If you’re a regular traveler or possibly planning on an extended period of traveling, it’s unlikely you’ll want to take a full-sized electric guitar with you.
Full-size guitars are not only heavy but also cumbersome and frequently troublesome to transport. If you’re traveling by plane, you’ve even more problems to face. The regulations regarding your rights to take your guitar on a flight, as carry-on luggage, are ambiguous and all too frequently at the good or bad will of the ground staff.
Therefore you need one of the best travel electric guitars currently available. These can be taken anywhere and are lightweight and compact. So, let’s get this best electric travel guitar review underway and see what the world of electric travel guitars has to offer…
Top 7 Best Travel Electric Guitars To Buy In 2020 Reviews
1 Stewart Electric Travel Guitar
The first of our best travel electric guitars under review is the Stewart Electric Travel Guitar. Which is every bit a full-sized electric guitar, with a full 648 mm scale length and 22 medium frets. The fretboard is constructed from Amaranth with simple Pearloid dot inlays. The neck has a 14” radius and is made from maple. The nut width is 42 mm.
It features an Alder body with a traditional tobacco sunburst high gloss finish. The shape of the body, the volume and tone controls, the five-way toggle switch, the slotted hardtail, and the three Alnico single-coil pickups all contribute to its classic Stratocaster looks.
However, undoubtedly the best and most important feature of this guitar is the easily collapsible neck.
One of the great things about this guitar is that it has a full-sized body and scale length. Playing it feels every bit the same as playing a normal non-travel guitar. You’ll have no adjustments to make playing the Stewart Electric Travel Guitar.
The sound is clear, detailed, and bright. This is exactly as you’d expect from Alnico 3 low output pick-ups. There are, of course, plenty of options to dial in different tones by switching between pickups and blending the mix with the tone controls.
The main feature of the Stewart electric guitar is its patented Clip-joint removable neck. This is really quick and easy to assemble or collapse, without loosening strings, in mere seconds. The nice thing is that also, after re-assembly, the guitar typically stays in tune.
A good quality travel case is provided, and importantly, it’s fully compliant with the latest airline carry-on size restrictions.
That’s something that could save you a lot of hassle.
- It’s a full-sized guitar.
- Easy playability.
- Good Stratocaster style of sound.
- It can be collapsed and assembled in seconds.
- Quality case included.
- It’s compliant with airline carry-on baggage restrictions.
2 Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Solid-Body Electric Guitar
The Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light, though it has a small compact body, still has a full 24 3/4″ scale length.
The main body of the guitar and the through-body neck are made from American hard maple with a natural finish. The fretboard is black walnut, and it has 22 medium frets with simple Pearloid dot inlays and a nut width of 1.75”.
This is a headless guitar that utilizes its own Traveler In-Body Tuning System™. It operates with the clever location of standard tuners located within the main body of the guitar. It has a single dual-rail humbucker and an adjustable Tune-o-Matic style bridge.
This is a lightweight and small guitar. It weighs 3lbs 2ozs and has a total length of 28” with a body width of 5.25” and thickness of no more than 2”.
The Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light has a detachable lap rest. Without it, when playing sat down, it would be like trying to put your arms around Kate Moss. Tricky, to say the least.
It’s overall size, and weight make it one of the smallest full-scaled travel guitars on the market. With the case, it only measures 30” x 6.5” x 3″ and weighs just under 4lbs. This makes it an absolute breeze to transport.
The company claims it to be 28% shorter and 68% lighter than a ‘typical’ electric guitar. The fact is we don’t find this kind of market-speak useful in any way. Guitars’ sizes and weights vary so much, whichever marketeer came up with these statistics should have stayed home that day.
You get plenty of output with the Ultra-Light, courtesy of the dual-rail humbuckers. The power and tone are great, but there is only a single humbucker and no tone controls. There’s no volume either. Consequently, all changes you make are going to be via your amp. This is not ideal.
The neck, frets, and fret-end are all smooth, and the action is low straight out of the box. So far, so good, as far as playability is concerned. However, when sat down and playing, the weight of its neck keeps forcing it to angle down. This is because of the relative weight of the neck in comparison to a very lightweight body. It’s annoying at first, but you do get used to it.
Also annoying is the Kate Moss friendly lap rest. It’s a great idea in theory, but the metal surface is slippery and keeps sliding around when you’re playing. The use of a different material could easily sort this out.
However, standing up and playing would eradicate all of these playing issues.
