Anyone Have Any Experience With A Backpacker Guitar?

Wondering if I should invest in one...

I can't take my classical anywhere easily, and I want one to take hiking and to the festivals this summer.

What was your experience?  Any advice?


CoracaoQuebrado CoracaoQuebrado
26-30, F
7 Responses Feb 24, 2010

Just bought a Savannah Backpacker which has a tenor uke style body & full length guitar neck.<br />
I love it & people have been commenting on what good looking & well finished product it is. <br />
However, it has its limiations as the sound range is thin & you have to give it a good whack to get a decent volume.<br />
So only for use when a backpacker is advantageous & not a general replacement for the full size.<br />
I'm a left handed pla<x>yer & it was really difficult to find anything which comes in a tailor made version for lefties apart from the Martin Backpaker (which is awkward to hold apart from standing up with a strap).<br />
I considered getting a nylon strung backpacker (as they are easier to switch from right to left than steels) but I'm not a classical pla<x>yer & I wasn't looking to have to learn a whole new style of playing.<br />
In searching I came across the Yamaha Guitalele GL-1. This is basically a tenor uke body with a shortend six string neck (capo 5 length, tuned ADCGEA, takes standard classical strings).<br />
There are some impressive reviews & examples of people playing the GL-1 on You Tube. They look well made & are relatively cheap to buy.<br />
One of these could be just right for a classical guitarist whose in need of a backpacker .

In 1999 I hiked the Appalachian Trail and packed a 3/4 size, beater guitar. (kimberly) I had heard and played the Martin BP and was not impressed. While it is compact, it's still heavy, about the same weight as a 3/4 sized guitar, and with it's solid body, it sounds like an electric guitar that isn't pluged in.<br />
A couple years ago I bought an "Amigo," on ebay, a tear shaped guitar that is small and light and sounds way better that the MBP, with a bit of a madolin/guitar cross sound, but plays like a 6 string guitar. The Amigo is about $90 delivered.

I own a Martin backpacker, and it hangs on the wall as a decoration. It is impossible to play sitting down--you have to use a strap and stand up. It doesn't sound very good, or loud either. I haven't explored travel guitars much, but there's got to be better ones out there. It's disappointing, because I also own two 'real' Martins, and they are superb.

I finally got a travel guitar, I've been hiking and playing all over town in the snow. LOL<br />
<br />
Just thought I would tell everyone what I learned looking around. Although the Martin backpacker is very little and has an appealing shape it is not very practical. I choose to get another brand that was less than half the cost of the Martin backpacker because it had an adjustable bridge and neck. Where I live there are rapid weather changes that could warp the guitar and that saves my guitar from cracking....unless I drop it! =P

certainly.<br />
as with any instrument,it's wise to shop around...I am much too prone to snapping up yardsale stuff,then I accumulate too much treasure! oi! one of my favorites is a little banjo.<br />
which I hardly play...keep practicing,I maybe should have-but I DO know all three chords I need!

We have a ukulele at the house, but I really need to keep practicing guitar. :)<br />
I've been researching and the only one I found that looks of decent quality is a Martin... all the others look like they wouldn't even sound good....<br />
*ponders some more*<br />
Thanks man! :)

my friends have enjoyed them,they are nice little instruments-cheap,for a Martin-but still too expensive for the likes of me,I carry a beatup ol' ukelele when I'm travelling,suits me and I ain't gotta worry 'bout it too much.