What good to go camping if you can’t have some fun? When you’re camping outdoors in a remote location with no internet to stream Netflix or Spotify, the old radio still gets your back.
But you can’t just take any radio with you. Some radios aren’t meant for taking outdoors—the size and build don’t allow them. What you need is the best portable radio for camping.
However, getting the best portable camping radio isn’t as easy as it sounds. Just getting a small device that can take on the harsh outdoor conditions is not the device that is all about.
There is more to it. Stay tuned to get to know about it.
Table of Contents
- Best Portable Radio For Camping – Reviews
- 1. FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio for Outdoor
- 2. Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio For Camping
- 3. Kaito KA500 5-way Powered Solar Power weather radio for Camping
- 4. iRonsnow IS-388 Emergency Radio for Camping
- 5. Eton Ultimate Camping AM/FM/NOAA Radio with S.A.M.E Technology
- 6. Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio, Silver
- 7. C. Crane CC Skywave SSB AM, FM, Shortwave Portable Travel Radio
- 8. Greadio Emergency Weather Solar Radio for Camping and Outdoors
- 9. Sangean TB-100 (Toughbox) AM / FM / AUX Portable Camping radio
- 10. TECSUN R-9012 AM/FM/SW 12 Bands Shortwave Radio For Camping
- How To Choose Camping Radio – Buying Guide
Best Portable Radio For Camping – Reviews
Going through the market to find the best camping radio requires time and patience. Maybe you’re short of both. Luckily, I’ve taken some and did the groundwork for you to come with 10 of the best radio to take with you for camping.
Feel free to check them out below.
1. FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio for Outdoor
Outdoors you’ve got to be ready for everything. Maybe your plan didn’t work out, and you’ve got stuck in the middle of the forest due to some sudden weather change.
That’s where FosPower Emergency portable radio comes to your rescue.
Firstly, its NOAA weather alert feature will get you notified about the weather conditions in your area right away. That gives you the time to move to a secure location. It picks up the closest weather broadcast to help you make quick decisions.
And in case of emergency, if the radio runs out of power, no worries. You get a 3-backup power option with it. Use the dynamo crank, solar panel, or use AAA batteries if you have any with you. That way, you can always keep up to date with the world and what’s happening around.
Oh no! your phone battery died. No worries, the 2000mAh battery in the unit works as a power bank. You can use it to recharge the phone to get back on the grid. No luck with the phone, don’t panic, it got an SOS alarm that will make sure rescue is on the way.
Hopefully, if you don’t have to go through such a bizarre survival situation. In that case, you’ve got a pretty neat FM/AM radio on your hand to enjoy some quality tunes over it.
- Has a 2000mAh rechargeable battery.
- Battery works as an emergency power bank
- 3-emergency power: Crank lever, solar panel, and AAA batteries
- Offers 2-light sources: 4 LED reading light, 1W flashlight
- NOAA emergency weather broadcast
- Support both AM/FM stations
- SOS alarm
2. Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio For Camping
The ER310 from Midland is a similar camping radio to tackle unexpected emergency situations in the wild.
So, multiple power sources are up for grabs here too. However, the unit has a larger capacity of 2600 mAH rechargeable battery. That gives you at least 32 hours operation with a full charge. But if you somehow run out of power, then crank it up or use solar to get it back running. Or take some AA batteries with you.
To find help in those crisis moments, you’ve got an SOS flashlight beacon that sends the signal in morse code. The bright, CREE LED light for aid is hard to miss. And to get an update about the weather, you’ve got the NOAA alert. Its quick scan will go through the 7 WX bands to lock on the strongest signal to keep you well informed.
The difference between this and the earlier FosPower is the display. You’ve got a digital display on the unit. Plus, it has an ultrasonic dog whistle that will help the rescue dogs to find you—COOL!
- NOAA weather broadcast
- Multiple power sources: Solar panel, Hand crank, and Rechargeable battery.
- Backup battery option: AA
- USB connection to charge devices
- Offers SOS strobe beacon light for help
- Has an ultrasonic dog whistle button
- AM/FM radio
3. Kaito KA500 5-way Powered Solar Power weather radio for Camping
To have entertainment in the camps, take the Kaito KA500 with you. Though it’s lightweight and compact, the strong premium impact and water-resistant ABS material make it tailor-made for those brutal weathers.
