Everthing About Travel CPAP
There are several travel CPAP machines on the market today with a wide choice of sizes and prices. If you are someone who travels once or twice a year you may be thinking about renting a CPAP machine, but there are some good reasons to purchase a second machine other than for travel. The obvious reason is you don't want to carry your larger bulkier machine on a trip, but more important is you don't want to risk damaging your only CPAP machine. Having a travel machine will not only make your trip easier but will also 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! Having a travel machine will not only make traveling much easier, but if your travel machine has a battery, your CPAP will still work should your power go out.
Types of Travel Machines
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, 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.
Here is a list of some popular travel machines:
- 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 an 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 - 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 also 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 like the expiratory pressure relief.
- Resmed Airmini - The ResMed AirMini is a very quiet little machine that uses a moisture device that attaches to the mask to provide humidification. is machine is mask specific and will come with a mask so if you have a favorite mask, this may not be the machine for you. 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.
- HDM Z2 - Another small and lightweight machine is the HDM Z2 travel CPAP machine which has some nice options like 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.
- Philips DreamStation Go - 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.
Do you need a Backup CPAP machine?
One great reason to purchase a travel machine is that you always have a backup CPAP. What If your home unit stops working and your insurance won't provide a new machine for another year or you need to send your machine in for repair? This means you could be without a machine for two or more weeks. Take a moment to think about that. Resphop.com has a wide range of travel and backup CPAP machines that is sure to fit any budget. Also, try our CPAP Rental Program.
Other thoughts on traveling with your CPAP machine
All these machines are FAA Compliant and function on Universal 100v-240V (50-60Hz). Airlines have come a long way in understanding CPAP and they know this is medical equipment. I recommend keeping your prescription with you or you can obtain a FAA compliance letter from the manufacturer of your machine. If you are on a long flight you will want to call the airline to see if they provide a plug in options by your seat and if not, you may want to purchase a battery. I also suggest keeping an extra tube and mask in your bag should you get a tear in either of those.
Feel free to contact us and discuss any of these machines with our experts.
Tips for Traveling with CPAP
1. Carry-on Only
Never pack your CPAP machine and accessories in your checked luggage; always pack it in your carry-on bag. This eliminates the risk of never seeing it again if your bag gets lost. Did you know that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, carrying your CPAP machine in its traveling case isn’t considered carry-on luggage, and therefore, doesn’t count towards your carry-on quota?
2. Bring a Doctor’s Note
Getting valid documentation from your doctor stating that you require traveling with a CPAP machine can help things run smoothly through the security line should a problem arise. It’s also wise to label your CPAP case with a medical equipment luggage tag. Ask your doctor to also give you a copy of your prescription for the machine in the event that it gets lost and you need to replace it or you need additional supplies.
3. Keep it Germ-Free
Place your machine and accessories in a clear, plastic bag to protect them from germs and bacteria when going through the x-ray machine. If your machine must be inspected by an agent, ask that the agent put on a fresh pair of sterile gloves before handling it to protect the hygiene of your machine.
4. Invest in Travel Size
If you’re a frequent traveler, investing in a travel CPAP machine is the lightweight, compact way to go. They take up less space in your weekend tote or carry-on bag.
5. Pack Accessories and Extras
Bring a battery backup in case you lose power or you’re somewhere where there’s no access to electricity or an outlet. The battery pack also comes in handy when you are on a long-haul flight and plan on sleeping. If you’re traveling internationally, check to see that your machine comes with a universal power supply that supports a range of voltages. If not, bring a voltage adapter.
As a final note, it’s always best to check with your airline carrier well in advance to learn about their policy for carrying a CPAP machine.