7 Best Survival Radios

Rilor Staff
Update: August 16, 2021
Table of Contents

Even if you are not a prepper, you will undoubtedly find the best survival radios important. 

When the world looks to be going to hell in a handbasket, having a survival radio to help someone keep in contact is extremely important. We often think of these radios as a luxury item, something only “rich and famous” people have. In reality, survival radios are extremely valuable and straightforward. They are easy to use, too. 

They remain functional in situations where internet and mobile connections are no longer available. If you are camping or hiking off the grid, these radios let you listen to important updates and emergency notifications. These devices are downright crucial in keeping your survival afloat at all times. 

Do you need a survival radio now? Check out the following options. 

7 Best Survival Radios

Digital(AM) 2300 - 26100kHz
 Analog(FM) 88 - 108 MHz; (AM) 530 - 1710 kHz
Analog(FM) 87 - 108 MHz;(AM) 520 - 1710 kHz
Analog(FM) 87.5 - 108 MHz; (AM) 520 - 1710 kHz

1. C Crane Skywave Pocket Radio

The C Crane Skywave Pocket Radio is a portable, travel-friendly radio that offers durable construction and an easy-to-use interface. It gives you access to different bands such as shortwaves, aviation, weather, and AM/FM. Its aviation band is instrumental in specific situations since it lets you listen to air traffic controllers and communication between ground crews and pilots. Meanwhile, its shortwave band is capable of receiving 23000 to 261000 kHz frequencies. 

This radio offers a 7-channel weather band that gives an automatic alert for incoming atmospheric disturbances. Except for the weather band, the C Crane Skywave Pocket Radio can either fine or fast-tuning its bands. You can also store frequencies here. It also got hefty features like auto scan, signal meter, battery meter, and a rotary volume knob with a locking mechanism. 


  • Type - Digital
  • Frequency (AM) - 2300 - 26100kHz
  • Power source - Battery
  • Weight - 5.5 ounces
  • Dimensions - 4.75 inches x 3 inches x 1.1 inches

2. Kaito Voyager KA500 Emergency Radio

With its impeccably durable construction, the Kaito KA500 Emergency Radio is an ideal choice for outdoor and survival applications. It can be powered through multiple mechanisms such as batteries, USB inputs, and solar panels. By default, it comes with a built-in NiMH rechargeable battery pack that enables you to use the device fresh from the box. This radio offers extensive AM/FM coverage for virtually limitless reach. It has two-band shortwave access and includes seven pre-programmed NOAA weather channels so that you can listen to real-time updates and emergencies. Keep in mind that such a feature is available to US and Canadian residents only. 

Aside from being a radio, the Kaito KA500 also functions as a mobile battery charger. After all, it has been equipped with a 5V USB port where you can plug your mobile devices such as smartphones and cameras. The device also has a built-in LED lamp and flashlight, and SOS beacon light. With its telescopic antenna and semiconductor circuit design, this radio gained extra reach on its reception. Meanwhile, the signal strength indicator of this device ensures accuracy in tuning. 


  • Type - Analog
  • Frequency (FM) - 88 - 108 MHz 
  • Frequency (AM) - 530 - 1710 kHz
  • Power source - Battery and other multiple sources
  • Weight - 5.5 ounces
  • Dimensions - 8.25 inches x 5 inches x 2.25 inches

3. FosPower NOAA Emergency Weather Radio

You'll also enjoy the capabilities of the FosPower NOAA Emergency Weather Radio, thanks to its inherent durability and functionality. One of its defining features is that it works as a power bank, enabling you to charge phones and tablets during emergencies. However, keep in mind that its power bank's capacity is not that high--only 2000mAh. Therefore, you need to use it wisely. Meanwhile, the radio is capable of being powered by three different power sources: solar charger, hand-crank generator, and batteries. The solar panel and crank lever mainly ensure that the device is always operational whenever you need it. 

This radio is equipped with NOAA emergency weather broadcasts, making it a handy tool for monitoring developing situations. It also has limited access to emergency broadcasts being propelled in AM and FM stations. By the way, the FosPower NOAA Emergency Weather Radio can also become your light source during emergencies. It has one flashlight and four LED lights embedded in its sturdy architecture to keep you and your companions illuminated. It is also worth noting that this radio has an IPX3 rating, which means it can survive splashes of water. 


