Walkie-talkies aren’t just for fun and games. If you work in a school, you know these portable radios are critical communication tools that help the day run smoothly. Whether you need to get in touch with the custodian after a spill in the cafeteria, the nurse to help with a playground injury, or teachers during bus and recess duty, walkie-talkies are typically the fastest option. They’re also a convenient way to communicate on field trips, and, of course, they’re vital for emergency situations. Check out our picks for the best walkie-talkies in 2023!
Best Long-Range Walkie-Talkies
1. Midland 50-Channel Walkie-Talkie
With 50 channels and the ability to work up to 36 miles apart, this model by Midland should certainly be included in any roundup of the best long-range walkie-talkies. With a range like that, these could be used to communicate from one school in a district to another. In addition to being splash-proof, this walkie-talkie also features privacy codes to block other conversations. We especially love that it has a NOAA weather scan that will lock onto the strongest weather channel to alert the user of severe weather updates.
User review: Many of the stellar user reviews for these walkie-talkies rave about the ability to use these over long distances and different terrains. In addition to school outings, they can also be used for Cub Scout or other organizations’ field trips. “My original usage intent was at our yearly Cub Scout day camp. Sometimes we would need to split off a group of the boys to go to different locations with a set of adult leaders. … I’ve also used them on hikes and nature walks with the pack.”
Buy it: Midland 50 Channel on Amazon
2. Radioddity 4 Pack
These long-range walkie-talkies are a great value since you get four devices for less than $60. We especially love that teachers or administrators will be able to use the small earpieces to be able to converse totally hands-free. These also have a 3-mile range, perfect for field trips in addition to use on school grounds.
User review: We love that these multi-pack walkie-talkies are both affordable and high-quality. Don’t take our word for it though, as one user review said, “The unit is well built for the price point and feels solid in the hand, the audio quality is good, and the battery life is excellent.”
Price: Under $60
Buy it: 4 Pack Radioddity on Amazon
3. Motorola 3-Pack Radio
This three-pack walkie-talkie set has a range of up to 25 miles and is easy to use. It is lightweight and compact yet includes important features like weather channels and hands-free wireless communication.
User review: You know this is a quality product since it boasts over 5,000 reviews on Amazon and nearly five stars. “Easy to program. Uses standard batteries vs others that have a proprietary battery design. If they run out of power without being able to charge, you can use a standard battery.”
Price: Under $100
Buy it: Motorola T260TP Talkabout Radio, 3 Pack on Amazon
4. NOAA Two-Way Radio
The best walkie-talkies include features like this set does—22 channels, privacy codes, weather alerts, and earpieces—but most aren’t as colorful as these! Assign different colors to your favorite bus monitor, recess aide, or other school staff. Bonus: They are waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about wet weather or spills!
User review: Reviewers love the durability and range of these walkie-talkies. “The walkie-talkies were easy to set up and use. The sound quality was very good. The range was good also as they were usable through a Texas hardwood forest from the inside of a metal barn 1/2 mile away.”
Price: Under $80
Buy it: 4 NOAA Long-Range Walkie-Talkies on Amazon
Best Budget Walkie-Talkies
5. Retevis RT628
While considered a toy, these walkie-talkies would work well for basic school needs since they have a range of 1 kilometer (0.62 mile) and have excellent reviews.
User review: These are marketed more toward kids, but their quality makes them a perfect choice for adults on a budget. One user explains an unconventional use: “These walkie-talkies are great for traveling, with great sound from a distance. We use them for traveling and communicating with another vehicle we are traveling with.”
Price: Under $25
Buy it: Retevis RT628 Kids Walkie-Talkies on Amazon
6. Retevis Walkie-Talkie for Adults
This is the perfect affordable bulk buy for school staff who need to communicate throughout a school. Just one pack includes 10 commercial two-way radios with enough battery power to support 10 to 12 hours of continuous use. The best walkie-talkies for multiple employees are easy to use right out of the box and these certainly fit the bill!
User review: Reviewers love the bang for the buck you get since this multi-pack comes out to just over $10 per radio. “We purchased a 10 pack to see if the cost for the amount of radios would really work for us. As other reviews indicated—yes!!! We immediately bought 2 additional 20 packs.”
Price: Under $120
Buy it: Retevis 10 Pack on Amazon
7. Topsung Two-Way Radio
The best walkie-talkies for teachers, school nurses, etc. are affordable while also having basic functions like these. With 22 channels and a range of up to 16 miles, these walkie-talkies will certainly meet the needs of most school settings. Plus everyone will love the fun color choices—everyone can choose their own design!
User review: While reviewers mention that these walkie-talkies can be complicated to setup, they rave about the quality for the price. “I was expecting something more in line with a child’s toy, but the M880s that arrived were nothing like that. They are well built, solidly designed, sturdy, attractive and very easy to use. I did have to spend some time with the user manual to get them set up to function but once done, it would be difficult to forget how that is done. The sound is superb.”
Price: Under $30
Buy it: Topsung M880 FRS Walkie-Talkie Long Range on Amazon
Most Durable Walkie-Talkies
8. Uniden Waterproof Radio
This radio is capable of two-way communication, so we think it should be included among the best walkie-talkies. The best feature of all is its ability to resist any amount of water since it is even fully submersible for up to 30 minutes and 5 feet.
User review: This handheld radio is small but mighty as evidenced by this reviewer’s experience: “Bought this a few years ago and never had to use it until last week when my impeller quit on me. From the middle of the bay, it sent and received signal from the tow boat company. The operator asked what type of VHF I was using and was amazed when I said it was a handheld. Apparently handhelds never reach far enough to their station and she was genuinely surprised.”
Price: Under $100
Buy it: Uniden MHS75 Waterproof Handheld 2-Way VHF Marine Radio on Amazon
9. Heavy-Duty Multi-Pack
These are on the pricier side, but if you are having to replace broken walkie-talkies for your staff after a year or two, you might just want to make the investment. These hardy walkie-talkies are both waterproof and dustproof, making them perfect for maintenance, buildings, and grounds staff.
User review: If you’ve had experience with broken walkie-talkies before, then these might just be the right fit for you. One Amazon reviewer raves about their durability, saying, “Really like the beating these can take. My staff are not gentle with these and so far we have had no breakages unlike others we have tried in the past.”
Price: Under $600
Buy it: DEWALT Heavy-Duty Walkie-Talkies on Amazon
10. Rechargeable Two-Way Radio
This durable option is advertised as being a simple starter option for groups, so we think it would be perfect for school staff. They would also be a great option for groups on a field trip or other outing.
User review: These walkie-talkies are the perfect balance of features and affordability as evidenced by this user review on Amazon: “I don’t aspire to be a HAM Radio operator, but there are a few things that you can do with a slightly more advanced radio that are nice to have. This radio is the perfect balance of that. It’s a consumer-oriented radio that the technical radio lovers seem to like quite a bit, and I as a total layman could pick it up and get it to work on the first try without any fuss.”
Price: Under $60
Buy it: BAOFENG G11S GMRS Radio on Amazon