Walkie Talkies for Skiing or Snowboarding

There is nothing more rewarding than finally pulling your skiing or snowboard equipment out of the garage after nine long months of waiting for the winter to return. You can practically hear the beautiful mountain tops, thick blankets of snow, and awe-inspiring winter wildlife calling your name. But you can’t return to the snow just yet. No matter what winter activity you do or where you do it, you need to take at least one pair of reliable heavy-duty walkie talkies with you. Walkie talkies are not a piece of equipment that you can leave behind. Under the right circumstances, walkie-talkies can keep you from losing your life.

The Best Walkie Talkies For Skiing And Snowboarding. 

Walkie talkies are a simple and affordable way of communication across miles long ranges. But you can’t just grab any walkie talkies from Target or Walmart and head to the slopes. Anyone who goes out into the wilderness needs to purchase reliable and durable walkie-talkies that are guaranteed to function and send out your message, no matter what. Because of how other radio wave-based devices work and how different large objects can interrupt signals, a skier or snowboarder needs to purchase a walkie talkie with strong long-range performance. Plus, its battery should last for at least 10 hours at a minimum.

Why Use A Walkie Talkie?

There are several reasons why a skier or snowboarder needs to have a reliable walkie-talkie. All of these reasons are valid, but the last reason is why you shouldn’t even attempt to put on a pair of skis without a walkie-talkie in your pocket.

Short and long-range communication is easier

Walkie talkies allowed people to communicate with one another over a certain distance. If someone is within their walkie talkies’ circumference of reception, they can talk to that person on their channel. So if you’re in a group of people, you can change plans, talk about techniques, get a consensus on where to dine, make jokes, and do anything else you aren’t able to if you’re not standing right next to each other on the slope. Another thing to consider is that shredding skiers and snowboarders make a lot of noise. Even if you’re an arm’s length from the person you’re speaking to, some people cannot hear each other over the noise around them and through their earmuffs. Instead of constantly repeating yourself when trying to talk to your group, you can speak into the walkie-talkie for clear and easy communication.

No cell phone reception

Nature is chaos, and no matter how your smartphone is engineered, it cannot maintain reception while in nature without buildings and cell towers around. Most people who go out into the snow know that their cell reception drops the farther they travel away from towns and cities. So as you rise in altitude and travel closer to a mountaintop, you can’t call or message anyone. But if you have a walkie-talkie, you can communicate with other devices that receive radio waves. You can’t call your mother in another state, but most well-built, and high-quality walkie talkies can send and receive messages from over 8 miles away.

Reason number three: Receive help in an emergency

If you get lost from your group, leave the trail and wind up in a deep dark forest, or injure yourself and can no longer walk, you need to communicate with other people. Although most walkie talkies won’t reach more than 8 miles, if you have a walkie-talkie, you can reach anyone within that radius. When your friends or partners realize that you aren’t back from wherever you were going, they can use their walkie talkies to find you. Along with transceivers, walkie-talkies protect you from dying in the cold. Other hikers, skiers, or snowboarders in the range of your walkie talkie will be able to talk to you if they have communication devices as well. Additionally, you’re able to respond to a search-and-rescue team if they try to contact you.

Features To Look For

There is a variety of walkie talkies available, and each set has its different features and benefits. Below is a list of features most walkie talkies contain so you can see what to look for when you purchase your own set. You can also visit skiing and snowboarding forums and communities to inquire about walkie-talkie recommendations or other communication methods. You can use these essential criteria to evaluate the best skiing walkie talkie and the best snowboarding walkie talkie. 

More than 15 Channels

Walkie talkies and other radio wave-based devices are frequently used by skiers, snowboarders, Rangers, Emergency Services, and local workers who must communicate with each other over long distances. To find a clear channel so you can talk to your partner or group, a good walkie-talkie set needs to tune into at least 15 channels. But if your device also uses privacy codes, then you’ll have an easier time finding a quiet channel. Just make sure everyone is tuned to the same channel and the same privacy code.

