The Most Recommended Travel Chess Sets

Wooden Travel Chess Set - Indian Rosewood and Maple

Once you invest in one of these compact, portable and high quality travel chess sets, you’ll wonder how you went so long without one!

For the avid chess player, vacations and business trips don’t have to mean time away from your board.
There is a whole category of portable chess sets out there made just for people like you! Travel chess sets are designed to be easy to transport as well as easy to play while on the go. A few features that make them so great are these:


Portable chess sets are, as a general rule, considerably smaller than standard size chess boards. This is to make them easier to use in small, cramped places and easier to pack in your luggage. You wouldn’t want to try and fit a tournament size chess set into your carry on, now would you?


The best travel chess sets are also noticeably lighter than their full-sized counterparts. This is in part due to their smaller size, but often, materials are chosen and constructed in such a way as to intentionally minimize weight. This makes them easier to transport, ensuring you’ll hardly even notice the extra weight in your bag.


Sure, the size and weight of the chess set have a lot to do with its overall portability, but they’re not the only factors. Just because something is small and light doesn’t mean it will make a good portable chess set. You’ll need some way to ensure that the pieces stay in place during play and don’t go flying off in every direction when you hit a small bump. For most travel chess sets, magnetized chess boards do the trick.

The Best Travel Chess Sets in 2018 (Page Summary):

The Best Travel Chess Sets in 2018:

1. Wooden Travel Chess Set – 12″ Square – Indian Rosewood & Maple

This portable chess set is one of our favorites. It’s made by The House of Staunton, so you know it has to be good. Its simple design is the epitome of easy luxury, and it has all the features you need in a great portable chess set all wrapped up in one stylish package.

This wooden Travel Chess Set is a well executed version of a simple design- it features a 12 inch square chessboard with a small interior drawer that provides protective storage slots for each of the chess pieces. The top of the chess board is magnetized to interact with the magnets in each of the pieces and hold them securely in place. No frills, no innovative new designs or technologies, just a simple design that’s proven to work well, executed with high contrast woods and a gorgeous, shiny finish.

This is a good looking portable chess set that comes at a very affordable price. We’re not sure how they’re able to offer such a high quality product at such a low price, but we recommend buying soon so that you don’t miss out on this great deal!

Product Details [Read more]
Manufacturer The House of Staunton
Including Board & Pieces
Square Size 1.25″ / 3.15 cm
Board Size 12″ x 12″
King Height 2.41″ inch / 6.12 cm

2. The 12″ Travel Magnetic Chess Set in Rosewood

This travel chess set is crafted with the finest Indian Rosewood and Boxwood for a luxurious feel even while you’re on the go. Take it to the cafe to play chess with a friend, travel with it to keep up your skills while you’re on vacation, or just keep it in your bag because you never know when you may need to use it!

The chessboard in the 12″ Travel Magnetic Chess Set is made using a new technology called wood core printing, which results in a high quality product that looks great but is also extremely durable and cost efficient. You’ll be grateful for this durability when your luggage is getting jostled around at the baggage claim, that’s for sure! But you don’t have to worry about the chess pieces either, no matter how roughly the baggage handlers treat your bag, because they are safely encased in a cleverly designed storage case made specifically for this set. The zippered canvas case includes protective storage space for each individual chess piece as well as the whole board itself!

The chessmen are not to be overlooked- they are each handcrafted from rosewood and boxwood, of course with magnets inlaid beneath their green felt base pads to keep them securely in place on the board, no matter what.

This portable chess set offers a great value for the money. With the handcrafted pieces, the durable and attractive chessboard, and the state of the art protective case, you can’t do much better at this price point.

Product Details [Read more]
Manufacturer Made in India
Including Board, Pieces & Case
Square Size 1 3/16″ (30 mm)
Board Size 11 7/8″ x 11 7/8″
King Height 2 1/4″

3. Book Wooden Travel Chess Set

The Book Wooden Magnetic Travel Chess Set got its name from the unique way it folds into a book-like shape. The manufacturers embraced this idea and used contrasting woods to make the outside look even more bookish. A stripe of lighter wood down the spine mimics a binding, while triangular pieces in the corners add more visual interest.

