The Best Ham Radios Reviewed in 2017 – Top Emergency Survival Radios

The Best Ham Radios Reviewed in 2017 - Top Emergency Survival Radios

What are Ham radios? What are the benefits of using them over the internet of phones? Ham radios, also known as armature radios, are popular devices that millions of people use to stay in contact across the world. They are efficient products. The fact that people do not need the internet to communicate has made it a preferred technology by campers. You also do not need a cellular network or specialized equipment to use these devices. All you need is one of the best Ham radios available online.


Ham radios help people to communicate over long distances via satellites. With one of the best brands that we have reviewed herein, for instance, you will convey information well regardless of your location. They are also convenient. Whether you are a professional or a novice, you can operate them effortlessly in all settings. Buy yours today to improve how you communicate with friends.

  • Product Name
  • Image
  • Description

1. BaoFeng UV-5R

BaoFeng UV-5RDo you have a cell phone that loses network often? Are you tired of paying expensive internet fees to stay in contact with your friends or colleagues? Buying the best ham radio is a good decision. This dual band BaoFeng UV-5R model, for instance, is a powerful two-way accessory with both low (1W) and high (4W) power settings. It also has a programmable frequency range (136-174MHz VHF and 400-520MHz UHF) that meets the needs of most people.

Do you have a favorite channel that you connect to whilst using Ham radios? Are you looking for a programmable ham radio that you customize easily? BaoFeng UV-5R is the product for you. Using the FTDI programming cable that it comes with, you can customize channel names easily. You can also optimize its boot display and other features using your personal computer or laptop.

BaoFeng UV-5R has a powerful 1500mAh battery. Because of its high-capacity design, they battery powers it well for long. It is also durable. Unlike some models that degrade after a few charges, this one does not suffer the memory effect. It will serve you well for many years.

Made of heavy-duty plastic, BaoFeng UV-5R is a durable accessory. You can drop it a few time without damaging its system. It is also stylish and has a responsive keypad that locks automatically whilst not in use. You will like it.

  • Durable plastic case
  • Auto locking keypad
  • Advanced dual band system
  • Powerful 1500mAh battery
  • Programmable system
  • Fussy volume control

2. BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen)

BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen)Do you enjoy camping out with your friends and or family members? Do you have a problem staying in contact whenever you are hiking deep in the mountains? Replace your cell phone with a quality ham radio such as BaoFeng BF-F8HP. Designed to deliver up to twice the power output of most radios (8-watts), its performance outdoors is impressive. It connects to radio satellites well. It also helps people to hold fruitful conversations over long distances from most areas. With one, you will address emergencies well.

Whilst traveling, ham radios under a lot of abuse from people. We drop them often. They also grind against camping accessories such as the best GoPro stabilizers during transportation. With BaoFeng BF-F8HP, this is not an issue. The hardened plastic used to make its shell does not break over time.

BaoFeng BF-F8HP has three power settings (low (1W), high (8W)) and medium (4W). It also has an adjustable frequency range in both UHF (400-520MHz) and VHF (136-174MHz) spectrums. Do not hesitate to buy yours. You will never struggle to locate radios or to create secure and reliable connections.

Compared to other ham radios, BaoFeng BF-F8HP has a 30% higher battery capacity. If you travel often and buy one for communication, you will like how it performs. At an output of 8 watts, for instance, it works for up to 20 hours. Finally, it has a tri-color display. This makes it one of the easiest to use.

BaoFeng BF-F8HP has a multi-functional design. Apart from communication, it has a built in flashlight that works well outdoors. It also has an inbuilt FM radio that will keep you entertained whilst camping. Finally, you get one of the best earphones, a hand strap, and a belt clip for easy transportation.

  • Three power settings
  • Adjustable frequency ranges
  • Hardened plastic shell
  • Bright flashlight (built-in)
  • High capacity battery (20 hours)
  • Responsive keypad
  • Sketchy instructions

3. BaoFeng UV-82HP

BaoFeng UV-82HPBaoFeng UV-82HP is a second-generation UV-82 series ham radio that ranks among the most recommended in 2017. Even though similar, in design, to its predecessors, its feature-rich design appeals to most people. With one, for instance, you get three power levels (7W/4W/1W). The toggle button that it comes with enables you to switch between the three modes effortlessly. Its frequency range (65-108 MHz FM radio, 136-174 MHz (Rx/Tx) VHF, and 400-520 MHz UHF) are also selectable. This ham radio will serve you well.

