After tons of research, this QuadPro Magnetic Travel Chess Set makes the top of my must-have portable chess sets. The small size is portable and easy to travel with, while its light magnetism helps the pieces to stay on the board (which is great when you’re playing chess while on a road trip or on a flight!).
In this article, I’ll discuss why every keen chess player should invest in a portable chess set. I’ll also discuss more in-depth why I love this QuadPro travel set, and why I give it a five-star rating.
Fill up your tank and grab a snack, we’re going road trippin’ to chat about portable chess sets!
Let’s Get Portable
Portable chess sets have always played a special part in my chess-loving family’s life, especially because we are also fond of traveling.
The first memory I have of a portable chess set is one that my uncle bought back home for my dad after travels in Malawi. Each piece was hand carved to resemble African royalty and warriors, and I loved how the pieces made the great game of chess come to life.
So, when I traveled to Budapest years later, I used my Hungarian Forint to buy a portable chess set for my brother from a busy street market. Like my dad’s set from Malawi, his name is carved into the side of the little suitcase that folds open into a chess set. Although he no longer has as much time to play chess, the portable board is still one of his most prized possessions.
As you can see, the beautiful game of chess is about much more than just a game. It’s linked to fond memories, such as playing chess with a portable set while camping in White Mountain National Forest or during a road trip to Cape Cod.
I have my own portable chess set – a little suitcase made of black walnut wood. It clips closed with a golden clasp, and folds open into a tiny chess set with even smaller pieces. It’s honestly adorable, and I don’t go on a holiday without it.
What Is A Portable Chess Set?
A portable chess set is a smaller version of a chess set that makes it easy for avid players to take the game with them on holidays or business trips.
These sets are usually either a foldable box or a mat that can be rolled up and stored in a travel bag.
Types of portable chess sets
1. Wooden, foldable chess sets
These chess sets are made with wood such as maple, lightwood or boxwood. Dark sets can be made from red sandalwood, rosebush wood or ebony hardwood.
A small suitcase-like shape is common for a wooden chess set, and it is usually foldable in the center of the chess board. The pieces are then stored within the suitcase.
When players open the vase, they can remove the pieces and open the case (which doubles as a chess board) to play a game almost anywhere.
2. Magnetic chess sets
In these sets, pieces are usually made of plastic, with magnets underneath each piece. These pieces then stick more easily to the chessboard, which is coated with a metal-like substance.
3. Chess mats
These sets are an interesting form of chess sets. The boards are not a structured piece like wood or plastic, but rather a mat-like board (usually made of cloth or felt) that can be rolled up and stored away.
The chess pieces for this set are usually token-like pieces – much like those used in checkers – that can easily stay on the mat.
4. Plastic chess sets
These sets look exactly like its wooded counterparts, except the pieces are made of plastic. Although plastic pieces might not look as beautiful as a wooden set, they are great for traveling as they won’t damage as easily.
My Pick: QuadPro Folding Magnetic Chess Set
- It’s easy to travel with
- The board is small but still playable.
- The simple design is aesthetically pleasing.
- This small board is still high-quality.
- It comes with a small bag to stow chess pieces in, which can then be stored within the chess board.
- It’s affordable! You can have hours of fun without breaking the bank.
If you’re considering buying a portable chess set, I recommend this magnetic chess set from QuadPro. It is easy to use and travel with, with magnetic pieces that makes playing chess anywhere easier.
How does this set work
This portable set is foldable, so that players can store the chess pieces inside the board when done playing.
Magnets make playing easier
Another aspect of this chess set that I love is that the chess pieces have magnets underneath. This allows the pieces to lightly stick to the chess board, which makes playing chess while riding in a car or flying in an airplane much easier. Inside a boat? Magnets are your answer!
Who is this chess set for
Made for both children and adults, the size of this board is ideal for the entire family. It’s not too big that youngsters will find it intimidating, but it’s also not so small that adults won’t be able to play a game of chess.
