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The Best Survival Radio: The 5 Best Radios to Keep You Safe

If you’ve ever been stuck in your basement during a severe thunderstorm or a tornado warning, you know how scary it can be to have no access to the outside world and not know what’s going on. Luckily, in most cases, a survival radio can solve this problem!

Having a survival radio ready to go can be a life changer when you’re in the wilderness or stuck in a weather emergency. Keep reading to learn all about the best radios to keep you safe and informed in every survival situation.

best survival radio

Our Top Picks

Best Overall:
FosPower 2000mAh NOAA Emergency Weather Radio

Best Budget Option:
RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio

Best Premium Option:
MidLand ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio

Best Overall

FosPower 2000mAh NOAA Emergency Weather Radio

FosPower 2000mAh NOAA Emergency Weather Radio (Model A1) Portable Power Bank with Solar Charging, Hand Crank & Battery Operated, SOS Alarm, AM/FM & LED Flashlight for Outdoor Emergency

The FosPower 2000mAh NOAA Emergency Weather Radio wins the award for the best survival radio for a multitude of reasons! It’s chock full of helpful, good-quality features, and at a fairly cost-effective price, it can’t be beaten.

This radio is both easy to use and understand; for example, charging devices with the help of the radio’s handy dandy USB connection is super simple.

In addition, this survival radio really packs a punch! Its reading light and flashlight are incredibly bright, and the SOS alarm is super loud. Whenever you need these features, they’ll be ready to go.

Despite this radio’s many uses, it’s still fairly compact. In fact, this radio is small enough to fit in your glove compartment, so you can take it with you wherever you travel!

The FosPower Emergency Weather Radio also boasts a long battery life, which is helped by its three different but equally quick and effective charging methods.

One aspect to remember about this radio is that because its lights are so powerful, they drain the battery pretty rapidly if left on for a while. If you’re planning to keep the flashlight or reading light on for an extended period of time, just make sure to use the hand crank to maintain the battery charge during use!

Product Features

  • USB connection
  • Powered by battery, solar panel, and hand crank
  • SOS alarm
  • Lights (reading light and flashlight)
  • Weighs 10.9 ounces
  • 6.2 x 2.9 x 2.1 inches
  • Supports both lithium ion and AAA batteries


  • Inexpensive
  • Long battery life
  • Compact, easy to store


  • Lights drain the battery quickly
  • Can only charge devices with a USB connection

Best Budget Survival Radio

RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio

Emergency Hand Crank Radio with LED Flashlight for Emergency, AM/FM NOAA Portable Weather Radio with 2000mAh Power Bank Phone Charger, USB Charged & Solar Power for Camping, Emergency

If you’re looking for a survival radio that offers all the benefits at half the price, the RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio is the way to go!

This lightweight yet durable radio contains a long-lasting battery that is easy to charge in a variety of ways, especially with the cord that attaches to it via USB.

It’s also nice and small, so you can easily stow it in any go-bag or backpack. However, this survival radio’s size doesn’t sacrifice its quality at all. In particular, this radio is able to charge cell phones remarkably well.

While the radio’s sound quality isn’t the clearest, the volume controls work very effectively. You’ll be able to hear the radio well, even without having to turn the volume all the way up!

Overall, the RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio gets the job done at an incredibly reasonable price point!

Product Features

  • USB port
  • Flashlight
  • 5 x 1.8 x 2.4 inches
  • Powered via an electric cord, rechargeable battery, solar panel or hand crank
  • Weighs 4.9 pounds
  • Compatible with smartphones


  • Inexpensive
  • Small


  • Flashlight isn’t very powerful
  • Recharging via hand crank takes a lot of effort

Best Premium Survival Radio

MidLand ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio

Midland - ER310, Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio - Multiple Power Sources, SOS Emergency Flashlight, Ultrasonic Dog Whistle, & NOAA Weather Scan + Alert (Red/Black)

Want to experience true luxury when it comes to survival radios? The MidLand ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio is the perfect premium option!

This sturdy survival radio is the perfect size for optimal usage. In addition, the radio’s sound quality is top-notch, and the alarms it sounds for severe weather alerts are very loud. You’ll be able to hear them from every room in the house!

