Pulmonary Fibrosis News Forums Forums PF Communities PF Life: 50+ Comparing portable oxygen concentrators

  • Comparing portable oxygen concentrators

    Posted by Charlene Marshall on March 26, 2023 at 9:05 am

    There has been a lot of correspondence on the PF forums lately about portable oxygen concentrators (POC) – thank you all for the rich discussions!

    Early on in my diagnosis, and based on my prescribed need for oxygen and my active lifestyle, I had a really hard time deciding which POC would work best for me. Most often I’d recommend following your doctor’s recommendation on which POC is best, but unfortunately, that didn’t work for me. I did however ensure my doctor’s prescription of my 02 needs was met when considering which POC would be most conducive to my lifestyle. I also talked with a lot of other patients about their experiences with POCs, so please continue doing that on this platform.

    I wanted to share a list of POCs and their capabilities that I heard have been helpful to others in deciding which one would work best for them. You can find that list HERE. It includes basic features of the device like weight, height, etc. but also its capabilities – I hope it is helpful.

    If you use a POC, how did you decide which one would be best for your lifestyle?

    peter-cheong replied 12 months ago 12 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • jbvc2

    March 28, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    Not sure what you mean by an “active lifestyle” but my definition was giving up playing 18 holes of golf 3 or 4 times a week.  I’m not sure I consider all the units in your list as really portable which I think means easily carried.  I also think that things maintaining an exercise regimen is the most important aspect of trying to keep an active lifestyle.

    That said, I have been using an InnogenOne G5 for three years as recommended by my doctor.  For more than a year that was all the suplemental oxygen I needed.  As my condition got worse I added a continuos flow home generator capable of 5 to 10L thanks to Medicare.  Mayo clinic now rates me as severe IPF.

    Today for sitting around and/or sleeping the continuous flow home unit at 5L will keep me at 98-100%.  Sitting around at home the portable G5 going all out at 6L will keep me at 97-98% in a test I just ran.  Slightly less than the continuos flow unit.

    When I exercise like a treadmill or a cross trainer I need 6 to 7L so I  roll a small oxygen tank to the fitness center.  As an aside I also strap on a forehead oxyimiter to track oxygen as I work out.  Working around the house I also up the flow rate of the continous flow unit.

    With the G5 I can drive to the grocery store, use a cart to get around and back to the car.  I might sit for a couple minutes to get the oxygen back up from the 80s to the 90s so I can drive home but I am pleased with the recovery time for me.

    Last week I drove with the G5 to a doctors office for a several hour outpatient surgery.  I took the charger with me and had no problem.

    I guess that today I am pushing the G5 but even without an oximiter I feel when I have to stop and it only takes about 2 minutes to recover.

    Not sure if this helps or not.

  • gina-myhill-jones

    March 28, 2023 at 8:23 pm

    I’m picking up an Oxygo “Next” soon… I believe it’s the same manufacturer, but the Canadian version of the Inogen 6. I need a boost out and about but especially for flying and travel to see family ( they’re located exactly as far away from me as possible lol… East Coast vs West Coast) I still have a lot of adventure in me and I need a light, portable longer term boost.

  • rthorntonbresnan-net

    March 29, 2023 at 10:28 pm

    Good evening everyone. Read everyone’s input here on the Inogen5. When I got out of the  hospital in 2020 after 4 months in there, I  was on the cylinders. As everyone knows, they are a pain to get around with and only last about 2 hours. So, I bought an Inogen5 because I was told it went to 6. My lung doc said it doesn’t really. Since it is pulse, 4 is about all it can do. Which is fine if you don’t require more then 4 or 5l. My home compactor I have at 7 and sometimes 8. The Inogen5 I have given up on. It won’t cut it. I am back to the  cylinder and have it at 5 and doing okay, except for the inconvience of the cylinder. The things I used to do, I cannot anymore. I have no energy and run out of air way to quick. When I was in the hospital, they had taken out what was left of my right lung. So, now I am living with a left lung that is  slowly getting eaten up with the fibrosis. So to you all, if you can do it, do it because one day you might not be able to. Here’s hoping to you and your family that you life a long life.

  • yvette-adelman-dullinger

    March 30, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    I purchased an ARYA which is pulse and goes from 1L to 5L.  I am a Covid survivor and my lungs are now heavily fibrosed.  But I am slowly healing.  When I first purchased the ARYA, on 5L it couldn’t keep up with my oxygen needs when I walked.  Now I am doing fairly well with it.  I do have to stop and recover, but not as often.  I normally sit at .75L on a continuous flow, 2L if just a short walk across a room, and 4-5L if exerting myself or having to move quickly or bending over a lot.  I still limit how much I exert myself with the pulse ARYA.  I would estimate the pulse at 5L to be equivalent to about 2.5 to 3L of a continuous flow.  When I exerted myself I was breathing faster than it was pulsing, so it took a while to recover.  Especially if you didn’t match up to a pulse.  Initially I wasn’t sure if it would work for me, but as I am healing I think it will be just fine.

  • jbvc2

    March 30, 2023 at 2:40 pm

    After reading Yvette’s note I thought to add a comment on the G5 regarding the pulse.  The G5 tracks when you inhale to initiate a burst of oxygen and it also tracks how frequently you inhale to determine how much oxygen should be in that burst.

    If I set it at 5L and breath fast like I am out of breath it will give me short bursts of oxygen.  If my breathing slows down it will compensate by giving me longer or larger bursts of oxygen to compensate for the fact that there are fewer breaths per minute.  You can actually hear the difference when this happens.

