5 Best CB Radio For Off Roading: Reviews & Buying Guide 2020
In a world full of uncertainties, one way to ensure you have a 100% safe off-road trip is by installing a CB radio in your vehicle.
The best radio for off roading will keep you connected with other drivers and give you access to critical info such as traffic conditions, weather conditions, potential hazards, and more.
Listed below are the 5 top CB radios that are all-time favorites for off roading enthusiasts as the primary means of communication.
Our Best CB Radio For Off Roading:
1. Uniden PRO505XL 40-Channel CB Radio
Uniden PRO505XL is one of the most popular CB radios among off-road enthusiasts. It features a compact design that enables it fits in virtually any vehicle space. It also comes at a budget-friendly cost, making it an excellent choice for folks on a tight budget.
The unit comes with a large, backlit display for easy reading in all light conditions. The channel display and volume control functions also make this radio more convenient to operate. The integrated squelch control only activates the speaker when a transmission is available, saving you from having to listen to static continuously.
Another impressive feature on this radio is the instant channel 9 button. This allows you to get access to emergency broadcasts by a simple push of a button. With the built-in signal/RF indicator, you can also check the relative strength of your incoming transmissions.
Since this radio also features an integrated PA function, you can use it to amplify your voice when talking to a crowd of people or when asking for help. What’s more, it features an external speaker jack that lets you plug an external speaker for better sound output.
2. Cobra 29Lx Professional CB Radio
Cobra 29Lx is also rated as the best CB radio for off roading. This is a feature-rich unit that presents you with everything desirable in a CB radio to ensure you have an easy time connecting with fellow drivers when you hit the trails.
Reading your unit’s display daytime or nighttime has never been easier, thanks to the 4-color LCD display that comes with this radio. You can only customize the color but also the brightness of this display to suit your preferences.
As weather patterns are sure to change roughly every 20km, you’ll also appreciate that this radio gives you access to the NOAA weather channels. This keeps you ahead of the pack as you’ll be the first to get real-time weather updates and prepare for any upcoming hazards.
With the weather and alert scan option, this radio will automatically tune into the most reliable weather channels to ensure you don’t miss important weather reports and alerts.
A clock and alarm function. Not many radios offer you this particular feature, making this Cobra a real exception. Whether you have appointments or want to know the current time, this feature will come in handy.
3. Uniden PRO510XL Pro Series 40-Channel CB Radio
If you’re still looking for a wallet-friendly CB radio that you can use in your next trail trip, this Uniden PRO510XL is another cool choice. The model comes with a compact design that enables it to easily fit in the tightest quarters.
Like the previously discussed unit, this radio also operates in the 40 AM frequencies as per the FCC standards. It comes armed with a signal/RF meter plus red-lit LED indicator that helps you monitor your radio for activity without touching it.
To ensure you have the best communication when on your trail tour, this radio features ANL (automatic noise limiter) function that actively eliminates the background noise. The result is a super-clear conversation with other drivers. As if that’s not enough, it also hosts squelch control that also reduces noise for increased clarity.
Off-road lovers like this radio because of its rugged design and solid feel. Such a design enables your CB radio to hold up to the beating for years to come. This unique design also makes it a popular choice in commercial and industrial circles.
Other noteworthy features included in this budget Uniden CB radio include built-in external speaker jack, superheterodyne circuit (w/phase-locked loop tech) for precise frequency control, and front-positioned mic with an extra-long cord.
4. Midland 1001LWX 40 Channel Mobile CB
Before you go on that trail ride, fit this Midland 1001LWX CB radio in your 4x4, and you won’t be disappointed! This is a compact, solid radio that easily fits in Jeeps and other offroaders with limited space. Given that the radio has features that are way above its price, it’s sure to give you real value for your money.
One of the favorite features for off-road enthusiasts on this radio is the NOAA weather radio. This provides you with real-time weather reports and notifications so that you can adjust your rides accordingly and avoid any hazards along the way. The built-in weather scan automatically searches for local weather channels to ensure you don’t miss a single weather alert or notification.
Not many radios in this Midland’s price range will offer you RF Gain function. And as you might already know, this is a helpful feature that blocks out the faint signals as a way of eliminating background noise for clearer conversations.
You’ll also appreciate the automatic noise limiter that boosts the reception for weaker signals, further enhancing the quality of your transmissions. Don’t forget this radio also has PA compatibility in case you want to speak to a crowd.