NOAA Weather Alert

Even the most novice skier or snowboarder knows that the weather can change in a flash. One moment the sun is shining, and hundreds of people are skiing up and down mountains. A moment later, everyone is evacuating because a blizzard is on its way. The chaotic nature of weather is why every walkie-talkie should be able to receive NOAA weather alerts. Most walkie talkies can tune into at least five channels, although the higher end ones can tune into 10.

Easy to use with gloves

Unless you absolutely have to, you should not take your gloves off and expose your skin to the cold. So the best type of walkie-talkie would be one where you do not have to take off your gloves to use them. Look for walkie talkies that reviewers say they do not have to take off the gloves to use them. If you find a pair of walkie-talkies that you like, be sure to test them well you have your gloves on. If you ask someone in the store, they may allow you to test the device before purchasing it.

Long-Lasting Battery

When your walkie-talkie is on, it will function in two different modes. And active mode and a standby mode. Walkie talkies with high-quality batteries can remain on and in standby mode for over 30 hours. There are even walkie-talkie models with an exchangeable battery, so you can switch out the depleted battery for a full one.

Light-up buttons and screen

Suppose you decide to ski at night or have skiing goggles with a heavy dark tint. It will be difficult for you to see your walkie-talkie buttons, especially if the buttons are black. But light-up buttons and a light-up screen will illustrate your device and allow you to see what you’re doing. You should also look for walkie talkies that allow you to turn off the backlight so the battery can last longer.

Headset 

In this day in age, hands-free communication is an absolute. Owning a walkie-talkie that comes with a headset allows the user to use their hands and even communicate with people while they are skiing or snowboarding down or across a mountain. 

Long-range communication

Many walkie talkies have a communication range of at least 20 miles or more. But these range numbers are only true if there are no barriers like buildings, trees, cars, or other large obstacles in the way. Walkie talkies usually have a second smaller range like 4 to 8 miles if there are barriers in the way. So be sure you ask about the barrier communication range before you purchase any type of walkie talkie.

Power saving mode 

When your walkie-talkie is not in use, it should have at least one power-down mode, so it stays on and receives messages the battery won’t drain within one or two hours. Another important feature is if the walkie-talkie comes with an extra battery pack to charge the extra battery. Also, don’t negate the usefulness of battery-powered walkie talkies. You won’t regret carrying around a 12 pack of AA’s if your walkie-talkie dies, and you’re nowhere near your group. 

The Best Ski Walkie Talkie And The Best Snowboarding Walkie Talkie

Some of the names for the walkie talkies in this section are more technical than other skiing or snowboarding equipment names, but you can copy and paste each name into Amazon or Google. Each of these walkie-talkies has at least four stars on Amazon and over 100 reviews.

Cobra ACXT645 Ski Walkie Talkie

Cobra ACXT645 Ski Walkie Talkie

With a solid four stars and over 1,400 reviews on Amazon, the Cobra walkie-talkies are among the best-reviewed and most trusted walkie-talkie sets on Amazon. Its orange and black coloring allows users to see it in any type of lighting, so they don’t have to worry their device falls in the snow during the night. Its intricate frequency tuning system means it can tune into over 2662 Channel combinations so you can find a radio channel that is underused for better communication with your partner. 

It can pick up 10 NOAA weather channels. Built to be waterproof, its durability allows it to function even after it falls on solid rock, and is submerged in sludgy snow. One great bonus feature this pair of walkie-talkies has is a built-in LED flashlight. This walkie-talkie set can power up either through charging or AA batteries, so as long as you carry extra batteries with you, it will still work. Without obstructions or barriers, the cobra ski walkie-talkie can communicate with each other over a 35-mile range. 

Cost: $79 without the headset

Midland – GXT1000VP4

Midland GXT1000VP4 Ski and Snowboard Walkie Talkie

If you’re in a crowded area and need a channel private to communicate, the GXT Midland walkie talkies set can make this happen. Whenever the user changes to a new frequency, the user can scan for other radio users on the frequency to see if it is active. The walkie talkie set is one of the best walkie talkie for snowboarding.

