The 10 Best Travel Chess Sets

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This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in March of 2018. For chess players who don't want to be without this challenging game when on the go, there are plenty of options. From magnetic boards with pieces that won't slip during turbulence, to transport-friendly, roll-up choices, these travel sets will allow you to engage an opponent and take a break from staring at a computer screen even while on vacation or a business trip. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. iCore Electronic Talking Set

2. House of Staunton Checkbook

3. QuadPro Foldable

Editor's Notes

February 08, 2021:

We replaced the House of Staunton Book with the House of Staunton Checkbook – feeling that the former just couldn’t compete with the portability of the latter – and also removed the WE Games Vinyl and Wegiel Royal European due to availability issues.

Our other new additions this time around are the Amor 3 in 1 — which doubles as a backgammon and checkers set; and the iCore Electronic Talking Set — which conveniently provides lonely players with a capable, electronic opponent.

For users interested in serious play with less portable models, we also maintain a separate set of rankings for standard-sized chess sets and chess timers.

October 22, 2019:

Because you never know when you might be ready to play a game of chess, we've kept a range of choices in different sizes, including those that slip into a purse or messenger bag, some magnetic and some not. For those who are worried that the board will be knocked around in transit, we like the The House of Staunton Book. True to its name, it folds closed just like a book, with both board and pieces inside. This means all the crucial elements are protected, saving you some worry. It's on the pricier side, though, although it should be noted it's built to last. For a budget-friendly alternative, there's the Kidami Folding Set, which has been updated and now has proper squares instead of rectangles. The Wegiel Royal European and the QuadPro Folding are also fine alternatives, both magnetic. Finally, we opted to add the Pendleton Roll-Up as a design-conscious choice. It features patterning that Pendleton fans will recognize; consider it as a gift for those who love camping or someone with a rustic country cottage.

Special Honors

Hector Saxe Valentin Velvet You might think that "luxury" and "travel" are incompatible in chess sets, but this Hector Saxe Valentin Velvet certainly proves otherwise. Each is made in France and would make a fine gift for the serious player — if you can stomach the rather high price.

Aristotle Hand Held Chess Computer The Aristotle Hand Held Chess Computer is a tablet that allows you to train your brain anywhere you go, even in dim conditions, thanks to the fine backlighting. You can set it to low for beginners, but if you really feel like a challenge, it has a hard mode that the makers claim can beat 95 percent of all chess players.

4. Pendleton Roll-Up

5. Amor 3 in 1

6. Hey! Play! Inlaid Walnut-Style

7. Yellow Mountain Imports Mini

8. Kidami Folding Set

9. Chess Armory 15" Wooden

10. Chess Bazaar Pocket

Will Rhoda
Last updated by Will Rhoda

After deciding that the pen was mightier than the pliers, Canadian electrical contractor William Rhoda abandoned his career and headed back to college, where he majored in marketing and advertising and won a scholarship along the way to earning a diploma in creative communications. His past career landed him a depth of knowledge in tools and hardware, while his current career schooled him in audio, video and camera equipment. During his leisure time, he’s learned lots about outdoor gear, and years of tiresome backyard maintenance have taught him all about pools and hot tubs. His recreational pursuits include rest, relaxation and revolutionary action, and his roommate’s a hairless cat.

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