Best Hair Dryers for Traveling
Sure, the hotel that you booked for your vacation this summer might claim that it has a blowdryer in the bathroom of your room- but how many times have you found that it is missing or broken? You know better than anyone that is it better to always bring your own tools when it comes to traveling so that you never have to rely on an unreliable listing in hotel descriptions. Packing up the unit that you use at home is problematic because it is not designed to travel. It is more than likely pretty bulky and takes up way more room in your suitcase than you would like. Investing in a great hair dryer that was designed specifically for traveling will save you room, as will ensure that you get a really great unit that has been used by you and only you.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
Folds in half
- Conair Folding
- Conair Cord-Keeper
- Andis Micro
- Andis Folding
- Conair MiniPRO
- HTG Mini
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Conair Folding
Folds in half
Cord is a little short
This isn’t the last time that you will be seeing the name Conair on our list. For travelers that want something that has a simple design, a powerful wattage for faster drying, and folds up easily into any small space- this product is a perfect fit. Plus, it comes from the trusted brand of Conair that has been making small personal care appliances since they were founded in 1959.Read more
The barrel of this model is short and abbreviated, and the the handle will fit perfectly in your palm without any extra space. It comes in a solid sky blue color with black accents and a black cord. The 1600 wattage offered by this unit makes it incredibly powerful for it’s short design and may perhaps rival the power of the one that you use at home.
There aren’t a whole of lot extra features offered on this design. Users can used the button that is found along the backside of the handle the airflow power. You can select from a low setting or a high setting. What makes this perfect for packing into a suitcase is that the head folds down onto the handle, so it will take up very little room in a stuffed bag.
It weighs just a little bit more than 1 pound- which is perfect when you are paying per pound for your checked bag at the airport. When extended, it measures to be 4.25 inches wide and 7.625 inches long.
The cost of this design will set you back about the same amount that you might spend on a paperback novel at the airport gift shop- making it an incredible deal. Plus, it comes from the trusted brand of Conair, so you know that it will last you for many trips to come.
Users love this design- it is easily one of the highest rated designs on the market. Not only is this unit incredibly powerful and likely has the same power as your design you use at home, but it is also really compact and easy to throw into a suitcase. Plus, since it weighs in at only a pound, it won’t weigh you down the way some of the other designs can- especially if you are trying to pack light.
Some users find the cord is a little stiff
Revlon is a name that you are probably very familiar with when it comes to personal care items such as makeup and skincare. Revlon also makes really great products in the small appliances market that is designed to make your hair really shine. This design is just a little bit bigger than the Conair design, but it has a few more features while offering more power.Read more
The barrel of this model lies somewhere between a full size design and the short, stuffy barrels like the one we saw on the Conair model. It has a black plastic case with grey buttons and a black cord. The slightly larger design offers 1875 Watts of power, which is 275 more watts than many of the other options out there.
In addition to offering two power setting of low and high, the Revlon model also offers a cool shot button. This button is perfect for cooling down your head and closing off open hair follicles to lock your style in place and to ward off frizz from humidity. It has an impressive 4 foot long cord that some users find to be just a little too stiff.
What makes it great for throwing into a suitcase is the weight- is weight just over 1 pound so it shouldn’t slow you down at all. It measures to be 9.4 inches long and 7.2 inches wide.
One of the best features about this design is the incredibly affordable price point. This unit will set you back just a little bit more than you might have spent on your morning latte- making it a perfect investment to keep in your suitcase so that you will never be without it.
Coming with most of the features that you would find in your home model, with an affordable price tag and a whole lot of power, this model will be the perfect companion at keeping your style on point the next time you hit the road.
3. Conair Cord-Keeper
Users have down it to be very powerful and can dry hair quickly
A little heavier than some of the other options
There are two things that can make packing these items up a nightmare- larger plastic shells and cords. The Cord-Keeper from Conair works to eliminate that frustrating task of winding up a cord to fit nicely in your suitcase or tote bag. There is no need to worry about tangled cords with this design.Read more
This design doesn’t have the abbreviated barrel like the other Conair options you might see on our list. The barrel of the Cord-Keeper lies somewhere between a standard size and a short barrel. It comes in a blue plastic shell that is able to be folded in half at the handle. The best part about this design is that the cord is able to be retracted into the base so that you don’t have to contend with a lot of wires in your suitcase that can make things look sloppy.
