Best Ski Walkie Talkies

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So, you’re all geared up and ready to go, but just need a little something for communication with the rest of the group?

Using walkie talkies on the slopes are great for chit chat at the best of times and a dependable method of communication at the worst, if something should go wrong.

They’re also handy off-piste where they can be used for callouts when leading a group of skiers.

When you’re hitting the slopes, you want a rugged, winterproofed model that you can depend on.

Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a shortlist of the best ski walkie talkies right here, complete with their pros, cons and a writeup about why they’d be best suited to your skiing adventures.

We have even gone as far as to include a buying guide complete with an FAQ so that you can see how we judged the product options and why they are the best for you.

This way, you won’t wipe out when you try to make your purchase.

In a hurry?
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Our Pick

Why it’s Our Top Pick

Need to hit the slopes now? We have our top choice right here if you’re in a hurry.

We chose the Midland X-Talker T77VP5 Two-Ray Radio, particularly the two set because of its peripheries that only added to the suitability of this product for skiing, but options for larger groups are available too.

See what put this walkie model over the others below:

  • Has 36 channels (22 standard and an extra 14 pre-programmed privacy code channels) and also broadcasts to a maximum 38-mile range, ideal for both crowded ski slopes and off-piste mountaineering.
  • NOAA weather scan and alert function searches through ten different weather band channels to find dangerous weather conditions and then reports them to you so that you can make informed decisions about your skiing.
  • Comes with a carry case, battery packs and mic headsets to be used with this model’s hands-free eVOX communication system, great for communication when skiing.

Best Ski Walkie Talkies - Comparison Table

Best Ski Walkie Talkies - Reviews

We found the best ski walkie talkie to be the Midland X-Talker T77VP5 Two-Ray Radio, mainly because of its unrivalled 36-channel access (22 plus 14 privacy code channels) and 38-mile broadcasting range which make these ideal models for family skiers and groups.

We’ve chose the two pack with case for all its bells and whistles, the two-set accompanied by two mic headsets, two rechargeable battery packs, and a carrying case for it all.

There are options for more devices if you have the cash and the need for more of these quality models to cater to larger groups.

These weather-resistant radios also have 121 Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) for each of the 22 channels, meaning there’s an option of 2,662 channels to block other conversations.

These X-Talker models are easy to operate thanks to their easy VOX communication system by which you can talk with your group without having to use your hands, ideal for skiing and useful for emergency situations where your hands could be doing more useful things.

Speaking of emergency situations, these models feature a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) weather scan and alert function which automatically scans across ten weather band channels and relays any report of dangerous weather conditions back to you with an attention-grabbing alert sound.

This as well as its myriad of other functions make for a dependable product that will have your back in everything from family ski holidays to developing emergency situations.

Pros

  • Has the most channels at 36, and broadcasts to a maximum 38-mile range, ideal for skiing families/groups.
  • Has 121 CTCSS privacy codes so that your group’s conversations will stay private.
  • NOAA weather scan and alert function notifies of dangerous weather conditions reported across ten weather band channels. Alerts via a loud alarm.
  • Hands-free eVOX communication system means that you can talk with your group during skiing or in the event of emergency.
  • Comes with a carrying case, two mic headsets and two rechargeable battery packs.

Cons

  • The accompanying earbuds and headsets tend to slip off during use.
  • Doesn’t hit the stated range in all conditions, dependent on the terrain.

Our second chosen product is the light and compact Retevis RT27 Walkie Talkie. It boasts many of the same functionalities as our number one spot but doesn’t go quite as far to beat out the Midland X-Talker.

For example, these models have 22 channels to choose from, but these are more than enough for skiing. However, this product wins out over the competition with its 50 CTCSS combined with a massive 210 Digital Coded Squelch (DCS) system for even more channel combinations.

Privacy is the watchword of this set of walkies, too, having a scramble function that garbles your communications for encrypted communications to only those of the same set.

These walkies also have the hands-free VOX system so that your group can chat while skiing undisturbed and are powered for up to 12 hours at a time thanks to 1100mAH capacity battery packs.

It also has a scan function lets you find nearby users should you need to find others to connect with, but it should be noted that at longer distances that function can be unreliable.

The walkie signal itself gets interrupted by steel-structured buildings which shouldn’t be a problem outdoors but could hinder communication in lodges depending on their construction.

Pros

  • 22 channel options with both CTCSS and DCS codes for advanced encryption that keep conversation private.
  • VOX hands-free voice activated system optional, can talk without disturbing your skiing.
  • Carries a full 10 to 12 hours of charge, more than enough for a day of skiing.
  • Resistant to both water and dust to moderate degrees, enough for skiing in snowy weather.
  • A cost-effective multi-pack for larger families and groups.

