The Best Walkie-Talkies of 2024

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Video best walkie talkies for families

Our Review Process

In order to select the best walkie-talkies for kids, we analyzed and compared dozens of options available on the market, ranging from basic toy walkies to kid-friendly professional options. We narrowed down our list by focusing on sound quality, durability, value, range, and additional features. We also spoke to electronics designer Ava Collins and product consultant Jason Roepke, both of whom have ample experience using walkie-talkies and two-way radios.

Our selection includes options for different budgets and needs, from basic, affordable walkie-talkies that are perfect to play around the neighborhood, to more complex options that offer extensive ranges, rechargeable batteries, and a variety of features.

Factors to Consider When Buying Walkie-Talkies for Kids

Durability

It’s no secret that kids are tough on toys. The walkie-talkie that best fits your family’s needs should be able to stand up to the demands of everyday play. You’ll want to look for devices that are made of durable plastic or rubber and can withstand drops, spills, and harsh outdoor conditions. That way, you can spend more time enjoying adventures with the kids and less time worrying about the tech.

Range

Range refers to the maximum distance at which the walkie-talkies can communicate. Although most manufacturers list their range in miles, the actual distance will depend on the terrain and the obstructions between the two devices. “Walkie-talkies work best with line of sight. Not that you necessarily have to see the other walkie, but anything that gets between the two can block the signal. That can be buildings or too many trees. You can find your range on the street is a lot better than your range in the woods,” says Roepke.

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Channels

A channel is the radio frequency the walkie-talkies use to communicate. Most walkie-talkies for kids have up to 22 channels. Devices may also offer privacy codes (CTCSS or DCS) or sub-channels that filter unwanted chatter from other users on the same frequency. Both walkies should be set to the same channel and code to be able to communicate. Keep in mind that privacy codes do not block other users from accessing the same combination, and others may still be able to hear your kids’ conversations. Depending on how you intend to use the devices and your location, more channels will give you a better chance of finding an unoccupied frequency.

Batteries

The battery life of walkie-talkies will vary greatly, depending on usage, type of device, additional features, and type of battery. The Motorola T600, for example, offers up to nine hours of active usage time on the rechargeable NiMH battery and up to 23 hours on three AA batteries. Walkies with fun extras like flashlights or FM radios, such as the Selieve or the Qniglo, will drain batteries quicker. Some devices also offer battery-saving features, like the auto-shut-off function in the GOCOM G600.

Most walkie-talkies require between two and four AA or AAA batteries, the cost of which can add up quickly if your kiddos really enjoy playing with their walkie-talkies. One good piece of advice is to remove the batteries when not using them, to avoid accidentally turning them on. And whenever possible, opt for walkie-talkies that feature rechargeable batteries.

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Your Questions, Answered

Are walkie-talkies safe?

Two-way radios and walkie-talkies operate on public frequencies, which means that eavesdroppers are always a possibility. If they are in range and using the same channel, other people not only can listen but also can join your kids’ conversations, so it’s important to teach them how to use their walkie-talkies safely. Take the time to create ground rules and instruct your children never to share their location when using their walkie-talkies. Be sure to establish guidelines in case a stranger joins in, or they hear other people talking. All walkie-talkie users should also adhere to “listen before you talk” etiquette, which means that before you start using a channel to communicate, you should listen to make sure no one else is using it. And even in your own conversation, you should listen and wait until the other person has finished their message before you begin talking.

Regarding the exposure to radio frequency, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers walkie-talkies to be well below any levels of concern. “Because of the low power levels used, the intermittency of these transmissions (‘push-to-talk’), and due to the fact that these radios are held away from the head, they should not expose users to RF energy in excess of safe limits,” states the FCC.

Why are walkie-talkies still popular?

Walkie-talkies are particularly useful in remote areas where cell phone coverage is limited or non-existent, like national parks, forests, and cruise ships. Many truck drivers and others in the transportation industry still use radios to communicate, because they’re reliable. For kids, they’re a lot more fun—not to mention durable and affordable—than modern wireless technology. “It’s harder to break a [walkie-talkie]. There’s no glass screen; no folding hinge. A cheap walkie can handle more drops and bumps than a cheap cell phone,” says Roepke. Walkie-talkies are also cheaper than a cell phone, they don’t require a plan, and they work in remote locations where cell phones fail.

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Do you need a license to use a walkie-talkie?

Walkie-talkies for kids do not need a license. They operate on the Family Radio Service system of the ultra high frequency band, which was established by the FCC as a free frequency range. More advanced walkie-talkies that use the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) do require a license.

How far do kid walkie-talkies reach?

The walkie-talkies in our list offer ranges between 1 mile and 37 miles, but the actual reach will depend on the terrain and the obstruction between the devices. If there’s a clear line of sight (no obstructions) between the walkie-talkies, the reach will be farther. Barriers like trees, mountains, walls, and buildings will limit the reach.

Who We Are

Emily Isaacs is a freelance writer who covers tech, lifestyle, home, and parenting for a variety of platforms. She’s a mom to an infant son and also has three pets: two black cats, Pixel and Syrio, and a dog, Addie. Not only does Emily spend too much time checking the internet to find the best deals, she also enjoys researching, comparing, testing, and writing about products that fit a variety of household and lifestyle needs.