Best Electric Travel Guitar Reviews – 2022

What are the best new electric travel guitars?

What makes a good travel guitar?  Please read on to help you decide the most important attributes of the best travel guitar for you.  Price is certainly a key consideration when deciding to purchase a travel guitar.  The first decision when shopping for a travel guitar is: are you going for an acoustic or an electric portable guitar.  Size and weight are of paramount importance when traveling.  Perhaps most importantly, do you want a travel guitar that plays and sounds like a real guitar?

Which travel guitar is best for you?

We are focused on finding the best electric travel guitar for you.  Travel Electric Guitars provide the smallest size and most convenience when you want to bring your guitar with you.  Provided you agree, let’s get on with detailing the key parameters and attributes of the latest offerings of electric travel guitars for sale.  We previously reviewed several brands of electric portable guitars in our original travel guitar reviews in 2020, https://www.strobelguitars.com/travel-guitar-reviews-2020/ .  We covered travel guitars from Erlewine (Chiquita), Lap Axe, SG Tech, Steinberger, Stewart, Strandberg and Traveler (see table below).  During our research for this update, we found several new electric travel guitars including Asmuse, Ciari, Moov and Snap Dragon.  

Summary table of key attributes for travel guitars reviewed in 2020

Minimum criteria for a “good” travel guitar

We added the Rambler Classic from Strobel Guitars for your comparison.  We are focusing on “good” electric travel guitars that meet certain minimum criteria.  We mean full scale (at least 24”), at least 20 frets, preferably weighs less than 6 pounds, some headless and some with headstocks, a detachable or foldable neck, ability to fit in your backpack, ease of tunability, and the potential to be your favorite electric guitar.  The best electric travel guitar should play and sound as good or better than your full size “go to” electric guitar.  A great travel guitar should also have the advantages of being small, light and easy to take with you anywhere you go.

Asmuse Travel Guitar

The Asmuse AD-80 travel guitar is a relatively new travel guitar resembling the old Yamaha Silent Guitar.  The Yamaha has a collapsible frame attached to a center piece consisting of an extended neck containing the pickup and electronics.  Think of a neck thru design without the body.  

Asmuse advertises the AD-80 as a “folding” guitar, the rim folds under the neck/body and the leg rest retracts into the body.  A very clever design.  The ball ends of the strings are held in a bracket at the top of the neck with the free end of the strings clamped into the bridge assembly.  An Allen key “tuning crank” is provided to tighten the hex screws in the bridge to tune the strings.  The overall length of the AD-80 is 30”, it does not have a collapsible or foldable neck.  She weighs 6.1 pounds with two single coil pick-ups and bridge humbucker.  25.5” Scale length, with 24 fret neck and a rosewood fretboard.  The Asmuse AD-80 is available online for about $549.

Ciari Ascender Travel Guitar

The recently introduced Ciari Ascender is a genuine feat of engineering with its elaborate hinge mechanism that allows the neck to fold down onto the body.  I played one of these guitars at the most recent NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.  The assembled guitar is approximately the size and shape of a Gibson Les Paul, but is quite heavy due to it’s metal hinging system that takes up most of the space inside the guitar.  It truly is amazing how it folds; you pull a lever on the side of the guitar to unlock the neck, and it folds in three pieces with the strings wrapping around rollers at the bottom of the body.  Tuners are located at the top of the neck in the headstock. An elegant update to the old VoyageAir Belair electric travel guitar (no longer in production).  

The Ascender was developed by Jonathan Spangler, a guitar player often required to travel for his job.  He played guitar almost every day, and sincerely missed having his guitar while traveling for business.  Taking a full-size guitar on an airplane is just too much of a hassle.  And you certainly don’t want to risk checking your guitar (OR carry another piece of luggage if you did manage to stash your full-size guitar in the overhead).  

