Returning to air travel and longer commutes offers an ideal reading opportunity, with plenty of time to dig into the book you’ve been meaning to finish. But books take up valuable space—not to mention weight—in carry-ons and backpacks. When you need to pack light, Kindles and e-readers are the answer, especially since they are smaller, more lightweight, and more powerful than ever, holding thousands of books in a device as light as six ounces.
If you’re in the market for a Kindle, e-reader, or other reading-friendly tablet—and intend to make it a regular travel companion—you’ll want to consider size, storage, and functionality, in addition to price. Do you prefer a larger screen or a more lightweight device? Do you want a device designed exclusively for reading, or do you want to be able to browse, work, and watch movies as well? We’ve done the research to determine the best Kindles for travel, along with a few other e-readers and portable tablets worth considering.
This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.
The best Kindles for travel
Undoubtedly the top Kindle available today, Amazon’s best-selling, waterproof Kindle Paperwhite recently got an 11th-generation upgrade—and now comes in three new versions. There’s a standard ($140), Signature edition ($190), and Paperwhite Kids ($160). Each of the three includes a larger 6.8-inch display, adjustable warm white lighting that emulates actual book pages, and a brighter maximum lighting. The standard Paperwhite and kids version offer 8 GB of storage (which can hold more than 2,000 e-books), while the Signature holds 32 GB.
Most notable of this generation—aside from the clearly crisper display—is the impressive software update that allows you to scroll your library, toggle from menu to reading, and turn pages quickly without the lagging of previous editions. The USB-C charger is a huge plus, too, making for convenient charging (after the 10-week battery dies, that is). For most, the standard model will exceed previous e-reader experiences, but the Signature includes wireless charging (via a charging dock, sold separately), a front light that auto-adjusts, and extra storage—for those interested.
- 6” screen
- 6.1 ounces
- 8 GB