Provided you’ve got all the channels and modes needed on the rig then the best portable CB radio comes down to three major factors.

1. Size
2. Weight
3. How long your can power it from batteries (this also alters the weight issue)

With the summer now in full swing in most parts of the world, its a good time to get outside with a rig and enjoy the benefits that a little altitude gives 🙂

Vintage Portable CB Radio

Handheld CB radios offer all you need in a neat little package and even the older models can still do an excellent job at altitude. If you’ve been around this blog you’ll have noticed the endless love I have for my pair of Harvard 410T Handhelds, but this isn’t the only option for a bit of vintage outdoor CB action.

Midland77-104 Portapak CB Radio

Midland 77-104 Portapak CB Radio, Picture Courtesy of the Amazing

Depending how old you are, the Midland Portopack may be new to you but its a simple idea and goes a little like this. Take all Midland gleamed about making tiny radios then slap a low profile battery on the top so all us CB users could use it anywhere.

You can still get these on the various auction websites and provided the actual rig works you could be on to a winner, although your never going to know what state the batteries in until you’ve put it through its paces.

This Midland product does suffer from being released when battery technology wasn’t as good as it is now and its easy to use a more effective modern battery with any small CB radio to recreate the effect.

Getting The Battery Situation Right

Its no fun dragging yourself along with your CB equipment up to your favorite DX high ground spot only to find your batteries fail early into the session or even worse don,t get things started at all (been there).

Thinking about redundancy can help and if your planning on spending some time using the CB, a spare set of batteries is always a great idea, even if they add some unwanted weight to your load (anything worthwhile has never been easy).

That said if the battery packs your lugging around aren’t up to the job because their not charged properly or poorly designed for what is a high current demand situation, no amount of extras are going to end up giving you hours of operating from your chosen hill 🙂

If its a new handheld then play with it at home so you’ll know what sort of time per set of cells your going to get. This will also let you know how many refills your going to have to carry for the amount of time outside.

Frequent Use And Saving Money

If your like me and never miss a chance to get outside with a CB radio or scanner it can end up costing a whack of money in batteries. With newer handheld CB’s ripping through a set of quality batteries in a few hours, the cost can mount up very quickly.

I’m sure I’ve said this many time across this blog but here it is again. Investing in some high end rechargeable batteries may set you back a bit in the short term but they’ll start paying for themselves on the 3th or 4th use (and another further use is as they say, gravy).

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