Best Handheld Ham Radios for Overlanding

What is the best Ham radio for self-reliant communication on or off the trail? We dive into find out.

Our Top Ham Radio Picks

Image of Greaval UV-5R 8W ► Easy to Program Greaval UV-5R 8W
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When going on an Overlanding trip, people must take all the necessary pieces of equipment with them. Because in such trips it is possible that you can be stuck at such a place where you need to get help from others. That is the main reason behind the usability of radio for Overlanding. So, Ham radio proves to be very helpful in most emergencies.

One thing is imperative that you should make sure, that the device you are carrying should able to do the job in that area. When you are on an Overlanding trip then, Ham radios are the best option for you because they perfectly work in such areas.

Some people prefer to carry more than one device for communications. You can also do that but it would be enough if you carry the right device that can help you in an emergency.

Advantages of the Ham Radios

While Overlanding you go the remote places for recreation and activities. You are far away from the world and there are no people present to help you. In such situations, folks only have a possible option to get help from Ham radios. By this communication means, you can get help from the squad that is available to help people that are stuck in any area. You can also contact other vehicles that are with you on this track.

When we compare Ham radios with others like CB radio and walkie-talkies, it has many advantages over others. Therefore, Overlanders are shifting to HAM radios for their communication needs. They have+ better features and reliability than other types. That’s why everyone loves to use it.

How to Use the Ham Radios

To use the product is very important because if you do not know how to use it. You cannot get benefit from it. Therefore, we provide you the complete guidance, how you can properly use the best overland communications. The main thing that makes Ham radios different from others is that they use frequencies instead of channels. Therefore, they work around the globe without an internet connection.

One thing that is vital to know about it that you need a license to operate it. If you do not have the license, you cannot get benefit from it. You are heard by the whole world therefore, bands are regulated. Users have some responsibilities like knowing and obeying the laws. While you have a license, you have access to certain bandwidths. Therefore, it is very important to know the bandwidth that you can use while operating Ham radios.

If you want to talk with another, the first thing you should do is that you have a radio license because if anyone uses it without a license, one has to pay a big fine. Therefore, before usage, apply for the license. You should also have all the necessary equipment for its proper functioning. Most of the tools are provided with the accessories but if there anything missing you should buy that from the market or Amazon.

When you have all the gadgets then start the device and set the frequency. This whole process is called QSO. After ending the connection with the person, send a QSL card to that individual. In this way, you can save memories forever.

Top Handheld Ham Radios for Overlanders

There are much radio for overlanding but here we discuss the best Ham overlanding radios. After comparing the facts and specifications of all the models, we have listed the top three which are the best radio for Overlanding. We consider the size, weight and how to carry the overland radio in their selection. Whether they are handheld or mounting radio. And before choosing any product, a user should also keep in mind the features to avoid any problem.

Our Favorite Ham Radios of 2024!

YAESU FT-65R Image


★★★★★ (4.7)

  • Compact Handheld Design
  • Clear LED display for readability.
  • Long Battery Life

One of the reputed brands in the HAM Overland radio makes it. If we discuss its design, it is very compact and lightweight. It is a dual-band FM Handheld Transceiver. There are three output power settings of 5W, 2.5W and 0.5W so; users can choose the power that they need for operations. It is a handheld HAM radio because of its lightweight and compact design.

If we discuss the audio quality, you will be happy with it. The supplied battery is of 150 mah Li-ion that can be used for nine operational hours. While it also has an optional battery of 2500 mah Li-ion that can be used for 11.5 hours. This feature is very good for users who need more operating time between recharging.

This radio for Overlanding has a white LED display with good visibility. It also has four quick recall keys (QRK) to save and recall preferred frequency settings. It also has VOX operation with an optional price. It is with an amazing antenna that comes with the radio and performs equally well on both bands UHF and VHF. You cannot find an aftermarket antenna that performs better than it does.

Some other useful features in this best ham radio for Overlanding are versatile scanning capabilities as programmable VFO scan, channel scan, memory scan and weather alert scan. It also has an automatic power-off feature. All these features meet the commercial-grade specifications. Therefore, it has a high demand for amateur radio operators all around the world.

Primary Benefits

The body of the best overland communication device is made of aluminum, which ensures that it is long-lasting. And it is also water-resistant. It has three power supplies main is of 5 watts. The battery time is good and an extra battery also available to facilitate the user.

It also has a dual-frequency operation that covers UHF and VHF. It is compatible with 1000 memory channels that is an excellent feature of it. It also has an emergency frequency receiver operation so helps the user in many ways.

The thing that I do like the most is the casing on the FT-65R because of its durability. Although the plastic casing is also of good quality but in aluminum, you are sure about the toughness of the material.


  • Good display that is easily visible
  • Locking mode to change frequency
  • Easy to use
  • Build quality is very impressive
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Long battery life
  • Adjustable power settings


  • Instructions are hard to follow
  • Scanning is somehow slow
Greaval UV-5R 8W Image

Greaval UV-5R 8W

★★★★★ (4.4)

  • Great Sound Quality
  • Strong Battery Life
  • Light Weight Compact Design

The power output system used in this radio for Overlanding is of three types. High, medium and low power switchable. So, a user can choose according to his requirement. It also has programmable amateur radio in it that supports keyboard or PC programming whether you are outdoor, in a home or at the workplace.

The power source used in this overland radio is a rechargeable 2100 mAh Li-ion battery that you can use for almost 12 to 20 hours continuously. They have also provided an extra battery for continuous communication. You also have the facility of a car charger that is included in the accessories. This is a handheld device that is very beneficial for areas where you are not on the vehicle.

Another very beneficial feature of this model that it has a dual-band standby option that enables a user to monitor and transmit on two different channels at the same time. The channel memory is 128 that is fully functional with FCC part 15B and part 90 regulations. You need to apply for a radio license to operate this device as in President Mckinley USA SSB 12/24V CB radio.

It has a wide compatibility range. It covers all the most commonly used frequency ranges that make it compatible with many other Overlanding radios such as BF-F8HP/UV and 82HP etc. The complete set includes all the accessories so do not need to worry about well-matched gadgets. Another feature of this best radio for overlanding is the 30 days free return and 18 months warranty of hardware and tech support provided.

Primary Benefits

It has a dual-band display and standby that is not available on most of the radio for Overlanding. The LCD used in this radio shows three colors display so it’s up to the user which color he wants to choose. It also has a built-in flashlight and 128 channel memory.

It also has an emergency alarm and feature that tells about the charging state of the battery. You can lock the keypad automatically or manually. There is a built-in VOX function available and you can also get a channel scan in it.

The weight of this product is almost 6.77 oz. without antenna and the total weight of the item is 1.68 lbs. The battery used in this best ham radio for Overlanding is 2100 mAh.


  • Long battery life
  • Car charger with it
  • Three types of antenna
  • Best for hikers
  • Very good display
  • Excellent size and weight for handheld


  • Instructions are useless
  • Sometimes issue with programming

Frequently Asked Questions About Ham Radios

Do I need a HAM Radio License?

Yes. A HAM Radio Operator License is required before using a HAM radio. With a little studying the test is farily easy and you’ll be operating in no time.

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