Best Emergency Radios

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Kaito KA500

97.6/100our score
Kaito KA500
Why is it better?
  • Advanced technology for gathering radio frequency.
  • Several features installed
  • Multiple modes for recharging or powering the radio..
  • Durable.
  • An MP3 player and a power bank!

The best emergency radios in the market have proven its work over many years. Over the decades, the good-old radio has been a great companion by our parents and grandparents when listening to the news during power outages. Those who retired from hiking and adventuring have regarded the best emergency radios as a helpful companion when gathering info as they camp or when dangerous weather is coming.

There is always a need for emergency items, which is why manufacturers updated the features found in an emergency radio. The following on the list below will explain the best features needed in the best radio for emergencies fit for this modern era.

In our opinion the 8 Best Emergency Radios in 2020 are:

  1. Kaito KA500
  2. FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio
  3. RunningSnail MD-090P
  4. Sangean MMR-88 Emergency Radio
  5. Midland WR-300
  6. Kaito KA550 Emergency Radio with PEAS
  7. The American Red Cross FRX3 Weather Alert Radio
  8. Epica Digital Emergency Radio
Table Of Contents

Emergency Radios Comparison

RANK
Picture
Name
Rating
#1

Kaito KA500

Kaito KA500

Connectivity: 97
Battery Life: 97
Ease of use: 98
Sound quality: 98
Feature: 98
Average: 97.6

#2

FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio

FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio

Connectivity: 89
Battery Life: 98
Ease of use: 95
Sound quality: 90
Feature: 97
Average: 93.2

#3

RunningSnail MD-090P

RunningSnail MD-090P

Connectivity: 96
Battery Life: 98
Ease of use: 96
Sound quality: 96
Feature: 98
Average: 96.8

#4

Sangean MMR-88 Emergency Radio

Sangean MMR-88 Emergency Radio

Connectivity: 95
Battery Life: 96
Ease of use: 98
Sound quality: 85
Feature: 95
Average: 95.8

#5

Midland WR-300

Midland WR-300

Connectivity: 97
Battery Life: 95
Ease of use: 95
Sound quality: 95
Feature: 98
Average: 96

#6

Kaito KA550 Emergency Radio with PEAS

Kaito KA550 Emergency Radio with PEAS

Connectivity: 98
Battery Life: 97
Ease of use: 98
Sound quality: 98
Feature: 98
Average: 97.8

#7

The American Red Cross FRX3 Weather Alert Radio

The American Red Cross FRX3 Weather Alert Radio

Connectivity: 94
Battery Life: 95
Ease of use: 98
Sound quality: 91
Feature: 98
Average: 93

#8

Epica Digital Emergency Radio

Epica Digital Emergency Radio

Connectivity: 95
Battery Life: 85
Ease of use: 95
Sound quality: 90
Feature: 95
Average: 92

Emergency Radio Reviews

1 Kaito KA500

Kaito KA500

Connectivity 97%
Battery Life 97%
Ease of use 98%
Sound quality 98%
Feature 98%
Average 97.6%

The Kaito KA500 is a top emergency weather radio because it contains special features meant for keeping the radio activated during emergency situations. It is capable of providing you entertainment as you go camping, as well as receive very important information. This type of information even includes weather to keep you alert wherever you may go. It also contains special features that made it a must-have.

Versatility During An Emergency

When the battery is out during the day, its solar panel will handle it. During the evening, you can use the hand crank if there is no battery. It even acts as a power bank for charging your phones. It also has an AC/DC adapter, but is sold separately.

Advanced RF Technology

The Kaito KA500 also has an advanced, telescopic antenna that you can extend to 14.5” high. It is a sensitive antenna with the advanced semiconductor circuitry to provide excellent reception.

You can easily view the signal status with the emergency weather radio’s LED signal strength indicator. In this way, getting alerted during emergencies is guaranteed fast and simple.

Cost and Value

You will definitely get what you paid for when you purchase the KA500 by Kaito. The capability of this handy emergency weather radio is seemingly endless because it will make your travel become more convenient than ever. It’s like getting a radio that has an emergency light, with a powerbank and mp3 player! The price is also noticeably fair for a radio with multiple features.

