Rocky Talkie Review: Our New Walkie Talkies Of Choice

Find out what makes these long distance, rugged Mountain Radios so special among the competition, and why I ultimately gave Rocky Talkie an Editor's Choice Award.

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Communication is key while running, hiking or exploring in remote areas, and Rocky Talkie believes they have the answer to long range, long battery life, durable, radio communication in the mountains.

Enter the Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio, a rugged two-way radio designed to keep you connected in even the most demanding environments. But does it live up to the hype?

Let’s find out in our Rocky Talkie review, as we delve into this outdoor enthusiast’s dream gadget.

The Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio in all it's glory | Rocky Talkie Review
The Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio in all it’s glory | Rocky Talkie Review

A quick look at the specifications

  • Price: $110 at rockytalkie.com
  • Usage: This durable radio is perfect for climbers, skiers, and any outdoor enthusiasts. With its long battery life and sturdy design, the Rocky Talkie ensures you stay connected during your wildest adventures.
  • Key features: Privacy Codes, Channel Lock, High/Low Power Modes, Scan Mode, Roger Beep, ultra-light with Mammut® wall light carabiner included, reliable battery life even in extreme cold conditions.
  • Range: Line-of-sight: 25+ miles, Mountains: 1 to 5 miles, Forest/Hills: 0.5 to 3 miles, City: Up to 1 mile
  • Battery life and type: Over 4 days of continuous use with a rechargable 1550 mAh Li-ion.
  • Size and dimensions: 16.2 x 5.9 x 2.7 cm.
  • Weight: 4.8 oz for the radio alone – super compact for the features it packs!
  • Power: 2 Watt.
  • Waterproofing: IP56 (Splashproof/Snowproof, not submergible).
  • Closest competitors: Backcountry Access BC Link 2.0, Midland X-Talker, and Motorola Talkabout

Who are Rocky Talkie’s Mountain Radios for and what are the standout features?

Testing the Rocky Talkies range with Helen receiving my messages loud and clear
Testing the Rocky Talkies range with Helen receiving my messages loud and clear

The Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio was crafted with outdoor adventurers, families, and professionals in mind. Whether you’re into backcountry skiing, trail running, hiking, or working in challenging terrain, these radios provide reliable communication where cell phones simply can’t.

With a long battery life, very impressive range, and durable build quality, the Rocky Talkie promises to tick all the boxes but are these claims too good to be true, and do you really need one? We’ll put them to the test so you don’t have to.

The Rocky Talkie Radios’ standout features include:

  • Maximum range of 35 miles in line of sight. This is of course an unlikely scenario for mountain adventures due to peaks, trees and potential inclement weather, and you should expect more like 1-5 miles in the mountains, or up to a mile if you intend to use them in the city.
  • Reliable battery life, even in cold conditions
  • Easy to understand and use, even for the younger generation who have probably never used a traditional walkie talkie before as cell phones dominate most 2-way communication preferences.

Although it lacks NOAA weather channels, they’re still a very valuable companion for skiers and adventurers, especially in tricky mountainous terrain or rolling hills, and the units are smaller due to the fact Rocky Talkie did not include this feature.

Getting started with this walkie talkie

After unboxing it, setting up the Rocky Talkie radio is a breeze; with minimal configuration required and easy-to-understand included instructions, you’ll be up and running in no time. The radio has 5 buttons in total that do the following:

  • A power button
  • A talk button which you hold while talking
  • A toggle to switch between channels, scan them, or lock settings in place
  • Volume buttons that also enable high and low power settings and privacy code selection

The Rocky Talkie’s user-friendly design ensures that even the youngest family members can join in on the adventure. Just remember to always stay on the same channel and use the channel lock feature to prevent accidental changes, along with the push-to-talk button to communicate with your group, oh and don’t turn off your radio, it’s really that simple.

Aesthetics, ergonomics, and build quality

Aside from its obvious aesthetic appeal, and the fact Rocky Talkie has made walkie talkies cool again, the Mountain Radio offers more than just good looks.

I just love the ergonomics of the Rocky Talkie radios, the rubber texture of the protective case feels great to the touch, and the shape of the radio is easy to grab
I just love the ergonomics of the Rocky Talkie radios, the rubber texture of the protective case feels great to the touch, and the shape of the radio is easy to grab.

The Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio is built with robust quality helped by the included protective rubber cover, which in my review unit is navy blue, as seen in my photos.

One of the really cool features is its shatterproof screen which you wouldn’t know was a screen until you turn the radio on and see the light shine through it.

The Mountain Radio's protective rubber case I was talking about
The Mountain Radio’s protective rubber case I was talking about

The device can easily be secured to backpacks and harnesses using an ultra-light Mammut carabiner and back-up leash.

