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Perhaps this will help others with headlamps, Marine Radios, 2-ways, HH-GPS', etc. The International Protection Code is one of the most reliable lab tested waterproof rating systems devised to help with deciding which gear best suits various requirements.

* IPX4: Splash resistant. The equipment has been splashed from all angles for at least 5 minutes at water pressure of 80–100 kN/m^2. Basically, this can handle being rained on, but if you drop it in a stream or overboard, there’s a good chance your gear won’t be working for a while, if ever.

* IPX7: Immersible. This gear can be immersed for up to 30 minutes at a depth of up to 1 meter. Which means it should handle any rain or snow, and should survive falling into a creek or shallow river. NOTE: This rating does not guarantee buoyancy, so if your gear goes for a swim, it may sink deeper then 1 meter and the increased water pressure may cause a leak and damage it.

* IPX8: Submersible. This equipment can handle deeper and longer submersion. The depth and time will be specified by the manufacturer based on product testing. Often IPX8 is used to describe 2 meter submersion for a period of 30 minutes. NOTE: This rating also does not guarantee buoyancy.
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By 5x5
Fargo wrote:Thanks for posting this. I had to look it up too when I was buying my VHF. I think IPX7 is the sweet spot as far as water tolerance and value go for VHF radios us kayakers use.

I have not seen any radio with better than a IPX7 . My Horizon hx851 has the 7 rating.
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I'm going to remain hopeful the engineering & design approach to the higher quality marine radios encompasses the make/model simply letting the cards fall where they may regarding IPX ratings. In other words, by design a mfg may hope for the best IPX testing outcome which seems to be IPX8 (which I think could be much better ie; 1atm @60min, etc :mrgreen: ) and if it's less than what their engineering design specs called for, perhaps they make a go/no-go decision to modify, leave asis, consider acceptable, etc.

Below are the specs between the 300 & 290, both are IPX8 & float (speaking of IPX ratings). But the humble $20 jump from the 290 to the 300 provides a decent amount of features. Auto-activated flashing recovery strobe if dropped overboard (could be interesting for excessive yak-turtelers, but at least it doesn't auto-call USCG :lol:). Comes with an impressive 1650mAh batter @13 hrs vs the much smaller 290 batter. E2O seems to be a cool feature, in a cramped kayak having an easy to understand device is always nice.

Research thus far, Standard Horizons appears to provide a decent amount of features between models which helps with the decision making based on the pricing packages p/model. Have seen a small handful of folks report various issues, but majority of all their radios seem to be 4.5 to 5 star rated. Still looking around of course.


Simplest operation ever in a handheld VHF, with an ergonomic case design, plus the HX300 floats and activates a flashing recovery strobe light if dropped overboard. It meets industry-leading IPX8 waterproofing standard and includes programmable scan functions, a 10-channel preset key selection, 600mW internal audio speaker and a new E2O (Easy to Operate) menu making this the most intuitive yet compact floating handheld on the market today. The HX300 comes packaged with a high capacity 1650mAh 3.7V Lithium-ion non memory rechargeable battery, rugged belt clip, 110 -240V AC USB charger.
• Material: Polycarbonate housing, die-cast chassis
• Controls: On/Off volume knob, 9-button keypad
• Scanning Modes: Programmable, Priority and Dual Watch
• Weather Alert: Yes
• Transmit Power: 5W
• Battery Type: 1,650mAh 3.7V Lithium-ion
• Battery Life: More than 13 hours
• Waterproof Rating: IPX8, and it floats
• Dimensions: 2 3/8"W x 5"H x 1 3/8"D
• Display Type: LCD
• Screen Size: 1 1/2" x 1"
• Weight: 9oz.
• Included Equipment: Battery pack, USB charger, USB charging cable, antenna and belt clip
• Warranty: Three-year waterproof, $65 flat rate

The HX290 is an extremely affordable floating handheld VHF with an oversized easy-to-read backlit display. The HX290 is value packaged with an 1170mAh Lithium-ion non-memory rechargeable battery, rugged belt clip, 110 VAC and 12V DC trickle chargers and a drop-in charging cradle. Other great features include Programmable Scan, Dual Watch, Ch16 Priority Scan, NOAA weather channels with weather alert, selectable 5 and 1 Watt transmit power, 10-favorite channel preset key, speaker-microphone jack and a battery life indicator. Download Owner’s Manual here.
• Material: Polycarbonate housing, die-cast chassis
• Controls: On/Off volume knob, 9-button keypad
• Scanning Modes: Programmable, Priority Scan and Dual Watch
• Weather Alert: Yes
• Antenna: Flexible whip
• Transmit Power: 5/1 Watt
• Battery Life: 8 hours
• Waterproof: Mfr.-rated IPX8 submersible, and it floats
• Dimensions: 2-5/16"W x 5-1/4"H x 1-7/8"D
• Screen Size: 1-1/2"W x 1"H
• Weight: 13.4oz.
• Included Equipment: 110V AC and 12V DC chargers, charging cradle, belt clip
• Warranty: Three-year waterproof, $65 flat rate
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