The Cord-Keeper offers users an impressive 1875 Watts that might rival what their home unit provides. It has two speed settings as well as a diffuser to help tame curly hair. It also offers a cool shot button on the front that will help lock styles and place and cool hot scalps.
Weighing in at 1.6 pounds, it is slightly heavier than some of the other options- but not by much. It stands to be about 8.7 inches tall and 6.5 inches wide.
Just like any other Conair product, this is set at a really affordable price point. It will likely set you back about the same price that you would spend on a paperback book found at the airport gift shop.
For those that want power, features, and a cord that zips right back up into the unit to help promote organized vacation packing- this is well worth the price tag.
Uses ionic conditioned air
Two heat settings and three power settings
Some feel that is it too noisy
Remington has been in the business of making quality grooming products for both men and women for many years, and have won quite a few awards for their great designs. This unit is perfect for taking with you on the go, and it still offers a lot of the technology to keep hair strong and tame.Read more
This unit has a short and stubby barrel that makes it really easy to throw into a suitcase without taking up all that much room. It is offered in a red plastic shell that has shape white and silver accents. Users can also opt for a solid purple design. It provides 1876 Watts of power, which is about standard for many models out there on the market. It doesn’t fold in on itself of have a cord that retracts- but it’s features will make up for the little extra room that it will take up.
Users will have the option to select from three different power options. The first setting is an eco setting for saving power (perfect for when you are camping and have a limited power supply), it also has a medium setting and a high setting that can pack quite a punch. It has two heat settings so that you can control the level of heat that the unit outputs. Just like your model that you use at home, it has a cool shot setting to cool down your scalp and lock your style into place before heading out for the day. What makes this unit different is that it offers ionic conditioning while in use, which helps tames the hair and control static and frizz.
This unit stands up to about 10 inches tall- which makes it one of the bigger options to make our list. However, it only weighs about 1.3 pounds, so it weighs almost the same as many of the smaller designs.
This unit is just a little bit bigger than most of the other options, and it is also just a little bit more expensive. However, if you need all of the extra features that are found on your home unit, this is well worth the very slight uptick in price.
If you need something that has all of the features that you use on your home unit, and are willing to give up just a little bit of extra room in your suitcase to make it happen- this is a great option to take with you on your next trip.
5. Andis Micro
Users claim that is running a lot quieter than some of their past models
Very small frame
Reports that the air comes out at a strange angle
Trying to pack as light as you possibly can for your next trip? If you have enough room to pack a hairbrush, you will have enough room to pack the Andis Micro Turbo. This unit is incredibly small, but it still packs a pretty powerful punch to get you ready and out the door in a flash.Read more
The barrel of this model is so short that is almost could be mistaken for a hair brush. It comes in a white plastic shell with black buttons and a black power cord. This little unit can muster up about 1600 Watts of power, which will allow you to go from the shower to the street in a flash.
These isn’t a lot of extra features when it comes to this design. It allows users to select from two different power settings- low and high. The biggest feature to note about this product is the incredibly small size, and its quiet yet powerful motor.. If you need something that offers more features, this might not be the option for you.
It stands up to be about 10 inches tall, and it is only 4 inches wide. It weighs in at 1 pound, which is one of the lightest options to make our list.
The downside to this model is that it cost a little bit more than many of the other options, and in some cases it costs double. However, if you need something that is quite, powerful, and will be able to travel in even the smallest of suitcases, it is well worth the slightly padded price tag.
If you are someone that is looking for the smallest option that you can get your hands on- the Andis Micro is one of the smallest out there, you are just going to have to pay a slightly higher price.
6. Andis Folding
Uses Ionic conditioning
Runs incredibly quietly- some have even used it in the morning without waking up their partner
Slightly more expensive than some of the other models
This is something that is perfect for those that want something that has some of the features that men and women have come to love with their styling tools, but it also has all of the features that make it perfect for taking on the go. Just be prepared to pay a slightly higher price tag for all of these additional features.Read more
The handle is composed of a matte black plastic, and the medium size barrels are made from a shiny gray plastic that is made to look like chrome. This unit has the ability to not only fold in on itself, but it also has a cord that is retractable. Plus, it has a motor that is able to pump out an impressive 1875 watts of power.
