Using a cell phone when out on the water just isn’t reliable enough, especially in the more remote areas, so we bought a couple of VHF radios.
Looked at quite a few brands. Being waterproof was a must and floating if dropped in the water was also an important criteria. Finally settled on the Uniden MHS125 Marine Handheld Radio.
Besides being waterproof and floating if dropped in the water it has a bunch of other great features. It supports all NOAA weather channels. It can monitor three channels while also listening for emergency weather alerts. The keyboard is backlite making it easy to use at night and can also be locked. In addition to using a rechargeable Li-Ion battery it can also be powered with alkaline AA batteries. It even has a built-in LED flashlight that doubles as an SOS light.
We used them for the first time last weekend and were very pleased with them. Mine even survived falling off the back of my kayak and being dragged in salt water by its lanyard for about a mile until I noticed it.