If you’re a fan of hand-free communication, the Midland walkie talkies come with a headset so you can keep your hands-free. The GXT has 28 privacy channels that come with codes to protect your communication and prevent anyone from listening in. It has several different power-saving settings so you can use its full power or keep it on the lowest power-saving mode. NOAA emergency alerts are coded to vibrate, and it allows users to set the vibration for any messages they receive. 

The battery is rechargeable, but you can also change out the battery for the extra battery that comes with it. If you need even more battery life, it can also be powered by four AA batteries. The GXT set of walkie-talkies can communicate over a 36-mile range if no structures are in the way. However, reviewers say that this communication radius drops down dramatically to less than 2 to 3 miles if they are in a dense forest.

Cost: $39 for the single radio, $69 for the set, $99 for the triple set

BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 215

BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 215 Walkie Talkie

The Baofeng 215 is an extremely technical walkie-talkie set that is made for the average user. Not only does this walkie set come with an extensive and comprehensive user’s manual, but these walkie-talkies also have a customer support line, so you can email them if you need extra help. Because of the durability, user-friendliness, and strong battery life, the Baofeng walkie-talkie is perhaps the most trusted and best snowboarding walkie talkies on Amazon.

It has over 5000 reviews and still maintains a solid 4.5 stars rating. The battery life can last anywhere from 18 to 24 hours, depending on the power setting. It comes with three different power settings so you can use the one that works best for you. It comes with a headset and an earpiece along with a hand strap as well for hands-free carrying. The Baofeng walkie talkies set comes with a warranty, so if it breaks within the warranty time, you can have it replaced or fixed. 

Cost: $69.89

Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio, 2 Pack

Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio, 2 Pack

Designed to endure tough conditions, it will not break or malfunction if it is submerged completely in water for 30 minutes. It is not affected by heavy rainfall either. Without instructions, the Motorola Talkabout Radio can receive signals for 35 miles. But its reception drops to two miles if objects are in the way. It has over 2,000 different channel combinations if you combine the privacy code settings with the 20 different radio frequency channels. Private conversations are guaranteed between the Motorola radios. 

Not only does it have a built-in LED flashlight, the buttons and screen also come with both red and white backlights so you can view it under dark-tinted goggles or at night. It’s good for emergency response and coordination because it can reach 11 NOAA radio channels. Its bright yellow-green body makes it easy to see in the dark and through tinted goggles.

Cost: $93 to $150, depending on accessories

Motorola 22-Channel

Motorola 22-Channel 35 mile range ski and snowboard walkie talkie

The Motorola 22 walkie-talkie set can communicate with each other through 35 miles of open space. If the area is dense, its reception will still reach around 6 miles. It’s rated IP54 weatherproof so you can take it through the rain or snow. There are several different versions of these walkie-talkies, depending on the amount of money you wish to spend. If you choose the Solutions emergency preparedness radio, that walkie-talkie comes with an emergency alert button so it will send out a signal to rescuers and local rangers. It comes with 22 frequency channels and 121 privacy codes so you can send a safe and secure message between walkie talkies. You can also link it with any other type of walkie-talkie that can share the frequency and privacy code. Although the battery has a total lifespan of only ten hours, it can also be powered with three AAA batteries. It also contains a built-in flashlight and an easy-access belt clip, so your walkie talkie is always within reach.

Cost: $94

TIP

One of the most overlooked preparedness tips when using walkie-talkies is to test them out over long ranges and around obstacles before traveling through dense forest up mountains and down valleys. Test out your walkie-talkies at different ranges and through different obstacles. You also need to test it in windy and rainy weather.

Conclusion 

A durable and high-quality set of walkie talkies is an absolute necessity for any ski or snowboard. Going off by yourself without a communication device can end terribly for anyone who does not have the foresight to protect themselves. When choosing a walkie-talkie, be sure you can work the different channels, weather and emergency channels, and privacy codes. If you have questions, always message the manufacturer or reach out on product review websites. Finding the best skiing walkie talkies isn’t easy, but you cannot put aside safety for convenience, especially out in the wilderness.


Harry Sowers

Harry has been skiing and snowboarding since he was a boy growing up outside of Denver Colorado. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college a UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.