Best Portable HF Antenna

Portable HF Antenna – Bestsellers

Bestseller No. 1
GRA-7350T CB HF 3.5MHz 7-30MHz/50MHz Broadband Telescopic Portable Ham Amateur Mobile Radio Antenna
84 Reviews
GRA-7350T CB HF 3.5MHz 7-30MHz/50MHz Broadband Telescopic Portable Ham Amateur Mobile Radio Antenna
  • It is easy to adjust frequency by up-down of the coil part and ¬†on antenna tuner.
  • When operation on 50MHz please use lower telescopic length into 1090mm.
  • Light and flexible FRP is used.It is easy to carry.
Bestseller No. 2
Super Antenna MP1DXTR80 HF SuperWhip Tripod All Band 80m MP1 Antenna with Clamp Mount and Go Bag ham Radio Amateur
130 Reviews
Super Antenna MP1DXTR80 HF SuperWhip Tripod All Band 80m MP1 Antenna with Clamp Mount and Go Bag ham Radio Amateur
  • THIS IS: The Super Antenna Go Bag setup for portable HF with 80 meters. The New Upgraded 2023 ruggedized version of the...
  • PACKAGE CONTENTS: MP1C Super Antenna + SW1 Titanium SuperWhip + TM1 Low Profile Tripod + UM2 SuperMount with NVIS...
  • SIZE: The antenna extends to about 8ft (2.4m) tall. Collapsed Size: 12 inches(30cm). Go Bag Size: 13"x9"x3.5"...
Bestseller No. 3
Super Antenna MP1DXMAX Low Profile Tripod 80m-10m HF +2m VHF Portable Antenna with Go Bag ham Radio Amateur
86 Reviews
Super Antenna MP1DXMAX Low Profile Tripod 80m-10m HF +2m VHF Portable Antenna with Go Bag ham Radio Amateur
  • THIS IS: The Super Antenna Low Profile Maximum package with all HF Bands 80m-6m and simultaneous VHF 2 meters. Upgraded...
  • Perfect for Vacation or Field Day. PACKAGE CONTENTS: MP1C Super Antenna + MC2 SuperPlexer 2 meter adapter + SW1 Titanium...
  • SIZE: Total antenna extended max height 8ft (2.4m). Antenna Collapsed Size: 12 inches(30cm). Go Bag Size: 13"x9"x3.5"...
Bestseller No. 4
GRA-HF750T HF Telescopic Antenna Adjustable Frequency Multi-Band 7MHz-50MHz for FM Radio QRP, Gabil
GRA-HF750T HF Telescopic Antenna Adjustable Frequency Multi-Band 7MHz-50MHz for FM Radio QRP, Gabil
  • The GRA-HF750T is a versatile and portable wireless radio antenna for amateur radio enthusiasts.
  • The antenna operates in frequency bands of 7Mhz, 10Mhz, 14Mhz, 18Mhz, 21Mhz, 24Mhz, 28/29Mhz, and 50Mhz, providing wide...
  • Its unique design features an extendable pole and interchangeable coil bases that allow for easy frequency switching.
Bestseller No. 5
WINDCAMP Gipsy 5-50MHz HF Horizontal Dipole Antenna Ant for Ham Radio Waterproof Balun
47 Reviews
WINDCAMP Gipsy 5-50MHz HF Horizontal Dipole Antenna Ant for Ham Radio Waterproof Balun
  • 1. full-size half-wave dipole antenna level , the classic high efficiency antenna.
  • 2. fully waterproof Carbon Wei Balun
  • 3. Common quad-band (5/7/14/21/28-29/50MHz) mark , with the bobbin easily adjust the switching frequency
Bestseller No. 6
GRA-1899T multiband HF VHF (80m-6m) 3.5-50MHz Handheld Portable Telescopic Antenna Max QRP for YAESU FT-817 FT-817ND FT-818 FT-857D MFJ X5105 or KX3 ICOM IC-705, BNC
134 Reviews
GRA-1899T multiband HF VHF (80m-6m) 3.5-50MHz Handheld Portable Telescopic Antenna Max QRP for YAESU FT-817 FT-817ND FT-818 FT-857D MFJ X5105 or KX3 ICOM IC-705, BNC
  • Designed specifically for the Yaesu YAESU FT-817, FT-817ND, FT-818, FT-857D, KX3 and other QRPrigs.
  • Cover all HF bands, including WARC bands, from 80 Meters to 6 Meters.
  • Band changing is achieved by plugging the "wander lead" into the appropriate socket on the base coil.
Bestseller No. 7
HFJ-350M Toy Box Original Comet Portable 9 Band Telescopic HF Antenna with 160M Extension Coil
138 Reviews
HFJ-350M Toy Box Original Comet Portable 9 Band Telescopic HF Antenna with 160M Extension Coil
  • Frequency Bands: 1.8, 3.5, 7, 10, 14, 18, 21, 24, 28, 50 MHz
  • Telescopic Element with 3 Coils, Connector: UHF (PL-259)
  • Minimum Length: 14.25", Maximum Length: 75.6"

