Best Emergency Radios Reviewed & Rated for Quality

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
 Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered
Test Winner: Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered
Amazon Link
There’s an old saying about trouble: it’s encapsulated in the 5P rule. What is the 5P rule you ask? It goes like this: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. The idea is if you want to be able to handle whatever the world throws at you, take the time to prepare for whatever the world might throw at you. This goes for work, relationships, and especially the weather. As the world warms up more extreme weather is just going to be part of the equation. More wind, rain, hurricanes, blizzards, floods and tornadoes., And as long as our power grid is strung up on poles near trees, that means more power outages. When that happens prior preparation means having an emergency radio. Here are some of our favorites.

Standout Picks

 Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered
If overall durability and functionality are what you are after, then the Kaito KA500 Emergency Radio is the perfect choice for you. Equipped with 5 different power options, this product offers maximum weather alert coverage with 7 NOAA channels that are pre-programmed along with real-time weather and a public alert system. If that isn’t enough to catch your attention, then the fact that this product is also water-resistant and built to be impact-resistant, so you know that it was built to last!
Amazon Link
$49.98
 iRonsnow Solar NOAA Weather
If you are looking for an emergency radio that is extremely lightweight but still offers a whole array of functions, then the iRonsnow Solar Emergency Radio is the one for you. Coming in a compact, lightweight size and offering 3 different options to charge, you won’t have to worry about being in the dark during an emergency ever again with this product!
Amazon Link
$17.99
 Vondior Emergency Radio
We like this radio for its simplicity. Sure, it needs batteries and if those batteries die then you are out of luck if you don’t have extras, but that doesn’t take away from this radio’s value. It’s small, easy to carry, gets great reception, and will let you stay in touch when the power goes out.
Amazon Link
$13.47
 Sangean MMR-88
If you are looking for a radio that offers not only AM and FM radio but the option of charging your smartphone too, this is the one for you. The Sangean MMR-88 is a Public Alert Certified Radio that was designed to keep you are your family safe. Featuring severe weather alert warnings, while allowing you to listen to your favorite radio station this radio comes prepared to guide you through any storm or other weather condition.
Amazon Link
 FosPower Solar Hand Crank
We’re hesitant to call this little baby a radio because it does so much and comes in such a nice little package. Do you need to charge your phone, no problem; do you need some extra light? No problem. This little radio will give you everything you need. The Hand crank also means that it’ll never run out of juice as long as you’re able to turn the crank.
Amazon Link
$24.99
 RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA
Staying informed with up-to-date weather information during an emergency can mean the difference between demise and survival. Equipped with NOAA channels, emergency alerts, and 4 different ways to charge the 2000mAh battery, this radio offers all of the necessities during an emergency, so you won’t have to worry about being left in the dark as to what is going on around you.
Amazon Link
$29.90
 American Red Cross Emergency NOAA Weather Radio
This tough little radio is designed to stand up to the worst the weather can throw at you as well as keep you tuned in to what’s coming next. In addition, the solar battery and hand crank will keep this baby powered when the batteries run out and also give you enough juice to charge a phone or small tablet. We also just like the way it looks. Not only that but it automatically broadcasts NOAA alerts and let you tune into AM and FM stations as well.
Amazon Link
$45.36
 Safe-T-Proof Solar Hand Crank
If you are looking for a product that does it all, then this is the one for you. This product offers an AM/FM radio, can be charged by solar power or by a hand crank, has an alert system for emergencies, a built-in flashlight, and offers a phone charger so you can keep your devices fully charged at all times!
Amazon Link
 Eton FRX5-BT
Created with efficiency and versatility in mind this Eton FRX5-BT radio comes in handy in multiple different scenarios, including storms, emergency hazardous weather, or just a regular camping trip. Featuring splash-proof technology, a bright LED flashlight incorporated with a red emergency beacon, S.A.M.E. and NOAA weather alerts, solar-powered charging option, and many more additional bits that make this radio one of our favorites on this list.
Amazon Link
 Bear Motion BMXLN-288DS
If you are looking for a product that offers the ultimate peace of mind and functionality, then this is the radio for you. This product offers 2 different ways to charge, AM/FM radio stations, offers an LED flashlight, and a way to charge most of the smartphones and devices out there. With this product, you won’t have to worry about being stuck in the dark.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Power Source

