Having a portable outdoor radio with you on your outdoor adventures can be beneficial to your enjoyment and your safety.
It can keep you up to date with relevant news and weather conditions in the local area as well as provide you with some company, music, and entertainment too.
There are different types of radios out there for you to choose from, so to help you decide, we have put together this list of the best weatherproof portable radios.
Best Weatherproof Portable Radio: Top Picks
How many portable radios do you know that have their own roll cage? The Sangean LB-100 Ultra-Rugged Radio is built to withstand the rigors of outdoor life. It can be powered using its long power cable or it can be used with batteries for even more portability.
Measuring at 7.2 x 8.2 x 8.1 inches, the Ion Audio Tailgater Express is not just a compact speaker but it has a built-in AM/FM radio too. With a carry handle and rechargeable battery, this is one truly portable radio.
It may be one of the cheaper portable radios on this list, but the iFox Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker With FM Radio is one tough radio. One charge can give you six hours of music and it can even withstand a three-story fall.
Best Weatherproof Radios: Full Reviews
This is one very tough radio that is completely at home in the wild.
It has the ability to store 10 preset frequencies and has a backlit digital LCD screen. The Sangean LB-100 Ultra-Rugged Compact Radio comes with a 9-foot power cord but can also run on 4 x C batteries.
Its roll cage prevents damage if you accidentally drop it and it can withstand sand, dust, and rain with no issues.
- Shock resistant and has a protective roll cage
- 9-foot power cord so can be used with a portable battery
- Backlit LCD screen that can display frequency information or the time
The Kaito KA500 can be powered in multiple ways including hand crank, solar, batteries (NiMH and AA), and AC power.
This is a lightweight radio weighing less than 1.5 pounds so can easily be carried in your backpack.
Its telescopic antenna can be extended up to 14.5 inches to help pick up a better signal and it also has a built-in flashlight for added practicality and convenience.
- USB port for charging your phone or tablet in the wild
- Multiple power options
For a compact portable radio, the Ion Audio Tailgater has more useful features than you might expect.
As well as having a built-in radio, the Tailgater Express can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker with a range of up to 100 feet.
It has a rechargeable battery that gives you up to 30 hours of use from a full charge.
- Can connect with your bluetooth devices from 100 feet away
- High levels of sound quality thanks to the 20-watt speakers with dynamic amplifier
- 30 hours of battery life from a single charge
The Monster Nomad Portable Bluetooth Speaker And Radio is an outdoor radio that packs a punch!
30 watts of power helps give long-lasting and consistent sound quality. There are also USB ports for charging your other devices and an aux input for additional connectivity.
It is water-resistant so can withstand rain showers and other damp conditions you might be facing on your outdoor adventures.
- Rechargeable battery provides up to 30 hours of use
- USB and AUX connectivity so you can use it with compatible devices
The iFox Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker With FM Radio is fully submersible up to three feet.
It is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery that gives you eight hours of usage from just one charge.
Of all the outdoor radios on this list, this is the most budget-friendly, and it's probably the easiest to carry around, too as it is so small and lightweight.
- 8-hour battery life from one charge
- Fully waterproof and can be submerged in up to three feet of water
- Impact-resistant making it a budget-friendly but very tough outdoor radio
If you like your outdoor radios to have multiple power options, then this is another good choice for you.
The Greadio AM/FM can be powered using solar power – direct sunlight can fully charge the lithium-ion batteries in three hours giving you six hours to play music or listen to updates from local weather channels.
To make sure you never run out of power though, this outdoor radio can also be powered with three aaa batteries too.
This is another portable radio that has a built-in flashlight for added convenience. This is a compact outdoor radio so is easily transported in the wild as it won’t take up much space in your kit bag.
- Long battery life
- Compact, highly portable radio
- Solar power charging for increased self-sufficiency
Another Sangean outdoor radio that made our list.
The Sangean U4 Outdoor Radio is made to be tough, durable, and it can certainly take a bit of a beating.
It is waterproof, dustproof, and impact-resistant making it well suited to outdoor life.
- Compatible with your bluetooth devices
- Decent reception when used as an FM radio
- Tough, durable, and rugged design and construction
The Dolphin LX-20 is a lightweight, waterproof, simple-looking outdoor radio.
It is rechargeable and has a battery life of around 10 hours.
Whether you are listening to your connected bluetooth compatible devices, local weather channels, or browsing through the FM radio channels, this outdoor radio will be able to cope with all your outdoor activities.
