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Not Your Grandmother’s Oxygen Tank

Oxygen Concentrators You Can Fly On Airplanes, Travel The World, And Hike Mountains With.

Not Your Grandmother’s Oxygen Tank

Q: Why aren’t FAA approved portable oxygen concentrators as popular as traditional oxygen tanks? 

A: POC’s or portable oxygen concentrators are not typically covered by insurance.  Insurance reimbursement is not necessarily about optimizing the quality of your active lifestyle.  Insurance reimbursement is more concerned with furnishing you the essentials, what the system refers to as “medical necessities”.

Could you imagine living life without oxygen?  Or, not being able to breathe?  I remember when I was a teenager, I used to have nightmares in which I couldn’t breathe, and you can imagine my relief when I woke up and realized it was all a dream.  Well, when someone tells me their reliant on oxygen and they’re not able to get around with their O2 tank anymore, or they want to travel on an airplane, go on a cruise, visit relatives somewhere but it’s a nightmare traveling with oxygen tanks, I believe them! 

Whether you’re on vacation, visiting family and friends, or even running errands throughout the day- low oxygen levels can result in a constant struggle that is only made worse when you factor in hauling around heavy, loud and cumbersome oxygen tanks. Thankfully growth in the portable oxygen concentrator market has facilitated the development of newer, more convenient units that cover a wide range of patient needs. Many of them are even now FAA approved so they can be brought onto airplanes safely and easily.  If you or someone you know is reliant on oxygen therapy, some of the most credible brands of oxygen concentrators are from Respironics, Invacare, Life Choice and Airsep.  The Respironics SimplyGo used to be the only POC that offered both pulse and continuous flow O2 delivery, as well as a sleep mode that adjusts to your needs.  You should check with one of's  POC specialists to make sure you choose the O2 device that is best suited to your needs. specialists will also coordinate with your medical care provider to help further insure you make the best choice.


Ease of mobility is key, so these top brands of oxygen therapy devices typically come with carry bags, an extra battery, and a universal power supply that is compatible with AC and DC outlets; which allows the user to charge and run their unit from home or in their vehicle. You’re also sometime given the choice between a 12-cell and a 24-cell battery, which enables the unit to provide oxygen from 4 to 8 hours, respectively, on a single charge. These better portable oxygen units normally weigh only about 8 lbs, and are whisper quiet too!  No more scaring the person sitting next to you with the loud hissing sound, or having a tank teeter over on them!


The FAA approved portable oxygen concentrators can work up to 10,000 ft (the Respironics EverGo has a cut off at 8,000 ft). You’ll notice that these particular manufacturers do not rest on their laurels.  You can expect ease of use, better reliability, smaller size, lighter weight units to choose from that even a few years ago.  These manufacturers will continue to improve the features of their portable concentrators in exciting ways. These devices are now serving everyone from a patient suffering from COPD or other serious respiratory diseases, or hiking a mountain or even used for treating migraine headaches or hangovers. 


Author: Nathan Gleason, Oxygen Specialist

             Direct Dial: 480-459-3173