Users can select 3 power settings- low, medium, and high. It also has a cool shot setting to press to lock in your style and cool off our scalp when you are finished drying. This unit utilizes ionic conditioned air to help promote easy styling that has less frizz and static.
The size of this unit is pretty standard for designs that have a medium size barrel. When unfolded, it stands to be about 9 inches high, and is also about 6 inches wide, which is pretty standard for most models meant to be taken on the road.
With all of these extra features, as well as maximum portability, you are probably worried that is is going to come at a much higher price point. While the cost is slightly higher than many of the others on the market, it isn’t my much, and it isn’t enough that it is going to break the bank.
For those that need all of the features that can be found on their home unit- such as cool blastic and ionic conditioning- this is going to be your best bet. Plus, it has a retractable cord and a foldable base- making it well worth the price point.
Uses Ionic technology
Great for trips that take you out of the country
Slightly more expensive than other designs
If the prospect of parting with the full sized unit that you keep in the bathroom at home makes you a little uneasy, you might want to consider this design from Berta. It folds down on itself to make for easy packing, but once unfolded it has all of the features and design that you would find with a full sized model. Keep in mind, however, that this unit comes at a much higher price point than many of the others on the market.Read more
The design to this unit is unlike anything else that we have selected for our list. It has a metallic red base that yields to a metallic silver barrel. The barrel is a full size barrel that might resemble what you use in your bathroom at home. It can offer up an impressible 1875 Watts of power inside of its plastic shell. When you are done, simply fold it in half and throw it into your suitcase.
Dual voltage lets you switch between 250V and 125V, which is ideal for traveling to various locations. It has an easy to use switch on the handle that allows users to adjust the power level from low to high. On the top of the handle is a button to offer users a cool blast to calm down their scalp and lock their style into place.
When unfolded, this unit stands to be about 10.20 inches tall, and is 9.45 inches wide- which is a lot larger than many of the other options out there on the market. It also weighs in at 1.6 pounds- which is a little heavier than most, but not by much.
Yes, this does cost a lot more than many of the other options on the market, and actually costs triple of some of the more reasonably priced selections from Remington and Conair. However, where this unit differs is that it offers a 1-year replacement warranty if you any reason it stops working.
If you cannot do without your full-size unit at home, but you want something that is a little easier to throw into a suitcase- this is going be your best option if you are willing to pay the higher price tag.
Ceramic components for even heat
Low wattage means it will have a longer life span
For those that like to live on the edge, or for those that don’t plan checking a bag in at baggage claim- the Jinri model offers a ceramic design. Ceramic is great for conducting even heat, but the problem with it is that it is a lot more delicate than plastic or metal and can break in the hands of angry baggage handlers.Read more
The matte plastic shell of the exterior looks a little different from many of the other designs and looks really sharp. It has a medium size barrel that is great for taking on the road, and while it doesn’t fold up like some of the others, it’s footprint is actually very small and is about the same height as a cell phone.
Ceramic components ensure for an even distribution of air, and the buttons on the handle allow users to switch between a low and high setting. Located on the top of the handle is a cool blast button that will allow you to set your style when you are finished and cool off your scalp. It offers 1000 watt of power, which may seem a little low, but the smart design will last you for many years.
The small stature is one of the more impressive features about this model. It stands up to only be 8 inches tall and 5 inches wide, which is perfect for throwing into your suitcase without taking up all that much room.
Products that use ceramic are typically more expensive, and that seems to be the case with the Jinri. This isn’t the most expensive model out there on the market, but it is one of the more expensive options to make our list.
For those that are willing to spend just a little bit more money on something that will really help maintain the same style that they can get from their full model back at home- this is well worth the slightly padded price tag.
9. Conair MiniPRO
Comes with 2 attachments and a carrying case
Some find that it is not very powerful
Conair is making out list one last time with their MiniPRO design. This model doesn’t fold up or have a cord that retracts, but it is super small and has all of the features that users would want to keep up their perfect style even when on vacation.Read more
What makes this design a little bit different is that is doesn’t just come in a solid black. The plastic outside shell of the model is a sharp magenta color so there will be absolutely no risk that you will accidentally overlook it when collecting your things out of the hotel before heading home. It offers users 1200 watts of power- which is a little bit lower than many of the other units on the market.
