I’ve tried out various hair clippers over the years, and they all put up with abuse on the road. I’m happy to finally have found one that I can write about and recommend here for you minimalists, who want the few things you take to work well, and serve multiple purposes.
Top Pick for Travel Hair Clippers
- Has all-in-one grooming attachments including a standard wide hair trimmer, two progressively more narrow blades for details, an adjustable precision trimmer and other combs, and a noise and ear trimmer; take just what you need
- Is fully IPX7 waterproof
- Charges via USB, so you can charge it from your favorite travel multiplug without bringing an extra plug; one-hour battery, lasting over several weeks of moderate use in our tests
- Is lightweight and comes with a travel pouch; there’s also an included charging cradle for home use.
Add to these features that the clippers simply cut the best of any that we’ve tried that are suitable for travel, and are also the quietest.
Check prices on Amazon
- What We Look For in Travel Hair Trimmers / Grooming Kits
- Our Favorite Travel Hair / Beard / Nose Hair / Public Hair / Manscapping / Bikini Trimmer: The Hatteker Review
- The Competition: Other Travel Hair Trimmers
- Wrap Up: The Top All-in-One Travel Hair Grooming Solution for Women and Men
Update History of This Article
What We Look For in Travel Hair Trimmers / Grooming Kits
To meet the cutoff for consideration as a travel hair trimmer, we required the following features:
- Lightweight and small (but still grippable)
- Internal rechargeable battery (some bathrooms don’t have easily accessible electrical sockets, especially in certain countries)
- Charges via USB; this means you don’t need to carry an extra charging cable and plug brick, since you likely already carry a USB charger. (Here’s our favorite travel USB charger and universal plug adapter for any country.) This also means you don’t have to worry about checking voltage as USB charging works anywhere (though most battery-powered trimmers nowadays do also accept 100-240V).
- One single unit with attachments so there aren’t several different machines to carry around, as with this model
In addition we considered recommendations of related products from the Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, and Amazon reviews to understand which brands tended to be more reliable. Generally all of the popular brands were reported to do a very good job with actually cutting hair.
We’ve tried out a few models that were fine, and two that were terrible; our top pick was outstanding.
Our Favorite Travel Hair / Beard / Nose Hair / Public Hair / Manscapping / Bikini Trimmer: The Hatteker Review
Our favorite travel hair trimmer is an all-in-one unit for all sorts of grooming on the road.
It meets all of the basic requirements we identified above, and it cuts hair smoothly without requiring repeated passes over the same area.
The Upsides to the Hatteker Hair Trimmer
- Even, professional, quick cutting action; doesn’t clog or sputter or cut unevenly like one other travel trimmer we tried. The blades of the Hatteker didn’t get at all hot in our tests, and cut quite close when the guard was removed, without breaking any skin.
- It’s extremely, impressively quiet; I was recently able to listen to a podcast at medium volume (on our favorite Bluetooth travel speaker) while cutting my hair, and did not miss a word of John McWhorter’s bizarre digressions.
- Includes a whole array of trimmer attachments: a large trimmer for the hair on top, two smaller trimmer options for precision work like moustaches, beards, and body and of course pubic hair, a noise hair trimmer attachment, a shaver attachment (not as good as a straight razor but fine for body hair), and a small comb.
- It’s very lightweight at 147 grams (5.2 ounces), as measured with the largest clipper attachment.
- It’s IPX7 waterproof, which is certainly overkill. This rating means you could dunk it under one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. In any case, it will certainly survive in the shower (though do dry it afterwards and put a few drops of the provided oil on the blades). This means it’s also easy to wash off.
- It charges via a USB-to-power-in plug, which connects to any standard USB wall outlet brick (there’s one included), though you could also just use any USB-out to charge the battery, from a laptop for example.
(You could also, in a pinch, charge it from your travel battery.) We prefer the Nierbo travel adapter pictured below, and reviewed here. Also below, a picture of the charger with our favorite travel backup battery.
