Rocky Talkie vs BCA BC Link Walkie-Talkie Comparison

Rocky Talkie sitting next to BCA BC Link radio on a rock

Backcountry Access and Rocky Talkie make two of the best FRS two-way radios for backcountry communication. They are both well-made and easy to use but also the most expensive compared to some of the best walkie-talkie alternatives.

We put these two top-notch walkie-talkies head-to-head through hands-on testing and real-world use to see which is the best and which one you should spend your hard-earned money on.

BC Link vs Rocky Talkie at a Glance

Back of rocky talkie and bca bc link walkie-talkies sitting on a rock
BC Link 1.0BC Link 2.0Rocky Talkie
On sale for $95.97*$189.95*$110.00*
12 ounces11 ounces7.9 ounces for full system
License Free FRS ChannelsLicense Free FRS ChannelsLicense Free FRS channels
IP56 RatingIP56 RatingIP56 Rating

*Going price at time of publishing. Prices may change or vary.

Rocky Talkie

The Rocky Talkie is a small handheld radio perfect for outdoor adventures. It is compact, light, and easy to use (once you watch the video). The Mammut carabiner easily clips onto whatever you want it to and allows you to keep it within reach.

The leash is a nice touch for times (like riding a chairlift) when dropping it could lead to problems. I find the Rocky Talkie more versatile than the BC Link, and, spoiler alert: it is the walkie-talkie I usually reach for.


  • Well-built and sturdy
  • Small size
  • Great audio quality
  • Well-laid-out buttons
  • Easy to find and use the push-to-talk button
  • Leash


  • Expensive
  • I wish you could switch out the carabiner for a more traditional clip
  • Not completely waterproof
Rocky Talkie
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Who Should Buy the Rocky Talkie

Best For

  • Hard outdoor use
  • People that like high-quality equipment
  • When you need the radio fully secured to you

Not For

  • Budget-conscious
  • Need a fully waterproof radio (e.g. kayaking with kids)
  • Ability to change settings with gloves on

Recommended: Rocky Talkie 5 Watt Radio Review

Backcountry Access BC Link Radios

Pair oc bca bc link 1. 0 in camo on a log
The BCA BC Link 1.0 comes in black or camo color, a nice touch for concealment obsessed hunters.

Backcountry Access (BCA) makes two models, the BC Link 1.0 and 2.0. I have extensive hands-on with the Link 1.0 and reviewed the differences between the two. I have not had any real-world experience with the 2.0, but I will highlight the differences, when necessary, in this head-to-head review.

BCA designed the BC Link for winter sports athletes that need a sturdy radio that can be used effectively with gloves on. That is where this walkie-talkie shines, but other users will also appreciate the Smart Mic’s convenience.

While some will enjoy the Smart Mic experience, others might find it heavy and overkill for more casual use.


  • Well-built and sturdy
  • Easy to use and change settings with gloves on
  • Lapel mic has a ton of functionality
  • Great audio quality


  • Has to be used with the lapel mic
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Not waterproof
  • Short battery life compared to other high-end radios

Who Should Buy a BCA Radio

Best For

  • People who need to manipulate radio settings but don’t want to take off their gloves
  • Best used in conjunction with a backpack
  • Need to access multiple channels easily

Not For

  • People on a budget
  • People looking for a fully waterproof walkie-talkie
  • If you’re looking for a stand-alone radio without a lapel mic

Head-to-Head Comparison

Now we will put the radios head-to-head to compare them in various aspects. I will tell you which walkie-talkie I think wins in each category.


Winner: Tie between the BC Link 2.0 and the Rocky Talkie

 BC Link 1.0BC Link 2.0Rocky Talkie
Watts Used1 Watt2 Watts2 Watts
Optimal Range30 miles40 miles40 miles
Range0.5 to 1.5 miles0.5 to 2 miles0.5 to 2 miles

Neither of these brands has a truly long-range radio, but for license-free FRS radios, the range is admirable.

