PROS / The FM reception quality scored 100 percent in our tests.
CONS / The battery lasted only 1 hour, 27 minutes in our tests.
VERDICT / The Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 has the quickest charge time available, but it also has the shortest battery life available, which means that you'll 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 with the radio 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 solar radios with a solar panel that allows you to adjust it to find the optimal position for capturing 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 method, 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. In our tests, the reception quality scored an average 90 percent in the AM reception tests and 85 percent on the backcountry test. It scored an impressive 100 percent with the FM tests. The NOAA weather band reception is also comparable to the best weather radios available.
The design is among the biggest and heaviest available. At 19.75 ounces, it's heavier than most crank radios. It lacks most of the emergency preparedness features that you'd find in most emergency radios. It's not water-resistant. It doesn't have a Morse code beacon, siren or compass. The maximum volume is only 76.7 dB at 1 meter, 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, the battery life is the shortest 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.