- Speaker output of 30 watts for good sound quality and volume
- The battery indicator light lets you know when it is time to charge
Outdoor FM/AM Radio Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For
When looking for an outdoor radio, there are certain things you should keep in mind to make sure the one you choose is not only the best one for you, but it is also going to meet all the demands placed on it while you are spending time in the wild.
Your outdoor radio needs to be able to withstand changing weather conditions.
Portable outdoor radios will, at some point, get caught out in a rain shower. Having the appropriate level of water resistance will make sure your outdoor radio continues to work even after getting wet.
If you want to take your radio out with you while you are kayaking or fishing, you may need to choose one with a higher level of protection from water.
One key thing to bear in mind when choosing the best outdoor radio for you is the difference between water-resistant and waterproof.
A water-resistant outdoor radio will be able to withstand light rain and the odd splash. However, it will likely not survive being fully submerged in water.
A waterproof outdoor radio can usually withstand being submerged in water but it is always important to check the waterproof rating of your chosen radio before making a final decision.
Water protection ratings are commonly stated as IPX ratings. These run from one to nine with IPX1 being the lowest level of water resistance and IPX9 being the most water-resistant.
A general guide for choosing a weatherproof outdoor radio is to choose one with a rating between IPX3 and IPX5 as a minimum.
When spending time outdoors, it is useful to have multiple ways of powering your outdoor radio.
Some of the radios on this list have multiple power options such as solar power, batteries, and hand cranks.
Solar power can be a very good power source for your outdoor radio. As long as your radio has a solar panel then you can use the power harvested from direct sunlight to power your radio.
While this does increase your level of self-sufficiency, solar power is probably better suited as a backup power source rather than the one you predominantly rely on.
Charging portable outdoor radios using the sun can take a long time and will usually mean leaving your radio out in a sunny spot for extended periods before being able to use it again.
Single-use batteries are another good backup power source. Many of the portable outdoor radios listed in this article have the ability to run on aa batteries or aaa batteries in addition to their main rechargeable battery.
Rechargeable batteries are the main way in which portable outdoor radios are powered. While you may not be able to recharge your radio when you are out in the wild, being able to recharge them when you return home can save you a lot of money on replacement batteries. Most rechargeable batteries will give you many hours of usage before needing to be plugged back in so they are usually a very reliable way of powering your radio.
The amount of time you plan on using your radio before needing to charge it can be a big factor when choosing the right one for you.
When you head outdoors on your adventures, you do not want to be worrying about whether your radio is going to keep working throughout the duration of your trip.
Long battery life will help give you peace of mind that it won’t let you down and will still be fully functional at the end of your adventure.
Some batteries can power your radio for up to 30 hours so it is possible to run your radio using battery power for an entire weekend of camping.
As with all outdoor equipment, your outdoor radio needs to be able to withstand the rigors of outdoor life.
The weather, the terrain, and the environment are just some of the things your radio will need to deal with. You also need to be confident that it can survive being dropped, knocked, hit, or squeezed as you can never be too sure what situations you will find yourself in when out in nature.
While things like an extendable antenna can be a very good feature for your radio to have as it can help you pick up signals from further afield, it may be more appropriate for your radio to have a built-in antenna to reduce the risk of it getting damaged on your travels.
You should always consider how tough and durable your kit will be before taking it outdoors with you.
The size and weight of your outdoor radio should be carefully considered when choosing the best one for you.
If you want a radio that can pack away into your backpack when not in use then you will want one that is compact and lightweight.
If you are planning on using your outdoor radio at your campsite then it can afford to be less mobile, heavier, and generally bigger.
Depending on what you are heading outdoors to do, consideration should be given to the most suitable size of radio for your needs.
Some outdoor radios will have pre-set weather channels.
This can be a useful feature as these channels can give you regular, up-to-date weather forecasts and alerts for the area you are heading into.
It is always a good idea to have an understanding of what the local weather is likely to be doing when heading out into the wild so having the sources of this information pre-programmed into your radio is something you might want to consider.
All of the outdoor radios on this list have extra features that you may not have considered important but actually can make your time outdoors even better.
Bluetooth connectivity can give you lots more freedom when it comes to choosing what you are listening to while out and about. It allows you to connect your phone or other devices to your radio and play your music through its speakers.
Having a built-in flashlight or reading light on your radio can also add another level of practicality and convenience.
A kit that has multiple uses is always a good thing as it can reduce the overall weight of your kit so having extra features like this is a great way of reducing the amount of kit you need to take with you on your next camping trip.
A USB port lets you charge your phone and other devices using the power sources of the radio. In some cases, it also lets you charge your radio using a USB cable and an AC adapter.
Spend some time looking at the additional features of your chosen outdoor radio to make sure you are going to get the most out of it as you possibly can.