The 8 Best Survival Radios to Have with You in an Emergency

Table of Contents

Introduction

If you are lucky, you will never need to rely on an emergency radio, but nonetheless, they are a critical part of any survival or emergency kit. A survival radio helps increase your odds of surviving a natural disaster. It will keep you remain in contact and get connected, serving as a type of trusted adviser and safety net.

Moreover, if you invest wisely and choose a proficient emergency or survival radio, you will be able to do much more, like use its flashlight function or charge your other devices. When you are planning to buy a survival radio, it is necessary to make sure that you pick the best one to help you survive whenever you go off on your outdoor adventures.

At a Glance: Our Choices for The Top 8 Survival Radios

Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each radio.

Top Emergency Radio

How to Choose a Stellar Emergency Survival Radio

Survival radios come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, so you need to take a very close look at them before you select one. There are a few things you should consider before buying a survival radio, including:

Different Ways to Power It: You should look for a survival radio that has several ways to recharge. You will find that the majority of radios on the market have four ways to recharge. Some can be charged with a USB adapter, solar charger, computer, alternating current (AC) and hand crank, while others just require a pair of AAA batteries.

If you have to choose between AAA and AA batteries, you should always press the button for AA ones. A survival radio that accepts power from an external source, such as an AC adapter for times you have power.

Wide Band Range: Your survival radio should have the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which sends alerts through a.m. channels. Make sure that you check the NOAA in your state and territory. The NOAA weather band will help in keeping you in the loop of the latest conditions. The survival radio you choose should also offer Specific Alert Messaging Encoding (SAME), which allows you to specify specific locations for emergency warnings.

Compact and Light: The survival radio you choose should be lightweight and compact – after all, you are going to have to carry it everywhere you go. You should also be able to store it conveniently in your backpack or survival kit. Lugging a heavy survival radio around while you are hiking, trekking, etc. will be cumbersome. So make sure that you pick a good survival radio that is both compact and light.

Durable: There are loads of survival radios available on the market today, and they come in all types of quality. You should make sure that you choose a high-quality survival radio that will last you at least a couple of years. If you are going to spend money on a radio, you might as well choose a stellar one that is sure to be durable and tough enough for all types of conditions and terrains.

Reasonably Priced: While quality matters, it does not mean that you should buy the most expensive survival radio you see. It does not necessarily mean that the radio is of appropriate quality or that it will last longer than others. Stay within your budget and choose a quality emergency radio that is reasonably priced – you are sure to find many outstanding radios that do not cost a lot.

The Top 8 Survival Radios

 #1

Sangean MMR-88

Sangean MMR-88
Our Rating: (5/5)
Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium Battery
Charging options: Handcrank and USB
Features: 7 NOA Weather Stations, LED Flashlight, Emergency Buzzer

Pros:
(+) Comes with quite a few handy features
(+) Public Alert Certified
(+) Includes a loud emergency buzzer
Cons:
(-) Battery needs to be improved
(-) Buttons might be a bit confusing for some users

Overview

This is a salient AM/FM/Weather Alert emergency radio with a lot of superb features that will come in handy when you are out on your wilderness trips. This Public Alert Certified Weather Alert Radio can be powered with a hand crank or solar power. It comes with a siren, flashlight, and smartphone charger. The Sangean MMR-88 comes with 19 preset bands (mixed AM/FM) and a bright backlit LCD display.

With its built-in Morse code flashlight and smartphone charger, it is a nifty gadget to have in the wilderness. The Sangean MMR-88 is a rugged, user-friendly, and versatile survival radio – a definite must-have in Mother Nature’s living room.

Conclusion

The Sangean MMR-88 is definitely one of the top survival radios out there. It is tough and rugged, so it can withstand almost any condition. It charges very quickly, which is standout in emergency or survival situations.

The battery is not amazing, certainly nothing to write home about, so you might want to get them replaced with better ones, so you can be sure that you have a reliable radio with you on your trips, whether you are out camping, hiking, trekking, fishing, hunting, etc. The Sangean MMR-88 is sturdy and functional and a must-have for any survival or camping kit, as well as for the house.

 #2

Eton ARCFRX3+WXR

Eton ARCFRX3+WXR
Our Rating: (4.8/5)
Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium Battery
Charging options: Handcrank, solar panel, batteries, USB
Features: 7 NOA Weather Stations, LED Flashlight, recharges devices

Pros:
(+) All features work great
(+) Compact and lightweight
(+) Durable and reliable
Cons:
(-) Batteries not covered by warranty
(-) Sound quality could be better

Overview

The Eton ARCFRX3+WXR is an all-hazard radio that features a glow-in-the-dark locator and receives AM/FM as well as all 7 NOAA/Environment Canada weather band radio broadcast. This survival radio comes with an Alert function that broadcasts emergency weather alerts.

You can use solar power or the hand crank to recharge on the go. It also has a LED flashlight and USB smartphone charger. The Eton ARCFRX3+WXR comes with a retractable antenna that you can neatly tuck away when the radio is not in use.  Packed with useful features, this is a highly functional emergency radio. This is a superb survival radio to have when you are out in the great wide open.

