The Best Portable Fans to Take on Every Trip

The VersionTECH Mini Handheld Fan is our favorite way to keep cool on the go.

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portable fans
Courtesy of Amazon

Planning a trip to Disney World, the tropics, or a national park this summer? We highly suggest bringing a portable fan with you to battle the hot weather. Portable fans are small enough to carry in a purse, backpack, or even your pocket, so they're also helpful to have in your everyday life.

There are lots of different types of portable fans, including some that are designed to be worn around your neck and others that can be clipped to almost anything to create a makeshift stand. As long as you're choosing something that fits your activity, won't weigh you down, and has a decent battery life, you'll be good to go.

Our favorite portable fan is the VersionTech Mini Handheld Fan. We love it for its diverse functionality: You can hold it in your hand, fold back the handle and place it on a hard surface, and almost always find a something to clip it on to. While the VersionTech model is our all-around favorite, we have plenty of other recommendations for trips that include things like sightseeing or camping. These are the best portable fans for all of your travel needs.

Best Overall: VersionTech Mini Handheld Fan

versiontech fan

VersionTECH

Why We Love It: This fan can be held, clipped down, or folded over, making it a versatile accessory for anyone who wants a cooling effect on the go.

What to Consider: The buttons on the outside of the folded handle can be pressed accidentally.

Clip this fan on to an umbrella or stroller, carry it in your hand, or fold the handle down and place it on a sturdy surface. Any way you choose to use it, you can effortlessly create an instant breeze. It's powered by a rechargeable USB port and can be plugged into a power bank, phone, computer, or even a wall charger to get the battery full. The fan has three speeds (low, medium, and high), and the brushless motor makes it durable and quiet. It can be easily tossed in your carry-on, purse, beach bag, fanny pack, or backpack to add comfort to all kinds of warm-weather occasions, from amusement park trips to concerts and sports games. This must-have summer accessory is available in five colors, including basic black and white and bolder options like baby blue.

Charging: USB cable | Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.8 x 4.1 inches

Best Budget: Wowgo Mini USB Personal Fan

mini portable fan

Wowgo

Why We Love It: The light modes come in handy when you're using the fan in dark places.

What to Consider: Because it is designed to be worn around your neck, this fan requires you to pull back your hair to avoid getting it caught in the blades.

For affordable, portable cooling that you can use hands-free, the Wowgo wearable fan is a great option. This one has less bells and whistles than other wearable fans on this list, but it still gets the most important job done: keeping you cool while traveling. It also has three speeds and seven colorful light modes, which come in handy when you're dealing with low light. There's also the added convenience of being able to bend the silicone arms to your liking to get optimal air flow. The fan is USB chargeable and will last for anywhere from two and a half to six hours, depending on what speed you're using. Keep in mind that if you have long hair, it's best to pull it back so that it doesn't get wrapped in the fan blades.

Charging: USB cable | Dimensions: 7.99 x 6.93 x 1.42 inches

Best for Planes: Honeywell Honeywell On-the-Go Personal Fan

small black fan

Honeywell

Why We Love It: The handle-turned-base design makes this a sturdy choice whenever you want to go hands-free.

What to Consider: The fan only has one speed option.

Planes can sometimes become a bit hot inside the cabin, and the tiny overhead air nozzles don't help much. The handle on this fan folds down to become a base, which means you can easily set it on your tray table to get a cool breeze fast. It can be powered by either batteries or a USB charge and has a 3-foot air circulation, and it's foldability makes it easy to store in your luggage or purse. The fan's handle can be hung from anything, so you can also use it on an exercise bike, cabinet knob, or bathroom hook during your entire trip.

Charging: USB cable | Dimensions: 5 x 4.7 x 12.5 inches

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Best for Sightseeing: Jisulife Handheld Fan

handheld fan

Jisulife

Why We Love It: The wrist strap and lightweight design make this portable fan easy to carry while on the go.

What to Consider: This fan is a bit noisy, so make sure not to use it in really quiet areas.

Whether you're riding on a packed tour bus through a bustling city or trekking to Machu Picchu in the middle of the summer, a small fan can be a comfort game-changer when sightseeing. This one from Jisulife has our approval because it's tiny, lightweight, and comes with a wrist strap that allows you to drop it and pick up your phone or camera in a flash. When you're not on your feet, you can flip the handle backwards and use it as a standing fan. The charge will last for up to 46 hours, depending on whether you're using the low, medium, or high speed setting. It also folds, making it easy to store in your purse, fanny pack, or even your pocket.

Best of all, this fan has multiple uses. It doubles as a charger thanks to the USB output, so you'll have one more emergency power bank on your trip. The fan can even be used as a flashlight. You simply hold down on the power button when the fan is not spinning, and you'll have a light in a snap.

Charging: USB cable | Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.65 x 1.65 inches

Best for Camping: Fxexblin Camping Fan

camping fan

Fxexblin

Why We Love It: The built-in light and emergency power bank are musts for campers trying to pack as lightly as possible.

What to Consider: This fan is best for a tent or other small space, as it doesn't put out a ton of air.