Cons

  • At longer distances the scan function becomes unreliable and prone to error.
  • The signal gets interrupted by large quantities of steel, not to be used in urban buildings.

Our third product on this list are the Funkprofi Rechargeable Walkie Talkies. This group of four walkies is ideal for a smaller group, and ideal for newcomers to skiing and walkie communication alike with their simplistic push-to-talk function.

It features 16 channels of communication and those communications reach for five miles in open fields and two or three in urbanised areas, and mountainous regions.

This means that they’re suitable for smaller and tightly knit groups like families who aren’t likely to go too far astray from each other in the wild.

Within that tight communication range, however, is unparalleled sound quality that makes incoming chatter much easier to hear, even in windswept conditions that are likely to arise on mountainsides.

This product’s humble specs allow it to have a power-saving function which extends the battery life long beyond the standard eight hours you would get out of them.

If this is the product for you, you’ll likely want to replace the belt clips that these models retail with which should be inexpensive and easy to do with the money you save in this purchase.

This is because they lack durability and broke easier than other models. These walkies also don’t work in cities or other urbanised areas with lots of transmission obstacles, which is good for you since we’re assuming you won’t be skiing through a city anytime soon, but it is something to be aware of since it means these radios are strictly for use in the great outdoors.

Pros

  • Has a power-saving function which extends battery life beyond the usual eight hours of use.
  • Strong penetrative sound quality that’s easy to hear in crowded or windswept places, lessens misunderstandings and audio frustrations.
  • Easy to use push-to-talk communication method.
  • Retails with earpieces, belt clips and hand straps for easier mobile listening and stability of the walkies.

Cons

  • 3-5-mile communication range is scant for mountaineering and skiing, must stay closer together.
  • May want to consider replacing belt clips, they break easier than other models.
  • Doesn’t work in heavily urbanised areas, which isn’t be a problem for skiing but is something to be aware of.

The next item on our list is from a brand that is a household name, the Motorola T605 Talkabout. This is a higher end set and so is on the pricier side, but from its specs we thought that the features that push this product’s price up are those less likely to be used for skiing, hence its position this far down on the list.

This pair of walkie talkies have a dual powering system whereby your maximum charge can be nine hours if you use NiMH batteries or 23-hours with 3AA Alkaline batteries.

Not that it should be needed with these models’ potentially gargantuan battery life, but a power-saving emergency PTT option allows for you to make your own emergency transmissions if you need to alert your fellow skiers of danger.

The aforementioned feature that is probably what pushed this product’s price point up is the waterproofness and general durability of this kit, being rated to an IP67 waterproof and being buoyant enough that it can float on bodies of water should it fall in. Waterproofness and durability are nice features to have and makes this a good model for other outdoor activities.

Some have reported that the audio degrades on these models, and doesn’t have the force to be heard in loud situations that skiers are likely to find themselves in.

This seems to be tied to the battery, as removing the battery and putting it back in can make the audio perform again but this seems to be a temporary solution.

Pros

  • Up to a 35-mile range in mountains and valleys, six miles in open water and two in neighborhoods.
  • Emergency PTT function allows you to make your own emergency alerts, transmission is compatible with both FRS and GMRS radios to reach as many as possible.
  • Dual power option of NiMH batteries for a nine-hour charge or a massive 23-hour charge with 3AA Alkaline batteries.
  • Waterproof to an IP67 rating and floats on water for easy retrieval.

Cons

  • Complaints of quieter, non-penetrative audio not suited to receiving communications in loud areas.
  • Pricey for what you get.

Our last product is the BaoFeng UV-5R EX 5W Dual Band Two-Way Radio which, while our cheapest, retails as a single model for those groups that need just one more model or solo skiers who want to be prepared.

It’s the upgraded variant of the standard UV-5R, and comes with 155 private codes, 105 of those being DCS.

It lasts for a stupendously long 48 hours on standby thanks to its 1800mAh battery, which powers a tri-color display that you can change for better visibility depending on the inclement weather out there on the slopes.

Pros

  • 50 CTCSS and 105 DCS for a total of 155 private codes.
  • Tri-color display for easy visibility in different light conditions and weathers.
  • 1800mAh battery supports 48 hours of standby.
  • The cheapest product on this list.
  • Upgraded variant of the UV-5R, better squelch and scan function.

Cons

  • Is a one-set, suitable for adding one model to another set or taking it as a precaution.

Best Ski Walkie Talkies - Buyers Guide

How to choose the best ski walkie talkies

It can be daunting to try and find the best walkie talkie if you don’t know much about your tech. Even if you do, walkie talkies are uncommon enough nowadays that they’ve been relegated to outdoorsy niches, so you still might need a guide to choosing the best ski walkie talkies if you’re new to the hobby.