But it’s the color varieties of the unit that makes it quite interesting. You can get the KA500 in some bold colors like Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, and plain-old Black. So, it’s easily visible.
Besides the wide range of color variety, the number of ways you can run this unit is also the biggest strength. Just like many of the others, you will find a crank generator, solar panel, and backup battery option. There is a USB port to charge it.
Other than that, the survival gear got the 7 NOAA channels to give you a 24/7 real-time weather update. And when you’re in the mood to groove, the AM/FM bands are there for you to tune into.
This ultimate kit for camping even got LED reading lights for those avid book lovers. Not to forget, the flashlight is there to show you the path in the dark and SOS beacon light to call for help.
- Made from ABS plastic
- Has a telescopic antenna that extends up to 14.5″
- Powered in 5-ways.
- Got LED signal strength indicator for pin-point tuning accuracy
- Available in 5-color variants.
- USB output for device charging.
- Comes with a LED reading light.
- Flashlight and SOS beacon light for emergency
4. iRonsnow IS-388 Emergency Radio for Camping
With all the bands to listen to, the iRonsnow is one of the best radio for camping — HANDS DOWN!
In the unit, like all the others, AM/FM bands are available with the 7 NOAA channels. But this one has the NOAA alert system that activates automatically to notify you about the weather.
Besides those, you’ve got SW1 and SW2 bands for listening. No shortage of getting news and listening to favorite shows even when you’re outdoors. If that’s not enough, it supports micro SD cards too.
Though the unit seems a bit bigger, the comfortable handle on top makes it easy to carry.
For emergency situations, you’ve got a loud siren in case you need help. Plus, all the other features like backup battery power charging like hand crank, solar panel, and other typical stuff is also available. Just check out the features below for that.
- Battery capacity: 2300 mAH
- Charge phone using the radio
- Radio charging system: micro usb port, hand crank and solar panel
- Backup power battery source: 3 x AA
- Has a dimension of 7.8*5.1*2.6 inch (20*13*6.7cm).
- Offers loud siren and a reading lamp
- Automatic NOAA alarm using “Alert” mode
- Supports M/FM/SW1/SW2/7 NOAA Weather channels
5. Eton Ultimate Camping AM/FM/NOAA Radio with S.A.M.E Technology
If you’re looking for something right out of the sci-fi movies, then the ETON is what you’ve got to get. The device looks more like a drone than a radio, but sadly it doesn’t fly around to let you listen to your favorite stations (maybe someday it will).
Joke aside, the Ultimate camping radio from Eton got everything you need. To start, it is stylish. But it doesn’t compromise with the build to make it look sleek. You will enjoy a rugged cage that’s reliable in all weather conditions.
When you’re outdoors with no conventional charging the unit, you’ve got the hand crank and the solar panel to get it recharged. And using it, you can recharge other devices.
But the best thing about it is the digital tuner. With it, you can get both AM/FM, NOAA signals, and SAME. The SAME system sends area-specific alert broadcasts which warn you about hazards specific to your area—now that’s neat.
Besides that, you’ve got a bright LED flashlight, a red emergency beacon & huge ambient light with a dimmer. Not to forget, you can connect your devices to the radio over Bluetooth.
- Backup charging using solar panel and hand crank
- Bluetooth connectivity is available
- Works as a power bank.
- Has a digital tuner.
- Backlit large LCD screen
- Offers a flashlight, reading light and a beacon light
- Supports AM/FM and NOAA broadcasts.
- Uses SAME technology for specific area alerts.
6. Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio, Silver
Ok, let’s get the mind out of the disaster mode and just think about some fun time ahead in camping. For that, the Panasonic RF-2400D seems like the perfect gear to have.
With a dimension of 3.23 x 9.21 x 4.8(LxWxH) inches and weight of just 1 pound, the radio fits right into the portable category. Plus, you’ve got that nice handle on top of it that makes for easy carrying.
But the AM/FM radio is all about the shows to enjoy over the broadcast. Even if you’re deep inside the forest, the RF-2400D will let you catch those transmissions. The ferrite antenna on it is quite good.