  • craig-decker

    March 30, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    I’m not on oxygen yet, but my question has to do with visiting two children, each of whom live about 7000’ above sea level. I’ve really struggled at their homes and expect the next time I’ll want a POC. Any suggestions on what I should get? I’m sure my doctor will have some recommendations but I’d be interested in what you Forum folks have to say!

  • jerry-hinkey

    March 30, 2023 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve been on oxygen for several years. I had a inogen 3 but not enough air unless sedentary setting. Then keeps it around 92-93. Went to G5 at setting 6 a little earlier about 93 sedentary. Any exertion go down to low 80 or 70’s. Bought a Clair eclipse pluse 1-9. Helps more but bigger and heavier! But real drawback is battery life with this unit. Advertised 3 1/2 hours at 5.5, actually 1.5 hours maximum. Tried on 3 different batteries I bought with the unit. Much less at setting 9. I’m at 8 direct flow on my 10 liter non portable device. Jerry

  • steve-dragoo

    March 30, 2023 at 6:33 pm


    Hi Friend,

    Glad to see you here.  Fortunately, I am not on O2 other than at night and on the rare occasion, I need it wandering at home.  Sometimes walking I wish I had one but that is mostly my heart rate jumping a lot – don’t walk far anymore either.

    Somewhat my fear is the very long flight from the Philippines back to the USA soon )we hope) so I may add in an extra stop or two just to recover.

    Thanks for the list – some good ones there for the intermediate need I think..

    Stay well,

  • jeffrey-carver

    March 30, 2023 at 7:26 pm

    Folks, I think it would be helpful to everyone if, when referring to a POC’s output, you did not say 5L or 6L or whatever. Saying this often leads to confusion. None of them give 5 liters or six liters per minute. Because of the pulsing, it’s more like 1.xx liters per minute at high output.

    Just remember, the 5 or 6 are just setting numbers, and are not  the same as LPM.

    As an illustration, I definitely get more boost from a small tank set at 5 (pulse) than from my Inogen set at 5 (pulse). They clearly have different scales, but you wouldn’t know it from the settings.


  • rhonda-kramer

    March 30, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    I’ve been on the OxyGo for what feels like forever. Sometimes I have to remind myself that instead of feeling sorry for me for lugging oxygen everywhere I go, I need to be grateful. It wasn’t that many years ago that tanks were our only option. I was fortunate enough to only need 2 liters for the first 9 years since my diagnosis, but I had Covid in November and now need 3 liters to maintain, 4 liters if I am doing anything even a little bit physical. Of course as the need for liters increases, the length of time the battery life decreases. Now just a grocery trip to Walmat (our only store here) takes up almost 2 hours and if they don’t have enough checkers on, the wait time has me watching my available time closely. Kind of a pain, but I always have my charger in my truck and an extra battery as well as a tank.

    It’s been 10 years since my diagnosis which is not PF but IPF from a lung injury caused by either a chemical exposure or a contagion from a sick animal at the vet clinic I worked at. My enduring gratitude to the wise and wonderful pulmonologist I had at that time, who told me if I value what lung function I have left, I will leave that job immediately. Which I, of course, did.

  • jbutch41

    April 4, 2023 at 8:33 pm
    1. I want to comment on POC’s
    2. i have used the respironics  simpli go.  —it was heavy with short battery life.
    3. I also used the Inogenone g5.  It works ok if you you only on 2-3 liters.  My pulmonologist said 6 liter on the Inogen is only equivalent to 3 liters on a tank, because of being a pulse machine. It works ok if you’re using 2-3 . Definitely over priced! I liked the small tanks best using them in a small backpack, but I couldn’t fly with them.
  • brian-sowter

    April 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Dear Friends

    I am 83 and have had IPF for about 10 years so it is moving quite slowly and I don’t use oxygen.  I have always done exercise in one form or another.  These days I feel lacking in energy and feeling like lying down all the time.  Recently I went on a Pulmonary Rehab course and found 15 minutes of exercise every day (when I do it… which is not as much as I should) makes a huge difference and I feel much more energetic.

    I have now got to the stage where I can’t do the full work out without my saturation falling to the point where I have to stop.  My question is:  Has anybody tried using a concentrator just while exercising?  Did it help?  Was it medically recommended?

    I am thinking of buying a portable concentrator for when I exercise.  I would also take it when I go out shopping so I can get back up the hill to my home more easily. Might be handy for travelling too?


    • jeffrey-carver

      April 24, 2023 at 2:30 pm

      I went on home O2 initially because of need for it while exercising. My health insurance pays for the rental, because it’s prescribed by my pulmonologist. At home I use 4LPM continuous while active. If you can get that covered by your insurance, you might also be able to get a home refill system covered. That gives me a small tank and a medium tank which I use in a backpack when out of the house.

      Early on, I bought an Inogen 5G secondhand on Craig’s List, and it serves at need, but it’s not as good as the others when my need is higher. However, I have used it twice on trips when traveling by air, and it serves the purpose reasonably well. Including using while exercising when away from home. But it’s definitely less helpful than a home unit on continuous flow.

      If you can get a home system rented through your insurance, that’s probably your best bet.

  • jeffrey-carver

    April 24, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    BTW, if you’re traveling by air with a POC, plan on spending extra time going through TSA while the agents figure out how to screen you. Also, plan on being in the one seat in the airplane where the AC outlet isn’t working. 🙂

  • peter-cheong

    April 25, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    Hi Charlene.  I saw your list of oxygen concentrators and the O2 capacities.  May I add that the capacities stated are maximum values at flow rate of not exceeding 1 Lpm. Some very light portables are as low as 30%. An advise to those who wish purchase. Don’t take the stated data at face value.  Have the supplier do an actual measurement with an oxygen meter before purchase.
    All the best from Singapore

Log in to reply.