Last update on 2023-05-18 / Affiliate links

As ham radio enthusiasts, we recognize that portable operation can be an enjoyable experience, although it comes with its unique set of challenges. Recently, I found myself in a conversation with a newly licensed ham, who posed the age-old question: “What’s the best HF antenna for portable operation?” This question isn’t easy to answer, as it hinges on various factors, such as your radio’s purpose, the required frequency coverage, and your proximity to potential signal-obstructing obstacles (yes, trees, we mean you!). But fear not, we’ll work together to find the ideal portable HF vertical antenna to meet your needs.

Elecraft kx3 Portable HF Antenna

In the field, you’ll want a portable ham radio antenna that’s simple to set up and dismantle while maintaining optimal performance. Moreover, we must consider the ever-present issue of interference. Depending on your location, you may encounter nearby power lines, buildings, or other electrical noise sources that can disrupt your signal.

To determine the best HF antenna for portable operation, it’s crucial to understand what works and what doesn’t in specific situations. It’s important to note that most people who engage in HF portable operation do so for the enjoyment, which largely depends on making contacts. Although you might argue that operating without making any contacts can still be fun, it’s not quite the same as connecting with multiple stations. With this in mind, let’s explore how to select the ideal compact HF antenna that will enable you to have greater success.

Power Is the Key

If you’re going to operate HF portable, the choice for a lot of people is to run Q or P anyway, because it’s so much easier. Five or 10 watts is fairly easy to do on batteries. And if you’re going to operate high power with bigger batteries, then probably you’re going to have more success anyway.

So it really is the key. Your antenna is the key if you’re going to operate, low power, and my experience, the majority of people that go out and operate hf portable, operate low power. I personally use the little Elecraft KX2 which will give them up to 10 watts, a lot of people will use the FT 817 or the FT 818 which will give you up to five watts or six watts with the 818. And I guess quite a few people will be using the IC 705 when it comes along, there are other QRP transceivers, of course, as well. But we’re talking about power levers all around about 10 watts maximum, I personally try to travel light. And quite a few times I’ve used some commercial antennas.

Video: QRP Outdoor Portable with Elecraft KX2 and Random Wire Antenna


This is the coil loading call from the body stick, where you’ve got a shorting point that goes down. Then you plug sockets in there and you can just change the band by changing the tap. The good thing is that if you get it right you don’t need an 80. It will give you a good natural as an 80 to another antenna which I have used – Elecraft XXI. Practice this, this is very small, take the width off, screw comes off. That is your HF antenna for 20 meters and for 17 meters.

You can also get a loading call for 14 meters but that’s how compact is that. So we’re talking about the short whip and the short loaded whips. As I say you don’t need an antenna tuner, because it’s easier and it’s more immediate. And my experience is if you need an 80 you should resonate the antenna when you’re out operating portable.

I’ve found that often my antenna won’t work. If I don’t have an external tuner, then the wire will end up being too short and this makes it difficult to get good reception. To avoid these problems in future,I want something with simple compact design like whip antennas which are resonant when you’re right next them without any need for an earth or ground plane attached – unless one has their own device doing so job already! The easiest way is simply to run out a length of wire along the ground, which is connected to the earth side. And that acts as a ground plane. That is absolutely essential. And don’t ever try to operate with a wit without having a ground connection or preferably with a wire or sort of counter-voice connection. It just won’t work.

So short loaded whips work reasonably well. An alternative if you’ve got a car and the car is nearby is to actually mount the whip on the roof of the vehicle, I tend to use a magnetic mount. A whip mounted on your car will always work well, and I think the reason is a big chunk of metal underneath the car anyway. Moreover, in rain or shine – you can go for some peace and quiet when it rains by popping into that enclosed cabin of yours!

