Top 5 Best Emergency Crank Radio Reviews: Survival Radios 2017

Emergency crank radios are a vital piece of equipment for any survivalist or nature enthusiast. An emergency radio can make a huge difference if you were to become lost or injured while out on a camping or hiking trip, and many radios offer solar charging, flashlights, and even the ability to charge a cellular phone, which can be useful if you are in the great outdoors and your cellular phone battery isn’t charged enough to make a call—particularly if you are looking to make an emergency call.

What to Look for in an Emergency Crank Radio

If you are traveling, especially in the winter months, keeping one of these radios in your vehicle can be useful to avoid traffic and weather hazards, as well as keep up to date with your AM/FM radio programs, such as the news.

Some of the radios feature a hand crank as a power supply and as power for an LED flashlight, which can come in handy if you are stuck somewhere and need light to see.

Several options include a battery bank, which can be charged before you leave the house, in order to power cellular phones or tablets should the need to do so arise. Other models feature solar chargers, which are great for backpackers and campers who plan on keeping the radio with them. Those putting together survival gear will appreciate the solar charged emergency radios; as they require no electricity to be powered.

Hand Crank Radio Reviews

In this article, I want to review five of the best emergency radios on the market today. These five popular emergency radios vary in price and features, but they all still serve similar purposes: they offer you a chance to receive news and weather updates while not requiring electricity to operate, making them great for gear bags and survival kits.

Each description will list the pros and cons of each radio, and a bulleted list at the end of each description will allow you to compare the radios, and will include the following:

  • Type: What the item is categorized as
  • Solar Charing: Whether or not the unit has a solar charging option
  • Battery Power: Whether or not the unit holds a battery charge
  • Size and Weight: How large the item is and how much it weighs

Esky Solar Hand Crank Self Powered Emergency Radio Review

hand crank radioAt $32, the Esky Solar Hand Crank Self Powered Emergency Radio is a great survival radio to add to your bug out bag. The lower cost makes it an affordable piece of equipment, and the functions of the radio are basic, yet important functions that one looks for in a radio, without extra bells and whistles.

The AM/FM/NOAA radio allows you to listen to stations in range and receive weather reports. Multiple charging options are available, including hand crank power, an internal battery that can be charged via the radio’s USB port, and a solar panel that allows use of the radio when in direct sunlight.

The radio’s flashlight, which is a super bright LED light, is helpful in the dark or poorly lit conditions, and the USB port can also be used to power up other USB devices in case of power drain, including cellular phones.

The small size of this radio and flashlight make it a lightweight and portable device, and can even be stored in a backpack purse, making it perfect to take with you on all of your travels.

  • Type: AM/FM Radio
  • Solar Charging: Yes
  • Battery Power: Yes
  • Size and Weight: Size: 5.9 x 3.1 x 2.5 inches, Weight: 9.6 ounces


Kaito KA500 5-Way Solar Emergency Radio Review

eton hand crank radioThe Kaito KA500 5-Way Solar Emergency Radio costs $50, making it a bit pricey for some, but aside from the attractive exterior, which comes in five different colors (black, blue, green, red, and yellow), it has a multitude of features that make it a worthwhile investment for the serious survivalist.

If used under direct sunlight, the tilting solar panel will absorb the energy from the sun, powering the radio with ease. However, for those extremely cloudy or rainy days, or to use the radio at night, you can rely on the battery power, which would be 3 AA batteries, or use the hand crank feature to power the radio.

The radio can also be charged by using the USB port. Other features of this radio include a powerful 5 LED light reading light, which is great to use when lighting conditions are poor. There is also an incredibly bright LED light on the side that is great for use as a flashlight, and can also be used as a flashing red emergency signal.

  • Type: AM/FM Radio
  • Solar Charging: Yes
  • Battery Power: Yes
  • Size and Weight: Size: 10.5 x 5.8 x 3.2 inches, Weight: 1.8 pounds

American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Crank Emergency Radio Review

hand crank radio reviesThe American Red Cross has a brand name that will reassure many that they are getting a high quality product, justifying the $47 price tag. The small, portable device packs a lot of power…including the ability to use the hand crank on the front of the radio to generate enough power to listen to the radio or use the powerful and bright LED flashlight and emergency beacon feature.

The radio receives AM and FM radio frequencies, as well as all seven of the NOAA weather bands. The Alert function of the radio allows you to receive weather alerts, making it an excellent weather alert radio.

Rechargeable batteries, the ability to use standard AA batteries, a hand crank, and solar panel offer you different ways to power your radio, and you can even use the power to help power other devices, such as a cellular phone. An auxiliary port allows you to connect an mp3 player to your radio so that you can enjoy your favorite music while you are out.

  • Type: AM/FM Radio
  • Solar Charging: Yes
  • Battery Power: Yes
  • Size and Weight: Size: 6.9 x 5.8 x 2.6 inches, Weight: 1.3 pounds

iRonsnow IS-088 Dynamo Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio Review

best weather radioA handy, compact device, the iRonsnow IS-088 Dynamo Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio is a great tool to have with you in your emergency gear bag, the back of your car or truck, and in your home.

At $20, the radio comes in both red and black, and features a hand crank that when turned for one minute, offers five minutes of radio playback, over thirty minutes of flashlight use with the powerful, three LED light flashlight, and five minutes of cell phone talk time.

The radio can be charged in several ways, including the hand crank, by using the solar charging panel located on the unit, or by USB. The lightweight radio is small and compact, making it incredibly portable, and the low price tag makes it possible to have several for various locations in your home and vehicle.

  • Type: AM/FM Radio
  • Solar Charging: Yes
  • Battery Power: Yes
  • Size and Weight: Size: 1.6 x 5 x 2.4 in, Weight: 7.2 ounces

Midland ER200 Emergency AM/FM Weather Radio Review

best emergency radios Another great option for emergency radios, the Midland ER200 Emergency AM FM Weather Radio costs about $35. However, the flashlight has multiple functions that can come in handy during an emergency situation or every day use.

This wind up radio has a hand crank, that allows you to power the radio in case of an emergency or power outage, and the solar panel charger allows you to recharge the lithium battery or use the radio in direct sunlight.

You can also use the USB cable to recharge the lithium battery, or use it to power other devices, such as a cellular phone, giving you the chance to make emergency phone calls if necessary.

The extremely bright flashlight has three different modes: low, high, and a flashing beacon that flashes SOS in Morse code. The device has a large LCD display that is backlit for ease of use at night, as well as a digital clock and a headphone jack so that you can listen while others are sleeping or when you have a need to be quiet.

  • Type: AM/FM Radio
  • Solar Charging: Yes
  • Battery Power: Yes
  • Size and Weight: Size: 9 x 2.8 x 6.5 inches, Weight: 1 pound

My Vote for the Best Hand Crank Radio

best weather alert radioMany of these radios have almost the same features, and some have features that I don’t believe to be completely necessary, considering the higher price tags on those models.

The best survival radio has plenty of charging options, such as a hand crank, battery power, solar charging, as well as the ability to charge other devices using the USB port.

After weighing the options, I believe that the best choice would be the Esky Solar Hand Crank Self Powered Emergency Radio.

The Esky Solar Hand Crank Self Powered Emergency Radio has all of the great features of the other radios, but without unnecessary bells and whistles that probably won’t get used often. The low price tag on the radio allows you to purchase more than one to keep in the car, in your gear bag, or in your home, and the lightweight and compact design makes it ultra portable. The bright flashlight and charging options give the radio appeal, as it has all of the features you would hope for.

That is my vote for best crank radio both in use and for the money.