Cigar Advisor’s Travel Humidor Shootout: a Buying Guide
Like you, my mind is wandering towards vacation. Yes, we all enjoy a cigar on the patio now and again now that the weather is nice; but as my compadre Gary reminded me, “you should always take a few cigars along when you travel – that way you’re prepared to herf wherever the road takes you.” Genius.
Packing to go on vacation is, for me, quite simple: toss a couple pairs of shorts and shirts into a backpack along with enough fresh skivvies to get me through the week, and I’m already outside with the car idling in the driveway. The bulk of my vacation prep time is spent poring over my humidor, a great debate raging within my soul over whether the La Gloria Serie R or an ACID Cigar would be joining me for a twin lobster dinner. In the end, both made the cut thanks to the Golden Rule of Travel Humidors (more on that in a minute) – and after a series of similarly excruciating decisions, my long weekend cigar lineup was complete.
But you know how this works already, because you’ve been there. And if you haven’t, you will be very soon – as soon as we get you set up with a new travel humidor. As for the Golden Rule of Travel Humidors, it’s very simple…always buy a little bigger than you need. Yes, you still want your cigar case to be compact, not bulky to travel with; and if you smoke big ring cigars, you’ll be happy not having to cram five smokes in the case like they’re sardines. Plus you’ll have room for an extra 2 or 3 smokes in case the opportunity arises for a bonus cigar – or an extra herf pal.
When deciding on a new travel humidor, balance your capacity needs with the number of cigars you’ll reasonably smoke during the trip. So depending on the type of trip you take most often, we can break it down into five categories…
The Overnighter: <3 Cigar Travel Humidor
A night away from home is a night well spent with a smoke in hand. Like last weekend, when we visited some friends in New Jersey. “Are your bringing cigars?” she asked. Yes, dear. “Are you bringing one for Mark?” Of course I am, dear. If this is your typical trip, you don’t need a huge case – your cigars aren’t protected very well if they’re bouncing around the inside of a mostly-empty travel case. You’ll only get time for a cigar or two at best, so make ‘em count – and make sure they’re protected in the right size travel humi.
The Getaway: +/-5 Cigar Travel Humidor
So you’ve earned a reprieve, and you’re away from the hacienda for a few days, eh? Well done. Of course, you’re expecting to fill some of that time off by making smoky work of a few choice sticks; and since it’s a likely bet you’ll have time for a more than one cigar, you’ll want a travel humidor that not only keeps you stocked throughout the trip, but has room enough to stash one to share with a pal. And since it’s more than one day away, it’s becoming more important to pay mind to keeping your cigars fresh through the end of the trip.
The Long Weekend: +/-10 Cigar Travel Humidor
We’re treading into holiday territory here – say, maybe, 3 or 4 days…which means you’d better have enough cigars to keep yourself smoky, and enough to share with the mooch-folk that come out of the woodwork when someone shouts, “Hey, (your name here) brought cigars! That’s great!” If you’re not in a position where you have to share cigars, then you should be more than set for no less than 72 hours of stogie-fied bliss.
The humidifying devices in some travel humidors can be a hit-or-miss proposition. Some work great, some might end up getting your cigars wet – or worse, cracking the wrapper when you close the lid – because of where they’re placed. So to keep your cigars fresh in a travel humidor, and depending on the travel case you choose, you might be better off pitching the included humidifier in favor of one of these instead:
The Summer Vacation: +/- 20 Cigar Travel Humidor
“Roy, could you imagine if you had driven all the way to Florida and it was closed?” Whether or not the moose out front told ya’, you’re not getting by on a week’s worth of smoking cigars with just a couple of tubes in your pocket. Figure 2 cigars a day for 5 days (conservative? Maybe…but that sounds like 5 really good days) – give or take a few more – along with a few to share at your destination. Worst case is you bring a few home; best case is, you didn’t run out of cigars for a whole week. Humidification is key here; make sure your travel humidor can stand up to the rigors of the trip AND keeps the smokes well maintained inside.
The Herf in a Box: 20+ Cigar Travel Humidor
Since you’re packing the equivalent of a box (or more) of cigars, one can only assume that you’re headed out on the mother of all extended holidays. That, or you just like sharing your smokes. You’re a good friend. Now be a good friend to your cigars and show them to spacious, comfortable quarters like these for your journey together. Each example varies in size – but if you keep in mind the humidification suggestions above, you’ll be loaded for bear for the next herf.
“They call him…Dr. Herfenstein.”
I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce you to Dr. Herfenstein. That’s not what it’s called, but I think it should be. I’m not sure where you’re going that you need to bring 150 cigars with you…but wherever that is, more power to you. This Perdomo travel humidor is at least the size of a large carry-on, and made with the same rock-hard materials that go into the flight cases that bands use when they tour. If the Crüe’s roadies can’t bust it, odds are your smokes will be just fine inside. It even has wheels, so you can take your cigar stash for a walk; or maybe they’re there because 150 cigars can get heavy. Either way, Perdomo has provided a go-to case that satisfies the biggest of herf needs.