So, lets start off simple with the size. If you’re skiing, you’ll probably be packing a lot to get comfortable in those alpine conditions. This means that having the lightest possible walkie talkie without sacrificing performance and functionality is important. Your walkie talkie should be about seven inches long and three inches wide to fit within the dimensions of both your bag and pocket.

Battery life is the next simple feature to look for, and you can probably guess how much you’ll need. Look for a walkie talkie with the best battery life you can find. Walkies aren’t phones, their batteries can last a lot longer, they can remain on standby for about a whole day.

The more upmarket models of walkie talkies have weather station information and built-in flashlights which can drain battery levels faster. Spare batteries are obviously recommended, you don’t want to get caught outside with no means of communication or illumination. Though bulkier, portable chargers are also a good idea and come with some of the more expensive walkie talkies in a bundle.

You don’t need to know much about either skiing or walkie talkies to know that walkie talkies have ranges that they can broadcast to. This is obviously a huge feature to inform your purchase since mountainous regions limit the ranges of talkie and radio transmissions.

This means that, if you’re taking a walkie talkie into the hills, you’ll want it to be one with a great range on it. We’re talking 25 to 30 miles, which may sound excessive but let us explain.

Some of the best walkie talkies for range will have about five or six miles of transmitting distance in them if the target of your communications is behind some obstacles, which mountains happen to be. The topography of the area will stunt the transmission range so much that these same walkie talkies will have a 30-mile range if those mountains weren’t around and the other walkie holder was in your line of sight.

Given the wintry climates that are required for skiing, having a weatherproof/snow-proof walkie talkie is a must. Weatherproofing comes in different tiers of effectiveness that are indicated by the manufacturers on their product pages. They can be summarized as being in two broad categories.

These are waterproof and weatherproof, which for the purposes of skiing is snow-proof and cold weather resistant.

Water-resistance and waterproof denote the two extents that a walkie is unable to be deactivated or destroyed by water, with water-resistance being the weaker. The gold standard of waterproofness isn’t necessary with ski walkie talkies since snow is the main problem, so a model that is moderately water-resistant is fine for the purposes of defending against drips from melted snow.

Most ski walkies will retail with waterproof qualities anyway, there’s little chance they’ll need protection from full water immersion but it’s a good feature to have.

Weather-resistant and weatherproof walkies aren’t waterproof, weather capability is a separate rating almost exclusively reserved for describing how well tech stands up to extreme weather elements.

These are invariably cold in nature, and so weather-resistance is when walkie talkies have protections from some cold conditions and weatherproof is where walkies go above and beyond in their protection from the climate. 

Weatherproof is the hardier feature and the best to have if you’re taking your tech skiing with you, this way it’ll hold up to the extreme cold and any tumbles you may have.

The better two-way radios have mics and headphone jacks for more clarity of spoken and received communications, something which can be invaluable when buffeted by loud winds, like during skiing for example. These make it easier to communicate while on the move as you don’t even need to hold the walkie talkie the whole time.

A more complicated feature, the best ski walkie talkies have some form of weather alert built into them. Most use NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather stations to gather information that is especially handy if you’re skiing off-piste and need to get the lie of the land.

Walkie talkies with this handy feature warns when bad weather is inbound, and often does it before you’ve started so that you can call the skiing off if the danger is grave enough. After warning of inclement weather, some can even go as far as recommending safety precautions if you draw a blank when trying to think of what to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do I Need A Walkie Talkie for Skiing?

Walkie talkies have some advantages over standard phones when it comes to their applications in the wild. Firstly, modern cell phones aren’t the most durable pieces of kit out there like a decent walkie talkie is. Even your standard walkie talkie can take more punishment than most phones nowadays, and that’s before the walkies have been treated and designed to defy the elements. They not only communicate with no middleman costs, but they are great for emergencies and some even have flashing lights to draw attention to them.

How to Use a Walkie Talkie for Skiing?

This depends on the type of talkie and the networks they’re based on. Two-way radios are the easiest to use since there’s only the two of you operating off of calls and responses once you’re tuned into the correct channels. Then you just talk into the mic and listen for the response by letting go of the PTT (Push-To-Talk) button.

With more sophisticated setups like those that come with headsets and VOX (Voice-Operated Exchange) you’ll be listening to your group through ear or headphones and the VOX system will automatically transmit your talking without having to depress the PTT button. This is ideal for ski walkie talkies since, as you can imagine, they allow for their use while busy on the slopes with both hands occupied.

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