Conclusion

The Eton ARCFRX3+WXR is an excellent survival radio to have when you are out on your adventures. It is packed with some salient features that work really well. However, the sound quality is not very good, so this is a small minus. The retractable antenna can be tucked away nicely when it is not in use.

The Eton ARCFRX3+WXR is a highly functional and sturdy survival radio. It is well designed and built, so you can be sure that this is a durable product. If you are looking for a quality survival radio that has some nice, functional features, then you should definitely consider the Eton ARCFRX3+WXR.

 #3

iRonsnow IS-088+

iRonsnow IS-088+
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium Battery
Charging options: Handcrank, solar, USB
Features: 7 NOA Weather Stations, LED Flashlight, recharges devices

Pros:
(+) Well built
(+) Clear reception
(+) Bright flashlight
Cons:
(-) Old USB-style charging port
(-) Radio tuner is a little hard to work

Overview

The iRonsnow IS-088+ is an AM/FM/NOAA/WB weather radio that can be recharged with the micro USB, hand crank, or solar power. It comes packed with a load of nifty features, making it one of the top choices when it comes to survival radios. It features a 1-watt flashlight and 1000mAh power bank for charging your devices.

The iRonsnow IS-088+ survival radio is compact, lightweight, and easy to carry – all fantastic things for carrying on your outdoor trips. The sound quality is decent and loud. The iRonsnow IS-088+ is definitely one of the must-have survival radios available today.

Conclusion

The iRonsnow IS-088+ survival radio is an excellent product that works pretty much the way it has been advertised. Small and light, this is a neat little survival gadget to have when you are out on your outdoor trips. It works terrific – but you may find the radio a tuner a little tough to work at first. Also, the charging port is the old USB style, so some users may have a problem with that.

But other than this, the iRonsnow IS-088+ is excellent for survival or emergency situations as it is pretty easy to use and works really well. In fact, this survival radio is quite powerful for its size – it is a superlative buy, especially at its price.

 #4

Kaito KA500

Kaito KA500
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
Battery Type: Ni-MH battery
Charging options: Handcrank, solar panel, batteries, USB, AC Adapter
Features: 7 NOA Weather Stations, LED Flashlight, recharges devices

Pros:
(+) Excellent quality and build
(+) Comes with a 24-inch USB cable
(+) Solid and durable
Cons:
(-) Weak AM/FM reception
(-) Needs an adapter to keep it charged

Overview

The Kaito KA500 is a 6-way powered emergency radio that comes with a hand crank generator and solar panel for charging. It also has a compartment for 3 AA batteries. It has comprehensive coverage of AM, FM, 7 pre-programmed NOAA weather channels and 2-band shortwave channels for 24/7 real-time S and Canada weather forecast, entertainment, talk shows, sports, breaking international news with Public Emergency Alert System (PEAS).

The Kaito KA500 survival radio also works as an emergency mobile battery charger and includes a built-in standard DC 5V USB output port for charging smartphones, MP3 players, GPS units, digital cameras, etc. This radio also features a LED flashlight, 5-LED reading lamp and a red LED S.O.S. beacon light. Although light and compact, the built-in standard DC 5V USB output port for charging is a sturdy radio that is ideal for all types of conditions.

Conclusion

The Kaito KA500 is a compact survival radio that works surprisingly well. It is well built and rugged, so you can take it on your outdoor adventures no matter what the conditions are like. This is an excellent all-in-one device that is sure to get you through emergencies and survival situations. Some users have found the AM/FM reception a tad weak, but it does not seem to be a problem with many.

You need an adapter to keep the radio charged, so this is one little thing you need to keep in mind. However, the Kaito KA500 is an awesome little survival radio you will like having on your trips.

 #5

Sangean PR-D9W

Sangean PR-D9W
Our Rating: (4.5/5)
Battery Type: Rechargeable battery
Charging options: AC adapter or Batteries
Features: 7 NOA Weather Stations, 9 memory presets, digital weather alert, Super Capacitor for Power Backup

Pros:
(+) Packed with functional features
(+) Compact, light and solid
(+) Affordable
Cons:
(-) Does not come with a handle
(-) Headphones right channel output hisses unless volume is increased

Overview

The Sangean PR-D9W is another awesome survival radio that both looks and works well. It is an AM/FM Weather Alert rechargeable portable radio that comes with an automatic alert that warns you of any hazardous conditions. It has a flashing red LED light with emergency siren. The Sangean PR-D9W features 19 memory preset stations with digital weather alert.

It also has a large LCD screen that makes it easy to read, with settings to adjust the backlight illumination. This nifty survival radio also features a dual alarm, battery selector, built-in headphone stereo amplifier, auto scan and much more. It is available at a fair price and is one of the best choices for survival radios on the market.

Conclusion

If you are in the market for a neat survival radio loaded with some awesome features, then the Sangean PR-D9W is the one for you. Some may be miffed about the radio not having a handle, but it is not a major problem. It is not the perfect radio, but it does work extremely well in all types of conditions.

