12 Best CB Antennas in 2018
CB Radios are one of those gadgets that are out of sight on the road and go unnoticed by most motorists zipping down the freeway. There is one way for anyone to tell if a vehicle is equipped with a CB, and that is the antenna. You can’t send or receive anything without one, and you’ve probably seen your fair share of tractor trailers with 6-foot whips.
Whether you are in a car and want to listen in on the road or a long-haul trucker looking for a replacement, our best CB antenna list has you covered. We have included antennas ranging from magnet-based minis and ones that are taller than most adults. If you are new to the CB world, we have also included some buying tips below.
Top 12 CB Antennas Comparison Table
|Design||Name||With Mount||Size||Rating (1-5)|
|1. 4ft Black Firefly||No||4 feet||4.7|
|2. FireStik FL3-B Three Foot FireFly Antenna With Tuneable Tip||No||3 feet||4.7|
|3. Solarcon A-99 CB Base Station Antenna||No||6.5 feet||4.5|
|4. BROWNING BR-28 High-Performance Broad Band 63- Inch CB Antenna||No||5.25 feet||4.3|
|5. WILSON 305-38 300-Watt Little Wil Magnet Mount Antenna||Yes||3 feet||4.3|
|6. ExpertPower 42.8″ Dual Band Stainless Steel Mobile Whip Antenna PL-259||No||3.5 feet||4.3|
|7. K40 K-30 35″ 300 Watts Stainless Steel Magnet Mount CB Antenna||Yes||2.8 feet||4.2|
|8. Midland 18-2442 Mobile CB Antenna||Yes||2.5 feet||4.2|
|9. ARIES 10822 SINGLE 4` FOOT 500 WATT CB RADIO ANTENNA KIT||Yes||4 feet||4.0|
|10. Wilson 305-492 T2000 Series Black Mobile CB Trucker Antenna||Yes||4 feet||4.0|
|11. Cobra CBRHGA1500 36-Inch Base-Load Medium Magnet Mount 300W CB Antenna||Yes||3 feet||4.0|
|12. Tram WSP1198 Glass Mount CB with Weather-Band Mobile Antenna||Yes||2.4 feet||3.8|
Tune into These Buying Tips
If you are new to the CB game, it can be overwhelming even when you’re just shopping for an antenna. Our guide will help ease that burden if you’re a rookie or just a seasoned CB veteran looking for a quick replacement.
Regardless of your skill level, if you are reading this article, you already know what an antenna looks like. They are generally long and straight although ones found on electronics can extend or retract. Well, that is usually not the case with the best CB antenna for vehicular or home use. While our picks will not retract to stay out of the way, they do come if a few different styles.
- Mini – These antennas are classified as “minis” and can range from a little over 2 feet to 3 feet. While there is no magic number, they are usually built for car use and made to stay out of the way with a low profile.
- Regular – In our opinion, a normal sized CB radio antenna star at around 3 feet and run up to 4 feet. This is a typical size for car radio antennas, and won’t stick out like a sore thumb unless they are extremely thick.
- Whip – As the name implies, whip antennas are long and can “whip” back and forth due to their length. 6 feet is a standard whip size although some come in a little shorter or taller than that. It’s not uncommon to see these in the 8-foot range, and they are obviously geared towards specialized use.
We aren’t going to go walk you through installing your brand new whip or mini, as that could be an entire guide unto itself. To keep it simple, if you are buying a replacement for your current setup, you should have any trouble as long as you buy the right type of antenna to match your current mounting system. If you just purchased your first CB and are in need of wire, there is plenty to think about.
The easiest method for cars or consumers that need a temporary solution would be CB radio antennas with magnet mounts. While they can be installed to any metal surface, you may want to consider your paint job with some units. Regardless of how you need to install, always keep the height in mind as you don’t want to tear of your new signal snatcher on an underpass or your carport.
Obviously, your antenna plays a large part what kind of range you will receive but is far from the only factor to consider. Did you know where you place your antenna directly affects the range? It does, and the same can be said for weather and the type of material your whip is made of. The biggest factor of all is the radio itself however as you’re not going to get far with an underpowered system.
For regular use, the FCC limits CB radios to 4-watts of power, so buying an antenna rated for 1000-watts is probably going to be overkill for you. If your radio has SSB, otherwise known as single sideband, you get 12-watts which gives you a boost out of the gate. To keep it simple, check your radio against the antenna you plan to use beforehand and consider the environment around you as well.
Top 5 Best CB Antenna Reviews
Firefly has made a name for themselves in the world of CBs, and while their top model won’t work for everyone, it is a fantastic option for consumers that don’t need a full kit. The Firefly FireStick CB Antenna is a replacement antenna for you CB and is small enough to work with any vehicle on the road.
