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Affordable, lightweight Ukulele?
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Matthew Stenger
(MatthewStenger) - F

Locale: its flat but its home
Affordable, lightweight Ukulele? on 01/02/2014 10:37:40 MST Print View

Not looking to spend top dollar on a Uke specifically built for backpacking.

Just want a decent Ukulele, hopefully not much more than a pound that I could lug around with me while backpacking.

Ideally less than $100

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Guitars on 01/02/2014 10:49:56 MST Print View

My buddy has a backpacking guitar. he thru-hiked with it. Quiet, but fully functional and only about 1.5lbs.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Affordable, lightweight Ukulele? on 01/02/2014 10:54:36 MST Print View

I used to play this one:
Good quality, but not a bank breaker.

I were to buy another, I'd just get a cheaper one, something like this:

Matthew Stenger
(MatthewStenger) - F

Locale: its flat but its home
Re: Guitars on 01/02/2014 11:22:42 MST Print View

I will be thru hiking with mine.

Do you know what he did for a case/water protection?

I am currently trying to brainstorm ideas.

I'd like for the Uke and the case to be 24 oz or less.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Uke on 01/02/2014 12:13:57 MST Print View

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Uke on 01/02/2014 12:57:49 MST Print View

You can find cheap ukes really easily. They have a $50 one at the bookstore on campus at the university where I work.

Another alternative, and what I like to play, is something called a Strumstick. Gosh it's so much fun to play! It's nothing like a ukulele or a guitar as far as tuning and chords go, but they do make a ukulele version of it if you can't adapt to an instrument tuned in 5ths with a diatonic fret scale.

Keith F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Affordable, lightweight Ukulele? on 01/02/2014 15:24:17 MST Print View

Kala makes some nice cheaper ukes. Best sounding ukes for $100 or less in my opinion. Pretty light too, I'd weigh mine but I'm out of town at the moment.

Edited by hamerica on 01/02/2014 15:25:45 MST.

Will Webster
MYOG on 01/02/2014 15:27:02 MST Print View

Have you considered building a strum stick-type instrument?

Ryan Bressler
(ryanbressler) - F
Re: Affordable, lightweight Ukulele? on 01/02/2014 15:49:38 MST Print View

I bought a cheap rogue brand mandolin off musicians friend and it sounds and plays well. My brother got one that arrived needing a fret job so I'd double check their return policy.

Temperature and humidity swings are hard on instruments so I'd go cheap and plywood and be ready to tune it every time you play it.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Affordable, lightweight Ukulele? on 01/02/2014 15:59:53 MST Print View

REI has one that's also a water filter.

Jk.. :-P

Matthew Stenger
(MatthewStenger) - F

Locale: its flat but its home
Re: MYOG on 01/02/2014 16:32:44 MST Print View

I had not, but I will probably attempt making that, thanks!

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
"Affordable, lightweight Ukulele?" on 01/02/2014 17:19:29 MST Print View

Craigslist has tons of great cheap ones,a hundred bucks should get a really nice one and they are all very light, mine is bamboo.

Edited by barefootnavigator on 01/02/2014 17:20:50 MST.

Steven Diogenes
(stevenn) - F
Uke on 01/03/2014 00:43:35 MST Print View

I was traveling with a cheap soprano that I ended up tossing because the intonation was so bad. I picked up a 24 oz Kala Tenor and the sound is so much more full.

As far as lightest, here's a list I found of sopranos and a couple tenors:

Scale Length-Brand-Model-Construction-Weight/Grams
Soprano-Makala-Dolphin (Yellow)-ABS/Laminate 459
Soprano-Makala-Dolphin (Purple)-ABS/Laminate 433
Soprano-Makala-Dolphin (Pink)-ABS/Laminate 468
Soprano-Mainland-Chili! -ABS/Laminate 433
Soprano-Mainland-Honeybee-Mahogany 396
Soprano-Lanikai-LU-21 - Lam/Mahogany 360
Soprano-Gstring-M1 Longneck-Koa-366
Soprano-Vintage-No-name 30's-Mahogany-300
Soprano-Vintage-Camp Uke - Birch?-303
Soprano-Martin-20's Style O-Mahogany 260
Soprano-Martin-50's Style O-Mahogany 283
Soprano-Kamaka-Keiki 70's-Mahogany-343

Tenor-KoAloha-Super Concert-Koa-568
Tenor-LoPrinzi-Model A-Mahogany-556

Maggie Harlan
(MaggieMaeFlower) - F

Locale: Ohio
My experience on 01/03/2014 09:07:35 MST Print View

+1 on the Kala

I think mine was around $30 from Guitar Center. The sopranos are smaller and I'm assuming weigh less. If you want to get better sound from a cheaper uke, change out the srtings to Aquila brand. They made a huge difference for me.

Edited by MaggieMaeFlower on 01/06/2014 08:03:22 MST.

Greg Whalin
(gwhalin) - MLife

Locale: NYC
Makala on 01/03/2014 10:04:53 MST Print View

Did some research on awesome sound out of cheap Uke's while back and settled on:

That said, I immediately replaced the strings with:

Awesome sounding and not too $$

Maggie Harlan
(MaggieMaeFlower) - F

Locale: Ohio
Frustration on 01/06/2014 08:17:46 MST Print View

I just had to share this photo from my 2011 AT hike. Looks like someone got a little frustrated!Uke

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Affordable, lightweight Ukulele? on 01/20/2014 18:22:19 MST Print View

Just discovered Jake Shimabukuro. Wow.

Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Outdoor Uke on 01/20/2014 19:45:33 MST Print View

I think (14 oz when I last communicated with them) is the way to go as mentioned since it's hard plastic and isn't as fragile as a wood one and have no issues with moisture ... they used to have a camo colored one .... and they're only $100 ....

That being said, I beat the hell out of my Martin Tenor 2 recently over about 6 weeks beach hopping / Island hopping around Hawaii .... cut limes for some Dos Equis on the back and even rolled a doobie (medicinal, of course) on it on Black Sand Beach on Maui and it fared fine, but the tuners were rusted to hell and had to disassemble and clean them completely .... they looked like they had been on the beach for years ... apart from knicks and scratches, wood was stronger than I anticipated ....

Edited by tracedef on 01/20/2014 19:54:12 MST.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Outdoor Uke on 01/21/2014 04:07:17 MST Print View

Since this is Backpacking Light ,then it's all about carbon fiber :) They are also not as fragile as a wood one and have no issues with moisture . The BLACK BIRD ukulele is a must ;) Here is a VIDEO

Edited by annapurna on 01/21/2014 04:07:48 MST.

Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Outdoor Uke on 01/21/2014 08:06:13 MST Print View

Love carbon fiber, but damn .... ugliest instruments I've ever seen! Not cheap either. :)