When it comes to finding the best emergency radio for your outdoor pursuits, there is a surprisingly large number of factors to consider. Don’t get stuck away from civilization with an emergency radio that does not fit the bill. Continue reading to discover everything you need to know about buying an emergency radio.


Are you in a Hurry? Or you don’t feel like reading? We recommend the YOBY Hand Crank Self-Powered as Our Pick.


In this article, we’re going to review the following emergency radios.


Why an Emergency Radio is a Useful Resource

When the unexpected happens, you don’t want to be cut off. Whether you need to know the status of a storm, fire, or other inclement weather or situation, having an emergency radio with you can do all these things and more. Your radio can help you stay connected to what is happening around you, and most importantly, you can remain connected even if the power is out or the Internet is down. An emergency radio can be your lifeline for receiving important and potentially life-saving information in emergencies.

How Emergency Radios Work

The most valuable aspect of an emergency radio is how it works. At the most basic level, these radios provide an effective means of receiving AM and FM broadcasts even when the power is out or you are isolated from civilization; that is because emergency radios operate on minimal and renewable sources of power, such as solar or batteries. 

Critical Factors to Consider When Buying an Emergency Radio

As there is a wide variety of emergency radios on the current market, shoppers can become overwhelmed and unsure of which features are worthy to have. While every consumer’s needs are different, the most common aspects most should consider are the battery life, range and tuning ability, ease of application, weight, and size, and price point.

Battery Life

Running out of batteries when you are isolated from civilization in an emergency is never a good thing. When you are relying on an emergency radio to update you on critical matters, batteries are even more important. This is why most high-quality emergency radios come with multiple means of charging and recharging batteries.

Battery-operated radios are a reliable option, providing you have back-up batteries in your arsenal of supplies. Keep in mind that the more options a radio has for charging, the better.

Hand-Crank and Solar-Panel Charging

Hand-crank emergency radios are a great resource as they don’t require an external charging device. They rely solely on human power to charge and function. This has its merits, but assuming you are injured and not capable or strong enough to crank it, the radio is then of little or no use.

When it comes to radios with solar-panel charging capabilities, this sounds fairly beneficial, but what if the whole reason you are stranded is due to a raging storm or somewhere with no access to direct sunlight; it’s likely the power of the sun will not be able to help you in those situations.

Range and Tuning Operation

While the battery life is an important factor, if your radio can’t be tuned in enough to receive a decent signal, no amount of charging can remedy that. Look for radios that have a long-range for transmission-reception; multiple tuning options is a valuable feature to look for. Also, make sure any radio you are considering can receive AM radio. All National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) alerts are broadcast through AM radio. In severe emergencies, local FM stations will likely cease to operate.

User-Friendly Design

While there are many distracting features some radios will offer, what you  want is an emergency radio that is easy to operate in a variety of situations. A simple On/Off switch, multiple charging methods, possibly an antenna, and as an easy-to-turn dial for tuning is all you need. Analog tuning can be more fiddly but has the potential of being more precise when it comes to tuning in to those hard-to-reach signals. Digital tuning is an option many consumers opt for due to its ease of use.

Weight and Size

A radio’s weight and size are two additional important factors to consider. Larger radios have their merits; they’re easier to operate and locate when visibility is a factor. Smaller radios are handy due to their ease of storage and portability.

A consumer’s purpose for using the radio will determine the best option. If you are using it on a trip with a lot of movement, smaller and lightweight is better. If you are wanting one to keep in your home for emergencies with the main purpose being accessing weather reports and news alerts, a larger radio with extra features is a good idea.


Let’s face it: the price is the determining factor for many shoppers. With such a wide range in emergency radio pricing, it can be a daunting task deciding where to settle.

While many of the more expensive radios do have an impressive list of handy features, there is something to be said for sticking to the basics. Ultimately, you want a reliable radio that will have power and be able to receive a signal when you need it most.

The Best Emergency Radio for 2020 Reviews

All the reviews are real-life experiences. Extensive research online and testing. We do not accept sponsorships. Genuine recommendations for those who need a bit of real advice.

Ready? Let’s start


Our Pick: YOBY Hand Crank Self-Powered YOBY Hand Crank Self-Powered best emergency radio

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The YOBY hand-crank emergency radio features an innovative design that is not reliant upon an external charging device. This survival weather-alert radio is hand-crank operated and doubles as an LED flashlight. It also has the capability of charging a cellphone.

When there is not enough sunlight around, the hand-crank can fully charge the radio in minutes and keeps it working for hours.

This highly-portable weather radio is also chargeable through the USB port. Ideal as an emergency radio, flashlight, and phone charger, this radio gets excellent reception and is capable of receiving a range of signals: AM, FM, NOAA weather alerts.

The YOBY comes with a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee and makes a great addition to anyone’s emergency-prep plans.

