It is one of the immutable festival laws – if you build a campsite, that guy with the out-of-tune guitar and desire to bash out bad Oasis covers will come.

Luckily, with the Washburn Rover RO10 you could be on hand to provide a less predictable playlist.  

Normal neck

While the Washburn Rover RO10's small body resembles that of a ukulele, it boasts a 24in scale with 19 frets, which gives it an action that’s very similar to a full size guitar.

Many of its competitors have fretboards that are distinctly more cramped – the Martin Backpacker has less frets (15) while the ultra-tiny Lapstick is only 20in long in total.

Because of its shallow body, the RO10 generates a sound that is dominated by treble and lacking bass. However, it is a fuller sound that you might expect from such a slight instrument and capable of producing enough volume to hold your own around a campfire.

Brilliant build

For the price, the Rover RO10's build quality is excellent, combining a solid spruce top with a mahogany body and neck and rosewood fingerboard. The joints are sturdy and the matt finish is fairly resistant to knocks and scratches.

The only part of the construction that seems slightly cheap are the tuners, but they’re adequate and the guitar holds its tuning well. Washburn also sells a pick-up that will convert the Rover into an electro-acoustic.

The RO10 weighs in at just 3.81kg but its slimline form does have its downsides. The length of the neck compared to the stubby body gives it an unbalanced feel.

Without using the strap, it feels awkward to play both sitting down and standing up. The body's curved back exacerbates this by making the instrument slip. Given the need for the strap, it's a shame that the one supplied does not easily fit the guitar without modification.

Just in case

The package supplied with the guitar is impressive and includes a case, a set of three picks, an instructional CD-ROM and a tuning kit. The case is particularly good, designed to fit in an airline overhead storage bin and sturdy and well padded enough to survive the hold.

It also comes with both backpack and luggage straps. The one downside is its single pocket, which reduces the amount of other accessories you can carry.


Stuff says... 

Washburn Rover RO10 travel guitar review

Despite a few niggles, the Rover RO10 is the ideal guitar to take with you wherever you may roam