One of the most important aspects to keep in mind when you are looking for an emergency radio is how it is charged. You probably don’t want a product that can only be charged by using electricity because, in the event of a weather emergency, you could end up losing power. It is important to make sure that the product you choose has other charging options available so you can remain informed during an emergency situation and be in a better position to keep you and your family safe. There are a few different charging options that you will come across during your shopping experience such as, solar-powered, hand crank, and battery operated.

Solar-powered radios are equipped with solar panels that allow the radio to charge. This is one of the best options because it requires little to no effort on your end, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to charge the device.

Hand crank radios use a crank that you wind in order to get power to the device. This is another great option to use because you can control how fast the device is being charged. Most radios come with some type of battery in them, whether they are bigger batteries or smaller ones. These batteries are usually replaceable and can be recharged by either of the methods discussed above or can be plugged in to charge, provided that there is electricity.

Portability

It is also important to determine whether or not you want a radio that is portable. Not all radios are made to be portable. Some are made as stationary units that either sit on a table or a countertop and don’t offer a way to keep it charged once the unit is unplugged from the wall. If you want a product that you are able to take with you if you end up having to leave your house in the event of an emergency, then making sure that you are purchasing a portable unit is really important.

It is also important to pay attention to the weight and size of the portable unit. You are not going to want to lug around a big, heavy radio everywhere you go if you are forced to evacuate. Most portable units are on the smaller size for that reason, but they still vary a great deal on size weight. Some are designed to be handheld while others are made small enough to place in your pocket.

Features

A lot of emergency radios come equipped with different features that can help ease the stress during an emergency. One important feature that a product can come with is a flashlight. This can help you see during power outages and can also help draw the attention of rescue workers if you happen to be stranded. Not all flashlights are created equal, so pay attention to the number of watts that it uses. It is also important to know how much battery life you will have when you use the flashlight.

Another feature that a lot of these products are coming out with these days is the ability to charge your other devices, such as cell phones. This feature is great because it allows you to remain in contact with your friends, family, and loved ones during an emergent situation. Not all radios have device chargers that fit every smartphone or cell phone, so make sure that you pick one that best suits your needs.

Value

It is important to remember that purchasing an emergency radio is more than just purchasing a new radio. It is an investment that is designed to help you and your family navigate and remain safe during the chaotic times of an emergency. The cost of the product can vary a lot depending on the different functions and features that the device offers, along with its size.

The more features the product offers, the more money you will most likely have to pay. For example, a product that offers 5 different ways to charge may cost more than one that only offers 2 ways to charge. A product that has the ability to charge other devices might cost more than one that doesn’t. In other words, the more bells and whistles, the more likely you will be paying a few extra dollars. Whatever the cost is, it is important to remember that the safety of you and your family come first, and you really can’t put a price on that!

Weather Resistance

Most of the radios we review here are going to be able to stand up to the elements just in case you find yourself outside, as opposed to surrounded by four walls. For us this is imperative as we recommend emergency radios for the home and for the car, and if you're heading out into the wilderness, for your backpack as well. And let's be real here, you're not going to be using your emergency radio on a sunny day in May, you're going to need it when things go South, and sometimes things go South in a big way so you want to be able to rely on your radio to work in every environment so we took that into account as we were making our list.

10 Best Emergency Radios

1. Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$49.98
 Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered
Amazon Link

If overall durability and functionality are what you are after, then the Kaito KA500 Emergency Radio is the perfect choice for you. Equipped with 5 different power options, this product offers maximum weather alert coverage with 7 NOAA channels that are pre-programmed along with real-time weather and a public alert system. If that isn’t enough to catch your attention, then the fact that this product is also water-resistant and built to be impact-resistant, so you know that it was built to last!

