Camping becomes fun when you bring some in-tent entertainment gadgets with you. And, what can be more convenient than a portable radio? Yeah, as outdoor terrains and places are not capable of providing you cellphone network most of the times, this gadget can help you all the times.
Moreover, with a camping radio you can always stay in touch with latest news updates, political activities, or a trending event even when you’re far away from your home. Also, listening to your favourite tracks via radio is always a fun.
So, in this article, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best portable radios for camping and outdoor activities.
Well, as we all know, it’s not as easy as it seems to curate only best products. Yeah, one can simply go wrong and might pick a non-suitable device for themselves and end up spending a lot of money on it.
So, we’ve designed an easy to understand and follow buying guide which could help you curate best camping radio for yourself, in case, you don’t like the one out of our list of reviews.
And yeah, we’ve ensured that each products in our list of reviews are capable of ticking all the boxes of an ideal outdoor gadget. Yeah, all we want is to provide you with a top notch portable radio for your camping experience.
So, now, let’s begin with our reviews for best portable camping radio for you.
Reviews of Best Portable Radio for Camping – 2020
Here’s the list of reviews for best radios suitable for making your camping experience a breeze.
#1. iRonsnow Solar Hand Crank Self Powered Radio – Editor’s Pick
Very first pick in our list of best camping radios is from iRonsnow. Yeah, a renowned brand that’s known for durable and lightweight yet feature packed outdoor gadgets.
Yeah, if you’re looking for crystal clear and pleasing audio from your radio then this one is designed specifically for you.
In a nutshell, this feature packed portable camping radio is affordable, user friendly and still delivers beyond your admirations.
And the best thing we liked about this camping radio is, hand crank mechanism to power it up. Yeah, it won’t let you run out of charge ever.
Above that, it is also equipped with a 1000 mAh battery which is rechargeable using solar energy. So yeah, it eases the process of getting charged.
If we talk about reception, then we’ve talked to more than 50 people regarding their experience of signal quality. All we’ve received is positive and favoring replies from them.
Well yeah, it is an AM+FM radio and you can use to explore the channels you like.
Moreover, it’s equipped with NOAA weather radio that’s capable of keeping you in touch with latest weather forecast for the location you’re travelling around.
Another great thing about this one of the best portable radio for camping is, instead of demanding power to get charged, it gives you a supply to charge your cellphones. Yeah, iRonSnow believes in giving back and such features proves it for them.
This marvelous piece of satisfaction is made specifically for hikers and campers and comes with featherlike weight of 7.2oz (0.5 lbs). Yeah, carrying and handling this camping radio is breeze and you won’t even feel like you’re carrying a radio with you.
So all in all, this one is a radio made for campers and as it’s loaded with features yet priced reasonably, our editors insisted on picking this one as their top pick.
Pros & Cons of iRonsnow Camping Radio
- Priced reasonably.
- Featherlike lightweight.
- Compact and portable radio for campers.
- Sound quality is mind blowing.
- Marvelous signal reception for AM/FM frequencies.
- Comes with built-in NOAA weather update station.
- Rechargeable using Hand crank, solar energy or using USB power port.
- Comes with mobile charger output.
- Based on response we got from actual users there’s no drawbacks they feel based on the price to product ratio.
#2. Fospower Emergency Solar Powered – Best Portable Radio for Camping Activities
Our second pick in this reviews for best radio for camping activities is from Fospower. Yeah, it’s truly versatile and portable option out there.
Reasons are simple. It’s lightweight, it’s compact, it’s packed with loads of features and so on.
Firstly, if you’re running short on budget and can’t compromise on your desires about next radio, then this one is completely wallet friendly option. Yeah, it’s affordable and not cheap.
Next, this emergency radio is proven entertainer as it is capable of receiving AM as well as FM signals with ease. For signal reception, we ensure twice and even thrice before including a product in our list.
Moreover, this Fospower Emergency radio is equipped with rechargeable battery that gives constant uptime of around 3 hours on a single full charge.
Also, it is rechargeable using either direct ACV power input, hand crank or using solar power.
Above that, it comes with a power bank facility which means you can also use this radio as a dedicated power bank for your cell phone or power USB powered gadgets. So yeah, less weight in your backpack because you don’t need a power bank to carry along with you.
As this radio has a built-in flashlight that can serve as an emergency helper during nighttimes, they’ve marked this gadget as an emergency radio. Yeah, it’s justified as light output is nonetheless lesser than a dedicated flashlight.
Not only that, it is also equipped with an LED reading light for bookworms who love to read in wild.
