The weather is constantly changing, and it’s important to stay up to date. A weather radio can provide the information you need to keep safe during emergency weather events. Whether you live in an area with severe weather conditions, enjoy spending time outdoors, or simply want to keep updated, a reliable weather radio can really come in handy.
Harsh weather can impact many aspects of our lives. If you’re worried about a power cut affecting your communication lines, a weather radio is a reliable way to stay ahead of the latest information. Many models are lightweight, durable, and come with a range of extra functions. Some even have handy waterproofing making them ideal for outdoor use.
With support for AM, FM, and NOAA weather bands, weather radios will help you stay on top of weather alerts. The variety of power options means you won’t miss out on any important information either. Many units also include customizable alerts, so you can be sure you’re receiving notifications that matter.
With so many great radios on the market, it can be hard to work out what’s best for you. To help you choose the right product for your needs, here’s a selection of the top ten best emergency radios available now. With many choices for every budget, range, or connectivity requirement, you’re sure to find a radio that works for you.
If you have any further questions about weather radios, please scroll to the bottom of this article for more information and the answers to some commonly asked questions.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Weather Radios
- 2 Buyer’s Guide: Considerations for Buying the Best Weather Radio
- 3 FAQs
Best Weather Radios
Our first weather radio includes extensive functionality for a very respectable price. The Midland WR400 is an excellent desktop radio that doubles as an AM/FM alarm clock. With a sleek, streamlined design, this item won’t look out of place on your desk or in your bedroom.
The item can be connected to an AC power source for regular use, but can also run on 4 x AA batteries. It includes a USB outlet that allows you to charge your smartphone or other devices in the event of a power cut, making it truly versatile.
The radio includes over 80 emergency alerts, up to 25 programmable alerts, and up to 4 tuning presets, which is all made simple with EZ Programming capabilities. In addition to AM/FM channels, it includes full NOAA weather scan support, and will scan through 7 available weather band channels. It will also lock on to the strongest channel to keep you as up to date as possible.
The WR400 also includes Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology, so it can filter out alerts that aren’t relevant to your county. The device is also Public Alert certified, and boasts customizable alerts so you can filter to your preferences. You can also customize your warning system, choosing from a selection of an 85 dB siren alarm, voice alert, or visual LED flasher.
The WR400 also has premium design quality, and is able to display the time, battery life, and current alerts simultaneously on its large screen. The adjustable screen is incredibly bright, which is perfect for use even in the dark, although it may disturb you if placed next to your bed. Many user ratings praise the excellent reception and sound quality.
- Very versatile with AM/FM, NOAA and SAME technology.
- Excellent quality sound and design.
- Not portable, only suitable for indoor use.
Our second radio is another versatile device at a respectable price point. The Midland ER310 is a great compact radio with a variety of recharging methods.
Choose between solar, hand crank, or USB to charge the 2600mAh rechargeable batteries, or use the 6 x AA battery supply for up to 32 hours of play time. The manufacturer suggests that just 1 hour of sunlight on a dead battery is enough for 45 minutes of use.
The ER310 does not include SAME technology, and is not Public Alert certified, but it does have good support for AM/FM and NOAA weather channels. The radio will automatically scan the NOAA emergency band and lock on to the strongest channel to keep you constantly updated.
The device also includes an array of extra features, making it compact and versatile. The built in 130 lumen flashlight has an excellent dimmer function allowing you to use the light whilst still conserving battery. A strobe light and Morse Code SOS feature means you’ll be able to signal for help if need be, and an ultrasonic dog whistle will allow you to contact emergency teams.
Despite its compact size, the speakers offer excellent sound quality, so you’ll be able to clearly hear any alerts. The USB port also allows you to charge other devices if you require. The device is not water proof, but rubber coverings over all connections should help keep it protected. It will easily fit in your hand for optimum portability.
- Great range of features for such a compact device.
- Excellent battery power.
- No Public Alert or SAME support.
Our third pick is another great unit from Midland. The WR120 EZ is incredibly affordable, and still boasts a good range of extra features. With dual function as a desktop radio and an alarm clock, it’s a very versatile product for the price.
The product can be powered through AC connection, and 3 x AA batteries in emergency situations. The built in clock has alarm and snooze modes, and the sleek design will fit in well with any room.
The WR120EZ includes SAME technology, and is also Public Alert certified, which is great for a unit that is under $30. It doesn’t allow AM or FM, but does support NOAA weather channels. It’s able to scan other channels even whilst you’re listening to one, so you won’t miss a single alert. With EZ Progamming, using the WR120EZ will be effortless.
