Best Outdoor Musical Instruments Reviews in 2020

by Julien Raby
by Julien Raby
Last Updated: May 11, 2020

Finding the best musical instruments is hard enough. Finding the right music instruments that can deliver beautifully outdoors can be even harder. Fortunately, we have gathered a list of the top outdoor musical instruments for you.

So, before you go to your next campground jam or outdoor concert, take a look at our list and see what instruments will deliver the best performance for you.

Our Top Pick

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukele

The Kala KA-15S ukelele is the best of affordability, beginner-friendly, and high-quality instruments that can be taken just about anywhere. Apart from its durable, high-quality construction and bright, full-bodied sound, this ukelele can be used in any music school, camping trip, casual get-together, live acoustic performance and more. It is an extremely easy instrument to learn and can fit any genre of music. (View on Amazon )

Comparison Chart

PictureProduct nameFeature 1


Feature 2


Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar5.3 pounds

4.7 x 36.2 x 9.4 inchesView On Amazon
Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukele12.8 ounces21.2 x 7 x 2.4 inchesView on Amazon
GECKO Kalimba 17 Keys Thumb Piano1.95 pounds9.7 x 8.8 x 3.9 inchesView On Amazon
Hohner Special 20 Harmonica4.8 ounces8.5 x 5.2 x 1.4 inchesView on Amazon
Meinl Cajon Box Drum11 pounds11.8 x 12 x 18 inchesView On Amazon

Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar

A guitar has to be one of the most indispensable instruments when it comes to any type of music jam. Now, you could just carry your regular guitar around, but why not have a guitar that is more light-weight and made for traveling outdoors.

The Backpacker Travel Guitar is a downsized version of a regular guitar that is better suited for rugged, outdoor use. Made out of a hard-mahogany wood, the Backpacker also drastically shrinks the size of the guitar, giving it a slimmer, more portable profile. In this way, if you want to go on a hike or a walk down the beach, you can easily sling this guitar onto your back and carry it around with little issue.

The slight drawback comes in the strength of the sound. Although the smaller size makes the guitar more lightweight, it also makes this guitar quieter than a normal guitar.

Pros & Cons


  • The Backpacker has a slimmer construction and is lighter to carry around.
  • It is made out of a strong wood perfect for rugged, outdoor activities.
  • The sound is “pluckier”, like a mix between a ukelele and guitar.
  • The guitar still projects well for its size and is ideal for fingerpicking.


  • The more compact size sacrifices some volume and tone.
  • This guitar is not easy to balance without the shoulder strap.
  • Neck is heavier than the body.

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukele

The Kala KA-15S is the choice high-quality, entry-level, and affordable ukeleles on the market. Its traditional, all-mahogany construction delivers a bright and full-bodied sound that has enough volume and tone fit for a classroom or a live acoustic performance.

Additionally, its striking appearance is the perfect image of simplicity and tradition. The ukelele’s mahogany comes with a rich satin finish which accents the wood grain and gives the ukelele a more dynamic look. It also comes with a nice walnut fingerboard and bridge and strings imported from Italy.

If you want an instrument that can easily fit any music event, but is super easy to learn and use, the Kala KA-15S ukelele is for you. With quality craftsmanship, impressive tone and a massive collection of ukelele models, Kala is the industry standard for modern ukeleles. So much so, artists like Twenty-One Pilots and Vance Joy are avid users of Kala ukeleles.

Pros & Cons


  • This ukelele is ideal for beginners and is easy to learn.
  • It has a high-quality mahogany construction.
  • The fretwork is exemplary.


  • Tuning this ukelele can be hard.
  • Some users had issues with the ukelele not staying in tune.
  • The associated app is only free for four days.
  • Does not come with its own tuner.

GECKO Kalimba 17 Keys Thumb Piano

If you are looking for something more compact, portable and simple to use, try this GECKO Kalimba. Handmade out of high-quality mahogany and ore steel bars, this kalimba will deliver a delightfully warm sound and a deep, more sufficient resonance.

Played simply by plucking your thumbs on the steel bars, a kalimba is also extremely easy to use. Fortunately, the GECKO Kalimba also comes with an instruction book and lessons book to show you the performance methods of a kalimba. This way, you can easily learn to play at casual outdoor events or at the most sophisticated live performances.

What also makes the GECKO Kalimba stand out is that it comes with a special case. The case is specially designed to protect your kalimba from any damage from the elements. Moreover, the case ensures you can carry your kalimba with your wherever you go and not have to worry about it getting damaged in transport.

Pros & Cons


  • It has a high-quality and sturdy construction.
  • This kalimba comes with a case, a tuning hammer, and a polishing cloth.
  • It has a rich sound.
  • It is easy to learn and great for beginners.


  • Some users had issues with the note name stickers not actually being on the bars.
  • Some users also found tuning issues.
  • Some also found that the outer keys do not resonate.

Hohner Special 20 Harmonica

Next to a guitar, a harmonica is another indispensable instrument. From its pocket-sized portability, its ability to span several octaves and to play single notes and chords, a harmonica is extremely easy to learn.

A particular standout is the Hohner Special 20 Harmonica. This harmonica delivers smooth, soulful sounds that is perfect for any music genre from folk to pop.

The Special 20 has relatively slim and lightweight profile that does not make it hassle to carry around. It also has a sturdy, stainless steel cover plates that minimize the chances of deformity if you accidentally sit on it. The interior of the harmonia or the “comb”, if you will, is made out of a durable plastic, and the mouthpiece is projected outward for your playing comfort.

Additionally, the Special 20 comes with a rugged plastic case that will protect your instrument and improve its portability. Lastly, the harmonic can also be taken apart for easy cleaning or repairs.

Pros & Cons


  • This harmonica is airtight for the best tone.
  • It has an excellent sound.
  • The plastic comb makes it easy to play.
  • It is easier for beginners to learn how to bend notes on this harmonica.
  • Sturdy construction.


  • The brass reeds are not durable.
  • Some found that some of the reeds got stuck.
  • Some users had tuning issues.

Meinl Cajon Box Drum

The Meinl Cajon Box Drum is a great alternative to a traditional drum set. By striking it with your hands, you can easily create warm percussive tones, snare-like rhythms, and a thumping bass.

The solid hardwood body easily broadens bass notes and focuses the corner hits and rolls for precise beats and rhythms. It also comes with four rubber feet that keep cajon stable but also absorbs any unwanted vibrations.

Moreover, the Meinl Cajon can be adjusted to vary the resonance of your sounds. Inside the cajon, there is a hex wrench that can be used to tighten or loosen the front plate metal strings. You can also adjust the corner screws of the front plate to change the tone and amount of slap.

If you are not in place where a full drum set is practical, a cajon is your saving grace. Its durability and versatility make it an ultimate percussion instrument.

Pros & Cons


  • Its durable and well-built for a variety of percussive sounds.
  • You can adjust the cajon to change the tone qualities.
  • It’s more portable and more compact than a full drum set.


  • Some users found the metal strings inside the box to be flimsy and could easily vibrate out of place.


As you can see, there are a wide variety of instruments that can perform beautifully outside. Each instrument is good on its own, but any combination of these instruments could make for an outstanding musical experience.

Whatever you choose, be sure you are aware of your own musical abilities and how to properly tune and maintain each instrument. Remember, part of an instrument’s performance relies on how you care for it.

We hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any other thoughts or questions, please share them with us.

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