A handheld radio is a great item to carry in your 4WD. They make life easy - guiding wheel placements on tricky lines, staying in communication while scouting the track ahead, reversing campers, positioning for photography, as a backup or for loaning to your friends.
Let's jump in and take a look at the Icom IC-41PRO. When we critique gear, build quality is always at the top of our list - features and aesthetics matter little in gear that stops working.
Handheld radios tend to cop the worst of it. Rain, mud, dust and drops are all most likely a question of when.
The ICOM IC41-PRO is IP67 certified. The IP stands for International Protection Code. The first number indicates the protection against access to hazardous parts and ingress of solid foreign objects. A level 6 here is the maximum score. The second digit indicates the level of protection provided against harmful ingress of water. A level 7 indicates this radio is protected against immersions up to a metre for 30 minutes.
From a quality perspective it's comforting to see 'Made in Japan' stamped inside, and the metal internal casing is another positive. It's also rare to see a 5 year warranty offered on electronics.
With 5 watts output the ICOM IC41-PRO delivers crystal communications. Handheld to handheld. Handheld to vehicle. While exploring or in the wind this radio simply works.
The battery has a whopping 18 hours of operating time, and while we don't have figures, these batteries seem to hold charge when switched off - if only our cameras were so frugal. Spare batteries are available and the radios can be charged via 240V (charger included) or 12V (charger optional).
The IC-41-PRO is considerably more compact than it's predecessor the IC-41W. We've opted to use the optional stubby antennas with our radios which makes them even more compact again.
The supplied flexible antenna is 470-520MHz band, and the stubby antenna is 450-490MHz band.
It's effortless to select one of the 80 channels simply by rotating the large channel selector. The on/off and volume functions are combined for intuitive usage.
The sturdy clip makes carrying the radio on belts, in pockets or on bags easy.