The product includes a 25 county memory system, and over 60 different kinds of alerts, which are all fully customizable. A 90db siren and voice alert are available, as well as flashing tricolour LEDs to indicate the level of alert being received. You can also display alerts in three different languages, with a choice between English, French, and Spanish making the WR120EZ a truly accessible radio.
With good reception and audio quality, you won’t have to worry about missing an alert. The upward facing screen is less informative than some other models, but it works well as a desktop weather radio. With a 1 year warranty, you won’t have to worry about wear and tear.
- Very affordable unit.
- Great features including SAME technology and Public Alert certification.
- Cannot support AM / FM radio channels.
Our fourth emergency radio is a hand crank radio from FosPower. With a range of useful functions and a limited lifetime warranty, it’s a great choice for usability.
The FosPower Emergency Radio is very lightweight, weighing less than 1 lb. It supports 3 different power sources, including a hand crank, solar panels, and AAA batteries. The 2000mAh powerbank allows you to charge devices via a USB link, which is an excellent feature in the occasion of power shortages.
It unfortunately does not include SAME technology or Public Alert certification. However, the radio does work with AM and FM channels, as well as all 7 channels in the NOAA emergency band. This way, you’ll be sure to receive all the weather alerts you need.
The unit also includes some useful added features. It’s water resistant to grade IPX3, and with the generous warranty any damage shouldn’t be an issue. It boasts 2 separate light sources, including a 4 LED reading light, and 1W flashlight, which is great for power shortages or use whilst camping. An extra SOS alarm will also help put your mind at ease.
The control panel is unfortunately not as informative as an LCD screen, but the tuning dial should be very easy to operate for all users.
- Good range of security features.
- Generous limited lifetime warranty.
- No SAME technology or Public Alert Certification.
Our fifth pick is from RunningSnail, and as the least expensive unit in our selection, it’s an incredibly affordable emergency radio with a respectable range of features.
Easily recharge the device in 3 different ways. Choose from the micro USB charging port, solar panel, or manual hand crank to charge up the internal battery. Reviews mention the respectable battery power, which is great for lasting through severe weather conditions. The device also includes a 1000mAh power bank to charge extra devices, which is an incredibly useful addition. The required micro USB cable is included in the package.
The device allows you to listen to standard AM and FM radio channels, and also has excellent coverage of the NOAA weather channels, allowing you to make sure that you’re up to date with changing weather circumstances. The RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio does not support SAME technology and is not Public Alert certified.
The control panel is not as informative as an LCD screen, but with large tuning dials and a useful telescopic antenna, it’s very simple to operate. A useful wrist strap will help you keep track of the device, and makes it very easy to carry. A 1 watt LED flashlight is a very useful addition, too.
The device is water resistant up to grade IPX3, and also comes with a great 12 month warranty to cover any wear and tear. FosPower also manufactures three different colors, allowing you to choose your favorite.
- Very affordable unit.
- Great charging methods.
- No support for SAME technology and is not Public Alert certified.
Our next weather radio is the Sangean CL-100. Sangean are well known for producing high quality shortwave radios, and the CL-100 is an impressive example. With premium features for a respectable price, it’s an excellent choice of emergency radio.
The device can work with either DC input or 4 x AA batteries, so you won’t have to worry about power shortages. The CL-100 doubles as an alarm clock with sleep and snooze timers, and the streamlined and ergonomic design will fit in well with your bedroom or office. The alarm clock also includes Human Wakeup Systems (HWS) where the alarm gradually gets louder. The CL-100 is undeniably very versatile.
The weather radio boasts excellent AM and FM coverage, and can scan all 7 channels in the NOAA weather band. It supports SAME technology and is Public Alert certified, so you’ll be certain to only receive national weather alerts that are relevant to your location. The CL-100 also broadcasts up to 25 programmable FIPS location codes, and includes three light signals to sort alerts into warning, watch, or advisory categories.
This alert radio can hold up to five AM and FM channel presets, to make tuning quick and simple. The impressive memory function is also able to store the past 20 alerts, so you won’t miss any important information or emergency situation notifications.
Digital signal processing ensures premium audio quality, which is enhanced by the excellent speakers and bass and treble controls. An added audio jack allows you to connect an external audio source for added versatility. The CL-100 also includes an unusual FM-RBDS feature, which will display the station and song name on the LCD screen. The screen includes dimmer and contrast control capabilities, allowing you to customize the display to your preference.
- Excellent range of features makes this a truly versatile weather alert radio.