The Ciari portable electric guitar is 19” long when folded, and the body is 13” wide. This is the heaviest travel guitar we reviewed, coming in at about 9 lbs. The price tag is a little steep, starting at $2999 and close to $3499 for a fully equipped model. It comes with a good-sized custom backpack.

Moov Travel Guitars

Moov guitars were certainly one of the most creative implementations we ran across during our research for the best electric travel guitars.  Another example of the neck-through concept, but with a neck that does actually fold.  It was hard to tell exactly how the hinge worked, but this guitar does fold, so when disassembled the overall length is only 15” (impressive, and great for traveling).  

The Moov steel string travel guitar comes with four detachable brackets (which pack separately in a dedicated section of the supplied custom backpack).  One bracket for each “contact spot”: left leg, right leg, right hand, and chest.  Assembling the guitar and all the brackets takes a fair amount to time, but getting it right makes for a comfortable playing experience.

The tuners are in the middle of the body, similar to the Traveler EG-1, which makes them a little hard to get to.  The neck has a latch and a hinge allowing it to fold.  Strings stay attached to the top of the neck and the tuners, and are folded and/or tucked between the two halves of the fretboard when folded.  

Without magnetic pickups on this baby, Moov is piezo all the way –  you get a nice acoustic vibe from the onboard pre-amp in this guitar.  One drawback - the Moov only has 18 frets in its 24” scale neck.  Overall, this guitar is well crafted, and well thought out – would make a nice acoustic electric travel guitar to add to your collection, but a little on the pricey side at around $1500.         

Snap Dragon Electric Travel Guitars

Talk about a creative approach to minimize the footprint of an electric travel guitar.  The Snap Dragon portable guitar has a pivot point in the neck.  You twist the neck, and it rotates down onto the body.  The strings stay attached to the neck and bridge.  The body is made of plastic, the neck and fretboard are maple. Tuners located on the headstock.  The 24” scale neck has 20 frets and the guitar weighs a little less than six pounds.  Runs about $695.

Summary table of key attributes for 2022 travel guitars

Strobel Electric Travel Guitars

Now that we have reviewed some of the best electric travel guitars, let’s take a look and compare with a Strobel Rambler Professional Electric Travel Guitar.  The Rambler Classic portable guitar was invented and patented by Russ Strobel. Much like Ciari’s J. Spangler, Russ was an engineer constantly traveling for work.  He really missed being able to play guitar every day, and started thinking about how could he get a guitar to fit in his computer bag.  

The perfect travel guitar would have to be foldable, or hinged, or have an Easily Detachable Neck.  Must be full scale, at least 21 frets, and play and sound like a real guitar (not just a toy to practice with).  He imagined a stage ready, “gigable” guitar, that would be easy to stow in a backpack or computer bag.  Only being allowed two carry-on items when flying, the guitar had to be easy to disassemble, fit in a computer bag, and easy to assemble when landing. 

The body had to be as small as possible, and the neck short as possible.  The smallest overall footprint required tuners located on the bottom of the guitar, like a Steinberger.  It would be nice if the body and neck could be stowed separately, but how to get the strings off the neck?  Russ developed a StringKeeper (holding the ball end of the strings) that hinges off the top of the neck by removing a simple thumbwheel.  And the neck could be easily separated from the body using a four- bolt neck attached with thumbwheels.  

The Strobel Rambler Classic Electric Travel guitar has a 21 fret, full scale (24.75”) Easily Detachable Neck made of Maple with an Ebony fretboard.  The solid Maple body is only 8” wide, and just over 14” long, and comes with a flamey Maple top.  The neck is just over 18” long.  Both pieces fit handily in a computer bag or small backpack when traveling.  The assembled Rambler Classic is 30” long and weighs 4.9 pounds.  Outfitted with two humbucker pickups, tone and volume controls and a 3-way selector switch.  She sounds and plays like a Gibson Les Paul, but only half the weight.  Comes in Cherry or Tobacco Sunburst, purchase online for $599.