Some brands of ham radios switch their frequencies accidentally whilst in transit. If you have such as product, replace it with BaoFeng UV-82HP. This is a powerful radio. It also has a VFO/MR frequency mode that locks your preferred frequency. You can set it easily using the provided CHIRP software.

Because of its superior performance, many people prefer BaoFeng UV-82HP to its competition. The high-gain antenna that it has detects and creates secure connections over long distances. It also works well over both wide and narrow bands and has a loud one-watt speaker that never disappoints.

With an original BaoFeng UV-82HP ham radio, you get multiple tone options (selectable). It also has 128 memory slots for storing channels and a fully programmable system. Finally, its responsive keyboard works well.

  • Heavy-duty plastic case
  • 128 memory slots
  • Loud and clear speaker
  • Switchable power levels
  • VFO/MR frequency mode
  • Hard to program

4. Baofeng Yellow BF-F9

Baofeng Yellow BF-F9Have you bought many low-grade ham radios that disappointed you in the end? Baofeng Yellow BF-F9 is a better option for many reasons. The three selectable power settings that it has, for instance, is impressive. You can use it in high (8W), medium (4W), or low (1W) mode depending on your needs. This ham radio also has a new chipset with a noise reduction feature that improves its performance. By filtering background noise, it keeps communication clear.

Some brands of ham radios have small and or dark displays that most people find challenging to use. This is not the case with Baofeng Yellow BF-F9. In addition to its hardened case, you get a large LCD screen with a tri-color technology. The screen is not only bright but also has clear readings.

With Baofeng Yellow BF-F9, power problems are non-issues. The robust 1800mAh battery (7.4V Li-ion) that it uses is durable. The risk of it degrading or overheating over time is slim. It also has a long run-time and a versatile charging dock that works well with both AC and DC power supplies.

The design of this ham radio is impressive. If you are looking for a durable ham radio, for instance, you will enjoy using an original one. Its plastic case is tough. It is also non-slip. Finally, Baofeng Yellow BF-F9 has wide coverage (10 miles) of both UHF (400-520MHZ) and VHF (136-174MHZ) frequencies.

  • LCD tri-color display
  • Wide frequency range (VHF and UHF)
  • Tough and non-slip case
  • Robust 1800mAh battery
  • Three power settings
  • Impressive range (10 miles)
  • Confusing instructions

5. Retevis H-777

Retevis H-777Retevis deals in a wide range of products. Its toys, for instance, are among the best sellers in the market. It also has some of the best-selling ham radios in the market with Retevis H-777 standing out. Buy yours to get a durable ham radio that you can program easily using your computer. It also has 16 high-powered channels with frequency ranges between UHF 400-470 MHz. Finally, because of adjustable power levels (5 watts and 4 watts) and two language settings, it meets the needs of most people. This radio will serve you well.


If you depend on ham radios for communication, running out of charge in the middle of nowhere is a frustrating affair. To prevent this problem, buy a new Retevis H-777. The Li-ON1500mAh battery that it comes will never let you down. It is durable. It also has a high-capacity design that lasts for 14 hours.

Programming some ham radios is a challenging feat because of their complex designs. This is not the case with Retevis H-777. Even though powerful, it has a simple technology that you can program easily using your computer. Each product that you get also has easy to use buttons and a detailed manual that eases the process further.

You will like this ham radios advanced push to talk technology. It is easy to use. Whenever you are using it, you will have fruitful conversations without struggling. You will also like the flashlight that it comes with. It is power efficient. It is also bright and therefore ideal for illuminating dark areas.

Retevis H-777 is an affordable ham radio. If you are looking for one on a budget, it is a good option to consider. It even has an emergency alarm button for safety and a one-year warranty on defects.