Pros:
  • Advanced technology for gathering radio frequency.
  • Several features installed
  • Multiple modes for recharging or powering the radio..
  • Durable.
  • An MP3 player and a power bank!
Cons:
  • More expensive than other models.
  • Charging using the crank is somewhat ineffective.

2 FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio

FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio

Connectivity 89%
Battery Life 98%
Ease of use 95%
Sound quality 90%
Feature 97%
Average 93.2%

Some buyers say the FosPower Emergency Portable Radio is good for both emergency and non-emergency purposes. It can pick up NOAA weather channels aside from the regular AM and FM frequencies. This can be a handy radio for your grandfather back in your old hometown, and it can also serve a great purpose as you travel. But in terms of emergency, this nifty radio is well-prepared once critically needed.

High Battery Life

The FosPower Emergency Portable Radio Is notable for having a high amount of battery life for its top emergency radio. It is so powerful, that it can even share a max amount of 2000 mAh for powering any mobile device using its USB port.

Great Signal Provider

The FosPower Emergency also is capable of keeping you out of danger. It has a 1W LED light – powerful enough as a light source when navigating through the dark. You can also emit the LED light to signal your presence to other people when lost.

Cost and Value

This top emergency radio by FosPower is relatively cheaper than some on this list. The several features present in this radio is just suitable for emergency purposes because it is prepared to help you in all weather conditions, and even during the night when it’s dark or foggy. Its power output also made it a very valuable type of radio, but at a low price!

Pros:
  • Excellent battery life
  • Various modes to power radio
  • The crank works great with the solar panel
  • Helps you create an SOS alarm or light signal when list.
  • Limited lifetime warranty available!
Cons:
  • Somewhat bulky.
  • Somewhat weak in picking up signals during bad weather.

3 RunningSnail MD-090P

RunningSnail MD-090P

Connectivity 96%
Battery Life 98%
Ease of use 96%
Sound quality 96%
Feature 98%
Average 96.8%

The RunningSnail MD-090P Emergency Radio is another device that can offer a very high battery life thanks to its battery power and new charging mode. It’s definitely the newest in 2020 because of its futuristic extra features such as the motion sensor reading lamp which serves greatly as an emergency light source.

No Batteries? No Problem!

The MD-090P sports AAA battery capability for emergency purposes, which can be recharged using its crank. The radio has an efficient crank which also focuses on powering the flashlight for days. It also contains a solar panel so then you can operate the battery whenever the sun is up. You can also charge it via USB.

A Modern Design

The MD-090P is indeed one of 2020’s newest emergency radios in the market. It has a sleek design that’s not just focused in providing a futuristic look for such a classic electronic. It has a 3-mode flashlight fit for any emergency situation while in the dark. It also has a motion sensor for its reading lamp to allow further efficiency in terms of usage and battery.

Cost and Value

The MD-090P is regarded as one of the best emergency radios that has a low price. Despite the cheapness of the product, its battery life and how it makes charging fit for long-lasting survival made it to the top. However, there are recommended features that are missing in the product, which is why it cost less than most in this list.

Pros:
  • Powerful battery life.
  • Amazing power bank charging capability.
  • Efficient crank for charging flashlight and radio separately.
  • Strong flashlight and reading lamp.
  • Low price.
Cons:
  • Not advertised as waterproof.
  • Hard time picking up NOAA channels.

4 Sangean MMR-88 Emergency Radio

Sangean MMR-88 Emergency Radio

Connectivity 95%
Battery Life 96%
Ease of use 98%
Sound quality 85%
Feature 95%
Average 95.8%

The Sangean MMR-88 Emergency Radio has a smart design that aims for the utmost convenience whenever you use it. It has the right size if you’re looking for a very portable type of emergency weather radio, and it boasts added features to make traveling much better once you bring this radio around.

User-Friendly Charging

The MMR-88 is capable of providing you versatility as you use it. There are three nifty options that you can use for charging. There is the hand crank with dynamo power to ensure that it will provide you an efficient means of charging without tiring your arms that much. There is a solar panel, which some users noticed to be extremely powerful when it comes to charging capabilities.

