Weber Traveler Review – A Classy Portable Gas BBQ
Sometimes a new BBQ comes along which piques your interest – for us at Camping Secrets, it’s recently been the Weber Traveller – Let’s see what it’s all about….
Why we like the Weber Traveler: Superb portability; Great for camping; Weber Quality
What we don’t like: Undoubtedly expensive; Gas canisters can freeze
There are two kinds of camping folk out there – those who like to pay for the best gear on the market, and those who don’t. At £440, you could argue that the Weber Traveler portable gas BBQ is substantially overpriced when compared with a similar portable grill like the Coleman Roadtrip which is about £200 cheaper for much the same functionality.
However…. this is Weber we’re talking about, and there’s no doubting the quality, the warranty and the support network available when you’re dealing with one of America’s legendary BBQ companies. Yes, our American cousins may get the better side of the deal in terms of price – they don’t have to pay import duty for instance, but if you wish to own a decent quality portable BBQ which can be used camping as well as on your patio then we would not rule out paying a premium for the Traveler.
Let’s have a look at what you get for your spondulees….
Weber Traveler Overview
The Weber Traveler is a decent-sized portable gas grill which offers Grill-Addicts On The Go alot of attractive features in a single package. It is the ideal barbecue within the Weber range to take camping due to the way it can fold down relatively flat whilst not weighing as much as some of the bigger alternatives.
The key standout feature which immediately catches your eye is the cool ‘X-frame scissor trolley’ underneath the main grill. This is very easy to pop up and fold down on a cool damper mechanism which is very smooth indeed. It means that it ‘s absolutely no trouble to take the Traveler to the beach or park and wheel it to exactly where you need it. We really like the flexibility and portability on offer here – you can even put it up with one hand!
The BBQ itself on top of the trolley is roughly rectangular in shape and consists of a gas-heated iron cooking grate nestled within the rectangle, and a neat preparation area to the right hand side.
Piezo-ignition and gas flow controls are positioned on the front of the rectangle, whilst the required gas canister screws underneath. One point to note is that the canister must be removed when you need to fold down the Traveler. You can also use a larger patio-style gas bottle with a regulator and adapter (purchased separately), however this sort of defeats the portable nature of this BBQ.
Weber Traveler Key Specs
The Traveler weighs a fairly substantial 28.1kg and measures 94.5cm (H) x 110.8cm (W) x 58.4cm (D) with the lid closed and the trolley expanded. With the trolley collapsed, it reduces down to about 37cm in height which is manageable, but not what we would class as truly portable. The weight more than anything hinders you carrying it much further than from the car boot to your camping area.
The Traveler features a single stainless steel burner which pumps out a whopping 13000 BTU (British Thermal Units) of heat energy per hour – this is 3.8kW. On top of the burner there are two cooking grates which are fabricated from heavy-duty porcelain-enameled cast-iron. These are real heavyweight grills and offer some serious searing potential allowing you to achieve restaurant quality char lines on your steaks with ease.
Folding and Unfolding the Weber Traveler
The Traveler trolley is easy to pop up and snap firmly in position for use. Weber recommend that you place one foot on the frame under the right side shelf, pull out the cart lock under the shelf and lift the grill until it clicks into the raised position. After you’ve cooked, place one foot on the cart base, pull out the cart lock and slowly lower the grill until it snaps down.
One slight irritation is that you cannot fold the Traveler up for storage without first removing the gas cylinder. I’m a pretty lazy individual, and I would have liked the option of being able to pack it away ready for immediate use next time.
As with all Weber gear, the warranty on offer is superb – Weber give a 5 year warranty on everything and we have heard nothing but good words from their customers. For the price you are paying for the Traveler, you would hope that this would be the case, but is certainly reassuring to hear it from numerous sources.
In Use and Overall Impressions
The piezo ignition on the Traveler works well and quickly sparks the burner into life. We found that the temperature rises remarkably quickly, hitting 250°C in a matter of 10 minutes or so (measured via the handy lid thermometer). A perfect temp to get grilling!
The BBQ has three useful storage hooks on the front on which you can hang your tongs and other gear, and there is a small preparation surface on the right of the grill plates.
Cooking steaks and burgers is a breeze on the Traveler, and we were able to churn out about 10 burgers simultaneously which catered for our family and our friends too. In total there’s about 320 square inches of grilling space which is ample in our opinion. It certainly made waves on the beach!
Waste oil and fat from your cooked meat gets caught underneath the Traveler in a drip tray, and this is easily removed for cleaning.
An LPG Niggle
One thing we did find slightly annoying with the Traveler was the effect it had on the pressurized en417 LPG canisters it uses for fuel. We found that after about 30 minutes of continuous operation that the canister had got so cold that the gas flow from it had almost cut off, losing flame and heat. At this point we switched over to a larger 13kg propane tank using the optional adaptor kit and things were much improved, but I am not sure I would totally want to rely on the smaller cans, unless you have two or three which you can swap between.
Conclusions and Verdict
The Weber Traveler is an eye-catching portable BBQ on a best-in-class trolley which can fold up and down with ease. We love the versatility of it, and there is no doubting the quality of workmanship or materials on offer. We would point out that the weight of the Traveler means it is perhaps not quite as portable as Weber would like you to believe, but it can be used in most camping scenarios (picnics, beach trips etc) if your car is close by.
It cooks really well and can nicely cater for two families at the same time. We did find a slight problem when using the small EN417 LPG canisters – they were getting too cold too quickly, but this is not the end of the world if you have a supply of two or three to swap between. Overall we love the design and rate it highly if you can afford it. There are cheaper alternatives out there, but they’re not Weber – says it all really…..
The Weber Traveler is a new BBQ which has already reached iconic status in our view, largely in part to the exceptional design of the scissor trolley and top grill. We think it looks fabulous and were impressed with the cooking ability. Possibly not quite as portable as it could be due to the weight, but this is largely due to the beautiful cast-iron grill plates. Definitely worth checking out if you're after a premium BBQ which can be used on camping trips and at home with ease!