Mini Kettle For Travel: Making a Cuppa On the Road!

Outdoor vintage Kettle

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Being English, one thing that I really miss on the road is a good cup of tea! When you’re staying in backpacker hostels, unfortunately, you do not always have the luxury of tea and coffee making facilities! So does one have to give up the luxury of a lovely hot cuppa when one backpacks?

If the Queen doesn’t have to, then neither should you!

Mini electric kettles are lightweight, durable and can easily fit in your backpack. Some are foldable or collapsible for extra easy packing. And, some small travel kettles even come complete with detachable mugs and spoons so that you have a complete set with you at all times. (Just don’t forget the tea bags or portable coffee maker!)

We’ve trawled through Amazon Reviews and asked our community of readers what they use in order to find the best travel kettles on the market. The criteria was simple, we wanted to find kettles won’t leak, electrocute you, take 10 minutes to boil, or only boil enough for half a cup!

Cup of tea with tea bag
Tea solves all life’s problems!

The Best Travel Kettles – Quick Answers:

For more information about these kettles, plus more, keep reading!

What to Look for When Buying a Travel Kettle

Weight

It goes without saying that the lighter your kettle, the better. With airline baggage limits getting less and less each year, a lightweight kettle is a must. Don’t sacrifice durability for weight saving though, there’s no point saving 100 grams if your kettle won’t survive the journey!

Size

As with weight, size is important. If you’re going to be travelling with your kettle, you don’t want it to take up half your bag. There are a number of foldable, or collapsable kettles on this list that make packing a breeze!

Boiling time

Whilst less important than size or weight, the time it takes your kettle to boil is worth considering. Some travel kettles can take over 10 minutes to boil 500ml of water! If like me, you don’t want to be waiting quite that long for your morning cuppa, then make sure you find one that boils in decent time.

Price

Here at South East Asia Backpacker, we all understand the feeling of saving for your next trip. Suddenly, you realise how expensive everything can be! There are good kettles on this list for less than $20 but some go as high as $100. Make sure you don’t break the bank with your kettle choice and if you are really short on cash, this is probably the first item you can take off the shopping list.

US Dollar notes
Don’t spend too much on your kettle – that money will go a lot further abroad!

Does it come with extras?

Some travel kettles will come with travel cups, bowls or carry cases. Keep an eye on what extras come with your kettle of choice. The cups help save money whilst the carry cases make the kettle even easier to transport!

Small Electric Kettle: The Best Options for Travel

1. Bonavita Mini Kettle

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 500ml
  • Boiling time: 2-3 minutes
  • Size: 18cm x 17cm x 10cm
  • Weight: 400g
  • Extras: None

The search for the best travel kettle includes thinking about the look of your new companion, and if you like stainless steel, generally, you will appreciate the Bonavita Mini Kettle.Besides looking good, the stainless-steel design will keep your kettle in great condition for years of travelling.

Whether you’re camping or staying in a hostel, cleaning this kettle is super simple. Don’t be fooled by the kettle’s charming compact appearance, it boils enough water for two hefty cups of tea and rather quickly!

 

2. Gourmia GK360 Foldable Kettle

  • Price: $
  • Capacity: 800ml
  • Boiling time: 2-4 minutes 
  • Size: 10cm x 18cm x 16cm
  • Weight: 650g
  • Extras: None

Gourmia are market leaders when it comes to collapsable travel kettles. They come in all shapes and sizes and this silicone model is one of their most popular. Once collapsed, the overall height of the kettle is around 10cm making it easier to pack than many of the standard style travel kettles. There are plenty of safety features thrown in, such as auto shut off, boil dry protection and lid lock. Whilst these are to be expected in your normal, everyday kettle, it is a rare treat to find them in a travel kettle. 

 

3. Gourmia GK378 Foldable Kettle

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 1400ml
  • Boiling time: 5-6 minutes 
  • Size: 18cm x 14cm x 9cm
  • Weight: 770g
  • Extras: None

For those of you wanting a little more volume in your travel kettle, look no further than the Gormia GK378. This foldable kettle, has more than double the capacity of most travel kettles and comes with all the safety features you would expect from a Gourmia product. It is dual voltage so can be used anywhere in world and the tough, shatterproof design means it will easily survive the rigours of travel. There is even a “keep warm” function so you can keep water heated for long periods if necessary. The heating element is hidden so you could even get away with boiling noodles for a quick and easy snack – just remember to give the kettle a good rinse if you do this!

 

4. The Lloytron Small Kettle

  • Price: $$$
  • Capacity: 900ml
  • Boiling time: 4 minutes 
  • Size: 9cm x 17cm x 20cm
  • Weight: 725g
  • Extras: 2 small travel cups

The Lloytron Small Kettle  holds up to 1 litre of water at a time and also comes with two cups so that you can drink tea and coffee wherever you find yourself. With universal voltage, you will never have to worry about finding yourself in a foreign country without your morning cup of tea again. Whilst it doesn’t pack down like some of the collapsable kettles on this list, that doesn’t mean you should write it off. It’s lightweight and when travelling between destinations, you can use the kettle to store your cups, tea bags and coffee. 

 

Suteck Foldable Electric Kettle

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 555ml
  • Boiling time: 3-5 minutes
  • Size: 17cm x 13cm x 14cm
  • Weight: 680g
  • Extras: Collapsable travel bowel, carry case, universal adapter.

