Best Travel Acoustic Guitars

Acoustic Guitar July 29, 2019
travel electric guitars
Damilola

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Best Travel Acoustic Guitars

travel electric guitars

No one likes being stuck with a full-sized heavyweight guitar while camping or hiking. It is for this reason that lightweight guitars have become so popular. Lightweight guitars or what you may call travel acoustic guitars are small-body portable instruments.

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Quick Links: Best Travel Acoustic Guitars

Best Rated Travel Acoustic Guitars Reviewed

Yamaha JR1 FG Junior 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar

  • Produces midrange to loud ultra clear tones
  • Allows easy transition between chords and frets
  • Low action guitar with light gauge strings
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Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar

  • Low action guitar with strong steel strings
  • The transition between chords is smooth and easy
  • The guitar stays in tune for longer hours
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Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top - Vintage Sunburst

  • Sturdy tuning pegs that rotate smoothly
  • Low action guitar with light gauge strings
  • Can produce low to mid-range tones
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Protege by Cordoba C100M 3/4 Size Classical Guitar

  • Lightweight truss rod for adjusting the guitar’s action
  • The neck can be adjusted up and down for a proper grip
  • Inexpensive and comes with a gig-bag and a clip-on tuner
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Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany 3/4-Size Travel Acoustic Guitar

  • Manufactured for both right-handers and left-handers
  • Strong machine tuners rotate smoothly
  • Strong body with light gauge strings
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Travel acoustic guitars can range from a few hundred dollars to as much as thousands of dollars. While everyone likes high-end guitars, not everyone has the luxury to afford them. This is why we have dedicated our today’s list of 10 best travel acoustic guitars to people who have a limited budget. Despite costing less, our top picks will not compromise the music quality.

Yamaha JR1 FG Junior 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha jr

Pros:

  • Produces midrange to loud ultra clear tones
  • Allows easy transition between chords and frets
  • Low action guitar with light gauge strings
  • Strong tuning pegs keep the guitar in-tune for a long time

Cons:

  • Lower E-string produces a low buzzing noise
  • Scratch prone body incompatible with nylon strings

Yamaha JR1FG is a 3/4th size acoustic guitar with a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard. This ambidextrous travel acoustic guitar with a spruce top is ideal for people with small hands. It weighs 7 pounds and has a slim Nato neck and a laminated wood body.

This 6-string travel acoustic guitar with a Mahogany tonewood back has dotted inlays on the fingerboard. Lastly, its tuning pegs are strong and rotate smoothly.

Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar

Martin Steel

Pros:

  • Low action guitar with strong steel strings
  • The transition between chords is smooth and easy
  • The guitar stays in tune for longer hours
  • Produces well balanced bright tones

Cons:

  • Lower strings produce a buzzing noise
  • Cannot withstand non-stop strumming
  • Body and strings aren’t fully waterproof

Martin steel string travel acoustic guitar has a hardwood fingerboard with 15 decently spaced frets. Made with solid wood, this travel guitar weighs just 5.3 pounds. Moreover, it has mahogany tonewood back and neck and a solid spruce top. It has a 24-inch scale length and strong tuning pegs.

This 6-string Martin travel acoustic guitar has a contoured neck for a proper grip. Lastly, it is ambidextrous; thus, it suitable for both right-handers and left-handers.

Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top - Vintage Sunburst

Pros:

  • Sturdy tuning pegs that rotate smoothly
  • Low action guitar with light gauge strings
  • Can produce low to mid-range tones
  • Smooth frets make finger transition between frets easy

Cons:

  • Fragile strings require frequent replacement
  • Difficult to clean dust from the fingerboard with strings attached
  • Body swells if exposed to moisture
  • Manufactured only for right handed people

Gretsch G9500 is a parlor-shaped travel acoustic guitar with 18-fret rosewood fingerboard. It features a V-shaped neck and X bracing.

Moreover, its back, sides, and top are made of Agathis. This instrument also has a Nato neck and strong tuning pegs. This travel acoustic guitar can also produce a warm and mellow sound between low to mid-range frequencies. Lastly, it weighs just 2.2 pounds and its fretboard has dotted inlays.

