strap, adapter, charger, and an exhaustive manual.
2. BTECH UV-5X3 Two Way Radio
BTECH is another outstanding brand for great radio products and accessories. When commenting on the UV-5X3, the company said there was no rush in debuting the radio and every step was thoroughly tested before advancing. If it’s not the best BTECH will not release it.
With new menu and firmware updates, this radio is one in town. It has maintained a similar appearance and strong build like older models, but don't be deceived, this radio is very different in many modern ways.
You had to completely delete and recreate a channel to make changes in the past. Now you can modify channels on the go more flexibly and conveniently.
You don't need to scan through all programmed frequencies on this radio, you can select a specific range and scan through them alone to save time. Another cool addition is the LCD's dual-display synchronization.
Two-channel names and frequencies can now be displayed at the same time. You can also add and remove channels from the scanning list without the need for a computer.
The company has a strong presence in the USA. A purchase of BTECH equipment comes with an assurance warranty, full support, and constant development. Their support team is prompt, knowledgeable, and ready to make sure your radio works exactly as it should.
- Selectable frequency range scanning on the go.
- Receives remote commands.
- 1500 mAh battery.
- 128 memory channels.
- Synchronized display.
- Add and remove channels by scanning right.
- Tri-band frequency.
- The kit includes a belt clip, earpiece, wrist strap, adapter, charger, user manual, single, and dual-band antenna.
3. Radioddity GA-510 Handheld Ham Radio
If you're going off-road for a long time and don't want to worry about running out of battery on your radio, you need this GA-510 amateur radio from Radioddity.
The company displays its ultra-modern innovations in the body of this well packaged and improved ham radio.
It offers a larger screen that can accommodate up to 10 characters including numbers, punctuations, upper and lower case letters.
Programming your ham radio has never been as simple as it is with the GA-510. This handheld radio can be programmed through a computer using CHIRP or via the keyboard.
This radio operates at three power levels; 10W, 5W, and 1W for high, medium, and low modes respectively. Very rare with analog radios is an SOS alarm.
This radio has an easy-to-reach alarm button you can use to send out an SOS call if in trouble on the road.
The battery life is also exceptional. It can work for up to 10 hours on high power mode and 24 hours on the low and medium power modes. When your radio is on standby mode, it can last up to 96 hours.
Radioddity has done an all-around good job with this radio. It is solidly built with a body that will last on many off-road trips. The dual display is bright and simple to read. The speaker is loud and crisp. You will enjoy everything about this radio.
- Dual-band and dual display.
- 128 memory channels.
- Double 2200 mAh batteries.
- Supports CHIRP.
- Has SOS button.
- Three scanning options are available.
- Bigger LCD screen with space for more characters.
- Tri-power radio.
- The kit includes a belt clip, dual-band antenna, earpiece, wrist strap, adapter, charger, and user manual.
4. BTECH UV-50X2 Mobile Amateur Radio
Not everyone is into the new handheld stuff. If you want more power and range and don’t mind compromising on size for that, you can safely fall on BTECH’s UV-50X2 mobile ham radio.
This full-sized, multi-color LCD display ham radio is a dream come true for enthusiasts who need to communicate at a longer range. You can display up to two-channel names and frequencies on the screen at the same time.
This display is fully customizable and channels can be named with alpha-numeric characters. With 200 memory channels, it will be hard work to edit anything without flexibility. Thankfully, channels can be added or removed easily from the scanning list.
You don't need multiple radios when you have the UV-50X2. You can watch three other frequencies after setting 430MHz or 144MHz as your primary channel.
The upgraded power chipset in this powerful radio will not easily burn out as you see on cheaper radios.
Everything about this model is built to stand the test of time. Say goodbye to one tiresome mode of scanning. This radio will allow you to scan variable frequencies, scan automatically and resume scanning where you paused.
You can prevent unnecessary draining of your battery with the automatic battery shut-off mode that helps save power.
- Dual power setting. 10W for low and 50W for high.
- Dual synchronized display mode.
- Automatic battery shut-off feature.
- Expandable frequency range to up to 520MHz.
- 200 memory channels.
- The kit includes mounting hardware, DC cable, speaker mic, mic brackets, and user manual.
5. Mirkit UV-5R MK5 Ham Radio (Pack Of Four)
Mirkit is a top seller of CB’s and long-range radios. As an official distributor of BoaFeng, this brand has learned from the best to make quality radios available at affordable prices.
This set of four ham radios is an amazing deal to go for. If you and your buddies are ready to go off-road for some fun, you will need a convenient package like this one that provides communication radios for your whole group in case you decide to split up.
