Hard time traveling with CPAP? Two portable options may ease your life

When you have sleep apnea, the mere thought of traveling and having to lug your CPAP with you can be overwhelming. You may even avoid travel all together because your bulky CPAP machine doesn’t fit into your vacation plans.

Don’t let concerns about traveling with a CPAP deter yourself from good effective therapy when away from home. It just takes a little advance planning and research.

For instance, there are two CPAP devices currently on the market that are specifically designed as “portable” devices. They have the advantages of being small and designed specifically for travel.

The portable devices—Transcend by Somnetics and the Z1 by Human Design Medical (HDM)—are available in both set pressure and auto-titrating (APAP) models.

Option 1: Transcend Auto miniCPAP

The Transcend Auto from Somnetics is one of the smallest auto-adjusting CPAPs available on the market weighing less than a pound.

  • Auto-adjusting technology: it automatically changes pressure on a breath-by-breath basis during use. Air output is changed so that only the needed amount of pressure for each breath is used.
  • EZEX Pressure Relief: it allows for the pressure to drop a set amount when breathing out, resulting in a more comfortable exhalation.
  • Flexible Power Options: it has international plug adapters for use in many countries including the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, and Australia and New Zealand. With the added option of the Transcend multi-night battery, the door to travel without power sources is opened up.

Option 2: Z1 Auto Travel CPAP Machine

At just 6.5 inches long and weighing 10 ounces, the Z1 Auto by Human Design Medical can be easily stowed in carry-on luggage or in a tote.

  • Auto-adjusting technology: The Z1 Auto automatically adjusts to the most effective level of air pressure with each breath you take as you sleep. The Z1 Auto also has the option to be set as a single pressure CPAP.
  • Z-Breathe Pressure Relief: a comfort feature that reduces the air pressure you feel as you breath out. The Z1 Auto allows for the air pressure to be set to one of three levels for a choice of gentle pressure relief, moderate pressure relief, or large pressure relief while breathing out. Altitude is no longer an issue while traveling as the Z1 automatically adjusts for changes in elevation.
  • Flexible Power Options: the battery is fully integrated with the machine using the unique PowerShell design, which holds both the machine and battery in one compact bundle. Use the battery to run the Z1 machine independently or set the battery up as a fail-safe in case power is interrupted.

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The Cons

Among the disadvantages of such CPAP machines are:

  • lack of battery-powered heated humidification
  • a second CPAP will not be covered by insurance
  • for patients who need bilevel or servo-ventilation therapy, there are not any specifically portable-sized machines on the market yet

If you’re still not sure how to obtain a CPAP device that works best for your traveling needs, consult with your sleep technologist prior to traveling.

Traveling with CPAP doesn’t have to be difficult, after all.

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