Emergency radios are an integral part of a prepper’s arsenal. Access to a communication device is vital. Therefore, when choosing an emergency radio, you should only settle for the best, not less.
RELATED: 7 Top Features of the Best Emergency Radio
Selection of the best emergency radios
7 Considerations When Buying an Emergency Radio
1. Reception and frequency
Let’s go to the obvious first. An emergency radio is designed for long-distance and mobile communication. It should be able to pick up different frequency waves in each location. But the frequency range is nothing if you can’t hear the broadcast loud and clear.
In short, your portable radio should have excellent frequency range as well as excellent audio quality. Survival radios usually come with AM and FM waves. However, one that can receive shortwave broadcasts is much better.
2. Battery life
As mentioned earlier, an emergency radio with a short battery life is useless junk. You are using the device in locations without stable power sources. This means your radio is only as useful as its battery life. Unlike in the past, modern emergency radios are now supplied with superior battery packs.
Compared to old school types, these batteries last up to 20 hours of continuous use. This eliminates the hassle of constantly charging your device instead of putting it into operation. In short, the longer the battery life, the better.
3. Multiple power charging options
In addition to longer battery life, choose emergency radios that allow multiple charging functions. Although this feature is often overlooked, it is extremely useful for preppers. There are many ways to charge your device with a variety of power source options.
The most common charging option is via USB directly to a power source. But portable power supplies eventually run out. An excellent alternative to traditional battery-powered radios are those with built-in solar energy mechanisms. Some models can also be loaded by hand cranking. To be more secure, choose one that offers all of these options.
4. Height and weight
The point of using emergency radios is to be able to take them with you wherever you go. So what’s the point of using one that’s bulky and heavy as a brick? As a rule, emergency radios should be compact and lightweight. These two factors allow you to take the radio with you on long hikes without stress.
To make longer walks easier, modern emergency radios are equipped with sturdy handles and ergonomic straps. Keep these features in mind when purchasing a survival radio. This would make a difference in terms of convenience in the wild.
Some emergency radios have buttons, buttons, or a combination of both. However, the best option is models with digital screens. Digital screen radios are more convenient to use. It enables users to see and use the screen in low light conditions.
However, buttons and buttons are more durable than digital screen pads. Even radios equipped with buttons and rotary knobs work in no time at all. In short, both options have their advantages and disadvantages in terms of convenience. It’s really up to you to decide based on your specific needs and preferences.
In ideal situations, you will not be using your emergency radio. Remember, as a survivor, you are most likely to use it in the most adverse conditions. It only makes sense to buy one that is durable and can withstand torture. If you want longevity, go for button-based radios instead of digital ones.
Radio devices with buttons have a robust outer housing. These special models can handle extreme environments. Or if you want to go all out in terms of robustness, opt for a waterproof emergency radio. This may cost you a little more, but it’s worth it.
Now that you’ve considered the most important criteria when choosing an emergency radio, it’s time to take a look at the accessories. These additional features may be less important than the main qualities of the radio, but they are still important.
When you are in the wild, you need all the help you can get. Therefore, these additional accessories will make your life a lot easier. Flashlight, extra frequencies, solar charger, to name a few, are great additions to the functionality of your device.
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Top 4 emergency radios for survivors
1. Prunus J-05 AM / FM radio
There are cases when bigger is better. Although we mentioned that compact emergency radios are cheap, sometimes a larger radio is suitable. The Prunus, for example, is bulkier than your typical radio, but its size is reasonable.
Its many great features include larger batteries with more powerful capabilities and longer antennas for better reception. It’s also packed with useful features like sleep timers, digital displays, and extra tapes. Perhaps the only downside is the analog dials, which make it impossible to set precise frequencies.
2. Aiworth emergency solar hand crank radio
Robust and medium in size, this particular brand and model of emergency radio is best suited for longer bug-outs. Aside from the usual features like NOAA and AM / FM frequency coverage, this radio has multiple power source options namely AA batteries, solar, micro USB and crank.
But wait, there is more. The Aiworth is also equipped with an automatic weather alarm. With this feature, you don’t have to constantly check your phone’s weather app for updates. If it only has the ability to receive SW frequencies it would have been perfect. But you can’t have them all, can you?
3. Kaito KA500
When it comes to emergency radios, Kaito is the shop steward. In fact, it is the first choice for experienced radio users. It has all the features a standard emergency radio should have. But apart from its multiple power source capability and fantastic frequency reception, the Kaito KA500 is built like a tank.
If you want to get it dirty in the wild, this model could be your best ally. It is also equipped with emergency features like a built-in flashlight. Perhaps the only criticism of this radio is that it does not have an antenna. But apart from this small drawback, the Kaito KA500 is in a class of its own.
4. FosPower emergency solar hand crank radio
Another brand to expect when it comes to high quality emergency radios is FoPower. This popular emergency supply manufacturer continues to offer great products and this particular model is no exception.
Equipped with an internal 2000 mAh power source, you can use this radio as a battery bank for your phone. Not only does it have the standard features of a decent emergency radio, but it also has cool features like built-in light with two modes. It could use a larger internal battery, however.
The truth is, choosing the best emergency radios can be a challenge. You will be confused by the deluge of overwhelming options on the market. Deciding which ones to buy can be difficult. But only if you are not well informed, of course. The considerations we discussed earlier will give you a clear guide to buying.
Check out this Top 10 Best Emergency Radios from Best Gear Lab:
However, always remember that the perfect emergency radio depends on how and where you use it. Make sure you take this into account first. And yes, leave yourself more room to research. Don’t rush it. Take your time and enjoy your search!
Why are emergency radios still relevant in the age of smartphones? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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