10 Best Travel Alarm Clocks | March 2017

We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Next time you go out of town on business or for pleasure, make sure you don't miss that important meeting, that interesting rendezvous or your flight home. These travel alarm clocks come in tiny enough packages that you can stick them in your carry-on luggage or even in your pocket, and offer a level of accuracy up to that of the US atomic clock. Skip to the best travel alarm clock on Amazon.
10 Best Travel Alarm Clocks | March 2017

Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 10
Best Inexpensive
The frame of the Glomarts Round Classic Clock is crafted from high-quality genuine beechwood with a compact yet elegant design that makes it a good choice for travel, the office, or a bedroom. Its hands move silently for undisturbed sleep and it allows for a 12 hour alarm.
The Plumeet Digital Travel Alarm Clock glows softly for a few seconds when tapped, serving as a nightlight to help your find your glasses or cup of water or simply to help you check the time at night. Its protective silicone cover keeps it safe against bumps and scratches.
The Travelwey Clock has a strong plastic casing that protect its interior even when accidentally dropped or as it bounces around in your luggage. The digit marks and hands glow in the dark for as long as four hours provided they have been exposed to enough light.
At about the same size face as an iPhone, but with a deeper body, the iHomeSet Multifunctional Travel Clock is a bit bulky, but you'll love its weekday alarm mode that prevents being abruptly awakened on Saturdays, should you forget to turn it off during the week.
  • has a 4 point 5 inch lcd screen
  • plastic construction is sturdy
  • the instructions are confusing
Brand iHomeSet
Model pending
Weight 6.4 ounces
The Get Up and Glow clock from Seiko Watches comes in an attractive silver color and has a built-in stand that easily converts into a protective carrying case. The alarm sounds for almost a full minute, which should rouse even the heaviest sleepers.
  • 1 aaa battery comes included
  • displays calendar on screen
  • the front dial is difficult to turn
Brand Seiko Watches
Model QHL004SLH
Weight 4 ounces
The Tech Tools Shake-N-Wake vibrating personal alarm clock is great for two different kinds of sleepers. First, its movement rouses those who sleep through sounds. Second, if you need to rise without disturbing others, its nearly silent vibrating alarm is perfect.
  • attaches to wrist or ankle
  • good choice for those with hearing loss
  • annoying hourly alarm function
Brand Tech Tools
Model PI-107
Weight 4 ounces
Designed for versatility and to keep you in-the-know, the Marathon Nightowl Travel Alarm Clock comfortably fits inside your travel bag when folded up, while its built-in rotating stand allows it to function as an all-purpose night stand or desk clock when it's opened.
  • stand can be flipped 180 degrees
  • very easy to store & carry
  • the buttons are rather small
Brand Marathon
Model pending
Weight 3.5 ounces
The Ambient Weather RC-8300 is designed to communicate via radio signal with the U.S. atomic clock, so you can count on its extreme accuracy. It has a powerful backlight that automatically activates itself when surrounding light reaches lower levels.
  • buttons are easy to use
  • displays time zone and signal strength
  • the alarm isn't loud enough for some
Brand Ambient Weather
Model RC-8300
Weight 3.2 ounces
Simple and classic in both its style and function, the Best-Mall Travel Clock is constructed from genuine black walnut and features quiet analog hand movements. Use it as a desk clock you'll enjoy daily or take it on the road to help you wake up in time for that meeting.
  • the numbers are easy to see
  • complements almost any room decor
  • clock has a built-in nightlight
Brand Best-mall
Model pending
Weight 11.2 ounces
The Hito Atomic Clock fits easily into the palm of your hand, and one glance at its compact screen gives you all the info you need to start the day, including what day it is. Its amber LED backlight doubles as an auto-dimming nightlight that won't disturb your slumber.
  • good reviews from owners
  • programmable 12/24-hour display
  • very lightweight design
Brand hito
Model pending
Weight 5.6 ounces

What Separates a Good Travel Alarm Clock From a Great One?