Alexloop Antennas

For me, it works very well. And I’ve often used that, particularly in the winters when it’s cold. The advantage is that it’s very compact when it’s all folded up in its circle carry bag, it covers 40 through 210 meters. It covers all the bands, including the walk bands, and it doesn’t need an antenna tuner. This antenna, when it’s resonant, provides a very, very low SWR.

And it’s actually very easy to adjust. Because what you do is just a quick adjustment of the tuning control at the base, and then as soon as those signals pop up from being sharp or tuned correctly – once they’re clear sounding – you can trim them down almost all way into negative numbers by looking over there on that SWR meter, probably flip over to FM or AM.

You may be wondering why I don’t need an antenna tuner with this radio. The reason is that it has minimus Wi-Fi, which means that the antenna does all of your tuning for you! Plus, unlike other styles where cables are attached to each side or back of device (and can cause interference), my unit moves freely between two points on its magnetic loop system – meaning no more worries about pesky cords getting in people’s way while driving around town looking for stations. And if you’re serious about security operation, take a look at the Alexloop website that may just be what your looking for.

Official Video: ALEXLOOP HAMPACK

Full Size HF Antennas

I have seen videos and examples of operators putting up a sort of a full-size antenna like a full-size court wide vertical on 20 meters or a loaded 40-meter antenna which stands about sort of 16 or 20 foot high. It is not a favorite antenna of mine. And I’ll tell you why. First of all, you’ve got to take a lot of extra paraphernalia with you. You need to put some decent radios out, you got to support it, you got to stop it falling over in the wind, etc. And it has quite an eye glow radiation. Now I know that a small whip has a low angle of radiation as well in theory. But if you want to improve your performance, you do it by putting up a sort of either a full size or near full size vertical, you’re actually not going to get the results that you expect.

Video: Full Size 40 meter 4 Element Yagi Antenna: PA7-4-18HD

DX

So why is this? Well, first of all, a vertical has like radiation which means to say that the takeoff angle from the RF is quite low, which favors DX. The problem is that currently and very often when you’re out, there is no DX to be worked on. I mean, we are at the sunspot minimum at the moment, very often the bands are pretty poor, the certainly no chance really of working real DX. And yet, all your energy is going off of that lowering the which favors DX.

Currently, and probably for the next couple of years, you’re not going to work much DX on your QRP portable system. So, what you want is an antenna that gives you some higher angle radiation. Now bear in mind that QRP operation is all about foreign and you want to come back with some contacts in your log. So, you really want an antenna, that gives you higher angle radiation, that will give you the contacts that are available, I mean, the 20 meters. And you can work some German stations, you can work into Eastern Europe, or you can work down into Spain and so forth, you can work up into Scandinavia, the band is generally speaking openly for that.

Vertical Antenna?

The antenna that you want for that is certainly not the vertical antenna. This applies probably even more so to 40 meters where I’ve seen ham operators trying to get contacts on a tall vertical of 40 meters and without too much access.

And the reason is that then they’re losing a lot of the signal that they could achieve. Because it’s going to lower angle radiation. Last year, I went to the Republic of Ireland and operated there. I stayed in a chalet and there was really difficult to put up an antenna on the audit. But I also took a half wavelength of wire for 40 meters. So in other words, it was 20 meters long. One end was attached to the guttering of a chalet. And the other end was attached to a bush down the garden onto the average height was about 10 or 12 feet. So it was pretty low.

Tips&Tricks

I also took the precaution of cutting it in the middle and then putting a little joiner so I could actually disconnect it and use half the length. So half the length, which will be 10 meters will give me a half-wave on 20 meters. The reason I did that was that I didn’t know how long the garden was going to be. And if all else failed, I’d have an antenna that little ratio on 20 meters. Well, in fact, there was enough room to put out 20 meters of wire, so I was able to operate on 40 meters now. That means to say that my half-wave antenna would resonate on 14 meters and 20 meters and 15 meters and 10 meters, which is quite nice.

And the good thing about an infrared half-wave is that provided you’ve got the matching transformer, you don’t need an 80 you not only Don’t you need an A to you, you don’t need any kayaks cable at all. So my half wave for 40 meters, my 20-meter long length of wire would really sort of slip into my pocket. And you can’t get an antenna which is more compact than that. Now I know there’s a lot of things were published about infrared wires and people disregard them.

