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Travel CPAB Machines

I know this seems like an odd question for this forum but since I have never gone wrong with any of the recommendations I have received from the Rick Steves website, I have to ask if anyone has a recommendation for a travel size CPAB machine. I travel to Europe every summer and have recently been advised by my doctor that I need to use a CPAB machine for sleeping. I am only asking this question in relation to packing light. Can anyone advise on a CPAB machine that packs well for long trips? I will then do my own research on the recommendations.


Posted by
10161 posts

Once you have a machine, packing changes. The most reliable are carried in a padded carrying-case the size of a laptop computer case. Most of the time they are allowed as carry on in addition to your carry-on bag and personal item. I heard of only one person who was challenged by an airline employee. Your doctor will be able to tell you if a small travel-size machine can do the job. Sweet dreams.

Posted by
62 posts

Assuming you mean a CPAP machine, here is my $.02. My husband uses a CPAP, and as Bets mentioned above, it's easily packed into a small padded bag, which he carries as an additional piece of hand luggage. My husband recently got an upgraded CPAP, and it's really small - packs into what looks like a laptop case, only a little thicker (the old one's case was more in the shape of a large shoe box). Since it's a medical device, it doesn't get counted against any airline carryon rules. He schlepped it along on our Rick Steves 14 day BOE tour in 2015 with no problem (trust me, it would have been a much bigger problem if he hadn't - I wouldn't have been able to sleep, and therefore would have completely violated the "no grumps" policy). Hope this helps!

Posted by
1406 posts

and even though the airline should allow it as a free carryon....I remember some poster here who checked their suitcase and decided there was enough space in the CPAP bag for a book, toothbrush and meds and choose to just keep track of the one bag as a carryon.....

Posted by
34 posts

Hi Mark,
I've been a respiratory therapist for many years and the smallest CPAP machine I've seen is the System One by Respironics. Their website has some travel recommendations:
Respironics also sells a travel bag.

My husband are also Rick Steves travelers and wish you the best. We loved our first tour of Italy!

Posted by
4141 posts

My husband has taken his CPAP to and used it in many European countries. He has the one that fits in the case that's about the size of a large shoebox. On our last trip he realized that he could also fit his iPad and all his many meds in there, too, so he didn't bother with any kind of messenger bag.

We are strictly carry-on except when we fly within Europe with more restrictive airlines. Then that bag is his only carry-on item. It was supplied with the machine. We didn't have to buy it extra. It looks like this--

You may not have noticed, but we see many people carrying those bags. And what the video said is absolutely true, how thoroughly it is inspected is totally up to the TSA agent you get.

Some advice:

Any CPAP you get should be set up to function over there automatically, but verify that before buying.

Take an extension cord from here along with the right kind of plug adapter or buy one over there. Don't expect to find a plug very close to the bed.

You may not find distilled water very easily. He has used regular bottled water and it's been okay. You just need to clean the thing thoroughly.

Posted by
8315 posts

Just saw a post on another forum from someone who was not allowed to carry on their CPAP on a KLM flight (in addition to their regular carryon) because they had not asked for special allowance for the extra medical device at least 24 hours before the flight. This was the first I had heard of anyone not be allowed to carry on the machine in addition to usual carry on. I would just take a moment to contact your airline and confirm their policy prior to your trip.

Posted by
10161 posts

A KLM agent having a bad day, or maybe a bad life--ugh.
We carried one on in addition to our carry-on bag on KLM in May.

Posted by
17 posts

Yes I meant CPAP. Thank you all very much for the advice and recommendations. This all will be very helpful in planning my family trip to Portugal and Spain next summer.