Rocky Talkies for Families Review
We have quickly found that with kids of all ages, it is super hard to keep them all huddled together. Our oldest is 12 and our youngest is 4, so their adventure speed is drastically different.
Over the past year or so we have been extensively testing Rocky Talkies. We were looking for something that would allow us to keep in contact with the whole family and give the older kids a little freedom. We also wanted something that would hold up to the abuse of a really active, outdoorsy family.
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Why Rocky Talkies are Different
There a TON of walkie talkies out there. Most of them are decent and work for most situations. However, they also have serious limitations when it comes to outdoor adventures. Here’s where Rocky Talkies stand out.
Rocky Talkies have an amazing battery life
One of the things I noticed right away was how amazing the battery life of the Rocky Talkie was. Even in very cold temperatures, we have no issues with battery life for days. DAYS. This means that they are great for skiing and we have no concerns about a product malfunction due to battery life. In fact, Rocky Talkie claims that conditions up to -20 F degrees will have no negative effects on their battery.
Rocky Talkies have a great range
Range are a huge deal-breaker for me. We tested the range extensively and were able to transmit close to 20 miles with a clear shot. For us this was from our house to the local ski mountain. While it was a bit scratchy for a range that long, we could still effectively communicate.
For more wooded areas, we had no problem at all transmitting a few miles.
Easy Clip-On Attachment
Rocky Talkies come with a really heavy-duty Mammut® Wall Light Carabiner for easy attaching. They also have a leash with a metal carabiner for double security. The carabiner is big enough to attach to nearly any jacket or pack and the smaller leash seems to fit into most zipper pulls if needed.
That said, we do sometimes struggle with where to clip the carabiner if we aren’t wearing a backpack.
Privacy Code Settings Programmed
Because of the “sub-channel” privacy codes, rocky talkies will filter out transmissions from other radios using the same frequency, but not using the same privacy code.
Simple AND Reliable
If you’re anything like me, my brain is FULL and I just don’t have the patience to try and figure new things out. I LOVE that Rocky Talkies are ready to use out of the box and require no configuration. The privacy codes mentioned about are already programmed in for easy use.
The buttons are also big, easy to push, and not complicated. This means that a 4 year old has no problems using them.
Rugged walkie talkies
My kids are REALLY hard on gear. If someone is going to break it, it’s them. Our Rocky Talkies have been dropped from high above the ground, thrown around, and used at least a few times a week for the past year. They are no worse for the wear.
Who Rocky Talkies are Best For
Obviously here at TMM we are really focused on gear that works great for families. While Rocky Talkies are not necessarily built for kids or families in particular, they check all the boxes. They are extremely durable and easy to use, even for small children. They also are dependable and have a long range for maximum safety.
Rocky Talkies are great for climbers because of their range and the fact that partner communication is critical.
Rocky Talkies are great for skiers simply because of the fact that their battery holds up so well in cold conditions. Whether skiing at the resort, nordic skiing on extensive trails, or backcountry skiing, we always bring our Rocky Talkies.
Where we use our Rocky Talkies
Even with the best of intentions, it’s possible for our family of seven to get spread out on the hiking trail. I LOVE knowing I can communicate with the front or the back of the pack at any time and check in with how everyone is doing.
We have found that Rocky Talkies work exceptionally well at our local ski areas (Snow King Mountain and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort). While they are still license-free radios and still have limitations, we very rarely find ourselves not being able to communicate on the hill.
Even more than hiking, we usually have kids all over the mountain, and it’s imperative we are able to keep track of them. Our kids don’t have phones, and quite frankly, phone service on some ski mountains is extremely unreliable anyway.
Biking is another big one for us. When we are riding paved trails and/or mountain biking, we have found Rocky Talkies invaluable as far as keeping in contact with each other. Of course, if there are large mountains or hills in the way of transmission, they won’t work as well, but in general we find them very reliable. Also it’s important to note for all activities that if transmission isn’t working well, to just get to higher ground.
Our local mountain bike team uses these for coaches.
Around the neighborhood
I love giving our kids a bit more freedom to run around the neighborhood AND being able to contact them when needed.
On car trips, especially while touring National Parks
Often when we are visiting Yellowstone or parts of the Tetons, we have no phone reception. If we are traveling in two cars, we always bring the Rocky Talkies so we can communicate.
How many Rocky Talkies do we need?
Currently our family of seven owns 5 Rocky Talkies. We labeled them with our phone number and a “family number”. The idea is that each person always uses the same Rocky Talkie so we know where to look first if one is missing. When we purchased them, our younger two were just barely 3 and 4 so we didn’t feel like they needed one yet.
That said, we will soon need to get two more of them as the kids get older and more independent.
TMM Team Member Kristin has just two for her family. They know they buddy system and she just wanted to be sure that for her family of five they have at least two to communicate with.
You don’t NEED one for every member of your family, but it sure does make it convenient. BUT, it completely depends on your family’s needs.
Are Rocky Talkies Worth the Price?
Short answer: YES! At $110 per radio, they are a serious investment. BUT, it’s an investment for your safety, peace of mind, and ability to go longer and further as a family.
We have had SO many radios come through our home, including high end competitors to Rocky Talkies. In our opinion, it’s worth just spending the initial cost upfront for radios you know are going to work and last.
What we would like to see improved with Rocky Talkies
In over a year of use, the only issue we have had was attaching the Rocky Talkies securely to kids not wearing a backpack. We usually just hook them onto jackets and/or zippers, but it’s not ideal. We would love to see some sort of simple harness that kids (or adults!) could use to make sure they don’t get lost.
Rocky Talkie Customer Service
We did end up having a radio that stopped working, and Rocky Talkie replaced it immediately. The radios come with a two year warranty, and they really stand behind their product.
Rocky Talkie VS. BCA Radios
Just a quick note that we did purchase a set of BCA radios to compare to Rocky Talkies. While both are excellent quality, the simplicity of Rocky Talkies coupled with their easy carabiner attachment made them a clear winner.
Rocky Talkie Review
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