5 Best Handheld Ham Radio for Survival for 2021 Updated Guide

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Emergencies happen anytime! It can be a wildfire, hurricane or earthquake, that have caused the phone network to break down, Internet to be inaccessible, the power is out and 911 is overloaded. Now, this is something that has made us aware that we have overlooked something important. This then makes us unable to contact family members or watch the cable news to know more of the devastation.

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So, what do we do? Fortunately, there is the handheld ham radio to use for communication, especially when everything else fails. They can serve as backups in our daily lives, so we keep in touch with our family, the news or when we need help in times of crisis.

Best Handheld Ham Radio for Survival

However, we just can’t buy something that will suit our needs in terms of preference and budget. We need to know how useful it is and it is quality. Reading a review will make us find out what the best handheld ham radio for survival is and how they can be available at your reach.

Best Handheld Ham Radios for Survival in 2021

1. BTECH UV-5X3 5 Watt Tri-Band Radio VHF, 1.25M, UHF, Amateur (Ham)

A new and exciting feature of the BTECH UV 5X3 is the LCD dual line display. The LCD will have users display the information they need as well as the channel’s name and frequency simultaneously.

Using the brand-new menu will help alter the scanning list without any need of a computer. You can easily add or delete channels from the scanning list and have them listed through alphanumeric names, which can be done through a computer. The channels too can be edited by adding, modifying or deleting the privacy tones and changing the power levels. It will also scan through a specific frequency range.

UV-5X3 is easy to program with its 128 programmable memory channels. Its two power levels make it possible to communicate near or far. To operate the device any way you want, just ensure you have a PC for the programming.

The handheld transceiver is reasonably priced and is packed with the radio itself, a 1500mAh battery, antennas, adapter, charger, wrist strap, earpiece kit, belt clip, and user manual.

Things We Like
  • Tri-Band frequency range.
  • Can select the frequency at various ranges.
  • Easily delete or add channels from the menu.
  • Can respond to remote commands.
Things We Don't Like
  • Need to be purchased from BaoFeng or BTech distributor to honor the warranty.
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2. Tri-Band Yaesu VX-6R Submersible Amateur Ham Radio Transceiver

The VX-6R is one of the best handheld ham radio for survival. It fits your hand conveniently, comes with an amazing look and feel, and with a great interface. Transmission is easy between 2-meters, 1.25-meters or 70-cm, and you can receive anything between 500kHz and 999MHz. The box includes a warranty, so you can trust that we have provided an amazing product. The warranty will ensure you can have the product fixed in case of malfunction. It’s also packed with the user’s manual, the actual radio itself, 1500-mAh lithium-ion battery pack, antenna, charging cable and belt clip. An attractive feature of the VX 6R is having it waterproof.
The handheld radio comes with an innovative feature to include the new “emergency automatic ID,” which allow transmission of a call sign and to engage in the gear’s microphone. You can also page a station and only receive a message from them if desired. There is a password feature to make you access the transceiver. It also has a memory access system just like a car radio, and a CW trainer to enhance the code speed.

Things We Like
  • It’s a field programmable triple band radio.
  • It comes in a compact size and battery runs around 7-hours .
  • Has 900 memory channels using alphanumeric labels .
  • If used by a hiker or mountain climber, they will just need a barometric sensor for direct air pressure readings.
Things We Don't Like

The ham radio is too expensive.

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3. Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV 5R5 5W Dual-Band Two-Way Ham Radio Transceiver

You may use the Baofeng UV 5R5 or its two newer versions. The original UV-5R5 was first introduced in 2012, and ever since its launch, it had two major changes, like the BFB297 Firmware in 2013 and N5R in 2014. Today, the UV-5R5 comes with new cosmetic variants, where it has no difference to the original version. However, with the difference in the cosmetic designs, the “band key” had been removed in the latest versions. Some features of the variants no longer work with the original UV-5R5, such as its batteries.

Read More: Top 5+ Best Baofeng Radio Reviews (Buying Guide) 2019

However, if you still prefer the original, it’s a programmable amateur radio with a frequency range of 400-520MHz for UHF, 136-174MHz for VHF, and 65-108MHz for FM radio reception. It has 128 memory channels, a battery save function, comes with a key lock, and a built-in flashlight. The radio comes with antenna, 1500mAh lithium battery, belt clip, wrist strap, adapter, and drop-in charging tray.

Things We Like
  • Best for amateur frequencies.
  • Can monitor different frequencies on variable bands.
  • Listen to FM broadcast radio while monitoring radio frequencies in the background.
  • Supports the most common analog tones and calling methods.
Things We Don't Like
  • Have many alias models with different built? It can be or cannot be advantageous for users.
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4. BTECH GMRS V1 GMRS Two Way Radio

The BTECH GMRS V1 is a portable radio and dual-band scanner. It allows users to have a simultaneous display if you want the most important information at your fingertips. The displays can be configured to allow the display of the channel name and frequency when selecting the channel. You can add and delete channels from the scanning list, and if you want, you can skip those nuisance channels.

Using the best handheld ham radio for survival will make it easy for you to use. Modifying the GMRS-V1 when you transmit the privacy tone can be done through the radio menu. Privacy tones may be needed for incoming transmissions. Tones can also be mixed and matched for repeater usage. Any modification to the channel made is saved by this handheld radio.

The radio can monitor two frequencies prioritizing the first station receiving the incoming call. You can also listen to the FM broadcast radio, without missing any frequencies in the background.

The GMRS-V1 is packed with the radio, antenna, 1800-mAh lithium-ion battery, charger, adapter, earpiece and microphone, belt clip, hand strap, and user manual.

Things We Like
  • Battery life can run for a few days, especially when used infrequently.
  • It offers more power than any other handheld hand radios available.
  • If you’re in a great elevation, transmission can be done in 15 to 20-miles away.
  • Adding a scanned channel can be done using your keypad.
Things We Don't Like

Need to be purchased from BaoFeng or BTech distributor to honor the warranty.

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5. Retevis RT5 High Power Dual Band Two Way Radio

This ham radio is an upgraded model of the dual-band RT5. It comes in high quality and is reasonably priced for all its powerful functions. It’s a dual band, dual display, dual standby radio, running on a large 1400-mAh battery. It has countless optional accessories and the radioscan can be used in different fields. The RT5 also supports common analog tones, where you can set up calling methods to contact by group tones.

The Retevis has 128 programmable channels, which you can add or delete channels using a computer. You can have it written in alphanumeric labels, which should be easy and fast. The Scan function to makes you find frequencies and have you smoothly talking to your receiver. This handheld radio can be used for amateur frequencies.

This handheld ham radio is competitively priced and is packaged with a portable radio, antenna, lithium-ion battery pack, adapter, charger, belt clip, sling and user manual. As an added feature for a gift, it comes with a headset.

Things We Like
  • The radio provides clarity during transmission, simplifying the communication process.
  • Listen to FM broadcast radio, while monitoring frequencies in the background.
  • Batteries have extended life, which lasts depending on how it is used.
  • Talk to your team members no matter how far the distance.
Things We Don't Like
  • You need to ensure you have a license for broadcasting.
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Final Review

Handheld ham radio is necessary for survival, especially when you need to communicate with important people. You can achieve this if you’re provided with the best handheld ham radio for survival. When you want to use the radio, you need clarity in the transmission. This can have a smooth and spontaneous flow of communication. You may also use it whenever you want to listen to an FM broadcast while keeping the frequencies on. You need to choose a model with superior power to make your communication last. This will need you to choose between a tri-band or dual band radio, which of course depends on your needs. So, choose something that perfectly fits your budget and preference.


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