2022's Best Waterproof Walkie-Talkies for Kayaking

2022's Best Waterproof Walkie-Talkies for Kayaking

walkie talkie for kayaking

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 6/23/2022

Best Waterproof Walkie-Talkies for Kayaking , It's no secret that communication may be difficult while you're out on the water, and this is true whether you're paddling on the big ocean or on a lake close to home.

It may be difficult to carry up a conversation with your paddling companions if there is a strong wind blowing and there are waves smashing all around you. In addition to this, if you do not have the appropriate gear with you, it can be pretty challenging to make a call for assistance when you are in isolated waters.


What is the answer? A waterproof walkie-talkie.

Durable Waterproof Walkie-Talkies

When you have the correct handheld radio that is waterproof, it will be easy to communicate while you are paddling. In addition, the best waterproof walkie-talkies provide a number of different safety measures, which ensure that you will be able to summon assistance when you require it the most.

Quick summary 

Here are some of our top recommendations in case you're pressed for time. You can also continue scrolling to browse our whole list, along with detailed reviews.

The Motorola T600 H20 Talkabout Radio is the Best in General.

When it comes to effective communication throughout your canoeing and kayaking excursions, the Motorola T600 H20 Talkabout Radio is a top performer in every category.

Best Value: COTRE Swan walkie talkies

"The COTRE Swan Walkie Talkies are one alternative that delivers a great deal of value for the price, and they are worth considering if you want a dependable communication system to use when paddling with your buddies."

The Best Option for Groups RT48, a Retevis model Walkie Talkies

Using the dependable Retevis RT48 Walkie-Talkies, it as simple as can be to maintain communication within a canoeing or kayaking party.

Our buying guide, which can be found at the bottom of the list, also includes all of the information that you'll require to choose the finest waterproof walkie-talkie for kayaking.

Motorola T600 H20 Talkabout Radio

Motorola walkie talkie

7.8 inches in height, 2.4 inches in width, and 1.5 inches in depth; 1.9 pounds in weight; IP rating of IP67; 22 channels.

Talk about radio model T600 H20 from Motorola.
The Motorola T600 H20 Talkabout Radio is a rugged handheld radio that is made for any kind of adventure, and it leads the pack as the best waterproof walkie-talkies now available on the market.

The Talkabout Radio satisfies the requirements for water resistance established by the IP67 standard, which indicates that it can withstand immersion in water at depths of up to 1 meter (3.3 feet). In addition to that, if this Radio is accidentally put into water, it will still float. The Talkabout Radio comes equipped with an LED light that shines brightly when activated by water, making it much simpler for you to locate lost items and retrieve them.


Talkabout Radio is not a slouch when it comes to its performance in terms of communication. This model comes equipped with access to 22 FRS and GMRS channels across a range of up to 35 miles, and it can communicate over both of those bands simultaneously (56 km). In addition to this, it provides you with 121 privacy codes, which will enable you to improve your chances of locating an open channel on the very first try.


When you are paddling offshore, the Radio provides you with NOAA weather radio alerts so that you can stay informed. It also comes with an inbuilt emergency alert system, which, in the event that you are hurt or injured, allows you to trigger an auditory alarm by pressing a button on the device.


Even if it comes in a package of two, the Motorola T600 H20 Talkabout Radio is still somewhat expensive. This is unfortunate. If you want to use these radios in their high-powered mode, you will need to obtain a license from the FCC because they are able to operate on GMRS channels. However, if you utilize them in their default configuration, you do not require a license to do so. This Radio is hard to beat if you're looking for a water-resistant walkie-talkie that's not just powerful but also packed with features for your canoeing and kayaking excursions.


Resistant to water even when submerged for brief durations

Including broadcasts from the NOAA Weather Radio

Integrated warning system for use in an emergency

It is illuminated and floats in the water, making it easier to retrieve.

Offers access to a total of 22 channels as well as 121 privacy codes

Expensive for a walkie talkie

A license from the FCC is required for high power mode.


