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Looking for the best handheld ham radio for survival and emergency scenarios? Whether you’re a first-responder or an avid outdoors person, we have the short-list of the most popular handheld ham radios with the highest ratings and reviews online.
#1 – Kenwood TH-D72A 144/440 MHz Handheld Amateur Transceiver w/ 1200/9600 BPS Packet TNC, Built-in GPS, Echolink Ready, 5 Watts
The Kenwood TH-D72A 144/440 MHz Handheld Amateur Transceiver is widely considered the very best handheld ham radio for survival and disaster situations available on the market. Manufactured by Kenwood, the audio company, this 5 watt handheld ham radio comes Echo ready and has built-in GPS. Here is a description from the manufacturer:
- Built-in high-performance GPS receiver APRS firmware equipped as standard USB (Mini-B) port (USB PC Programming cable included) Kenwood MCP-4A PC Programming Software
- Kenwood Sky Command System II Compatible with ARRL “Travel Plus” for Repeaters Simple node access with EchoLink memory DX Cluster Tune (Packet Cluster)
- Built-in 1200/9600 bps TNC compliant with AX.25 protocol Long operating hours (high-capacity battery included) 1000 Memory Channels Stand-alone digipeater
- Enhanced operating ease and visibility MIL-STD810 & IP54 weatherproofing Weather Alert/RX (US only)
- Power-on message Cross-Tone
The capabilities of the Kenwood TH-D72A 144/440 MHz Handheld Amateur Transceiver are overwhelming compared to most of the competition. However, being #1 does have it’s price and in this case that means price tag. The cost of this handheld ham radio is substantially more than our next recommendation, but if you want the best then the Kenwood TH-D72A 144/440 MHz Handheld Amateur Transceiver is definitely the way you want to go.
The BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio is our #2 recommendation because of the value it provides and the staggering amount of positive reviews (nearly 5,000 4+ star reviews) on this budget-friendly survival tool.
The BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio offers the following features:
- 128 Channels 50 ctcss and 104 CDCSS dual-band display, Dual Freq. Display, dual-standby, a/B band independent operation | High/low TX power selectable: busy Channel lock-out(bclo).
- Tri-color background light selectable: 0-9 grades vox selectable | FM radio (65.0Mhz-108.0MHz) | large LCD display.
- Keypad Lock: channel step: 2.5/5/6.25/10/12.5/25Khz | voice Companding: 50 ctcss/ 104DCS coder & tone searching.
- Emergency alert: 25Khz/12.5Khz switchable | LED flashlight: hight/low RF power switchable.
As you can see, the BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio offers many of the most important features you would probably want or need in a handheld ham radio for survival, but at an amazingly affordable price too. You can pick up a BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio from Amazon.com usually for less than $40 by clicking this link!
Best Handheld Ham Radio for Survival Conclusion:
There are many choices for the best handheld ham radio for survival and emergency scenarios, but our Top 2 recommendations should cover 95% of every enthusiast, prepper, or first responder in the market for this survival tool. If money is a concern, then go with the BaoFeng, if money is no concern then choose the Kenwood. Follow this advice and we are sure you will be satisfied and happy you did.