Good Travel Uke recommendations? Sturdy is key (and bigger than a soprano)


Well-known member
Nov 18, 2013
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Central Wisconsin
Hey, UUers.
I'd really like to have a solid travel uke that I can take with me everywhere, and not worry about it getting damaged. Putting it into a backpack would be nice.

I've looked at the Kala versions, but they just seem like thin versions of a regular uke, and I'd still be overly protective.

I've looked at the Outdoor Ukulele but I'd really like the tenor version and that seems to have been postponed in production. (Anyone know any more about this?)

I picked up a cheap uke thinking I wouldn't care about a few dings then, but the thing won't stay in tune and is brutal to play (especially for my newbie ears which are still trying to learn the correct sounds for notes and chords). You get what you pay for.

I put in "travel uke" in a search engine and there are some unconventional ones out there, but I'm not familiar enough with any of them to know what they're like.

Any other suggestions? Or am I asking for too much? Perhaps I'll just have to settle on the soprano version of the Outdoor Uke. The fret size may be a challenge, but the thing looks rock solid.

Thanks for any help.
Get a Flea. I can attest to their being robust after this weekend. They are available in concert as well as soprano scale. Maybe not the cheapest but excellent quality and excellent set up out of the box.
Flea is my uke for camping trips. Flukes are the same idea, but come in concert and tenor sizes. I had a Fluke concert and liked it plenty.

Also there are Risa sticks but I haven't played one yet. They come in soprano, concert and tenor.
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+1 on the flea or fluke. Plus they don't lose their value so you can generally sell them for a great price. Come to think of it, if you buy a used one and don't love it, you can probably sell it for the same thing you bought it for.
fleas and flukes are fun and sturdy and would be a good choice, but you also might reconsider buying a less expensive model that would not be ruined by a couple of dings. I would look into the islander models. They are fun to play, sound nice, hold their tune, have good intonation and they are currently really inexpensive on amazon. The tenor mt-4 is only $103 and the concert mc-4 is $90. They are also pretty sturdy. I am not really concerned when my 3 year old daughter plays with my mc-4 and she is good at breaking things. The mc-4 is also my travel ukulele.
I've looked at the Risas, but they only come in electric versions, don't they?

I had a RISA Solid Soprano. Very good instrument, but needs an amp if more than one person is to hear it. Have a Kala Pocket and a Flea Soprano, and my vote goes for the Flea. Have Aquila Reds on in for about a month or so, and it sings!
I have a Fluke Tenor - worth every penny, and then some. I did shell out the extra money for the Gator Hard Shell Case - again, worth every penny, and then some.

And it fits in every airline overhead bin - even the commuter flights.

Korala make a plastic uke in concert size that has decent sound and is less than $100.00. Check out the reviews on youtube to give you an idea of sound and appearance. One of our uke jam leaders bought one and played it on stage, he was impressed with the sound and he owns a number of high end instruments
The Outdoor uke is terrible - yes it has its adherents but there are plenty of us who really found it awful. The Islander tenor for about $100 is really a great deal and is very durable. If you ruin it or lose it, get another.
The Outdoor uke is terrible

This surprises me. I met a guy with one at the UWC this past June and he raved about it. I played on it for a couple strums and liked the feel of it. Couldn't really judge the sound though. I did like the fact that he lives in a very cold weather climate like I do and said that he left his in the car year round and it was still fine. Again, I'm looking for sturdy.

What did you find awful about it?
My travel uke over the summer was a vintage Silvertone soprano that traveled in my car in a Luna foam hard case. Both were a great choice, but neither was my first choice as I was counting on the Outdoor Ukulele Tenor for summer travel. For under $125, I had a decent sounding ukulele and a versatile case to keep me company while I was away from home. And, I got sold on the soprano size at the same time, so much that I bought a really good soprano when summer was over. But, I will take the travel one this weekend when I go camping.

I realized after posting that you said bigger than a soprano - plenty of vintage Silvertones in bigger sizes, too.
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+++ on the Flea recommendations!

It is the one that goes with me where ever I go. I suppose the plastic fret board will eventually wear but they are available with a wooden one. Got mine second hand and really love it. It arrived from USA in tune!
Great sound from a little uke IMHO - no effects and just used the computer inbuilt mic.
Get a Flea.
magic fluke co is your definition of durable
I may be in the minority, but I travel with my best uke. My thought is they are built to be played and they are not as delicate as people make them out to be. Just don't put them in checked luggage!
Another plug for a Flea or Fluke. I'll also add that the soprano Flea has a slightly longer scale length (14") than many other sopranos so it might work out better for you.
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