CPAP Travel: Powering CPAP Machines

 In CPAP Travel, How-To, Masks, Machines, & Cleaners

Every CPAP user that travels has to consider how their travel CPAP device will be powered. Whether your power need is on an airplane, in a hotel, or out camping in the woods, today’s CPAP manufacturers have designed multiple ways of powering CPAP machines, depending on your need.

Powering CPAP Machines

Most manufacturers like ResMed and Philips Respironics know that a CPAP user can not skip a few nights or even one. Hence, the creation of the battery kits. Long life lithium-ion batteries have been developed so you can hook up your home or travel CPAP anywhere you go.

Make sure you understand the power options of the machine you are buying so you can plan accordingly. Check out our list of best travel CPAP machines and their power capabilities.

A direct battery operation is external but can be used with your machine once the appropriate cables, inverters, and/or adapters have been purchased. An integrated battery is designed specifically for the CPAP machine (see image below) and does not require additional cables, inverters, and/or adapters. It simply attaches to your CPAP machine, using the same cord the CPAP machine uses for power. Once it is charged, it is ready for portable use.

Various CPAP Device information


Direct Battery Operation

Optional DC Cable

Integrated Battery

AirStart 10 CPAPYesYesNo
Z1 TravelYesYesYes
Z1 AutoYesYesYes
Transcend TravelYesYesNo
Transcend AutoYesYesNo
AirMini Auto CPAPNoYesNo
AirSense 10 AutoYesYesNo
AirStart 10 APAPYesYesNo
DreamStation GoNoYesYes

Ways you can power your CPAP machine

1. Batteries

Most CPAP machines can accept battery kits. ResMed and Philips Respironics have developed their own battery kits, specifically for their machines, while battery specialty stores have manufactured universal battery kits to work with all types of CPAP machines.

The charge is good for one night, maybe two. But if you are planning to stay away for longer, a deep-cycle marine battery can be used and will provide power for up to three days, maybe more (depending on usage). You can re-charge the battery various ways but the most common is from using the DC outlet or an inverter.

2. DC Power Cord/Inverter/Converter

If your CPAP machine has a DC outlet, you can use a DC power cord and connect it to a cigarette lighter plug. A DC adapter cable with converter clips can be used with a deep cycle marine battery to offer direct power. If you do not have the DC outlet, you will need an inverter to convert your DC power to AC power.

Adapters have become necessary for traveling with a CPAP when power is derived from a battery. Some DC converters are even strong enough to power both the machine and the humidifier. However, the use of humidifier can drain the battery life by 50%. The DreamStation Go does not even offer a humidifier option.

3. Solar Power

Solar power is the newest option to recharge your battery kit. The Transcend Travel CPAP machine has a solar power option for those going off grid or do not expect to rely on an available power source.

The catch? You must have at least six hours of sun. But, this truly portable and sleek-designed charger is ideal for camping trips.

SunPower has also manufactured a solar panel that allows you to charge their Freedom Travel Battery Pack and is compatible with many popular CPAP machines.

Powering CPAP Machines on a Plane

U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policies state that CPAP machines are allowed as a carry-on. However, not every airline permits in-flight use of these machines. For those that do, your CPAP machine must be battery powered. Most travel battery packs are sold separately but also offer useful optional components like built-in USB ports.

If you are planning to fly, make sure you read our blog on CPAP Travel: Flying with a CPAP Machine to ensure you are following the airline’s regulations. The guidelines vary significantly, and we list out the policies for most major airlines, domestic and international.

Powering CPAP Machines while Camping

Camping with your family and friends is an adventure that CPAP users often miss due to lack of resources at the camp site. However, there are several economical choices for PAP users.

Powering your CPAP while camping will depend on several factors - whether you have access to power, what kind of power (AC or DC), and whether or not you have a CPAP battery kit.

For more information on camping with your CPAP, make sure to read our blog on Camping with Your CPAP.

Now you should know how to power your CPAP machine anytime you travel. For more information, please check out these other helpful articles on how to power your CPAP:

Traveling by RV with Your CPAP
Traveling by Bus with Your CPAP
Traveling by Train with Your CPAP
Traveling on a Cruise Ship with Your CPAP

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