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10 Best Ukuleles & Guitars for a Campfire Jam Session

Since the dawn of humankind, some of the best jams have been around a campfire. There’s something special, almost primal, about being under the stars around the blazing heat, accompanied by the sounds of nature, that draws the music out. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned player, we can all appreciate the concern and convenience of bringing smaller instruments to a kickback or on a trip as opposed to your most prized full sized. Gather 'round, cause we compiled a list of the 10 Best Ukuleles & Guitars for the next time you find yourself hiking to the golden hour of music making.

A nod to the famous Maccaferri uke, the Kala Waterman is a sturdy, all-plastic instrument made to withstand the elements. Don’t let its toy-like appearance fool you, this durable ukulele plays perfectly anywhere. The convenience of its durability and playability also make it ideal for classrooms and school programs alike.

The KA15S satin mahogany uke is one of the best and most popular budget ukuleles on the market. Kala’s high-quality construction delivers a great sound with easy playability for beginners looking for a starter instrument, but also an affordable second instrument for advanced players.

The 15CM packs a serious bang for the buck. Still under the $100 mark, this beginner concert ukulele has a warm, balanced tone and can withstand accelerated damage thanks to its satin mahogany finish. Cordoba has also constructed larger frets for easier playing.

A complete package aimed for beginners, Cordoba has put an excellent sounding, all-mahogany concert ukulele with a digital clip-on chromatic tuner, picks, and a chord book into a comfy travel bag for easy transport. It’s almost hard to believe you get such a warm, authentic tone - plus all the essentials - for under $100!

A bit of the best of both worlds, the Yamaha Guitalele is a 6 string mix of guitar and ukulele at an affordable price. Its short-scale makes it light and convenient like a uke but the strings and tuning make it feel right at home for experienced guitar players.

This wonder of a travel instrument offers the playability of a full-size nylon-string guitar in a small, lightweight body with a strong, resonant voice. The thin U-shaped neck is an easy reach for beginners but also a safe-zone for avid electric and classical players.

The dulcimer inspired, acoustic inspired Merlin is truly a captivating instrument. Its diatonic tuning and spruce body deliver a lovely and loud tone that just about anyone, with or without a musical background, can play. There are no “wrong” notes on this twangy, free-flowing melody maker.

The JR1 proves that quality does not have to cost a fortune. Inspired by Yamaha’s timeless craftsmanship, this ¾ mini folk guitar uses select woods to created a compact and authentic acoustic sound on a comfortable dreadnought body. The crisp and clean tone make it perfect for beginners looking for a starter instrument or seasoned players looking for a reliable travel companion.

The Baby Taylor is a full-voice, ultra portable ¾ size acoustic guitar that makes a serious beginner instrument and/or travel buddy for advanced players. The thin neck and low action offers comfortable and easy playability while the spruce top projects a rich, authentic sound. It’s a little more expensive than most guitars of this size but the combination of high-quality materials and Taylor’s craftsmanship deliver a value that’s unmatched.

Another ¾ size guitar, the Safari offers a pretty large tonal variety with a combination of high-quality material at a low price. Its dreadnought body and spruce top deliver a loud and defined tone making it ideal for any and all players looking for a smaller instrument that won’t compromise sound. Luna’s one of a kind sound-hole designs are a plus for style points too!

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