Gear Spotlight: Rocky Talkie

Communication is key in everything we do. From relaying a message about our group’s put-in/take out points for shuttles to coordinating complex logistics on backcountry trips to seemingly simple family outings. But, for how critically important it is, communication can also be challenging. 

For instance, my cell phone is often a great front country tool, but it is rarely reliable in the backcountry due to limited service. I’ve also used 1-directional tracking/communication systems, and while they are useful for a quick check-in, they can be cumbersome or irrelevant for other applications (i.e., ski area communications, single or multi-day mountain biking trips). That’s where a reliable radio system comes into play. 

We have been testing Rocky Talkie and the rugged, hand-held radio is durable, convenient, has a fantastic battery life and a range I can have confidence in on any outing. 

Why we love it

Durable

I can be tough on gear…and so can my kids. These radios feature a shatterproof LED screen, thermoplastic protective covering and an ultra-light carabiner paired with a metal-reinforced back-up leash that have withstood the abuse of backpacks, rocks and our five year old. And not just durable, these radios also clean up well and the charging port seal stays put so dirt/debris/moisture have not been able to infiltrate. 

Simple and Convenient

From a parent standpoint, the simplicity and convenience of the Rocky Talkie radio really sealed the deal for me. I can’t do cumbersome. There are just too many factors swirling around an outing to add one more ingredient to the outdoor adventure cake. So, the fact that even our young kiddos can clip one of the radios to their packs and easily communicate with group members out of sight is a testament to their simplicity. My personal favorite features are the easy channel lock option so no one can accidentally switch channels and the push to talk button’s simple design and ease of use. Specifically, the button feels really good in hand and doesn’t take excessive force to engage. 

Reliable 

We all know the downside of rechargeable electronics: they need to be charged and recharged. This radio, though, features a specialized lithium-ion battery that can last for over 3 days. And while we didn’t test the Rocky Talkies in super cold conditions, we did use it daily for extended hours over the course of long weekends and we had more than enough juice to support the entire trip(s) (while turning them off at night).

Range

Any handheld radio can have a mix of ranges. I appreciate that Rocky Talkie is up front and honest about their range to set our expectations before we even leave for an outing. For these radios, users can expect 25+ miles in line-of-sight situations, 1-5 miles in the mountains, .5-3 miles in forest/hill environments and up to 1 mile in the city. 

So the the reality of it all is…it depends. 

With that said, I still give the Rocky Talkie as solid 10 out of 10 when it comes to range. From canyon walks to backcountry hikes, we had zero drops in communication. 

Where to find it

To learn more or to pick up some Rocky Talkies for your next outing, visit www.rockytalkie.com!

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