Don’t get caught in the dark with these self-powered, solar crank emergency radios.
Indoor or outdoor, these all-weather radio flashlights provide you with exactly what you need during both emergency and non-emergency situations – light, radio and the means to charge your cell phone.
Everyone needs a flashlight and radio during an emergency, but we all know how frustrating it can be to run out of batteries. Nearly impossible to stock enough batteries for everything, especially if you have children taking them for toys. It plays out the same way every storm season – you search for the flashlights, only to discover the batteries are either dead or have been repurposed into something else.
Sitting in the dark is not a good look when it could have been prevented. Not judging – it has happened to everyone, including myself. I’ve went so far as to stock our storm room with multiple flashlights, only to find out the batteries were removed from each of them. This won’t happen if you buy a radio/flashlight with multiple power sources. One fails, you have other options.
Solar crank emergency radios have three power sources: AAA batteries, solar panel and a crank lever that provides full battery power. You can always crank to get more juice even in pitch black darkness. The crank lever and solar panel are able to power the radio, charger and lights. The AAA batteries are there for when you may not be able to regenerate enough power.
Related: The Best Solar Powered Outdoor Gear
Most solar crank emergency radios also have two light sources; flashlight and reading light that projects from the side of the device. You can use the second light for reading. The emergency radio broadcasts weather and news from AM/FM stations. You will always be able to know what is going on around you even if the electricity goes out.
Here are the Best Solar Crank Emergency Radios:
1. FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio
The FosPower emergency radio has everything you need and then some. Power it up with AAA batteries, solar panels and crank lever – This radio has enough juice to run a NOAA weather radio, LED flashlight, reading lamp and USB charger. The power bank will keep your devices powered such as a cell phone or small tablet or other device. Two light sources come in handy when you’re stuck in place and want to sit back and read a nice book while you wait for the lights to turn back on. Receive up to date emergency weather forecasts and emergency news from AM/FM stations. You never know what you will need, so it’s best to choose a device that will have you covered. The rugged exterior provides rain resistance and water resistance just in case you find yourself in inclement weather. Stuck in a tough spot and need rescuing? That’s what the SOS alarm is for. While it does not send a signal, you can be sure it will be heard for miles.
2. Running Snail Solar Crank Emergency Radio
A must-have for your bug-out bag or emergency gear. Equipped with a table lamp and LED flashlight: use it to illuminate dark rooms when the power goes out or emergency survival situations where you need a never-ending flashlight. Charge multiple ways with a solar panel, hand crank and 3 AAA batteries. Not included of course, so you will want to still stock up on batteries. You can also charge USB port devices such as smart phones and small tablets. Need more juice? Start cranking.
The 2000mAh rechargeable battery has the ability to power the radio for roughly 19 hours depending on use. That should be long enough for your emergency to either pass or at least give you direction on your next move.
3. Eton Ultimate Camping Weather Radio
One of the best emergency radios with solar and crank charger and phone charger that you can find. The Eton is a top of the line weather alert radio and it has Bluetooth! Rugged and tough, this radio not only has solar powered charging capabilities, but also Bluetooth technology that will allow you to play your favorite music while hunkered down. Receive emergency updates via AM/FM signals and stay abreast of what’s happening outside and the surrounding areas. Bright LED flashlight, red emergency beacon and a huge ambient light; this emergency radio has your needs covered. Easy to carry handle makes this emergency radio a necessity in your emergency planning.
4. Kaito KA500 Solar Power Crank Emergency Radio
Stay prepared for the worst possible scenario with this top of the line emergency radio from Kaito. A trusted name; Kaito makes some of the best emergency radios on the market. You never know exactly when a natural disaster will strike, you can at least be as prepared as you can be by adding this essential to your emergency gear. Stay juiced up with this 6-way powered emergency radio that has a hand-crank dynamo generator, solar panel, NiMH rechargeable battery pack, 5V mini USB and an AC/DC wall adapter/charger capabilities. It also takes AA batteries, which are easier to find than AAA. Charge your smart phone with this emergency radio. You won’t find a tougher emergency radio for the price. Designed from impact and water-resistant ABS material that can take a beating and still work.