Combine that antenna with the 10-centimeter speaker, and you’ve got a pretty good sound system on your hand. Tuning through the channels won’t be an issue as it got a big sensitive dial for that. With the large frequency scale right at the front, you can see the frequency you’re trying to tune into.
Don’t worry about powering it up, either. It runs on a battery.
- Runs on 4 x AA batteries
- 4″ speaker
- Has a big radio dial
- Offers headphone jack for private listening
- FM Frequency range: FM 87 to 108MHz (50kHz step)
- AM Frequency range: 520 to 1730kHz (9/10kHz step)
- Power source: AC and Battery
7. C. Crane CC Skywave SSB AM, FM, Shortwave Portable Travel Radio
Maybe tuning isn’t your cup of tea. No worries, I’ve got just the right thing for you:
It’s the C.Crane CC Skywave.
Right at the front panel, you’ll find dial buttons like on your phone. With them, you can enter a frequency to listen to—sweet. But remembering all your favorite stations by heart doesn’t seem an easy task. Don’t worry about it either. The radio offers you 400 memory channels to save your favorite stations for quick access. Just use the auto scan and store.
As opposed to the others, you’ve got a lot of bands to listen to here. The typical AM/FM and Weather bands are there. Then as well, you enjoy Air, SW, and SSB with it. To listen to air traffic control or long-range transmission, it’s what you need.
This small radio even has a lighted LCD screen that shows time too. Not to forget, it has features like alarm, frequency lock, and much more. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
- Smallest multiband radio that offers SSB.
- Supports AM/FM/WX/Airband/SW/SSB
- Auto scan for frequency
- Offers 400 memory preset
- Search for channel with direct frequency entry
- Scanning for 10 aviation memories
- Has a 12/24 hour formal digital clock
- Got alarm function
- Includes a 23″ portable shortwave reel antenna
8. Greadio Emergency Weather Solar Radio for Camping and Outdoors
The Greadio is a perfect radio for both indoor and outdoor. But for camping situations, this comes real handy for all its features.
In natural disasters, the radio lets you listen to AM/FM and 7 of its NOAA weather channels to prepare for any tornado or flood that might hit your area.
With its external antenna, it receives quality reception that can not only save lives but let you enjoy it too. Even in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be able to listen to your favorite shows as the reception quality is quite exceptional. Things get better with the quality sound speakers that provide crystal clear audio with bass depth.
Getting back to the crisis mode. You’ve got here a solar panel that lets you charge the battery even in power outages. Then there is the SOS signal for crying out help if required. And no doubt, for ultimate portability, it got a nice handle that makes it easy to carry around.
Oh! on the handle, you’ve got an LED light string that lets you read in the dark. And on the side, it got a bright flashlight to show you the road even in the dark. Even if all that doesn’t matter to you, you’ll at least love the 4000 mAH battery capacity that works as a power bank.
- Simple control panel.
- Has an old-school frequency scale.
- Battery capacity: 4000 mAH
- Runs on backup power using solar or 3 AAA batteries.
- Offers reading light and a flashlight
- Supports AM/FM and weather broadcasts NOAA channels.
- Has an Aux-in line to listen music from devices
- Usable as a power bank to charge devices.
9. Sangean TB-100 (Toughbox) AM / FM / AUX Portable Camping radio
Just the name alone is enough to suggest what the Sangean TB-100 is all about. The Toughbox does justice to the brand with its unique build.
With a tube cage rolled around it, the ABS plastic radio is undoubtedly unbreakable—making it perfect for the outdoors. But that’s just the start. The radio on hand even is dust, shock, and rain resistant.
The high power 5-1/4 inch speaker will keep producing those quality sounds, no matter what the weather looks like. In the FM/AM radio, you’ve got a PLL tuner that helps you get stable reception. And to keep your favorite channels available for you on the spot, you’ve got 10-memory presets on it.
Don’t feel like listening to the radio, don’t worry. It got an AUX-in cable to play from your devices too.