Cotre Swan Walkie Talkies

cotre swan

7.9 inches in height, 2.4 inches in width, and 1.5 inches in depth; weighing in at 1 pound 12 ounces; rated IP67 for dust and water resistance; 22 channel output.

COTRE Swan Walkie Talkies
The COTRE Swan Walkie-Talkies are a set of two robust portable radios that are suitable for kayaking adventures with friends or family. This set of walkie-talkies is perfect for those of us who are concerned about our budgets but still want to go paddling.
These portable radios from COTRE were constructed using a tough ABS, TPU, and silicone frame for increased durability when paddling. Each radio has a waterproof grade of IP67, which enables it to endure being submerged for up to half an hour at a time in water that is less than one meter deep.

You can expedite your communication with the COTRE Swan Walkie Talkies by taking advantage of the 121 privacy codes and 22 channels that are available on the FRS frequencies. The firm also promises that these radios have a maximum range of around 32 miles (51 km), although this number will change depending on your location and the weather conditions at the time.

You will have access to eleven different NOAA weather channels when you use the COTRE Swan Walkie-Talkies. These radios come equipped with a red flashing light and a panic button that, when pressed, sends out SOS messages and draws attention to your location from nearby pedestrians.

Having said that, the battery life on these radios is not particularly long. The integrated clip on these walkie-talkies is also a little bit fragile; however, this problem may be solved by using a quality radio harness instead. In general, the COTRE Swan Walkie-Talkies are a fantastic option for paddlers who are looking for a reliable communication system that will not blow their budget.

A reasonable cost for a pair of radios in the package deal
There is no requirement for a license to operate on FRS frequencies from the FCC.
Access to the meteorological data collected by the NOAA
Sturdy construction with a waterproof rating of IP67
Integrated button for use in times of emergency
Battery life has room for improvement.
The clip attachment system isn't very durable.


Retevis RT48 Walkie Talkies

retevis rt48


The product has a weight of 1 pound and five ounces, dimensions of 9.5 by 2.6 by 1.5 inches, an IP rating of 67, and sixteen channels.

Retevis RT48 Walkie Talkie

The Retevis RT48 Walkie Talkie multipack is a dependable choice for families and friends who want to keep in contact while they are out on the water. This walkie-talkie set is excellent for large paddling groups who need a reliable communication solution.

The Retevis RT48 comes with a set of six handheld radios that are waterproof, as well as a bulk charging station to go along with it. Each radio features a rugged plastic casing that is rated to be impervious to an IP67 standard for increased durability in the event that you accidentally drop your gadget overboard.

Because these radios are also capable of functioning on FRS frequencies, it is not necessary to obtain a license from the FCC in order to use them. In addition, the Retevis RT48 walkie-talkies are pre-loaded with access to 16 channels, which may be switched between quickly and conveniently by utilizing the device's quick-access channel knob.

In addition to its enhanced performance on the water, the Retevis RT48 comes equipped with a built-in alarm system that allows you to signal the rest of your party if you are in danger. Additionally, the radio features a safe, integrated clip mechanism that allows you to attach it to your PFD so that you can use it while paddling.

However, there are some aspects of the Retevis RT48 that fall short of being impressive in their respective categories. This is evidenced by the fact that the radio does not float and does not light up when it is put into the water, making it more difficult to retrieve. Due to the fact that the radio does not offer NOAA weather alerts, it is not suitable for use while sea kayaking. On the other hand, it is an excellent choice for group outings on interior waterways.

  • Available in a six-pack for shared or group consumption.
  • Robust plastic shell with waterproofing to IP67 standards
  • Including a notification system in case of an emergency
  • The secure clip attachment mechanism for use with personal flotation devices
  • Does not require a license to be operated by the FCC.

Waterproof Walkie-Talkie Buying 

On the sea, walkie-talkies are indispensable pieces of communication equipment to bring with you. However, due to the abundance of functions that these handheld radios offer, it may be difficult for you to select the model that is most suitable for your needs.
When you go shopping for waterproof walkie-talkies, you're going to come across a lot of different characteristics, and in this part, we're going to explain some of the most crucial ones to you.

