A CB Radio is one of the core pieces of Offroading equipment. A CB can help you communicate with your fellow Offroaders in close-proximity during a recovery situation or when miles away and deciding on where to setup camp for the night.
That’s why, in this article, we’ll help you be better prepared for what lies beyond by suggesting you the five best CB radios that you can install on your vehicle.
1. Uniden BEARCAT CB Radio
The Uniden BEARCAT 980SSB CB Radio with Weather Band 7 is the ultimate jack of all trades taking the top spot.
As an enhanced version of Uniden PRO510XL, its noise cancellation design completely pacifies background disturbances that can get in the way of proper communication.
Another excellent feature includes radio diagnostics that gives you a quick yet in-depth analysis of its overall performance output.
Its color-changing display and adjustable backlighting also boost readability and help you avoid poor vision.
2. Uniden CB Radio
The Uniden PRO510XL Pro Series CB radio also has a lot to give in terms of versatility but is the simpler variant of its successor.
This compact yet reliable buddy is known for its noise limiter feature that easily gets rid of background distractions at a minimal level, to make the manner of communication clear.
Additionally, its signal and LED indicators let you check certain types of activity, which is very useful during emergency cases.
3. Cobra CB Radio
The Cobra 29LX is an iconic CB radio for off-roading. But what’s behind such a popularity?
This is because it immediately warns you of different geographical dangers that may greet you along the way, with its 24-hour access to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather news.
What makes it remarkably useful for off-roading though, is it comes with an automatic weather alert tone which works even if you completely turn it off.
It won’t also give you a hard time reading it anytime and anywhere, due to its adjustable night and day modes.
4. Midland CB Radio
The user-friendly design is what sets the Midland 1001LWX Mobile CB Radio apart from its competitors.
This is something that not only provides easy installation but also convenient navigation between public addresses and normal CB functions.
Its another benefit includes automatic selection of the strongest signal through its weather scan technology.
But unlike the Cobra CB radio’s adjustable time settings, it only has a back-lit digital display for readability purposes.
5. Galaxy CB Radio
The Galaxy-DX-959 AM/SSB Mobile CB radio puts a prime on accuracy.
What’s behind such a feature is its multi-function meter that gives you a more detailed interpretation of your surroundings; from signal strength to modulation.
It’s almost similar to the Cobra 29LX in a way that it lets you adjust its brightness level, through its dimmer dial.
Radio Wars: CB vs Ham
Citizen’s Band (CB) Radio is a two-way communication device that many people use in the off-roading field because of its usefulness in vehicle recoveries or when warning motorists of an impending danger. But there are those who prefer the Amateur (Ham) Radio over the former. While both devices are vital in quickly responding to emergency cases, determining which is better depends on personal preferences as far as necessity is concerned. However, it’s still best to know where each device excels and lacks, in order to fully understand and evaluate what you truly need.
CB Radios vs Two-way Counterparts
Permanent CB radios are those that require a fix point of attachment at home or in your 4×4. They need external antennas to amplify their normal frequency range of 27 MHz.
One thing to note permanent CB radios is that conversations through them are not really intended for private consumption. In fact, this is what makes CB radios invaluable tools for emergency calls because their channel 19 station is known for providing accurate routes and for relaying police reports.
On the contrary, the Handheld CB radios are those compact enough that you can take almost anywhere, whether you’re in a mall or at your friend’s birthday party.
Unlike permanent CB radios, they don’t need external antennas to enhance their coverage area because they’re only meant to reach less than a mile. Check out the detailed explanation for each here.
As for Very High Frequency (VHF) radios, they’re a type of two-way radio that slightly exceed the usual coverage area provided by the CB radios which is 30-300 MHz.
And if CB radios are commonly used in uneven, mountaineous terrains, VHF radios are used in vast, open spaces like in the air and at sea.
CB Radio Buying Guide
Now, if you’ve made up your mind into using a CB radio for your jeep because you’re either a beginner or just accustomed with its user-friendly interface, there are still some things about it that you have to know before buying one. For more information, check out All About CB Radios.
1. CB Radio Base Station
CB radios are heavily influenced by where they’re being used. In fact, their signal is limited to atmospheric conditions existing in a certain place and time. This is the reason why their signal strength varies from one area to the next.
But to get the most out of the signal, the CB radio base station plays an important part. There are two types of CB radio base station: the mobile-style base station and the traditional base station. The former requires a converter or separate power source that enables CB radios to run according to their voltage requirement. On the other hand, the latter is typical unit that favors a particular place to deliver a clear sound and wider reach.
2. CB Radio Parts
CB radios have features that you won’t normally find in basic radios. For example, if you’re talking to someone that’s about five miles and someone about nine miles interrupts the the signal, the squelch button immediately allows you to cancel any background sound, so the only one you hear is the person you’re talking to.
By familiarizing yourself with such, you’ll be able to use the special functions to your advantage and prevent accidentally damaging your CB radios.
3. CB Radio Antenna
CB radio antenna can make or break the signal scope. Basically, the bigger or longer the antenna, the wider the CB radios’ signal coverage. The external antenna socket which you would find on handheld CB radios can be connected to the mobile-style base stations, to make CB radios work on an 18-foot antenna.
Two or three-foot antenna is cable of covering an area that’s about two-three miles which can be useful for regular communications. However, the 18-foot variant can cover a distance of about 10 miles. If you have a pick-up truck, you could simply drill your CB radio antenna into the steel bumper and support it with a spring coil that’ll reduce the tension on it when you suddenly apply your brakes.
4. CB Radio Mounting Ideas
Don’t forget to put your CB radios in a stable condition for better signal performance.
Double Dash – The good thing about this is you no longer have to relocate your stereos and CB radios to two separate places as it can accommodate both of them.
Overhead – You can mount your CB radios on your jeep’s overhead as long as they don’t mess with your hard and soft tops, as well as your rear view mirror. To do this, you should buy a bolt-on CB bar or hardware that spares you the hassle of unnecessary factory trim removal.
Below Glove Compartment Glove Box – This is a very convenient place to mount your CB radios because they’re just at the bottom of the glove compartment near the steering wheel.
As for the CB radio antennas, you can put them on the:
Tub Body – Choosing this mounting option allows the tail light mount holes to secure the antenna in place.
Rear Bumper – This is also possible but it somewhat restricts antenna extension.
Hood – This location gives the CB radio enough space for extension when needed for proper signal reception.
5. CB Radio Purpose
Emergency can happen anytime. Even if you live in a post-modern era that’s ruled by the use of smartphones, laptops and tablets, such gadgets have their limit. In the event of a major crisis especially in urban areas, people can consume a huge amount of data that can lead to network congestion creating a communication barrier. This is where traditional methods of communication like using CB radios come in handy.
These are the five best jeep CB radios for off-roading. By choosing the one that fits your needs, you can quickly avoid trail obstacles which are life-threatening. However, you have to keep in mind other considerations as well, before buying your CB radios, so you can use them to your advantage. Let us know what you think by commenting below.