Travel CPAP Basics
  • 07 Jun 2022
  • 4 Minutes to read
  • Contributors
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Travel CPAP Basics

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Do you need a travel CPAP? How do you choose one? We’ll do our best to give you an introduction to Travel CPAP and answer some of your most burning questions. 

Do I Need a Travel CPAP Machine?

You can travel with your home unit but may find that it’s too heavy and bulky, especially if you travel often. So, should you consider investing in a travel CPAP machine?

Here are several advantages of investing in a travel CPAP:

Travel CPAPs are smaller and lighter than your regular CPAP machine. Most weigh less than 2 lbs. And packing them is super easy.  

Travel CPAPs normally offer Automatic Altitude Adjustment, which is a feature that allows to maintain proper pressure in flight - automatically. 

Most travel CPAPs are automatic machines, which means they adjust the pressure based on your breathing pattern. 

Travel CPAPs offer flexible power options, whether that is accepting DC power without an adapter or coming with a built-in USB port. Many offer universal voltage, which means that they will work in a range of 100V to 240V.

A travel CPAP can prevent your home machine from becoming damaged due to travel and baggage handling. 

Having a travel CPAP will provide you with a backup machine should something happen to your home unit. Imagine being without a machine for two weeks or more while it is in for repair.

If your travel machine has a battery, your CPAP will still work should your power go out.

Types of Travel CPAP Machines

There are several travel CPAP machines on the market today with a wide choice of sizes and prices. You may think that since this is for travel you can skimp on features. But think about if you needed to use this machine as your backup machine for an extended period. 

The cheapest options will only provide a single pressure setting, constant air, much like a hair dryer, and won't have the expiratory pressure relief that comes with most home models. This feature alone makes breathing and sleeping so much easier. Most travel machines allow you to use your home CPAP mask, so no need to buy an additional mask. 

We have put together a list of travel CPAPs we recommend. They are all automatic machines and happen to be the most popular. 

ResMed Airmini - The ResMed AirMini is a very quiet little machine that uses a moisture device that attaches to the mask to provide humidification. This machine is mask specific and will come with a mask so if you have a favorite mask, check the compatibility first. 

Another nice feature of this machine is the automatic altitude adjustment which is great if you are using it in a plane or in high altitude areas. Pair with the FAA approved Zopec VOYAGE Universal SMART CPAP Battery if you are going somewhere without power sources!

HDM Z2 - Another small and lightweight machine is the HDM Z2 travel CPAP machine which has some nice options, such as extended battery and the heat moisture exchanger that fits in between your tube and your mask to provide moisture. 

This machine also has the automatic altitude adjustment for planes and high-altitude areas. This machine has a 3-year warranty.

Transcend 3 miniCPAP - This is an ultra-lightweight, compact, and rugged machine that is built to withstand travel and can be easily packed. This new and improved version of the award-winning original Transcend miniCPAP continues to lead the industry in portable CPAP innovation.

Transcend 365 - When deciding, you should consider what your travel needs will be. This travel CPAP machine includes the international cord power supply for traveling overseas. 

The Transcend 365 has a Smart Humidifier that essentially detects your breathing and delivers a stream of moist air that is warm only during inhalation rather than the traditional constant flow of humidification.

Apex Medical XT (discontinued) - If you plan to stay in a hotel or someplace with an outlet, you have a wider price range available to you. On the cheaper end, you can go with something like the Apex Medical line of travel machines, which does not have any battery options and needs to be plugged into an outlet to work. 

You will need to purchase a universal adapter if traveling abroad. This machine has automatic altitude adjustment for airplanes and higher altitude areas. If you get the Apex Medical auto version with the humidifier, this will make a great backup and travel machine since the auto version has more comfort features, such as the expiratory pressure relief. 

Philips DreamStation Go (discontinued) - This small and lightweight machine has many features packed into its small 1.86 lbs. This machine has its own internal power supply, so no lugging around bulking power cords. There is also an optional overnight battery pack which slides onto the machine keeping it small. The DreamStation Go is Bluetooth capable, has a ramp feature and has the exhalation pressure relief and functions much like the larger DreamStation home CPAP.

We hope this short guide has been helpful. For tips on traveling with your CPAP, please read this article. Safe travels! 

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