This collapsable kettle from Suteck is one of the most packable kettles we managed to find. You can remove the power cord and handle before compressing it down and the whole lot fits comfortably inside the included carry case. The dual voltage capabilities mean this kettle can be used almost anywhere in the world, just remember you have to set the voltage manually on the bottom! Like most of the kettles on this list but unlike many travel kettles on the market, the Suteck Foldable Kettle comes with all the safety features you could require. Some customers report a strong silicone smell when first using the Suteck Foldable Kettle but this fades over time. 

 

6. V Vontox Foldable Kettle

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 750ml
  • Boiling time: 5 minutes 
  • Size: 19cm x 15cm x 11cm
  • Weight: 650g
  • Extras: Collapsable cup

The V Vontox Foldable Kettle is a great choice for travellers tight on space. When collapsed it’s 10cm x 13cm, so fits in almost any traveller’s backpack. It’s dual voltage and even claims to have a massive temperature resistance between -40°C to 230°C. Although unless you exploring the arctic, this seems like overkill. Water can be kept close to boiling for extended periods thanks to the built-in keep warm function and although this kettle does do its job well, it does look a little out of proportion. The handle appears very long but installing a shorter one would be a safety issue. Better for the kettle to look like a hobbit than be electrocuted or spill scolding water down yourself!

 

7. Loutytuo Ultrathin Collapsable Kettle

  • Price: $$$
  • Capacity: 555ml
  • Boiling time: 3-5 minutes
  • Size: 16.5cm x 13cm x 14cm
  • Weight: 850g
  • Extras: Carry case

The Loutytuo Collapsable Kettle is very similar to the Suteck Foldable kettle mentioned earlier but comes much more highly recommended by our readers. With its dual voltage capabilities, removable handle and power cord, it is easy to pack and use wherever you are. Many users rave about the look of this kettle when compared to some of the other travel kettles available. It can easily be used in hostels, hotels or anywhere with a conveniently placed plug socket! 

 

8. Kenwood Travel Kettle

  • Price: $$$
  • Capacity: 500ml
  • Boiling time: 3-5 minutes
  • Size: 19cm x 11cm x 16cm
  • Weight: 620g
  • Extras: None

Kenwood’s Travel Kettle is nothing more special than a small kettle but what more do you need? It is well built, reliable and does what it says on the tin. Namely, boil water. The stainless steel design makes it easy to clean and means it is tough enough to be knocked about in your bag. It also has a mesh filter to stop limescale and other small particles getting out. Whilst it’s not as easy to pack as some of the foldable kettles we have already discussed, it is lightweight and if you have the spare room, this kettle will keep going for many trips!

 

Alternative to Travel Kettles

If you are a a light packer or just don’t have the room for a travel kettle, yet can’t bear to be without a guaranteed cup of tea in the morning (as a Brit, I get that), then an immersion heater might be the answer. 

Immersion heaters come highly recommended by our facebook community and the most recommended is the Norpro 559. Weighing just over 130 grams and being smaller than a set of hair straighteners, this is the perfect device for those of you who travel super light!

 

Simply place the heater inside your cup of water, turn it on and within a few minutes the water will be boiling. Just be aware that the exposed element gets really hot and there is no auto shut off function. Make sure you turn it off before removing it from the water and have somewhere you can leave it to safely cool down. Treat it just like straighteners or curlers and you’ll be fine!

Travel Kettle FAQ’s

How to clean a travel kettle?

To make your travels as seamless as possible, use baking soda to clean the kettle before packing it. This gets rid of any lingering rubber smell upon use. 

After use, make sure you rinse the kettle and dry it thoroughly before packing it away. If you decide to cook noodles or boil eggs in the kettle, pay special attention to cleaning as these items can cause build up over the long term. Providing you rinse and wipe it out well though, everything should be fine. 

Can I take a travel kettle in hand luggage?

Kettles are not restricted items but you will often find they flag up as unknown during airport scans. Prepare to have your bags searched more often. Although this is inconvenient, you should be allowed through without any further problems. 

Always check restricted items with your airline before flying as the rules change often. 

Are silicone kettles Safe?

As long as the silicone is rated food safe, it is fine to be used in a kettle. It can only become an issue if heated past its safe point, when the silicone starts to break down. This is around 250°C so there is no chance of doing that with water!

Are plastic kettles safe?

Providing your plastic kettle is food safe and BPA free then it is perfectly safe to drink the water that comes out of it. Over the long term, plastic kettles will break down and degrade but this is a process that takes place of a matter of years, so don’t worry about it for your travel kettle.

What is better, stainless steel or plastic travel kettles?

In the long run, stainless steel is a better material but it comes at a cost. Stainless steel kettles tend to be a bit heavier as well as more expensive than their plastic counterparts. On the other hand, due to the higher initial cost, companies often strive to make their stainless steel kettles more reliable than plastic models.

Plastic kettles also start to degrade after a number of years so if you will be using it everyday for years on end, consider going for a stainless steel option, otherwise plastic is fine. 

So there you have it! There’s no need to go without your daily coffee or tea just because you’re living the travelling lifestyle. With travel kettles, you can have your cake and eat it too, with tea, of course! Spend some time thinking about your travel style and needs, and you will be sure to find the right mini kettle for you!

Founder & Editor at South East Asia Backpacker | Author\’s Blog

Nikki Scott is the founder & editor of South East Asia Backpacker. A traveller-turned-entrepreneur, she left the UK in 2009 and after 6 months on the road, she started a bi-monthly print magazine about backpacking in Asia. South America Backpacker soon followed and today she runs her backpacking enterprise from her base in Spain. Her honest and fascinating book, Backpacker Business, tells the story of her success in the face of adversity.

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