Price paid: $ 50
Purchased from: http://musicalpros.com
Features — 9
This is a unique plastic body ukulele. It has a shorter fretboard as it is a soprano ukulele. The body is thicker than most ukuleles, but it is completely waterproof which is great. The body has on offset sound hole which is supposed to offer greater sound for a small body ukulele. The strings are just OK. The tuners are geared so they hold a tune decently well, but the strings do take time to stretch out. The BugsGear Travel Ukulele is available in a variety of different colors, I got mine in a bright green and black.
Sound — 6
For a plastic ukulele, it sounds surprisingly good. Overall though, the strings could be replaced and it won't match the sound of a wood uke, but it's very close. There's a video of the ukulele being played here:
You can chunk on this ukulele pretty good, but it takes time to get used to the thicker body. Overall the sound is happy and bright. The soprano size makes it great for classic ukulele songs that are upbeat and happy. I haven't come across a song I wasn't able to play on this.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Very easy to play despite being a plastic ukulele. The action on it feels good for me. The strings come installed and use a knot and hook bridge, so replacing the strings would be very simple. For people with larger hands, you may find this ukulele harder to play than a tenor or concert sized ukulele. For a kid or someone with small to average sized hands, you should find the fretboard very comfortable. I didn't notice any flaws with this ukulele. Everything seem very well put together with no visible problems.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Being made of plastic, this ukulele is extremely durable and can take a beating. It can even be submerged in water and still be played. Also, the body of this ukulele has much more internal bracing than what you'd find in a normal ukulele. It has to be the most durable ukulele ever made at this point. It doesn't hold tuning as well as my other wood ukulele, but it doesn't take long to get it back in tune. Through hours of playing it, I haven't noticed any wear and tear. I think it will hold up great over time.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall I'm glad I bought this BugsGear ukulele. I think it's best suited as your back-up ukulele that you take when you travel or anyplace there's water. Perfect ukulele to take to the beach or camping. I plan on taking this on a rafting trip later this year and I expect for it to be great on the river for the slow portions! I would buy a concert sized version of this ukulele if it was available. The extra room of the fretboard would be ideal for my hands. I highly recommend this ukulele to any enthusiast.