Left Handed Travel Guitars and Basses

Left Handed Travel Guitar

Searching for the best left handed travel guitars? Within this guide, you’ll find a selection of top lefty backpacker guitars to suit all budgets!

Travel guitars are ideal for when you’re on the road, or even just for when you need something compact in the office for a quick lunchtime jam session. 

As you’d expect from a guitar likely to be thrown around a lot, none of these models are desperately expensive, and so should be accessible to most. 

Designs range from models which are simply reduced in size, to clever guitars that save space through removable guitar parts or other similarly innovative features.

Left Handed Travel Guitars

Below you will find my current top choices for the best left-handed travel guitars. This includes electric guitars, acoustic models, as well as electro-acoustic options.

Disclosure: If you decide to purchase a guitar using the links in this article I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Feel free to use the quick links below to jump to any specific guitar that you might be interested in.

  1. Traveler Ultra-Light Electro-Acoustic
  2. Traveler Ultra-Light Electric
  3. Martin Backpacker Acoustic
  4. Johnson Trailblazer Acoustic
  5. Journey OF420L Acoustic
  6. Stewart Stowaway Electric
  7. Squier Mini Stratocaster Electric
  8. Martin LX1RE Electro-Acoustic
  9. Further Options

Some of these backpacking guitars are created specifically for travelling with, and feature clever and innovative designs to help save space. However, I know that some people would simply prefer a slightly smaller ‘traditional’ instrument, so I have included a couple of good examples of these as well.

1. Traveler Ultra-Light Electro-Acoustic Guitar Left Handed

Traveler Ultra Light Acoustic Left Handed

The Ultra-Light Acoustic is Traveler’s left handed electro-acoustic travel guitar option for southpaw players, and is the smallest and lightest full-scale length acoustic-electric guitar ever made!

This backpacker guitar features a hard maple body and a one-piece hard maple neck-through-body design. The fingerboard is made from black walnut and features 22 medium frets. The lap-rest is detachable to give an even smaller footprint. Overall length is 28 inches and weight is just 2 lbs. 14 oz.

The Ultra-Light uses an innovative in-body tuning system. This clever design utilizes regular guitar tuners and lets you use any standard set of strings.

It also includes an acoustic piezo pickup and passive electronics for when you need a little extra volume. Plug into an amp or recording device and practice anywhere and at any time!

As with all Traveler guitars, it will easily fit into airline overhead bins. A custom gig bag is also provided to ensure that the guitar is kept safe when not being played.

You can see it in action in the demo video below!

  • Overall Length : 28″ (711mm)
  • Overall Width : 5.25″ (133mm) with lap stand detached
  • Overall Depth : 2″ (51mm)
  • Scale Length : 24.75″
  • Weight : 2 lbs. 14 oz (3 lbs. 12 oz with gig bag)
  • Body : Eastern American Hard Maple
  • Neck : Eastern American Hard Maple (Neck-Through-Body)
  • Fretboard : Black Walnut – 22 Medium Frets
  • Pickup : Traveler Piezo
  • Truss Rod? : Yes
  • Gigbag Included? : Yes

This is the one to go for if you need a left handed electro-acoustic travel guitar. Check it out at the link below.

2. Traveler Ultra-Light Electric Guitar Left Handed

Traveler Ultra Light Electric Guitar Left Handed

The newly introduced left handed Ultra Light Electric from Traveler is the world’s smallest, most lightweight full-scale electric travel guitar. According to Traveler, it is 28% shorter and 68% lighter than a regular electric guitar.

It is essentially the electric travel guitar version of the electro-acoustic model above. So if you need to rock out a little harder, this is going to be the one to go for!

The guitar features an Eastern American hard maple body, paired with a one-piece hard maple neck. It uses a black walnut fretboard with 22 medium frets. You can detach the lightweight lap-rest to reduce the guitar’s overall size when in transit. The Ultra-Light’s full length is just 28 inches and it’s lightweight at a mere 3 lbs. 2 oz.

Crucially, you can use any standard set of strings on this guitar, thanks to its clever in-body tuning system which uses regular tuners.

It features a powerful dual-rail mini-humbucker which should easily be able to handle most styles of music. Plug it into your amp or practice device, and play as loud or as quiet as you’d like.

