12 Best & Most Creative Travel Chess Boards

by | Jan 17, 2020 | Travel Buyer Guides | 0 comments

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Are you looking for a travel chess set to take with you and play on the go? Chess on a plane! Chess on a train! Chess in the car! Chess in the rain! We've compiled a list of our favorite travel chess sets for sale so that you can take your favorite tactical game with you while traveling.

Chess is a noble game that dates all the way back to Northern India in the 6th century AD. It started taking its modern form in the 15th century in Europe and modern tournament play began in the second half of the 19th century. A lot has changed since then, and nowadays it’s possible to buy chess sets in various shapes, sizes, and themes (Star Wars chess, anyone?).

As a keen player and also a frequent traveler, I personally love the wide variety of travel chess sets on the market. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the best and most creative travel chess boards. Whether you’re an expert or a newbie and no matter if you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, we have a favorite chess set for every occasion.

#1) Traditional wooden magnetic travel chess set board

Magnetic Travel Chess Set Board

This classic wooden Wegiel Handmade Chess Set packs in a lot of quality for a product at such a low price point. The beech and birch wood board is durable enough to be taken along on your travels and the hornbeam and sycamore wood chessmen are magnetic which is useful for turbulent flights and bumpy bus journeys. The felt-lined compartment inside the board neatly stores pieces when not in use, and the brass clasp keeps them secure in transit.

Measurements:> Board (9.25″ x 9.25″ x 1.6″), King (1.8″), Queen (1.8″), Pawns (1.1″)

Wegiel Handmade Royal 36 European International Chess Set - Wooden 14.2 Inch Board With Felt Base - Carved Hornbeam & Sycamore Chess Pieces - Compartment Inside The Board To Store Each Piece
  • Handcrafted in Poland, the board is made from beech and birch wood and is designed for portability...
  • The Board measures 9.25"W x 9.25"H x 1.6"D (23.5cm x 23.5cm x 4cm), while each square measures 1" x...
  • Handcrafted chessmen are magnetic and made from hornbeam and sycamore wood
  • The King measures 1.8"(4.5cm), The Queen is 1.8"(4.5cm), The Pawns are 1.1"(2.8cm)
  • There are two felt lined Chessmen compartments inside the board, which are held securely shut with 2...

#2) Plastic folding chess set, great for camping and vacations

Lightweight travel chess set

This Winning Moves Games No Stress Chess isn’t advertised as a travel chess board but it’s so lightweight and easy to transport that it would be a great choice for camping and cabin holidays. The plastic folding board has two sides – one with hints and one without – which means that you can choose between playing a regular game of chess or using the hints as a handy learning tool. The board also comes with 56 action cards that give helpful hints on the rules of chess and dictate which pieces can be moved where. This gives new players a chance to develop strategic skills so they can learn while they play.

Measurements: Board (14″ x 12″), Playing Space (11″ x 11″)

Wegiel Handmade Royal 36 European International Chess Set - Wooden 14.2 Inch Board With Felt Base - Carved Hornbeam & Sycamore Chess Pieces - Compartment Inside The Board To Store Each Piece
  • Handcrafted in Poland, the board is made from beech and birch wood and is designed for portability...
  • The Board measures 9.25"W x 9.25"H x 1.6"D (23.5cm x 23.5cm x 4cm), while each square measures 1" x...
  • Handcrafted chessmen are magnetic and made from hornbeam and sycamore wood
  • The King measures 1.8"(4.5cm), The Queen is 1.8"(4.5cm), The Pawns are 1.1"(2.8cm)
  • There are two felt lined Chessmen compartments inside the board, which are held securely shut with 2...

#3) Compact folding wooden travel chess set

Folding Wooden Chess Set

This traditional iBaseToy Folding Wooden Chess Set combines classic styling with a compact foldable design that makes it a great option for travel. The overall board size is pretty large when it’s laid out, but it’s fairly compact when packed away making it a good option for people that prefer to play on a larger board. The chessmen are handcrafted from New Zealand pine wood and the felted interior of the board has compartments for individual pieces which makes it easy to keep track of them. The board also comes with 60 rules cards that show how each piece can move, making this travel chess set a good option for beginners.

