Accessory Review: Travel Humidor (Otterbox and Xikar)

Travel Humidor Review - Otterbox and XikarWhen it comes to the hobby of cigar smoking, we all tend to follow along the same path early on in our hobby. For me, I started off storing my cigars in a small desktop humidor that I purchased from ebay. Within a month or so, I outgrew that humidor and moved to creating a Tupperware container to house my overflow.

Somewhere between that first humidor and the Tupperware, but long before the Coolidor, I picked up a travel humidor. Making frequent visits to friends houses, I felt I needed something more than a simple zip-lock bag and a water pillow.

One day while visiting a cigar shop with a friend, I wandered over to the humidor display to see what was available. What I found were three different types of travel solutions to choose from. The first looked like some sort of plastic mason jar with a built in hygrometer. The second was a fancy metallic box which looked sort of like a mini suitcase. Upon further inspection, I found it to be cedar lined with a very poor seal. The third was a very basic black box with a gasket around the lid to create a tight seal.

After comparing prices, I went with the simple black box, which turned out to be an Otterbox built to store fifteen cigars. Inside the container was a humidification element and foam trays to separate layers of cigars. Around the lid was a gasket which made a very tight seal when the two lid clasps were fastened to the body of the travel humidor.

Over the last few years I have managed to acquire a few more of this style travel humidor. Some are branded as Otterbox while others look slightly different and are made by Xikar. The Xikar model is very similar but have a different clasp to fasten the lid and appear to use a more rigid foam to separate the rows of cigars.

Because of the similarities of the two travel humidors, I’ve decided to lump them together into a single review. In an Otterbox variety, I own five, ten, and fifteen count models. In the Xikar variety, I only own a couple of five stick models which were given to me as promotional items at events such as the Famous Cigar Expo.

Positive

  • Both models have an excellent seal which in most cases can be submerged under water without issue.
  • Once charged, both humidors can be used for an extended period of time without drying out.
  • Both models have a durable shell that can easily withstand an accidental drop

Negative

  • Xikar Model foam is a little too stiff and worries me when storing cigars with fragile wrappers
  • Otterbox Model foam is a little too soft and sometimes allows cigars to shift in the container
  • Otterbox clasps are dovetail connected and sometimes pop off. They go right back on but the first time will give you a fright.
  • Otterbox ten and fifteen count models should be filled completely. If one tray is left empty the cigars inside bounce around.

If packed away in checked luggage, they become pressure locked and can be a real pain to get open. I have seen models with a pressure release valve, however, none of my travel humidors have such a feature

Looking back over the pros and cons list, it would seem that I am unhappy with my travel humidors. Actually, it is quite the opposite and I find them to be an accessory that every cigar smoker should own. They are affordable and can be found online as well as in cigar shops across the country.