Best Weather Radio Reviews 2017

Weather radio sometimes suffers for an association with ‘end of the world’ types but in fact it is an extremely useful service that can come in handy during all types of weather-related situations and can wind up saving your camping trip or, in some extreme cases, your life.

Best Weather Radio Background

Weather radio began as an experiment back in 1960 with the government transmitting marine weather information on individual radio channels in Chicago and New York City. Gradually the broadcasts expanded and the name of the government entity supplying the information changed as well. Today there are more than 1,000 weather radio stations in operation covering nearly 95% of the US and voiced by a collection of computer generated ‘personalities’ including “Craig”, “Tom”, “Javier” and “Donna.”

As weather radio coverage and awareness has expanded over the years, enterprising companies have produced various receivers designed specifically to provide weather radio information to everyone from the simply curious to those who are in critical need of emergency weather information; such as those facing an imminent hurricane or tornado strike. These receivers range from the very simple to the fairly elaborate and below we’re going to review what we believe to be the 10 best weather station radios on the market today.

Things you’ll want to Consider When Buying a Weather Radio

Intended purpose

People buy weather radios for different reasons. Some spend a lot of time in the great outdoors and want to be sure they’re covered in case they are beset by bad weather while hiking or camping in remote areas. Others live in hurricane prone regions or areas where flooding is a potential problem. Still others know that it’s just smart to have a full complement of emergency gear on hand including a weather radio. The bottom line is that if you intend to use your weather radio primarily indoors, you’ll want a desktop unit and outdoor users will want a portable radio built to handle shocks and drops.

Features

Different weather radios provide different types of information. Some of them are quite comprehensive in the data they provide while others keep things simple. Here are some of the types of information a typical weather radio serves up to the listener:

  • SAME: The SAME protocol is designed and used to encode NOAA’s weather radio alerts and give listeners in a specific area unambiguous warnings of a weather-related threat.
  • Channels: The more weather channels the weather radio device can pick up, the better. In addition, many weather radios provide the option to listen to standard AM/FM radio.
  • Alerts: This automatic feature allows your device to go off whenever a weather alert has been issued for your area. Without this feature a weather radio in a high risk area isn’t worth much.
  • Notifications: In many cases you need to know more than the fact that there is adverse weather on the way. You need to know about evacuation orders and if there are road or other closures.
  • Antenna: If you live in a high risk area you’ll want to be sure your weather radio either has a decent antenna or contains a port where you can plug one in.
  • Build quality: If you plan on using your weather radio outdoors then you’ll want to be sure your weather radio is built to survive whatever Mother Nature may throw at it.

How do you plan to power it?

Most weather radios run on battery power with an AC adapter as backup (or vice versa). If you are taking your radio into the wild though the AC option is off the table and you’ll need something that will work even if your AAA batteries go dead. In such a case you’ll want to consider a weather radio with a hand-crank or solar capabilities.

Warranty

Not to be a wet blanket but if your weather radio fails during an emergency all the warranties in the world won’t help. The best warranty then is making sure you purchase a high quality weather radio like one of the ones we’re featuring here. Keep in mind that you may only really need a weather radio once in your life; it’s crucial that when the time comes it does its job.

TOP RATED WEATHER RADIO 2017 REVIEWS WITH COMPARISON CHART

  • RunningSnail Solar Crank
  • with AM/FM & NOAA weather alert radio
  • Table Lamp & 1W LED Flashlight, Table Lamp & 1W LED Flashlight
  • SOS Alarm With Flashing Red Light Multiple Ways to Charge
  • Kaito KA500 5-way
  • Dynamo Cranking Power - 120 turns per minute
  • Solar Panel Power,3 normal AA batteries
  • Rechargeable battery, Charge from a computer via USB port
  • Midland WR120/WR120EZ NOAA
  • 25-county memory system, 90 dB siren
  • Built-in clock with alarm and snooze
  • 6.0 x 1.5 x 5.0 inches (W x H x D); 1-year warranty
  • Kaito KA101 EZ-weather
  • instant 24/7 weather information
  • Stylish design & water-resistant construction
  • 7-section swivel telescopic antenna
  • Kaito Voyager Pro KA600
  • Dynamo and Solar Powered AM/FM/LW
  • 4 tuning methods including manual
  • 180-degree adjustable solar panel

