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How to Use a Travel Humidor – Keep Fresh Cigars on The Move

Having your favorite cigars with you on a getaway is truly a delight. Vacations are the prime time to relish them. However, the secret to enjoying your cigars without any hitches on your travels hinges on the right preparation and selecting the perfect travel humidor. Traveling with cigars requires knowledge on how to keep your cigars fresh. While many travel humidors are compact and built from sturdy materials to protect your cigars from getting crushed inside your baggage, brands differ in their choice of interior. At San Antonio, we’re fans of cedar, known for preserving the optimal humidity and aroma, as opposed to foam cradles that other brands might use. The primary role of a travel humidor is to create the perfect ambiance for your cigars – hovering around 70% humidity (RH) and a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Though travel humidors aren’t the go-to for aging cigars, they’re invaluable in conserving the genuine richness of cigar flavors. Whether you’re traveling for business, setting out on a road trip, or merely golfing in the vicinity, it’s essential to ensure your cigars remain fresh. Transporting cigars safely and maintaining their quality can be a challenge, but with the right steps, you can easily keep them in prime condition. Seasoning a travel humidor might differ from its home humidor counterpart, but here are crucial tips to help you on the move.

How to Choose a Travel Humidor?

Achieving the proper humidity in the confined space of a travel humidor is a delicate balance. Its limited air capacity can make it easy for a passive humidifier in the lid to overwhelm it, potentially making your cigars soggy. This becomes even trickier when cigars are in a close position to the humidifier, upping the humidification risk to the wrapper.

Journeys often come with temperature fluctuations, which can in turn impact the internal humidity of the travel humidor. While an elegant design catches the eye, conservation reliability is paramount, especially when facing environmental changes. Whether you’re heading across the state for a weekend or planning an extended holiday, you might need a mix of a sleek case for a handful of cigars and a sturdier storage solution for bulkier collections.

Today’s market boasts premium metal and carbon-fiber cigar cases, ideal for the short-term storage of 2 or 3 cigars. With their airtight and watertight features, there’s no need for additional humidification. For real cigar aficionados who wish to carry a larger stash, a travel humidor is essential. It not only has a greater capacity than standard cigar cases but also empowers you to control the humidity during your escapade.

Our take: As we touched on earlier, using a standard humidifier in a travel humidor might jeopardize your cigars, especially if they’re too close to the humidification source. Hence, we advocate for travel humidors crafted from Spanish cedar – a natural moisture regulator – over synthetic foam. For the perfect balance, Boveda humidity control packs are our top recommendation. Opt for a travel humidor equipped with a slot for a Boveda pack and ditch the traditional humidification system. Additionally, pick one with pockets inside your humidor to house all your cigar accessories and ensure everything is safely in place.

Using Boveda Packs in a Travel Humidor

It bears repeating: Among the most effective strategies to safeguard your cigars during travel is by employing a Boveda pack within your travel humidor. These packs are not just durable – lasting between 2 to 6 months – but their lifespan can be even longer, depending on how many cigars you store. A single 60-gram pack can keep up to 25 cigars fresh. But for those who need less space and are carrying fewer cigars, Boveda’s smaller 8-gram versions are ideal.

With Boveda, you’re granted flexibility in choosing your preferred humidity range, between 62% and 72%. A notable advantage of Boveda is its effortless maintenance. Say goodbye to regular water refills or persistent humidity monitoring, reducing the chances of damaging your cigars. Just arrange your cigars, secure your travel humidor, and you’re ready to hit the road. Boveda’s patented dual-action system ensures a steady humidity level, and there’s zero harm if the packs come in direct contact with your cigars.

How to Season a Travel Humidor with Propylene Glycol or Distilled Water

If your travel humidor is equipped with a humidification system, propylene glycol solution or distilled water is your best bet. Your water choice is pivotal – avoid tap water to prevent introducing mold into your cigars. Fill the humidifier with distilled water or propylene glycol solution, making sure it’s saturated but not overfilled. The aim is to maintain a constant level of humidity throughout your trip.

Though using a hygrometer to measure humidity is ideal, space constraints in most travel humidors might make this impractical. If possible, use a digital hygrometer to gauge the humidity before placing your cigars. Target a relative humidity of about 70% and once consistent for a few days, your cigars are good to go.

By prepping your humidifier adequately, your cigars should remain fresh for several days to a fortnight. If traveling longer, simply top up the humidifier with distilled water as needed.

San Antonio’s tip: If your travel humidor boasts a Spanish cedar interior and a trip is on the horizon, here’s our advice:

A travel humidor isn’t the top pick for long-term cigar storage but is a gem for maintaining freshness during trips or business endeavors. Prepare by getting distilled water or propylene glycol solution. Using a soft cloth, dampen it and wipe the cedar sections inside the humidor. Let the travel humidor sit closed for a few days, ensuring the cedar’s moisture retention. Before departure, add a Boveda humidity pack (we suggest the 8-gram size with 72% RH) and then your cigars. Enjoy your journey!

Alternative Method for Transporting Your Cigars

Bonus tip: If a Spanish cedar travel humidor isn’t in your collection yet and you’re keen to transport your premium cigars, consider an airtight container like Tupperware. Add a Boveda pack, and your cigars should remain fresh for a few days on your adventure!


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