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.

  • Increase or decrease font size
  • Print
  • RSS

All user reviews of 4/5 for the Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar

  • Like
  • Tweet
  • Submit
Buy at Sweetwater
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.

<a href=""></a>

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.

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."

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

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
EU origin. Classical Backpacker model that I mounted with cover NYLONS.Livré strings.
Contruction sturdy round handle but easy and closer than usual to handle classique.Barettes plates.Les strings are set close to the handle.


Handle what is pleasant to acute étonnant.Accés easy because of the shape of the hand caisse.En we can play with the strap, it's a matter of habit but you get fait.C is a travel guitar originally created for a climber.
This instrument is geared towards the support but I can make flamenco tremolos, arpeggios and so on.


The sound is surprising. This guitar is not designed to sound "normal" so do not cry! With nylon strings on his guitar is close to the small Latin American countries, one can find an interest. Obviously the power of his guitar is less than "normal".


I used it for over a year, very practical plane. It is true that it does not take place.Le value is poor, you pay the signing Martin ... I sold because I replaced with a 3 / 4 which suits me better .

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

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
United States to buy (LA California), there are three.
manufactures in Mexico!
Steel strings!


Well I read your opinion, each other .............. Indeed if we compare this instrument with a guitar normal (steel strings) I think that no photo. Since ending for three I have, essentially, to win in my dplacements, I'm thrilled! Well yes, some no offense, I am absolutely delighted. First, take time to tame it, to know the holding, and this is true to say at the beginning ... because if we do it like a normal guitar (or classical) is DRDR, but soon you get used to.
I am also impressed by the sound of this skyscraper: one wonders at beginners, if one is able to leave her ... well yes, she defends a lot. In the studio, I use it more and more and slide .... She is really gniale! Please try it in a slide with a small glass tube or steel tip of your finger with a small amp derrire, you will give me some news.


I russi out real sounds well balanced and especially game slide with a good amp (Vox) and a steel tube to the finger .... a wonder. Blues, Blue Grass, Country style still!


It's a fun scratching, practical and above all fantastic skiing (Slide). I made the blues solos above, where does it cost when coming out, we could not believe his eyes (it does to say).

I set September 1 as it's worth it!

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

Martin & Co Steel String Backpacker Guitar
Martin travel guitar
travel guitar that we all ammne


It is a compact travel guitar: it has the advantages (easier to have a guitar around carry) of inconvnients (his average ergonomics average round ok)
The most beautiful girl in the world than it has a.
We can criticize course!! But when you are across the world and vote in the empty hand itches the martin is Top as you keep in touch with one instrument.
Sitting comfortably in his studio in RPET it may seem bland and terrible.

The trick is knowing what you are looking !!!!!!!


We can all play (Agreement and picking)
it's a guitar to practice and not a tool concert !!!!!


I was to buy $ 200 USD for while I was sweating has nothing 5 years ago
Since then she follows me everywhere, and robust I lgre n'embete person on the plane is my travel companion Fidler.
I work every night the hotel at least 1 hour in the quiet sound is not as ugly as that.
We can even place a microphone with a small amp.
For my part I let nature.
When I get home I find my instruments have always had the finger exercises ...
It is the purpose of this guitar