  • VonHaus Premium NOAA
  • AM/FM/NOAA frequencies
  • 2200mAh battery,clock function
  • Features LCD backlit display
  • Sony SRF-M37W Walkman
  • Weather Band Tuning Function
  • 10 FM, and 5 AM frequencies
  • Headphones and belt clip included
  • Sangean H201 AM/FM/Weather Radio
  • AM/FM antenna with PLL digital tuning
  • Water resistant up to JIS7
  • easy-to-read backlit LCD
  • Midland WR300
  • S.A.M.E. Technology
  • AM/FM Radio with Clock
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty
  • Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Radio
  • Automatic alert system turns on
  • water resistant,6-inch antenna
  • 1-Year Warranty

Now let’s take a close up look at these incredible weather radios

1

RunningSnail Solar Crank

Prime Features:

RunningSnail Solar Crank RunningSnail Solar Crank On Amazon.

  • AM, FM and 7 NOAA channels.
  • SOS alarm with red LED indicator.
  • Charge by hand crank, solar or USB.
  • LED reading lamp.

What the RunningSnail weather radio lacks in portability (and to be sure it doesn’t lack much) it more than makes up for with functionality. And, in spite of the fact that it doesn’t look all that sturdy it is, in fact, one of the toughest weather radios on the market. All of the RunningSnail’s features are easy to understand and access with clear labeling and if you find yourself a few clicks from the car with the weather setting in and dead batteries fear not: just crank it up and get the weather info you need. From $24.90 on Amazon.

2

Kaito KA500 5-way

Kaito KA500 5-way Kaito KA500 5-way On Amazon

Prime Features:

  • Dynamo crank, AC, solar, USB and batteries.
  • Battery level indicator.
  • AM, FM, SW, and 7 NOAA channels.
  • Cell phone charger.

The best weather radio for extreme weather conditions with all the relevant features. Built in solar panel keeps you up and running in the event’s aftermath. LED lamp for reading maps and other important items when the power’s gone out. LED flashlight as well for those long powerless nights. Weather alert turns the device on automatically when NOAA has issued an important alert for your region. From $49.99 on Amazon.

3

Midland WR120/WR120EZ NOAA

Midland WR120/WR120EZ NOAA Midland WR120/WR120EZ NOAA On Amazon

Prime Features:

  • 7 NOAA channels.
  • LED display spells out the threat.
  • SAME technology for specific regional info.
  • LED warnings for the hearing impaired.

The Midland WR120 uses SAME technology to alert you of specific threats to your region. With this feature you’ll never have to worry about false alarms, as when there is a credible threat to your particular area, you’ll be among the first to know. More applicable to desktop use rather than the backwoods, the WR120 nonetheless has a telescoping antenna to improve reception and a clear backlit display for easy reading in the dark. From $25 on Amazon.

4

Kaito KA101 EZ-weather

Kaito KA101 EZ-weather Kaito KA101 EZ-weather On Amazon

Prime Features:

  • 7 NOAA channels.
  • Tough and highly water resistant.
  • 18-inch telescoping swivel antenna.
  • Compact and easy to carry.

The Kaito KA101 EZ provides instant, reliable access to weather bulletins, alerts, forecasts and updates. Designed for indoor use but equally at home in the outdoors, the KA101 scans automatically for clear signals so you don’t have to trouble yourself when there are more important things to do. The KA101 fits in the palm of your hand and has one of the most generous sized antennas in the business so you don’t have to worry about picking up a signal when trouble is brewing in the skies. From $29 on Amazon.

5

Kaito Voyager Pro KA600

Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 On Amazon

Prime Features:

  • FM, AM, SW, LW and 7 NOAA channels.
  • Dynamo cranking, AC, DC, solar power or USB.
  • LED lamp and flashlight.
  • Smartphone charger.