Protege by Cordoba C100M 3/4 Size Classical Guitar

Protege by Cordoba C100M 3/4 Size Classical Guitar with Gig Bag and Tuner (Amazon Exclusive)

Pros:

  • Lightweight truss rod for adjusting the guitar’s action
  • The neck can be adjusted up and down for a proper grip
  • Inexpensive and comes with a gig-bag and a clip-on tuner
  • Thin Nylon strings perfect for fingerpicking

Cons:

  • The body can swell if overexposed to moisture
  • Strings can become rigid and corrode over a period of time
  • Strings produce a buzzing noise after some time
  • Tuning pegs do not rotate smoothly

This 6-string classical acoustic guitar is 3/4th the size of a dreadnought acoustic guitar. It also has a spruce top and a lightweight truss rod. Moreover, it also features mahogany tonewood back and sides and a rosewood bridge with a 17-fret fingerboard.

In addition, this instrument has premium quality Savarez 500CJ nylon strings and it weighs 8 pounds. Lastly, it has a glossy finish.

Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany 3/4-Size Travel Acoustic Guitar - Natural

Pros:

  • Manufactured for both right-handers and left-handers
  • Strong machine tuners rotate smoothly
  • Strong body with light gauge strings
  • Adjustable truss rod to fix the guitar’s action

Cons:

  • Expensive when compared to other guitars with similar features
  • Edges of the frets on the fingerboard are sharp
  • Lower E-string produces a mild buzzing sound
  • Needs to be tuned at least two times a day

Luna Safari 3/4th size travel acoustic guitar has mahogany tonewood back and sides. It also features dotted inlays all along the fingerboard. Its fingerboard is made of rosewood and has 19 frets.

Moreover, with a Mahogany tonewood top and a satin smooth finish, this travel acoustic guitar weighs just 4 pounds. In addition, it can produce warm and fuller sound with clear notes. Lastly, it has a laser etched henna design.

Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar, Mahogany Top

Pros:

  • Low action guitar with light gauge strings
  • Easy to hold neck and finger accessible frets
  • Base holding the strings is strong
  • Tuning pegs can reduce tension between the strings and neck

Cons:

  • Expensive than some other travel acoustic guitars
  • Manufactured just for right-handed people
  • Strings require re-tuning every 2-3 hours
  • Cannot withstand non-stop strumming

Taylor BT2 is a 6-string travel acoustic guitar with a solid wood body. It has Ebony tonewood fingerboard with 19 frets. Moreover, with mahogany tonewood back, sides and top, this travel acoustic guitar also feature layered X bracing.

In addition, it has a Sapele neck with 22 ¾ inches scale length. This dreadnought style cutaway guitar features a matte finish. Lastly, it has dot inlays on the fingerboard.

Maestro by Gibson 30

Pros:

  • Lubricated tuning pegs can reduce string and neck tension
  • Inexpensive and lightweight guitar with a strong body
  • Non-slippery body and a slim neck for a comfortable grip

Cons:

  • Strings are fragile and require tuning way too frequently
  • Body is not waterproof and can swell if overexposed to moisture

This 6-string travel acoustic guitar by Gibson has a slim maple neck and a rosewood fingerboard with 21 frets. Moreover, it has solid spruce veneer top and chrome hardware. Additionally, with basswood back and sides derived from Mora trees, this instrument also sports high-quality tuning pegs.

Maestro travel acoustic guitar also has a glossy finish and it weighs 7.75 pounds. Lastly, it has dotted inlays all along the fretboard.

Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar

Pros:

  • Slim mortise neck fits all hands and offers a strong grip
  • The narrow gap between frets and strings increases playability
  • Smooth chrome tuners reduce string and neck tension

Cons:

  • Expensive than many other travel acoustic guitars
  • Neck and bridge are fragile and scratch prone

Martin LX1 Little Martin travel acoustic guitar has a solid Sitka spruce top and small-knob chrome tuners. This 6-string guitar has a Mahogany pattern high-pressure laminated finish and 2-⅛ inches string spacing. Moreover,  this instrument has a stratabond neck and an Indian rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets.