- Great memory function so you won’t miss a single alert.
- Not suitable for outdoor use.
Our seventh option is from Kaito, and is the KA700 weather radio. It includes some unique extra features to allow you to get the most out of your purchase.
It includes a rechargeable lithium ion battery (2000mAh), that can be powered via hand crank, solar panel, or through USB cable connection to a power source. It also includes a USB port that allows you to charge your smartphone or other devices, in the event that severe weather causes power outage.
The radio can receive AM and FM, in addition to NOAA weather radio broadcasts. The device can also activate itself in order to play alerts, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on important weather radio updates. The KA700 does not include SAME support and is not Public Alert certified.
Additionally, Bluetooth capabilities allow the Kaito KA700 to be used as a wireless Bluetooth speaker, which opens up your audio options. With the use of an SD card, the radio can also be used as an MP3 player or voice recorder if you require. Audio quality is generally very good, but some reviews mention that it can be quieter than other models.
The device is very durable, and also comes in three different color variations. An incredibly bright 5 LED reading lamp and integrated LED flashlight are very useful additions. In the event of emergencies, a red LED SOS beacon light will be an effective way to signal for aid.
- Different audio options make the Kaito KA700 a versatile unit.
- Great recharging abilities.
- More affordable products are available.
Our eighth pick is another good option from Sangean. The MMR88 includes a DSP digital AM, FM, and WX audio tuner for excellent audio quality, alongside a range of additional features.
The 850mAh rechargeable Lithium ion battery can be charged by hand crank, solar panel, or USB cable connection. The USB port also allows you to charge your own devices from the radio, which is great if you lose charge in a power cut.
In addition to AM and FM stations, the MMR88 receives all 7 NOAA weather radio bands, so you won’t miss out on any emergency weather notifications. The unit also enables you to save up to 19 AM and FM presets, so quickly tuning your MMR88 will be effortless. There is no support for SAME technology, and the product is not Public Alert certified.
An adjustable light on the side of the radio is an incredibly useful addition, as it allows you to choose between high, low, blinking, and SOS signal settings. The built in clock with optional 90 minute shut off allow you to easily conserve battery life. The stereo headphone jack also opens up your audio possibilities.
The MMR88 weather alert radio also includes IPX3 grade water proofing, so you won’t have to worry about excess moisture.
- Great recharging and back up power choices.
- Great preset memory to make tuning easy.
- Some reviews mention that reception isn’t always reliable.
Our penultimate choice of the best weather emergency radios is the Kaito Voyager Pro KA600. This weather radio is an excellent functional option, with a good range of extra features.
The Voyager Pro KA600 weather radio supports an impressive 6 different charging methods. Use the hand crank generator, flip up solar panel, 5V USB input, or 6V DC input (adapter sold separately) to charge the built in NiMH rechargeable battery pack. You can also use 3 x AA batteries to power the radio as a great back up option.
The radio includes comprehensive weather station coverage, including AM and FM bands, long wave, shortwave, and 7 pre-programmed NOAA weather channels. The additional alert system means that it will automatically activate itself when it receives a weather alert for emergency situations. The radio does not support SAME technology, but it does include a Public Emergency Alert System (PEAS).
The Voyager Pro KA600 radio includes a telescopic antenna that extends up to 18″ to help you get the best reception possible. It’s assisted by the advanced digital semiconductor circuitry design with 4 different tuning methods. These include manual, direct keypad entry, memory and ATS tuning. An impressive 335 memory options will allow you to select your favorite radio stations effortlessly.
The KA600 is very durable, with premium ABS construction and great design features. A digital tuner and dual LCD back lit display will make operating your radio quick and easy. The display includes a calendar and 12 hour clock, alongside a count down sleep timer and dual alarms. A useful thermometer and humidity gauge is also incorporated.
Additional safety features include a 5 LED reading light, an LED flashlight, and a red LED SOS light, making the Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 an excellent inclusion to your emergency kit.
- Good reception and tuning options.
- Great range of extra features.
- Not water resistant which may affect outdoor use.
Our final pick for the best weather radio is the Eton FRX5BT Emergency weather radio. It’s a very durable option, making it great for outdoor use and keeping up to date with severe weather developments.
The FRX5BT radio includes a 2000mAh rechargeable battery that supports different charging modes. The Lithium ion battery can be charged with the hand crank, solar panels, or through the USB connection. The large hand crank makes it quick and easy to recharge the device, so you won’t have to worry about battery capacity. You’ll also be able to charge up additional devices through the micro USB connection.