Any travel alarm clock should be small enough that you can hold it in your hand, and it should be light enough that it weighs less than a pound. The more compact a travel clock is (within reason), the easier it will be for you to carry that clock inside a suitcase, a pocketbook, or the side compartment of an attaché.

Any top-of-the-line travel alarm clock should be backlit, and it should be designed so that you can stand it vertically on any end table or flat surface. In terms of display, you'll want a travel clock to provide the time (including AM/PM), date, and day of the week. Certain clocks will also provide the temperature, and perhaps even the barometer. Time-zone management (i.e. automatically changing the hour based on location) is a tremendous feature to have on a travel clock, especially if you're constantly moving in between states, or coast-to-coast.

Travel alarm clocks don't require a great deal of power, which is why the majority of them can run on batteries. This is a good thing, in that outlet clocks need to be reset every time that they're unplugged.

In the final analysis, a travel alarm clock should feel like an asset. When you wake up disoriented, that clock's display should provide you with an immediate reminder of where you are. Of course, the key to any alarm clock is its ability to wake you up. Just to be safe, be sure and confirm any model that you might be considering offers adjustable volume so that you can turn the alarm clock up, or even down.

Why To Use a Travel Alarm Clock Instead of Your Phone

Most people who are on the road assume that they can rely on their cellphones in the event they need to set an alarm. While cellphones may get you by in the short term, they're not as reliable as a specialized alarm, especially for people whose jobs are incumbent upon maintaining a tight schedule on the go.

The most common problem people experience with a cellphone alarm is that they don't hear it. This is usually the result of forgetting they've put the phone on vibrate. Worse yet, a vibrating alarm that goes off every five minutes has the potential for draining a cellphone's battery. That could present a major problem assuming you either don't have a charger, or you don't have ample time to charge your phone.

A lot of touchscreen phones are set up in such a way that it's easy to tap "Dismiss" when you actually intend to hit "Snooze." Worse yet, it could be more than an hour before you realize your mistake. We're all familiar with the shock of oversleeping by an hour, only to conclude that we've erroneously disabled the alarm.

Perhaps the biggest advantage to a travel alarm clock is that it is backlit (or frontlit), and it stands upright on any end table, thereby allowing you to see the exact date and time, and perhaps even the day of the week. Cellphones are illuminated but they rest flat, where you cannot see them. You need to reach over, grab a cellphone, and then turn it on in order to heed the time during the middle of the night.

A Brief History of The Alarm Clock

The alarm clock, conceptually speaking, has been around for ages. The philosopher Plato was rumored to have created an alarm for his homemade water clock. The Ancient Romans were known for placing alarm gongs inside the giant clocks that housed their public squares, and the Ancient Chinese were known for manually striking gongs to mark the time.

By the 15th Century, alarm clocks were spreading across Europe, where church towers were being hooked up to chimes or bells that would echo at the stroke of every hour. For the next 200 years, alarm clocks continued to be associated with grandiosity (and, very often, extravagance). Things began to change, however, during the early 20th Century, as manufacturers commenced producing alarm clocks that could be used within the home.

By the 1930s, wind-up clocks, and even early electric clocks, were becoming a fixture in the American household. Shortly after 1970, radio alarm clocks became the norm. During the 1980s, manufacturers began marketing handheld “travel clocks” that combined the traditional benefits of an analog alarm with the digital display - and backlighting - of an LED wristwatch.

Over the past 15 years, the alarm clock has continued to evolve. New technology has allowed for everything from ascending-sound alarms (i.e. an alarm that increases in volume to keep from jarring someone who is in a deep sleep) to radiant-light alarms (i.e. a light that increases in brightness until a person is awake). While certain aspects of an alarm clock have been replicated via smartphone, the traditional alarm clock is still considered more reliable. Unlike a smartphone, a traditional alarm clock stands upright, and it provides an illuminated display that stands out like a beacon, even in the middle of the night.

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Last updated: 03/28/2017 | Authorship Information