It’s that time of year when we all head off to somewhere else and forget about the world for a week or so. Bliss. Wait a minute though, what if you still want to annoy everyone around you with your ukulele whilst you’re away? Here’s 5 of the best ukuleles to take with you on your travels…
Kala got in on the plastic soprano ukulele action recently with the launch of their plastic Waterman range. Much like other polycarbonate ukes it has an injection moulded fretboard with a zero fret to aid intonation. Comes in a range of colours – strung with Aquila Super Nylgut (what else?) and a pretty snazzy backpack to carry it around in. Costs around $50. Check out my review of the Makala Waterman.
Woodi Carbon Fiber Ukulele
Woodi’s carbon fiber soprano ukulele goes directly up against the Makala Waterman in terms of price. The Woodi comes in a wider range of colour and pattern options though. Once you change the strings on the Woodi it becomes a decent instrument in it’s own right. Costs around $50 but factor in the price of some better strings.
The soprano outdoor ukulele has had it’s fair share of critics since it’s arrival but I personally think that’s a little harsh. The outdoor uke is supposed to be a robust take-anywhere ukulele that will always be by your side – you should expect a little bit of compromise on sound for that. At $100 it’s certainly more expensive than some of the other plastic ukuleles that are currently available but you do get Grover tuners and D’Addario strings with it. EDIT: I reviewed the Outdoor Ukulele Tenor and I liked it a lot.
Bugsgear’s Aqulele with it’s trademark off-centre soundhole is another all plastic soprano offering. The early version came with a very high action but Bugsgear went back to the drawing board and fixed that. Not entirely sure what the strings are on the Aqulele, I’ve not been able to get to the bottom of this. Like all things Bugsgear, it’s got a bit of a funky look going on. Currently priced at around $50.
The most expensive ukulele in this list at £60, and also the only non-plastic one too. The iUke makes a great travel instrument on it’s sheer size alone, it’s tiny. Leave that spare pair of shoes out of your suitcase and it should fit in just nicely. It has a solid top with Aquila strings. It’s a little shrill being an octave higher than a soprano but it’s perfectly playable. Read the full iUke review here.
So there you have it, 5 ukuleles to take on vacation/holiday. I have to admit I’ve not played all these ukuleles but I have heard numerous audio clips of them all. Taking that into account and factoring in size, price and durability I’d be very tempted by the Waterman. Now you better get that suitcase packed!