Waterproof Walkie Talkie Buying Guide

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Waterproof Walkie Talkie Buying Guide

It seems like almost every kid had a walkie talkie that they used in their backyard while playing with friends, but just because the kids are grown doesn't mean the fun has to end. Walkie talkies are essentially two-way radios, and they are used in many professional outdoor jobs, as well as for recreational purposes. Whatever the reason for purchasing walkie talkie, it is always best to buy one that is prepared to face all types of conditions. The waterproof walkie talkie is an extremely durable two-way radio, that can survive being doused with water, pelted with rain, and hit with snow. Two-way radios are commonly sold either in electronic stores, radio stores, or online websites like eBay. For those who are not radio buffs, purchasing the right model can initially seem confusing. When buying a waterproof walkie talkie, buyers should select a model based on range, features, and overall durability.

Walkie Talkie Technology

Two way radios work where cell phones fail because they use radio transmission instead of relying on cell phone towers. In the UK, most of the walkie talkies sold in stores belong to the PMR446 type. While this may sound like technological mumbo-jumbo, PMR stands for the eight-channel Personal Mobile Radio  free licence service, that operates on the 446 MHz band. Think of the channels on a two-way radio as being channels on a TV. As long as everyone is watching the same channel on the TV, they are seeing the same thing. In the same vein, as long as everyone is using the same channel, they can talk to one another on a two-way radio. While the range of the PMR type of walkie talkie varies depending on the terrain and other conditions, these radios typically work up to 3 km apart.

Long Range Radios

Several walkie talkies claim to have long range capabilities, but buyers should always take these claims with a grain of salt. While many radios are able to go beyond the 3 km range, the overall range varies enormously depending on the type of terrain. For example, a radio that claims to have 10 km range may hold up its end of the bargain on flat ground, but this number quickly gets cut in half on hilly terrain.


Average PMR Range (km)

Outside - Flat, Clear Field

2.4 to 3

Outside- Moderate Woodlands

1.6 to 2.4

Outside - Thick Woodlands

0.8 to 1.6

Outside- Suburban Areas

1.6 to 2.4

Outside - Urban Areas

0.8 to 1.6

Inside Buildings

0.8 or 5 floors

Many professional two-way radios are tested for their range on different terrains, and most manufacturers openly publish this information. This information is far more accurate than a general statement on the radio's range capability.

FRS/GMRS Walkie Talkies

Occasionally on a website like eBay, a buyer finds a walkie talkie that is labelled as an FRS/GMRS type. This usually occurs with international sellers from America who are following American codes. Their range is slightly longer than the PMR446 type with the ability to work up to 8 km away. FRS/GMRS types also have more channels than PMR walkie talkies.

Waterproof Walkie Talkies

As with any type of radio, the internal components of walkie talkies are acutely sensitive, and can be easily damaged by the elements. This includes water damage, which becomes a real problem for anyone who has to work outdoors in the UK. Therefore, purchasing a waterproof walkie talkie is a necessity, if the buyer wants their two-way radio to last for a long time. Waterproof walkie talkies feature a waterproof case that prevents moisture from entering the delicate internal parts of the radio. Sometimes these radios are marketed as professional walkie talkies, but buyers can tell them apart due to their thick casing. However, the only guarantee that a walkie talkie is waterproof, is if the manufacturer explicitly says so on the packaging.

Durability Concerns

The best waterproof walkie talkies are built like small plastic tanks. These communication devices are most likely going to take a lot of damage, including many accidental spills and tumbles. They need to be built from thick, strong plastic that doesn't break easily. One of the best ways to determine durability is to feel the weight of the radio. Incredibly durable two way radios weigh a lot more than the lightweight toy walkie talkies of childhood. They may also have reinforced parts and rubberised backings for additional stability.

Waterproof Walkie Talkie Features

Walkie Talkies come with many different features. While waterproofing in itself is a notable feature, there are many other options when it comes to two-way radios. Whether buyers are concerned about privacy, or they simply want a two-way radio that is easy to use, it's a snap to find one that meet all specification requirements. By understanding what the different features represent, and what their limitations are, buyers can make an informed decision.