Inside this book you won’t find any fairy tales or memoirs, but rather a padded storage area for an army of tiny chess pieces, as well as a small magnetic chessboard with squares that are only ⅝ of an inch! The size of this chess board when folded is 7.25 x 9 x 2, but when it’s opened fully, it has a footprint of about 14.5 inches. The problem, however, is that less than half of that rather large footprint is actually being used as playing space. The board and pieces in this set are almost comically small.

We think that this would make a great gift for children or adults who love the whimsical book look (and preferably have very small fingers) but actually playing a game of chess with this set could be somewhat of a challenge due to its miniature size. This is a travel chess set that looks great but isn’t very practical for anything but very occasional use.

Product Details [Read more]
Manufacturer The House of Staunton
Including Board & Pieces
Square Size 0.75″ / 1.9 cm
Board Size 9″ x 7.25″
King Height 1″ / 2.54 cm

4. The 12″ Folding Travel Chess Set in Blood Rosewood/Maple

This folding chess set is 12 inches square when fully unfolded, which is a fairly common size in the world of portable chess sets. Its unique hinged design, however, lets it fold down to half its size, as well as providing interior storage for chess pieces within the folded chess board itself. It’s really a very cool design to see in action, and very well executed.

The magnets that hold the pieces in place on the board are plenty strong enough to stand up to the rigors of portable play. They can even hold the pieces tightly in place when the board is held fully upside down! That’s a feature that might come in handy if you’re accustomed to travelling by roller coaster or stunt plane, but for the rest of us who prefer to stay right side up, we can rest assured that the magnets are plenty strong enough for anything we throw at them and then some.

You’ll be sacrificing nothing when it comes to style and quality with this board. It was made with a great attention to detail that shows in every aspect of the set. The pieces are gorgeously carved, the board has a beautiful finish, and every piece has its own individual slot in the interior storage space. Furthermore, the set is just gorgeous to look at- it’s nothing like the cheap, plastic travel chess sets of yesterday. If you’re someone who likes to travel in style, then this is the portable chess set for you.

Product Details [Read more]
Manufacturer Chess House
Including Board, Pieces
& Leather Case
Square Size 1 1/4″
Board Size 12″ x 12″
King Height 2.5″

Final Thoughts

This list features some of the best and most well crafted travel chess sets available on the market today. They come in a wide variety of designs – from foldable boards that turn into boxes to thick chess boards with interior storage drawers, and everything in between. Some even feature innovative sleeves and cases that store the board as well as the pieces! No doubt we’ll continue to see more and more innovative designs for portable chess boards flooding the market as the game of chess continues to grow in popularity.

For now, these are the best portable chess sets on the market, and luckily for the buyers, they’re all available at affordable prices. It’s really amazing the kind of quality travel sets you can buy nowadays when only a few short years ago it seemed like the only portable chess sets available were plastic sets made for children that may or may not even have all the pieces modelled correctly! My, how far we’ve come.

Any one of the travel chess sets on this list will provide years and years of fun games on the go for you and your travel companions. Once you invest in one of these affordable, high quality travel chess sets, you’ll wonder how you went so long without one! It’s amazing how you never realize just how much you miss playing chess while travelling until you can actually do it! With one of these portable sets, you will never need to sit through another boring flight, roadtrip, or train journey again! When the mind-numbing boredom sets in, you can just ring out your portable chess board and enjoy a game of chess with your fellow passengers – or even against yourself. You may even make a few new friends if you rescue them from their boring journeys with a rousing game of chess, you never know!

Buy Online: Variety of the Best Travel Chess Sets on the Market – Shipping Worldwide

If you couldn’t find what you’re looking for, try our Magnetic Chess Sets or Pocket Chess Sets pages.

The Best Travel Chess Sets in 2018 (Page Summary):

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