All Traveler guitars are specially designed to comfortably fit into the overhead bins on planes, and this guitar is no exception. It is also bundled with a custom gig bag to make sure that your guitar comes to no harm in transit.

See this left handed travel guitar in action in the demonstration video below!

  • Overall Length : 28″ (711mm)
  • Overall Width : 5.25″ (133mm) with lap stand detached
  • Overall Depth : 2″ (51mm)
  • Scale Length : 24.75″
  • Weight : 3 lbs. 2 oz (3 lbs. 15 oz with gig bag)
  • Body : Eastern American Hard Maple
  • Neck : Eastern American Hard Maple (Neck-Through-Body)
  • Fretboard : Black Walnut – 22 Medium Frets
  • Pickup : Dual-Rail Humbucker
  • Truss Rod? : Yes
  • Gigbag Included? : Yes

Sold? Check it out at the link below to grab yours.

3. Martin Backpacker Left Handed Acoustic Guitar

Martin Backpacker Left Handed Travel Guitar

Unlike the more unique designs found on the two Travelers above, the 24″ scale-length Martin Backpacker more closely resembles a traditional acoustic guitar.

This backpacking guitar is specifically designed to withstand the rough and tumble of outdoor life. Plus, as it’s a Martin you can be assured of getting a high-quality instrument. There’s also an additional nylon string version if you’d prefer.

It is made with all-solid, sustainable tonewoods including a tried and tested solid Sitka spruce top for superior tone. A mahogany neck is paired with a Richlite fingerboard. A slight downside is that it only features 15 frets, which might put some players off. Think about whether or not you need those extra frets! There is also no truss rod on this model for neck adjustments.

It also features a slightly shorter 24″ scale length, which means that the fretboard will be a little more cramped when compared to the two Travelers above.

The left handed Martin Backpacker acoustic comes complete with a quality, padded gigbag and Martin branded woven strap. Its overall length is 33 inches and it is the lightest guitar here, at just 2.5 lbs.

See the Martin Backpacker in action in the excellent demo video below.

  • Overall Length : 33″ (838mm)
  • Overall Width : 8.5″ (216mm)
  • Overall Depth : 2″ (51mm)
  • Scale Length : 24″
  • Weight : 2.5 lbs (1.13kg)
  • Body : Mahogany Back & Sides w/ Spruce Top
  • Neck : Mahogany
  • Fretboard : Richlite – 15 Frets
  • Pickup : None
  • Truss Rod? : No
  • Gigbag Included? : Yes

This could be the perfect backpacking guitar! Check it out at the link below.

4. Johnson JG-TR3 Trailblazer Acoustic Left Handed

Johnson JG-TR3 Trailblazer Left Handed Travel Guitar

The Johnson Trailblazer is essentially a full-sized guitar neck with a scaled-down acoustic body tacked on! It is similar in appearance to the Martin Backpacker above but features a longer 24.75″ scale length, 6 (ish!) additional frets, a truss rod, and a more affordable price point.

Although, the parts are clearly going to be of a lower quality than the Martin Backpacker. You won’t find a solid wood top here! Despite its low price tag, fancy appointments such as body and neck binding do give it the appearance of being a much more expensive instrument.

A 24.75″ scale length and 33.75″ overall length make it ideal for taking on the road. It also comes with its own custom gig bag, ensuring your guitar stays safe when on the move.

  • Overall Length : 33.75″ (857mm)
  • Overall Width : 7.75″ (197mm)
  • Overall Depth : 2.5″ (63mm)
  • Scale Length : 24.75″
  • Weight : 2.5 lbs (1.13kg)
  • Body : White Wood
  • Neck : Mahogany
  • Fretboard : Revebond – 21 Frets
  • Pickup : None
  • Truss Rod? : Yes
  • Gigbag Included? : Yes

This is the one to go for if you need a left handed travel acoustic guitar and you have a tight budget. Check it out at the link below.

5. Journey OF420L Overhead Acoustic

Journey OF420L Overhead Left Handed Travel Guitar

The OF420L backpack guitar from Journey stands out from the rest of the guitars on this list thanks to its innovative and premium design. It will pack away to an even smaller size (length-wise at least!) than the guitars above thanks to its collapsible neck! This video will show you how easy it is to assemble and disassemble the guitar in seconds.