Measurements: Board (15″ x 15″), King (3”), Queen (2.75”)

#4) Mini Magnetic Pocket Chess Set

Mini Magnetic Chess Set

This WE Games Mini Magnetic Pocket Chess Set is ultra-compact and is the best travel chess set for hand luggage. The vinyl board folds away to the size of a checkbook and the flat magnetic pieces are much more compact than traditional 3D pieces. Each panel of the board is magnetic, including the storage area for the pieces, which makes it easy to use on bumpy journeys and uneven surfaces. The set also comes with two spare queens and two blank pieces to allow for promoted pawns to become queens even when the original queen is still on the board.

Measurements: Board Folded (5.75″ x 3.25″)

WE Games Magnetic Chess Set, Mini Travel Chess Board with Magnetic Pieces, Pocket Chess Set for On-the-Go Practice 2 Extra Queens and Blanks for Learning, Foldable Travel Chess Set for Adults and Kids
  • MAGNETIC CHESS SET: This trifold magnetic chess set by American Chess offers a unique format for one...
  • NEW & IMPROVED: Our updated version of travel chess board includes a third strongly magnetized panel...
  • ON THE GO: Whether you are walking to the park backpacking across Europe or traveling to a chess...
  • GOOD FOR YOU: The benefits of chess are enormous. Children who partake in chess boost their critical...
  • WE GAMES: Making the world’s best traditional game since 1977. Our games are crafted with high...

#5) Metallic Gold & Silver Magnetic Travel Chess Set

Folding Magnet Chess Board

Big Mo’s Toys Magnetic Travel Chess Set includes metallic gold and silver playing pieces which are a modern take on traditional wooden pieces. Plus, their magnetic bases ensure that they stay in place during games on the road. Pieces can be tucked inside the board when they aren’t in use, and the board itself is nice and compact when it’s folded. The plastic construction might not feel as high-quality as wooden options, but they’re easy to keep clean and maintain which is a clear benefit if you’re traveling with children.

Measurements: Board (9.7″ x 9.7″ x 0.95”), Queen (1.7”)

Magnetic Travel Chess Set Game with Folding Board Portable and Storage Compartment – Great Travel Toy Set by Big Mo’s Toys 9.7"
  • Big Mo’s Toys Magnetic Chess Set is the perfect size that can be played in classrooms, homes, and...
  • Included in~ this Travel Set is a Durable Magnetic Chess Board with 32 Magnetic chess pieces.
  • Magnetic Pieces and Board ensure the road bumps won’t mess up your game. And when you’re done,...
  • The measurements in inches are: the board 9.7 x 9.7 x 0.95, the queen 1.7 x 0.7
  • Made of HIGH QUALITY DURABLE MATERIALS, that are non-toxic and tested to ensure your child’s...

#6) 3-in-1 Travel Chess Set Combo (Chess, Checkers, Backgammon)

3-in-1 Combo Chess Checkers Backgammon Set

This Windsor Premium Collection 3-in-1 Game Set isn’t the cheapest option on our list but it includes three individual games which, in my opinion, makes it worth the money. As well as chess you can also play checkers and backgammon, and the kit even comes with PU leather dice cups so you have everything you need to get playing straight away. This set includes a beautiful velvet-style carry case making it a great chess set gift for travel lovers.

