Tips for Picking a Portable Blender for Travel and Sports

If you’re often traveling or going to the gym (or both), you probably feel that it’s tricky to stay healthy. When you’re on a trip, a combination of jet lag, jam-packed itineraries, and lots of temptation to eat out can make staying healthy when traveling tricky. When you’re in the gym and working out hard, you may sometimes feel it’s ok to have a cheat day because you already burned lots of calories, only to end up having a series of cheat days if you don’t discipline yourself.

Do you need help keeping up with your nutritional needs? A healthy smoothie or a protein shake might be what you need. To make it more convenient for you to consume it, then a portable blender would help.

What is the Purpose of Having a Portable Blender?

A personal blender and bottle allow you to make a healthy meal or drink while traveling, providing you with enough energy and nutrients so you can avoid the temptation to eat out or eat junk. It’s ideal for anyone who would like to maintain their eating routine while traveling or just going to the office. They offer an easier, more convenient way to make daily smoothies that can be easily sipped from the same vessel.

They are also super lightweight, making them a great option for outdoor use. Unlike typical countertop blenders, there are rechargeable portable blender options, so you don’t need to look for an electric outlet to use them. However, there are corded portable options that are perfectly acceptable if you’re going to use them in indoor settings like hotels and gyms.

Features to Consider When Buying Portable Blenders for Travel and Sports

These are some of the key considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a portable blender:

1. Ingredients

The first factor you need to consider when choosing a blender is the ingredients you want to add to it. Different blenders can handle a variety of ingredients, right from soft to hard fruits, nuts, and even ice. Be clear about your blending needs, and the other factors to consider will depend on the kind of ingredients you will be blending.

2. Weight

If you are looking for a great option for travel, it’s a good idea to choose a bottle on the lighter side. Portability is key, and portable blenders often come at a size small enough to fit on a backpack, gym bag, or even a carry-on – but some can be heavy. If you’re going to keep it on a counter at a hotel or your gym locker, then the weight becomes less important. But make sure to look for a blender with quality suction cups to ensure that it stays put while blending.

If you choose a bullet blender with a removable cup and a to-go lid, you would often get a lightweight cup, but some come with a power cord, which is not as travel-friendly as other battery-operated models.

3. Jar capacity

Usually, portable blenders come in 12 to 32 ounces, but a 16-ounce cup seems to be a sweet spot. A 16-ounce cup is big enough to hold a meal-size smoothie, but it’s not too big to carry on your bag or luggage. If you like blending a large protein smoothie into small salad dressings, many personal blenders can cater to your needs as they come in a few different cup sizes.

Most travel blenders have jar capacities that are just enough for one person. If you’re traveling with a family, look for a jar that holds at least 24 to 32 oz.

4. Cup style

If you prefer to bring it anywhere, assess the cup style. Is it slim and easy to hold? Does it fit in the bottle holder part of your gym bag? Does it fit the cup holders of your car? Does it have a tight-sealing lid? Does it have a sports lid? Choose the cup style that suits your needs and preferences.

5. Wattage

Not all portable blenders can crush ice, chop up bigger frozen fruit pieces, or blend leafy greens. Think about what you like to whip up in your portable blender, and choose accordingly. Some only whip up protein shakes and fruit shakes in their portable blender, and a low-end model can do that. Smaller blenders usually have lower-powered motors, so they will work well with soft fruits and for making most smoothies. But if you want to whip up green juice, add frozen ingredients or make an icy drink anywhere you go, make sure to get a more powerful blender. If you want to be able to blend ice, look at something with at least 250 watts.

The wattage of the blender will determine how powerful it will be and how likely the blades can spin fast enough to blend ice and your other ingredients into a smoothie. Generally, the higher the wattage, the more power it has. But it’s important to note that higher wattages don’t always equate to better performance. The ability to pulse and the shape of the cup have a factor, too.

6. Power source

There are corded options that need an electric outlet, while there are also cordless options that can be charged via USB or USCB.

If you choose a travel blender with a power cable, it will limit the number of places where you can use it. But it depends on your needs. If you only want to use the blender in your hotel room or gym, then a power cord may not be an issue. But if you want to take it to the beach or camp, then you will most likely need a rechargeable, battery-operated blender.

When looking at rechargeable options, check how easy it is to charge the battery. Can it be charged using a power bank or your laptop, or do you need to plug it into a power outlet? This may also factor into your decision.

7. Safety

Always choose products with BPA-free plastic so that you never compromise your health. Plus, visualize how you will clean the part where the blade rests. Some come with a detachable blade plate, making it would be safer to clean, but make sure to screw it back again tightly before use.

8. Accessories

When you have tons of accessories attachable to the blender – like blades and pouring funnels – it can be fun to use in the kitchen but not necessarily for travel. So, decide what accessories you will need for a travel blender. Constantly changing accessories is going to take up space in your luggage and your time. Make sure you only pack what you need and don’t bring the rest.

9. Ease of Cleaning

Check how easy it is to clean the blender. Make sure all the components can be taken apart for cleaning. Bonus points for blenders with cups, lids, and blades that can be tossed in the dishwasher and a fully water-resistant design. However, some have bases with a motor and electrical components that must never be placed in a dishwasher.

For travel blenders, you can put water and dish soap into the cup and turn it on so you can clean it even without using a sink or a dishwasher. If you know you will be short on time and don’t feel like taking a bottle brush for your blender, make sure it’s dishwasher safe so you can clean it at home.

If the blade is in the rechargeable blender base, you need to be careful not to let water pass through the charging ports. Thankfully, these kinds of blenders often have some protector for cleaning.

10. Price

Since they are smaller and are not as powerful as full-size blenders, portable blenders are much cheaper. An entry-level blender costs under $50 and can offer you basic smoothie-making abilities with softer fruits.

High-end portable blenders can go up to $150 and come with more accessories and more powerful motors for flexibility.

Can a Portable Blender Be as Good as a Full-Sized Model?

Most portable blenders are designed to be quick and easy to use with single-speed motors and one-button operation. They’re typically as good as large models when used for making fruit smoothies.

However, travel blenders are generally quite limited in their functionality. They can make smaller batches and are not built to run as long as full-sized models. They also often don’t have the controls of a full-size model, so they are not able to do some of the tasks that a full-size blender can.

Also, you can’t put hot liquids in portable blenders as they are often made of plastic that can be damaged by heat.

If you want variety in what you can make in a blender and have more control over the process, then you would need a full-size blender and get on top of a portable blender. But if you live alone or if you’re the only person in the household who will consume a blended product, it makes sense to get a portable or single-serve blender only and go for a model with a more powerful motor.

Conclusion

There are lots of blenders of different models, and there is no one right choice – it depends on how you plan to use it. There are some cheaper, lower-powered blenders that are perfectly capable of blending fruits and making shakes, but they may not be able to crush ice nor leafy greens. If those ingredients are important to you, look for higher-powered blenders.  

Size is important if you travel a lot and prefer a blender that you can bring with your luggage. Look for a lighter, small blender, even if you have to compromise on a smaller cup as a result.

If you are going to camp or any outdoor setting and won’t have access to power, look for a battery-powered blender that you can pre-charge before going out. If you’re often boarding on travel and checking in hotels, then a corded option might be fine.