The 7 Best Portable Outdoor Radios


Over the last few years, audio technology in the field of portable speakers and headphones has advanced in rapid leaps.  Bluetooth speakers have become more rugged and sport higher waterproof ratings, making it possible to take your music wherever you go.  It is not surprising to see those technological and design advances spill over into AM/FM radio devices.  Our increasingly more mobile and outdoor, active lifestyles made the advent of outdoor radios almost inevitable.

The 7 Best Portable Outdoor Radios 1
Monster Nomad Outdoor Radio

The Monster Roam 2 is an outdoor radio portable Bluetooth speaker combination. It sports an IP67 waterproof rating, 30 W drivers, and 20 hr playback time.

Monster NOMAD Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Three Types of Outdoor Radios

There are some high-quality, rugged outdoor radio players available on the market today, but the sector has developed into 3 main categories.  If you are looking for an outdoor radio, chances are you have a very specific reason for buying it associated with its intended use. You are most likely looking for one of 3 types of outdoor radios.

Emergency Radios

Every Day Radios

Best for the beach, the yard and everyday.

Jobsite Radios

Emergency Radios

Best for emergencies, and camping.

Portable Radios

Jobsite Radios

Best for use in factories, and on construction sites.

The Best Outdoor Radios

1. Monster NOMAD Portable Bluetooth Speaker and Radio

Monster Outdoor Radio
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Output: 30 W
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs
  • Size: 15.00 x 8.00 x 11.00 in

Monster’s NOMAD is a powerful, 30-watt outdoor speaker that boasts supreme weather-resistant properties. The reason why we’ve labeled it as our best long-play outdoor speaker is due to its 30 hours of battery life. This will ensure that you can have your fun outdoor for more than an entire day without stopping.

NOMAD is supplied with 30-watts of power, making it quite strong. It’s fitted with the latest Bluetooth feature, and it’s characterized by IPX4 water-resistant rating. All in all, this outdoor radio configuration might be a bit more expensive than your average radio, but it’s definitely worth the cash.


  • IPX4 Weatherproof
  • 30 hr Battery Life
  • Mic and Guitar Ready


  • Some bass distortion at higher volume
  • Playback controls require app

2. Dolphin LX-20 Radio and Bluetooth Speaker

Dolphin Outdoor Radio
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Output: 30 W
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Size: 14 x 6.9 x 5.5 in

The Dolphin LX-20 is a great Bluetooth speaker FM radio combination if you’re looking for a cool rugged device to take to the beach or anywhere outdoors for that matter.  The design paradigm again follows the traditional “boombox” feel and 2x 15-watt speakers deliver an impactful sound, making this outdoor radio a worthy addition to our list.

The Dolphin sports a 3000 mAh battery that will deliver 10 hrs of playtime at medium volume.  Enough for a day at the beach.  There’s a useful battery level indicator.

Besides the AM/FM functionality, the Dolphin LX-20 is a competent Bluetooth speaker, equipped with the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology so you can stream music from your phone or any other compatible device.  One of the things we like about this outdoor radio is the variety of inputs and connection options.  There are also USB and Aux inputs as well as a slot for an SD card, something that is becoming rarer nowadays but we love the extra flexibility.

The dolphin is equipped with WaveSync technology, allowing you to pair 2 speakers together for when you really need to fill a space with sound.  The tube design and sleek handle make it easy to haul around, and the IPX5 water-resistant rating means you can take it to the beach or camping without fear of damaging your new investment.


  • IPX5 Weatherproof
  • Sleek Design
  • Great Sound


  • Some lack of clarity in the highs

3. ION Audio Tailgater Express Speaker and Radio

ION Audio Tailgater Express
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Output: 20 W
  • Weight: 5.8 oz
  • Size: 7.80 x 8.07 x 8.46 in

Also available from Walmart

ION Audio’s Tailgater Express is absolutely the best compact outdoor radio on the market. In fact, it was the #1 best-selling unpowered speaker cabinet for a time. By simply looking at it, you can come to a safe conclusion why it’s so practical – it’s incredibly small and quite lightweight (weighing only 6 pounds).