The Voyager Pro KA600 weather radio provides an array of channel options so you’re always up to date with both short term and long term information in the event of emergency. The radio features 3 lights for reading, seeing your way and signaling distress along with temperature and humidity readouts. You can crank this device by hand should you find yourself isolated without electrical access and run out the antenna to catch those distant signals. From $89 on Amazon.

6

VonHaus Premium NOAA

Prime Features:

VonHaus Premium NOAA VonHaus Premium NOAA On Amazon

  • AM, FM and 7 NOAA channels.
  • Dynamo crank, USB, solar, USB, AC and DC.
  • Easy to read LCD display for ease of tuning.
  • LED flashlight for blackout situations.

This multi-function weather radio may be the best looking piece of emergency kit you’ll have at your disposal. It also happens to be one of the most useful. A full 7 channels of NOAA information, automatic alerts, multiple methods for charging and powering the unit and a crystal clear LED display make this weather radio must have emergency equipment for long hiking excursions or just to have around the house if you live anywhere extreme weather is possible. From $35 on Amazon.

7

 Sony SRF-M37W Walkman

Prime Features:

Sony SRF-M37W Walkman Sony SRF-M37W Walkman On Amazon

  • FM, AM and multiple weather channels.
  • One button tuning of 20 station presets.
  • Sips power from a single AAA battery.
  • Battery indicator so you’re not caught short.

Perhaps a weather radio is not the product you’d expect from electronics giant Sony, but when you consider that Japan is one of the world’s most seismically active areas it starts to make sense why they’d invest in developing such a device. The DX switch allows for clear reception of more distant signals and the digital display is easy to read in all conditions. From $38 on Amazon.

8

Sangean H201 AM/FM/Weather Radio

Prime Features:

Sangean H201 AM/FM/Weather Radio Sangean H201 AM/FM/Weather Radio On Amazon

  • AM, FM, and multiple weather channels
  • Truly waterproof which is a major plus.
  • Large, easy to read LCD display.
  • Emergency buzzer, auto alerts and clock.

While the waterproof aspect of the Sangean H201 is most often touted as a way to listen to your favorite music in the shower, the fact is you’ll also be able to listen to crucial weather updates and alerts even if you’re stuck in pouring rain. The H201 sports excellent overall build quality, plenty of stations from which to glean important information, an easy to read display and an impressive LED flashlight for those nights when the power’s gone out. From $60 on Amazon.

9

Midland WR300

Prime Features:

Midland WR300 Midland WR300 On Amazon

  • FM, AM and 7 NOAA channels.
  • SAME technology for 23 counties.
  • Color-coded alerts for the hearing disabled
  • Auto alerts so you’re never caught off guard.

Never get caught off guard by severe weather with the Midland WR300 weather radio. The unit features important SAME technology which allows for precise information to get to the people who need it. Beyond that there are 7 NOAA channels available for general alerts and updates, AM and FM tuning for more broad based information, crystal clear LCD display showing exact nature of threat along with color coded alerts for the hearing disabled. From $41 on Amazon.

10

Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Radio

Prime Features:

Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Radio Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Radio On Amazon

  • 7 preset NOAA channels.
  • Automatic alerts so you’re never taken by surprise.
  • Water resistant for inclement weather.
  • Ideal for outdoor applications.
  • 6” telescopic antenna.

If you’re out in the woods and the weather is closing in, you want to know exactly what you’re up against. The same is true whether you’re at the kitchen table or on the way to pick up the kids at the softball field. The HH50 will provide you the information you need to make critical decisions to help you safeguard yourself and your loved ones. An extremely convenient, extremely affordable and dependable device anyone living in a high risk area or who ventures into the great outdoors should own. From $14 on Amazon.

Conclusion

Weather radio has come a long way from an experimental service in 1960 to a life-saving service that blankets nearly the entire country and provides crucial information to individuals, businesses and families on a daily basis. Any of the weather radios reviewed here will serve you well though make sure to keep in mind where and how you intend to use the device before purchasing one.

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