Cigar Aficionado

A Travel Humidor to Depend On

By land, air or sea, the Elite travel humidor by Cigar Products International Inc. is a responsible friend to the traveling cigar smoker.

Built for protection, the Elite is made of ABS resin, a hard plastic material. Granted, it is not among the most chic of accessories, with looks more akin to a drill or tool case rather than a humidor. However, strength and durability rather than style seem to be its chief priority. The company even encourages customers to stand on it. We did, and it held up without bending or even bowing under 170 pounds of aficionado muscle -- a nice reassurance if the humidor will be riding in the language compartment.

The "o-ring" seal is watertight and airtight. The interior is lined by gray foam padding with individual grooves, which flex to accommodate 16 cigars of up to 7.5 inches by 52-ring gauge. It gives off a slight plastic smell but also provides a nice cushion against bumping and jostling. The passive foam humidifier fastens by Velcro to the lid. The airtight seal functions to keep out water and maintain the humidity level inside, but generally, the air inside a humidor should circulate from time to time. Therefore, it would be good practice not to leave the cigars in the humidor for too long without opening the lid, which could cause cigars to become over humidified or stale.

There is no locking mechanism on it, which could be a drawback when voyaging among general public, but if you're the worrying type -- carting around some pre-Castro Cubans -- you could put a master lock around the handle.

The Elite travel humidor may not have the glamour of a leather bound or veneer cover travel piece, but it certainly makes good on its claims and even ups its appeal with an inexpensive price of about $89.95 -- available at retail tobacconists. Call Elite at 1-888-279-4223 for more information.