Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar

Steel String Backpacker Guitar, Other Acoustic Guitar from Martin & Co in the Backpacker series.

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All user reviews for the Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar

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heads on fire11/27/2011

heads on fire's review"Plays well, but not ergonomic."

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
Made in Mexico
Braced, solid tonewood top
Solid mahogany neck, back, and sides
Nice chrome-enclosed tuners
Weighs less than 2-1/2 lbs.
Great for traveling or camping!


This guitar is easy enough to play. The neck and the string tension feel like other high-end Martin guitars. The Backpacker is very easy to take traveling, camping, or on other activities due to its small size. However, that small size is a bit awkward to hold, as it doesn't rest on the leg very well. The side that would rest on your lap is a smooth edge with no contours, so it wants to slide right off. It would benefit well from a design similar to the Steinberger leg rest.

Also, the top strap button is in an awkward location, so when holding the guitar with a strap attached, the Backpacker tilts forward slightly, and the neck will dive due to the high-quality tuning machines being a bit heavier. Ergonomics are not this guitar's strong suit, but it plays well enough to bring the rating in this category overall to a 7.


The Backpacker sounds like a guitar. A very small, bright guitar, with not a lot of volume, but it sounds like a guitar, and not a toy or a ukulele, like some other small travel-sized guitars. It is certainly not lacking in note definition, but it doesn't project well, and the sustain is hampered by the small size and odd shape.


This is a good guitar for campers and travelers. And, as odd as this is to admit in a guitar review, the Backpacker smells wonderful! However, I feel like the Baby Taylor guitar is a better choice overall, as its shape gives it more projection, higher quality tone, and much better ergonomics. For the traveling guitarist on a budget, the Backpacker is the right move, but if I had more cash, I'd go with the Baby Taylor. The Backpacker's shape is unique and instantly identifiable, but it may be the downfall of this guitar due to practicality reasons!

MGR/MattG's review"Martin Backpacker"

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
The <b>Martin Backpacker</b> is Martin's answer for the guitarist on the go that's made to withstand the elements. As it's name suggests, the guitar is made for backpackers and campers. This is the six string, non-electric model. It has Mahogany laminate back and solid braced top. The neck is also mahogany. There is a nylon string and a mandolin version of the backpacker.

I purchased the guitar used a few years ago because I was heavy into hiking and backpacking and wanted to be able to take a guitar to write. I wanted something cheap and portable enough that I wouldn't have to worry about keeping it safe.

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My favorite thing about this guitar is that it weighs less than two and a half pounds. It's only a little more than three pounds when it's in the gig back so its not a lot of extra weight to pack with you. It sounds pretty good for such a small and non traditional bodied guitar. To me it sounds slightly like a banjo. It plays in tune and isn't hard to get in tune. It has decent tuners and with a little help plays pretty well.

You have to use a strap to play the guitar because the body is so small it can't be supported on your body. I would love it to be a little louder but I really can't complain.

The quality of construction is solid on the backpacker. It has decent tuners and the wood is solid. I have hiked many miles with the guitar banging on my backpack or breaking my fall. It has spent nights in very cold weather and days baking in the hot car. Even through all this, the guitar still stays and plays in tune.

Bottom line, this guitar works great for what it is designed to do. I do not recommend this guitar for beginners to learn on. I also don't recommend it to those looking to own a Martin and enticed by the $200 dollar price tag. There are many other $200 dollar guitars that sound better, but no guitar will work better for a light and durable camping guitar.

This review was originally published on

moosers's review

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
The Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar was made in the USA and is a pretty unique guitar. It is extremely slender and small and is designed for players who want to bring a guitar on the go without the hassles of lugging around a heavy guitar. This guitar isn't acoustic/electronic, so it has no pick up or setting controls.


The neck of the Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar is pretty fluid. Like just about all Martin guitars, it is easy to play and light on the fingers. This guitar is extremely light and has a unique body shape to allow it to fit in small places and bring around easily. Getting a nice sound is pretty easy, but this definitely doesn't have the full bodied sound that a normal Martin guitar will have.