- Very lightweight.
- Very small size.
- Full-scale length.
- Innovative tuner placement.
- Soft case included.
- No on-board tone or volume controls.
- It can be awkward to play sat down.
3 Shredneck Travel Guitar – Cherry Sunburst – Model: STVD-CS
The Shredneck Travel Guitar is a Les Paul styled guitar with a compact ¾ scale length. This is a small guitar measuring 9.5” across and only 33” high.
The body is made from Nato with a flamed Maple top, which has a beautiful high gloss cherry burst finish. The neck is also Maple with 22 frets, rosewood crown fretboard, and simple Pearloid dot inlays. It has a traditional headstock with chrome-plated tuners.
There are master volume and tone controls with a three-way toggle switch. The three-way toggle switch is placed between the tone and volume controls. Someone needs to have a quiet word and tell ShredNeck that it’s in the wrong place. Top left-hand corner guys. Top left-hand corner.
The guitar has a pair of high output humbuckers.
All of this travel Shredliness comes in at 5.5 lbs.
The fact is that it’s easy to get a low action and easy to play fast licks and passages of music. The lower string tension makes fretting and bending easier. People with smaller hands or children may particularly benefit from the ¾ sized fretboard. Conversely, people with really broad fingers might find things a little cramped and, therefore, more difficult to play.
Though the short scale length takes some getting used to; conversely, the relatively normal-sized body makes it feel natural to play. It’s not always the case with travel guitars, but it’s a feature we really appreciate.
The two humbuckers produce some gritty, heavy sounds when the gain is cranked. Happily, it plays well through clean channels too. What’s more, the onboard tone control and ability to switch between pickups give plenty of options to shape your sound.
A gig bag is provided.
Could all these great features make this the very best of the best travel electric guitars? Well, read on to find out…
- Easy to
- Good for people with small hands.
- Good tones through clean and dirty channels.
- Only 33” total length.
- Familiar Les Paul body shape.
4 Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light 6 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The Traveler Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric Guitar is very similar to the Traveler Electric Guitar we looked at a little earlier. Most of the materials and measurements are the same. So, let’s dive in and take a look at the specs on this acoustic travel guitar and see what’s the same and what isn’t.
Firstly, the acoustic travel guitar has the same though compact body with a full 24 3/4″ scale length. The through-body neck is manufactured using American hard maple. The fretboard is made from black walnut, with 22 medium frets, and has simple Pearloid dot inlays. The nut width is 1.75”.
The acoustic travel guitar has the same headless design and clever proprietary In-Body Tuning System™ as the Electric Ultra-Light. There is a Tune-o-Matic style adjustable bridge, and now we see a few differences over the electric version of this guitar. The Ultra-Light 6 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar uses a Piezo pickup instead of humbuckers.
The guitar we’re reviewing here is finished in an attractive vintage red satin finish. There are three other colors available; antique brown, maple, and black gloss. This compares to the electric non-acoustic version, which has a choice of seven colors.
Finally, the guitar 2lbs and 15ozs, and has a total length of 28” with a body thickness of no more than 2”.
Being one of the smallest full-scaled travel guitars and one of the lightest, it’s very easy to transport.
The company claims this one to be 31% shorter and 43% lighter than a ‘typical’ acoustic guitar. Yet again another bad day at the office for some marketer who is unable to grasp the ludicrousness of there being such a thing as a ‘typical’ acoustic guitar. 100% of statistics we’ve recently encountered from marketeers have been nonsense.
The piezo pickup delivers some crisp and clear tones. However, since there is no sound hole, and this is a solid bodied guitar, it lacks resonance and projection. What’s more, as increasing levels of gain are dialed in, it begins to sound more and more like an electric guitar.
Like the electric version, this guitar has a smooth fretboard and fret ends with a nice action straight out of the box. So far, so good as far as playability is concerned. However, we have the same moans and niggles as we did with its electric counterpart.
Firstly, there is the lack of tone controls and volume controls on the body of the guitar. Secondly, the balance of the guitar’s weight keeps forcing the neck downwards whilst playing. Finally, the lap rest slips and moves around.
Despite a few negatives, it still has our vote as the best travel acoustic-electric guitar currently on sale.
- Very small and light.
- Full-scale length.
- The positioning of the tuners.
- Soft case included.
- There are no tone or volume controls.
- Seated playability can be a little awkward.
