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NOAA weather radio can help you in numerous emergency situations. If you don’t have access to TVs, smartphones, and other devices, you can always use an NOAA weather radio. They come in various sizes to keep you safe and prepared when you need it the most.
The Raynic Weather Radio is the best NOAA weather radio on the market because it has five power sources, smartphone charging ports, and a built-in flashlight. It also has a built-in compass sitting on a strap that’s designed to connect to backpacks, purses, and more.
You might also like the following NOAA weather radios:
- For a solar-powered setup, try the FosPower NOAA Radio.
- If you want a hand crank model, get the DaringSnail Radio
- If you prefer AA batteries, choose the PowerBear Radio.
- The top handheld radio is the VONDIOR NOAA Radio.
- If you prefer wall-mounted radios, get the Midland NOAA Radio.
- Campers should try the Eton Sidekick Radio.
In this post, you’ll learn all of the details and specs of each of these NOAA radios. You’ll also find out what you should look for before choosing a new one. Let’s get started!
Best Overall: Raynic Weather Radio
The Raynic NOAA Weather Radio packs one of the strongest flashlights you’ll find on these handheld radios. It also has multiple power sources, ensuring you’ll be able to use it in any emergency scenario. This impressive radio takes it one step further by providing a reading light that’s just as bright as the primary flashlight.
If you choose this NOAA radio, you’ll also have access to a couple of USB ports. They can be used to charge your smartphone, laptop, smartwatch, and other devices. The internal battery powers these charging ports, as well as the aforementioned flashlights and lamps. The battery can be recharged via a wall outlet, solar power, and more.
Bottom Line: This emergency radio is as good as it gets in terms of modern emergency technology. You can keep all of your devices charged around the clock, letting you know what’s going on while keeping you in contact with friends and family.
|Dimensions||7.5″ x 3.5″ x 4.7″|
- Includes a built-in compass
- Uses a carabiner and a strap for backpacks
- Extremely lightweight for easy portability
- Multiple charging methods and USB ports
- No digital screen (this may or may not be a con for you)
Best Solar-Powered Radio: FosPower NOAA Radio
If you live in a sunny area or you love camping during the summer, the FosPower NOAA Radio is the way to go. It has a 2,000 mAH battery that charges via a top-mounted solar panel. Leave it in the sun for a few hours to access all of this radio’s features. You can also crank the lever if there’s no sunlight nearby.
Much like the Ranyic NOAA Radio, this one includes USB charging ports for all of your favorite devices. These devices charge through the solar battery. Lift the solar panel to reveal a built-in reading light that you can use to view maps, books, and more. The panel also has a locking mechanism to help it get the most amount of sunlight.
Bottom Line: The FosPower Radio is one of the best around because you can use it wherever there’s sunlight. Contrary to popular belief, solar panels can charge through clouds. Set the radio on the ground and angle the panel to access the radio stations, charging ports, built-in lights, and more.
|Dimensions||6.2 x 2.9 x 2.1 inches|
- Rechargeable via direct sunlight, micro USB, and more
- Ultra-compact design to bring with you wherever you go
- Water-resistant and drop-proof for maximum longevity
- Crystal-clear AM/FM radio with an adjustable antennae
- Uses slow-charging panels that take longer than wall outlet electricity
Best Hand Crank Radio: DaringSnail Hand Crank Radio
Hand crank NOAA radios might seem tedious, but they’re actually some of the most effective communication devices available. The DaringSnail Hand Crank Radio lets you charge and power the device on the move. You don’t need batteries, sunlight, wall outlets, or anything other than direct manpower and a little bit of elbow grease.
Once you charge the radio, you can use the ergonomic handles to adjust the tuning and volume. This lets you cycle through AM/FM radio and multiple NOAA stations. You can also use the power button to preserve power from cranking the lever.
Bottom Line: The DaringSnail Radio shows why old-school techniques are often some of the most reliable and efficient ways to power emergency radios. Quickly spin the lever to access all of the emergency alerts nearby. You can also charge your smartphone to call or text.
|Dimensions||5 x 2.4 x 1.8 inches|
- Includes an 18-month limit manufacturer warranty
- Extremely lightweight and portable for on-the-go situations
- Uses a small built-in solar panel, crank lever, and USB charging
- Allows six minutes of radio access per one minute of cranking
- Built-in solar panel isn’t nearly as effective as other models
Best AA Battery Radio: PowerBear Portable Radio
Are you searching for a compact NOAA radio without too many features? The PowerBear Portable Radio uses AA batteries to cycle through multiple NOAA stations. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket. There’s also a volume control setting and a headphone jack to listen to it without disturbing anyone around you.
Since it doesn’t use too much power, you can expect up to 800 hours per set of AA batteries. Turn off the device to save as much energy as possible until you need it the most. It also has one of the longest signal ranges you’ll have access to. You can get a signal from almost anywhere, including in the middle of the woods.