This emergency handheld radio operates on three power modes. You can conveniently switch from high to medium or low when you choose. The strong battery is included in the package and will work well for hours.
There is an indicator to alert you when the battery is low. With the large LCD display, you can see dual frequencies and channels at the same time. The flashlight on this radio is a nice convenience to have.
Mirkit might be a re-distributor but this American company takes communication and customer service very seriously.
If you have any problems, simply email them and they will reply within a short time. Their follow-up emails are never left hanging for more than a few hours at a time as they are extremely responsive.
- Tri-power mode.
- 1800 mAh battery for each radio.
- Lockable keypad.
- Flashlight on the radio.
- Large LCD display.
- Low power mode indicator.
- Dual-band and display.
- The kit includes a belt clip, headset, wrist strap, adapter, charger, and user manual.
What To Look For While Buying Ham Radio For Off Road
One of the most recurrent questions we hear on the topic of long-distance communication is “What is the best ham radio to buy?”.
Answering this question is as difficult for us as it would be different for a sales attendant at a huge clothing store to answer what outfit will be perfect for you from that sore. The options are boundless and so are the different great options for your personal preference.
There are so many excellent long-range communication ham radios available in the market. From great brands like BoaFeng to BTECH and subsidiaries like Mirkit, you will find many excellent choices that even look alike.
What sets these radios apart is functionality. If you are just starting in the world of long-distance communication, you need a guide like this to figure out what you’re doing before you go ahead and make any purchase.
If you already know what you want from a ham radio but still need a second opinion to make your final decision, we have still got you covered.
Let’s go over some factors to look into while searching for a ham radio so that you can make a better-informed solution from the five excellent products we’ve reviewed above.
Purpose of your radio:
if you're reading this then you probably need a ham radio for your car and not your home. That means a mobile unit to install in the car or a portable handheld device will be more convenient for your off-road adventures.
The final decision of what category to go for will depend on your personal preference and specific needs when you go off-road. Are you going to be spending most of the time in your car?
Then you might want to stick to the good old-fashioned mobile units. This will give you more options, more channels, and more frequencies while off-road. They also offer up to five times longer range than any handheld radio would.
If you're going off-road to meet up for another adventure, you might want something more portable to move around with when you've left the vicinity of your car.
Different small ham radios are offering up to 10W in power. They will fit nicely in your pocket and are built to outlast many of your rough trips.
you must consider how much power your radio of choice can deliver. Most mobile ham radios operate at about 50 watts of power or more.
There are some very durable mobile ham radios that can even go up to 100 watts but they are usually single banded. Handheld versions can go up to 5 watts.
The more modern versions can comfortably reach 10 watts but that would greatly affect battery life. If you’re sleeping outdoors and need more range, you should consider carrying extra batteries to enjoy that without running down your portable ham radio.
some ham radios can do more than the basic functions we look out for. Consider selecting one with extra features to help make your life and work easier.
Additional functions like flashlight and radio are not necessary and your ham, the radio will operate just fine without them.
However, the versatility of killing more than one bird with the same stone is very convenient so why not just consider it while you’re at it?
we know you can do without accessories but they are convenient to have. Accessories like a belt clip and hand strap for your ham radio can easily be purchased from a radio store.
However, it is a cost-saving to have them come in the package with the radio. These accessories will help you enjoy your purchase better in the long run. It doesn't hurt to [pick models that come with added accessories.
Is Ham Radio Better Than CB?
It is a very poor choice, and dangerous, to rely on cell phone apps and communication while off-road. You need some form of long-distance communication instead of relying on cell service.
A citizen's band or 'CB' radio is a good way for a complete novice to communicate without cell reception. You can keep communication lines open with other buddies on your trail and even enjoy a wider range if you're out in an open place like the dessert.
When it comes to range, ham radios beat CB radios hands down. They might look like CB radios but they have dedicated stations set up to ensure signals can be bounced off and passed over a long range.
Although amateur or ham radios are more expensive than CB radios, you get more options and long-distance communication with them.
Unlike with CB radios, you need a license to operate a ham radio. If you want that long-range, you should be ready to invest some money for classes and exams.
You don’t want to be caught without some form of long-distance communication tool and ham radios are an excellent choice.
Smartphones are great but you don't know where and when cell phone connections will fail, especially when you’re out on the road far away from modern civilization.
Whether it's an emergency or a simple trip with your best friends, ham radio can always come in very handy when you’re off-road.
This guide will help you select the best ham radio for your specific needs and you will enjoy value for the money spent on your purchase.
In this guide, we have done some thorough research to provide you with some of the best ham radios in the market.
According to your specific needs and preference, you can make your choice from the products reviewed and enjoy long-distance communication at its finest.