1. Super Antenna MP1LXMAX Deluxe Tripod – Top-of-the-Line Setup

Super Antenna MP1LXMAX Deluxe Tripod 80m-10m HF +2m VHF Portable Antenna with Go Bags ham Radio Amateur
69 Reviews
Super Antenna MP1LXMAX Deluxe Tripod 80m-10m HF +2m VHF Portable Antenna with Go Bags ham Radio Amateur
  • THIS IS: The Deluxe Tripod Super Antenna, top-of-the-line setup, with All HF Bands 80m-6m and simultaneous VHF 2 meter....
  • FREQUENCIES: ALL BANDS 80m, 75m, 60m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, 11m, 10m, 6m, meters (3.5MHz to 30MHz tuning) plus...
  • Perfect for vacation, field days, and backyard. PACKAGE CONTENTS: MP1C Super Antenna + MC2 SuperPlexer 2 meter adapter +...

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links


The best Ham Radio equipment for operators who demand top performance comes from Super Antenna brand. Operators will never be disappointed with the output of their transmission and reception!

Features

The Super Antenna MP1LXMAX Deluxe Tripod 80m-10m HF +2m antenna is perfect for vacation, field days, and backyard use. It features a new type of Dual Band HF + plus 2 meter antenna, with the MC2 SuperPlexer 2 meter adapter.

Super Antenna MP1LXMAX

Size

The antenna is extendable to 12 feet (3.7m), and collapses down to 12 inches (30 cm). The tripod collapses down to 25 inches (64 cm) and the go bag size is 13 inchesx9 inchesx3.5 inches (33x23x9 cm). The power rating is 500W SSB, 300W CW/DATA.

Overall

The durable SuperWhip is made of titanium metal alloy, so flexible that it can be rolled up in a 12 inch diameter circle and stowed on the Go Bag. The TM4 Large Deluxe Tripod sets up on any surface and the UM3 SuperMount can also be used with the included SP3 SuperSpike for quick low-profile setup on the ground, lawn, or sand. Antenna requires manual HF tuning using included SuperSlider. Check price at Sears.com.

Video: Quick Super Antenna

2. HFJ-350M Toy Box Original Comet Portable 9 Band Telescopic HF Antenna – Great Option for Travel

HFJ-350M Toy Box Original Comet Portable 9 Band Telescopic HF Antenna with 160M Extension Coil
138 Reviews
HFJ-350M Toy Box Original Comet Portable 9 Band Telescopic HF Antenna with 160M Extension Coil
  • Frequency Bands: 1.8, 3.5, 7, 10, 14, 18, 21, 24, 28, 50 MHz
  • Telescopic Element with 3 Coils, Connector: UHF (PL-259)
  • Minimum Length: 14.25", Maximum Length: 75.6"

Last update on 2023-05-18 / Affiliate links


The HFJ-350M Toy Box Original Comet Portable 9 Band Telescopic HF Antenna is the perfect tool for Amateur Radio enthusiasts of all levels! Its capacitive coupling with grounding or counterpoise ensures proper operation. With a frequency range of HF to 50MHz, this antenna is perfect for a variety of applications.

Telescopic Design

The 4-division structured HFJ-350M Antenna is great for your shortwave listening needs. This high-quality antenna is made of durable materials and features a telescopic design, making it easy to use and transport. With its three coils, this antenna can pick up frequencies from 1.8 MHz to 50 MHz, so you can listen to many different frequencies in a short amount of length changes.

HFJ-350M Toy Box Original Comet

Overall

Looking for an easy way to connect with DX stations on 20, 40, and 80 meters? Look no further than the HFJ-350M Toy Box Original Comet Portable 9 Band Telescopic HF Antenna! This lightweight and portable antenna is perfect for QSOs on the go. With a simple telescoping design, it’s easy to set up and use, making it the perfect addition to your ham radio arsenal.

Video: Comet HFJ-350M Assembled with 160m Loading Coil Review

3. Super Antenna MP1DXMAX Low Profile Tripod 80m-10m HF +2m VHF Portable Antenna – Big Signal in a Small Package

Super Antenna MP1DXMAX Low Profile Tripod 80m-10m HF +2m VHF Portable Antenna with Go Bag ham Radio Amateur
86 Reviews
Super Antenna MP1DXMAX Low Profile Tripod 80m-10m HF +2m VHF Portable Antenna with Go Bag ham Radio Amateur
  • THIS IS: The Super Antenna Low Profile Maximum package with all HF Bands 80m-6m and simultaneous VHF 2 meters. Upgraded...
  • Perfect for Vacation or Field Day. PACKAGE CONTENTS: MP1C Super Antenna + MC2 SuperPlexer 2 meter adapter + SW1 Titanium...
  • SIZE: Total antenna extended max height 8ft (2.4m). Antenna Collapsed Size: 12 inches(30cm). Go Bag Size: 13"x9"x3.5"...