  • Type - Analog
  • Frequency (FM) - 87 - 108 MHz 
  • Frequency (AM) - 520 - 1710 kHz
  • Power source - Battery and other multiple sources
  • Weight - 10.9 ounces
  • Dimensions - 6.2 inches x 2.9 inches x 2.1 inches

4. RunningSnail Emergency Crank Radio

This unit has been patterned on the previous MD-090 Emergency Radio manufactured by RunningSnail. Specifically, the one we got here is an upgraded version. One of the most noticeable improvements is the inclusion of a 4000mAh battery that can charge more than a single table or phone. It gives enough power to keep your essential devices working during emergencies. The radio has been equipped with a powerful flashlight that comes with three brightness modes so that you can cope up with various conditions. 

Its external antenna is powerful enough to receive frequencies from various sources, regardless of the setting you are in. It works well even amidst turbulent weather disturbances. It can get up-to-date weather broadcasts and hazard emergencies within your vicinity. There are seven pre-stored NOAA stations on this device that provide crystal-clear information to you. When it comes to its construction, the RunningSnail Emergency Radio is never disappointing. It has a rigid body with enough water-resistance to combat the elements. 


  • Type - Analog
  • Frequency (FM) - Unspecified
  • Frequency (AM) - Unspecified
  • Power source - Battery and other multiple sources
  • Weight - 13.9 ounces
  • Dimensions - 6.3 inches x 2.48 inches x 3.19 inches

5. Mesqool Emergency Weather Radio

The Mesqool Emergency Weather Radio is definitely an excellent option for those who want a highly reliable survival radio. This one features seven pre-configured NOAA weather stations and impeccable reception from its AM/FM shortwave bands. You can switch from these bands seamlessly by just rotating a knob. You will be able to catch up with the latest weather advisory within your area. Even if the antenna of this device is down, it still can pick shortwave stations with decent reception clarity. 

Of course, since this unit is a survival radio, it also boasts a 5000 mAh battery that can charge multiple devices and accessories. It also has five different power options, meaning that even if its battery is drained, you can still power it up. Specifically, you can charge it via its USB port, hand crank, or solar panel. Furthermore, this radio has a built-in flashlight and lamp so that you can have access to immediate lighting. Interestingly, it can also send distress signals via its SOS flashing beacon. The latter generates morse code that attracts the attention of rescuers.


  • Type - Analog
  • Frequency (FM) - 87.5 - 108 MHz
  • Frequency (AM) - 520 - 1710 kHz
  • Power source - Battery and other multiple sources
  • Weight - 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions - 6.77 inches x 3.7 inches x 2.91 inches

6. Zurio Emergency Radio

The quality of the Zurio Emergency Radio makes it an essential utility for any emergencies. It is designed to be rugged, functional, and responsive to the needs of its users. The radio has multiple NOAA weather channels and various AM/FM frequencies so that you will not miss any important updates and emergency announcements. It has pristine sound clarity, enabling you to understand the advisories that are coming from it. Furthermore, the device has been rigged with a long antenna for flawless reception anywhere you are. 

Similar to other survival radios here, the Zurio Emergency Radio has five power sources. Aside from batteries, it has a hand crank, solar panels, and plug for wall outlet so that you can operate it regardless of the current predicament. Furthermore, the device has a 4000 mAh lithium battery that lasts longer than most of its counterparts. You can utilize it to keep your essential devices running during trying and uncertain times.


  • Type - Digital
  • Frequency (FM) - Unspecified
  • Frequency (AM) - Unspecified
  • Power source - Battery and other multiple sources
  • Weight - 24 ounces
  • Dimensions - 7.99 inches x 3.54 inches x 3.15 inches

7. RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio

The RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio provides comfort and portability during emergencies. It is a compact survival radio that includes a 1000 mAh battery that fully charges your phone and other small devices. It is a must-have for every prepper and outdoor enthusiast due to the availability of NOAA weather channels and select AM/FM bands. It can update you with various hazards and weather information within your location. Moreover, this radio has superb signal clarity, thanks to its long antenna. 

