I’ve been checking out some products over the last several months and have been lazy about giving them their place in the spotlight. Three Companies have generously shared their products with me to try out, Elertus, Perfecto Cigar Holder and Cigar Oasis. As a cigar smoker, I’m a cheap, lazy bastid, so it probably wouldn’t occur to me to spend cigar money on some of these things, but as I’ve been presented with the opportunity to sample these products, I get to share my thoughts with you, and maybe you’ll decide whether they will make your life easier and are worth the expense. For your convenience, I’ve added each of these items to my Amazon store, located on the left side bar near the bottom of this page. I’ve had that store for over four years and have yet to make a sale, by the way.
When Gary at Perfecto Cigar Holder contacted me offering me a review sample, I told him that these had been pretty widely covered, and I wasn’t sure what else I might bring to the table. He was adamant and sent me one anyway. I’ve been doing my best to clip this thing on anything I can find. It does clip nicely to one of the storage trays in the dash of my Toyota Yaris, which could be handy as sometimes driving a manual car takes two hands. I haven’t yet tried it on a practical level yet, but assuming I’m not driving like an idiot I think it would work. My latest spot is on the arm of my beach chair, which I’ve been sitting in lately for my Saturday or Sunday afternoon smokes (it’s yet to visit a beach!). This gives me a handy resting spot and ashtray. Once the pool warms up I’m sure I’ll find a place to clip it out there. It’s well made, cleans up easily, and pretty cool looking from a guy perspective. I’m not a golfer, but I can see where this would be handy clipped to a golf cart. It potentially solves a lot of problems.
I’ve mentioned the Elertus Smart Sensor before, and I’ve been enjoying and need to send it back! This is a very interesting hygrometer. It has no digital readout on the unit, but it transmits date over WiFi to your own portal. Besides access through a webpage, there are apps for Apple and Android devices. It also sends alerts to your phone via text message. I’m old, I haven’t made the jump to the smartphone fad, I’m waiting to see if it catches on, so I get alerts if the humidity or temperature fall outside of parameters which I define, and also if the unit moves. When I was using it in one of the desktop humidors and we had some work being done in the next room, I got a barrage of texts! This is a really neat device, although maybe overkill for most of us. I can see this being a very valuable addition to a retail humidor, or better yet a locker in a lounge. I have found it quite handy to be able to see the temperature and humidity remotely, not that it’s changed my life. I did mention to the manufacturer that I find the reading to be a couple points high compared to other hygrometers, which he said he’d look into. Still it’s a neat idea, and I think I’ll miss having it around, just for the geek factor.
Cigar Oasis has been a household name in the humidification game for quite some time. You may recall I did a little booth tour with Chaim Kohn, the Sales Manager at Cigar Oasis last year at the IPCPR show (here’s the link) and he told us about some of the products they offer. He recently sent a Cigar Oasis Excel for evaluation, as well as their Caliber 4R hygrometer which I pretty much fell in lust with when I saw it at the show. I’ve been storing many of my cigars in a blue Coleman cooler which has been in service for close to 15 years, and I always used either a florist foam or bead based humidifier, and it’s always kept my cigars pretty good with little maintenance. I would have liked to have put this Cigar Oasis XL unit in my humidor upstairs, but there were two reasons I didn’t: lack of a convenient electrical source, and it’s just too large for even what would be considered a large desktop humidor. I wasn’t willing to give up the cigar real estate! Their Ultra 2.0 would be perfect for the lid of the desktop humidors I think, it’s battery operated and slim. Anyway, I ran an extension cord to the cooler and plugged the XL in. This unit has a digital hygrometer built in, ans also allows you to easily set your desired humidity level. I’ve found that the hygrometer is very sensitive as the reading drops as soon as you open the lid of the humidor, as you can see in the picture. So far I’ve been quite pleased with the performance. The thin power cord doesn’t effect the seal at all, and there is a battery unit available. the sealed water cartridge is nice, no spills, and I have yet to see an indication that it need refilling. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, but I think in a coolerdor environment it may last a while. They will be offering a WiFi attachment for their humidifiers in the coming months, which will not only allow you to monitor remotely, like the Elertus, but also to make adjustments. The Caliber 4R hygrometer is a neat device in that it’s round, designed to replace the round hygrometer of questionable accuracy which may have come with your humidor. I’ve been moving it around from humidor to humidor and I think it’s really cool. Checking it against various other hygrometers I find it to be very accurate. besides it’s obvious function, it’s more visually appealing than your standard digital unit. I haven’t had it long enough to be able to judge the battery life, I’m sure it’s going to last quite a while. I have a Western Humidor digital unit that goes through the expensive little button cells….I have an old Radio Shack unit someplace that uses a regular AAA, but neither have the cool factor that this has. I’ll quite likely buy a few more of these.
I smoked a few cigars this week too, but I do that whole cigar shtick all the time, I thought I’d change things up a little and talk about accessories. It appears that the FDA has added another 30 days to the comment period, so if you haven’t already, get on over to CigarRights.org and follow their instructions. It appears that they are listening, or at least willing to listen. That’s enough from me, until the next time,