Reading Time: 4 minutes Snow tires, rock salt, and shovels aren’t the only tools you need to survive the winter. See our crucial tips on winter humidor maintenance to ensure that your hard-earned stash survives the blustery onslaught.
Boveda Humidity Packs: The CA Essential Guide
Some cigar smokers prefer to continue using more “standard” methods for humidifying their cigars, seasoning their humidors and calibrating their hygrometers. To that we say, “to each, their own!” But for those seeking a much neater, cleaner, and environmentally safe method, Boveda seems to offer some of the best solutions.
We’ve answered some common questions we received on Boveda packs which are hands down the easiest cigar humidification method we’ve come across. Check them out now!
How does a Boveda pack work?
Boveda packs provide 2-way humidification – meaning they’ll both add humidity to the cigars in your humidor when they need it, as well as take humidity away when there’s too much. Each Boveda pack targets a specific percentage, ranging from 58 – 75%, depending on your desired humidity level. Inside each pack is a specially prepared, saturated solution of pure water and natural salt. This saturated solution is contained within a water-vapor permeable ‘reverse osmosis’ membrane.
Once placed inside your desktop humidor, the packet will maintain the predetermined level of relative humidity shown on the packet by releasing or absorbing purified water-vapor as needed through the membrane. By maintaining that ideal and constant relative humidity, your cigars won’t lose or gain any moisture. Rather, their moisture content can be maintained at your ideal moisture level almost indefinitely.
What percentage Boveda pack do I need?
You’ve probably heard of the 70/70 rule – 70 degrees and 70% humidity. Those numbers are a superb place to start, but as you develop your palate and gain experience, you’ll find that some cigars, like certain Dominican blends for example, thrive in higher humidity – 69-72%.
Stronger tobaccos from Nicaragua and Honduras seem to fare better at a lower humidity such as 65%.
Of course, much of this comes down to personal preference. Anything from 65-72% relative humidity is a safety zone for any cigar, so experiment and find which of the many Boveda pack percentages fit your needs best.
How many Boveda packs do I need?
Just because one packet is used for the factory box, doesn’t mean you only need one for your humidor. One 60-gram pack is usually good for 25 cigars. The bigger the box, the more packs you need. According to Boveda’s website, the following amount of packs are needed for each corresponding humidor:
25-Count Humidor: (1) 60-gram Boveda pack
50-Count Humidor: (2) 60-gram Boveda packs
100-Count Humidor: (4) 60-gram Boveda packs
Or…(1) 320-gram Boveda pack in each for longer-lasting results.
How do I activate my Boveda pack?
Older technologies like floral humidifiers and water pillows required you to soak something in distilled water for a specified time. Not the case for Boveda. These humidifiers self-regulate and don’t need to be filled or soaked. Simply remove the plastic wrapping and toss the number of packs needed for your humidor’s cigar count. Voila…you’re done!
Where in my humidor should I place my Boveda pack(s)?
Just like any humidifier, spreading them out is key. If you’re only using one or two packs, consider Boveda’s Spanish cedar lid-mounted holder.
Another question is whether it’s safe to lay a Boveda pack directly on top of your cigars. The answer is yes. Since each pack emits only clean, purified water, and will only emit the precise amount of water-vapor, the packs can be placed directly in contact with your cigars without ever becoming over-humidified.
How long do Boveda packs last?
Because tobacco is hydroscopic, it has the characteristic to readily draw and expel moisture from its surrounding environment. This is also why, without proper humidification, it’s difficult to maintain the natural oils and sugars contained within the tobaccos. Depending on the conditions and type of humidor you’re using, the Boveda humidity packs will last anywhere from a few months in a traditional humidor, to virtually indefinitely in humidor jars and cases that have an airtight seal.
Your climate has a say in how long a Boveda pack will last, too. If you live in the desert, your packs will need to give off much more moisture than Bovedas that are maintaining a humidor in a high humidity area, so it’s important to keep your local climate in mind.
Lastly, the size of the packs makes a difference, too. Those small packs you sometimes get in your box of Arturo Fuente cigars, for example, will last about one month, whereas the store-bought packs are much thicker and will remain effective longer.
When should I replace my Boveda pack?
The best way to tell when they’re spent is to feel them. When the packet starts to feel a little crunchy, the solution is beginning to dry-up and crystallize. Once the solution has completely exhausted its moisture, the packet will feel stiff.
Can I use a Boveda pack to season my humidor?
Not only can you, but Boveda specifically makes a Boveda One-Step Seasoning packet for the job. Producing 84% relative humidity, the Seasoning packet is a much simpler way to season a new or existing humidor than dealing with distilled water, sponges, and shot glasses. Like the regular Boveda humidity packs, you’ll need one for every 25 cigars your humidor can hold.
Can I calibrate my hygrometer with a Boveda pack?
Absolutely. If you already have a Boveda pack, put it and your hygrometer into a Ziploc bag for 24 hours. If your hygrometer is matching plus or minus 1-2%, you know it’s reading accurate. If not, you can adjust your hygrometer’s calibration settings (if it has them), or simply note the deviation to compensate for (if it doesn’t).
If you don’t have one, you can check out the Boveda One-Step Calibration Kit which comes with a sealable bag and a 75.5% humidity packet. It’s so accurate, the National Gallery of Art uses it to calibrate their hygrometers – which…you know…keep track of the humidity for priceless works of art!
If you have additional questions about Boveda products or how to use them, drop us a line in the comments below!