Rocky Talkie Review: The Best Walkie Talkies for Skiers and Snowboarders

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Growing up before cell phones, walkie-talkies went with us on every family ski trip.  They worked great in some areas and horrible in others, but they were the best option we had and typically served us okay in emergency situations.  While cell phones have become omnipresent, it’s easy to forget that they don’t work well in many adventure situations.  Thankfully, the technology in Rocky Talkies rugged radios are filling the gaps where cell phones don’t work well and where traditional walkie-talkies fall short.  

rocky talkie review for skiing

What Makes Rocky Talkies Different from Regular Walkie Talkies?

I’ve used a lot of walkie-talkies in my life and most of them are essentially the same.  They have similar controls, channels, range, and the only real thing that varied was battery life.

Rocky Talkies look like a regular walkie-talkie, but they’re so much better.  They are specifically designed for outdoor adventures which means that they’ll perform their best regardless of the weather, temperature, or anything else you can think of.  Designed in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, they were specifically created for climbers and skiers, so it’s no wonder that they’re our family go-to for ski days.  Battery life isn’t even something that we ever even worry about with Rocky Talkies since the batteries last so long.  Cold doesn’t really effect them either.  

Basically, Rocky Talkies are design to withstand the abuse and rigor of outdoor adventures, so you can focus on communicating with each other, not babying your radio!  

What We LOVE About Rocky Talkies

Rocky Talkies are intentionally designed with lots of great features that make them some of the best 2-way-radios on the market.  Here are the features that we think make them a fantastic option for adventurous families:

rocky talkie review for skiing

Battery Life:  With other walkie-talkies, battery life was one of the most limiting factors to using them.  Even on a full charge, many couldn’t last an entire ski day.  If it was cold, the battery life was even shorter.  With our Rocky Talkies, we’ve used them for 6 full ski days before we charged them and don’t have to worry about the cold zapping the batteries (and I’m guessing they could have gone another day or two).  This means that we can essentially throw them in our ski bag at the end of the day, and just forget about them until we’re on the mountain the next time.  Truthfully, this is such a game-changer for us.  Previously, we’d take our walkie-talkies out of our ski bag, put them away, and forget to charge them.  When we’d go to pack up our ski gear, we’d be stuck with dead walkie-talkies that we couldn’t use.  For families, this is just one less thing to worry about that makes your ski day easier.  Hands down my favorite feature.  

Carribenear Tethers:  While they can be tricky to get on, the tethers on the Rocky Talkies are awesome.  It allows us to clip it on a backpack, or my kids prefer to just tucking it in a chest pocket so they can grab it easily.  The tether means that we don’t have to worry about losing one, or it slipping out of someones hands on a chairlift.  The tether is remarkably strong too – our youngest gets lazy about putting it back in his pocket and has skied several runs with his Rocky Talkie just dangling by the tether.  Honestly, not really what it’s meant for, but with kids, it’s just so nice to not have to worry about little details, knowing the gear can really stand up to anything. 

rocky talkie review for skiing
The tether easily clips to her jacket pocket so she ca slide the Rocky Talkie inside the pocket, but not have to worry about losing it ever

Durability: My kids are hard on just about everything, and electronics are no exception.  These have been dropped spilled on, and thrown around and they aren’t showing any wear yet, which helps us know that they’re a gear investment that’s going to last.  

Long Mountain Range:  Our home ski mountain is Park City, which is the largest ski resort in the United States.  We have no problems staying in contact when we’re on opposite sides of the resort.  While the range is farther when it’s not in the mountains, we primarily use Rocky Talkies when we’re on outdoor adventures and mountains or canyons are almost always involved!

rocky talkie review for skiing

What Conditions Are Rocky Talkies Best For?

Rocky Talkies work great for everyone.  They work just as easily for young kids as they do for adults.  The real secret is WHERE are Rocky Talkies best for…basically everywhere.  Our family spends a lot of time in the mountains where cell service is spotty at best.  They’re incredible for using in the mountains and have much better over-mountain reception than other walkie-talkies we’ve used. 