Now, if we talk about audio quality and other features then be assured regarding audio quality as one of our team member is already using this camping radio and we know what it serves. Yeah, precise, crisp & clear audio output is all you get from this best camping portable radio.
Fospower emergency radio comes with built-in NOAA connectivity that means it keeps you in contact with nearest weather station all the time. So yeah, you can prepare yourself for hard situations that are predicted by them.
The only thing we didn’t liked in this radio is that, it’s not fully resistant to dust and snow and it’s mildly resistant against water.
After all, for the price it comes at your doorstep, you just can’t neglect this best radio for your next camping plan. Yeah, it’s one of the best bet out there.
Pros & Cons of Fospower Emergency Crank Radio
- Dirt-cheap pricing.
- Marvelous sound output.
- Can act as a dedicated power bank.
- Comes with a rechargeable battery with uptime of 3 hours.
- Rechargeable with solar, hand crank or using power.
- NOAA equipped.
- Comes with a flashlight and an LED reading light as well.
- Lightweight and compact design.
- Not dust-resistant.
#3. Monster ROAM 2 Portable Waterproof Radio – Best All Around Option
Up next in the list of best portable radio for camping and outdoor activities is from Monster. Yeah, a reliable and trusted brand known for producing versatile and durable sound elements.
If you camp a lot like us and looking for something that can bear up wildest situations then this option is for you.
Yeah, when it comes to durability & resistance, none can beat monster. Yeah, you hear it right.
Firstly, if you’re bound with budget and can’t spend a bit more than our previously reviewed units then you should skip this beast. Yeah, it’s priced a bit higher compared to others in our list.
However, price is justified looking at the quality it brings to you.
Now, if we talk about features then this portable radio from Monster is compact in sizing. However, weight is not as light as we expected. Well, for the quality, weight shouldn’t be a concern for this speaker-cum-radio.
If we talk about battery, then this portable radio comes with a rechargeable battery that gives uptime of around 20 hours at a single charge.
Also, sound quality is like a monster beast and you’d definitely like it. Moreover, signal reception in this camping radio is not an issue at all as we’ve checked and inquired plenty of people regarding the same.
Now, the topmost quality of this radio which made it secure a place in this list of reviews is it’s capability to handle wild situations. Yeah, it is rated IP67 which means it is fully dust proof and can handle submersion in shallow water.
Well, that’s the case in all waterproof gadgets. Yeah, being waterproof doesn’t mean that you can listen to the sound by keeping the gadget in water. Right?
So, all in all, we liked this camping radio for qualities like durability, water resistance, dust resistance etc. Also, features like long lasting built-in battery, decent signal reception capability, marvelous sound output etc makes it worth it for your camping backpack.
Pros & Cons of Monster ROAM 2 Portable Radio
- Marvelous sound output.
- Capable of handling harsh situations that arise in wild.
- Fabulous signal reception.
- Comes with a built in flashlight.
- Battery comes with uptime of around 20 hours.
- Compact in size.
- Floats upright if you drop it in water.
- Compatible for input audio sources like USB, Auxiliary etc.
- A bit heavy.
- Pricey product made for people with ruff usage.
#4. RunningSnail Solar Crank AM/FM Radio – Best Performer
If you’re looking for one of the best performing camping radio then RunningSnail presents you the beast.
Yeah, Packed with elegance and rugged finishing this camping radio has become favorite of many campers out there.
Moreover, features loaded in this radio will let you say that it’s made for outdoor usage.
Firstly, if we talk from price point of view then this portable radio for camping activities is priced less than all of the above mentioned models.
Also, it comes with 3 options to provide power backup to this device. Means, you can recharge it using solar energy, hand crank equipped on radio or using power inlet.
And yeah, it is equipped with a 2000 mAh battery that means it can provide you a sufficient uptime of around 3-4 hours with a single full charge.
Best part about this radio is, if you don’t want to charge it manually and you’re planning a trip where solar power is less available then you can use 3 AA batteries to power it up. Nice! Isn’t it?
This AM/FM radio features a dedicated and built-in NOAA weather station update facility.
Moreover, on radio control board itself you’ll get a table lamp and a 1W LED bulb to enlighten your camp during nighttimes.
Also, it is equipped with SOS emergency alert with red flashing bimlight. It helps in accidental missing situations.
Now, if we talk about signal reception then be assured regarding this caliber when you buy RunningSnail Camping radio as it gives decent reception even when it’s hard to catch up nearby frequencies.
Moreover, for the sound quality, you’d even like it to use as a dedicated speaker. Yeah, it’s pleasing and you’d definitely love the sound output.