One unique aspect of this radio is its variety—for one, the flashlight has multiple brightness levels and can also turn to a flashing mode where it flashes SOS. Despite all these options, the MidLand ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio is simple to use. You’ll figure out its many features in no time!

While there are many survival radios that might try to say that they have all the bells and whistles, this radio literally does! The ultrasonic dog whistle that’s built into this radio is a fun and potentially helpful feature.

Furthermore, the MidLand ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio charges speedily! Its solar panels charge the radio pretty quickly, and the fact that this radio takes batteries as a backup power source allows for a much longer charge.

The rubber USB port cover is one potential foible that’s important to be aware of when using this survival radio. Specifically, the rubber cap that covers the USB ports to protect it from water doesn’t always stay put, so you’ll need to check it often, especially if you’re using this radio in the rain.

Product Features

  • USB connection
  • Flashlight
  • Ultrasonic Dog Whistle
  • 8 x 2.4 x 3.4 inches
  • Weighs one pound
  • Powered by hand crank, solar power, and rechargeable battery
  • Takes AA batteries


  • Radio has great sound quality
  • Severe weather alert alarms are loud


  • Flashlight brightness
  • Waterproof caps don’t always work

C Crane CC WX Pocket Radio

best survival radio

For a survival radio that you can put in your pocket and carry anywhere, try the C Crane CC WX Pocket Radio! This radio is a user-friendly and portable piece of equipment with a full range of special features.

For example, this lightweight radio boasts a built-in belt clip that allows you to use it hands-free and an earbud jack that enables you to hear the radio loud and clear, even in an area with lots of background noise.

With long battery life and stellar reception, you can use this survival radio anywhere and for any purpose! It’s just as good for listening to a baseball game in the park as it is for listening to severe weather alerts in your basement.

One drawback of this radio is that it’s relatively on the pricier side. However, this gadget is definitely worth the investment!

Unfortunately, this survival radio also has no solar or hand crank or USB capabilities, so if the radio dies and you don’t have any AA batteries on hand, you’re out of luck.

Product Features

  • Memory buttons that store up to 50 AM/FM radio stations
  • Belt clip
  • Speaker
  • Alarm clock
  • Earbud jack
  • Comes with earbuds that fit in the earbud jack
  • 4.25 x 2.5 x 1 inches
  • Weighs 3.8 ounces
  • Takes AA batteries


  • Super portable
  • Long battery life


  • Expensive
  • Can only run on AA batteries

Mesqool 5000 Weather Radio

5000 Weather Radio,Solar Hand Crank 5-Way Power Emergency Radio,AM/FM/Shortwave/NOAA Alert Survival Portable Radio,Power Bank USB Charger,Camping Flashlight,Reading Lamp,Headphone Jack,SOS,Compass

The Mesqool 5000 Weather Radio is ideal if you want a survival radio that will last you for years and years to come!

The battery life, in particular, is incredibly long-lasting, and there are so many ways to charge to keep it charged. There’s even a switch on the radio so you can change from powering it via AAA batteries to charging it via its lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

Also, this survival radio features more than one light that you can use for many different purposes, and each of the individual lights has different brightness settings.

Despite this level of detail, the Mesgool 5000 Weather Radio is still super simple to figure out how to use!

Not only is using this radio a breeze, but it’s also incredibly easy to carry! This particular radio has both a wrist strap and a carabiner that you could attach to a pocket or belt loop for easy access and transport.

There are a few user instructions specific to this survival radio that are especially important to take note of. For one, the radio’s tuning knob is a little touchy, so it may take you a few tries to land on the correct station.

Additionally, the radio’s emergency button is exposed and very loud when set off, so you have to be careful not to unknowingly press it.

Finally, the cable that comes with this radio for charging phones only works on Androids, so you’ll have to buy an additional cord if you want to charge an iPhone with the help of the USB port.

