What Are The Best Outdoor Ukuleles?


Selection Criteria

On this page, you’ll find

…only the best Outdoor Ukuleles. We’ll save you from the hassle that is searching through hundreds of pages, looking at similar products, comparing prices, and more, only to realize you don’t know which one is right. Get the right handpicked Outdoor Ukulele from the get-go!

Best Outdoor Ukuleles – The Basics

An outdoor ukulele is an instrument that you can take outside, get wet with, and still play some decent tunes without risking it for one second – that sounds like something anyone would want!

However, there are a few issues that might set you back on your search:

#1 – Finding a reliable travel ukulele is hard!

The biggest issue is finding a ukulele made out of a durable waterproof material that’s worth the investment.

There are way too many ukuleles out there that are marketed as travel ukes – though most of them are really bad and flimsy!

outdoor ukuleles

#2 – Finding a travel uke that sounds good is also hard

There’s a reason why ukuleles and other stringed materials are made out of wood – the sound quality!

There are very few ukes made out of plastic or other materials that can deliver nice sound quality that doesn’t make you want to throw them away.

The worst of both issues described above is that the ukes you can get aren’t really worth their price!

With this buying guide, we’ll save you from having to return a uke that sounds like a toy or from buying a uke only to throw it away because it broke a few days after the warranty ran out – we’ve been there.

Let’s get you jamming on the beach!

Outdoor Ukuleles – Best brands

There are many brands out there that make outdoor or travel ukuleles – way too many.

Plastic-made ukes have been around for a long time, and in recent years, other materials have been added to the outdoor mix, too.

In this guide, you’ll find only the top four brands we consider the best.

  • Of course, there’s Kala, making affordable, durable, and decent-sounding ABS plastic ukes.
  • You’ll also find Enya, with their amazing carbon fiber travel uke.
  • Flight, a nice brand that flies under the radar.
  • And finally, a rising brand that’s created the most versatile electronic uke – LAVA.

Aside from these brands, we wouldn’t really recommend any other travel ukulele, because we know they’re the definition of trashy.

Let’s get a closer look at the contenders.


Comparison Table – Best Outdoor Ukuleles

Best overall
Soprano Ukulele Enya Nova U Mini 21" –Carbon Fiber Travel Ukulele–With Beginner Kit includes Semi-Hard Case, Tuner, and Strings (Black)
Budget pick
Kala KA-SWB Waterman Soprano Ukulele Matte Black
Best Runner-up
Flight, 4-String Travel Series Soprano Ukulele, Dark Blue (TUS-35DB)
Best Concert Uke
Kala KA-CWB-GN Waterman Concert Ukulele - Matte Green Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth
Best Tenor Uke
LAVA U Carbon Fiber Ukulele with Effects Tenor Travel Ukulele with Case Pick and Charging Cable (FreeBoost, Sparkle Gold, 26-inch)
Brand
Enya Nova U
Kala Waterman
Flight TUS-35DB
Kala Waterman
LAVA U
Prime Status
-
Bottom Line
Great carbon fiber ukulele, sounds great, it’s among the best-sounding ukes on the list, it’s very durable and impervious to weather, it comes with great addons, it’s affordable. No downsides.
Simple but good design, very light, it sounds good, it’s perfect for children, waterproof and resistant to different temperatures, available in different colors, and it’s the cheapest on the list. It’s not the most durable nor the best sounding uke you can get here.
Great design, third best-sounding uke on the list, amazingly durable, sturdy, waterproof, you can get it in different colors, it’s easy to play, it’s great for children and even advanced musicians, its price is really good. It’s not the best.
Simple but good design, light, it sounds better than the budget pick, it’s waterproof and resistant to different temperatures, it comes with a clip-on tuner, a gig bag, and more, its price is good. It’s still not more durable than the budget pick.
Amazing electronic uke, unique design, a built-in rechargeable amplifier with good effects, you can also plug it to a separate amp, it’s got great acoustic sound, and excellent boosted sound, it’s weather and temperature resistant, it’s very sturdy. It’s pricey and doesn’t come with a strap.
Full Review
Best overall
Soprano Ukulele Enya Nova U Mini 21" –Carbon Fiber Travel Ukulele–With Beginner Kit includes Semi-Hard Case, Tuner, and Strings (Black)
Brand
Enya Nova U
Prime Status
Bottom Line
Great carbon fiber ukulele, sounds great, it’s among the best-sounding ukes on the list, it’s very durable and impervious to weather, it comes with great addons, it’s affordable. No downsides.
Amazon Link
Full Review
Budget pick
Kala KA-SWB Waterman Soprano Ukulele Matte Black
Brand
Kala Waterman
Prime Status
Bottom Line
Simple but good design, very light, it sounds good, it’s perfect for children, waterproof and resistant to different temperatures, available in different colors, and it’s the cheapest on the list. It’s not the most durable nor the best sounding uke you can get here.
Amazon Link
Full Review
Best Runner-up
Flight, 4-String Travel Series Soprano Ukulele, Dark Blue (TUS-35DB)
Brand
Flight TUS-35DB
Prime Status
Bottom Line
Great design, third best-sounding uke on the list, amazingly durable, sturdy, waterproof, you can get it in different colors, it’s easy to play, it’s great for children and even advanced musicians, its price is really good. It’s not the best.
Amazon Link
Full Review
Best Concert Uke
Kala KA-CWB-GN Waterman Concert Ukulele - Matte Green Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth
Brand
Kala Waterman
Prime Status
-
Bottom Line
Simple but good design, light, it sounds better than the budget pick, it’s waterproof and resistant to different temperatures, it comes with a clip-on tuner, a gig bag, and more, its price is good. It’s still not more durable than the budget pick.
Amazon Link
Full Review
Best Tenor Uke
LAVA U Carbon Fiber Ukulele with Effects Tenor Travel Ukulele with Case Pick and Charging Cable (FreeBoost, Sparkle Gold, 26-inch)
Brand
LAVA U
Prime Status
Bottom Line
Amazing electronic uke, unique design, a built-in rechargeable amplifier with good effects, you can also plug it to a separate amp, it’s got great acoustic sound, and excellent boosted sound, it’s weather and temperature resistant, it’s very sturdy. It’s pricey and doesn’t come with a strap.
Amazon Link
Full Review