The battery life of the ION Tailgater Express tailgate speaker is advertised to provide 30 hours of use, but real-world application suggests this number is quite heavily over-stated. It comes with a 1/8″ cable accessory, and it’s powered with 20 Watts. This magnificent outdoor speaker also comes equipped with a Bluetooth feature, with an effective range of 100 feet.

The built-in radio features 10 preset controls, and you can use the Tailgater express in virtually any outdoor situation – camping, hiking, etc. This unit has been declared IPX4 Water-Resistant, but it’s also NFC compatible.

In conclusion, Ion Tailgater Express is incredibly affordable, powerful, versatile, and very compact. It’s obvious why it holds a massive value for the cash.


  • Affordable
  • Great Sound
  • Portability


  • Battery life

4. Kaito KA500 Weather Alert Radio

Kaito KA500 Outdoor Radio
  • Power Sources: 6
  • Battery: 600 mAh
  • Weight: 22.4 oz
  • Size: 8.25 X 5 X 2.25 in

Also available from Walmart

Kaito prides itself on the fact that it has been a supplier of emergency outdoor radios to the State Department, the United States Army, the United Nations, the American Red Cross, and other government agencies and NGOs for their humanitarian relief efforts for many years.  When you take a closer look at this rugged versatile outdoor radio it’s easy to see why.

The Kaito KA500 can be powered in 6 ways.  Being able to keep your radio powered and connected during an emergency is the single most important requirement.  Without power, it turns into a doorstop.  The Kaito has a hand crank generator, flip-up solar panel, a compartment for 3 AA batteries, 5V USB input, 5V AC/DC input with a wall power adapter, and a built-in 600 mAh NiMH replaceable and rechargeable battery pack. The battery doubles as a power bank for your other USB charging devices.

The Kaito comes with 7 pre-programmed and numbered weather channels and tuning to any other frequency is easy and the controls are extremely accurate.  We love the “alert” mode on this outdoor radio that will when set, automatically switch the device on when it receives an alert signal from any NOAA weather broadcast.

As with most other emergency radios, this one also includes a built-in flashlight, reading light, and LED S.O.S. beacon.


  • Rugged and Durable
  • 6 Charging Options
  • Pre-Programmed Weather Stations


  • Solar charging is slow

5. RunningSnail MD-088P Emergency Outdoor Radio

RunningSnail Emergency Outdoor Radio
  • Power Sources: 3
  • Battery: 2000 mAh
  • Weight: 10.72 oz
  • Size: 5.76 x 2.42 x 3.03 in

Also available on Walmart

The RunningSnail MD-088P emergency radio is an upgrade of the ever-popular MD-088s model by the same company.  The new version has a slightly larger body but more importantly, the battery has been upgraded to a 2000mAh battery from the previous 1000mAh version.  The solar panels are slightly larger, and they have added battery level indicators (which is really useful). 

Other than that, RunningSnail had not changed much from the original designs and that’s a good thing.  This was already a great product and these improvements are actual improvements while keeping the features that make this one of the best outdoor radios available today.

AM/FM and NOAA weather reception are crisp and clear and you can keep track of your local hazard and weather warnings like pending storms or hurricanes.

This outdoor radio includes a 1W LED flashlight that is not the brightest flashlight you’ll have but is more than sufficient for emergency situations.  A dedicated SOS button will switch on a flashing red light with low power consumption to alert potential searchers or rescue teams of your location.

The RunningSnail MD-088P outdoor radio can be charged either via USB cable, hand crank, or solar panels.  The radio can double as a power bank to charge your phone or other devices in case of an emergency.


  • 2000 mAh Battery
  • Dedicated SOS Button
  • Crisp Reception


  • Build Quality

6. FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio

FosPower Emergency Radio
  • Power Sources: 3
  • Battery: 2000 mAh
  • Weight: 10.9 oz
  • Size: 6.2 x 2.9 x 2.1 in

Also available from Walmart

The FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio is pretty similar to other emergency outdoor radios in this niche.  It has a 2000mAh power bank that powers the radio but can also recharge phones, tablets, flashlights, or other devices.  The battery can be charged via USB, built-in solar panels, or a hand-crank.  The radio can also be powered with AAA batteries.

The FosPower receiver will reliably connect you to AM/FM stations in the area or emergency NOAA weather forecasts and hazard alerts. Finally, the FosPower has 2 light modes a 1W flashlight for use in and around your base and a low-power 4 LED reading light. 

