Given the similarities in design, it appears that Weber introduced the Traveler portable gas grill with the intention of competing head to head with the Coleman Roadtrip 285.
I looked at both of these grills and, when it came time to spend my hard earned cash, I bought the Weber Traveler.
Let me show you the big differences between these grills so you can decide which one is right for you.
Let’s take a look at the biggest differences between these grills.
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Is the Traveler Better than the Roadtrip?
I will preface this by stating the obvious: I am a fan of Weber grills. And, while that might make you think that I am biased, etc I would like for you to consider something.
Coleman is a great “outdoors company“. Coleman makes:
- Sleeping bags
- Portable toilets
- Camp lighting
- Survival gear
- Hiking Gear
Weber is a great “grill company“. Weber makes:
- Grill Covers
You have to imagine that Weber had a team of grill engineers whose primary job was to look at the Coleman Roadtrip, find all of its weaknesses and then make something better.
The end result is not even close to a fair fight.
Burners and Propane Usage
The burner configuration and propane usage is an interesting comparison between the two grills.
The Roadtrip has three independent burners (Left, Right, Middle) while the Traveler has a single burner that circles the outside of the cooking grate.
When the burners for both grills are set to HIGH the Roadtrip uses 53% more propane than the Traveler (20,000 vs 13,000 BTU/hr). All of the extra heating power on the Roadtrip doesn’t get you much though as the Traveler is perfectly capable of reaching grilling temperatures of close to 600F.
The Roadtrip does have the ability to run one a single burner if you just want to cook a few burgers so you can minimize propane usage if needed.
Lid Latch is Weak on the Coleman
One of the common complaints about the Roadtrip is that the lid latch is too short and a bit of a joke.
When you have collapsed the Roadtrip and are pulling it back to your car be prepared for the lid to pop open and have the cast iron grates come tumbling out. It is pretty common for folks to buy a bungee cord to hold the lid of the Roadtrip shut as they move it back and forth.
In contrast, the Traveler has an innovative lid latch that automatically snaps into place when the grill is collapsed.
The lid latch on the Traveler is very secure and works great. No need for a bungee cord on this guy!
Grease Management is Awkward on the Coleman
The real deal killer for me on the Coleman was the grease management system.
On the Roadtrip there is a long, shallow tray around the burners that you fill with water. The water tray catches the dripping grease and prevents flareups.
While the grease management system does prevent flareups you need to have the grill perfectly level and cleaning out the grease filled water tray is awkward and nasty.
In contrast, the Traveler is built upon the same battle tested grease management system used in the Weber Q grill series and simply directs grease to a removable tray underneath the body of the grill.
Build Quality is Lower on the Coleman
You can head over to the Coleman website and read the customer reviews but, if you are short on time, the bottom line is that the Roadtrip works okay but has a low build quality.
The side tables break, the metal is thin, paint burns off, etc.
I think the best way to make the comparison is by looking at the warranties. Coleman offers a 3 Year Limited Warranty for the Roadtrip while Weber backs up the Traveler with a 5 Year Limited Warranty.
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The Traveler in Action
I have had my Traveler for a couple of months and have been delighted in every aspect of its performance. It has been a beast for grilling wings, burgers and steaks.
The Traveler can be collapsed with a single hand but is extremely sturdy when in use.
The Traveler is not just a great portable grill, it is also a great grill for everyday use on your deck. I like the Traveler so much that I am keeping it and getting rid of my Weber Q grills (see Traveler vs Weber Q for more info!).
If you are on the fence between the Traveler and the Roadtrip then just think about cleaning out the greasy water tray on the Roadtrip. I think that you will make the right decision!