Last update on 2023-05-18 / Affiliate links


The MP1DXMAX is the #1 HF Portable Vertical Antenna worldwide. This antenna system is perfect for Ham Radio operators who demand top performance in transmitting and receiving. The package includes the MP1C Super Antenna, MC2 SuperPlexer 2 meter adapter, SW1 Titanium SuperWhip, TM1 Low Profile Tripod, UM2 SuperMount, MC80 Coil, MC60 Coil, FG1 SWR Ruler, GB Super Go Bag, SP3 SuperSpike and all radial sets.

Features

The MP1DXMAX is compatible with all Amateur Radio transceivers and has a power rating of 500W SSB and 300W CW/DATA. With its new UM2 SuperMount and NVIS SuperTilt, this dual-band HF + 2 meter antenna is ideal for portable operation. The durable SuperWhip is made of titanium metal alloy and can be rolled up to 12″ in diameter for easy storage. The TM1 Low Profile Tripod sets up quickly on any flat surface, while the UM2 SuperMount clamps to most surfaces or attaches with a U-bolt to any 1.25″ pipe or post.

Super Antenna MP1DXMAX

Overall

With a rugged black GB Go Bag carry case, this antenna is easy to transport and set up. Plus, with its two meter VHF band capabilities, you can use it almost anywhere. So if you’re looking for an HF antenna that is durable, compact, and easy to transport, the Super Antenna MP1DXMAX tripod antenna is the perfect choice!

Video: Super Antenna MP1 | portable HF antenna

4. Comet Original GP-1 146/446 MHz Dual Band Heavy-Duty Fiberglass Vertical Base Antenna – Most Affordable

Sale
Comet Original GP-1 146/446 MHz Dual Band Heavy-Duty Fiberglass Vertical Base Antenna - 4' 2', SO-239 Connector
198 Reviews
Comet Original GP-1 146/446 MHz Dual Band Heavy-Duty Fiberglass Vertical Base Antenna - 4' 2", SO-239 Connector
  • Dual Band Base Vertical 146/446MHz
  • Gain: 146MHz 3.0dBi, 446MHz 6.0dBi
  • VSWR: 1.5:1 or less, Max Power: 200 watts SSB/100W FM

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links

The Comet GP-1 Dual-Band VHF/UHF Base Vertical Antenna provides moderate-gain performance on both the 2-meter and 70-centimeter bands, making it an impressive purchase. The superior-quality base station antenna features a heavy-duty UV-stabilized fiberglass radome, which ensures its reliability and durability for many years to come.

The highest power rating in its class, the Comet GP-1 is capable of handling long QSOs from high-power VHF/UHF radios. Its compact size of only 3.5 feet makes it perfect for installation in various locations such as outdoors, attics, or even closets. Additionally, the extruded aluminum and stainless steel clamp-on mounting hardware incorporated in the design makes installation incredibly easy.

Comet Original CHA-250B

Overall

The Comet GP-1 Dual-Band VHF/UHF Base Vertical Antenna is a must-have for anyone seeking a reliable, compact, and high-performance base station antenna. Its impressive performance, durability, and ease of installation make it an excellent choice for both amateur and professional radio enthusiasts alike. Its compact size of only 3.5 feet tall also means that it can be easily transported and installed in outdoor locations.

Video: Comet GP-1 VHF / UHF Antenna Ham Radio Installation on Chimney Using Superstrut

In Conclusion

When opting for QRP, you might want to use an end-fed half-wave resonant wire with a suitable matching transformer. If building your own antenna isn’t appealing, there are commercial options available, such as those made by Vibro Plex in the USA. They offer a full-size 40-meter-long antenna or a shorter Audible version that covers four bands: 20, 14, and 10 meters. Both of these options are suitable for the best portable ham radio setup.

If you’re only interested in operating on the 20-meter band, you can simply use 10 meters of wire. Surprisingly, this length of wire will also resonate on the 10-meter band. The end-fed half-wave resonant wire is an incredibly compact choice for the best antenna for mobile ham radio. You won’t need an 80 or coax cable, and it boasts excellent resonance and low SWR. You should be able to operate smoothly across the band without any issues. This compact system not only works well but also helps you make contacts. Give it a try with the best portable antenna, and you won’t be disappointed.