The sound is wonderful and the size and weight of the radio makes it ideal for any survival kit, backpack, etc. The Sangean PR-D9W picks up stations easily and is one of the most versatile survival radios today.

 #6

Midland ER310

Midland ER310
Our Rating: (4.5/5)
Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
Charging options: Handcrank, solar, AC adapter
Features: 7 NOA Weather Stations,recharges devices, flashlight, Dog whistle

Pros:
(+) Includes excellent functional features
(+) Reliable and durable
(+) Reliable and steady reception
Cons:
(-) A tad heavy for some users
(-) Requires station memory

Overview

The Midland ER310 is an AM/FM NOAA emergency radio with a hand crank and solar power panel. It features a bright 130-lumen Cree LED flashlight and USB output for charging your various portable devices as well as an S.O.S. flashlight beacon for flashing Morse code. The Midland ER310 also comes with an ultrasonic dog whistle that is ideal for assisting search and rescue teams.

It has a battery backup option with 6 AA batteries and a large, bright backlit LCD screen with a digital clock. With its headphone jack, you can plug in your headphones and listen to the radio without disturbing anyone in your camp. The Midland ER310 is a well-designed survival radio that is built for extreme conditions as well as daily use.

Conclusion

The Midland ER310 is a well-made survival radio that is remarkable for any outdoor trip and for everyday use. It has fantastic reception and sound quality and is extremely easy to use – The shape and size of the radio are great for carrying in your backpack or survival kit.

It works great and is built to last for quite a while. It comes with a number of great features, and all at an affordable price. Powering the radio is easy as you get several different ways to power it. This is a superb buy, especially at this price.

 #7

C. Crane CC Pocket

C. Crane CC Pocket
Our Rating: (4.4/5)
Battery Type: 2 AA Batteries
Charging options: AA Batteries
Features: 7 NOA Weather Stations, 5 presets

Pros:
(+) Excellent features
(+) Fits in the pocket
(+) Great design and functionality
Cons:
(-) Battery cover falls off easily
(-) AM reception could be better

Overview

The C. Crane CC Pocket is a compact AM/FM and NOAA weather emergency radio that fits right in your pocket. This radio has impressive selectivity and sensitivity for its size and 5 one-touch memory presets. You can listen to the radio with the built-in speaker or with the included earbuds. It features backlight, clock and alarm, sleep timer and a removable belt clip. The C. Crane CC Pocket is extremely easy to use and gives you superb overall performance.

The rubber-coated sides are designed to give you a firm grip and protect it in case you drop it. This survival radio comes with advanced hidden features, e.g. when listening to an AM station, pressing #1 and #5 keys at the same time will disable the display screen.  All in all, the C. Crane CC Pocket is a top pick if you are looking for a quality radio at a judicious price.

Conclusion

Looking for a pocket-sized survival radio for your outdoor excursions? Then the C. Crane CC Pocket is a sterling option. Compact and lightweight, it packs in quite a few awesome features that come in handy when you are in Mother Nature’s backyard.

This radio is easy to program and you never have to worry when you drop it as it has rubber-coated sides – it would have been great if the entire unit had this coating. The battery cover falls off a tad easily, so you need to be careful. But overall, the C. Crane CC Pocket is a superb radio for outdoor enthusiasts.

 #8

Midland ER200

Midland ER200
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
Battery Type: Rechargeable battery
Charging options: Solar, hand crank, AC Adapter
Features: 7 NOA Weather Stations,recharges devices, flashlight

Pros:
(+) Built for extreme weather conditions
(+) Excellent features for emergency situations
(+) Solid and durable
Cons:
(-) Low watt output and small speakers
(-) Slow solar recharging

Overview

The Midland ER200 Emergency AM FM Digital NOAA Weather Radio is another one of the top choices when it comes to survival radios available today. It comes with a 130-lumen, bright Cree LED Flashlight and USB Charger Output. You can easily adjust the flashlight’s brightness with the high and low buttons.

The S.O.S. flashlight beacon flashes Morse code which is helpful in emergency situations. You can charge the battery through the hand crank, solar panel, or the mini USB cable. The Midland ER200 is a striking and awesome survival radio to have when you are in outdoor emergencies or camping, hunting, hiking, and so on or even in severe weather conditions.

Conclusion

When it comes to survival radios to carry on rugged outdoor trips, the Midland ER200 is one of the best ones on the market. It comes with a number of salient features in a compact and lightweight package that is easy to carry and store. The radio is extremely easy to use. The flashlight is bright and useful when you are in the dark wilderness.

Listening to music can be slightly irritating as the low watt output and small speakers produce a “tinny” sound. However, the Midland ER200 is a sturdy survival radio that you can conveniently carry in your pocket on your outdoor trips with all the features you need to help you survive.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to survival radios to carry on your adventures in the wilderness or emergency situations, there is no shortage of some tremendous ones. However, picking the right one can be a little tricky. You need to make sure that the radio you choose has everything you need to survive out there in the great wide open.

The ones mentioned above will give you an idea of what you can pick from and help in making sure that you choose one that meets your needs. Research this a little (though we have done some heavy lifting for you here) and make sure that you have an awesome survival radio to take with you on your next adventure.

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