One of the biggest modern festival frustrations is losing your friends and struggling to get a mobile signal. Wind Up Walkie Talkies may be the solution.

While their name makes a big play of the crank handle that allows you to charge the handsets on the go, the Wind Up Walkie Talkies can also be charged via the mains. This gives you around an hour's worth of talk-time with eight hours standby.

Feeling cranky

Extending the battery life by using the winding mechanism is simple – you turn the handle clockwise at a rate of two turns per second – but very noisy. The squeaky crank makes it sound like you're being verbally abused by a particularly indignant mouse.

The return for your hard work is also quite dispiriting with one minute of cranking getting you about two minutes of talk time or 10 minutes on standby. It's definitely not advisable to try and charge the units up with person-power alone.

Out of range

The stated range is 3km and while this is accurate, once you go over 2km the sound quality of transmissions begins to deteriorate significantly. Obstacles such as a line of trees can also interfere with the sound quality.

This is likely to cause issues in very built-up areas but shouldn't seriously affect use in wide-open spaces such as festival sites.


A few features

For the price, the Wind Up Walkie Talkies are light on features. Besides the basic push-to-talk function, there is the option to choose one of eight channels (useful in avoiding clashes) and a call button. The similarly priced Motorola TLKR T7 has a far fuller feature-set, including auto-power off and a voice-operated mode.

And while the handsets are rugged, they are not waterproof. This could turn out to be a major failing if you find yourself in a rain-soaked setting.

Still, the ability to keep charged up and chatting even if you're spending three days in a field without access to a plug makes the Wind Up Walkie Talkies appealing.

Stuff says... 

Wind Up Walkie Talkies review

Perfect for staying in touch at a festival, but no use for anything more serious