Bottom Line: The PowerBear Radio proves you don’t need solar panels and hand crank levers if you want a simplified NOAA radio. It’s as basic as it gets, but that’s all you need in an emergency. Bring it with you on the go to listen to weather alerts, podcasts, or music.
|Dimensions||4.6 x 2.7 x 1.1 inches|
- Compact and lightweight enough to carry in your pocket
- Quick and straightforward instructions
- Lasts up to 800 hours per set of AA batteries
- Includes a hand strap to prevent you from dropping it
- Only works with AA batteries (that aren’t included)
Best Handheld Radio: VONDIOR NOAA Weather Radio
Much like the previous NOAA system, the VONDIOR NOAA Weather Radio is compact and perfect for holding in your hand. It’s the most portable high-end NOAA weather radio we’ve found.
Despite its compact size, this radio has a host of impressive features, including crystal-clear audio, long-distance signals, and ergonomic knobs and switches.
You’ll also enjoy the AM/FM radio that lets you listen to podcasts, sporting events, and more. While it’s designed for emergency scenarios, you can use this radio wherever you go.
Bottom Line: This radio proves you don’t need a lot of space to pack a lot of radio stations. It has a top-shelf built-in speaker system that matches systems three times its size. It also lets you access a full range of radio stations around the world.
|Dimensions||4.9 x 3.12 x 1.28 inches|
- Same size as most smartphones
- Top-of-the-line speaker sound quality
- Includes a three-year service warranty
- Limited amount of NOAA weather bands
Best Wall-Mounted Radio: Midland NOAA Radio
While portable NOAA radios are ideal, it’s always a good idea to have a universal radio in your home. The Midland NOAA Radio attaches to walls, nightstands, and any other service you can drill into. You can also carry it with you on the go.
Perhaps the best feature of this wall-mounted radio is the digital display screen. You’ll be alerted by over 60 weather conditions coming your way. It also has a loud radio alarm that wakes you up if you can’t see the screen.
Bottom Line: This radio has everything you need, from an alarm clock to an audible alert system. It also displays the time while flashing one of over 60 weather alerts. There’s even room for two additional external antennas to help you get the best signal strength available.
|Dimensions||6.0 x 1.5 x 5.0 inches|
- Protects you with alerts displayed on a digital screen
- Covers over 60 weather conditions in your area
- Includes an alarm clock and a built-in world clock
- Lets you adjust the signal strength with up to three antennas
- Can’t be powered by solar panels, hand crank levers, and so on.
Best for Camping: Eton Sidekick Camping Radio
It’s important to stay prepared for emergencies, especially when you’re camping off-grid. The Eton Sidekick Camping Radio keeps you connected to NOAA stations and AM/FM radio stations wherever you go.
This rechargeable radio comes with a massive front-facing flashlight, rechargeable USB ports for smartphones, and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a handle with drop-proof construction.
Bottom Line: The Eton Sidekick Radio is perfect for campers who want to stay prepared for anything. You can enjoy the flashlight, high-quality speakers, and phone charging at almost any campsite.
|Dimensions||2.9 x 7.8 x 12.7 inches|
- Includes a solar panel and hand-cranking lever
- Has a front-facing flashlight to illuminate everything in front of you
- Lets you charge your smartphone, laptop, and more
- Doesn’t let you charge it via a wall outlet
What to Look for in an NOAA Weather Radio
If you want an NOAA weather radio, you should make sure it has everything you’ll need in an emergency device. Some of these radios have nothing other than AM/FM stations. These radios come in all shapes and sizes, making them perfect for everyone. They’re also quite affordable compared to other handheld radio systems.
Here’s what you should look for:
- Power source: How is your new NOAA radio powered? This factor could influence whether or not it works in a survival scenario.
- Alert systems: Some NOAA radios have digital alerts, while others play loud alarms to let you know if there’s a problem.
- Functionality: Do you want all of the bells and whistles (charging ports, flashlights, etc.) or a simple radio system?
While some NOAA radios have multiple power sources, some of them only work with one source. The most common power sources include solar power, AC/DC, AA batteries, and hand crank power. Travel and Leisure recommend getting an NOAA radio with a rechargeable battery since you don’t know when the electricity could come back.
You can use built-in solar panels to supply power to an NOAA radio. You could also connect external solar panels to the AC/DC ports if you don’t have access to electrical outlets. We highly suggest looking for hand crank radios since they have an indefinite power source wherever you go.
NOAA radios are designed to alert you of weather conditions, but they work in different ways. For example, some of them have audible alerts, while others activate local radio stations. Weather.gov explains you should choose a system with multiple alert systems, including alarms, flashing signals, and radio updates.
Old-school NOAA radios only had alert updates and radio signals. However, modern NOAA radios often have smartphone charging ports, USB ports, built-in flashlights, and more. Some of them even have digital displays to show local weather conditions. It’s important to know what you want out of your NOAA radio before choosing one of the devices mentioned above.
Many modern NOAA radios have power banks that can be used to charge other devices or store power for the radio. Make sure your new NOAA radio is weather-resistant and waterproof because there’s a good chance it’ll get soaked during an emergency.