Best Wind-Up Radios (UK 2017)

A wind-up radio is a handy gadget to have when you’re a long way from a power socket. These radios are popular with outdoorsy people including hikers, campers, anglers and gardeners.

Many wind-up radios double up as torches and/or alarm clocks, and some can even be used to charge your mobile phone. This makes them very useful in emergency situations or when you’re travelling in a remote location.

What to look for in a wind-up radio

Here are a few of the features you should look out for in a good wind-up radio:

  • Torch: A torch or flashlight is a useful feature to have if you’re taking the radio with you while camping, or are keeping it in your car for emergencies.
  • Phone charging: Many wind-up radios allow you to charge your phone, which is a great feature for when you’re out in the countryside and your phone dies.
  • Waterproof/water-resistant: This could be an especially useful feature if you’re taking the radio with you while hiking or fishing.
  • Solar charging: A solar panel offers an additional way of charging the radio. While a solar panel is a nice thing to have, you shouldn’t expect too much from it, especially if you’re using the radio in the UK.
  • Alarm clock: An alarm clock could be a useful feature to have if you can’t use your phone for this purpose.

 

Top 5 Wind-Up Radios

NameRadioSolarHeadphone socketWater resistantPrice
Duronic HybridAM/FMYesYesNo £14.99
Duronic ApexAM/FMYesYesNo £17.99
Duronic EcohandAM/FMNoYesNo £12.99
JARBO Multifunctional Emergency RadioAM/FMYesNoYes £14.88
AngLink Solar Radio AM/FM/WBYesNoNo £15.49

 

Duronic Hybrid Radio Wind-Up Solar AM/FM Radio

The Duronic Hybrid Radio is a versatile and compact wind-up radio that comes with a built-in flashlight, a solar panel and an alarm clock.

Features

  • 5 mm headphone jack
  • Alarm clock
  • Built-in 300mAh, 2.4V battery
  • Solar charging
  • LED torch

Dimensions: 13 cm wide x 7.3 cm high x 4.1 cm deep
Weight: 203 g

Pros

  • Three charging options: Wind-up, solar, USB cable
  • Easy to tune in compared to most wind-up radios
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Needs winding up frequently
  • Solar panel is ineffective in cloudy weather
  • Not very durable

Verdict

This is one of the best-performing wind-up radios available in the UK in 2017, and offers great features for the price. Like most wind-up radios, it needs winding up frequently and doesn’t feel especially durable, but overall it compares very well against the competition. Read our full review of the Duronic Hybrid Radio here.

Buy online: £14.99 on Amazon.co.uk

 

Duronic Apex Wind-Up Solar AM/FM Radio

The Duronic Apex is currently one of the most popular wind-up radios available in the UK. It has a winding arm as well as a solar panel for charging the built-in battery, and can also be charged via a USB cable.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • 3 charging options: hand crank, solar, USB
  • Headphone/earphone socket
  • Telescopic aerial
  • Digital display
  • Alarm
  • Torch

Dimensions: 15 cm wide x 7.5cm high x 5.5cm deep
Weight: 381 g

Pros

  • Compact and light
  • Good amount of volume for the size
  • Bright flashlight

Cons

  • Feels quite flimsy
  • Fiddly to tune in

Verdict

This wind-up radio offers great value for money and is a very useful gadget to have when camping, hiking or gardening. It doesn’t feel especially sturdy and can be fiddly to tune in, but these are common issues with portable AM/FM radios in this price range. Read our full review of the Duronic Apex here.

Buy online: £17.99 on Amazon.co.uk

 

Duronic Ecohand Wind-Up AM/FM Radio

This radio is very similar to the Duronic Apex reviewed above, though it doesn’t offer solar charging. It’s likely to be available for cheaper than the Duronic Apex, though prices can fluctuate.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • Flashlight
  • Headphone socket
  • Wind-up handle
  • USB charging
  • Alarm

Dimensions: 15 cm wide x 11 cm high x 5 cm deep
Weight: 222 g

Pros

  • You can use the radio to charge your phone via a USB cable
  • Very light
  • Very good value for money

Cons

  • Feels cheaply made
  • USB cable provided doesn’t fit a standard USB port
  • Takes a long time to wind up

Verdict

This is a very handy radio to have while camping or for listening to when gardening. It’s very cheap and offers great value for money. However, it feels cheaply made and you might need to buy a different USB cable to charge it from a computer.

Buy online: £12.99 on Amazon.co.uk

 

JARBO Multifunctional Emergency Radio

The JARBO Multifunctional Emergency Radio is a splashproof wind-up radio with a solar panel and an LED torch. According to the manufacturer, one minute of winding will give five minutes of playtime or thirty minutes of LED torch usage. However, this can vary depending on how quickly you wind it.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • LED flashlight
  • USB charging (cable included)
  • Can be used to charge a phone
  • Solar panel
  • Water resistant to IPX3 level which means it’s splashproof, not waterproof

Dimensions: 12.8 cm wide x 6 cm high x 4.5 cm deep
Weight: 200 g

Pros

  • Splashproof
  • Very light and compact
  • Good value for money
  • Can be used to charge your phone

Cons

  • No headphone jack
  • Quiet loud even on the lowest volume setting
  • Charges quite slowly

Verdict

The JARBO Multifunctional Emergency Radio is an inexpensive and compact radio with a great range of features for backpackers, campers and anglers. One of the most useful things about this radio is that you can use it to charge your phone, which is great if you’re in a remote location far from a power plug.

Buy online: £14.88 on Amazon.co.uk

 

AngLink Solar Radio

In addition to AM and FM radio, this radio can pick up weather radio services. This could be useful if you’re travelling to the USA or Canada, but the UK government doesn’t broadcast weather radio, so it won’t make a difference in the UK.

Features

  • AM/FM radio plus WB (weather radio)
  • Torch with a 3 LED lamp
  • Can be used to charge a mobile phone
  • Three charging options: Wind-up handle, solar panel, USB cable
  • Low battery light

Dimensions: 12.8 cm wide x 6 cm high x 4.5 cm deep
Weight: 200 g

Pros

  • Very small and compact
  • Clear sound for a small speaker
  • Good radio reception
  • Torch works well
  • Solar panel works relatively well

Cons

  • Hand crank is plastic and can break if you’re not careful
  • No headphone jack

Verdict

This is a useful radio to have when travelling to remote places or for keeping in the car in case of emergencies. It’s very small and light, making it great for hiking and camping.

Buy online: £15.49 on Amazon.co.uk

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