As you’ve likely noticed, summer is well and truly upon us. So far this year, we’ve seen record-high temperatures worldwide, with peaks in places where the mercury has repeatedly hit over 100 degrees Fahrenheit from Arizona to Nevada, Texas and across the ocean stretching into Athens, Greece and beyond.
If you’re heading out on vacation any time soon, you might be worried about staying cool when you’re out and about — especially if you’re visiting Europe or somewhere not known for abundant air-conditioning. While there’s not much we can do about the weather or widely available air conditioning, portable fans are available that are both affordable and practical for carrying around while traveling to stay as cool as possible.
Here are some of the TPG team favorites and best-reviewed portable fans on Amazon to help you pin down the best option for any travel situation.
Best for extra features: Jisulife Handheld Mini Fan
Coming in strong with an Amazon rating of 4.6, this portable fan from Jisulife is a small but mighty device that offers great value for the money.
Ergonomically designed, this device easily folds small to pack in a bag. It’s also rechargeable, offering between 14 and 21 hours of use depending on which of its two settings you use. It comes with two great additional features: The fan houses a small flashlight and also functions as a power bank that can charge your devices on the go.
Still need convincing? TPG travel reporter Tarah Chieffi who makes frequent trips to the often-hot Orlando theme parks, never travels without it.
“It folds up small and holds a charge for longer than any other fan I’ve tried,” she said. “I also love that I can use it to charge my phone when I am on the go.”
Best for hotel rooms: coldSky Portable Handheld Fan
This sturdy and powerful fan might be slightly larger than other portable fans (though certainly small enough to pack into a tote bag), but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, you want something with a little more oomph for when you accidentally book yourself into a hotel room that has subpar (or not) air conditioning.
The coldSky device is essentially a compact desk fan that packs a punch but is still small enough not to clutter up your hotel room’s bedside table. It has five speeds and a seven-blade design that will make your room breezy in no time. It also has a handy digital display showing the remaining battery life so you know when to recharge the device.
Best for parents: Sweetfull Portable Stroller Fan
When traveling with a young child during a heat wave, you’ll want to plan for how to keep them cool, too. In these scenarios, a fan you can easily attach to your stroller, crib or bassinet will give you peace of mind and keep your baby comfortable when you’re on the go.
The Sweetfull Portable Stroller Fan comes with a detachable tripod that you can easily attach to most stroller models. You can also stand it on bedside tables or attach it to cots, car seats and more. Its four settings even include a natural wind mode to help soothe your child, and the fan offers up to 18 hours of battery life.
Best for serious wind power: Jisulife Handheld Fan
This is a stylishly designed hand-held fan that can also easily stand up on a desk.
The Jisulife Handheld Fan offers up to 16 hours of battery power and is easily charged via USB. It has fewer speed settings than some other fans on this list, but its real selling point is its strength. At full speed, it can reach up to 4,400 revolutions per minute; this equates to the feel of a strong wind, making it great for cutting through the harshest of heat.
Best hands-free fan: Penkou Portable Neck Fan
Looking for something you don’t have to carry around in your hands all day but are also worried that a wearable fan sounds like a quirky steampunk contraption? This neck fan by Penkou is a safe option.
When in use, the device looks similar to a pair of headphones dangling around your neck. Its bladeless fan design produces less than 20 decibels of sound (about the same level as leaves gently rustling), so it also comes free of noise distraction. And with a weight of just 8.8 ounces, you should be safe from neck strain.
In terms of battery power, you should get between three and 16 hours, depending on which setting you prefer. It’s perfect for hikes, at the theme park or to wear during a long, sweaty train or bus journey.
Best current deal: VersionTech Mini Handheld Fan
Finally, if you’re looking for something cheap but reliable enough to shower you with a pleasant breeze, we recommend VersionTech’s mini-handled fan. It’s a favorite of TPG director of travel content Summer Hull.
This device can function like both a hand-held fan and a small desk fan. It also easily clips to bags or other thin surfaces.
The fan has three adjustable speeds and will work for up to three hours on the highest setting or eight hours on the lowest. It’s currently priced at $12.99, down from its usual price tag of $27.99 as of this publication date. Get it while you can.