Product Features

  • Comes in three different colors (yellow, black, and red)
  • Camping flashlight and flashlight
  • Camping lamp
  • Compass
  • USB cellphone charger
  • Wrist strap and carabiner clip
  • Takes AAA batteries
  • Also rechargeable through solar panel, hand crank, and rechargeable battery
  • 6.6 x 3.7 x 2.3 inches
  • Weighs 12.8 ounces


  • Multi-purpose, especially when it comes to the light sources
  • Convenient to carry


  • Emergency alert button is too easy to set off
  • Radio tuning knob is finicky

Buyer’s Guide

The features we discussed in the product reviews above are crucial for everyone to consider, but here are some additional factors to remember when selecting the ideal survival radio for you!


Even if you’ll use your survival radio mainly indoors, you should still think about the weather conditions in the area!

For example, if you’re in an extremely hot or sunny climate, you’ll need a radio that can withstand high temperatures without melting or just malfunctioning.

Similarly, you’ll need to think about whether or not your radio will have to withstand particularly low temperatures or cloudy weather. This is especially true for survival radios that rely on solar power for their main charging method.

Finally, you’ll need to take into consideration any potential amounts of rain and snow that your radio could come into contact with. If the radio might get wet, you’ll need to purchase a survival radio with waterproof features.


When thinking about the durability of your survival radio, you should consider where this radio will be traveling, if anywhere.

If your radio will be staying at home or in the trunk of your car, then maybe durability is a less important factor to you when making this purchase.

However, if you bring your survival radio camping or hiking, you’ll want a compact radio that can stand being jostled around. You’d hate to pull out your radio when it’s time to use it just to find out that it didn’t hold up in your duffel bag or hiking pack!


Obviously, it’s most important for a survival radio to have a functional radio! However, you should also think about what other features you need your survival radio to have.

If you really need your radio to do more than broadcast weather alerts to you, then look for one that has a strong reputation as a multi-purpose or multi-use product.

Relatedly, you might need your radio to power other devices than just the radio itself. If you’ll need to charge devices like a phone or laptop, look for a survival radio with USB ports or outlets of other shapes and sizes for easy charging access.

Frequently Asked Questions

best survival radio

Will I need batteries to operate my survival radio?

Ultimately, it depends on the type of radio you purchase when figuring out if you’ll need to buy batteries, too.

Most survival radios don’t run solely on solar power or a hand crank and may contain lithium-ion batteries. Since lithium-ion batteries are permanent, you may not need disposable batteries to help it run.

Regardless of how your survival radio stays charged, if it utilizes disposable batteries, you should definitely purchase them for your radio as an extremely useful backup power option.

Most radios that do use batteries run on AA or AAA batteries, so read the user manual for your specific radio closely to determine which type you’ll need to purchase.

Can my survival radio get wet?

It’s possible that you may encounter precipitation during a survival situation.

Because of the wiring that pretty much every survival radio has inside, you’ll need to keep all survival radios out of standing water and refrain from submerging them in water for long periods, regardless of make and model.

However, some brands of survival radios have water-resistant features that will hold up to small amounts of water better than others. One example of these features is a cover or cap that protects the radio’s USB ports or headphone jacks from exposure to the elements.

Alternatively, you can always store your radio in a plastic bag and use it that way. You’ll be able to hear and see everything you need to through the plastic bag if it’s a good quality radio!

How long will my survival radio stay charged?

The life of your survival radio may vary a little based on how you charge it, but one of the most important factors is the number of features you use while it’s charged.

In other words, if you have the flashlight and weather alert features running while you also use the radio to charge your phone, your radio’s battery is much more likely to drain quickly.

Using a survival radio to charge other devices often runs down the battery the fastest out of all its functions, so if you’re really trying to maximize your radio’s battery life, use it to charge other devices as little as possible.

Another thing you can do to keep your radio well-charged for as long as possible is to ensure you only have one or two features running simultaneously. This means that if the flashlight’s on, turn off the AM/FM radio!

Choosing the Survival Radio for You

Staying informed during severe weather or while spending time in the wilderness is of the utmost importance, and a survival radio will do just that! Hopefully, our round-up of the best radios for survival purposes has given you the information you need to go out and purchase your own device.

If you found this post helpful and are looking for more gear to prepare you for all sorts of survival situations, check out our Everyday Items page for many product tips and recommendations!