Since I’ve got an upcoming cigar trip, I thought it would be appropriate to write about traveling with cigars. Since shortly after I began enjoying the wonders of the hand rolled cigar, I began traveling to far-away places. Since my first trip to Vegas in 1997 to smoke cigars with a bunch of “strangers” to the present, I’ve been to Vegas several times, North Carolina, Western PA, Buffalo, Central PA, Reno, New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, London, and other places I’m not remembering at the time, always with various quantities of cigars in tow. One of the things about our cigar hobby, besides just the cigars, is the accouterments that accompany them, and here is a little showcase of the travel humidors I’ve collected over the years.
Number 1 is a really nice wood travel humidor made by the long since defunct York Humidor Company. This is truly a mini humidor in every way, it’s materials and joinery are top notch and it’s really nice. It’s a shame it only holds 2 cigars and is a bit bulky making it reasonably useless to me. I got this (my wife has one as well) at a big herf in York, PA in 1999. The company was out of business at the time and I think they were there liquidating what they had.
Number 2 is a 5 count “Cigar Caddy” that was a gift to me years ago. This has gotten the most use of any of my travel humidors, more than the leather cases. It, as well as the rest that follow, offers unrivaled cigar protection. It’s crush proof and seals tight. It will hold 5 Churchill sized cigars, but it gets a little tight when you try to pack in anything over a 52 ring gauge. The Cigar Caddy used to be owned by Otterbox, but I believe they’ve been spun off to their own company. They still use the Otterbox for the shell.
Number 3 is actually my son’s. It’s a Xikar case that holds 15 cigars. It has foam trays that cradle each cigar and is the same kind of indestructible box that the Cigar Caddy is, it has o-ring seals and you can run it over with a truck. Again, you have some cigar girth limitations, but it’s hard to go wrong with this sort of case if you need to travel with a dozen or so cigars.
Number 4 is brand new to me, and was a gift from the folks at Cigar Mechanic. It’s advertised as a 5 cigar traveldor, but the rub with this one is that it will hold five 60 ring gauge cigars, or 10 robustos. I was able to get the five 6x60s in, with two robustos as well (see the photo below). Same excellent construction as well as a miniature Cigar Mechanic humidifier in the lid. Thanks to Chris for this, it will certainly get a lot of use. They offer a lot of sizes up to suitcase sized with wheels and a pull out handle for the hardcore cigar traveller.
Number 5 is one I’ve had for many years and has also seen its share of travel. Back around ’97 or ’98 a group of contributors on the alt.smokers.cigars usenet group bought a bunch of Pelican cases, foam, humidifiers and hygrometers and put together a large travel humidor and called it the “Herfdor”. The one they used had 5 trays and held 30 cigars. My wife got me this 18 cigar capacity model a few years later through Cigar Express. The 30 count version was too big and bulky for my taste, and I can fit many more than 18 in mine by taking out two of the trays. as long as the cigars are cello’d they are fine, and I leave the bottom tray in for the uncello’d singles and to cushion the whole lot. I’ve had to open it more than once at airport security. These were modeled after the Road Warrior and TheSherman traveldors at the time, which were very expensive. The Group buy project made these original “Herfdors” very reasonable. This one, as well as the Cigar Mechanic, have pressure relief valves so you can open it after it’s been at altitude, as it can seal pretty tight when there’s a pressure differential.
There was a time when I used a six-pack sized cooler placed into an insulated picnic-type bag to travel with my cigars. This worked reasonably well, but lacked the foam protection that these modern marvels of cigar transport provide. All but number one above provide support and climate control so that our precious cigars are in perfect smoking condition for wherever it is we travel. Smaller ones fit in your golf bag, larger ones have handles or wheels, whatever your cigar travel needs, there is a traveldor to fit them. There are all kinds of fancy wood, aluminum and leather travel humidors as well. My personal taste leans toward function and utility over form, as I’d hate to scratch up a beautiful wood humidor in my luggage or tossing it in the back seat of the car. Many of these cases include a humidifier of some sort, which I find to be a bit useless. These cases seal so tight that unless you are opening them hourly in the desert, they will keep your cigars just fine. I once accidentally left a charged humidifier in the large case and after a few months storage, I opened it and the foam was wet to the point that you could almost wring it out. Too long in a sealed case with a charged humidifier will result in soaked sticks, which will not enhance your cigar travel!
I hope this has provided some infotainment for you today, please let me know what you use for cigar transport in the comments section, I always enjoy hearing the creative way others protect their cigars on the road.
That’s it for today, happy Columbus Day to all, he is the one who discovered cigars, isn’t he?