The Cobra CXT 1035R is a waterproof, floating two-way radio that offers superb features without breaking the bank. It offers a 37-mile range, Rewind-Say-Again feature, VibrAlert, and more handy features. It is one of the best budget two-way radios you can get under $100. Another cheap option: the Arcshell AR-5.
Whether you’re working with a partner or a team, having a two-way radio facilitates communication even if you’re distances apart. While smartphones can indeed be used to communicate, a two-way radio is more reliable and environment-ready for various outdoor situations. If you love hiking, hunting, mountain climbing, or water activities, the Cobra CXT 1035R FLT 37-mile Two-Way Radio is a perfect fit for you.
In this Cobra CXT 1035R review, we discuss the feature set of the device, as well as some pros and cons to help you decide if this is the right radio for you.
What’s in the Box:
- 2 Cobra® CXT1035R FLT GMRS/FRS 2-way radios.
- 6 rechargeable NiMH batteries.
- 1 AC adapter to micro-USB cable.
- 1 two-port dock charger.
- 2 belt clips
The Cobra CXT 1035R comes in black and bright orange colors, with the black one having orange edges as well. Appearance-wise, this two-way radio actually looks pretty cool and the bright colors will allow you to spot it immediately in murky waters or terrain. The sides are rubberized, making it shock-absorbent and super easy to grip. Thus, it won’t slide off your hand easily in wet conditions. The backlit, tri-color LCD screen is easy to read even when it’s dark. Compared to other models with a plastic casing, it feels significantly sturdier and more durable.
Waterproof and Floating
These attributes are easily two of the outstanding features of the Cobra CXT 1035R FLT. The device meets JIS7 standards, meaning it can stay submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. But even then, you don’t have to worry about your device sinking because it is floating, too! Retrieving the device on water would be easy-peasy.
While other two-way radios like the Midland GXT1050VP4 are water-resistant (more information here), the Cobra CXT 1035R adds more protection because of its floating design and waterproof configuration. To ensure that no water and air get in the device, there’s also a BURP function that spits out water from the speaker grille to ensure that it’s working properly and you can still be heard clearly. As such, you don’t have to worry much about water getting in your device because it can handle it.
Considered as one of the best long-range two-way radios in the market, the Cobra CXT 1035R can reach 37 miles. Communication between farther distances is no problem for this device, but of course, obstructions can affect the range as in other radios.
It can transmit in both FRS and GMRS bands and can receive UHF/FM transmissions. With 121 privacy codes including 28 CTCSS and 83 DCS, you have access to a total of 2,662 channels. That being said, you will have no trouble communicating privately and clearly.
It’s really a surprise that most walkie talkies in the market don’t have this feature, making this Cobra model one step ahead of its competitors. Rewind-Say-Again allows you to replay the last 20 seconds of a received transmission, which comes in handy when you want something repeated, such as instructions or any missed calls.
This feature comes with most two-way radios, and the Cobra CXT 1035R did not miss out. Equipped with VOX, the device recognizes your voice and allows you to proceed with operations even without pressing any buttons. Climbers, skiers, and bikers can take advantage of the hands-free mode so they can communicate with ease while their hands are engaged.
Activate VibrAlert to use vibration notifications instead of tones. This comes in handy if you’re in discreet situations where loud bleeps might cause a disturbance, such as in hunting.
Not all two-way radios have a flashlight installed, but some units including the Cobra CXT 1035R and the Motorola MR350R have one (know more here). The Cobra CXT 1035R’s bright LED flashlight is useful in low-light conditions. Whether you’re trekking at night or exploring a dark place, this two-way radio provides you with a reliable light source.
With the 10 NOAA channels, you can listen to on the Cobra CXT 1035R, you can pre-determine the weather conditions during your outdoor trips.
Of course, this Cobra CXT 1035R review would not be complete without discussing the battery life as it’s one of the features customers usually ask about. The good thing about this model is that it comes with 6 pre-charged batteries, allowing you to use the device right out of the box. Still, a fully-charged battery lasts for only about 8 hours. This may be enough for some, but for power users, not so.
Nevertheless, there are a few ways you can work around this. You have three options for the transmission power settings: low, medium, and high. To conserve battery, you can set it on low, but the range will be shorter. In addition, there’s also a battery save circuitry which puts the device into an energy-saving mode if no transmission has been detected for 10 seconds. If in case you ran out of batteries, you can always use regular alkaline batteries to operate it. Remember to bring extra ones on your trip.
- Rubberized, sturdy build
- Rewind-Say-Again feature
- LED Flashlight
- Short battery life
- Requires you to have an FCC license
Cobra CXT 1035R Review Conclusion
The Cobra CXT 1035R is a durable and reliable two-way radio that’s well-equipped for the backcountry. It provides long-range communication, rewind-say-again feature, weather alerts, and more. It has an easy grip, a floating design and is waterproof, making it more than capable of handling the outdoors.
You can also read our Baofeng two-way radio recommendations for more options.