What we like:

What we don’t like:


Runner Up: Kaito KA500 5-way Powered

Kaito KA500 5-way Powered emergency radio

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The Kaito KA500 5-way powered solar and hand-crank emergency radio is well suited to a variety of disastrous situations and conditions. Outfitted with a premium-quality AC-style brushless generator and solar panel capable of powering the unit with no external source, it also can charge the internal batteries.

Weighing 1.8 pounds and capable of receiving AM, FM, shortwave, and NOAA broadcasts, this radio is sure to get you an update. It also has a telescopic antenna for high-sensitivity reception needs. Also, it features 7 pre-programmed weather channels, and the solar panel automatically tilts toward the sun to maximize its energy absorption throughout the day. For only $50, this radio has several impressive and useful features.

What we like:

What we don’t like:


Also Great: Best NOAA Weather Radio for Emergency by Kozo 

NOAA Weather emergency radio

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The best NOAA weather emergency radio by Kozo is regarded as a must-have if you live in a state prone to hurricanes, storms, tornados, or simply if you live in an isolated area.

The NOAA alert radio comes with a USB input for charging Smartphones, a loudspeaker, flashlight and hand-crank charger that will always keep you connected.

This radio is compact and lightweight for easy portability. The best feature of this radio is that it has multiple charging methods: rechargeable lithium battery, can use 3 AAA batteries, solar panel, and hand crank. Regardless of the situation, you will be able to charge this radio.

The radio also has an antenna for precise reception needs and comes with a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee. For $26, this radio proves that good things really do come in small packages.

What we like:

What we don’t like:


Also Great: The American Red Cross

FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AM / FM Weather Alert Radio

American Red Cross emergency radio

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The American Red Cross FRX3 hand-crank NOAA Am/Fm emergency radio has many of the feature boxes checked.

Capable of receiving AM and FM broadcasts and weather-band alerts, it can also charge your Smartphone with a USB input. Thanks to its multiple power options of rechargeable batteries, hand crank, solar power, and AAA batteries, there is no way you’re not getting this charged when you need it.

It also has an LED flashlight and emergency beacon for emergencies when you are stranded. For a mere $50, this radio could truly be a valuable lifeline in times of emergency.

What we like:

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On a Budget: RunningSnail Emergency Radio

Hand Crank Self Powered AM/FM NOAA Solar Weather Radio 

RunningSnail Emergency Radio<< Check Price on Amazon >>

The RunningSnail Emergency Hand-Crank radio features a new design with a 1,000 power bank for charging iPhones with a USB cable. This radio is capable of receiving AM/FM broadcasts and NOAA weather alerts.

It also doubles as a flashlight for a light source and has 3 charging methods: USB, solar, hand crank with an internal battery. This radio comes with a 12-month warranty and is only $20.

What we like:

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Additional Emergency Radio Options

We found 5 additional emergency radios that are worth to check out.

The Competition: Best emergency radio

Tiemahun Emergency Solar Hand Crank Dynamo

Ideal for camping, the Tiemahun emergency radio has a 1,000 mAh power bank and has a USB input for phone charging. Capable of receiving AM/FM and NOAA weather alerts, you will be kept up to date. For only $15 and featuring multiple charging methods, this radio’s only downside is its size.

Esky Solar Weather Radio

The Esky solar weather radio is durable and has 3 charging options, plus a USB input. Usable as a flashlight capable of 140 lumens is a great light source. Durable, weather-resistant, ultra-compact, and only $19. A noted con is that some users have reported that the plastic casing is of poor quality.

BEARHAM Emergency Weather Hand Crank 

The BEARHAM emergency weather radio has a sleek and compact design for ease of transport. Ideal for survival situations, it receives AM/FM broadcasts and NOAA weather alerts. Durable and water-resistant, it can withstand some extreme conditions. With multiple charging options, this radio won’t leave you stranded. For only $18, this radio has high-end features for a low-end price.

VMEI NOAA Weather Radio

The VMEI NOAA weather radio has AM/FM and NOAA weather alert reception. It has the handy features of an SOS alarm and flashing light for true emergencies where being seen equals rescue. With 4 charging methods, you will always have power. While the cell charger won’t fully charge your phone, for $33, this is a must-have survival tool.

Buzz 4000 Emergency Weather Radio

The Buzz 4000 is known to have one of the largest-capacity rechargeable LI-ION batteries of its competitors. With a reception to 7 NOAA weather stations, you can have 24/7 updates, as well as access to AM/FM radio stations. With a full charge, the radio provides up to 12 hours of run time. The radio has 4 charging options so power is always an option. The cons of this radio are that at $50, it is one of the more expensive models, and its design is more for a permanent base, rather than an emergency radio that is compact and lightweight.


When it comes to finding the best emergency radio, think run time, charging methods, portability, and reception. The winner of this roundup is the YOBY hand-crank emergency radio. Not only is it one of the most affordable options, but it also carries an impressive list of features such as multiple charging methods, USB input, flashlight source, long run time, and a wide range of signal reception. Compared to its competition, the YOBY offers a massive list of features for one of the lowest prices. With the YOBY emergency radio, you can be confident that you will stay connected to the outside world wherever you are in nature.

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