Martin Backpacker – Steel String Compact Acoustic Travel Guitar

by Guitar Reviewer

  • Built to withstand the rigors of camping, hiking, and off-road traveling
  • Includes high-quality chrome-enclosed tuners and a unique bridge on the nylon string version that accepts either plain or ball-end classic strings
  • Weighs less than 2-1/2 lbs
  • Ships With Gig Bag & Strap

Product Description
Built for portable durability…and great sound! Don’t let its diminutive size fool you. A braced, solid tonewood top with a solid mahogany neck, back, and sides gives this cool little guitar a surprisingly rich and loud tone. Built to withstand the rigors of camping, hiking, and off-road traveling. Includes high-quality chrome-enclosed tuners and a unique bridge on the nylon string version that accepts either plain or ball-end classic strings. Weighs less than 2-1/… More >>

Price: $188.50
Rating: 4.0 (16 reviews)

Martin Backpacker – Steel String Compact Acoustic Travel Guitar

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ray Riddle March 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    This is a very light, very sturdy guitar you can take anywhere. I’ve heard its sound as described as somewhere between a guitar and a banjo, with more guitar sound. The bag it comes with is strong, and holds up to just about anything. I bought mine a couple of years ago and love it.
Rating: 5 / 5

N. Langston March 19, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Even though this guitar is Easy to carry around and travel with and is fun to Play, the sound quality is seriously lacking. My recomendation would Be to get a Baby taylor Guitar instead.
Rating: 3 / 5

B. Singer March 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I have a beautiful Martin D-41, a couple of Fender electrics, and a Guild 12-string…why this guitar? Therapeutic…I recently became paralysed and need help with A LOT…why do I Love the Martin backpacker?? Because I can retrieve it all by myself; play it anytime, anywhere; and, it gets my fingers (and hands and arms) back into playing mode…it is not too heavy for me…I can hold it up without using my knee (as I could in the good old days)…the fingerboard feels like a Martin…the strings are Martin…the smell is hardwood…the sound?…small, a tad tinny, but “music to my ears!”

For everyone else: this neat little ditty was something I always wanted to buy, simply to bring along everywhere…like when I did not want to bring my “real” guitars…when I was concerned about saving space during travel…when I was worried about heat or cold or rain or whatever else may damage my guitars…when I was on my motorcycle or on my horse or in tight quarters…when an inconspicuous little black bag could unexpectedly reveal the joy of music!! Who could ever imagine anyone sitting around a crackling campfire who would complain that someone pulled out a guitar, any guitar, even a small, tinny-sounding one?!

Rating: 5 / 5

Yellowstoneblows March 19, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Bought this guitar many, many years ago. Never could get used to the shape, which necessitates using the included strap. For some reason, maybe because I didn’t use extra light strings as per Martin’s recommendation, the guitar developed a couple of long cracks on the top, which surprisingly didn’t seem to effect the sound that I could tell. I don’t bother playing this guitar anymore and will probably be selling it soon. When I bought it, I thought “wow, I’m getting a Martin, it’s going to be great”, but I guess I was just naive. I have since learned that buying items for the name is not always the wisest policy.
Rating: 2 / 5

Tina M. Gier March 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I recently purchased the Martin Backpacker after keeping an eye on one for a few years. I wanted to pick one up for it’s sheer portablity. The Martin Backpacker is just that…amazingly portable, perfect for throwing in the car, taking along on the hike. The Backpacker is initially a somewhat challenging to play with it’s topheavyness from the neck and tuners as well as body shape, but something easily overcome with a few hours of play. Tone is ok, but as the saying goes… “It is what it is.” The backpacker was not designed or marketed to be a full sized full toned guitar, so it doesn’t deliver what it didn’t promise, but it is a simple throw along, bring the fun with you guitar. That it accomplishes very well. I can take the thing anywhere without having a huge cumbersome and heavy item to haul around. Perfect for design, but not for the person unwilling to sacrifice a little tone or playablity for portablity.
Rating: 4 / 5

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