Newbie here needs to be schooled

I have zero experience with frs/gmrs radios and will be buying a pair for short-medium range comm for camping (.5 mile to 1 mile). What are the good brands or models, and which brands to stay away from? I do have plenty of experience working with digital handhelds (I’m a firefighter) so I’m comfortable with using them, so my main concern isn’t getting a super easy to use model but don’t want a super complicated one either. Want to spend under $100. Since I’ve never used these short range radios before, what sort of sound quality can I expect, how long will they typically stay charged? Searching almost every brand/model has mixed reviews thats why I posted here, hopefully to clear that up. Lastly the clerk at Gander Mountain mentioned the Motorola MR355R…yays/nays? Thanks all.

Excellent review…

But you do have to ask yourself…

Are these for fun? or mission critical?

Would you be unhappy if they fall in a mud puddle and come out of it as door stops?

How upset would you be if one of them got lost?

Is the mileage estimate you quoted real or a target? (Don’t expect vast distance, no matter which hand held you get)

Look, I carry the cheap ‘o’ specials when I am out and around the racing circuit that I frequent. They work well for my use, cost me less than $40 for a pair for a quoted 5 mile capability, and if I loose one or one of them takes a dunk in the mens toilet, so what… My wallet isn’t hurtin’. And that’s a question I always ask. Will I think it’s a major monetary loss if this thing goes toes up?

Here’s where it gets good tho… Once I find out how well they do for the application I have them targeted for, I then work on upgrading the radios to something with a little more bite. But I learn something during the time I have the $40 specials. How long do they operate on a charge… The sound is GOOD, BETTER or BEST for me. Light weight and easy to use operations. Once I get it all figured out, I step up to a better model.

Nice part about all of this? When I’m on the roof, jerking on my DTV dish, or diggin’ a hole in the back forty, the cheap ‘o’ special still works great keeping me in touch with the brood… and if it takes a header off the two story or ends up an ornament on a fence post? Oh well…