Every electric shaver we've reviewed in other categories has a rechargeable battery, so to a certain degree they're all suitable for travel. However, traveling with a rechargeable shaver means you have to either pack the power cord/charging stand or gamble on not running out of juice before you get home (or in the middle of a shave). Often, the "do I bring it or not" dilemma becomes a moot point, because the charging stand or power cord won't fit into the shaver's carry pouch anyway.
Although most rechargeable shavers automatically convert to world voltage (240 volts), you also have to consider the odds and expense of tracking down adapter plugs for different-shaped wall sockets -- or simply tracking down an outlet, period -- while traveling abroad. One possible solution: Carry a shaver that's powered by two AA batteries. We've singled out two models worthy of your attention.
If you're a fan of rotary shavers or sensitive to loud noise, we recommend heading straight for the top-rated Philips Norelco PQ208 Travel Electric Razor (Est. $20). Both it and the foil Braun Mobile Shave M-90 (Est. $20) are at their best when tucked into a travel bag or stowed in a glove box or workplace locker for occasional touch-ups.
However, in both cases we found a few men who liked these compact, portable models so much that they ended up using them every day. The Philips Norelco PQ208 is much quieter than the Braun M-90, which a YouTube video review from Electric-Shaver-Guide.com shows to have a loud, abrasive sound.
Most reviewers say the PQ208 also offers a more comfortable shave than the M-90, free of pinches and pulls; it also seems to do a little better with coarse beards, although neither shaver is outstanding for a coarse beard. Reviewers say you're better off shaving frequently -- don't let your beard grow more than a few millimeters long -- and both shavers take longer than a rechargeable model to get a really clean shave.
Most reviewers like the Philips Norelco PQ208 well enough to forgive its total lack of a pop-up trimmer. If you're picky about your sideburns or want a trimmer to help shave your neck, though, that may be reason enough to go with the Braun Mobile Shave M-90. Users are sometimes perplexed by the M-90's trimmer placement -- it sticks out at right angles to the shaving foil -- but hey, a strangely placed trimmer is better than no trimmer at all.
In both cases, users say that a pair of AA batteries can last for about two weeks of shaving. Both shavers have caps to protect the cutting heads when not in use, and the M-90's cap swings off to serve as a handle extension. Neither shaver is washable, but both come with a small cleaning brush to help with maintenance.
Both the Philips Norelco PQ208 and the Braun Mobile Shave M-90 are backed by two-year warranties. The PQ208 has a 45-day money-back guarantee; the Braun M-90 has a 60-day money-back guarantee. In both cases, replacement cutting heads or foils cost the same or just a little less than the cost of an entirely new shaver. We think, and most users agree, that at this cost you might as well buy a new shaver every year.
Although both initial purchase price and cost of ownership are incredibly low for these shavers, remember to factor in the cost of disposable or rechargeable AA batteries. Some men also say they like to keep a disposable razor on hand to deal with any stray hairs the battery-powered shaver might miss.