- There’s a 60-minute battery, which in our experience is enough to get through multiple sessions of grooming over a few weeks without needing to recharge. The charge indicator is EXTREMELY handy too; it shows the number of minutes of battery remaining. With other clippers I have sometimes gotten halfway through cutting and had the battery conk out, leaving me looking hilarious.
- One of the cutting guard options is a precision dial, which gives you a variety of lengths in a single piece that’s thus easy to carry.
- It also comes with a carrying case and a charging cradle, which are fine, though neither is particularly useful in my book. There is also a small cleaning brush, oil, and a very poorly written but at least understandable instructional manual.
- There is a one-year warranty when purchased from Amazon.
The downsides to the Hatteker Hair Trimmer
- The connection to the unit only works with the specific cable (provided), there isn’t a USB-mini or USB-C connection in, which would mean you could then use the other cables you’re already travelling with. But note that you can connect that cable to any USB port on a computer or USB phone adapter, or the universal USB travel plug shown above. So we are still staying minimalist.
- The carrying pouch is flimsy and unlikely to provide much protection to the unit; you may want to consider also using a Skooba cable stable (also fits other electronics and cables). The Hatteker is pictured below in this cable case, which is likely to better protect the unit.
- The internal battery, like all such batteries, will one day fail to hold a charge, and Hatteker provides no way to replace it. This is a problem with every such model on the market now. They’ll last for a few years, depending on use, temperature, etc. This is a problem with just about every clippers, mobile phone, and all the rest, in our stupid, throw-away culture of electronic consumption.
The Competition: Other Travel Hair Trimmers
I tried the hair trimmer pictured above, marketed as the Kooltech F40 in parts of Europe. It appears to be extremely similar to the Kebor Hair Grooming Kit at right, sold on Amazon in the USA. (Sometimes different brand names are tacked on to a product for different markets, including occasionally with a few superficial design changes.)
These clippers also meet all of our requirements for travel: they’re light, charge by USB, and adjustable to various cutting lengths. I liked it that the guard was built into the unit, it seemed that this would also help protect the blades in travel. And the product is very cheap.
Unfortunately it was also really crummy at cutting thick hair. It took lots of passes to do a reasonable job, so it was not at all fun to use.
I have also previously used and travelled with a Wahl product, the Wahl All-in-One Grooming Kit.
It does a great job cutting hair and held up for several years of road use, until the motor gave out.
To be fair, it was likely getting banged around a lot in my carry-on — I wasn’t making much of an effort to protect it.
But it doesn’t cut as smoothly nor as quietly as our top pick above, and it is not waterproof, and lacks USB charging, meaning that one also has to carry the specific charging cable for it.
Another very light trimmer that is good for travel is the Bed Head Buzz Off Multi-Use Trimmer, which is not available at present. It lacks the many features and attachments of our main pick however, and also needs it’s own specific charging cable. And it’s noisy.
A very lightweight travel option that is extremely cheap is the Wahl Travel Cordless Trimmer. However, it runs on an AA battery which needs to be replaced after just a few cutting sessions.
Reviewers also noted that it is a bit fragile. But it does a great job of cutting hair. There are just two guard attachments for two different lengths.
I haven’t tested this one myself, but it’s the budget option I’d go for if I just needed something for touch ups of head or body hair on very occasional trips.
Wahl trimmers generally work well and get good high marks from me and from other reviewers and consumer organizations.
Wrap Up: The Top All-in-One Travel Hair Grooming Solution for Women and Men
Update after nearly one year/3 continents/an estimated 50 trims: No issues to note. No damage to the unit, and the battery still holds a full charge.
Update in 2023: The trimmer got full weekly use during an additional year—and two years is longer than I expect the internal battery of such an electronic item to last. No issues and the blades still cut well. So bravo!
The trimmer has been in storage in another country for a while now, but I’ll be back to using it soon if it still works.