  • Powerful Li-ON1500mAh battery
  • Emergency alarm button
  • Bright onboard flashlight
  • Adjustable power levels
  • Durable case and keyboard


BTECH UV-5X3In the ham radio niche, most BaoFeng products do not disappoint. They are durable. They also have versatile designs that meet the needs of most people. BTECH UV-5X3 is such a product. Buy yours to get a reputable tri-band ham radio with a UHF and VHF transceiver. It also has a durable keyboard and a dependable system that you can program easily using a CHIRP software. Whether you are a camper or an everyday Joe, you will like this ham radio.

Using ham radios, people can make local and international calls easily. You can also track weather easily and use other sophisticated applications to improve your life. BTECH UV-5X3 eases this process. It has 128 inbuilt memories for storing your favorite channels. It also has three selectable power settings.

BTECH UV-5X3 is easy to operate. If the model in your passion has a small and non-functional screen, for instance, buy one. Its LCD screen is large and functional. It is also clear and has a dual display that captures both the name and value of the frequency that you are using.

Forget about this ham radio running out of charge over time. It has a power-efficient system. The 1500 mAh rechargeable battery that it uses, on the other hand, is both powerful and durable. It keeps it working well for long. Other notable features are its advanced scan feature and remote commands.

  • Supports CTCSS and DCS
  • Rechargeable 1500mAh battery
  • Large and clear LCD display
  • Inbuilt memories (128)
  • UHF and VHF transceiver
  • Remote commands
  • Underpowered

7. Yaesu FT-2900R

Yaesu FT-2900RAre you shopping for a new ham radio? To get a well-engineered model that will serve you well, consider Yaesu FT-2900R. It stands out for many reasons. Its two-meter design, for instance, recognizes most VHF frequencies. It transmits 140 MHz-148 MHz bands well. It also receives 136 MHz-174 MHz bands better than other comparable products. Finally, you get 200 memories for storing your preferred channels and a solid plastic case that lasts for long.

Yaesu FT-2900R has four power levels (75, 30, 10, and 5 watts). It also has an advanced scan and search function that eases location of channels. You do not tune it manually, as is the case with some traditional radios. This system scans for both VHF and UHF signals. It also scans for CTCSS/DCS modes.

Hams radios are for communication. Buying a model that fails at this task is one of the worst decisions you can make. Choose Yaesu FT-2900R instead. The built in speaker that it has produces clear sound in most occasions. It also has a backlit keypad that you can use easily and a quality microphone.

Yaesu FT-2900R has a portable battery powered design. You will not struggle to transport it during your outdoor trips. Recharging is also easy. The 13.8v DC power cord that you get charges it fast and safely.

  • Four power levels (75, 30, 10, and 5 watts)
  • 200 memory channels
  • Advanced search and scan
  • High-quality speaker
  • Backlit keypad
  • Challenging to use

8. Yaesu VX-8DR

Yaesu VX-8DRHams radios are must-have items for campers and emergency response teams. Unfortunately, because of the low-grade models that some people have, they fail to enjoy their plethora of benefits. If you are among them, Yaesu VX-8DR is a better option. Made of polycarbonate, you get a robust and durable device that you will enjoy using every day. It is also lightweight and has a four-power system with a frequency range of 50MHz-440MHz. Even in challenging areas such as forests, you will communicate well with the help of this ham radio.

Yaesu VX-8DR has a superior design that withstands the elements well. It also has a powerful FNB-101 Lithium battery that comes in handy whilst traveling. It is durable. If you looking for the best ham radio for day-to-day use, buy this one. The battery also has a high capacity design that most people like. Depending on the frequency that you are using, it powers this ham radio for 5-9 hours.

Yaesu VX-8DR is one of the best ham radios in 2017 for communication. It has a powerful omnidirectional microphone. The speaker that you get also works well. The powerful biometric sensor that it has also made it one of the best ham radios for monitoring pressure, altitude, and temperature. Finally, if you can afford an optional GPS editor, you can use it to track your location on demand.

With Yaesu VX-8DR, monitoring frequency, altitude, and other biometrics is not a challenge. The LCD display that it has is large and clear. You also get a responsive keyboard for navigation and or programming.

