Best Weather Radio Reviews 2020

By William Chutney

March 25, 2020


​Weather radios are devices specifically designed to receive reports from radio stations, typically owned by the government. They are typically used in emergency situations and in times of extreme storms they broadcast crucial weather forecast information. Here are my top 5 picks.

1. Best ​Weather Radio - ​FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio (No products found.)


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​Battery
​Brightness
​Build Quality
​Porability

Why we chose this one?

This emergency radio from FosPower is an essential addition to any hurricane box or collection of camping equipment. Not only does it provide the user with a reliable and trustworthy light source when they need one the most but an array of additional features makes it a formidable product for any survivalist out there. If you are someone who enjoys spending time camping in the great outdoors, there are not many emergency portable radios on the market that can offer you the same level of reliability and functionality as this one.

There are a number of key features to look for in any weather radio, especially if you are looking for something that you can rely on in a crisis. You need something that is going to be physically resilient enough to withstand the stresses and strains of camping, but it needs to have more than just sturdiness. For example, you want something that can offer you reasonably good sound quality so that you can be certain of hearing important messages in an emergency. We are happy to report that this emergency radio fits both criteria perfectly.

Users have the option of charging the radio in a number of different ways, along with the traditional hand crank there is also a solar panel available and even the option of keeping some batteries in there to power the device this in a pinch. This makes it unlikely that you will ever find yourself truly stuck and unable to communicate with the rest of the world if you have this radio by your side.

Specifications

· ​Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.9 x 2.1 inches; 14.9 oz

· ​Battery capacity: 2000 MaH

· ​Power sources: Hand crank, AAA batteries, solar panel.

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Pros

  • ​Great quality all round
  • ​Multiple options for powering and charging
  • ​Can even charge your phone
  • ​Reading light and flashlight
  • ​Lifetime warranty
  • Can recharge via a cell charger

Cons

  • ​The alarm feature is just a bit too loud to be useful outside of an emergency
  • ​The online manual isn’t much help
  • ​Aerial is quite short
  • ​Does not charge all phones

​2. Runner-up Best ​Weather Radio - ​​Midland - ER310, Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio (No products found.)


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​Battery
​Brightness
​Build Quality
​Portability

Why we chose this one?

The ER310 from Midland is by far one of the most easily portable weather radios that we have ever reviewed. The ER310 packs a lot into its small frame, don’t let its diminutive stature put you off.

Like other radios from Midland, the ER310 and charges very efficiently, in the evening you go from empty to juiced up and ready to go in minimum time. What's more, this is one of the few radios we tested that enables the user to listen to the radio while they are charging it. You do need to provide your own iPhone charging cable if you want to be able to charge it like other household electronics, but there are so many different ways that you can charge this radio that this should only prove a minor inconvenience.

Another essential statistic to consider when you are analyzing a radio of this nature is what sort of battery life it can provide the user with once it has been charged. Unless you are using it heavily, a full charge of this radio can provide you with an extraordinary amount of power.

Specifications

· ​Dimensions: 9.6 x 3 x 6.8 inches; 16 oz

· Battery capacity: 2600 MaH

· Power sources: Solar panel, hand crank, rechargeable internal battery

· Ultrasonic dog whistle

· Emergency flashlight

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Pros

  • ​Easy to use
  • ​Robust and resilient, despite its small size
  • ​Easily portable
  • ​Simple interface with large control buttons
  • ​Clear LED display

Cons

  • ​Instructions could be clearer
  • ​The internal battery can only be replaced by Midland
  • ​Solar charger is weak
  • ​Crank is weak too
  • No way to disable the weekly test

​​3. ​Third Best ​Weather Radio - Kaito KA500 Emergency AM/FM/SW/NOAA Weather Alert Radio (No products found.)


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​Battery
​Brightness
​Build Quality
​Portability

Why we chose this one?

The Kaito KA500 isn’t a leader in every category. However, you shouldn’t be put off by this - it is an exceptional radio in a number of important regards. The most notable difference between the KA500 and the other radios on this list is that Kaito has opted for a smaller battery than many of its competitors. Purely in terms of the light produced, the Kaito KA500 cannot compete with bigger batteries and better bulbs.

However, the KA50 makes up for it in most other respects. First of all - it is by far our favorite looking radio of all the models that we tried. Its unique appearance pairs perfectly with a design philosophy that seems to have prioritized ease of use above all else. This is a welcome change from many of the other radios we have tried, many of which come with poor, if any, documentation to help a new user get started.

There are plenty of ways that you can charge the KA500, so no matter what situation you find yourself in, you can depend on this radio to help you keep safe.