The sound quality of the Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar is pretty good, but is not suitable for recording really. It is designed more for practicing and playing on the go rather than live shows or recording. This being said, this guitar sounds pretty cool for such a small and unique shaped guitar. I use when I can't bring my dreadnought Martin around, but it will never be able to replace my dreadnought Martin in terms of tone.


I've been using the Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar for about five years and have found it to be great for what it is aimed at being used for. I would never record or play a show with this guitar, but when I go on vacation, this guitar comes in extremely handy. The price of this guitar is very cheap, so you don't have to worry too much about it getting some nicks on the go. Overall, a great guitar for traveling with and I recommend it to anyone who want to bring a guitar on the go. Where you sacrifice some tone quality, it is made up for in terms of convenience.
MGR/Kupono Mc12/29/2002

MGR/Kupono Mc's review"Martin Backpacker"

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
I purchased this guitar on line for $150.

The Backpacker is small and easy to travel with. It comes with a gig bag which is handy and so far even after 9/11 I have had no problem with airlines allowing me to carry it on. The sound is great for it's size which is the key. The natural wood looks really nice.

I was bothered by the quiet sound at first but after playing a Baby Taylor I realized what I had. The Taylor sounded a lot like the Backpacker and seems like it is quite a bit larger because of the shape of the body.

The construction is great BUT when I recieved it the action was too high for me and I had a bit of trouble with a few chords muting. An adjustment by a local dealer for $35 and now it is great.

I feel that the Backpacker is exactly what it is cracked up to be. Travelling from Hawaii to Washington D.C with this baby was a joy. When I was bored at the airport or anywhere else I broke it out and had a blast. Price, quality, style...if it is small and value you're looking for this is the one.

This review was originally published on

jromep's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Really a "sound journey" on the other hand with micro changes everything ..."

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar


Limited access to acute. The original sound is reminiscent of a Ukulele just one guitar.
Usability not obvious - we look for the right way to stall without the strap is not easy. But eventually adapt -


The sound is pretty bad - but at the same time with a case of this size, it is not very surprising.


I have 2 years - I finally used very little - but it's nice to have a guitar that takes up so little space when traveling - this is for, it's good :)

And mostly I just added a piezo Martin Thinline 332 (amazon U.S.) and there is top - plugged into iRig and HP Bose type for iPhone (in the spirit of travel) or an amp that has nothing See - you can even have fun in and out sounds nice. It will come out much more often the case now.

I recommend the adaptation - it's pretty simple to finally follow the tutorial below

ddn's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Unusable"

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
It's a Martin. Me buying it, I was awfully proud to have Martin, especially for that price.
The handle is the big sound not handle end where big fingers play well.


The handle is large, the good. A hint of caution though: there is no trussrod not so thick ropes under penalty of twist (martin extra-light only, that's what the fans say this guitar).
Access to treble is good, because there's treble it in this guitar.
Ergonomics, uh, how to say this politely ... That sucks. You can not play without a strap that is hard to do well hold. You can not play or lying sprawled on a couch, sitting must play with strap taut as if we had a broom in the (nose). And even then, the body is lighter than the head so it slumps continuously unless you nailed your strap in your left shoulder.
Sound, uh, how to say this politely ... That sucks. It looks like the sound of a banjo box match.


Careful, now, I'm sure if you files that Jess Williamson she will you do with owls songs, I'm just saying that current use is useless for most people. Mainly because the sound is so typical that it requires a particular hit out some balanced thing that makes picking technique you acquire on this guitar you will only use this guitar. Too bad, huh, for a guitar training.