Measurements: Board (11.75” x 11.75” x 0.5”), King (2”), Dice Cups (4” x 3.25”)

Windsor Premium Collection 3-in-1 Game Set | Portable Deluxe Checkers, Chess & Backgammon Tabletop Travel Bundle | Made with PU Leather | Comes in Beautiful Velvet Storage Pouch
  • ✅ THREE GAMES IN ONE - Why buy a separate checker, chess and backgammon board when you can just...
  • ✅ UNPARALLELED PORTABILITY - Don't let the impressive number of games contained in our deluxe...
  • ✅ PREMIUM DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION - If it's a distinctly premium feel you're looking for, then look...
  • ✅ EXCELLENT GIFT - Why give just one gift when you can give three instead? Our high-quality multi...
  • ✅ 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED - Your satisfaction is our top priority. If you are not completely...

#7) Beginner's Family Travel Chess Set

Family Beginners Chess Set

This stylish Brain Blox Fun Family Chess Set is geared towards people learning chess but you’ll likely love it even if you’ve been playing for years. The reference cards and instructions booklet are great for newcomers and the chess cube (a die with chess pieces on each side) tells you which piece to move which adds a fun spin to traditional chess. The whitewashed finish is a nice change to a traditional finish, but the solid wood pieces maintain a classic element to this set. The velvet pouches are ideal for storing the chessmen while you’re on the move, and the sizeable board is surprisingly compact and lightweight when packed away.

Measurements: Board (15” x 15”), King (3”)

Fun Family Chess Set for Kids & Adults - Wooden Kids Chess Board with Colorful and Simple Instruction - Learn to Play Chess, Learning Games for Kids, Boys & Girls Ages 5 to 105
  • THE BEST WAY TO LEARN CHESS! This color-coded, learn-as-you-play game is great for kids and adults!...
  • IMPROVES PROBLEM-SOLVING, CONCENTRATION & MEMORY - Chess teaches planning and foresight and improves...
  • JOIN MILLIONS WORLDWIDE - Step into the realm of chess, a game cherished by millions across the...
  • CAN ACTUALLY RAISE A CHILD'S IQ - Chess for kids exercises BOTH sides of the developing brain,...
  • SOLID WOOD BOARD & PIECES - Beautiful white-washed, folding, 15-inch wooden chess board for kids...

#8) Foldable Armory-Style Chess Board

Armory Wooden Travel Chess Set

If you have a mobile home or beach house, this Chess Armory Folding Chess Set is a great option for a second board to keep at your second home. The foldable armory-style board isn’t quite as compact as some of the other options on this list, but it looks beautiful both in use and when packed away. The felt interior stores pieces neatly and the hinge and swivel design keep them locked away safely. The pieces themselves have felted bottoms that protect the board from any accidental scratches but the lack of magnets means that it’s not the best set to use on the move.

Measurements: Open Board (9.5” x 9.5”), Closed Board (9.5″ x 4.75″ x 2.25″)

Chess Armory Chess Set Box Compact Collapsible Folding Chess Set
  • Compact chess set with swivel and folding board
  • Chess box with felted interior to store pieces
  • Perfect size for travel
  • Closed box measures 9.5" x 4.75" x 2.25"
  • Open chess board is 9.5" x 9.5"

#9) Talking Electronic Travel Chess Board

Talking Electronic Travel Chess Board

If you’re looking for a compact chess board this option probably isn’t the best one for you, but the wide variety of games within the iCore Voice Chess Master makes it a great family travel companion. This talking electronic board contains 12 chess modes and 30 unique chess levels. There are also 100 preset chess exercises onboard so you can test your skills and improve your strategic thinking, as well as an inbuilt chess tutor that warns you of threats to your pieces. In addition, there are eight more brain training games to keep your mind sharp while you’re on vacation. The board has a large LCD screen with adjustable contrast which is useful when playing in direct sunlight.

Measurements: Board (10” x 7.9” x 1.1”)

iCore Electronic Chess Set - Teach and Play with The Smart Chess Computer Game Board - Ideal for Beginners and Improving Players
  • The iCore Electronic Chess Set is designed to improve logical thinking skills in both kids and...
  • Educational and Entertaining: Learn and improve your chess skills with the iCore Electronic Chess...
  • Easy to Learn: Enhance your chess strategies with the guidance of the built-in chess teacher, which...
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Playing chess helps develop problem-solving skills, as players need to...
  • Spatial Perception: Chess requires a strong sense of spatial perception, enjoy the benefits of an...