Made To Alert You And Everyone

It is proven and tested that the MMR-88 Emergency Radio is capable of providing real time alerts such as letting you access information regarding severe weather conditions in your current location. It can give you 19 random presets for AM and FM radios, plus the 7 channels of the NOAA weather forecasting system.

Cost and Value

The MMR-88 emergency weather radio by Sangean is a must-have because it has a fair price. It may not be the cheapest one in the list, but rest assured that you will find this as a very handy tool that focuses more on performance. Unlike most models that possibly aimed to provide better extra features, this radio is balanced in terms of its overall aspects.

Pros:
  • Small but very east to carry.
  • Good signal pickup for radio channels.
  • Charger ports are sealed to avoid water contact.
  • Lasts a very long time despite its small size.
  • Hand crank is very efficient.
Cons:
  • Its replacement battery has issues to some customers.
  • Not durable.

5 Midland WR-300

Midland WR-300

Connectivity 97%
Battery Life 95%
Ease of use 95%
Sound quality 95%
Feature 98%
Average 96%

The Midland WR-300 is advertised as a “:deluxe” radio. Deluxe is oftentimes regarded as something of a great quality with more to offer, which is exactly what this radio has to offer. It focuses on its main feature as a radio fit for emergencies, but still has add-ons to make it even more useful than it is. You will definitely get the best and real-time information even during emergencies with this nifty gear.

Equipped in Providing Information

The Midland WR-300 features WX band channels for emergencies to provide weather alerts such as tornadoes and storms, as well as other alerts that may affect the safety of the public. It also has an NOAA weather alert system that will provide a sound alarm with a digital indication if there’s a dangerous weather update in your area.

Customizable Features

It also contains a siren alarm, LED flashlight and a voice alert system. These can be customized according to your preferences, particularly if you have a special message to deliver in your voice alert system. You can also receive weather alerts on 23 countries, along with setting the memory channels for AM and FM.

Cost and Value

It is set at an average-level price when compared to the other products in the list. The product has great add-ons in it that made the radio unique than most of the products here. You might even think that the product is quite expensive, but admit that it is somewhat more than average in terms of cost. It’s just good to know that the value matches its price.

Pros:
  • Strong signal connectivity.
  • Specified for emergency broadcasting.
  • A handful of additional customizeable features.
  • Specific indicators for weather alerts.
  • Exterior is durable.
Cons:
  • Limited AM/FM Capability.
  • Not waterproof.

6 Kaito KA550 Emergency Radio with PEAS

Kaito KA550 Emergency Radio with PEAS

Connectivity 98%
Battery Life 97%
Ease of use 98%
Sound quality 98%
Feature 98%
Average 97.8%

This other top emergency radio by Kaito is a must-have for beginners and veterans alike. So far, this is the best-looking radio thanks to its color theme. It is almost the same as the first product mentioned in this list, but with updates on its features to make it more efficient to use.

Versatility During An Emergency

The KA550 acts as a powerbank for your mobile devices. It sports a hand crank for emergency charging as well, along with a solar panel to support it during the daytime. You can also add an adapter for charging the radio itself using AC/DC, but the adapter is sold separately.

Advanced RF Technology

The Kaito KA500 radio has an advanced antenna that has a telescopic feature that you can extend to receive a better signal. The antenna is sensitive enough for the perfect reception output. It also has an advanced semiconductor for its circuitry to accurately get the best frequencies available in your current county.

Cost and Value

You can surely get the quality you’re expecting if you’re paying high for the best emergency radio. The predecessor model of the KA550 is a renowned product, along with the brand itself. That’s why this newer model can assure good value thanks for its improved efficiency when bringing it during your adventure.

Pros:
  • Advanced technology for gathering radio frequency.
  • Several features installed
  • Multiple modes for recharging or powering the radio.
  • Durable.
  • Lightweight.
Cons:
  • The most expensive emergency radio in the list.
  • Charging using the crank is also ineffective.

7 The American Red Cross FRX3 Weather Alert Radio

The American Red Cross FRX3 Weather Alert Radio

Connectivity 94%
Battery Life 95%
Ease of use 98%
Sound quality 91%
Feature 98%
Average 93%

The American Red Cross did a great job in manufacturing this extremely handy and easy-to-use radio. Beginners like this a lot compared to most of the products found on the list. It has the right features needed for a high quality emergency radio, but has a smart design.