6 Charging Options
One of the really neat aspects of this product is that it offers 6 different ways for you to charge it. You can hand crank it, charge it by using solar power, use (3) AA batteries, a 5 volt USB cable, or use a wall adapter. It also has the option of using the built-in battery pack that is rechargeable. With this many options, you will never have to worry about this radio failing you when you need it the most.

Built to Last
Not only does this radio offer an abundance of reassurance when it comes to being reliable during emergency situations, but it was also built to be durable. It is made from an extra strong thermoplastic polymer that won’t shatter or crack when dropped and is also water-resistant. This means that no matter what type of weather or emergency you are experiencing, you can rely on this product to help you through it!

Cost and Value
In comparison to other emergency radios on this list, this one falls into the more expensive category. Keep in mind that you are getting a high-quality product that not only offers real-time weather updates on NOAA channels, but it also has a telescoping antenna that can extend up to 14.5” to help with reception, has 6 different charging options, LED lighting, is water-resistant and is made to withstand impact, you are getting an incredible product that will prove to be worth every penny spent.

Amazon Link
$49.98

2. iRonsnow Solar NOAA Weather

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$17.99
 iRonsnow Solar NOAA Weather
Amazon Link

If you are looking for an emergency radio that is extremely lightweight but still offers a whole array of functions, then the iRonsnow Solar Emergency Radio is the one for you. Coming in a compact, lightweight size and offering 3 different options to charge, you won’t have to worry about being in the dark during an emergency ever again with this product!

Multifunction
When looking for a product that is needed during emergencies, having multiple functions in one unit makes life that much easier. This product helps reduce some of that stress that comes along with any type of weather emergency by not only functioning as a radio, but as a flashlight and cell phone charger as well, which means you can stay on top of the latest breaking news, keep your cell phone battery fully charged and shine a little bit of light during a dark and scary time.

3 Charging Options
Another cool feature that this product offers is the 3 different charging options. It comes with a 1000mAh battery that can be charged by using the USB port, by hand cranking it, or by solar power. This means that no matter what kind of situation you are in, you can rest easy because this emergency radio will have your back at all times!

Cost and Value
If you are looking for an emergency radio that works hard to keep you safe and won’t break the bank, then this is the one for you. In comparison to other emergency radios on this list, this one falls into the less expensive category. Given the fact that you are getting a multifunctioning radio that offers 3 different charging options, a 1000mAh battery, and is compact and easy to carry, you are getting an amazing product that won’t empty your wallet!

Amazon Link
$17.99

3. Vondior Emergency Radio

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$13.47
 Vondior Emergency Radio
Amazon Link

We like this radio for its simplicity. Sure, it needs batteries and if those batteries die then you are out of luck if you don’t have extras, but that doesn’t take away from this radio’s value. It’s small, easy to carry, gets great reception, and will let you stay in touch when the power goes out.

Long Battery Life
Even though this doesn’t have a hand crank the two AA batteries that drive this little radio will last you for days. The powerful antenna also guarantees great reception so don’t worry too much about running out of juice.

High-Frequency Range
Whatever you’re looking for when it comes to listening to the airwaves you’re going to be able to get it with this powerful little radio. From the NOAA WB band to AM or FM, whatever you’re looking for you’ll be able to find.

Warranty
Vondior sends a three-year warranty along with this radio just in case something goes wrong with it. There’s also customer service available 24/7 if you need some help.

Amazon Link
$13.47

4. Sangean MMR-88

Where to buy
Amazon Link
 Sangean MMR-88
Amazon Link

If you are looking for a radio that offers not only AM and FM radio but the option of charging your smartphone too, this is the one for you. The Sangean MMR-88 is a Public Alert Certified Radio that was designed to keep you are your family safe. Featuring severe weather alert warnings, while allowing you to listen to your favorite radio station this radio comes prepared to guide you through any storm or other weather condition.

