I’m looking for the best range in a FRS/GMRS radio for communication between vehicles where no cell service is available. I need to be able to run off a power outlet in the vehicle since it may be many hours of use and then battery on occasion as handheld. I can’t go by the range listed since that is just marketing hype but the radios are not usually listed in power such as 1 or 2 watts so it’s hard to tell.
It would be nice if it could have an external microphone plugged into it to hear and talk, not a head set but a microphone like you see police use.
Since FRS radios are low power and GMRS radios require individual licenses, I would use CB radios. They still work good and with a correctly tuned antenna will provide miles of coverage. Plus they are reasonable in price.
CB is a way to go, and is a tried and true method of radio communications on the road. Most CB radios are designed for mobile use, so they will typically have all the feature requirements you listed, such as 12VDC power options and hand mics.
I would not place the emphasis on wattage. The antenna is more important, as it is really what determines your range. A 50 watt radio with a poorly tuned antenna can perform worse and cause more problems than a 4 watt radio with a finely tuned antenna. A good combination of radio, properly mounted and tune antenna and proper wiring can provide optimal performance.