The 7 Best Portable Printers for Travel of 2022

The Canon Selphy Compact Printer does it all.

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The 7 Best Portable Printers for Travel of 2022

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Printing used to be something you could only do at home, at the office, or at your nearest FedEx-Kinko’s. But in the tech-advanced modern world, you can do just about anything on the go – including printing. Whether you want real-time photos of your destination wedding, need to print contracts at a remote business site, or simply like the instant gratification of Polaroid-style vacation pictures, a portable printer might be just what you need.

These handy devices connect to your smartphone or camera via Bluetooth or USB cable, allowing you to print high-quality photos, sheets of text, stickers, and sometimes even postcards. We researched options with standout features that are not only user-friendly but also compact, lightweight, and easy to pack.

Our top choice is the Canon Selphy Wireless Compact Printer. With built-in WiFi, a convenient mobile app, an LCD touchscreen, and a pint-sized paper tray, it offers a perfect balance of traditional and portable printing. But to cover all the bases, we found several models worth considering.

These are the best portable printers for travel:

Best Overall: Canon SELPHY CP1300

4

Why We Love It: This all-star gadget prints various sizes of photos, stickers, and postcards and offers multiple ways to connect, upload, edit, and print your images.

What to Consider: It doesn't look as sleek as others, and the maximum printing size is 4 x 6 inches.

Our favorite portable printer is undoubtedly the Canon Selphy. Measuring just 7 x 5.5 x 2.5 inches and weighing less than 2 pounds, it's perfectly compact and lightweight. This gadget has an 18-sheet paper tray that fits up to 4 x 6-inch photos or standard postcards. You can also print 2.1-inch "Instagram squares," photo booth-style strips, or load it with sticker paper. (Like most printers, you'll have to buy the paper and ink separately.)

The Selphy has built-in WiFi for wireless printing through Apple AirPrint or the Canon Print mobile app. There's also a memory card slot for transferring images from your camera and a sizable LCD tilting touchscreen, allowing you to select, edit, and print pictures directly from the device. What's more, there's a "Party Shuffle" feature where everyone can send and combine pictures from group outings.

We like that it has a rechargeable battery, and you can charge it as needed with the included power adapter. This printer might not look quite as sleek as other portable models, but in terms of features, it does it all.

Price at time of publish: $130

Dimensions: 7 x 5.5 x 2.5 inches | Print Sizes: 2.1 x 2.1 inches, 4 x 6 inches | Connectivity: WiFi, USB

Best for Photos: HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

3.7
HP Sprocket 2x3" Instant Photo Printer

Amazon

Why We Love It: The supremely lightweight, purse-size Sprocket instantly prints mini photos from your camera roll or social feeds.

What to Consider: It only prints mini 2 x 3-inch photos and takes about a minute to start back up after each print.

If you're only looking to print photos, the HP Sprocket has your name on it. This ultra-compact instant printer is small enough to fit in a purse, can be held in one hand, and weighs only about a third of a pound.

The Sprocket connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Once you download the app, you can instantly print pictures not just from your camera roll but also directly from your social media feeds. You can also edit your travel photography, play around with filters, and add text through the app.

This printer only prints one size (2 x 3 inches), and you have to wait about one minute between each print. Still, the price is on point for the quality, and it comes with a starter pack of 10 sheets. The five trendy color options don't hurt either.

Price at time of publish: $80

Dimensions: 4.6 x 3 x 1 inches | Print Sizes: 2 x 3 inches | Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB

Best for 4 x 6 Prints: Victure PT640 Instant Photo Printer

Victure PT640 Instant Photo Printer

Victure

Why We Love It: It calls on thermal transfer technology to produce crystal-clear color photos from anywhere, and is hardly bigger than the sheets it prints out.

What to Consider: You'll have to buy the ink and paper separately.

Looking for something that prints standard 4 x 6-inch photos? The Victure Instant Photo Printer might be your best bet. It connects to your phone or tablet through Bluetooth, then once you download the Instant Color app, you can edit your pictures, add text and emojis, and print high-quality images right then and there.

Measuring 6.7 x 4.3 x 3 inches, this portable printer is just barely larger than the photos it prints and has a paper tray that fits up to 10 sheets at a time. It calls on 4PASS (thermal transfer) technology to print crystal-clear color photography with the same pixels as the originals from your phone. The high-quality sheets resist tearing, fading, and even water damage. Just as a  heads up, you'll have to buy the ink cartridge and paper separately.

Price at time of publish: $100

Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.3 x 3 inches | Print Sizes: 4 x 6 inches | Connectivity: Bluetooth

Best Letter Size : Jadens PeriPage Wireless Portable Printer

Jadens PeriPage Wireless Portable Printer

Amazon

Why We Love It: This printer uses thermal paper to create full-size pages without any ink, and can print continuously for up to three hours on a full charge.

What to Consider: It only prints in black and white, and you'll need to buy the thermal paper separately.

If you need to print letter-size documents, this one's for you. The Jadens Portable Printer accommodates standard 8.5 x 11-inch sheets, as well as smaller paper sizes if needed. Since it uses thermal paper, it doesn't require any ink. However, it only prints in black and white, so no color photos.