Why I love this portable chess set
Although a portable chess set doesn’t have to be as beautiful as your chess set from home, it should still be a set that you love to play with. Find a set that is both durable and the ideal size, while also being aesthetically pleasing.
Why Get a Portable Chess Set?
Considering getting a portable chess set? Here are a few reasons why I recommend getting your own portable chess set.
Related Reading: The Best Electronic Chess Board Under $100
- Take chess with you wherever you go
Traveling for business or leisure? Worried that the hotel or guesthouse might not have a chess set? A portable chess set allows you to take chess with you wherever you go, in an easy and portable way.
- Great for technology-free holidays
If you’re looking to go on a digital detox and have more game nights on a holiday or in general, a portable chess set is a small item that can give hours of fun.
- Teach young chess players the game
Big chess sets might be intimidating to children learning the game. Plus, you might not want youngsters to play with your proper chess set from the get-go – especially if it’s carved from wood or made from glass.
A small, portable chess set is a great way of getting children involved in the game.
- Have more than one chess set in your home
If you’re a household of multiple chess players, two people hogging the board might become a problem. A portable chess piece is an inexpensive way of ensuring that there is plenty of chess fun to go around.
- Make road trips more fun
There is only so much fun you can have in a car. Portable chess sets are an easy and inexpensive way to add a dash of fun for families spending hours in a car.
What To Look For In A Portable Chess Set
If you’re considering buying a portable chess set, here are a few elements to look for in a quality chess set.
Related Reading: Harry Potter Chess Sets
Portable chess sets will be doing a lot of traveling. To prevent your set from deteriorating, look for a set that is made from something durable like wood or quality plastic. Glass pieces, for example, are not a good idea for a portable chess set.
When looking for the perfect portable chess set, size plays a big role. Your portable set should be small enough to travel with, but not too small that you can’t play the game.
- Look and feel
How To Take Care Of Your Portable Chess Set
Like with your chess set at home, you should take good care of your portable chess set. Here are a few tips I’ve learned after years of traveling with my own portable chess set.
- Keep your pieces safe
Seriously, there’s nothing worse than having to replace your queen with a Monopoly piece because you lost a piece during a trip.
I suggest placing your pieces within a shoestring bag that you can store either within a board that folds, or separately.
After a game of portable chess, make sure that all 16 pieces are safely stored away.
- Clean the set
Road trips and snacking are usually synonymous, which means that you’re likely to find a few sticky smears on your portable set every now and then.
Clean plastic or magnetic chess pieces by wiping it down with a damp cloth. If pieces are made from wood, use either a damp cloth or dust cloth.
A clean chess set will allow for happy chess games.
- Stow in a safe space
Although portable chess sets are usually quite durable, you should still keep it safe when not playing with it.
This is especially important when playing chess in the car or while on a camping trip. Prevent your portable set from being trampled on by stowing it away when not in use.
Are you ready to take your chess on the road?
Portable chess sets are a great way of taking your love for chess wherever you go. These small, easy to travel with sets are affordable and easy to obtain.
My favorite portable chess set is the magnetic portable chess set from QuadPro. It’s small but usable size and nifty magnetic feature makes it a great set for the entire family.
In this article, I discussed why I love the magnetic chess set, and why having a portable chess set is a must for anyone who loves chess and travel. I also discussed how you can take care of your portable chess set, and what to look for in a portable set.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get traveling, and don’t forget to take your new portable chess set with you.
Veronica is a Green Bay-based freelance writer and editor with extensive experience with board games. When not busy scribbling her thoughts, you might find her in her garden, hiking out in the woods, or exploring new food joints.
Veronica is a die-hard board game and chess hobbyist by night. She likes to try out new games and is always on the lookout to recruit new players for her game night (so beware!). When not playing board games or throwing darts, she is usually busy painting miniatures (or doing other nerdy stuff).
She is the CEO & Content Writer of Indoor Games Zone. She shares her expertise from years of playing chess, board games, and darts.