All You Need In An Emergency Radio

The FRX3 may be small in comparison to the most products in the list, but it has everything you will need. It can receive AM or FM alerts, and can provide NOAA weather channels with ease.

It also sports an alert feature which is great for your survival needs. The alert feature must be turned on to work in order to give you emergency broadcasts during weather conditions or other events that may affect public security.

Features Made It Easier to Use

The FRX3 is able to provide emergency power because you just have to use its crank to power the battery. It also has the optional solar panel for daytime charging, which is good with the crank. The radio also has a DC power alternative with a mini-USB adapter for it.

You can also use it as a powerbank for mobile devices. Additionally, it also includes an aux-input, alarm clock, a back-lit display, and an LED beacon.

Cost and Value

The radio is relatively cheap in comparison to most models, but is capable of offering a number of features for you to enjoy. The product is also very easy to carry around, making it a versatile radio for your outdoor information gathering needs.

Pros:
  • Small, easy to store.
  • Lightweight, easy to carry.
  • Still contains a number of features.
  • Good connectivity
  • Durable
Cons:
  • Powerbank has charging issues on certain phone models.
  • Weak battery life.

8 Epica Digital Emergency Radio

Epica Digital Emergency Radio

Connectivity 95%
Battery Life 85%
Ease of use 95%
Sound quality 90%
Feature 95%
Average 92%

The Epica Digital Emergency Radio is equipped whenever there is a power outage or when you’re at a remote location with no electricity. It is modernized to meet the standards of today, meaning it contains nifty features as well. It also has bonuses provided by the manufacturer for the sake of convenience.

Compact and Easy To Use

The Epica Digital Radio has a compact design which is why it is regarded as a modernized product. Even if it has an LED light attached in it, along with a hand crank, you can still easily store the product in your bag or anywhere in your home.

There is a carabiner clip attached to the radio so then you can easily carry it in almost any way you like when you travel.

It also has a digital indicator to help you easily navigate through the channels and options present on the radio. It can also let you browse easily if you prefer AM, FM or the NOAA weather channels.

Refund or Completely Replace It!

Most of the products listed above can only promise a manufacturer’s warranty for you to easily exchange the emergency radio if there are any defects. But this radio is promising you a money-back guarantee if you dislike the product and prefer a different model or brand instead.

Additionally, it also has the ability to give you a limited-time replacement for you to receive a brand-new device! It is a 100% refund or replacement options for you to choose, and all you have to do is to contact Epica for it.

Cost and Value

You will find this gear by Epica as one of the best money savers in the market, earning it a spot on the top 8 best radio in the market. Aside from its price that costs below $20, it has a full refund or replacement capability. It’s a very interesting deal to consider.

Pros:
  • Small-sized.
  • Easy to use for non-tech-savvy people.
  • Very affordable
  • Good connectivity.
  • Refund or replacement options.
Cons:
  • Low battery life.
  • Some say it’s easy to break.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Connectivity

Connectivity is the emergency radio’s capability of picking up channels without the need to adjust it too much. The following products are digital radios, meaning that its analog tuner is just an option to use. This means it has to meet the standards of technological efficiency, which is why the antenna has to be observed.

The circuitry of the radio is also important as it allows fine-tuning to provide more accurate results when gathering frequencies. After all, this is the main purpose of the radio.

Battery life

Your radio has to stand long enough throughout the emergency, which is why battery life is observed. An emergency radio can become your only source of information if there’s no electricity in your current area. Additional factors that impact this criteria are as follows:

    • Power bank – helps charge mobile devices for communication during emergencies.
    • Hand crank – the hand crank has to provide sufficient power.
    • Optional features – an example is the solar panel.

Ease of Use

The ease of use for the product is defined by the product size and weight. These two will see if the product is easy to carry around. Some emergency radios can be easy to navigate and operate but may be quite heavy or large to bring outdoors and may only be good at home.

Another factor observed for this criteria is the product’s capability to become easy to navigate. Navigation is related to connectivity as well. All of the sub-factors mentioned in these criteria are included in the other factors to consider in the section below.

