Are you someone who travels frequently? Or a person who travels with his acoustic guitar?
If so, I’m sure you occasionally regret taking your acoustic guitar to places like airports, buses, or around people who don’t care as much about guitars as you do! If this describes you, you’ve come to the right place, since we’ve compiled a list of the five best travel acoustic guitars to buy in 2023.
There are numerous advantages to owning a portable guitar. They’re extremely light and portable. A portable guitar is an excellent investment if you make many trips to rehearsals each week, frequently travel to and from different places, or simply enjoy the convenience of being able to play on the fly.
Travel guitars are recommended for players of all skill levels. We included picks for guitar students to take to and from practice, as well as an acoustic guitar for shows and electric and bass guitars for rehearsals and gigs.
Traveling with a full-sized guitar everywhere might be difficult owing to its weight, and you don’t want to take your expensive guitars everywhere, you know? A good backup guitar is a terrific thing to have on vacation for impromptu practice and composing.
The Martin LX1E Little Martin is our personal favorite on this list. It’s perfect for concerts! It has excellent playability, is lightweight (approximately 3 pounds), and produces excellent sound.
A compact, portable guitar will be your best investment yet. Here are seven of the greatest travel guitars for any musician.
5 Best Travel Acoustic Guitars
1. Yamaha JR1 3/4
The Yamaha JR1 is one of the most popular guitars. Yamaha Jr1 shows that quality does not have to be expensive. Since its debut, this instrument has managed to dominate the travel guitar industry. People are crazy about the Yamaha JR1 because of its compact size. So, in a nutshell, this guitar can be a perfect alternative for you if you require a tiny guitar with you to go around the places you want to carry your guitar.
Yamaha lowered the size of the guitar by 3/4 and created this baby, which is primarily why people appreciate it so much. The top of the guitar is composed of solid Sitka spruce, and the rest of the guitar is built of meranti wood.
But what we perceive in this traveler guitar that others do not is the reason why it comes with a bound top.A feature found only on more expensive versions. After all, the tone is much nicer, and there’s no reason to be concerned about how much money it will cost you. A less expensive traveler guitar may come with clouded hardware; this is one way for firms to lower the cost of the money they use to make one guitar.
The bridge is constructed of rosewood, while the nut is made of compact synthetic; inexpensive synthetics can’t compete with real bone, but they’re a good substitute. Instruments for travelers are notorious for having a low or weaker loudness and a lack of the sound of low notes, but this guitar is a different tale; for the price you pay, it has enough sound to fulfill every traveler’s desires.
For those who do not have a lot of money to invest in the best travel guitar, this is the best option they can get; this travel guitar is packed with some rich tones and it’s nicely manufactured, so it’s a win-win situation.
2. Gibson Maestro 30
Experienced acoustic guitarists would understand, but beginners should be aware that a Maestro Gibson is not the same as a genuine Gibson instrument. It is a portable acoustic guitar manufactured by Gibson. That doesn’t mean it’s not excellent or enjoyable to play with.
This guitar’s design is nothing unique; it’s almost like a regular guitar with a honeyburst finish. It’s simple and elegant, with no additional adornment. It’s made of laminated wood, which is fantastic. This acoustic guitar is as cheap as it gets. It may benefit considerably from a solid setup, and it may be difficult for a novice musician to make it into something particularly nice.
The back’s sides are made of basswood, and the top is made of spruce veneer. According to the buyer, this guitar is durable. The fingerboard has 21 frets and the neck is narrow, making the instrument easy to play.
Overall, this acoustic guitar is fantastic in terms of sound, and while its appearance may not dazzle you, you will seldom find a guitar with a sound quality like this. Furthermore, this instrument is very capable of handling the tension that occurs throughout your trips.
3. Baby Taylor BT2
Baby Taylor was designed to meet the demands of people who want to travel and take their guitar with them everywhere they go; thus, it is just 3/4 the size of a full-sized instrument. This is one of Taylor’s most popular guitars today, as it has been for the past 10 years.
Some argue that the BT2 is not a travel guitar due to its size, but it is for many other seasoned travelers. Some argue that the body shape, which is similar to that of a full-sized guitar, prevents it from becoming a travel guitar, and they may be correct.
One of the main reasons I included it on our list is because it is a relatively lightweight model. Even though this is not a handcrafted guitar, you can see Taylor’s characteristic quality at work here. The top is mahogany, and the rest of the board is stacked sapele.
In terms of quality, the BT2 is nothing out of the ordinary. You will receive a rosewood bridge with a small saddle made of nut and bone. If you don’t push the guitar too far outside of its comfort zone, it performs admirably. One of the primary reasons people appreciate this guitar is the sound it produces; some people compare it to a full-sized dreadnought, and with its tremendous projection, it’s easy to see where they’re coming from.
