Last updated: January 7, 2023
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 ($29.99)
- [2000MAH POWER BANK WILL KEEP DEVICES POWERED] FosPower's emergency radio incorporates a 2000mAh power bank capable of providing emergency power to any small tablet or phone.
- [3 POWER SOURCES POWER WHEN YOU NEED IT] Use the emergency weather radio's 3 power sources when you need a boost of power or need to recharge the radio. The radio's crank lever and solar panel are both capable of regenerating enough power to keep the radio, lights, and SOS alarm ready to go when you need it most. AAA Batteries ensure you have power when not able to regenerate power.
- [2 LIGHT SOURCES ALWAYS POWERED] The emergency crank radio can also provide light. The 4 LED reading light and 1W flashlight provides enough output to keep you and your loved ones out of the dark in an emergency situation.
- [NOAA EMERGENCY WEATHER BROADCAST ACCESS] The radio will dependably receive up to the second emergency weather forecasts and emergency news broadcasts from NOAA and AM/FM stations.
- [LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY] Includes a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Please visit FosPower's website for more information.
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.
· 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.
- 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
- 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 ($59.99)
- MULTIPLE POWER SOURCES - The ER310 features 3 sustainable power sources to recharge your radio: Solar Panel, Hand Crank, & Rechargeable 2600 mAh Battery. SOLAR PANEL - Simply recharge the internal lithium ion battery with direct sunlight. HAND CRANK - Recharge the radio during a power outage or anytime away from a power source. RECHARGEABLE 2600 mAh BATTERY - The rechargeable & replaceable long life battery provides up to 32 hours of radio operation. The ER310 can also be powered by 6 “AA” Batteries (Not Included) as a backup power solution.
- EMERGENCY FLASHLIGHT - The SOS FLASHLIGHT BEACON flashes Morse code in an emergency scenario and the Bright CREE LED (130 Lumens) can be used to signal for help. Select the Low brightness setting to conserve battery life or the High brightness setting for maximum illumination.
- NOAA WEATHER SCAN + ALERT - NOAA Weather Scan will automatically scan through 7 available weather (WX) band channels and locks onto the strongest weather channel to alert you of severe weather updates. NOAA Weather Alert will sound an alarm indicating that there is a risk of severe weather in your area. AM/FM radio is also available.
- CHARGE EXTERNAL DEVICES - Quickly charge your portable devices (cell phones, tablets, etc.) using the USB charging cable (included).
- ULTRASONIC DOG WHISTLE - Use the dog whistle to assist search and rescue teams in locating individuals during an emergency situation.
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.
· 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
- Easy to use
- Robust and resilient, despite its small size
- Easily portable
- Simple interface with large control buttons
- Clear LED display
- 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 ($49.95)
- A perfect radio for emergencies and disasters, it comes with all the features that you need in any emergency situation. It comes with a High quality AC type brushless generator.
- The solar panel powers the radio by itself and charges the built-in batteries as well.
- To maximize the sunlight's rays, the solar panel is designed to tilt with the suns position to receive the energy during the day time.
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.
· 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
- 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
- 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.)No products found. No products found.
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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.
· 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.
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- 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
- 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 ($23.98)
- A Life Saver radio! Get notified first for every weather alert in your area, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and severe storms, earn a critical time to prepare and save you and your family with this spectacular NOAA weather radio. Keep one in your emergency bag, you'll be happy you did.
- BUILD TO LAST – Used by 2 AA batteries that found in every household, this radio will last for days after the storm have passed and the power will back on. So, go ahead prepper yourself for the storm by clicking the add to cart button.
- Best reception in the market – Get weather broadcasts at a crystal-clear sound from anywhere in the US, thanks to our upgraded DSP Chip, 6-inch telescoping antenna and a high-performance built in speaker.
- PERFECT SIZE – A hand held portable radio, it will easily fit into your pocket or any emergency bag and receipt almost any frequency range: WB:162.400-162.550MHz AM:520-1710KHz, FM:87-108MHz
- WE CARE about you and your love ones! Vondior has helped more than 150,000 USA Civilians to live through the hurricane season and snowstorm season. We back our NOAA weather radio with 3 years Warranty! And our customer service is here for you 24/7 for anything you need!
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.
· 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
- 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
- Lacks features
- No built-in rechargeable battery
- If you’re out of batteries, you’re out of luck
- Reception is poor