There are two-speed settings that users can choose from that is located right on the handle. The interior components are made from ceramic to ensure an even temperature and limit the risk of overheating. It comes with two attachments- one is a diffuser and the other helps concentrate airflow. Included with purchase is a black and white zebra striped carrying case that makes it easy to just toss into your suitcase or carry on bag.
What makes this unit special is that it is smaller than any of the other designs out there on the market. It stands up to be just over 7 inches tall, and it is 6 inches wide.
This unit is small in stature, and also small in price. While it isn’t the least expensive item out there on the market, it is far from the more higher-end designs. It will likely set you back the same amount that you spent on a large pizza for dinner last night.
For those that want something small and effective- this little unit will get the job done for you. Plus, it will be easy to throw right into your carry on bag and it won’t set you back all that much money.
10. HTG Mini
Small size, folds in half
Tourmaline components for even heat distribution
Some feel that it isn’t very powerful
This unit is really great at helping you get from the shower to the road in a flash. It has a sharp outer shell that houses a pretty powerful motor with tourmaline components for even heat distribution, and it’s super easy to pack up and throw into a suitcase.Read more
Users can select from a solid black or solid white options. Each design has a tough outer shell that is able to be folded in half at the handle for easy storage.
Users can select from two different power options that include a low setting and a high setting. It also as dual voltage (100V and 240V) for those times that you are heading overseas or out camping. It also comes with the addition of a concentrator nozzle if you need a more concentrated stream of hair to work your style.
Even before it is folded in half, this unit is incredibly small. It measures to be 7 inches tall and 5 inches wide and weighs in at 15.2 ounces- one of the lightest options out there on the market.
The cost of this unit runs in the middle of the road. It isn’t the most expensive out there, but it isn’t the least expensive either. It will likely cost you about the same amount that you would spend on lunch at the airport before boarding.
If you need something that can really fit into some really small spaces, but still has all of the power that you will need to set your style before you head out for the day- this is an excellent option for all of your adventures.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Traveling gear has evolved a lot in recent years. It used to be that something that was considered to be a compact version of a full product often didn’t have a lot of the features that their full-size cousins had, and they were often just built be a lot smaller. What we discovered is that many companies offer their full-size products, but they just have features that make them more compact, such as the ability to fold in half at the handle or having a cord that is retractable. We were drawn to designs that still offered the cool shot that is perfect for cooling your scalp down and locking your style into place. We also liked products that used ion conditioned air. This function not only helps speed up the process, but it also helps your style look its best.
The best products are those that use ceramic internal components because they help distribute heat more evenly and they aren’t as hot to the touch. However, ceramic isn’t great for putting into a suitcase because it runs the risk of breaking when you luggage comes into the hands of angry baggage handlers, and it also adds a little bit more weight, which isn’t ideal. We made sure to select units that were made from unbreakable components such as plastics and metal to ensure that it gets to wherever it is you are going in one piece. The things that make these items great to bring along with you on a trip is their size, their ability to be folded up, and their overall function.
You need to be careful when trying to find a product that as a lot of power because there are certain pitfalls to maximum power. A lot of these units have a wattage of about 1875- which is pretty powerful for a smaller unit. 1875 watts will allow you to have just as much airflow as the standard designs that you use at home, but if you aren’t careful these more powerful options might burn up more quickly and have a shorter lifespan. We liked products that had a wattage of around 1600 because they were the perfect marriage of power and longevity- but they weren’t as easy to come by as the 1875 watt designs. When selecting a design that had a wattage of 1875, we made sure to read up on what some of the past users had to say about how long they worked before needing to be replaced.
If there was a lot of users that claimed their units couldn’t make it past the 6-month mark, we moved on to a different model. Another point that we took into consideration was ionic conditioning. This technology dries a lot faster, but it also comes in at a higher price point. We know that many aren’t willing to spend a lot of extra money on something that they will just keep in their suitcase for when they need it, so we only included a few ionic designs on our list, and we made sure that the price tag was low enough that it wouldn’t knock your socks off.