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Overall Soprano Outdoor Ukulele – Enya Nova U

Enya Nova U
  • ♫ Soprano Ukulele is the most popular size ukulele that can be recommended for those who are just starting out. It features a light and cute sound.
  • ♫ Made of carbon fiber composite polycarbonate with durable construction. Highly stable and water-resistant.
  • ♫ Super lightweight and thin body make this ukulele fashionable and attractive. Designed to be your travel partner and ignore temperature and humidity.
  • ♫ With the arched back, radius fretboard, and cutaway body, ensures better self-resonance during playing.
  • ♫NOT compatible with wound strings or strings containing metallic compounds. US warranty and customer support.

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Enya Nova U is an excellent soprano ukulele made out of carbon fiber – a very interesting material choice for a uke.

This is definitely among the most durable ukes you can get.

Here are its advantages:

  • It’s made of a polycarbonate composite, which makes it durable, solid, and lightweight at the same time.
  • Somehow, Enya managed to make their design thin, which gives it great resonance – that makes it one of the best-sounding ukes on this list, too.
  • It’s marketed as a beginner and intermediate player instrument – but advanced musicians will feel more than comfortable with this one as a travel uke, too.
  • It’s among the coolest-looking ukes we’ve reviewed.
  • It’s the most waterproof uke on the list.
  • It comes with pre-installed strap buttons, a gig bag, a tuner, and extra strings.

This is a ukulele to fall in love with – it’s a warhorse!

The carbon fiber, the design, the sound quality, the add-ons, and its price are everything a travel uke should be.

This is the perfect uke to take outside and jam while camping, being at the beach, the mountain, or wherever you may roam.

We highly recommend it for musicians of all levels who want an affordable, yet highly durable uke alternative.

Pros

  • Most durable travel ukulele ever!
  • Made out of carbon fiber composite, this uke sounds amazing well – it’s among the best sounding ukes on the list.
  • It comes with great addons that make it suitable for musicians of all levels.
  • It’s also very affordable!

Cons

  • No cons.
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Best Budget Pick Soprano Outdoor Ukulele – Kala Waterman Series

Kala Waterman Series
  • Soprano ukulele Composite neck Composite fingerboard Composite nut & saddle Open geared Black knob tuner Aquila strings Water resistant Excellent for school programs Easy to keep clean High-quality nickel-plated open gear tuners Aquila Super Nylgut strings Tote carrying bag included
  • Inspired by the 1950’s Maccaferri ukulele, the Waterman Soprano uke was built with a focus on the outdoor lifestyle
  • The Waterman is a high-quality, affordable ukulele that sounds great and stays in tune
  • It's the portable, take-anywhere ukulele
  • Take it to the beach, the river, the lake, the mountains—take The Waterman anywhere

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kala’s super entry-level Waterman series ukes are the perfect travel budget pick.

This uke is very advantageous because it’s an all-plastic ukulele, which makes it impervious to weather, moisture, or heat levels.