Furthermore, this travel acoustic guitar has a hand rubbed finish and a Micarta bridge with a tusq saddle. Lastly, it sports modified X bracing and it weighs 8.3 pounds.

Cordoba Mini M Travel Acoustic Guitar

Pros:

  • Lightweight low action guitar perfect for fingerpicking
  • Produces loud noise-free sound even at high notes
  • Wooden base holding the strings is very strong.]

Cons:

  • Body and strings are not waterproof
  • Strings become rigid and fragile within a month

This 6-string travel acoustic guitar by Cordoba has nylon strings. Moreover, it has a solid spruce top and a rosewood fingerboard with 20-inch scale length. This instrument has mahogany tonewood back, sides and top.

In addition, it features 19 frets and dotted inlays all along the fingerboard. Cordoba Mini M travel acoustic guitar also has a U-shaped neck. On top of that, it weighs just 2.5 pounds. Lastly, it has a 50 mm nut width.

Oscar Schmidt OGHSB-A-U 1/2 Size Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar (High Gloss Black)

Pros:

  • Inexpensive guitar with a slim neck
  • Thin strings produce loud and clear sound
  • Adjustable truss rod helps in fixing the guitar’s action

Cons:

  • Neck and strings require tightening too often
  • Strings interfere with each other while strumming
  • Tuning pegs do not function smoothly
  • Difficult to clean dust from the fretboard with strings attached

This 6-string travel acoustic guitar by Oscar Schmidt is half the size of a dreadnought acoustic guitar. It has an adjustable truss rod and a mahogany tonewood neck. Moreover, its back and sides are made of Catalpa material.

Additionally, this instrument also features a solid spruce top and tech wood fingerboard and bridge. It also has a high gloss finish and it weighs just 4.9 pounds. Lastly, it has steel strings.

Key Features To Consider While Buying A Travel Acoustic Guitar

It is not easy to find a travel acoustic guitar with all the features that you desire within your budget. That being said, it isn’t impossible either. All that’s needed is accurate knowledge about the features that make a travel acoustic guitar good, mediocre or bad.

  • Scale Length – Small size doesn’t mean compromised scale length. Always remember, a larger scale guitar can produce fuller and clearer music than a guitar with a small scale length. Thus, you should aim at a small-body acoustic guitar with a larger scale length.
  • Construction Quality – Wooden acoustic guitars sound better than laminated ones. In fact, the quality of dry woods only gets better over time. Such guitars are long-lasting as well. Thus, buy an acoustic guitar with a wooden or at least a wooden laminated body. Avoid the ones with cheap plastic lamination.
  • String Spacing – String spacing is as important as the gap between the strings and frets. If the strings are placed too close to each other, there are chances that they will interfere with each other. Thus, try to find a guitar that has optimal string spacing to reduce interference.
  • Neck Width – A common misconception about small-body travel acoustic guitars is that they all have narrow necks. This is however untrue. Small body guitars can have a broad neck as well. Thus, always hold a guitar to find out if it fits in your palms. You should additionally go for a guitar with finger accessible frets.
  • Adjustable Truss Rod – Not all travel acoustic guitars are low action. Thus, the best way to ensure that the guitar is playable is by buying the one with an adjustable truss rod. It will give you the leisure to adjust the guitar’s action as per your liking. It will also help with adjusting the guitar’s neck for additional comfort and better grip.
  • Your Budget – It is obvious that a guitar with more features offers greater variation. This is why, it is quite possible to lose a track of your budget in the pool of multiple fancy features. However, what’s more, important is the quality of the music produced. Thence, focus on the guitar’s tonal quality rather than fancy additions.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, travel acoustic guitars are lightweight musical companions that are perfect while camping. Besides, they are also a good option for children and beginners to practice fingerpicking. Usually priced cheaply, travel acoustic guitars can be expensive as well. Moreover, this is basically because travel acoustic guitars too have different features. This is why it is important to keep your budget in mind while buying one. For this reason, our reference list of key considerations and products will come in handy.

Damilola

Damilolai has been writing about music for the past 7 years before joining musicgroupies.com team. When he's not working he loves going to the park with his two Jack Russell Terrier's Joe and Bells.
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