Privacy Features

Since walkie talkies operate over radio bands, it is easy for someone else who is within range to turn their two-way radio onto the right channel and possibly overhear the entire conversation. In fact, many times walkie talkie users unwittingly pick up broadcasts from other users. This is where the privacy code feature, also called CTCSS, comes in handy. Privacy codes allow anyone who is using the right channel to enter a code, and communicate only with members of their party without overhearing other conversations. However, keep in mind that this privacy feature is a one-way street. It does not stop other users from listening in the conversation, but it does block out unwanted outside broadcasts. If privacy is a main concern, then buyers want to select a device that comes with an eavesdrop reducer.


Average two-way radios require that users must first push a button in order to talk to each other. This isn't always feasible if the operator is busy with a job that requires both of their hands. VOX activated walkie talkies work whenever the user speaks into them just like a cell phone without pressing any buttons. It is a tremendously useful feature that comes standard on many professional quality two way radios.


Two way radios with GPS features provide navigational guidance to anyone who uses them. This feature comes in handy for backwoods trips, or whenever the operator ventures off into the wilderness. GPS technology uses satellite tracking to pinpoint the user's exact location, allowing members of the party to locate one another through this feature. It can also give driving directions, which many owners find incredibly helpful.

Battery Type

At first glance, it may seem silly to label the type of battery a walkie talkie requires as a special feature, but it quickly becomes indispensable if the owner is in the middle of nowhere and the battery dies. Cheap walkie talkies often use disposable AA or AAA batteries, and this is fine if the device is only used occasionally. However, professionals who depend on their two-way radios need a stronger battery that last longer. Therefore, it is best to select models with rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) batteries. Lithium Ion (Li Ion) batteries, similar to the ones used in laptop computers, have also been seen in the latest two-way radio models.

Buying Waterproof Walkie Talkies on eBay

When it comes to finding waterproof walkie talkies, there is no place that matches the selection found on eBay.. Buyers can find everything from child-friendly walkie talkies, to professional quality two-way radios used by rescue teams all over the world. In fact, the sellers themselves come from all over the globe, allowing buyers to purchase walkie talkies they can not find anywhere else. Anyone who is looking for a decent two way radio needs to begin their search on eBay just to explore their options.

Searching for Waterproof Walkie Talkies on eBay

The search engine eBay uses is highly intuitive, and quickly responds to all terms entered into its search box. When searching for waterproof walkie talkies, it is best to use common terms. Sellers may refer to their products either as two-way radios or walkie talkies. Therefore, a search for a 'waterproof walkie talkies' and 'waterproof two-way radios', return different results. You may also want to try your hand at searching for 'professional two-way radios', since many waterproof walkie talkies are labelled this way. Buyers can also search by brand such as a 'Motorola walkie talkie..

Buying Used Waterproof Walkie Talkies on eBay

It is possible to find a great deal on a used waterproof walkie talkies, but buyers need to be proactive in their bidding. Many sellers may unknowingly sell walkie talkies that hardly function because they were not properly taken care of. It is always a good idea to ask the seller to include a picture of the battery compartment, if it is not already available. A common problem with used walkie talkies is that the batteries tend to corrode, causing potential issues. Be sure to never purchase a used walkie talkie that has a bad battery compartment.


Waterproof walkie talkies can take quite a beating and keep on broadcasting. Their sturdy and durable frames keep out all moisture, allowing them to work even if they are completely submerged in water. Anyone who works outside or is planning to take a walkie talkie along on an outdoor trip, would be wise to purchase a waterproof model. In addition to selecting a model for its waterproof feature, buyers should also look into the range of the product. Other features such as privacy concerns, VOX activation, and even battery power, should also play a role in the ultimate decision to purchase a two-way radio. Many of these products are available on eBay, in either new or used condition, allowing the buyer to easily find a walkie talkie that fits their price point. By completely understanding all of the different features and technology behind a walkie talkie, it is easy to make the right decision the first time.

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