This little uke is a plastic powerhouse, really.

It looks toyish, but it’s among the best plastic-made ukes you can get nowadays.

It sounds good, it’s the cheapest uke you can get on this list, and it also comes with top-notch Aquila strings so you can jam anywhere.

Additionally, you can pick from several colors that will make it stand out even more.

This is the perfect instrument for beginners and intermediate musicians looking for a travel practice uke.

However, it does come with a couple of downsides.

First, it’s not the most durable uke you can get, and secondly, it’s not the best-sounding uke either – it just sounds good.

Still, at this price point, this is actually a great deal!

Pros

  • All-plastic body and design that’s incredibly portable – perfect for children and musicians of up to intermediate level.
  • It’s the cheapest uke you’ll find here.
  • It sounds good enough for its price.

Cons

  • Don’t expect the best sound quality.
  • It’s not the most durable uke.
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Best Runner-Up Soprano Outdoor Ukulele – Flight TUS-35DB

Flight TUS-35DB
  • The Flight travel ukulele is truly an innovative product — never has a ukulele with such outstanding sound qualities been so affordable
  • The rounded plastic back Combined with Aquila night strings produce loud tones and clear projection
  • The neck and Body of each ukulele is made from plastic, resulting in consistent intonation from our instruments
  • Perfect first ukulele for children. The plastic Frets will never stick out, low action makes it easy to press the strings, and it is virtually indestructible
  • Flight travel ukulele has received top marks on got ukulele - the worlds most extensive and respected source for independent ukulele reviews

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Flight is not the most widely renowned brand, but they’ve got some pretty great ukes under their sleeves.

This ABS plastic uke is one of them.

Here are its advantages:

  • This is an all ABS plastic ukulele, which makes it pretty resistant to different temperatures, water, and the passage of time.
  • This one is built thicker than the one above, so it is way more durable.
  • The curved back improves resonance incredibly, which is a great solution for the lack of wood in its build.
  • The uke comes with a nice padded gig bag and it’s equipped with Aquila night strings.
  • It’s got a specialized Zero fret design, which allows for lower action and improved playability.
  • You can pick from different colors and sizes, too.
  • It’s got a nice price, too.

This uke from Flight makes for a great playing experience all over the world.

This one is noticeably superior to the one from Kala because of its construction and sound quality.

This uke sounds almost exactly like a real wooden uke, which is amazing considering it’s made from ABS plastic.

It also comes with a strap button at the bottom, so you can use folk-style straps that attach to the headstock.

This is a plastic masterpiece – it’s definitely the best plastic uke you can get.

It’s marketed towards children, although we consider it to be more than decent for advanced musicians who love spending time outdoor!

Pros

  • Great plastic ukulele.
  • It sounds incredibly well thanks to its construction and design.
  • It’s made from thick ABS plastic, which makes it very durable and even more resistant to different temperatures and moisture levels.
  • It’s got a good price, too.

Cons

  • No cons, this is the best plastic uke you can get!
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Best Overall Outdoor Concert Ukulele – Kala Waterman

Kala Waterman
  • Concert size
  • ABS composite neck, fretboard, nut, and saddle
  • Nickel-plated open gear tuners
  • Standard headstock
  • Green matte finish

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Entering the domain of the outdoor concert uke, we find Kala once again with their Waterman Concert uke.

This one is, well, the same uke that we described above, but with a slightly bigger scale.

We like this uke even more than the one above because it’s bigger.

This is a small change that affects the instrument markedly – it resonates more and sounds much better, too!

The materials are the same, the price is similar, and the design is the same.

However, this one comes with a couple of addons that can also help a lot when you’re in the wild.

It comes with a polishing cloth, an extra flimsy gig bag, an instructional DVD (not quite useful when you’re outdoors though), and a digital clip-on tuner.

Of course, the only things we consider important are the gig bag and the clip-on tuner, which are great to keep around even when you’re in the field.

Recommended!

Pros

  • Good outdoors uke made from plastic, which makes it impervious to weather and moisture.
  • It sounds even better than the soprano and has better playability thanks to its bigger size.
  • This one comes with addons that justify its price – the clip-on tuner and gig bag are especially useful.
  • It’s got a good price.