5 Traveler Guitar Speedster Electric Travel Guitar, Red
Next up on our best travel electric guitars is the Traveler Guitar Speedster, which is larger than a lot of the other guitars we’ve reviewed. It is, however still lightweight and small. It weighs 4.7lbs, has a total length of 28”, it’s 7.5” wide (with the detachable armrest removed) and is 2” thick at its widest point. It has a full-scale length of 24 3/4″.
The guitar is made from American hard maple and is finished in candy apple metallic red. The neck is a through-body design and finished in the same candy apple red. The fretboard is made from black walnut, has 22 medium frets with Pearloid dot inlays. The nut width is a standard 1.75”.
The speedster uses the Traveler’s own In-Body Tuning System™. This design uses standard tuning machines that are cleverly positioned into the main body of the guitar. It features a dual-rail humbucker and an adjustable bridge.
The dual-rail humbuckers ensure that the Traveler Speedster has plenty of output. It can produce both clear and smooth sound through the clean channel, with heavy and dark sound through when played with gain.
The good news is that the Traveler Speedster has both a tone and control knob. We’re very happy about that. These are all too often missing from travel guitars. Whilst we understand their omission as a drive to achieving minimum size and weight, on-board controls on an electric guitar, we feel, are essential.
The Speedster has the same nice smooth fret end and fretboard as the rest of the Traveler range. Additionally, it has a nicely set-up action right out of the box. This is an easy to play instrument.
Something else we really like about this guitar is the removable armrest. This is an easy bolt-on and bolt-off design. No tools are needed to take it on or off, and it can be done in seconds.
The arm-rest, together with the wider body width of the guitar makes it feel more natural to play. Further, because of the increased weight of the body, the guitar neck, unlike the Ultra-Light Traveler, doesn’t have a tendency to keep angling down. All in all, this makes playing the Speedster a lot more comfortable.
Although this isn’t the lightest electric travel guitar, we do think that the increase of its size and weight sufficiently adds to its level of functionality, and the playability to be worthwhile.
- Full-scale length.
- On-board tone and volume controls.
- Detachable arm-rest.
- The Traveler In-Body Tuning System™.
- Soft case included.
- Heavy and larger than other travel guitars.
6 Steinberger GTPROBK1 Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Black
There’s plenty going on with the Steinberger, so let’s take a closer look at the specs.
The Steinberger GTPROBK1 Solid-Body Electric Guitar has a full-scale length of 25 1/2” with 22 medium frets. The fretboard is made from Rosewood and features simple Pearloid dot inlays. The body and through-neck are made from Maple and have a high gloss polyurethane finish. You can see your face in this one, no problem. The neck is ‘C’ shaped with a fretboard radius of 14” and a nut width of and 1 5/8”
This is a headless guitar with the Steinberger system tuners situated at the base of the guitar. They are easy to operate and, most importantly, do a good job of keeping the guitar in tune. However, remember that you will need double ball strings for this guitar, which are not as easy to source as standard electric strings.
The Steinberger has three pickups. Nice. The bridge and neck pickups are humbuckers. The middle pickup is a single-coil pickup. The Steinberger also has a Direct Drive R-Trem Tremolo system.
There are the volume and tone controls plus a five-way toggle switch on the body of the guitar. All functional enough, but they do feel and look a little cheap. Considering the price of the guitar, they could have pushed the boat out a little more and put on some better quality controls and switches.
This is not a light guitar. It weighs 7lbs. When you include the gig bag, this goes up to 9lbs.
The Steinberger GTPROBK1 Solid-Body Electric Guitar has the greatest flexibility to dial in a sound that best suits the song or style of music playing. The humbuckers provide plenty of heavy, dark tones and attack. In contrast, the middle pickup is great for playing through the clean channel to create some brighter and more detailed sounds.
The onboard tone and five-way toggle switch give plenty of options to shape your sound.
It’s, of course, also great to have a tremolo system. This was nice and smooth to use, and even with quite heavy use, it didn’t unduly compromise the tuning stability of the guitar.
Like some of the other relatively narrow-bodied guitars, the Steinberger can be a little awkward to play when seated. It doesn’t have either an armrest or a lap rest. Consequently, you just have to get used to finding a position that best suits you.
At 7lbs, this is far from the lightest travel guitar, but there’s certainly plenty packed into that weight.
- Quality soft case included.
- Has the choice of using humbuckers or a single-coil pickup.
- Good tone from all three pickups.
- Low action out of the box.