This is a great compact emergency radio to take camping or just keep around the house if you live in hurricane or tornado areas.


  • Compact and Portable
  • Low Power Reading Light


  • No Battery Charge Indicator

7. DEWALT DCR018 Compact Jobsite Radio

 DEWALT Jobsite Radio
  • Power: Battery Packs, AC/DC
  • Output: 20 W
  • Weight: 7.1 lbs
  • Size: 10 x 7.4 x 10.75 in

The DEWALT DCR018 Compact Jobsite Radio is one of the finest and most popular jobsite radios currently on the market.  DEWALT is renowned for its high-quality and well-engineered power tools and their attempt at a job site radio is no different.  If you already use DEWALT as your primary tool brand, then this will come as no surprise to you and this radio will be completely at home amongst the rest of your stuff on the back of your pickup.  

The DEWALT job site radio is designed to utilize the standard battery packs from their power tool range.  These are available in 12V MAX, 18V, and 20V MAX.  If you’re not a DEWALT tool owner, you can still enjoy this radio as it can also be powered via AC/DC.

As expected this is a rugged device, designed to survive and sound great on a construction site.  The entire radio is encased in a heavy-duty outer shell with a roll cage that protects it from the typical hazards associated with being out in the open on a building project. 

You can charge your DEWALT power-packs while they are on your radio via a USB or AC wall outlet. There’s also a 3.5mm Aux input to connect other digital audio devices.

The DEWALT DCR018 is a great-looking jobsite radio that will be more than comfortable on your next campsite as well!


  • High-Quality Product
  • Tough and Durable
  • Easy to
  • Operate


  • Lacks Some Audio Clarity

A Deeper Look At The Types Of Outdoor Radios

Everyday portable outdoor radios, for lack of a better term, are devices that are best suited for use on the beach or around the yard.  These are, more often than not, portable Bluetooth speakers that double as FM radios.  While including an FM or AM receiver into a portable speaker increase the cost and is therefore often left out, there are a fair number of manufacturers who still see the benefit of including this feature into their designs, effectively turning the speaker into an outdoor radio with all the benefits of a Bluetooth speaker.

Our selection of “everyday” outdoor radios is targeted at those products that deliver great sound and crisp AM/FM reception and includes some of the features that you’d expect to see in an everyday-use music device.  These are intended to be used outside, so we’re looking for radios with some level of water resistance to enable them to deal with accidental or intentional water splashes and exposure to the elements.  We’ve picked a few that look cool and sleek and will deliver on all these requirements. 

Emergency radios are probably the closest to a true “outdoor radio” in that their purpose is very much to provide you with a radio to take into the outdoors.  These serve not only as a source of entertainment on your camping adventures but are made to function as a way of staying connected with the outside world, often outside cell phone coverage areas, in case of an emergency.  Many of these radios have various power sources, which include a combination of long-life batteries, a hand crank to recharge the batteries manually, and solar panels to charge via sunlight when available.

Jobsite radios are rugged, almost indestructible radios designed specifically to enable builders and construction workers to enjoy their favorite radio stations while on the job.  Many of these are from well-known power-tool brands as an extension of their product offering and leverage existing technologies like battery power-packs used in other tools from the same brand.  They are often designed with large control buttons and “roll-cage” type frames to not only protect them but also make them easy to pick up and move around with gloved hands.

The 7 Best Portable Outdoor Radios 1
Monster Nomad Outdoor Radio

The Monster Roam 2 is an outdoor radio portable Bluetooth speaker combination. It sports an IP67 waterproof rating, 30 W drivers, and 20 hr playback time.

Monster NOMAD Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Photo of author

Author: Oliver Campbell

Oliver is an audiophile at heart who has been writing for Outeraudio and other related publications for almost a decade. He loves gadgets, street-cafes, doing a bit of DJing by invitation, and playing the saxophone whenever he has the opportunity.

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1 thought on “The 7 Best Portable Outdoor Radios”

  1. I am searching for the portable radio. Since we are looking for a beach radio, it should be effortless to carry, comes in a handy size, and doesn’t take up much space. Bulky units are not ideal for the beach.


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