Sure, nearly all two-way radios can be used outdoors, but not all of them are going to function that well. This is why we have put together this page. We want to talk about what we genuinely believe is one of the best 2-way radios for outdoors. Let’s meet the DeWalt DXFRS800.
Diving in To the NoWiresRadio Top Pick for An Outdoor 2 Way Radio
We want to start off by pointing out that this radio has been built for mostly indoor use. Well, mostly indoors. It is a construction site two-way radio. However, we are positive that you already knew that based on the manufacturer. They are world-famous for their power tools, after all. However, this doesn’t mean it won’t work outside. In fact, it performs ridiculously well outdoors.
This radio uses UHF. This means that it is a fantastic general purpose radio. In perfect conditions, it has a range of 300,000 square feet outdoors. Although let’s be honest, you are never going to have perfect conditions. We would say that, in most situations, the radio is going to be somewhere between 175,000 and 250,000 without losing signal quality. The number would be a bit lower if there are obstacles in the way e.g. trees or hills.
When you are outdoors, you won’t have that much opportunity to charge your radio. Sure, you can swap the batteries out when they die but, for the most part, you want a radio that is going to last as long as possible before requiring a charge. Thankfully, the DeWalt DXFRS800 is great for this. You get 18-hour battery life. Up to 10% of this (so, close to 2-hours) can be talking or listening. What the best 2 way radios on the market have in common, is a very health battery life. So, if you want something that is long-lasting, then this absolutely is the route to go down.
One of the reasons why the DeWalt is able to accomplish a long battery lifespan like this is due to the way in which it works. Most other radios are constantly switched on. This will drain the battery like there is no tomorrow. That isn’t the case with this product. If there is no communication for a short amount of time, the radio will automatically switch off. It will then hang around in standby mode until it is able to spot a radio signal it should be receiving. It then turns back on again.
The Audio Quality
When you are outdoors, there shouldn’t be that much in the way of audio interference, particularly if you are in a massive outdoor location e.g. an open field. However, this doesn’t mean that the audio signal is always going to be perfect. If obstacles get in the way, or you are on the cusp of the maximum range for the radio, then there could be issues with the sound. This is something that can happen with the DeWalt. In fact, it does happen with the Dewalt, but certainly not to the extent of other radios.
There is an auto squelch function build into the DXFRS800. This means that the radio will clean up any transmissions. We would say that it works about 90% of the time. This means that any communication should come through clearly. Even when you are nearing the maximum range on the two-way radio, the audio signals seem to be pretty decent. This isn’t too bad when you are getting a cheaper radio like this. Most of the other ones on the market, particularly down the cheaper end of things, sound awful if you are even a short distance away.
One of the major benefits of this radio being built for the construction industry is the fact that it has been built to be mishandled. Anybody who has ever met somebody in construction knows that after a short while, the tools don’t always get treated properly. You are often working too hard for that to happen. This means that the tools need to be better built to cope with that. Radios are no exception here. Luckily for outdoor users, the features that benefit those in the construction industry will also benefit those who are outdoors with their radio.
This is the best rated waterproof two-way radio on the market. You could be out in the rain for long periods of time, and the radio will still work. You could be trekking in the midst of a desert (try not to do this) and the radio will work, no matter how dusty it gets. There are so few radios that can deal with this.
This radio can also put up with a couple of knocks too. You could drop this from a height of about 2-meters onto the ground, and nothing is going to happen to it. This is great if you need to communicate during some of the more adventurous outdoor activities.
There is a limited lifetime warranty on the radio too. DeWalt are fantastic at customer service like this. This is part of the reason as to why their products sell so wildly.
We have one major issue with the DXFRS800. This is the fact that it only comes with a single charger. You get 2 of everything else, but one charger. This is annoying because it means at the end of the day, you are both going to need to head to the same location to charge your radio unless you buy a second one, which just adds to the cost. Granted, this is not going to be an issue in the vast majority of cases, but if you are planning to go hiking or camping, then you both need to end up in the same place, otherwise, only one person gets to charge their radio that night! Although to be fair, you can also buy spare batteries so it isn’t a major issue.
For outdoor radios, the DeWalt DXFRS800 is the perfect pick. Whether you are hiking, camping, or running an event outdoors, this radio will serve you well. In fact, it will serve you well for many, many years to come.