PROS / The FM reception quality was excellent in our tests.
CONS / The battery life is poor, lasting only one hour and 27 minutes on a full charge.
VERDICT / The Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 has the quickest charge time, but it also has the shortest battery life of the models we tested, which means you have to use the hand crank more often.
The Kaito Voyager Pro is a crank radio with three radio options – AM/FM, NOAA and shortwave. It also has three different lights to illuminate the dark during a power outage or while you're camping, and it features a digital thermometer and humidity meter. All these features make the Voyage a good emergency radio. However, with its poor battery life and subpar hand crank, it doesn't compare to the best emergency radios.
In our tests, two minutes of cranking the dynamo generator provided an average of 3.5 seconds of battery life when the radio played at full volume. This is below the five-minute average. For comparison, the best crank radio produced over 13 minutes of battery life in the same test. While the KA600's battery had the shortest charge time, which was 1.75 hours, the battery life was only 1.5 hours when we played the radio at full volume. The biggest downside to the subpar battery life is it requires you to charge the battery more frequently. Fortunately, you can use disposable batteries, which makes the rechargeable battery a contingency power option.
You can also charge this emergency radio with the AC adapter, a built-in rechargeable battery pack, the USB port or a solar panel. It's one of the few radios with a solar panel you can adjust to find the optimal position to capture the sun's energy. Using the solar panel to charge the radio takes a lot longer than the other charging methods, but it's the easiest way, especially while you're camping.
You can use the Voyager Pro KA600 to listen to conventional AM and FM radio stations and access all seven NOAA weather band channels. These are invaluable stations to have during a disaster because they provide information critical to your area. It received a B-plus in the AM reception tests and a B in the backcountry test. In addition, it scored an A in the FM reception tests. The NOAA weather band reception is comparable to the best weather radios available.
It is one of the biggest and heaviest crank radios available. At 19.75 ounces, it's heavier than most crank radios. It’s also missing most of the emergency preparedness features the best emergency radios have. It's not water-resistant, and it doesn't have a Morse code beacon, siren or compass. The maximum volume is only 76.7 dB at 1 meter from the speaker, which makes it one of the quietest radios we reviewed. However, it does feature a digital thermometer and a humidity meter, which provide important environmental information.
The Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 is bulky, but it can still be a useful emergency radio when you are stuck in a precarious situation. It charges quickly and has five power options – hand crank, solar panel, USB port, car charger and disposable batteries. However, its battery life is the shortest of the radios we tested, and the hand crank's efficiency is below average. When you need an effective way to stay up to date during a disaster, this is an acceptable crank radio.