Sound Quality

Sound quality depends on both the signal strength of the radio station and how the speakers work. The quality of the speaker should always be observed when checking out a certain product. Sound quality will provide the final result of gathering information through the radio stations that you’re listening to.

Therefore, the connectivity also plays a huge factor in scoring this criteria. As for the speakers of the device, be sure to check the reviews if most customers say that the speakers are loud or clear.

Feature

The extra features found in emergency radios are not just options to consider, but requirements if you’re looking for the best radio for emergencies in the market. All of the products mentioned above have extra features, but scored separately based on two sub-factors: the quality of the extra features and how many are present in the radio.

There are LED lights, reading lamps, alarm clocks, alert systems, and even power banks to support the battery life of your mobile devices. However, you have to check if each of them can provide good quality in order to score this criteria properly.

Expert Tips

Look At The Sky

The sky does not tell any kind of lie. If you’re concerned about the upcoming weather at your location right now, be sure to look at the skies first. Check if the sky is getting darker or if there is a group of clouds approaching your location. Then after doing so, check the radio for any weather forecasts.

Always Have One In Your House

Emergency situations may happen all the time, and power outages may be a result of such an issue. Storms may happen at any given time in your place, some unfortunate areas can get hit by tornadoes, and power companies might experience issues as well.

Other Factors To Consider

Size

When traveling, you need to consider the size of your radio. It will determine how you can store the device with ease because for sure there is no way for anyone to strap down the radio at all times, especially if the weather is clear.

Just pick a radio that can fit in a large pocket of your bag, and you’ll be good to go. This can also affect the weight of the radio, which is another extra factor to consider.S

Weight

Your emergency radio has to be light at all times when traveling. One of the most important rules when hiking is to pack light to save energy as you trek the mountains. That’s why bringing a radio for long hikes needs weight to be an important factor as well.

But of course, it depends on how strong you are in carrying your stuff while adventuring. After all, adventuring or hiking requires endurance, given with the number of stuff you’re carrying. This is why the weight was not counted as a criteria.

Functionality Of The Extra Features

Extra features mean efficiency! The extra features may be less important because of the radio’s main purpose – to provide the right channel to inform you. However, extra features are already present in your product, which is why you have to consider their quality as well. This is very important, especially when buying an emergency radio with LED lights.

Since there is an LED light or reading lamp present in your radio, you might think that it’s safe not to bring a flashlight. On the other hand, you might also think that your radio’s power bank will avoid the need to bring another power bank to lessen the stuff you’re bringing.

Any Means of Providing Signal

Emergency gear means that it has to provide any means of providing an SOS signal. Gladly, most of the top emergency radios in the market have LED lights to provide a light-based signal to others, especially if you can see someone from afar after being lost for some time.

SOS systems such as sirens and alarms should be present in your emergency radio to provide a more accurate means of signaling other people.

Price

Of course, the price has to be included at all times when choosing the right emergency radio. You have to be observant especially if you’re just starting to gather the camping gear for your first-time travel. If you’re a beginner with a fair-enough budget, go for the cheaper ones for now. You will replace those cheap emergency radios with a better one in the future anyways!

But if you have enough budget for a quality emergency radio, then don’t minimize the cost and go for the high-priced ones listed above! After all, quality often comes with a high price, but being good at researching for a fair price is a must!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should An Emergency Radio Have Backup Batteries?

A: Yes. Being prepared for any kind of emergency means you have to prepare a backup of any important item needed during such situations. Whether it may be food or an extra battery for your radio, you have to consider having at least one extra of each. Emergency radios are usually operated using AAA batteries, which is why you have to stock up some spare AAA batteries when the need arises.

Q: How Much Is The Right Charge For Radio Batteries?

A: The best quality battery for radios usually last for 8 hours.The battery life of the rechargeable battery of your emergency radio has to be observed as well. You also need to check if the battery recharges properly based on the minutes required to use the hand crank or solar panel. Compare it when based on the manual and when you try it out.

Q: How To Find Emergency Radio Stations?

A: The emergency stations depend on your current country. Even the WX band channels depend on the area where you are at. That’s why you have to do a bit of research on the areas that you’re going, as well as the emergency stations for each county you’re traversing during your hike or travel. The NOAA is also a known emergency radio station for weather updates.

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Kaito KA500

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