The pair that Motorola provided for us to review is top of the line, loaded with almost every feature you could want. The most obvious and in my opinion, the best overall feature is the weatherproof case.
Motorola claims these radios will float in water and will survive a dip in up to three feet of water. That feature alone is worth the higher than average cost ($99 MSRP). We have ruined a handful of radios after leaving them out in the yard during rainstorms. These units would manage that with ease.
The radios are larges than many but not unwieldy. They come with detachable belt clips, a loop to connect a lanyard, and a rather large, semi-flexible rubber antenna. A benefit to the large size is that they take AA vs AAA alkaline cells. This permits longer run time and less of a risk of depleting power in the middle of an activity. The combo pack provided for testing included rechargeable batteries and a desktop, drop in charger. I only tested with the included rechargeable and thus can’t comment on run time vs AA cells. We managed to get a full day of intermittent use from the pair while on an overnight camping trip. The units have separate HI and LO power push to talk buttons. In theory, using the LO PTT button should allow for longer run time. Again, we didn’t test the impact of this. Please remember that terrain, channel setting, and other factors will all impact overall run time.
The units are equipped with NOAA weather button to grab a fast local weather forecast. The display screen is backlight to view in low light and all there is an included LED flashlight. This small light is bright enough to see inside a dark tent or dig through a pack.
The supplied case is bright yellow and can be changed if accessory covers are purchased.
You can also use Motorola accessories such as microphones and chargers to enhance the functionality of the units.
While the cost is higher than other units on the market I believe these units are a strong value because they are weatherproof. You can take them outdoors and near the water with no worry of damage. Again, they even float so rafters and boaters can feel comfortable packing these.
WATERPROOF – SURVIVES WATER DUNKS AND HEAVY DOWNPOURS
- Fishing, kayaking, swimming or simply heading for a great day of fun with family or friends near the water? The Motorola MS350 2-Way waterproof radio is a must-have to ensure you have a reliable means of communication under harsh weather conditions. Don’t worry about transmission failure when it makes contact with water. Its IP-67 standard withstands constant submersion of up to 1m for 30 minutes and repels the heaviest of rain droplets.
IT FLOATS – MAKES FOR EASY RECOVERY
- If your MS350 radio happens to fall into the water, don’t despair, the radio floats and is visible on the water surface. Once recovered, use your MS350 radio to keep talking and listening.
HEADSET CONNECTOR – USE WITH YOUR FAVORITE MOTOROLA AUDIO ACCESSORIES
- Hands-free devices provide you with many advantages, the main ones being discreet communication, sound enhancement in noisy environments, and the ability to multitask.
ERGONOMIC DESIGN – FUNCTIONAL BUT SLEEK
- Its hourglass shape fits snugly into the palms of your hands reducing fatigue and discomfort. The non-slip ridges, on its base housing, eliminate annoying hand slips.
REPEATER FUNCTION – IMPROVES YOUR COVERAGE BEYOND THE HORIZON
- Maximize your camping, sporting, or hunting experience by improving your radio transmission coverage when talking to family or group members who sometimes wander far beyond the line of sight. Thanks to the built-in repeater channels, the MS350 works well with a local repeater station to carry your signal further. Take advantage of this value-added feature by switching to GMRS channels 15R-22R, but don’t forget you’ll need a GMRS license and an accessible repeater station to take advantage of this unique feature.
NOAA WEATHER CHANNELS
- Want to keep in touch with changing weather conditions during your family camping adventure? No need to stop the fun — weather alerts will provide your group with warnings of incoming storms or dangerous conditions. And, by tuning in to one of 7 NOAA channels (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) on your MS350, you will always know what to pack with continuous local and regional weather broadcasting.