Of course, the ergonomics of the RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio are also useful in dealing with a number of emergencies. It can be recharged via solar, hand crank, or USB so that it remains functional whenever you need it. It also has a bright LED flashlight that gives sufficient illumination during blackouts or severe weather conditions. Surely enough, this device can withstand the elements due to its seamless construction and robust design.


  • Type - Analog
  • Frequency (FM) - Unspecified
  • Frequency (AM) - Unspecified
  • Power source - Battery and other multiple sources
  • Weight - 7.84 ounces
  • Dimensions - 5 inches x 1.8 inches x 2.4 inches

Guide In Choosing The Best Survival Radios

A survival radio gives you a higher chance of surviving different predicaments. Essentially, these radios serve as your early warning system against weather disturbances, calamities, and other disasters that are coming your way. During these ordeals, these survival radios will help you navigate your route toward safety and protection.

But of course, a survival radio only works well if it has the essential functionalities and features, such as those that are listed below. 

Weather Stations 

One of the crucial aspects that survival radio should have is access to weather stations. Specifically, you would want the radio to contain channels from reputable stations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These weather services provide up-to-date and real-time information regarding various atmospheric occurrences in your vicinity. 

Other radios can further specify their area or region through the use of Specific Area Message Encoding or SAME. However, keep in mind that this feature is not available on all survival radios. A radio with SAME is capable of blocking frequencies and signals coming from other places. Hence, if you are in area A, the radio will be able to block those notifications and alerts that are meant for area B or area C. Hence, you can guarantee that what you are receiving is only information related to your location.

Of course, you can still use those radios without the said feature. You will only have to pay attention to the reception so that you can determine if the alerts are intended for your area. 

AM and FM Bands

It is pointless to get a radio that doesn't have comprehensive AM and FM frequencies. There are multiple channels embedded within these frequencies that provide all the necessary information that you need to monitor a particular situation or event. You can use them to track the progress of hurricanes, storms, and other natural catastrophes. 

Surely, some people would question the relevance of the amplitude modulation and frequency modulation bands if there are already weather channels on survival radios. You see, an AM and FM station can give you timely notifications. If you want real-time information, then better tune it to these frequencies. Meanwhile, your weather stations function primarily as alert systems, which can help you identify a potential hazard ahead of time. 

Multiple Power Sources

These survival radios need to have a long-lasting performance. If they only rely on batteries, you can't expect that they can withstand extended emergencies (i.e., days of total blackout). Hence, you would need these devices to have different power sources. 

Batteries are the first one because they are the most basic power source for portable devices like these radios. Make sure that you bring spare batteries so that you can keep the radio running whenever it is needed. 

Another power source is solar energy. Several survival radios are equipped with solar panels to gather and utilize energy from the sun. Going further, some survival radios have a hand crank capability to operate themselves whenever the battery runs out or if there is no sun above. 

If access to electricity is not a problem, then radios with plugs will help you charge and power them. Doing so would help you conserve the batteries. 

Essential Features Of Survival Radios 

  • Waterproof or water-resistant exterior - You will need the radio to exhibit ruggedness and defense against the elements. Should you find yourself in situations where you are under heavy rain or snow, the radio should remain functional and impervious from circuit damages. Prioritize radios that have at least an IPX3 rating. They can withstand splashes of water in various directions. 
  • Quality reception - The reception of these survival radios is pivotal to their performance. Essentially, you would want them to deliver the information you need without disturbances and fluctuations. Basically, these radios should come with long and durable antennas. They are the ones that can amplify and stabilize the radio's connection to various frequencies. 
  • Illumination - A survival radio should help you survive, right? Hence, it is ideal that the radio should have multiple lighting mechanisms such as a lamp and flashlight. Just imagine how difficult it is to navigate your way in a dark and poorly illuminated environment? With a reliable light, you can conquer these odds and keep your safety afloat. 
  • Shortwave compatibility - Some emergency radios are equipped with shortwave capability. A shortwave doesn't send information and alerts like weather and news frequencies. However, with this feature around, you will be able to listen to various broadcasts in various parts of the globe.

In Summary

The best survival radios ensure that you can be ahead of any hazard and emergency. They can also increase your chances of escaping harrowing situations by having adequate, factual, and real-time information. For preppers and outdoor goers, these radios are downright essential. 

Keep safe at all times!

If you have other inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

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