At last, we’d like to say that this one is best bet if you can’t spend a lot on a portable camping radio as it’s packed with everything you should expect from an ideal outdoor gadget.
Pros & Cons of RunningSnail Camper’s Radio
- Dirt-cheap pricing making it affordable for all.
- Solid build quality.
- Rugged Finishing with elegant design also available in multiple color variants.
- Stunning signal reception in wild climates.
- Marvelous sound output.
- Built-in weather updates with NOAA.
- Comes with SOS emergency services.
- Built-in table lamp with a 1W LED.
- Light in weight to carry around.
- Dual power option.
- Made specifically for outdoor activities.
- Not fully water & dustproof.
#5. Esky ESCR03 AM/FM Emergency Weather Radio – Best Budget Pick
At last, we’ve picked a budget option that you’d also like to add in basket as a gift to your best buddy or close friend.
Well, not just because of pricing, but also because of the perfection in design and making. Yeah, it’s cute.
However, we won’t like to deceive you with design and cost only because it’s also packed with many premium range features and qualities.
Firstly, it’s not just a radio that you buy. Yeah, it’s a versatile outdoor gadget that’s packed with features like entertainment, emergency device, flashlight and a reading light as well.
Also, backed with a 2000 mAh battery this radio can provide you with a constant uptime of around 10 hours for flashlight or 8 hours for radio listening experience.
And yeah, you’re not supposed to worry regarding power problems in wild as it comes with 3 optional power inputs.
Yeah, you can charge it using hand crank, solar panels or using direct power adapter if power source is available nearby.
And yeah, even if you don’t want to indulge into recharging it everytime then you can bring a set of 3 AAA batteries with you and it can be powered up using those cells.
Now, if we discuss signal reception and quality then it’s equipped with a hidden yet powerful antenna that picks up even the weakest signal around. So yeah, signal reception is quiet good and you can rely on Esky ESCR03 for the same.
Also, if we talk about other additional features then Esky ESCR03 is packed with NOAA weather updates and alerts, SOS emergency services alerts etc.
At last, we’d like to make a note that even after being a feature loaded gadget, this one is neither bulky nor heavy to carry around. Yeah, it’s light in weight too.
So, all in all, it’s more of an investment option as you’re getting multiple gadgets packed in a single device which is great in our opinion.
Pros & Cons of Esky ESCR03 Emergency Radio
- Highly affordable.
- Elegant and eye catching design with rugged finishing.
- Compact in sizing and lighter in weight.
- Loaded with features such as SOS, Weather update etc.
- Signal reception is of top notch quality.
- Sound output is pleasing for a great listening experience.
- Features dual power option with 3 way charging capability.
- Build-in flashlight.
- Not as reliable as others in the list.
Buying Guide for Best Portable Camping Radio
As promised, in this guide we’ve provided you with all the nuts and bolts of buying one of the best portable radio for your camping experience.
Yeah, we’ve mentioned and explained each details regarding a camping radio that you should look after.
So, now, let’s begin with our guide.
Features to Consider
We’ll begin with most basic and advanced features that you should consider while purchasing or selecting one of the best bet for your camping experience.
Not only radios, but for any camping gadget that’s an electronic device you should consider power option at first.
Yeah, it has always been the top most priority as it’s very rare that you get a power supply to back you up.
So yeah, it won’t be wrong if we say that, a camping radio should be capable of having sufficient power back up on it.
And hence, it should either have long lasting batteries or should have rechargeable batteries that can serve you for at least 10-12 hours on a single charge.
Moreover, if you buy a radio for camping activities then it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to use it at your home. So, in such cases, we insist you to pick a versatile option that is capable of running on household power supply too
2. Reception Quality and Capability
Have you ever seen those people who try to keep their gadget in air just to let it pick the signals? Well, you’ll find many when you’re having an outdoor trip and we won’t like you to be one among them.
So, always consider a radio that has best signal reception capability. And yeah, as there’s no fixed mark about this capability you’ll have to do a research about your choosen unit from their existing customer reviews. However, if we talk about those picked in this list of reviews then be assured, we’ve only selected those radios which are having top notch reception capability.
Moreover, our list of reviews for best portable camping radios are checked multiple times to quality of signal processing and time required to do it. Yeah, these units demands less hassle and that’s the reason these are selected by our experts.
As you’re going to use this portable radio for your camping adventures, you should always insist on having NOAA services available on your radio.
Yeah, as in wild, your cellphone signal won’t support you and in such cases, you should have a good reliable source which give perfect weather forecasts. And, what can beat NOAA when it comes to broadcasting weather updates?