3-way charge
One of the best features this emergency radio offers is its capacity to be charged in three different ways. It's built-in high power 850mAh Lithium-ion battery can be charged by using the hand crank, a USB, or the solar panel that comes with it. In the case of an emergency where you are left without power, this radio will simply need sunlight in order to work and/or recharge.

Phone Charge
Not only can this radio keep you informed but it can also charge your USB compatible devices. This is an excellent feature to have as it gives you the reassurance of knowing you can charge at least one cell phone and have that for any emergency calls you may need to make.

Cost and Value
When compared to other radios on this list, this one falls in the mid-range. It's not expensive but it's not as affordable as others. It offers numerous essential features while still being reasonably priced a win-win for all.

Amazon Link

5. FosPower Solar Hand Crank

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$24.99
 FosPower Solar Hand Crank
Amazon Link

We’re hesitant to call this little baby a radio because it does so much and comes in such a nice little package. Do you need to charge your phone, no problem; do you need some extra light? No problem. This little radio will give you everything you need. The Hand crank also means that it’ll never run out of juice as long as you’re able to turn the crank.

Power Bank
The crank powers a 2000mAh power bank that’s plenty strong enough to power a phone or a small tablet. This means that once you crank the power into this the radio will hold onto a charge for some time.

3 power sources
There’s the hand crank, there’s the solar panel and AAA batteries. What this means for you is that this little radio will never run out of power. Whatever the problem, whatever the situation this radio will last as long as you need, it. And if the sun is out you won’t even need to use the hand crank. We just love this little radio.

2 different light sources
The LED lights built into this radio not only does this provide an energy-efficient reading light but it also has a powerful flashlight built into the front end in case you need to venture out in the dark or just want some light around the house when the power goes out.

Amazon Link
$24.99

6. RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$29.90
 RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA
Amazon Link

Staying informed with up-to-date weather information during an emergency can mean the difference between demise and survival. Equipped with NOAA channels, emergency alerts, and 4 different ways to charge the 2000mAh battery, this radio offers all of the necessities during an emergency, so you won’t have to worry about being left in the dark as to what is going on around you.

2000mAh Battery
This product comes equipped with a 2000mAh battery, which has a lot more power than most radios. This means that the battery output is stronger and will last longer. If you are just running the light, then you can get up to 12 full hours off of one full charge of the battery. If you are running the radio, then you can get up to 6 hours of battery life off of a full charge.

4 Ways to Charge
This unit also comes with 4 different ways to charge the device. You can either hand crank it, use solar power to charge it, use the USB cable, or charge it by using AAA batteries. This product also has the capability of charging your smart devices, such as cell phones, so you won’t have to worry about not being able to stay in touch with the outside world.

Cost and Value
When you compare this product to other emergency radios on this list, this one falls into the average price range. Considering that you are getting a high-powered product that offers NOAA channels, AM/FM stations, alerts that inform you of an emergency, an LED flashlight, and a 2000mAh battery that has a strong, lasting output, you are getting an amazing product for a price that you can’t say no to!

Amazon Link
$29.90

7. American Red Cross Emergency NOAA Weather Radio

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$45.36
 American Red Cross Emergency NOAA Weather Radio
Amazon Link

This tough little radio is designed to stand up to the worst the weather can throw at you as well as keep you tuned in to what’s coming next. In addition, the solar battery and hand crank will keep this baby powered when the batteries run out and also give you enough juice to charge a phone or small tablet. We also just like the way it looks. Not only that but it automatically broadcasts NOAA alerts and let you tune into AM and FM stations as well.

Lighweight and Portable
At first glance, this looks like a clunky boxy radio but it actually doesn’t take up much room at all. It’s a smaller version of a hand-cranked radio than a lot of others that we’ve looked at but it packs the same punch.

A number of power sources
Solar power? Check! Hand Crank? Yes! Rechargeable battery? Of course, it also takes AAA batteries if all else fails. So don’t worry about ever running out of juice when you’re using this baby.