  • Durable polycarbonate shell
  • Inbuilt biometric sensor
  • Powerful FNB-101 Lithium battery
  • Four power options
  • Clear LCD screen
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Expensive add-ons

9. Yaesu VX-6R Submersible

Yaesu VX-6R SubmersibleYaesu products are popular worldwide because of their superiority. If you are tired of water and other elements damaging your ham radio, for instance, you will like this tri-band Yaesu VX-6R. Its submersible design works well under three feet of water for 30 minutes. It also has a durable case with a non-slip surface that eases its handling. If you sweat often, thus, you will like this product. People who camp in rain forests often also appreciate its quality.

Buy Yaesu VX-6R Submersible to get a versatile radio. Its large memory (900 channels), for instance, is admirable. You can use it to store local, international, and weather channels without running out of space. This ham radio also broadcasts AM/FM stations and has a versatile PC programmable design.

Yaesu VX-6R features a 1500 mAh rechargeable battery. Even though it is not as powerful as the FNB-101 Lithium model that Yaesu VX-8DR has, its overall performance is admirable. It is durable. At full capacity, it also keeps this ham radio working well for many hours. Do not hesitate to buy yours.

You will never have a challenge using this submersible ham radio from Yaesu. The backlit keyboard that it has is easy to use in all environments. Its setup and programming are also easy. Finally, its large LCD screen is convenient.

  • Convenient LCD screen
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Large memory (900 channels)
  • Submersible (3 feet for 30 minutes)
  • None

10. TYT UV8000E

TYT UV8000EEven though less known online, TYT UV8000E is a premium ham radio that works flawlessly. Instead of buying a poorly designed model to save money, order this one. Even though cheap, it has two power settings (low (5watts) and high (10 watts)) that work over a six-kilometer radius. It also has two 128 channels that you can use to communicate locally or internationally. These channels include weather and other emergency applications.

Do you communicate over VHF and UHF frequencies often? Instead of buying a device for each, order a new TYT UV8000E. It supports both frequencies. It also supports CDCSS/DCS modes and has an inbuilt memory for 25 channels.

Most ham radios are battery-powered. However, because people cannot monitor their capacity in real time, they often die off without warning. TYT UV8000E is different. It has a low battery alarm that signals users when its battery is low. You also get an emergency alarm for seeking help.

Thanks to its DTMF function, TYT UV8000E supports remote operation. As such, you can easily check its mode and frequencies from a distance.

  • Powerful remote function
  • Three power settings
  • Large tri-color display
  • VHF and UHF frequencies
  • Supports CDCSS/DCS modes
  • Small memory (25 channels)

How to Choose the Best Ham Radios

Are you tired of your cell phone losing network every time you are out camping? Buying a ham radio is a good decision. Here are a few key attributes to look at:

Design: Instead of choosing any random ham radio that you come across, check its design before reaching for your pocket. What is its case like? Does it have a durable keyboard and or screen that you will enjoy using every day? Look for a product that will serve you well. Its case should be durable. It should also have a large and clear screen and a backlit keyboard if possible.

Frequency: Which frequency spectrum does your ham radio of choice operate? Does it receive VHF signals? Does it receive and or send VHF signals? Never sacrifice quality. A ham radio that supports both frequencies will serve you well.

Ease of Use: The primary aim of buying a ham radio is to improve communication outdoors. A product that cannot achieve this or is frustrating to use will only let you down in the long term. To get value for money, look for the best ham radio that you can set up easily. Its keyboard and screen should be easy to use. Finally, buying a model with a programmable system is a good idea.

Battery: Ham radios are battery-powered items. Before ordering one, check the quality of the battery that it uses. Is it durable? What is its capacity? For the best experience, choose a ham radio with a powerful battery pack. This way, you do not have to worry about running out of charge when you need it most.


Ham radios are powerful accessories. Because they use satellite connections, they also work well in areas where cell phones lack connectivity. To get a model that you will enjoy using, consider buying one of our top 10 picks. They are durable. They also have programmable systems that offer value for money.


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