If you’ve been smoking cigars for a time, or you’re just an old-school type, odds are you’re using the traditional device to keep them humid. Known generally as Credos, after the best-known manufacturer of these devices, they’re as simple as they can be—just some water-loving foam captured inside a plastic disk or box with a bunch of holes punched in it to allow moisture to travel in and out. They’ve been around as long as they have because they work…for the most part, at least. Some are definitely better at staying moist than others, and if you’ve had or have one that’s not a moisture-lover then you know what a real pain in the rear they can be when they don’t work right.
Want to make your life easier? Ditch them and enter into the new age of cigar humidifiers. Change out the foam for polymer. You’ll be glad you did.
The leader of the pack in this arena is Xikar, which not only offers a full line of humidifiers as well as other products, but also recently purchased a company called Madelaine Humidification Systems that makes a line of similar products. They’re all based on the same theory, and on pretty much the same substance—beads made out of polymer. There are some differences in the products, and you’ll want to know what’s inside the device you buy as some should only be charged with distilled water and nothing else. Others—Xikar among them—use a proprietary propylene glycol/water mix, and since the companies that market these devices also market branded mixes, it’s probably a good idea to buy the mix that matches the humidifier as the propylene/water proportions are most likely very different from the 50/50 blend that’s sold for Credo humidifiers.
In addition to being a lot better at absorbing moisture and maintaining humidity levels, which means less time monitoring and maintaining them, these new school humidifiers are also a lot less likely to develop bacteria, which can be an issue with sponge-based devices.
The price of admission can be—okay, is—higher than the old-school devices, but not enough to break the bank. Cough it up; you’ll buy yourself a lot of convenience and peace of mind when you do.