Hence, we insist our readers to check if their selected unit has compatibility for NOAA broadcasting or not before buying it. And, if you’re selecting one out of our selection then you don’t have to worry about it as we’ve already checked units for these compatibility.
Another option you should look after is, satellite radio or SSB compatibility. However, very few brands provides this feature and it costs a lot. So, we don’t insist you on having it but still if you are able to grab one with this compatibility then it’s always better.
5. Audio Quality
And yeah, one shouldn’t neglect audio quality for the sake of other constraints like budget or functionality. As, this is the source of final output and you should feel pleasing while experiencing it.
As we all know, a radio with dumb and dull audio quality is going to end up being a source of boredom instead of being a source of entertainment.
So, always cross check about audio quality of your selected unit and then only proceed to buy it.
And yeah, fortunately we’re glad to mention that, all 5 radios selected in this list are assured for top notch and mind blowing sound and audio quality and you can rely on it.
As an additional feature, you can expect a radio to have compatibility for recharging on car adapters. Yeah, AC charging capabilities are life saving when you’re having a long drive with your radio.
Moreover, solar charging or solar power supply can be an additional benefit if you can find it on your camping radio. Other power charging capability like dynamo/crank can serve as life saving benefits as well.
Also, a flashlight or lamp on your radio can become a source of light during your camping activities. So, if your radio has it as an additional feature then it’s great. Otherwise we won’t suggest you to extend your budget for this single feature.
Some of other additional features includes, Bluetooth compatibility, SD card ports or USB port for playing pre-stored tracks, Auxiliary input jack, etc.
Qualities to Check Before Buying
In this section, we’ve mentioned all those qualities which are must to have on your camping radio.
We’ve considered weather discrepancies, signal hurdles and hard usage which are going to be part of your camping experience.
So, to cop-up with the situations we insist you to check below mentioned qualities on your selection.
1. Weather Resistance
As weather prediction is something, where chances are high of indulging with some tough situations. And, hence, we suggest you to look after a radio which is capable of handing moderate water splashes.
Yeah, it’s great to have a water resistance device when you’re planning to buy one for your camping activities.
And, yeah, a radio capable of handing minor or major jerks, resistant for dust and snow is something that makes it a complete weather resistant gadget.
2. Sizing & Compactness
As a camping enthusiast and hobbyist, I personally know that we always aim to bring least possible gross weight on our back. So, we always check each gear for compactness and weight factor before buying it.
So, a radio with all ideal features includes and being compact in size is the best radio for camping experience in our opinion.
So to avoid slowdown your journey, always aim for a compact and lightweight portable radio for your outdoor activities.
As outdoor activities are fun. And accidents are part of this fun activity. And hence, we always recommend our readers to look after a portable radio which is durable enough to last forever even after experiencing highest possible inverse situations.
As in additional qualities, having elegant design, side speakers, built-in CD cassette player etc are good to have on your camping radio.
However, one can compromise with these additional qualities and these are not must to have on your radio. But yeah, the ones which are mentioned previously in this section are must to have qualities for your future radio.
Frequently Asked Questions about Best Portable Camping Radio
Here’s the list of questions that are repeatedly being asked by our readers and viewers. Please check it, chances are high that we’ve already covered your concern or query.
1. What is the best portable radio for camping?
In nutshell, one that meets all your requirements and not priced beyond your budget yet offering all ideal features along with compact form factor is one of the best portable radio for camping. Our editor’s pick is one that fulfills all these parameters.
2. Should I buy AM radio or FM radio for camping?
We’d recommend you to not buy separate radios for AM and FM frequencies as nowadays majority of brands are providing compatibility for both frequencies. You just have to make a right choice.
How long do batteries last in a portable radio?
Each model comprise different power mechanism so answering this question depends on about which model we’re talking for. In general, rechargeable batteries provide power backup of around 4 hours to 15 hours. While non reusable batteries last around 24 hours for constant usage.
3. Can I use my mains for power connection?
We’ve also included radios that support power from household supplies. These are basically versatile radios that suits both indoor and outdoor usage. So, buying such models is always beneficial from usability point of view.
4. What is usual lifespan of a portable radio for camping?
As these devices are produced for outdoor usage, brands focus more on durability and hence you can expect 4-5 years of lifespan from these radios. However, it again depends on model to model.
5. What is best budget portable radio for outdoor adventure or camping?
In our opinion, iRonsnow Solar Hand Crank Self Powered Radio is one of the best budget portable radio for outdoor usage. Yeah, you can trust on the brand and usability factor of this camping radio and can have fun with it.