Best Portable Smoke Detectors for Travel

Author: Reece Thompson | Updated on August 14, 2021

Whether you need one for your caravan or your hotel stay, having a small, portable smoke alarm can be a lifesaver. We review five of the top rated ones.

Smoke detectors are gadgets that can detect smoke in their surroundings. These tools come in various shapes, sizes, and features. You’ll find smoke detectors in most, if not all workplaces of USA, as it’s mandatory to have them. Some even have specialised versions, such as detectors for the deaf.

Other than that, people have installed smoke detectors for their homes for quite a while.

More recently, tourists are carrying portable smoke detectors on their journeys. These devices are a lot smaller, more compact, and quite affordable.

A lot of resorts and hotels around the world don’t have any smoke detectors. This is the case in far flung destinations that might not have the regulatory bodies that we are used to in our home countries.

Imagine you’re taking a nap in your hotel room after a long, tiresome day, and fire breaks out! It’ll be too later before you realize what’s happening.

But, if you carry portable smoke alarm detectors for travel, you’ll always know in case there’s a fire. And today, we’ll talk more about these amazing gadgets and will share our top picks as well!

1. First Alert P1010

First Alert
Our Rating: 4/5


This features a photoelectric sensor, which explains its hefty price. The sensor used in this device is very effective and accurate. It will inform you in case there’s a smouldering or slow-burning fire nearby.

The sensor's optimized, and it won’t set off false alarms in case there’s kitchen smoke or any stove around. The device features a blaring 85dB alarm that’ll get your attention even if you’re standing a bit afar. The First Alert portable smoke alarm detector for travel is one of the best when it comes to looks.

The device has a great design and it has a 360-degree metal mesh that sucks in the air. Another great feature is its lithium-ion battery that lasts for ten years straight! The device features a mounting bracket that lets the user install it on walls and ceilings.


  • Accurate photoelectric sensor
  • An optimized sensor that doesn’t set off any false alarm
  • Comes with a mounting bracket for easy installation
  • 85dB alarm


  • Takes some time for sounding the alarm

2. Vitowell

Our Rating: 4/5


The Vitowell photoelectric fire alarms offer great value for money. In this package, you’re getting three fire alarms at a very affordable price. The sensor is fast, in some cases, it provides faster results than an ionization sensor!

This device features batteries, which is great as it can save you from a lot of hassle when installing. The battery drawer can release with an easy slide, and you can replace it with any 9V battery. The device will warn you in case the battery is low, so all good there!

The smoke detector features an 85dB alarm and it flashes a red LED as well. We found this very convenient as this will alert you even if you have a noise-isolating headphone on.

The device is friendly and it comes with a warranty of five years! You will also get a mounting bracket with the package.


  • Features a fast-photosensitive sensor
  • Runs by 9V batteries
  • Offers a five-year warranty
  • Flashes red LED when alerting and set off an alarm of 85dB
  • Budget-friendly


  • Not as accurate as of the high-end products
  • Can’t be plugged in

3. X-Sense Mini

Our Rating: 4/5


If you’re looking for a two-in-one product that can be a smoke detector and is also a portable Carbon Monoxide detector, you should get this. The device features two distinct sensors and each works to provide the results. The device has a flat-circular design that makes it easy to pack.

It features an LCD that will show you real-time information. The display is backlit, so you’ll be able to see it even in the dark. There’s an indicator that’ll tell you whether it’s working or not, and there’s a red LED that’ll alert you if there’s CO or smoke.

The device has a cluster of horn holes on one side and an 85dB alarm on the other side. The design is sleek and subtle. You’ll need only two 1.5V AA batteries to run this tool.

It also has an indicator that’ll let you know if it’s time to change the batteries. Speaking of easy installation, you’ll get a mounting bracket as well. It’s an allrounder portable smoke alarm detector for travel.


  • Has two built-in sensors for detecting smoke as well as Carbon Monoxide
  • Runs by two 1.5V AA batteries
  • Features a backlit LCD
  • Has LED indicator as well as an 85dB alarm


  • Can’t be plugged into any power outlet

4. JNHCD Smart

Our Rating: 4/5


This features photoelectric sensors that set off the alarm very fast. The device is well built and as a result, it’s sturdy, environment friendly, and durable. The sensor used in this product isn’t the best available in the market, but it manages to get the job done.

The device features a red LED indicator as well as an 85dB alarm. You’ll also get a test button. The device isn’t wired.

You need batteries to run this, which makes it very portable. Yet, it also brings us to a drawback. If you don’t have spare batteries and the device runs out of charge, you’ll have to wait till you can get new ones.