The main selling point here is that once unpacked, the OF420L is almost a full-sized, regular acoustic guitar. So it should offer a similar playing experience to that of your regular acoustics.

The main features of this collapsible guitar include a solid Sitka spruce top, sapele back and sides, Grover tuners, 24.5″ scale length, and an under-bridge pickup system for amplified play, or quiet practice with headphones.

This backpack guitar also comes with a specially designed, high-quality carry bag to enable it to easily fit in any aircraft overhead storage locker. The premium bag even has a pocket for your laptop.

The only real downside to the innovative design and premium appointments of the OF420L is that it comes with a price tag to match. It’s one of the more pricey options on this list, but it’s also one of the best choices if budget allows!

Check out the video demo of this folding travel guitar below from our friend Shane over at InTheBlues.

  • Overall Length : 35.5″ (900mm)
  • Overall Width : 12.5″ (318mm)
  • Overall Depth : 4.64″ (118mm)
  • Packed Size : 22x14x9″ (559x355x229mm)
  • Scale Length : 24.5″
  • Weight : 4.4 lbs (2kg) or 7.4 lbs (3.3kg) with case
  • Body : Premium Layered Pau Ferro w/ Hand-Selected Premium Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Neck : Solid African Mahogany (Carbon Fiber Reinforced)
  • Fretboard : Ovangkol – 20 Frets
  • Pickup : JourneyTek Under-Bridge 3-Piezo Transducer
  • Truss Rod? : Yes
  • Gigbag Included? : Yes

This is the option to go for if you want a premium, full-sized left handed travel guitar. It is also the shortest overall package here when packed away, so it’s also worth considering if the length is an important factor to you. In addition, it might be a great choice if secrecy is important, as the average Joe will have no idea that you have an expensive guitar in your bag!

Sound good? Find this backpacking guitar at the link below! You’ll also find other variations of the guitar, such as a cutaway version and a nylon string classical model!

6. Stewart Stowaway Electric

Stewart Stowaway Left Handed Travel Guitar

The Stewart Stowaway is the latest addition to this list. The company offers their innovative travel electric guitar as a left handed version in tobacco sunburst.

Key selling points here are the shorter length once packed away, and the ability to specify various pickup combinations when ordering. In addition, it is the only guitar here that features a standard 25.5″ scale length.

Like the Journey left handed travel acoustic guitar above, the Stewart Stow-away is a premium product and runs more or less the same price. However, you can spend a little more depending on the pickup configuration that you choose when ordering (dual humbuckers is an additional $200 for example).

It features a similar design to the Journey Overhead above, but in an electric travel guitar package. Main features include an alder body, maple neck with amaranthus fretboard, full 25.5″ scale length, and a custom carry backpack.

A recessed slot in the back of the body allows the neck to be stored when not in use, kind of like a samurai sword – very cool!

Stewart Travel Guitar Review

The images above are just for illustration, this collapsible guitar model is available left handed only in tobacco sunburst.

The tuners are located on the rear of the body to allow for a space-saving headless design.

  • Overall Length : 31″ (787mm)
  • Overall Width : 12″ (305mm)
  • Overall Depth : 2″ (51mm)
  • Packed Size : 20.5x14x4″ (521x356x102mm)
  • Scale Length : 25.5″
  • Weight : 6.8 lbs (3.1kg)
  • Body : Alder
  • Neck : Maple
  • Fretboard : Amaranthus – 22 Medium Frets
  • Pickup : Various single-coil and humbucker configurations available
  • Truss Rod? : Yes
  • Gigbag Included? : Yes

7. Squier Mini Stratocaster

Left Handed Squier Mini Strat Review

All of the instruments above are excellent guitars, designed specifically for travel. But what if all you really need is just a slightly reduced-size regular guitar?

Well, if you’re looking for a small electric guitar, then the new Squier Mini Stratocaster will probably tick your boxes. With the exception of a tremolo bar, and a single tone knob, this little guy will give you the full Strat experience on a smaller scale.