This lightweight antenna from Firefly measures 4 feet long with a 5/8” wave. It’s definitely one of the smaller options on our list, but a step up from a full mini kit which at 3 feet or less. We will get to those soon enough. For this FireStick, if you don’t have a pre-existing setup you will need a cable, mounting bracket and a CB radio of course. If you do have all the equipment, you’ll just want to make sure this antenna fits into your mount properly.
The company claims the Firefly FireStik is 40% lighter than other fiberglass antennas in this class, which is perfect for consumers that don’t need a whip or want anything heavy on their vehicle. It’s about as discreet as you can get, and is light enough to be used on “mini” mounts as well. Throw in a tunable tip, and you have yourself a solid stick that will pick up wavelengths with ease as you rocket down the road.
No impressed with the 4 foot FireStik? Well, the company also produces a true mini antenna in the Firefly FireStick FL3-B. This one clocks in a full 12” shorter than the top choice on our best CB antenna list although it’s still not the smallest whip on the market. That said, it can do a few things its competitors cannot.
The FireStick FL3-B has what’s referred to as a “bare-hands” tunable tip. This means you can easily twist the end of the tip to tune it into your CB and no special tools are required. Depending on your placement and mount, you may not even have to leave your vehicle. On that note, this model does not come with a mount (or even a nut), so you will have to rely on the manufacturer’s measurements.
As mentioned, this is a 3-foot antenna measuring 92 centimeters with a 5/8 wave. It’s rated at 100 watts and can be sued along or in a dual configuration. Due to the nature of the design, you will also get NOAA weather alerts through this one as long as your CB is up to the task.
If you are new to the world of CB radios, you may think they just belong in police cruisers or are familiar with those traditional handheld units. The Solarcon A-99 Base Station Antenna isn’t necessarily built for the road but is a perfect match for users that need reliable reception from their base station.
For every CB on the road, there is a Base Station unit sitting in someone’s home or a dispatch room considering a lot of agencies and businesses rely on this tech. These units use roof-based antennas in most cases including ones like the A-99. This particular antenna is an Omni-Directional half wave unit made from fiberglass and rated to handle 2,000 watts PEP. It’s quite large at 17.5 feet and is tunable to the lowest SWR readings as well. It performs admirably; just make sure you’ve got the proper hardware on hand.
The Solarcon A-99 CB Base Station Antenna is a monster, and while it can be mounted in different ways, you’re only going to get to U-brackets to work with out of the box. That should suffice for a significant portion of users, but you may need something specialized if you plan on doing an exotic install due to its size.
Our first “whip” antenna hails from Browning and is the BR-28 high-performance whip measuring a whopping 63”. Needless to say, you don’t want to install this one on our Civic, but it’s perfect for big rigs and other vehicles that need a large, sturdy antenna for the road.
As we’ve said before, you can’t always rely on a listing to give you the scoop on actual dimensions at times. In this case, the 63” size is not totally true as the whip accounts for 49” while the coil itself takes up another 8” or so. Once you add on the 6” shaft, you’ve got 63” – something to keep in mind. Size aside, this one is made from stainless steel and rated for 10,000 watts with a frequency of 25MHz to 30 MHz. It has a triple chrome-plated copper coil and is adjustable to a degree thanks to a sliding rod and a couple of screws.
While this antenna is hard to beat if you need a whip for your truck, it does have one minor drawback. Despite its steely stature and high profile, it does not connect to a standard Coax connector. Depending on your radio style, you may have to buy and adapter before you can set this one up properly.
Rounding out our Top 5 is an all-in-one unit from Wilson dubbed the little Wil Magnet Mount Antenna. Despite its namesake, it is far from tiny although small enough to work on almost any style of wheeled vehicles. It may not be ideal for ATVs, but we think you’ll be pleased as punch with this one on your truck or car.
The Wilson 305-38 is rated to handle 300 watts of power and has a low loss coil design with thick 14 gauge copper wire. The frequency range is listed at 26-30MHz, which is standard and it will hold up on the road well as it is constructed from high-impact thermoplastics. As mentioned, this one is an “all-in-one” style unit, so it’s ready to go out of the box complete with the wire and a mean 10-ounce magnet measuring 3.5”. The antenna itself measures 36” which is a nice size although you still want to keep clearances in mind.
As long as your CB radio has the PL259 connector or a proper adapter, you will be good to go with the Wilson Little Wil. The magnet is safe as well with a plastic coating made to keep your paint free from harm. You’ll still want to be careful and lift up however as sliding anything hard against painted metal is generally a bad idea. Your clear coat will thank you for lifting down the line.