#10) Portable Roll-up Full Sized Tournament Chess Set

Portable Roll Out Chess Set

The Holyking Portable Tournament Chess Game Set roll-up vinyl chess board combines excellent portability with a good-sized playing area. The wipe-clean surface area is easy to keep clean which makes it perfect for hassle-free maintenance, and the material won’t crease no matter how long you keep it rolled up. The carry case is large enough to accommodate the board and the pieces, and there are two extra queens included in case to allow for promoted pawns to become queens even when the original queen is still on the board. The pieces themselves are classic black and white and are finished with flocking on the bottom to ensure smooth motion during play.

Measurements: Board (20” x 20”), King (3.8”)

HOLYKING 20" Tournament Travel Chess Sets Roll Up, Beginner Portable Vinyl Chess Board Game Set in Carry Tube, Family Games for Kids Adults -Forest Green
  • Chess board - Tear resistant vinyl surface is easy to wipe clean, rolls up without creasing and...
  • Chessman - 34 Tournament Chess Pieces (2 Extra Queens). The flocking at the bottom of chess pieces...
  • Storage - The board rolls up to fit into the bag without any kinks nor flairs on the edges; The...
  • Features - Favored by beginners for its algebraic notation on the perimeter. Besides, the carrying...
  • 3.8" King Piece. Board measures 20 inches with 2.2 inch squares. Collectively Weighs approx.25.5 OZ.

#11) Flexible Silicone Chess Set

Flexible Silicone Chess Set

The soft, flexible mat of this Kaprolife Silicone Chess Set is a great choice for backpackers. The robust board is waterproof, windproof, and can’t be damaged by being dropped or thrown into a backpack. The carry case is also tough enough to withstand regular use, and the durable silicone pieces fit neatly inside when not in use. Beginners will also benefit from the algebraic notation on the perimeter of the board.

Measurements: Board (15” x 15”), King (2.75”), Queen (2.36”)

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#12) Metal Magnetic Mini Travel Chess Set

Metal Magnetic Travel Chess Set

The Purple Cow Magnetic Chess Game is tiny and lightweight, making it one of my favorite travel chess sets. The tin board and flat pieces might not be to everyone’s taste, but if you’re looking for a pocket-sized set this one is hard to beat. The Purple Cow makes dozens of different travel games including backgammon, snakes and ladders, and dominoes so you’ll never be bored on the road again.

Measurements: Board (7.6” x 7.6”)

The Purple Cow- Magnetic Chess Game for kids and adults. Travel size, lightweight game for hours of fun - Portable mini game - Ideal for travelling
  • PORTABLE, MINI GAMES: keep kids entertained on the go with this magnetic, lightweight, pocket-sized...
  • FUN TO TRAVEL WITH: Share the cool car games that you enjoyed as a child with your kids and...
  • ALL TIME GAMING: Carry it with you or give to your kids to carry and play any time they crave for...
  • PROFESSIONALLY DESIGNED: Professionally designed to be engaging for hours on end.
  • NO TECHNOLOGY: Keeps kids and adults engaged without unnecessary screen time.

🏆 What'd we miss?

That’s the end of our list of the best and most creative travel chess boards. Do you have a favorite board that you never leave home when you travel? Let us know in the comments if you think there’s a superior board that we should add to the list, or feel free to drop us an email.

Oh, and if we ever meet on our travels feel free to challenge me to a game – I never go far without my travel set.

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Sophie Bellamy

Sophie Bellamy

Sophie Bellamy is a traveler, freelance writer, and Editor In Chief at Table For One. You can discover more of her work at Table For One. Be sure to join our Friends List for new videos every Tuesday, and if you're a travel blogger, join our Travel is Life Tribe. Happy travels!