  • Intended Use
  • Rating for Waterproofness
  • Types of Radios and Requirements for Licenses
  • The Scope of Communication
  • Channel Selection and Personalization of Privacy Codes
  • Warnings of the Weather

Intended application

When shopping for a walkie-talkie, the first thing you should think about is how you plan to put it to use, just like you should do with most other pieces of equipment. When there are so many various models available, it is helpful to have a clear idea of what you intend to do with your portable radio in order to limit your choices and get the walkie-talkie that is most suited to your preferred method of kayaking.

For instance, if you are searching for a walkie-talkie that you and your buddies can use to communicate while paddling on a nearby lake, then you probably do not need all of the intricate capabilities that come with walkie-talkies that are built for usage in more remote areas.

On the other hand, if you want to get a radio that will also allow you to communicate with motorboats, port authorities, and general maritime traffic, you'll probably need a dedicated marine VHF radio. This is a different kind of communication device that has its own set of licensing requirements. If you want to get a radio that will allow you to communicate with motorboats, port authorities, and general maritime traffic, you'll need to get a dedicated marine VHF radio.

When it comes down to it, having a general notion of how you plan to put your waterproof walkie-talkie to use is the best way to make sure you acquire the proper gadget for your requirements. If you do this, it will also help you manage your expectations for your device, which will ensure that you are familiar with all of the capabilities and restrictions of your walkie-talkie before you venture outside.

Waterproof range 

Because this is a guide to the best waterproof walkie-talkies, we would be negligent if we didn't talk about the significance of waterproof ratings when looking into which gadget is best for you.

When you go shopping for waterproof walkie-talkies, one of the first things you will notice is that each radio comes with a rating for its resistance to water and other elements, known as an IP rating. The International Electrotechnical Commission has established a standardized coding scheme known as IP, which stands for "Ingress Protection" (IEC). Before making a purchase, customers will benefit from using this approach because it will assist them in determining whether or not a product is dustproof and waterproof.

Even if the particulars of how this system operates are not really that important, it is essential for you to comprehend what each of these codes stands for. These IP ratings are indicated as an "IP" followed by a sequence of two digits in every single one of the waterproof walkie-talkies that we tested and evaluated, as you will be able to verify for yourself (e.g., IP67).

The level of protection that the appliance offers against solids, such as dust, is denoted by the first digit in the series. In the meantime, the second digit in the sequence indicates the level of protection offered by the gadget against liquids such as water.

If you are in the market for waterproof walkie-talkies, you should look for a device that has an IP rating of at least IP67. This is due to the fact that the gadget has a dust-tight seal, as indicated by the "6" in the first digit. In addition, the "7" in the second digit shows that the gadget can be submerged in water up to a depth of three feet (one meter) for up to a period of half an hour at a time.

Although there are technically specific devices available that have an IP68 rating, which indicates that they can survive being submerged in water that is far deeper, in practice, most people consider this level of protection to be excessive for a waterproof walkie-talkie. In addition, the price of these gadgets makes them impractical for the majority of paddlers to use.

Therefore, waterproof walkie-talkies with an IP67 rating for water resistance are regarded as the industry standard for kayaking excursions.

Requirements Pertaining to the Type of Radio and Licensing

If there is one thing that can be said to be true about the world of walkie-talkies and radio communications in general, it is that negotiating the many licensing requirements for the various sorts of radios is not a simple task. Due to the fact that radio licensing standards are not standardized from nation to nation, the Federal Communications Commission in the United States will serve as our primary point of reference when discussing licensing regulations (FCC).

When looking for waterproof walkie-talkies, you will most likely encounter devices that are compatible with the frequencies used by the Family Radio Service (FRS) or the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), or both. Although they use the same radio frequencies (462 MHz – 467 MHz), the Family Radio Service (FRS) and the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) both serve a distinct purpose and call for a special license.

The Family Radio Service (FRS) radio is intended for use in communications between close friends and family members over relatively small distances. GMRS radios, on the other hand, are created to be more powerful and to function over a little more extended range, despite the fact that they are designed for the same purpose.

