Around the 'hood and on the mountain...

Please help! Motorola, Midland, Cobra, Radio Shack and now I read on this forum about others! I am suffering from technical difficulties and don’t know which to chose!

I am looking for some two way radios for several reasons. First, I want my kids to be able to reach me (and I want to be able to reach them) as they start getting old enough to wander around our neighborhood. Hopefully having a radio will give them some independence and reinforce the goal of being responsible. Second, we would like a way to communicate when we go skiing this winter. Many of the mountains don’t have cell phone reception and my kids can kick my butt as far as getting down the mountain. It would be great to have a way to connect up again at the base.

Would you have any suggestions for some radios, keeping in mind that kids will be handling them? In other words, not too expensive in case they lose them, but durable in case they are dropped? Any comments on size vs. quality and water resistance would be appreciated. (Yeah, I guess I want it all!) We will probably need three radios.

How far away, within the neighborhood, do you expect the kids to get at a maximum? If less than a mile then you will be able to get away with lower cost / lower power radios, such as the Motorola FV700R or the Midland LXT440VP3. If you need more than a mile, I would suggest one of the more powerful models, such as the Motorola T9500R or Midland GXT800VP4.

As far as durability, none of these consumer radios are really built to take a beating. They are all fairly low cost, but you definitely give up durability. A business class radio would offer much more in terms of durability, but at 4 or 5 times the price it is probably not worth it for your purpose. All of the models are somewhat weather proof, which means they can handle light rain/snow. The Midland GXT800VP4 is the only model available that is fully waterproof, meaning it will still function even after being fully submerged in water.


Thanks Danny. I EXPECT them not to go more than a mile :wink: when wandering around the neighborhood. Now if they could come with built in GPS! Just kidding. Thanks for the advice.

What is the difference between the SX versions and the FV versions? Then there are the T versions. All the different prefixes within the different brands make it very confusing!

There’s not really a standard rule for the different prefixes (SX, FV, T, LXT, GXT, etc), but generally they indicate a different charger/battery type that works with the radios. For example, the Motorola SX and FV radios use a different size battery pack and charger from the “T” series.

Hope this was helpful.


The Midland GXT800VP4 has only a JIS (Japan Industrial Standard) rating of 4, which means splash resistant. JIS ratings are wide ranging from 0-8 and shouldn’t be counted on. Take extra measures, i.e.ziploc freezer bag with some air in it! These radio’s won’t float!

Thanks! I can picture it being dropped in the snow during one of my many “yard sales” when I again attempt down hill skiing this winter (you know - a “yard sale” is when you fall in such a way that a ski lands a few yards to the right, your hat ends up somewhere else, your poles end up a stuck up the mountain a few feet, etc!)