I had two weeks via a rather advantageous exchange.
I honestly hated this guitar, but it probably comes from my gambling
Acoustic I play mostly in bed and the couch, sprawled like a slug. With Backpacker is not possible to play other than stiff sitting upright or standing stiffly erect too. Forget the time of relaxation with your guitar.
It is much less bulky than a parlor and it sounds much worse.
It requires a special technique of playing it seems impossible to implement on another guitar. In itself this is not a big deal but I do not see that this machine can ENTERING main instrument (except Jess Williamson but I already said).
Basically, I took out my Baby Taylor from the case.

isadys's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" I love it"

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar


very pleasant


yes it suits me


I flashed on this guitar, a real favorite, I'm small and is very ergonomic, but you have to play with a strap for those who do not pick up this guitar, and it more incredible resonance very paticulière, the handle is very comfortable. It motivates me, makes me want to play and made me grow. The problem is that I no longer want to play on my "real" guitar that I find cumbersome.
I wonder if someone put a bug to play on a small amp, I wonder if it's worth it. Thank you to answer me

Kalaharry's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" favorite"

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
I possde a backpacker acoustic steel string, first generation, purchase.
No default manufacturing or finishing.


At first, I t Drout by the profile of the neck / body because more rounded than I had experienced before. That said it is done quickly.
The action is not the lowest but is average.
We take pleasure to play this fast trs "thing" - in rhythm, in arpge - by walking, looking at the TL ... It is easy to lug around anywhere and you can DGain Scratch the instrument and to care.


I used to hand me the guitar during MIDI breaks at work. It allowed me to find my small way faster.
To play tonight ... is better to have quiet friends.
I'd be curious to see what gives a version of electro! In fact I would have loved to have him as Premire (electro-) acoustic to high school years.


I do have trouble even qualifying the Backpacker guitar ... over a handle ... In any case, it is an instrument, no doubt the above plutt and manufactured goods.
I used it for a year or two. Dsormais serving more than COD but I also purchased for the design (beautiful lines).
The kids can take safely, as the greatest. It is an object fun and friendly trs. In addition, I can crner by saying that "I also possde a Martin."

set's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
This small bronze guitar strings version is a true wonder.
made in Mexico


I use it as quitar travel or sofa (in front of a tv watching a good movie and play along to the delight of my wife)
That was my first acoustic guitar for a few months ...
A bit tricky to take over .. almost as a Flying V and a short time, everything is in order.
The handle is nice and the choice of freight has much to do (these are not small ... but jumbos dsl) which leads to more accuracy and fluidity.


She has a funny sound that seems closer to the banjo ... a real rope shovel. In an open bottle neck and this little trick the ear drum heater ... and the soul also)).
I prefer the steel tube to the glass on this guitar, I feel like it gives it a little extra shine.


The tool is not very versatile but what he inspires!! I m'essaye blues and despite the poverty of my arrangements sound carries.
I gave it a very good rating and if my daughter's case ... I will seek another, even without too much hesitation.

suttanacciu's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
Manufactured or I do not know I read more haut.c Mexico is an acoustic trip with an atypical round and round but you get large enough that it's like everything.
Count take notes because we are dealing with an acoustic guitar TRAVEL should not be mistaken as I read above.


The handle has nothing to do with the sleeves martin is wide and flat it does not look like a steel guitar there would be similar to a classic. it has easy access to acute gene there is no one goes to the last fret. the shape is weird and shaky balance, it looks next round. you can not put it on there knees can play with the strap. we must adapt his game to get her "properly".


It is not bad to finger picking or mediator, for the careful rhythmic sound is aggressive play so soft, it comes out anyway, given the size it was first surprised by the power (relatively speaking it does not sound like a large) but it surprises you wonder where that leaves Bravo Martin luthiers.
means many low mediums its there but it is the predominant acute enough.
I put seven sound considering it's a travel guitar for this type of instrument is very acceptable.


I have for over a year now and has rounded the sound, it sounds louder in the early months and aggressive.
few things to complain about it HOLDS mechanical issue not long tuning especially when you move the capo between songs. second thing I had some problems of accuracy on mine, I had to take him to the luthier for me to readjust the bridge saddle and even then it comes good but never really quite right. I paid 370 euros (a bit expensive you might say) but the thing is that I made a big fancy like her little mouth too and above all the face people make when I go out and especially when they hear ringing this small piece of wood. I love this little instrument and I would do it nonetheless, choose my little disappointments.