Radios? I hear you say. In this day of SmartPhones that can almost do your laundry for you, why would I be recommending old-style radios? Well, we’re an active family who likes to bike, hike and ski and my boys are getting older but there’s still four years between them. This means that when we bike, the older one can power ahead and end up leaving his younger brother in the dust. These little radios are an easy way to communicate on the urban bike trails that we use in Seattle. Similarly for hiking, my younger son like to amble along, chatting all the way, which is fun for me, but also means that he and I can end up far behind his Dad and his brother on the trail – although, us plodders usually win when the weather is lousy since we’re much more tolerant of the rain than my ultra-sensitive older son. Again, the radios allow us to keep in touch even when we’re way out of range of cell phone towers.
These devices come with a rechargeable battery pack which means you won’t have to be buying monster packs of AA batteries at Costco. The built-in weather channels and flashlight are great bonus features. I don’t think I’d rely on these radios over say, a SPOT Personal Tracking device in a real emergency, but for finding a kid lost on a trail or who’s taken the wrong fork on a ski trail, these should be plenty sufficient.
Motorola MJ270R Technical Details:
* Up to 27 mile range.
* 22 channels each with 121 privacy codes.
* 27 hr. alkaline (3AA) or 9 hr. NiMH battery life. Includes rechargable battery pack.
* iVOX hands-free communication without the need for an audio accessory.
* Emergency Alert button and 11 weather channels (7NOAA) with alert feature. Also Built in Flashlight.