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Packing CPAPs

I don't go anywhere without my CPAP for the last 10-15 years. I usually take a smaller personal bag that is semi-rigid to take the CPAP, hose, mask, etc. But it's getting heavier as I get older and I'm looking for better ways to keep it close and safe while in transit without having to wrap it in checked luggage.

I usually take one of RS Civita day packs in Europe but don't think it would work with the relatively heavy and bulky CPAP. Maybe a slightly more rigid daypack or some custom foam to carry it in the Civita. Any suggestions?

Posted by
3428 posts

First- CPAPs and other medical devices should NEVER be put in checked luggage- too much of a risk of losing it or it not reaching the destination at the same time as you (ie delayed). It should NOT count as a personal item or carry on. It is allowed separately as a medical necessity. Not certain of the size of your CPAP, but check out Rick's Euro Flight Bag. I just got one and love it as my carry on. The machine, hoses, etc. should easily fit. You might want to get some foam rubber from a sewing store and cut supports if needed. Or pack your socks or t-shirts with it to cushion it.

Posted by
39 posts

I also use a CPAP and agree that you always carry it on the plane with you. I am not a super light packer/traveler but I have a plastic tub that the regular CPAP fits in to keep it from getting bumped or squashed. That tub, the mask and the hose go into my carry on backpack. The pack is bigger than the RS day pack but not a full size pack. I still have room for my tablet, medications, toiletries, snacks and a change of clothes. I pack a smaller day pack in the checked luggage. This may not work for you if you want to only use a carry on.
As a side note, when I hit my 60's, I invested in a travel CPAP. It works the same but weighs less than a pound. I love it! I had to buy a smaller plastic tub to carry it in.

Posted by
7456 posts

I keep my CPAP in my backpack--along with a Chromebook and all my snacks/goodies. My Respironics System One is much lighter than the unit I had 15 years ago.

If your CPAP is too heavy, see if it's time to change over to a newer model. Or, maybe your provider can rent you a smaller unit for your trip.

Posted by
3779 posts

My husband uses a CPAP. He has a normal sized one with a water chamber. It fits in its own bag about the size of a shoe box.

Even though he can take it separately from a "personal item," he takes it as his only personal item. He can put the CPAP with all its accessories, a European power strip, all his meds and his iPad in that bag.

With his moneybelt, he doesn't need another bag. We always carry on when we can, only checking our "big" 22x14x9 bags when we are forced to.

It was hard to tell from what you said, but if your CPAP is as old as you say, you need to be sure it will work on 220. If not, you need to get a new one which will certainly be lighter.

Posted by
19 posts

If you haven't talked to your CPAP provider, you might talk to them. Mine, APRIA, suggested that the travel CPAPs were expensive and not well made. I think I will take my regular unit, including the full face mask, in the carry bag APRIA provides and stuff in extra soft items to protect the mask. We use rolling carry-on suitcases so the bag can rest on top of the suitcase and the strap can loop around the suitcase telescoping handle. Yeah, it will be a little bulky, but oh so nice for sleeping.

Posted by
77 posts

Thanks everybody. I have three CPAPs of varying ages. My newest ones are the Respironics and a DeVilbis. They are both full size with humidifiers. I usually take the DeVilbis on flights because it works on 12v/110vac/220/vac and it's an auto-CPAP whereas the Respironics is a normal CPAP and needs a separate (and heavy) power brick. It has it's own nylon case which I normally put into the personal size carry on bag along with other things like my iPad, phone, meds, etc. I looked at the RS bag folks mentioned and have one coming.

I run the DeVilbis when we're camping off the RV battery with a 12v plug (without the humidifier heat on it only draws a little over 1 amp). For 110vac there's a separate cord and for 220vac all I need is the right plug adaptor. I'll be 69 on my Birthday while we're in Paris this trip and weight is getting to be more of an issue. So this time, I'll remove and leave the humidifier home and downsize to the smaller RS bag. So I'll be ready to go with just the RS classic Carry On and the RS day bag.

Posted by
77 posts

Just got the RS Euro Flight Bag. It looks like it will do the job perfectly. I just need to play with how to package everything in it since it doesn't have a stiff base. I'm thinking my mini-iPad in it's hardshell Otter Case could go on the bottom with the DeVilbis CPAP sitting on top of it with the hose wrapped around it for some cushion protection. Of course that would make getting to the iPad during the flight problematic. I'm at work and don't have it with me so I'm not sure if the iPad will fit in one of the outside pockets. Guess I'll have to play with it tonight.

Posted by
103 posts

Even though you will be carrying this bag and, presumably, taking good care of it, in a worst case scenario it could get knocked around, tripped over, etc. To prevent possible damage to the CPAP in my RS Civita day bag, I always wrap something like a towel or jacket around my CPAP.