Everything about this Taylor is average, from its tone to its frequency range, clarity, and warmth. In a nutshell, it’s a genuine Taylor guitar. If you choose quality over quantity, I believe this is a terrific decision; this guitar will offer you a wonderful performance. I’d also like to point out that when you remove it from the case after purchasing it, you will need to make some modifications to increase its actual performance.
4. Little Martin LX1
We started this list with a Martin and will end it with one.
If you have little hands or want to teach a child to play the guitar properly, the first brand that comes to mind is Martin. This popular guitar is one of the greatest in terms of tone and the longevity of the sound quality you provide to others while playing it. Martin is also rather reasonable for an actual assembly in Mexico.
This small Martin is designed for the traveler who appreciates his acoustic guitar, and because it is a small acoustic, it is just what you would expect—a miniature version of a real Martin. The top is composed of solid Sitka spruce, and the back and sides are built of Highly Pressured Laminate.
This guitar, like many others from Martin that fall into the inexpensive category of acoustics, has a neck constructed of reddish birch laminate, which offers you a beautiful feel in your hands, as well as 20 frets. As we noted in our Little Martin LX1E review, this guitar looks amazing, feels great, and sounds terrific. This Martin delivers a wonderful, forceful projection of sound quality and can be played for a long time while remaining in tune.
Does this guitar have the sound of a full-sized Martin? Not really, but it was never intended to be, as it was designed for practice and little performances around your house or among your friends. It is a fantastic guitar that you can get your hands on. If you want a portable guitar that you can take with you when you travel and that fits perfectly in your hands and smaller hands like children’s, this is the best you can buy at this price.
5. Fender CT-60S
The fact that the Fender CT-60s has a mahogany body makes it one of my favorite travel guitars, without a doubt. If you’ve been reading our site for a while, you undoubtedly already know how much I adore acoustic guitars with mahogany bodies. Since I genuinely appreciate the value you get for the money, I always suggest Fender products. Concerning their travel guitars, this is not an exception.
This acoustic guitar’s body is mostly constructed of mahogany, with a solid spruce top. This is fantastic because it makes it possible for the guitar to have a wonderful tone while also being small. The plastic nut on the Fender CT-60S is the only aspect of the guitar that didn’t sit well with me. However, I will overlook this one because it is a cheap travel guitar.
Even though it’s not a miniature guitar, this one is nonetheless quite portable. It’s simple to store in the back seat of your car and take out anytime you want to play. I would advise you to look at some mini models if you fly because they are simpler to bring with you. Although miniature models are typically lighter, they don’t play as well as medium-sized ones.
I haven’t seen many other instruments in that category perform as well as the Fender CT-60S, and hearing the warm but balanced tone coming out of such a little mahogany body is extremely unusual. I wouldn’t choose the CT-60S if I were trying to get my first guitar, but if you already own a high-end acoustic guitar and are searching for a portable model with a smaller mahogany body, you can’t go wrong with the CT-60S by Fender.
To sum up, I’d say it’s worth the cost. Its body is made of mahogany; it’s lightweight; and I adore the design of this instrument. It is undoubtedly a fantastic guitar for traveling and playing simple music!
What Should a Travel Guitar’s Ideal Weight Be?
Keep it between 5 and 10 lbs. This is an excellent size for traveling, particularly if you plan to carry your guitar around for extended periods at shows or airports.
How Comfortable Are Travel Guitars to Play?
Depending on your playing style, check the fretboard radius and make sure the truss rods are adjustable so you can alter the playability to your preferences.
Are portable guitars amplifiable?
Amplification is possible because of built-in electronics like pickups and preamps.
For every guitarist, buying a portable guitar can mean something different. Some professional musicians prefer a cheap, lightweight guitar for performances or practice sessions; others want a smaller guitar that can fit in luggage that can be checked on an airplane.
We compiled options for a variety of situations, but the Martin LX1E Little Martin for gigging is a great lightweight acoustic to take on the road.
The Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar is what you need if you’re a musician who can’t stop making tunes, even when you’re supposed to be unwinding. Additionally, you can use it to perform at small venues like parks, beaches, and coffee shops.
Think about the Fender Squier by Fender and the Ibanez GSRM20-BS GIO SR MiKro Series Electric Bass Guitar if you prefer compact, lightweight electric guitars and bass guitars.
Both Fender and Ibanez have a stellar reputation as consumer brands. You’ll have a fantastic instrument that is merely smaller and portable.