- Offers Digital PLL tuner
- Has 10-preset memory channels: 5 AM and 5 FM
- ABS plastic body
- Roll cage around the radio
- Radio is rain, dust and shock resistant
- Got a charging LED indicator
- 5 mm AUX-input
10. TECSUN R-9012 AM/FM/SW 12 Bands Shortwave Radio For Camping
Probably all those fancy features in the radios above are not what you’re interested in. All you’re looking for a simple radio to enjoy some quality tunes while being outdoors.
Then the TECSUN R-9012 is just what you need.
Having a dimension of just 131x28x80mm, the device fits right into your pocket. Like others, it doesn’t boast a digital display. Instead, you get an old-style paper screen with scale trying to tune through the channels.
And when it comes to trying to find the right band, you can choose between AM/FM and all the SW functions the radio has to offer. To give you a good reception, it has a long antenna on top of it. The sound system on the radio is good, considering the price of the unit.
All in all, camping enthusiasts who want some music to listen to can go for it.
- Small pocket fitting dimension
- High sensitivity full band radio
- Supports FM, MW and SW functions
- Manual tuning with scale screen
- Runs on battery and DC charging
- Includes only the radio and a manual (English)
How To Choose Camping Radio – Buying Guide
For choosing the radio, you’ve got to have a clear idea of what you want. That’s because some radios might advertise a lot of features that may or may not be useful for you.
You can check the below guide to get the idea of what feature you should look for on the camping radio.
You won’t be using the radio a lot at home. That’s given. So, make sure to get a unit that offers alternative charging methods.
Most of the radio will have one or more functions like solar charging, hand crank generator, or more. Some even let you use backup AA or AAA batteries to run battery-powered radio. Depending on which one works for you, get the right portable radio.
This is something that many tend to overlook. But without a great antenna on the radio, you won’t get good reception. No matter how good the quality audio system the gear has to offer, without capturing the broadcast right, you won’t be able to enjoy it.
You never know what might hit you on the trip. There can be a sudden tornado heading in your way. Or maybe your phone just ran out of charge when you’re trying to make that important call. Anything can go wrong. In those scenarios, a radio with emergency features can be your lifesaver.
With many, you’ll get NOAA alert that will warn you about the natural disasters in your area. Some radios work as a power bank that will let you charge your devices. Most have a flashlight to let you show the way in the dark.
That doesn’t end there. Many radios today have an SOS signal in case you need help. Some radios send beacon lights, some have dog whistles. The list goes on.
Then you’ve got the basics. Like the stations available. A good speaker. And all the little stuff that you look for in any radio.
One, in particular, you can look into is the memory preset. That can help you save time by making your favorite stations available for quick access.
Other than that, if you can get wireless Bluetooth connectivity, SD support, or AUX-in capability on the radio, that way, you can enjoy music from your devices too.
Importance of Camping Radio
If you look for it, you will find any reason to get a camping radio. But I don’t want to bore you with all the details. Just want to give you a quick glimpse to show you what they got stored for you.
- The first thing is entertainment. You can play music for long hours on them, which might not be possible with smartphones. Also keep in mind that long distance AM reception radio is perfet for a camping.
- For the emergency weather condition update, you can rely on their broadcast system. That’s a feature that modern devices might not be able to compete with as the network in the woods is non-existing.
- These are your emergency power bank units for your devices. Even the regular power bank will run out of juice after some time. With them, you can crank up the power or use the solar panel to recharge the battery of the unit first to feed charge to your devices later.
Just keep looking for its use, and there will be plenty. The radios are still more reliable for outdoors than our most modern devices.
What’s portable camping radio to buy?
All the options are exceptional. But if you’re looking for the more compact unit, then TECSUN takes that prize.
Which outdoor radio is the most reliable?
Eton, Kaito, Panasonic… You can go for either one of them from the above list as they are all great when it comes to dealing with harsh outdoor environments.
How does the hand crank work?
Just turn the crank for 1-minute or so, and you’ll get 20-30 minutes of playtime with the radio.
To get your hands on the best portable radio for camping, you don’t have to go looking into the market. Just go through the list, and you’ll get what you need right here.
If you still think you need to do some digging on your own. You are welcome to do that too. Just stick to the guide to find the right gear.
And don’t forget to share your findings here.