5. Midland ER310 Emergency Radio
Keep rolling through any emergency situation with multiple power sources such as solar panel, rechargeable 2600 mAh battery and hand crank. The Midland ER310 Emergency Radio is perfect for anything life may throw at you. The solar panel allows you to recharge the emergency radio’s internal lithium ion battery just by sitting it out in the sun while you deal with other duties. If you find yourself in the dark – not a problem, the crank will recharge the emergency radio in no time. You don’t even need a power source. You can flash Morse code with the SOS flashlight beacon feature if you need to signal for help. NOAA Weather Alert feature will sound the alarm to let you know of sever weather heading your way and it will automatically scan over 7 weather band channels and lock onto the best one available to you at that time. Charge your devices such as cell phones and small tablets with the USB charging cable that is included with this wind-up emergency radio. Last, but not least, you have at your fingertips an ultrasonic dog whistle to alert search and rescue dog teams to your location. We hope you never have to use that feature, but it’s there if you do.
6. American Red Cross Emergency NOAA Weather Radio
We’ve all heard of the American Red Cross – now you can get the solar crank NOAA Emergency Weather Radio with the same name. Stay on your toes with the alert function that automatically broadcasts weather channels in your area and alerts you to incoming danger. Charge it multiple ways including; solar panel and hand crank generator. You can also charge your smart phone and other electronic devices with this solar crank weather radio.
7. Sangean MMR-88 Weather + Alert Emergency Radio
You can tell by looking at the Sangean solar crank emergency radio that it is built to last. Powered by hand-crank, solar panel or DC; you won’t have trouble finding a power source with this emergency radio. Easy to grip, easy to pack due to design and shape; you can stash multiples of these in your home, vehicle and bug-out bag just to be sure you won’t be left in the dark. Emergency weather radios aren’t just for weather, you can also listen to your favorite music while you wait. You never know how long you will have to stay-in-place during emergency weather or a pandemic – it’s good to have some form of entertainment.
What is an Emergency Solar Crank Radio?
You need to know what the weather is like during an event and emergency radios do just that. You don’t want to be stuck in an area or having to evacuate and be left in the dark, both literally and metaphorically. You need to know what’s coming your way in the form of dangerous weather, public announcements during an event and you need to be able to see, hence the flashlight function. Don’t rely solely on your cell phone being able to keep you up to date, cell phone batteries last for only so long. Emergency crank radios have USB ports that allow you to charge your phone by simply using the hand crank, solar panel or batteries.
Do I Need an Emergency Radio?
It’s almost a given that at some point in your life you will need to be able to monitor your surroundings and have a never-ending light supply. Environmental events are unpredictable to an extent and you never know when emergency will strike your area. You may be thinking you could just use your cell phone for news updates, and you could, but only for a short amount of time. Eventually your battery would die and you would be left with nothing. Same goes for flashlights. Many tactical flashlights have long lasting batteries, and you should have the best tactical flashlight you can find; however, you will want a good emergency radio as well.
Which Emergency Radio Should I Get?
There are numerous dependable models, but there are a few key features you will want to have. Most emergency radios can charge at least three ways: solar panels, crank handle and batteries. This gives you the best chance of having your radio work when you need it.
How Much do Emergency Radios Cost?
The cost of a quality emergency radio varies, but you can usually find a quality radio beginning around $30 and easily going upwards of $100. You get what you pay for and some designs are better and more efficient than others.
How Many Emergency Radios Should I Get?
It is suggested that you stash one in your vehicle and at least one in your home and/or bug-out bag. The more, the better when it comes to emergency and survival gear. You should be able to grab your gear and go or stay-in-place and have access to your gear.
Where Can I Purchase A Crank Emergency Radio?
You can find them in many electronics stores or online. You will have many more options available to you online versus going to a sporting goods store. You can have your emergency radio delivered straight to your door without having to go out in public. This is important during an event such as a pandemic wherein you “could” go out, but wouldn’t want to be exposed.
Here’s a Quick Recap of the 7 Solar Crank Emergency Radios of 2020:
- FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio
- Running Snail Solar Crank Emergency Radio
- Eton Ultimate Camping Weather Radio
- Kaito KA500 Solar Power Crank Emergency Radio
- Midland ER310 Emergency Radio
- American Red Cross Emergency NOAA Weather Radio
- Sangean MMR-88 Weather + Alert Emergency Radio