The radio works well with AM and FM bands, in addition to NOAA weather channels, to keep you up to date with weather warnings. The SAME technology allows you to filter through national weather updates, ensuring that you only hear weather information that is relevant to you and your county. The radio is not Public Alert certified.
The Eton FRX5BT also includes Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect the radio to your smartphone to play your own audio. The additional high quality sound means that the FRX5BT weather radio from Eton is a very versatile option.
The LED flashlight and red emergency beacon are excellent safety features. The separate dimmable ambient light won’t drain your power bank as quickly, and is great for lighting a room in the event of a power outage. The casing is very rugged, and is drop proof from a height of 3.3ft, making the FRX5BT a great durable radio. The additional IPX4 grade waterproofing makes this radio the most water resistant in our selection.
The inbuilt carrying handle is a very useful addition. Unlike other models, the display doesn’t show the type of weather alert coming through, however it is a very clear and simple screen.
- Easily rechargeable weather radio.
- One of the most durable weather radios on our list.
- Customer ratings mention that the radio reception isn’t always reliable
Buyer’s Guide: Considerations for Buying the Best Weather Radio
When you’re considering the best weather radios, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. To help you make the best decision, here are some key features to keep in mind.
When buying an emergency radio, it’s easy to assume that a higher price will guarantee you a better radio. However, there are some great affordable radios on the market with a good variety of extra security features. The best weather radio for your specifications may not be the most expensive.
None of the weather radios on our list are over $80, so they’ll all fairly affordable. There are some great radios that come in under $30 too. Whether you want to stay on top of emergency weather messages, enjoy spending time outside, or simply want a reliable radio, there are some great products at every price point.
To be certain you’ve found the best weather radio for you, research the features on all of your options. Always make sure you look at models that cover all 7 NOAA weather channels, and check for good reviews on reception and battery life. Most affordable radios should have these areas covered.
If you’re looking for a premium addition to your emergency kit, radios that are water resistant, compatible with multiple power sources, and have advanced alert systems may cost slightly more. However, these are all great features to have when you’re in an emergency situation.
Your weather radio size requirements may differ depending on where you’re most likely to use your radio.
If you want emergency radios for occasional or desktop use, having a bulkier model may work fine. In fact, a larger hand crank or solar charging panel can be an advantage. However, a number of desktop models double as an alarm and clock, making them good for bedroom or office use. In this case, you may want a radio that is small and fits in well with the rest of the room, so that it doesn’t take up much space. Luckily, all of the desktop weather radios on our list weigh around 1 lb, so they won’t be too sizable.
Similarly, if you enjoy going hiking or spending time outdoors, a smaller emergency radio may be best for your needs. A weather radio that is lightweight won’t get in the way of your activities, and can make it easier to direct your LED flashlight or SOS beacon. An emergency radio that is easy and enjoyable to use is very important. Some of the smallest handheld weather radios on our list weigh just a few ounces, making them perfect portable options.
When buying an emergency radio, an important aspect to consider is the power source. If you’ll be using your radio outside of the home or want a good level of emergency preparedness, something that functions well without a mains electricity power source is very important. Emergency radios that have strong battery capacity will allow you to stay updated during severe weather events, and can help you signal for help if you need it.
Luckily, all of the weather radios on our list work with at least two different power supplies, including AAA batteries and manual charging, so you won’t have to worry about running out of battery in emergency situations.
When buying an emergency radio, look out for an inbuilt rechargeable battery with lots of charging options. Solar charging is a really useful addition, and a hand crank will help you recharge in dark or indoor conditions.
You might also want to use your weather radio as a power source itself. If your cell phone is low on power, a radio that works as a charger can be really useful. Some radios allow you to recharge other devices using a micro USB or similar, making them truly versatile products.
If you’re considering different weather radios, it’s important to make certain that you choose one with good support for a range of channels. This way, you won’t miss a single weather alert, and can make the most out of your radio.
Coverage for all 7 channels in the NOAA weather band is a good standard to look for. Extra features like support for AM and FM bands can also help you keep up to date with different weather stations. Many good quality emergency radios will be Public Alert certified, which will also put your mind at ease.
When you’re experiencing severe weather conditions, the national weather service may put out a regular weather broadcast for different areas, that can repeatedly trigger your radio’s alert system. In this case, it’s good to look for a weather radio with Specific Area Message Encoding (SMART) technology. This feature will allow you to filter out weather reports that aren’t relevant to your area, so you only get the alerts that matter.
A radio with a scan function is also a good idea. Some models will scan other channels in the background even while you’re already listening to one. It’s a great feature that some emergency weather radios have, that will prevent you missing important alerts.