The design of these products was the very first thing that we looked at when conducting our research. We kept an eye on three things: size, compactability, and cords. We were drawn to items that not only were able to be folded at the handle, but that also had cords that were retractable. We know that when you are trying to be neat and organized when packing a suitcase, devices that have cumbersome cords make staying neat almost impossible.
There were also three different types of barrel sizes out there on the market that users could select from- short, mid-size, and a full barrel (that mimicked a full-size product). We found that products that used the mid-size barrel with a foldable handle were more widely received than the styles with the shorter barrels. The shorter barrels are great for traveling and fitting into smaller spaces, but a lot of users found that designs with short barrels sounded like a jet engine taking off. We found that midsize barrels typically weren’t as loud, and they weren’t as big and difficult to pack as the full size.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
There is a primitive voice in all of us that is drawn to the designs that have more power- but in this case, more power might not necessarily be a good thing. While a higher voltage might generate a more powerful air stream, these products have a tendency to overheat. Yes, there is a vent along the back that helps cool it down, but that vent sometimes gets plugged up with lint and we forget to clean it. When this happens, the motor will start to overheat and the next thing you know you are on our website researching new hairdryers because your old one died. What we discovered in our research were the units that had the higher voltage also had a significantly shorter lifespan. If you want to ensure that the product that you select lasts for a long time, you might have to sacrifice power for longevity.
Other Factors to Consider
It’s important to take into consideration what and where you will be using it. If you plan on using it for every day- you might want to get something that is about a 1600 watt to ensure that it will last you for quite a long time. If you are someone that is serious about styling, spending a little bit of extra money for something with additional features and ionic conditioning might be right for you. And if you are someone that just wants to dry off and hit the road- the inexpensive, basic, short barreled designs are going to be a perfect fit for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Will they work internationally?
If you are packing up for an overseas trip, you might want to check the product descriptions to ensure that it comes with the proper adapters. Due to the fact that companies know these products are going to be shoved in suitcases and moving from place to place, they typically include different adapters for various plugs all over the world. However, be sure to check the product descriptions before you make your purchase because there are some out there that do not come with these types of adapters.
q: What is ion conditioning?
There is a surprising about of science in the art of simply drying your hair. Products that have something called ionic conditioning use ionic charge air that actually helps your head dry faster. Wet follicles are charged with positive ions, and the ions produced by an ion charged product negative ions. These ions interact in a way that helps cut the drying time in half. Plus, when your follicles aren’t under constant heat, it helps prevent damage in the long haul. Keep in mind that these products are a little more expensive than their basic counterparts. Plus, consumers find that they tend to work better when using ceramic components. If you aren’t too concerned with time, ion conditioning might not be worth the extra cost.
q: Can I use them every day?
Sure! The package might say it is made for travel, but what we found in our research is that a lot of customers use them every day and they have held up to years of everyday use. If you have a small bathroom or live in an apartment with limited space- this might be the perfect solution to your space problem. Plus, if you are someone that just likes to keep this neat and organized in the bathroom, these products that have the retractable cord are great for keeping spaces neat and tidy and free of annoying cords and wires. Before you take the plunge, be sure to check to see what past users have said about the longevity of the product, because some just don’t have the same lifespan as others.
q: What is the benefit of the cool shot?
This is something that you might have noticed on quite a few models, and it might be a feature on the one that you use at home and you just never use it- but you should! When you use heat, it opens up the follicle and can make it look frizzy or damaged- especially when you are using it on the highest heat setting. If you want to make sure that you have a sleek and flawless look, while also promoting shines and reducing frizz and static, give it a one over with the cool shot to lock in your look. Plus, the cool shot is perfect when you are attempting to dry off in high heat and humidity in the middle of the summer- it will feel great against a hot scalp.
q: What should I do with a diffuser attachment?
You might have noticed an attachment that came with your purchase that looks like some type of torture device, but it’s actually just a harmless diffuser. If you have never taken the time to give it a try, you are really missing out! If you are someone that has naturally curly or wavy hair, but the heat from the drying process turns it as straight as an arrow- the diffuser attachment might be your new best friend. If you love the way that your hair looks when it dries naturally, but you often don’t have the time to let it do its thing- the diffuser attachment helps expedite the process. Just be sure that you use it on a lower setting to ensure that you lock in those curls.
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