- It’s a little heavy for a travel guitar.
- Controls and toggle switch could be better.
7 SING F LTD Anygig Guitar Enhanced Edition Electric Strings 010~046 Travel Guitars
And finally, in our Best Travel Electric Guitars reviews, we have this offering from Sing F Ltd. This is a small and very affordable guitar, making it one of the best cheap travel electric guitars on the market.
The Sing guitar is the narrowest and lightest of the guitars we’ve reviewed, though it still has a full 25.5″ scale length. There are 24 frets, and the nut width is 42mm. And the main body of the guitar and neck is finished in satin back and made from Sapele.
This headless guitar has standard tuners built within the body of the guitar. While the fretboard is made from Rosewood and has a 16” radius. And it has its own single Anygig glow humbucker and an adjustable Tune-o-Matic bridge.
The guitar weighs about 1.4kgs and is only 82cms long. And it comes complete with an armrest bone and a soft case.
The guitar neck is relatively thick and may not suit players accustomed to a slimline neck. The overall finish of the guitar is to a decent standard, and the rosewood fretboard was set nice and low out of the box and was easy to play.
The armrest provided was rudimentary and had hard edges. It provided little extra comfort whilst sat down, and the guitar, like most thin-bodied guitars, wasn’t the easiest to play whilst seated.
The Anygig glow humbucker produced some dark, warm, and heavy sounds. However, because there are no tone or volume controls, having to channel any changes through the amplifier feels cumbersome.
- Very compact and super lightweight.
- Intuitive to use built-in tuners.
- Good tone from their Anygig glow humbucker.
- 24 fret neck.
- Gigbag included.
- Difficult to play seated.
- No volume or tone controls on the guitar.
Best Travel Electric Guitars Buyers Guide
There are basically three different kinds of travel guitar. These are; full-bodied with collapsible neck, narrow-bodied with non-collapsible neck, and ¾ sized with a non-collapsible neck.
Full-bodied Travel Guitar with Collapsible Neck
The advantage of a full-bodied guitar is that it’s generally a more familiar shape, more comfortable to use when sitting down, and, therefore, easier to play. The scale length is also a standard length, which helps in its playability.
Better still, the normal body size also allows for the usual range of pickups, volume, and tone controls, which are better suited to allow for easy sound shaping. Finally, since it’s possible to detach the neck, these guitars can be taken on a plane as carry on luggage. When placed in a case, the size and dimensions are universally accepted by all airlines.
The main disadvantage with these guitars is that they are often heavier than a lot of the alternatives.
The next type of best travel electric guitars are narrow-bodied guitars, and these are usually the lightest. They have very compact dimensions and will typically be shorter than a normal-sized guitar whilst retaining a full-scale scale length.
The disadvantages are that the narrow-body can make them difficult to play whilst seated. Additionally, due to their compact body size, some have few, if any, on-board controls. They might also have only one pickup option. This makes sound-shaping more difficult.
They generally can be taken on to an aircraft as carry on luggage, but it’s not a certainty.
The ¾ sized guitar is easier to play than a narrow-bodied guitar from the standpoint of it feeling more comfortable whilst sitting down. However, because the scale length is also ¾ sized, it may be more difficult for some players to adapt to.
Larger players with broad fingers may find this more difficult to play, though smaller players and children may find the size to be advantageous over a full sized-guitar.
One distinct advantage of the shorter scale length is that it makes fretting notes and bending easier.
The body width, though reduced, has sufficient space for all the usual guitar hardware. So, no problems here in shaping your tone to match the song or music you want to play.
As far as weight is concerned, these guitars are heavier than a narrow-bodied guitar but lighter than a full-sized guitar with a collapsible neck.
You may be reconsidering your options after reading through this, and an acoustic guitar might seem like a better choice. If so, please check out our reviews of the Best Acoustic Travel Guitars. If, however, you are convinced that electric is the only way to go, you will also need one of the Best Mini Amps or the Best Portable Guitar Amplifiers currently available.
So, What Are The Best Travel Electric Guitars?
So, there you have it, a good selection of travel guitars to suit most players’ situations. Looking back at all of these guitars, we feel the…
…best fits the criteria as the top electric travel guitar of the group.
This not only that it feels and plays just like a normal guitar, but more importantly, because it can be stored and taken onto a plane with no dramas. It does weigh more than all the other guitars, but we think it’s overall playability, functionality and take anywhere ability is worth the extra weight.