This is really important to us since we have a big family and when we’re out on adventures we usually split up into 2 groups.  Knowing that we can always get in touch with each other, regardless of the terrain, has saved us over and over again, AND given our kids a lot more freedom on the mountain since we know we can always reach them.  

rocky talkie review for skiing

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Things We Don’t Love About Rocky Talkies

The only thing that we don’t love about Rocky Talkies is also something that we love – the clip on system.  It’s ideal for using with a backpack, on your strap, but it can be a little bit tricky if you don’t have a backpack.  None of my kids ski with a backpack, so it took some problem solving to figure this out. 

What we settled on is that the end of the tether clipped really well onto the zipper of my kids Akova jackets, and then we could just stash it in their chest pocket for easy access.  The only jacket it didn’t work well with was my 6-year-olds, since his coat has smaller pockets.  It fits, but it’s tight (which also explains why he leaves it dangling while he’s skiing).  It’s not a major issue, because at age 6, he’s never skiing alone, but it is worth noting.  We also realized that our kids could push the call button through their coat, and since the chest pocket was close enough to their mouth, they could just leave the Rocky Talkie in their pocket while they used it.  

rocky talkie review for skiing
This is how we have our kids carry the Rocky Talkies while skiing. The tightest fit is here in our 6-year-olds jacket pocket (he needs help squishing it in). With larger jackets, we had no problems getting it to fit.

Privacy Codes Keep Your Conversations Private

If you’ve used walkie-talkies on the ski hill, you’ve undoubtedly been part of other group’s conversations or had a stranger respond to you.  It’s annoying at best.  And I pity the strangers who overhear on their radios my kids’ jokes that just couldn’t wait to be told!  With Rocky Talkies, you not only get the 22 regular channels that most other radios have, but you’ll also have access to over 100 more privacy codes so you can keep your family conversations just to your family, with these great subchannel options. These are especially useful in areas where there are other radio users and it’s hard to find an open channel. These codes filter incoming transmissions so you only hear the chatter from the radios with the same privacy code as you!

rocky talkie review for skiing

Who Are Rocky Talkies Best For?

Rocky Talkies are fantastic for all ages.  We especially love them for kids who don’t have a cell phone or for families who need to split up and still stay in touch when they don’t have reliable cell service.  We’ve used ours with our kids from ages 6-16 and love that they’re super simple to use.  In fact, when we first started using them, I handed them over to my 9-year-old and told him to set them up and figure them out.  2 minutes later, he had them set up, channels programmed and was teaching the rest of the family how to use them.  They really are easy to use!

rocky talkie review for skiing

Are Rocky Talkies Worth The Money?

My only regret about Rocky Talkies is that we didn’t discover them sooner.  We’ve had at least 6 sets of 2-way radios in the last decade or so, and none of them have been great.  We’ve had them stop working, get run over and ruined by a bike, dropped, and lost.  While Rocky Talkies are expensive, I actually would have saved money in the long run if we had just gotten one pair of these.  Best of all, since I can clip them onto my kids gear, I don’t have to worry much about the kids losing them, or putting it down somewhere along a trail and leaving it there.  Rocky Talkies are an investment, but one that you’ll get a great return on.  

Are Rocky Talkies or Cell Phones Better for Skiing?

Truthfully, we prefer Rocky Talkies over cell phones for skiing.  The battery life of our Rocky Talkies is so much better than a cell phone, and they’re also easier to use.  To prevent our phone battery from dying, I have to keep it in an inside pocket, so whenever anyone calls, I have to unzip my coat and take off my gloves just to answer it.  Usually, it’s just my kids telling me where they’re planning to ski.  A quick call on a Rocky Talkie is SO MUCH EASIER, doesn’t require me to unzip my coat, and I can keep my gloves on.  We really prefer Rocky Talkies over cell phones on the ski hill!

Can I Use Rocky Talkies with Gloves On?

Absolutely YES!  We never take our gloves or mittens off to use our Rocky Talkies.  We can easily push the call button with gloves on, AND through the fabric of a coat. 

Written by Jessica Averett

Hi, I'm Jessica! After meeting my husband on a chairlift, we now live in the mountains of Utah with our 5 kids. As a former ski instructor and mom, I'm here to help you make your family ski trips as easy, and FUN, as possible!