Wide Frequency Range
Not only does this radio pick up a wide frequency of AM/FM stations but it also picks up the NOAA alert stations and this radio is set up to automatically deliver emergency NOAA alerts.

Amazon Link
$45.36

8. Safe-T-Proof Solar Hand Crank

Where to buy
Amazon Link
 Safe-T-Proof Solar Hand Crank
Amazon Link

If you are looking for a product that does it all, then this is the one for you. This product offers an AM/FM radio, can be charged by solar power or by a hand crank, has an alert system for emergencies, a built-in flashlight, and offers a phone charger so you can keep your devices fully charged at all times!

Multiple Features
This device offers a whole array of features that will prove to be useful in an emergency. It offers an alarm system that alerts you when there is an emergency, a bright flashlight so you can see when the power goes out, and a port where you can charge your other devices during a power outage!

2 Ways to Charge
Another important feature is that you can either charge this device by using solar power or by using a hand crank. This means that no matter where you are or the type of emergent situation you are in, you will always have a way to stay up-to-date with what is going on around you.

Cost and Value
In comparison to other emergency radios on this list, this one falls into the average price range. This is great news for you because you are getting a compact, durable product that offers an alert system for weather emergencies, a bright flashlight, the option to charge other smart devices, and 2 different ways to keep this unit charged, so you are getting an amazing deal that you can walk away from.

Amazon Link

9. Eton FRX5-BT

Where to buy
Amazon Link
 Eton FRX5-BT
Amazon Link

Created with efficiency and versatility in mind this Eton FRX5-BT radio comes in handy in multiple different scenarios, including storms, emergency hazardous weather, or just a regular camping trip. Featuring splash-proof technology, a bright LED flashlight incorporated with a red emergency beacon, S.A.M.E. and NOAA weather alerts, solar-powered charging option, and many more additional bits that make this radio one of our favorites on this list.

Bluetooth Technology
While most emergency radios can only be used for AM, and FM stations this one offers a Bluetooth option as well. Not only will you be able to listen to the news, the weather alerts, and music that is playing on your favorite AM or FM station but you have the ability to connect to your personal music, and podcast library at any given time.

Smart Phone and Tablet Charging
Thanks to its solar-power feature this radio will charge your smartphone and tablet when needed. As long as the radio is charged you will always have a place to charge your much-needed devices. This is perfect for emergencies or long extended camping trips.

Cost and Value
Coming at a higher price point, this radio is very well worth it. Even though you are paying a higher price you are getting your money’s worth with all the features that come along with the radio.

Amazon Link

10. Bear Motion BMXLN-288DS

Where to buy
Amazon Link
 Bear Motion BMXLN-288DS
Amazon Link

If you are looking for a product that offers the ultimate peace of mind and functionality, then this is the radio for you. This product offers 2 different ways to charge, AM/FM radio stations, offers an LED flashlight, and a way to charge most of the smartphones and devices out there. With this product, you won’t have to worry about being stuck in the dark.

2 Different Ways to Charge
This device has two different charging options available. You can either use solar power to charge it or use the hand crank. With these options, you won’t have to deal with the battery dying when you need it the most.

Variety of Charging Tips
This product also comes equipped with 3 different sizes of charging tips that fit most devices. This means that you can keep devices, such as your cell phone, charged so you can stay in contact with your family during times of an emergency.

Cost and Value
When compared to other emergency radios on this list, this one falls into the less expensive category, which is good news for you. Considering that you are getting a durable, high-quality product that offers AM/FM stations, comes equipped with an LED flashlight, has a siren for an alert system, can be charged 2 different ways, and comes with the option of charging your other devices, you are getting a great product for a price that you can’t walk away from.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Lifehacker, How to Choose a Reliable Emergency Radio, Website
  2. The Bug Out Guide, Stay Connected: How to Choose an Emergency Weather Radio, Website
  3. The Prepper Journal, Tips for Choosing an Emergency Radio, Website
  4. Ready.Gov, Emergency Alerts, Website