In an emergency, you also don’t want to worry about bad radio reception. Emergency radios that can guarantee great reception and audio quality over a variety of channels will make keeping up with the changing conditions effortless. Some radios will lock on to the strongest weather channel to ensure consistent reception.
Some of the best emergency radios will have a great variety of extra features, making them invaluable to your emergency supplies. Even a very affordable weather radio will come with some excellent additions. Things to look for include:
- A rechargeable battery in case of power shortages.
- Support for multiple power sources. Features like a hand crank, space for AAA batteries, solar charging or USB charging are all useful.
- Lighting options such as a reading lamp or flashlight.
- USB output port so your radio can be used as a power bank for your cell phone in emergency situations.
- Space to save multiple radio presets for quick tuning.
- Advanced alert system with audio and visual signals.
- A red distress light or other emergency lights.
- An ultrasonic dog whistle to contact rescue teams.
- Support for several languages, such as English, French, and Spanish.
- Durable water resistant or drop proof casing.
- A battery life indicator.
What is the best emergency weather radio?
Choosing the best weather radio for you can be tricky, and different people will require individual services. There are definitely some key specifications to look for that will help you find the radio with the best functionality.
Firstly, you’ll need to decide between desktop and handheld radio models. If you want to use your radio while hiking, a lightweight portable radio will work best. If you want something for purely indoor use, a sleek desktop weather radio will be a great addition to your home.
Always ensure that your weather radio at least supports the 7 main NOAA channels. A device with SAME technology will help you filter out warnings that aren’t relevant to your area. If you want to use your radio for entertainment purposes too, some emergency weather radios can support AM/FM channels. Wireless Bluetooth connection can also broaden your audio possibilities and allow you to listen to your own music.
You’ll also want to ensure that your radio delivers the best reception and audio quality possible. This way, you won’t miss out on any important warnings. Looking for powerful speakers and different tuning options will help you find a model with good reception. Check customer reviews for more information on a device’s reception coverage across different regions. Some radios include a function that allows them to lock on to the strongest weather channel, in order to ensure consistently strong reception.
Next, battery capacity is very important. Make sure to select a device that supports multiple different power sources, such as AA batteries, a solar panel, a hand crank, or USB charging. This will ensure that you’ll always have good levels of power regardless of your situation.
Having a weather radio with great alert indicators is also a good idea. A device with a clear LCD screen that displays all the necessary information will be very useful. A loud siren alarm, voice alert, and LED light system will help make certain that you receive all the right notifications. Some weather radios include up to 80 different types of alert, so you’ll instantly know the status of the storm, tornado, or hurricanes in your area.
Looking for additional emergency features is also a good idea. A reading lamp or flashlight can really improve visibility. An LCD display with a back light can also be read in any environment. A weather radio that’s drop proof or water resistant will be a great benefit in more severe conditions. An ultrasonic whistle or SOS light will also make a big difference to your survival kit.
Luckily, all of the weather radios in our list cover these categories, so you’ll be sure to find something for any budget, size, or connectivity need. Looking for something that covers several areas will help you find the best weather radio for your needs.
Are weather radios worth it?
A weather radio is almost always a good addition to your home. Whether you live in an area where weather emergencies are common, love spending time outside, or simply want a multi-functional device, a handheld or desktop weather radio is a very versatile product.
Weather alert radios will allow you to stay up to date with warnings from your weather station, and can help keep you safe. It picks up on radio signals that warn of changing weather conditions, and can help you stay ahead of the evolving environment.
Most units work independently of home electricity, and come with a variety of power source options. A weather radio will have great functionality no matter the weather, and some can even be used to charge other devices when you require.
The majority of models also come with additional emergency functions that can help keep you safe. A flashlight or reading lamp is a great extra feature. An ultrasonic whistle or emergency light can help attract aid when you need it, too.
Overall, a weather radio is almost always worth it, and with so many radios being compact and discreet, they make an excellent investment for use in the home or outside.
Where can I purchase a NOAA weather radio?
There are many different places where you can purchase a weather radio that supports NOAA channels.
Many online websites will sell a good selection of radios in one place, which will make it easy to compare and contrast different products. Many websites will also allow you to read through customer reviews, which can be a really useful tool when deciding which radio is best for you. However, always make certain that your online retailer is reputable before making a purchase.
It’s also possible to purchase a good weather radio from hardware, camping, or home-ware shops. It can be useful to see each radio in person before you make your decision, and talking to an in-store expert can help you learn more about the devices.