When you're in the great outdoors, you'll often find yourself in need of a portable fan, whether it's to cool your tent at night or find a bit of a breeze after a long day of hiking. The Fxexblin Camping Fan is a great three-in-one device for campers, as it's also a light and emergency power bank. It comes with a remote control, and the fan has three speeds plus light levels to adjust brightness and a timer to set it to shut off automatically. The battery will last for anywhere from six-25 hours, depending on how high of a setting you're using and how long the light has been on. Indicators alert you when it's time for another charge via the USB cable. An attached hook allows you to hang it from your tent ceiling, or you can fold it down to create a standing base.

Charging: USB cable | Dimensions: ‎6.8 x 6.8 x 5.4 inches

Best Handheld: Brookstone Portable Mini Personal Fan with Power Bank

Brookstone Portable Mini Personal Fan with Power Bank

Amazon

Why We Love It: Five speeds and a detachable base mean you can enjoy this fan while traveling or back home at your desk.

What to Consider: This fan is slightly larger than other portable fans we've listed, but it's still totally packable.

If you're looking for something handheld with a stick-like shape for easy carrying, this fan from Brookstone is an absolute winner. It has five speeds with a six-blade design for powerful breezes and maximum cooling. The USB port allows for easy recharging, and the fan will operate for up to eight hours. There's an included charging dock that doubles as a base, in case you want to use this fan at your desk once you're back on the job. Additional features include a charging cord, wrist strap, and a one-year limited warranty.

Charging: USB cable | Dimensions: 11.38 x 6.1 x 3.31 inches

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Best Hands-free: COMLIFE Portable Neck Fan

COMLIFE Portable Neck Fan

Amazon

Why We Love It: Six speed options with the ability to rotate both fans come in handy for hot days at theme parks or other outdoor activities.

What to Consider: You might find yourself having to re-adjust the fan if you use it while moving a lot.

Our favorite hands-free option is a wearable fan that you can throw around your neck and not worry about while on the move. This one from Comlife is quiet, lightweight, and adjustable to your liking. Simply rotate the silicon pieces that the fans rest on to create optimal airflow where you need it. Six speeds are available, and you can set it to energy-efficient mode — which turns the fan off and on every 5 seconds — whenever you chose. The fan is chargeable via a USB port and will run for up to nine hours, depending on the speed level, or 16 hours in energy-efficient mode. It's recommended to tie long hair back so it doesn't get caught in the fan when in use.

Charging: USB cable | Dimensions: 63.6 x 9.6 x 97.2 inches

Best Clip-on: Sky Genius Battery-Operated Clip-On Mini Desk Fan

Sky Genius Battery-Operated Clip-On Mini Desk Fan

Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It rotates 360 degrees.

What to Consider: There are no specific speed selections, only a dial that allows you to adjust the fan speed.

Looking for something to clip on to a child's stroller, picnic table, tent, or camping chair? Skygenius's clip-on fan can be attached to almost anything, including your office desk or car seat. The USB port makes charging a breeze, and a full charge will last anywhere from three to six hours. The fan rotates 360 degrees, meaning you can easily adjust where your air is blowing. Charge it from your computer, a USB outlet, or a power bank, and you're good to go.

Charging: USB connection with charging cable | Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.9 x 3.9 inches

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Tips for Buying a Portable Fan

Consider the different types of fans available

Before buying a portable fan, consider how and where you'll be using it. Are you biking through Europe? You'll need both hands to steer your bike, so you'll want to find a wearable fan. Do you want something you can take with you daily just in case it gets hot? You can probably get away with a handheld fan that has a wrist loop. If you know you're going to need it for something like a baby stroller or your desk post-travel, you might want to get a fan with a clip. However you're traveling, make sure you buy a portable fan that works for your needs.

Make sure you buy the proper size

Take into account where the fan is going as you're shopping for a portable fan. If you're going on a cruise and staying in a small cabin, you won't want something that takes up too much space. If you're doing a lot of walking, you might want a fan small enough to fit in your pocket. Don't forget about airline limits as well — you don't want your fan to be too heavy and weigh down your luggage, and if you're only packing a carry-on, you'll want to consider going with a smaller fan to save room.

Choose a power source wisely

Know how to power your fan before heading into unknown places. If you have access to electricity while traveling, a fan with a USB cable is a nice choice, as you can charge it from your phone, a laptop, or power bank. (Just make sure you have an adapter if you're in a foreign country so you can power your devices.) If you're camping, you might not have access to electricity, so make sure your fan is battery-powered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring a portable fan on a plane?

Absolutely. You can usually stow a portable fan in your carry-on or checked bags. Just make sure you're not bringing a bulky, heavy fan that will weigh you down or take up too much room in the overhead bin.

How do I clean a portable fan?

Always check for included cleaning instructions before attempting to clean your portable fan. Every fan is different, and you don't want to ruin a battery-powered or USB-powered fan by cleaning it with soap and water. Also, make sure the fan is completely off and unplugged from any power sources before cleaning. For general cleaning, remove the battery cover, fan cover, or any part that easily detaches. Dust the fan with a clean cloth to remove any debris.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure writers are adventure and travel experts who use personal experience and expert recommendations to choose the best items for shoppers. For this article, Amanda Ogle researched dozens of portable fans and used her expertise as a travel writer to craft the perfect list of portable fans for you.

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