It features a thin and lightweight poplar body, a maple neck, and a 20-fret Indian laurel fingerboard. Three single-coil pickups and a 5-way selector switch ensure that you can eke out a wide variety of different tones. The hardtail bridge will also help to maintain rock-solid tuning stability.

It uses a 22.75″ scale length, so the fretboard will be a little more cramped than on your regular guitars, but not massively so.

The mini Squier is also super affordable, so you’re not going to be completely gutted when it inevitably picks up a few dings and scratches on the road. It would also make an ideal beginner electric guitar for a child!

  • Overall Length : 34.5″ (876mm)
  • Overall Width : 12″ (305mm)
  • Overall Depth : 1.5″ (38mm)
  • Scale Length : 22.75″
  • Weight : 5.8 lbs (2.6kg)
  • Body : Poplar
  • Neck : Maple
  • Fretboard : Indian Laurel – 20 Narrow Tall Frets
  • Pickups : 3 Single-Coil Strat Pickups
  • Truss Rod? : Yes
  • Gigbag Included? : No

Sound good? Check it out at the link below!

8. Martin LX1RE Little Martin Left Handed

Martin LX1RE Acoustic

And finally, if you’d prefer a slightly reduced size acoustic, then my recommendation is for the excellent Martin LX1RE electro-acoustic.

The LX1RE from the Little Martin series is small in size, but big on tone. It features a mahogany laminate back and sides for extra strength and durability, and adds a quality solid Sitka spruce top for improved resonance and tone.

The neck is made from rust birch laminate for extra stability, and is paired with a 20 fret Richlite fingerboard. A lot of sustainable laminate options are used in the construction of this guitar in order to make it really hard wearing for when you are on the road.

The shorter 23″ scale length means that the fretboard will be a little more cramped than on your regular acoustic guitars, but not to a huge degree.

Premium Fishman Sonitone electronics are also squeezed into this tiny package to let you plug into an amp or practice device. A quality Martin gig bag is also included to protect the guitar when not in use.

Check out the excellent demo video below for some sound samples.

  • Overall Length : 34″ (864mm)
  • Overall Width : 15″ (381mm)
  • Overall Depth : 3″ (76mm)
  • Scale Length : 23″
  • Weight : 3.5 lbs (1.6kg)
  • Body : HPL Back/Sides w/ Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Neck : Rust Birch Laminate
  • Fretboard : Richlite – 20 Frets
  • Pickups : Fishman Sonitone Electronics
  • Truss Rod? : Yes
  • Gigbag Included? : Yes

If it sounds like the Martin LX1RE ticks all of your boxes, check it out at the link below.

Other Travel Guitar Options

Headless Guitars

If you find that your current guitar is just that little bit too tall to take on the road then a guitar with a headless design may just be what you need. For example, Steinberger guitars are famed for their headless neck and smaller body size.

Whilst not technically ‘travel guitars’, they could just save that extra couple of inches that your main guitar would take up. Something like this Strandberg Boden could be just the ticket!

Strandberg Left Handed Headless Guitar

Other brands that offer left handed headless guitars include Steinberger, Kiesel, Mayones, Skervesen, and Ormsby.

Short Scale Left Handed Guitars

Shorter scale guitars are not just for kids – they can make a perfect left handed travel guitar for anyone! Many guitars will come in all shapes and sizes all the way down to a 1/4 size. Obviously, smaller-sized guitars come with their trade-offs, but these issues can probably be overlooked in place of their portability.

Take a look at my previous articles on short-scale left-handed guitars for ideas…

Or for the ultimate compact guitar – why not try a ukulele? I have a guide for that too!

Important Travel Guitar Features

Here are a few key points to consider before shopping for a travel guitar.

  • It should feature as close to a full scale length as possible so that you are not forced to compromise your playing style.
  • It must be able to hold tuning and achieve good intonation.
  • As it may be subjected to differing climates, it must have a truss rod to allow for neck adjustments to be made.
  • It should accept regular ball-end guitar strings.
  • It should preferably come supplied with a custom carry case solution for safe transport.

All of the guitars featured above will satisfy most, if not all of these criteria.

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Neal Author Bio
Neal has been playing guitar (left-handed!) for over 20 years, and has also worked in various roles within the guitar retail industry since 2012. He started LeftyFretz in 2010. More Info