Anyone who has been out in the wilderness can probably tell you how important having a reliable radio can be. This is especially true in a survival situation where knowing the weather and where people may be searching for you can be a lifesaver.
In this review, we will be looking at the Kaito Voyager KA500 emergency radio to give you an excellent example of one of these handy devices. We will cover all the features, benefits, and even drawbacks, showing you all you need to know to decide whether it’s right for you.
Overview Of Kaito Voyager Emergency Radio
The Kaito KA500 emergency radio is a radio designed with tough situations in mind. If you’re out camping or in an emergency scenario where power is scarce, the radio has a few methods of keeping it running without having to rely on traditional electricity methods.
We will cover these in more detail throughout this Kaito Voyager KA500 review. The radio can also reach various useful frequencies, and that is another aspect we will delve into shortly. Basically, it’s a really reliable radio that can be an immensely valuable tool in survival situations.
Importance of having a powered emergency multi-band weather radio
Earlier in the review, we briefly mentioned how important having a radio can be. For example, the weather can change quickly and drastically. You may wake up to sunshine and think it would be a good day to press on with your journey.
Having a radio may show you that heavy rain will hit in the afternoon, so you know that you need to set up your tent before then. It can also be vital for keeping up to date on emergency broadcasts or knowing where rescue efforts are taking place.
We have previously looked at 5 essentials you should always have in your car for emergencies so you can see what else we would recommend along with a weather radio.
AM/FM radio with built-in speaker and headphone jack
As you might expect, the Kaito Voyager KA500 has both AM and FM capabilities, so it means you won’t be left in the dark if your area uses a specific frequency. There is also a headphone jack included. This may seem like a small detail, but you may be in a situation where there is dangerous wildlife about.
In this case, you can use your headphones to listen to broadcasts without bringing attention to yourself.
NOAA weather band for emergency alerts
If you need to keep up to date with weather broadcasts and alerts, the radio can tune into NOAA (or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) bands so that you can know what kinds of weather are in store for you. This can be incredibly important if drastic weather could impact your survival.
Solar panel and hand crank for recharging (+Battery & plug)
If you’re out in the woods, you won’t find any outlets lying around, but luckily the KA500 has you covered with a few ways to power it. In an emergency, you can use the included crank to generate power for the radio.
If there is decent sunshine, you can also use solar panel for power. Both of these methods are meant for emergencies. They will merely power the radio and not charge it.
The radio can be charged using an outlet or USB connection, plus you can use 2 AA batteries to power it.
Multiple light modes, including white LED, red LED, and UV
Another handy feature of the Kaito KA500 is that it has various light modes for different scenarios. These include a bright LED flashlight that can help you see at night. A milder UV light is handy for reading your map or even a book if you want to pass the time.
Finally, a red LED light is included that you can use as a signal in emergencies.
75+ Mile Range
The radio also has an impressive 75+ mile range, meaning it will be unlikely that you will struggle to pick up a signal in most circumstances.
Cell charger w/ USB & Micro USB
Provided the radio is fully charged via an outlet, you will also be able to charge mobile phones and other small devices in an emergency. It’s worth noting again that the crank and solar panels will not be able to generate power for charging additional electronics.
Durable, water-resistant construction
Survival situations are rarely mild, so you can’t have your radio fail you because of bad weather. Luckily, the Kaito KA500 is made of durable materials with a weather-resistant design, so it should be reliable even in harsh weather conditions.
It should be noted that the radio is not waterproof, so you should definitely avoid submerging it in water.
Design and Build
When you have to pack only the essentials, you need to take up as little space as possible. The KA500 has been designed with this in mind, as it has a compact design. The dimensions of the radio are 8 x 5 x 2.6 inches, and it weighs 1.8 lbs. This means it will fit into most people’s gear without taking up too much space.
The design is simple yet hardy, and it has only what it needs with no frills or extras. The solar panel and crank fold out but can be stowed during transport.
Ease Of Use
As we mentioned previously, the KA500 radio has a simple, no-nonsense design. Everything included provides a vital function, which makes it easy to use. There are 3 dials for tuning and power purposes along with labeled lights to indicate when it is charging.
The radio has been designed to make it easy to use so you won’t need to scour an instruction manual in a time of need.
Reliability and Performance
In this Kaito Voyager KA500 review, we have seen some of the many features it has on offer. You have AM/FM tuning along with NOAA band capabilities. There are also various charging options and lights included, all done in a durable design format.
Kaito KA500 reviews on the Survival Frog website are mostly positive with a 4.5-star rating out of 119 reviews. Most reviews speak about great reliability and features, while a few people did have complaints about coverage in their area.
Overall, with the features and reliability of this radio, it should be perfect for most people’s needs.
Pros And Cons
When it comes to the pros and cons of this radio, the positives do outweigh the negatives. As for the positives, you have a light, compact device that has different features.
It has what you expect, such as being able to tune into various frequencies, but there are also extra features such as the different lights and the ability to charge your phone.
The only negatives we can find are that the alternative methods of charging such as solar power and crank are only useful to power the radio. It would be nice if these methods could charge the battery, but that would probably add to the weight and price.
It is worth keeping in mind that you will need batteries or a charging station before you head out. The radio is also not totally waterproof, so care should be taken if you will be wading through rivers or other similar scenarios.
Is it worth having a weather radio?
We think it is definitely important to have a weather radio, whether you plan on camping out a lot or want to be prepared for extreme emergency scenarios.
What’s the difference between a weather radio and a regular radio?
The main difference is that a weather radio is designed to tune into the NOAA band for emergency weather updates and broadcasts, whereas a regular radio can only tune into AM or FM frequencies.
How To Set NOAA Radio
To set the NOAA radio, you should look up the correct frequency for your area and make sure the radio is in the right setting for this feature.
Can you charge the Kaito Voyager emergency radio using the crank while the radio is on?
The crank is intended as an emergency powering method to power the radio, as it takes a lot of effort to actually charge during this method. The crank can be used to play the radio if need be.
Overall, we think the Kaito Voyager KA500 is an excellent choice for a reliable weather radio. It may not have many fancy bells and whistles, but it has everything you need for an emergency radio for camping or survival situations.