Specifications

· ​​Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 2.8 inches; 22.4 oz

· ​​Battery capacity: 600 MaH

· ​​Power sources: Crank handle, rechargeable battery, solar panel, AAA battery support.

· ​​Micro USB charging

· ​​14.5” antenna

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Pros

  • ​Fantastic aesthetic design
  • ​Sturdy build quality despite its small size
  • ​Packs the same audio punch as much bigger radios
  • ​Great reception quality
  • ​Lots of weather channels

Cons

  • ​The relative lack of power will be a deal-breaker for some.
  • ​Crank power is weak
  • ​Weather stations don’t work in Europe
  • ​Flashlight not very bright
  • ​Antenna doesn’t rotate and no external antenna jack

​​​4. ​​Forth Best ​Weather Radio - RegeMoudal Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio (No products found.)


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​Battery
​Brightness
​Build Quality
​Portability

Why we chose this one?

This hand-crank radio isn’t just a formidable radio and flashlight, it is also a fantastic emergency radio that is capable of receiving NOAA broadcasts, as well as the full spectrum of AM and FM frequencies. Whether you need a light to guide you and your family through dark and unfamiliar terrain, or you are after something that will enable you to comfortably read before bed, RegeMoudal has you covered.

While all of the radios on this list can boast of impressive sound quality, this radio is particularly noteworthy in this regard. It isn't just the quality of the sound that is impressive, this radio is also remarkably easy to operate and provides a more intuitive experience than many of its competitors.

Having the full range of options for powering the radio - crank handle, solar panel, and AAA batteries - means that there are few situations in which it cannot be of use. Not only do you have lots of options for how you power up your device, but once it is charged, the battery life is way ahead of most comparable radios.

Specifications

· ​​​Dimensions: 5.7 x 3 x 2 inches; 12.6 oz

· ​​​Battery capacity: 2000 mAH

· ​​​Power sources: Hand crank, AAA batteries, USB charging in/out, solar panel.

· ​​​SOS alarm

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Pros

  • ​Superb audio quality
  • ​Charges quickly and easily
  • ​Useful in just about any emergency situation
  • ​Highly portable
  • ​Can be used as a night light/reading lamp
  • Alarm is very loud

Cons

  • ​Short charging cord
  • ​Some people find the hand crank awkward to use
  • ​Small size won’t suit everybody

​​​5. ​​Fifth Best ​Weather Radio - Kaito KA500 Emergency AM/FM/SW/NOAA Weather Alert Radio (No products found.)


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​Battery
​Build Quality
​Portability

Why we chose this one?

If there is one organization that you can trust when it comes to emergency weather radios, no one can compete with NOAA. As you would probably expect from such an organization - this radio ticks all of the most important boxes. However, there is a distinct lack of features with this one. Not that this is a bad thing - extra features that you won’t need or use don’t really add any value to your purchase.

The scores above might be misleading - the NOAA radio is only powered by AA batteries, although you can purchase rechargeable AAs if you want. As for the brightness, well, there isn’t even a torch on this radio. That might be a deal-breaker for some but trust us - none of that detracts from the user experience. You will get plenty of juice out of those AAs.

However, we would strongly recommend this radio as something to sit alongside a bigger and more fully-featured option. The NOAA radio is the ideal companion to have as far as being able to receive radio broadcasts during an emergency. It is by far the most portable and lightweight radio on this list but is nowhere near the bottom in terms of its sound or build quality.

Another thing that we really like about this radio is that it is the kind of radio that will serve you on a day-to-day basis, as well as during an emergency.

Specifications

·​ Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.1 x 1.3 inches; 6.2 oz

·​ Battery capacity: 2 x AA batteries

·​ Power sources: AA Batteries only

·​ 3-year warranty

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Pros

  • ​A radio you can rely on in an emergency
  • ​Delivers the essentials and delivers them well
  • ​A great little radio to have for day to day use as well as emergencies
  • ​Easily fits into a pocket or bag
  • ​Folding antenna
  • Customer service excellent

Cons

  • ​Lacks features
  • ​No built-in rechargeable battery
  • ​If you’re out of batteries, you’re out of luck
  • ​Reception is poor

​If you are interested in weather radios you may also find home weather stations or our list of camping essentials interesting.

​Related posts to the best weather radios:

William Chutney

About the author

Welcome to temperaturesensei.com. My name is William and everything you have read has been written by me. I am a retired man who lives in Texas now. I worked for 25 years for a company that made temperature products (I do not want to name them). If you have any questions or comments pop them in the chat below.

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