You’ll get a mounting bracket with the detector. If you’re going to be staying at a hotel, you can have them mount it on the ceiling or the wall for extra convenience.


  • Features accurate and fast photosensitive sensors
  • Affordable pick
  • Comes in a three-item package
  • You’ll get a one-year guarantee and five-year warranty


  • A bit too thick take up more space

5. Siterlink

Our Rating: 4/5


Last but not the least, we have the Siterlink smoke alarms. These are the tiniest tool of this list. They are very small, which makes them very convenient for travel.

The device doesn’t need any wiring, which makes installation very easy. It’s quite surprising that the alarm is very sturdy despite its miniature size. It’s tried and tested, and it passes the UL217 safety certification, which is a big plus.

Even if you drop it many times, it won’t damage in any way! The tool features a lithium-ion battery that's expected to last for twelve years! The device's expected to run for ten years without a hitch!

This comes with photoelectric technology; thus it can detect slow-burning fires with ease. The device is circular, and the sides are with a high-quality metal net.

Gas comes in through the metal net and analyzed. If you find that the battery is low, you can turn on the non-disturb mode. This'll ensure that there’s least battery consumption, which is helpful if travelling.


  • Very small in size, convenient for travel
  • Features high-quality metal net
  • Very sturdy, has the UL217 safety certification
  • Features a lithium battery with a life expectancy of 12 years
  • Easy installation


  • Easy to lose

How We Decided On Our Winner

There are tons of portable smoke alarm detectors for travel. Out of many, we selected the few items that caught our attention. If you want the most accurate sensor, go for the First Alert Photoelectric Smoke Detector.

If you’re looking for the ultimate portability, then the Siterlink Smoke Alarm is the one for you. The Vitowell Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector is the one.

And if you want to buy many devices on a budget, go for any among the other two items listed above. No matter which item, we can assure you that you’re taking one of the best portable smoke alarm detectors for travel.

FAQ and Buying Guide

Smoke Detectors:

There are industrial smoke detectors and then there are commercial smoke detectors. Industrial smoke detectors are accurate, while commercial comes with reduced precision, but portability. Today we’ll be talking about commercial smoke detectors only.

Types of Smoke Detectors According to Sensor:

Again, smoke detectors can divide into two categories according to their sensor. There are photoelectric sensors, and then there are ionization sensors.

Photoelectric sensors detect sudden scattering of light, and that’s how they signal. Yet, these aren’t that fast. They usually take fifteen to fifty minutes, that’s why they are more useful when we’re dealing with a slow fire.

Ionization sensors detect even the smallest particles and respond within sixty seconds. These come with two charged plates with a bit of radioactive material placed between.

The material ionizes the air and keeps a stable flow of electrons between the plates. Smoke particles can disrupt the flow of the ions, which in turn sets off the alarm.

The features of this type make them effective when dealing with fast-burning fires. Yet, they got a downside as well. As these are sensitive, they can be set off with kitchen smoke or even with aerosols.

Which Type Do You Need?

Each sensor comes with unique characteristics and they respond to different situations. While photoelectric detect slow-burning fires, ionization sensors detect fast-burning fires. That’s why it’s suggested to use a combination of both types of smoke detectors.

If you use this combination, you’ll be safe from both fast-burning as well as slow-burning fires. And during your travels, you never know what might happen! So it’s always best to prepare.

Smoke Detectors Cost and Maintenance:

Smoke detectors can be a very affordable price. Especially, ionization smoke detectors are very affordable. You might have to spend some more cash if you’re looking for a photoelectric sensor.

Smoke detectors can run by plugging them into any outlet, or with a replaceable battery. Even if you’re on a bus, you can keep them activated.

Smoke detectors come with a life expectancy of eight to ten years on average. They’re usually covered with a warranty, which makes buying detectors an investment!

Things to Consider Before Buying a Smoke Detector:


The sensor is the first thing you should research. Although we recommend you get different smoke detectors and have both the sensors. You can start with ionization sensors as these are more affordable.

Build Quality:

You don’t want a smoke detector that might get scratched after throwing in your backpack. So, choose a smoke detector that has a good build quality. Although you’ll find them to be plastic, try to avoid the ones with cheap plastic.

Battery or Plug-in?

The smoke detectors that we’ll talk about come with both the plugin and battery option. If you’re looking for other products, try to take the ones run by a battery. Otherwise, you may find it inconvenient when you want to activate them on a bus for an instance.


Smoke detectors come in all sizes and shapes. The ones we will review below are perfect for travel.

If you have other products at your hand, look for the ones that can slide into your backpack with ease. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time carrying them around.

To read more articles like this, go to our Home Alarms section.