Two-way radios are a must-have for nature lovers, so they can hike safely while still keeping in touch with each other or their home base, and are often used on commercial properties and large homesteads. When buying two-way radios, you don't want to purchase just the cheapest models as this can mean poor-quality reception. On the other hand, the most expensive models may offer more power than you need and they may wind up being cumbersome to carry. Note a few important tips for choosing two-way radios for yourself so you know you get the best option.

1. Watts

The wattage of two-way radios refers to their overall power. This power will affect their transmission abilities, so the more wattage you get, the greater the range of the radios. However, larger radios with more wattage will usually be heavier and more difficult to carry. If you need something that easily clips to a belt, such as for hiking, balance your need for wattage with comfort and convenience.

When checking on watts and range, note that you want to consider what is called real world conditions. When radios advertise their range, they may be referring to conditions with no interference of those signals. For a large homestead with an open farm or field, this may be appropriate, but for commercial apartment properties where your signal needs to go through metal outbuildings and or may face interference from Wi-Fi signals and other devices, you will want a stronger wattage and larger range to compensate.

2. Channels

Many two-way radios come with a limited number of channels. If you're purchasing radios for use on a commercial property, you may be the only ones using these types of radios in the area and all available channels will be open. However, for hiking in a busy nature area, remember that other visitors may also have two-way radios and those limited channels may get filled up quickly. It can be good to invest in a model with a higher number of channels in those cases.

3. Added features

Consider voice-activated radios so you can use them hands-free, for skiing, base jumping, and other activities where you don't want to manually hold the radio. Paging features let you send out a slight signal before you start talking so your other party won't be startled; this is good for hunting and activities where you need an alert so you can quickly turn off the radio if needed. For skiers and those who will be wearing gloves, opt for large buttons and dials to make handling the radios easier on you.