The winner is a tie between the Rocky Talkie and the BC Link 2.0. The BC Link 1.0 loses points for only using half the watts. It should be noted, however, that half the watts do not halve the useful range. Indeed, in my field testing, I found very little actual difference between the BC Link 1.0 and the Rocky Talkie.


Winner: 3-Way Tie

Both the Rocky Talkie and BC Link radios have best-in-class audio quality.

Ease of Use

Winner: BC Link Radios

The ease of use category includes several different aspects. It includes how easy it is to set up and use, button layout and usage, and finally, how useful the screen is.

This was close because both radios are incredibly easy to use, but the BC Link takes a slight lead for several reasons.

Skier with bca bc link radio lapel mic clipped on front of ski jacket
Even with gloves it’s easy to manipulate the BCA walkie-talkies, which is probably why I’m not the only one who skis with one.

First, I could set up the BC Link without any instructions but I needed to watch a short YouTube video to set up the Rocky Talkie. After watching the video, I had no issues, but the win still goes to the BC Link.

Second, the function of all the buttons on the BC Link Radios is easy to figure out. On the Rocky Talkie, all buttons, except push to talk, have at least two functions. Once again, after watching a short video it all made sense.

Last, the display on the BC Link had all of the pertinent information I wanted, and I did not have to search for it. The display on the Rocky Talkie was missing essential information like how much battery life was left and what sub-channel I was on. I could find the information but had to search for it.

Battery Life

Winner: Rocky Talkie

The Rocky Talkie lasts longer and is faster to charge thanks to the USB-C charger. The battery is also removable so you can buy spares for long trips.

The BC Link 1.0 comes in second since it also has a removable battery so that you can carry spares if needed.

Rocky TalkieBC Link 1.0BC Link 2.0
130 hours standby mode40 hours standby mode40 hours standby mode
Removable BatteryRemovable BatteryNon Removable Battery
Charges with USB-CCharges with Mini USBCharges with Micro USB


Winner: BC Link Radios

I really like the BC Link radio clip. It is the best-designed and sturdiest radio I have tested in the FRM category. It is strong and spring-loaded. In my testing, I found that the radio and lapel mic stayed where I put them.

The Rocky Talkie went in another direction with their radio clip. They attached a high-quality carabiner to the radio. It attaches securely to whatever you clip it to, but it does tend to swing during dynamic movements, and at times, I wished it had a clip like the BC Link.

Bca bc link radio clip being squeezed open by hand
The clips on the BCA BC Link radios are just more sturdy and secure. The lapel clip is even made of metal so it should stand up to a beating when hanging on your jacket or backpack strap.

Weight and Size

Winner: Rocky Talkie

I am an ultralight fanatic, so weight and size matter to me. I tend to weigh anything I must carry for any distance, and the Rocky Talkie is smaller and about half the weight, making it easy the winner in this category.

Extra Features

Winner: BC Link Radios

Neither of these companies put too many extras in to clutter up their walkie-talkies. They are what they are: well-built, rugged, and reliable. With that being said, the BC Link takes a slight edge here. I will put the Smart Mic in this category, and I think you will either love or hate it.

The BC Link also has weather channels to provide updated weather information when you are out of cell service.

The one notable extra that the Rocky Talkie has is the provided leash. I love the leash. It saved my radio several times from being lost in the snow. It can also be taken off if you don’t need it.

So Which Radio To Buy

It really comes down to the Smart Mic on the BC Link. If you need or want the functionality it gives you, you should buy it. Just know that it is a little much for casual uses like hiking with your kids.

The Rocky Talkie is more versatile. It still works great in snowy and cold environments but is just as easy to clip on for a casual hike without the fuss of a lapel mic.

The Rocky Talkie is also lighter and has better battery life. That is why, for me, the Rocky Talkie is the two-way radio that I prefer.