The majority of people who use radios will not notice a significant change in their day-to-day lives between FRS and GMRS. However, in order to utilize a device that is enabled with GMRS, one must first obtain a license from the FCC. The process of getting this license is not overly complicated for citizens of the United States, but it does add an additional burden. Alternately, there is no requirement for a permit to operate FRS radios.

Does the difference between FRS and GMRS relevant to your requirements? It depends. FRS radios are typically the best option to go with if all you need is a device that anyone in your immediate family or circle of friends can use without any problems. However, if you want to use the radio only for your own purposes, purchasing a GMRS radio despite the fact that it requires a license from the FCC could be more convenient in the long run.

Communication range

The advertised communication range of the radio is one characteristic of waterproof walkie-talkies that is certain to be the source of some level of misunderstanding. When you go shopping for walkie-talkies, you'll notice that every manufacturer brags about their product's ability to communicate over long distances, sometimes as far as 35 miles (56 kilometers). This is done to wow potential buyers with the capabilities of their product.

The claimed ranges are, alas, only theoretical, and it is pretty unlikely that you will be able to converse at these distances except under the most extraordinary of conditions. This is due to the fact that the communication range of the radio is affected not only by the device itself but also by the topography of the area around you as well as the weather at the time.

It is important to note that this does not mean that your radio won't be able to communicate over really vast distances. Instead, the point of this is simply to stress the significance of maintaining reasonable expectations.

Under actuality, the majority of FRS and GMRS radios have a range of about one to two miles (1.6 to 3.2 kilometers) in good conditions, which is a long cry from the scope of thirty-five miles (fifty-six kilometers) that is promised on some devices. When shopping for a waterproof walkie-talkie, it is essential to appropriately limit your expectations.

Channel selection & Privacy codes

privacy codes in walkie talkie

Every walkie-talkie comes with access to a predetermined number of communication channels, which are, in practice, distinct frequencies on which the gadget in question can function. If you have access to a more significant number of channels, you will have a greater chance of finding a track that is available whenever you have a communication need.

You will only have access to a maximum of 22 channels due to the fact that all of the walkie-talkies that you will encounter are FRS or GMRS devices. It's possible that when you need to communicate, all 22 channels will be in use if you're paddling in an area with a lot of other people.

Some radios have privacy codes as a means of addressing this concern. On crowded radio channels, the use of these codes constitutes a de facto strategy for carving out space for one's own messages.

You and your companion will need to tune your radios to a particular station and enter a specific code in order to make use of these codes. If you follow these steps, you may rest assured that your radios will only unmute messages that are correctly tuned to the channel and code you have selected. Because of this, all other transmissions will be muted, and you won't have to listen to the conversations that are taking on on the same channel.

It is essential to keep in mind that privacy codes do not prevent other people from utilizing your channel and code. In spite of their names, these passwords are open to the public, and anyone can use them. However, they can assist you in communicating more effectively, especially in locations with a high volume of radio traffic.

Weather alerts

weather alerts

When shopping for a waterproof walkie-talkie, the functionality of a weather alert indicator is the last important aspect to take into consideration.

Within US seas, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) broadcasts free weather information on a number of channels that are specifically designated for that purpose. Anyone who paddles in waters that are isolated, off-shore, or coastal, particularly in areas where quick weather changes could pose a risk to their safety, absolutely must have access to these waterways.

It is possible that having access to these weather notifications will not be relevant to you if the majority of your paddling is going to be done on inland rivers and lakes. However, NOAA weather alerts are an absolute necessity for folks who paddle on the ocean or spend time in coastal waterways.

The verdict

Walkie-talkies that are waterproof are an essential piece of equipment for paddlers who want to communicate while they are out on the water.

After going over the best walkie-talkies currently on the market, it is abundantly evident that the Motorola T600 H20 Talkabout Radio is the one that stands out from the rest of the pack.

The fact that Talkabout Radio can withstand the rigors of ordinary travels is one of our favorite features. Its floating design and great features, such as its built-in alarm system and functionality to receive NOAA weather alerts, also make it an outstanding option for the majority of paddlers in the best walkie-talkies .


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