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If you are a serious outdoors enthusiast you know the benefit of communication. Many of us have tried our hand at different walkie talkie devices and if you are like me you have not found the right one. Well, that was until I got my hands on Rocky Talkie

Just the Facts:

Description

The Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio is our award winning license-free radio designed and tested in the Colorado Rockies. Created with climbers and skiers in mind, the compact radio is suited for any rugged adventure where communication is critical.
A specialized lithium-ion battery provides over 4 days of battery life, even in very cold conditions (-20°F). For enhanced durability, the radio has a shatterproof LED screen and thermoplastic protective covering. Unlike the fragile plastic clips of other radios, the Mountain Radio easily secures to backpacks and harnesses using an ultra-light carabiner and back-up leash.
The radio transmits the maximum power legally allowed for use without a license (2-watts). The max range is over 35 miles, however, 1 to 5 miles is more typical in backcountry terrain. For more info on range, please see our range testing video or blog post.
The Mountain Radio is ready to use out of the box and requires zero configuration. The electronics are simple and reliable – the radio has 5 buttons that are easy to understand while still supporting the critical advanced features (such as privacy codes to prevent outside interference).

Tech Specs

Radio Service

FRS (no license required)

Channels

128

Privacy Codes

121 (CTCSS and DCS)

Range

Line-of-sight: 35+ miles
Mountains: 1 to 5 miles
Forest/Hills: 0.5 to 3 miles
City: Up to 1 mile

Power

2 Watt

Features

Privacy Codes, Channel Lock, High/Low Power Modes, Scan Mode, Roger Beep

Waterproofing

IP56 (Splashproof/Snowproof, not submergible)

Battery Type

Rechargable 1550 mAh Li-ion

Radio Dimensions

16.2 x 5.9 x 2.7 cm

Weight

Radio Only: 6.1oz, with leash: 7.9 oz

Operating Temperature

-20° to 120° fahrenheit

Charging Temperature

0° to 100° fahrenheit

Charging Type

USB-C (Charger included)

Headset Port

K1 (dual pin 3.5mm-2.5mm) type

Compatible Accessories

Waterproof Hand Mic – Mountain RadioExtra Battery – Mountain Radio

My Story:

As a backcountry hunter I know too well the need for communication. It’s not so much that you need to constantly chat with people, but rather that you have the means to communicate when necessary. This could potentialy be something that saves your life. So, when planning our Idaho hunting trip this year I knew it was time to get a better set of radios. A quick google search clued me into a new company that I had not yet heard of, and thus begins the tale of Rocky Talkie and I.

I have used so many radios in the past that I can’t ever remember what they all are. I have carried bags of AAA batteries and even tried the rechargeable batteries as well. The story always ends the same with my being frustrated with the battery life and the range of the radios is ALWAYS over exaggerated. Mostly, I am just left disappointed by the radios I have used in the past.

When I talked with the good folks at Rocky Talkie I was instantly excited to give them a shot. Was I bit skeptical? For sure I was, I mean nothing to this point had ever met my expectations. That said, the features of the Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio were just to attractive to ignore. With an advertised max range of 1-5 miles in mountainous terrain, a battery life of 5 days, 128 channels to choose from, IP56 rating, and only 6.1 ounces. I just couldn’t resist the urge to want to test these bad boys out. So into Idaho we went.

After a very long and heavy pack in we found ourselves at our camp. During some midday scouting we decided that we would split up. So we turned on the radios and off we went in different directions. Our first testing was done on some smaller trips, and in town a bit, so we already knew that we mostly liked the radios. When I first turned on the radio it was instantly picking up traffic from some unknown people from who knows where. So, we went through the channels to find one that was clean. With 128 to choose from that was a pretty easy task. Score one for Rocky Talkie!

Over the next two weeks we used the radios every day. For the most part they were just turned on and waiting to be used as we were not having huge conversations over the radio. It was a unanimous feeling amongst our group that the Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio had the best battery life of anything we had ever tried. For the amount we used them we certainly got the 5 days of life as advertised. For this review we were also given an extra battery and that proved to be almost unnecessary as the battery life is so good. In the event you do end up needing to change the battery you should be aware that the outer cover, the thing that makes these radios so stout, is also a real bear to take off. If you don’t have strong hands you will struggle with this task. It’s not a huge deal but something worth mentioning.

Here is a little video to help show you how to do the job:

Battery Change.

Overall, the battery life is simply amazing and because of this you likely will not have to mess with that anyway.

The range of the radio is always the real test. What good does a radio do you if it can’t pick up or send out communications? We were in serious terrain. The kind of terrain that will test the very limits of any radio, and boy did we put it to the test. In my experience the advertised 1-5 miles in mountain terrain is best described as line-of-sight. We were often able to get every bit of the 5 miles out of the radio when sitting on a rock looking back to the main camp. When we got into the bottoms or into the thick timber things changed drastically. In these conditions the advertised range is .5 to 3 miles. I often found that the .5 mark was more realistic. There are so many factors that go into this but I would say it is safe to error on the side of caution and not expect 3 miles of range when in thick cover or extreme terrain. However, just when you think you have it figured out the radio would surprise you and work beyond what was expected. So, sure it can go a while, but I think it’s best to expect the lower end of the range. Still, it meets the advertised range so nothing to be disappointed with here.

We used the radios for 16 days of intense backcountry hunting. We tested them in some of the worst terrain you could imagine, and the shared sentiment of the group was that, while there is still a little to be desired, these are the best radios we have ever used. Durability, battery life, ease-of-use, channel options, weight, and the super cool attached carabiner make these a real hit with our group. We already plan to add a few more radios to the collection for next season.

Find it Here:

What could be done better?

I am unsure what I would like to see done “better” as this is really just a solid product. It has some limitations just like anything else, but overall it preforms as advertised and is just a very solid radio that will stay with you on even the most extreme adventures.

  • Functionality
    (5)
  • Value
    (4.5)
  • Ergonomics
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)
4.9

Summary

We are looking at a very solid product that operates as advertised. These are the best radios that I have used to date and I am very please with the performance we enjoyed over a 16 day backcountry hunt in some very gnarly terrain. 

Pros

Battery Life Durability 128 Channels to choose from Light weight @ 6.1 OZ Range estimation is accurate 

Cons

Outer cover is a bear to get off if preforming a battery change. Upper end of the price range for hand held radio.