Ergonomically designed, the Rocky Talkie feels really nice to hold. The placement of the buttons makes usage feel intuitive and easy.

These qualities make it both visually appealing and practical for outdoor use, ensuring that it can withstand the wear and tear of your wildest adventures.

User interface and experience

Thanks to its intuitive user interface, the Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio is straightforward to operate.

Features that make it so user friendly include the:

  • Glove-friendly buttons
  • Clear and bright display for easy operation in harsh conditions
  • Shatterproof LED screen for durability and visibility
  • Compatibility with other FRS radios to keep you connected with your group without needing a radio license.
The lock and channel scan button can been found on the top of the radio
The lock and channel scan button can been found on the top of the radio

The Rocky Talkie is rated IP56, which ensures protection against water damage in wet and snowy conditions, making it both splash-proof and snow-proof.

Its compact and portable design makes it an ideal choice for outdoor enthusiasts who prioritize simplicity and performance.

Note: As I mentioned earlier, the Rocky Talkie does not include NOAA weather channels so if you’re spending a long time in the mountains, for your own safety, please ensure you have a method for tracking the incoming weather.

Practicality on the go

The included carabiner and leash attachment system
The included carabiner and leash attachment system.

The included carabiner and leash attachment system, ensures secure carrying during your outdoor adventures but also ease of use because you can clip the main unit high on your backpack strap, and the end of the leash can be attached to a belt loop around your waist.

This way you can use it without even having to unclip it from your backpack strap, and feel confident you have two points of secure contact to your walkie talkie.

Its compact size and lightweight design make it easy to carry around, whether you’re hiking, backcountry skiing, or simply exploring the great outdoors. You can conveniently attach it to a backpack or jacket, ensuring it’s always within reach when you need to communicate.

The carabiner, with an added shoulder strap, is large enough to fasten to most gear, providing a stable attachment point for even the most active outdoor enthusiasts.

Real world communication tests

Rocky Talkie Review by Alastair from Trail and Kale 13

Real-world tests reveal that the Rocky Talkie, is one of the best two way radios available; it maintains excellent communication range and clarity, even in challenging terrains here in Northern California.

The radio’s range varies depending on the topography, with distances of 1-5 miles in mountainous areas and up to a few miles in wooded locations.

Longevity and battery life

The Rocky Talkie truly shines in terms of battery life. With an impressive 3+ day battery life in temperatures as low as -20 degrees, it’s a reliable choice for extended outdoor adventures.

The rechargeable 1550 mAh Li-ion battery ensures that you’ll never be left incommunicado in the great outdoors, provided you don’t stay out there much longer than 3 days.

I appreciate the fact the Rocky Talkie charging port is USB C

I appreciate the fact the charging port is USB C as most modern tech uses this standard, meaning you don’t need to have excessive amounts of cables on you.

The Mountain Radio’s battery life stands out among its competitors, providing long-lasting power for those who need it most, and if the Lithium-ion battery ever needs replacing, customer support can help you with options.

The Rocky Talkie’s value proposition

Rocky Talkie Review by Alastair from Trail and Kale 10

The Rocky Talkie’s blend of durability, range, battery life, and style makes it a worthwhile investment for those seeking reliable communication in rugged environments, thus offering a strong value proposition.

For $110 (or $220 for a pair) at rockytalkie.com, the Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio delivers performance and peace of mind at a reasonable cost when you look at the competition out there.

NOTE: If you’re looking for a higher power GMRS radio with IP67 submergible waterproofing, 5 days of battery life, and 5-watts of power for optimal range, take a look at Rocky Talkie’s new 5-Watt Radio which is currently available for a pre-order price of $165 on the Rocky Talkie website.

Comparing the competition

Compared to competitors such as the Backcountry Access BC Link 2.0, Midland X-Talker, and Motorola Talkabout, the Rocky Talkie distinguishes itself through its simplicity, durability, and performance.

With features such as extended range, clear calls, and privacy code settings, the Rocky Talkie proves itself as a top choice among professionals and outdoor enthusiasts like ourselves.

To buy or not to buy?

Given its blend of features, performance, and durability, I highly recommend the Rocky Talkie Mountain Radio if you’re in search of a reliable communication device for outdoor adventures and activities.

Whether you’re hiking, skiing, or working in challenging environments, the Rocky Talkie has your back, providing clear communication and peace of mind when you need it most.


Rocky Talkie review summary

[letsreview]


Mountain Radio Photo Gallery

Thanks for reading this Rocky Talkie review, if you have any questions about these walkie talkies please ask away in the comments section – I’m hanging onto these and will be using them on many more future adventures!

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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