Cons

  • It’s still not more durable than the budget pick.
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Best Overall Outdoor Tenor Ukulele – LAVA U Carbon Fiber Uke

LAVA U Carbon Fiber Uke
  • Riches Up Your Tone: We invented a new way to let the structure to grew by itself. It uses mechanical simulation and algorithm to create a pattern has up to 142 units bionic structure. It also specifically riches up the bass of the instrument, and moves the soundboard in a more organic way.
  • Play with Effects without Plugging In: The FreeBoost technology that lets you change the sound with one finger. The L2 mini developed by LAVA & Double acoustics. It enables you to play with superior sound quality as well the effects like Reverb, Delay & Chorus with or without plugging in. As well the internal mic to receive both a more natural sound and percussive playing.
  • Works on Different Conditions: With our patent pending carbon fiber composited AirSonic, you could now bring your LAVA U to anywhere from desert to Iceland. It’s well adapted from Temperature -4°F to 140°F, Humidity 10% to 90%.
  • Enjoyable Playing Experience: We refined the manufacturing detail of both the neck and fretboard. Every fretboard is CNC machined with a comfortable curve. We’ve also built in an ultra stiff carbon fiber rod inside the neck to improve the stability and sound.
  • Space Case: Specifically designed for LAVA U. Combination of elegant, simplicity and the space-age inspiration. Made with a tough special material and luxurious mould. No compromise on its design, material and craftsmanship.

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The LAVA U Carbon Fiber ukulele will surely blow you away in many ways.

Here are its incredible features:

  • It’s very resistant to temperature changes thanks to the AirSonic carbon fiber composited. According to the manufacturer, it can survive temperatures of -4°F to 140°F, as well as a humidity of 10% to 90%.
  • It’s a very solid and durable uke.
  • It’s available in concert and tenor size.
  • It even comes with a glass fiber bridge, a screwless machine head, and crystal strings – all designed by LAVA.
  • You can get it in a wide variety of colors.
  • It also has the so-called LAVA’s FreeBoost technology, which allows you to amplify the uke without even plugging it!
  • It’s rechargeable, it comes with a cable and picks.
  • You can also add different effects to the boosted sound, like chorus effect, reverb, and delay.
  • And you can plug it (it has LAVA’s L2 Mini Preamp) into an amp for an even louder sound.

This uke is a very interesting one, for sure.

Without a doubt, this is the ukulele of the future made possible today.

The sound quality is excellent, it’s a loud instrument, and you can really take it anywhere.

We do have to share some downsides about it.

For example, it doesn’t come with a strap, and you have to buy it separately – and if you do, the strap is placed at the back of the uke, which is really weird.

The other major downside is its price – it’s the priciest uke you can get on the list and many lists for that matter.

It’s a little overpriced but granted it’s also the only outdoor ukulele with a built-in amplifier you can take anywhere in the world.

Pros

  • Excellent electronic ukulele – this is one of a kind!
  • It is very durable and you can take it anywhere without worrying about the temperature (it is not waterproof though).
  • It’s got a rechargeable built-in amplifier with different effects, so you can play it louder anywhere you go.
  • It comes with a cable, a modern-looking case, and a few picks.

Cons

  • It’s indeed pricey and it doesn’t come with a strap.
Check Price on AMAZON

Frequently Asked Questions – Outdoor Ukuleles

What is the best travel ukulele?

From our personal experience and opinion, the best one is the Enya Nova U.
It’s affordable, sounds great, and it’s made out of a very durable carbon fiber composite.
Still, Flight’s ABS Plastic uke is a tough contender that’s also a great travel/outdoors uke, not to mention the amazing LAVA U with a built-in amp.

Are outdoor ukuleles any good?

If you like the possibility of taking them outside and playing tunes surrounded by nature, then yes, they are great.
These can light up a camping trip, a road trip, and a day/night at the beach easily!

What is the best size for a travel ukulele?

This depends on what you need the most.
If you need a portable instrument, obviously the soprano would make the best travel option for you.
However, if you need a better sound, a concert or a tenor uke definitely has better resonance, clarity, and projection because of the bigger size.
That can be highly beneficial if you want it to be loud in an outdoor setting.

Are plastic ukuleles good?

Yes! Not only they are good, but they’re usually the best option for children and as travel and outdoor ukes.
They’re durable, easy to clean, can resist different temperatures, most of them are waterproof, and have a good enough sound quality for practice or for small outdoor jamming sessions.

Conclusion

Travel ukuleles are usually discarded by ukulele aficionados who are hardcore believers that there isn’t a good uke that’s not made out of wood out there.

We created this guide to prove them wrong and to help you pick the best possible outdoor/travel ukulele.

Of course, there are many travel ukes available that support the claim that plastic ukes are just bad.

That’s why this guide is so important.

After reading it, you’ll know that there aren’t really limits to what we can achieve with creativity and our love for music – that includes creating amazing plastic-made ukes that sound like the real thing.

If you’re an outdoors lover, you’ll find these ukes to be the perfect companion for a long walk on the beach.

Are you getting a travel uke?