Foam-lined travel cigar humidors: Are they reliable?

Q. I see a lot of foam-lined travel humidors in the cigar catalogs.Seems to me, the foam would act as a DE-humidifing agent, sucking moisture from both the cigars and the humidifing device. Do these things maintain the smokes?
– John R. in Daleville, VA

A. Although I think you make a good observation, I disagree. The foam is made from a plastic composite, and if you were to put your arm inside a plastic trash bag, for instance, you might find it begin to sweat rather quickly. Moreover, because the foam is spongy, humidity is actually trapped in the microscopic pores. IOW, I think the foam does more to *preserve* the humidity than deplete it.

On the other hand, leather cigar pocket cases are notorious for sucking the moisture out of cigars, especially if the cellos have been removed.

I always make sure I have a humidification device in my travel humidor, especially if I’m going to be away for more than a couple of days. If you have a foam case, and it doesn’t have a built-in humidifier, you can always pick up a Dry-Mistat stick.

It never hurts to be safe, but if you’re considering buying such a case, like one of the “X-treme” brand travel humidors (see above photo), for example, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

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