5. President Electronics BILL CB Radio
If your Jeep Club requires that you all have CB radios in your vehicles, then we suggest that you get this President Electronics BILL CB Radio for your Jeep today. It-s affordably priced and compact enough to fit in the center console or any other area in your 4x4.
Like all the models mentioned above, this radio comes with excellent features that ensure an incredible performance. It presents you with an automatic noise limiter, an advanced filter for motor noise, static, and other interferences for enhanced sound quality.
The automatic squelch control further minimizes the background noise to improve the quality of your speech for even smoother communication.
We also like that this unit has a channel scan to let you easily navigate through all the CB radio channels as you search for activity. The weather channel with alert is another convenient feature hosted in this CB radio; it gives you real-time weather updates and reports so that you can ride safely.
The radio’s overall build quality is excellent too. Most of its parts are made of metal, giving it a solid feel. This unit will doubtlessly hold up to the constant vibrations and bumpy terrains without breaking.
What To Look For Before Buying?
The most convenient and helpful features to have in a good CB radio for off-roading are outlined below:
Weather Channels – NOAA
One of the things you need to keep tabs when traveling is the weather patterns. Otherwise, going off-road without knowing what kind of weather conditions lies ahead of you can be quite inconvenient for you. To avoid this, we suggest that you look for a CB radio that comes with NOAA weather channel enabled. This will ensure you receive real-time weather reports and notifications from the NOAA weather broadcast frequencies, which stay active 24 hours.
Instant channels 9 & 19 access
Seasoned outdoor enthusiasts, truckers, etc., who use CB radios will agree that the two most popular channels for travelers in a CB radio include the emergency channel 9 and information channel 19. The most important thing to consider here is a radio that grants you instant access to these channels. You want to find a unit that lets you access these channels with the flip of a switch or a click of a button.
By now, you already know that these radios come with some kind of display. This is essential for providing you the channel number and other useful data pertaining to the operation of the radio. Reading this data can be a real hassle in low light conditions or at night, which explains why you should consider getting a radio whose display is backlit for easy reading.
The CB radio you’ll buy will allow you to access up to 40 stations, as per the FCC regulations. However, manually scanning all these stations when you’re behind the wheel can be inconvenient for you. For this reason, we advise you to look for a unit that has a channel scan function. This navigates through all the channels looking for activity, annealing you to search for people talking while your hands remain on the wheel.
Automatic noise limiter
The ANL (automatic noise limiter) feature helps improve the clarity of your speech when speaking with other CB users on the radio.
When you’re on a trail tour, background noise such as the vehicle and engine noise and their interferences tend to disrupt your voice when speaking on your radio mic. This can make it difficult for others to hear you. The ANL filter eliminates the background noise and static for crisp-clear conversations.
Not just the ANL function, a radio with squelch control function can also help increase the sound quality for even clearer communication experience. It does this by preventing you from listening to constant static by only activating the speaker when a transmission is received.
Public Address (PA) function
A unit with a public address function is also worth consideration. Such a model allows you to connect to a public address and amplify your voice. This will come in handy whenever you find yourself needing to address a large group of people out there. It can also help you in case you’re calling for help or trying to locate someone looking for help.
Other features you might consider:
Though they’re not essential, having these features in your CB radio for offroading can make it an even more convenient unit. These extra features include built-in SWR meter, RF Gain, roger beep, sound filters, external speaker compatibility, SSB capability, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I use an all in one unit for off roading?
Absolutely! You can use an all in one CB radio for offroading if you have a smaller car that doesn’t have enough space for a dash-mounted mobile CB radio. The main benefit of an all-in-one unit is that it has all its controls built in the handset, making it a space-efficient unit.
Q: What is the best off road CB antenna?
Choosing the right antenna for your CB radio is crucial as it (the antenna) largely determines the effective transmission range. The larger a CB antenna you get, the better the range it’ll offer you. Since you’ll be using the antenna off roader, you’d also want to look for one that comes with superior flexibility in addition to quality construction. This will help prevent it from potential breakage. It should also be designed to work in areas with low clearance.
Q: How far can my off-roading CB radio transmit?
In a CB radio, each Watt's worth of power output translates to a mile of transmission. Since these radios are legally allowed to output a maximum of 4 watts, it means they can transmit to an average of 4 miles.
Installing a CB radio on your offroader will help ensure you have a safe trail trip. With a great CB unit, you will get real-time weather updates, hazards alerts, traffic conditions, and even ask for help. In the above guide, we have just outlined the 5 all-time best CB radio for off roading. These units are a favorite for off-road enthusiasts across the planet. Install one of these CB radios in your 4xx today for a safer off roading experience.