Though you'll have to buy the paper rolls separately, they're pretty affordable — each letter-size page comes out to less than one cent. ​​At 11 x 4.5 x 3 inches, this printer is slightly wider than other models but still pretty compact considering it prints full-size sheets. Plus, the lightweight design is just over 2 pounds. What's more, it's powered by two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and can print continuously for up to three hours on a full charge.

Price at time of publish: $170

Dimensions: 11 x 4.5 x 3 inches | Print Sizes: Up to 8.5 x 11 inches | Connectivity: Bluetooth

Best for Stickers: Kodak Step Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

Kodak Step Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

Amazon

Why We Love It: The palm-sized Kodak Step prints bright, full-color imagery on sticky-back sheets that won't rip or smudge.

What to Consider: It only prints one size and takes about a minute per sheet.

The best option for stickers is the Kodak Step. This printer comes with a starter pack of sticky-back paper, which you can use to create either custom stickers or regular pictures. It connects to your device via Bluetooth or NFC (near-field communication), allowing you to print instantly from your camera roll, email, or social media accounts.

We like that the Kodak Step doesn't require any ink. The thermal paper prints out clear, bright, full-color imagery, and thanks to a protective coating, it won't smudge or rip. This printer has a built-in lithium battery that produces up to 25 photos on a full charge. We should note it only prints one size (2 x 3 inches), and each sheet takes about a minute to come out. Still, it's pretty impressive considering its super lightweight and packable, palm-sized design.

Price at time of publish: $70

Dimensions: 3 x 5 x 1 inches | Print Sizes: 2 x 3 inches | Connectivity: Bluetooth, NFC

Best Features: Sharper Image Smartphone Photo Printer

Sharper Image Smartphone Photo Printer

Sharper Image

Why We Love It: This printer connects to any mobile device, prints full-size color photos, and doubles as a phone charging dock.

What to Consider: It has to be plugged in, and you'll need to buy paper refills directly from Sharper Image.

We like the Sharper Image Smartphone Photo Printer for its unique features. It's essentially a super-compact version of a regular printer but with lots of modern elements. This device connects to any smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth or a USB cable and comes with a lightning adapter for Apple users. When you download the SI Smartphone Printer app, you can edit, crop, and apply filters and text to your photos.

However, this printer isn't cordless — it plugs into a traditional wall outlet. Fortunately, it doubles as a charging dock for your smartphone, which is perfect for hotel rooms and vacation rentals. Also, while it comes with ink and 10 sheets of paper, refills are only available from Sharper Image, so be sure to stock up before your trip.

Price at time of publish: $170

Dimensions: 6.5 x 4 x 3 inches | Print Sizes: 4 x 6 inches | Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB, lightning

Best Mini: Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 Smartphone Printer

Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 Smartphone Printer

Amazon

Why We Love It: The Instax Mini Link quickly prints classic Polaroid-style photos from your phone — no instant camera needed.

What to Consider: You have to buy the film separately, which can get pricey.

Our favorite option for mini prints is the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link. It connects to up to five smartphones at a time through Bluetooth and works with the Instax Mini Link mobile app. This allows you to instantly print classic Polaroid-style photos without needing a Polaroid or Fujifilm camera. Not only that, but it takes just 12 seconds to produce each picture and can print up to 100 on a full charge.

This compact printer weighs less than a pound and fits effortlessly in your purse, backpack, suitcase, or the palm of your hand. The sleek color options are pretty great too. One thing to note is that you have to buy the film separately, which, as Polaroid users know, can get expensive. 

Price at time of publish: $100

Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 3 inches | Print Sizes: 2.4 x 1.8 inches | Connectivity: Bluetooth

Tips for Buying Printers for Travel

Consider print types and sizes

Most modern portable printers are designed for on-the-go photo printing. This means they can print relatively small sheets in full color. Some can print photos in the standard 4 x 6-inch size, while others only produce mini photos, Polaroid-style pictures, or stickers.

There are also options that print letter-size (8.5 x 11-inch) sheets with black and white text or imagery. In any case, pay attention to the type of ink (if any) and paper your printer takes and whether you need to buy those separately.

Think about connectivity and portability

Many portable printers sync wirelessly to mobile devices via Bluetooth, built-in WiFi, or NFC (near-field communication). Some connect with a USB cable, and others can be used both ways. iPhone users will need a lightning adapter for models that connect via USB.

Also, most travel printers can be used cordlessly, meaning they run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. However, some need to be plugged into a wall or another device, which can affect where you're able to use them.

Look for a Packable Size

If you're bringing your printer on a trip, you'll want to look for a packable size. Many fit easily in a backpack, duffle, or weekender, and some are small enough to stick in a purse or fanny pack. Additionally, a lightweight model is ideal — 1 to 2 pounds max.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do portable printers work?

    Many portable printers work with thermal-printing technology. They use heat-sensitive paper that produces imagery or text when pressure is applied — no ink required. There are also models that work more like standard desktop printers, with ink cartridges and paper trays.

  • What can I use portable printers for?

    You can use a portable printer to print just about anything. That said, some are designed specifically for photos, some are meant to print letter-size documents, and others are more versatile.

    For leisure purposes, travel printers are most often used to print instant photos, stickers, or postcards. For business, they come in handy for printing things like contracts, invoices, and receipts.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure contributors know how to find the best on-the-go products for every excursion. For this story, commerce writer Theresa Holland researched the best portable printers, combing through manuals and user reviews before narrowing it down to the top picks.

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