With all the new portable oxygen concentrators releasing each year, it can be really difficult to keep up with everything that’s going on. Doing a web search may help you out a bit, but it will likely raise more questions than it will answer. This is why we’ve taken the time to put together guides like this one to help you learn about the best portable concentrators of the new year.
However, as we’ve mentioned in the past, just because a concentrator is widely considered to be the best on the market doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best one for you. Every oxygen patient has different wants, needs, and concerns, so it’s important to take all of these things into consideration first. Once you do so, you’ll be able to weigh the pros and cons of each unit before making a decision.
To further this goal, we’re taking a look at two popular pulse flow portable oxygen concentrators this week: the Inogen One G5 and the ResMed Mobi. Each of these concentrators has been praised by patients and retailers alike for their high-quality design and their focus on portability and freedom above all else. Read on to learn more about each unit and feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.
ResMed Mobi Overview
ResMed is known for its innovations in CPAP technology. Since its inception in 1989, the company has focused on making sleep apnea treatment more effective, comfortable, and accessible. ResMed is also largely responsible for making CPAP devices more widely available for a global audience, allowing sleep apnea patients to get the products they need to sleep restfully.
So far, ResMed has only produced two oxygen concentrators: the ResMed Mobi and the LifeChoice Activox 4L. The older of which, the Activox 4L, marked ResMed’s first foray into oxygen therapy when it acquired the creators of the machine, Inova Labs, back in 2016. In early 2019, ResMed released the Mobi which saw several major improvements over the LifeChoice Activox 4L.
Like the name “Mobi” suggests, this oxygen concentrator is all about mobility. This device offers a lightweight design, ample battery life, and plenty of carrying options to suit your wants and needs. The ResMed Mobi has an internal battery, so unlike other portable oxygen concentrators, you won’t have to take time to replace batteries unless you want to use the Mobi’s external battery system.
Inogen One G5 Overview
Inogen was created in the early 2000s with the dream of revolutionizing the way COPD patients see oxygen therapy. At the time, oxygen patients dreaded using oxygen tanks because it meant being bound to their homes and expending a significant amount of their savings refilling their tanks once or twice a day. What’s more, these tanks could be dangerous and many people felt insecure even being around them.
The Inogen G5 is the latest pulse flow POC in Inogen’s “G” series of units. It boasts the highest oxygen output of any pulse flow portable oxygen concentrator on the market, coupled with a lightweight design and an incredible battery life. We labeled the Inogen One G5 the best portable oxygen concentrator of 2020 because we believe it’s the best machine for the greatest number of people.
Pulse Flow Settings
As aforementioned, the Inogen G5 and ResMed Mobi are both pulse flow portable oxygen concentrators. What this means is that they both use pulse flow technology. This technology was developed as a more efficient alternative to continuous flow which is the oxygen delivery method used on heavier and more cumbersome oxygen concentrators.
As opposed to continuous flow which puts out a constant stream of oxygen, pulse flow delivers a bolus of oxygen only when the patient inhales. In concentrators like the G5 and Mobi, this plays an important role in keeping the units small, lightweight, and allowing the battery to last as long as they do.
Oftentimes, this is the best place to start when choosing an oxygen concentrator, because if your machine doesn’t meet your oxygen demands, it’s not worth pursuing in the first place. You’ll be happy to know that both the Inogen One G5 and ResMed Mobi offer plenty of options. The G5 can go up to a setting of 6 and the Mobi can go up to a setting of 4.
The vast majority of oxygen patients only need a setting of 2, so both of these units tend to be a great choice. However, if your doctor recommends you use a higher flow setting or you want room to move up, the Inogen One G5 could end up being a safer choice for you.
In the world of portable oxygen concentrators, battery life equals freedom. Fortunately, the Inogen One G5 and ResMed Mobi are both contenders for the best battery life of any portable oxygen concentrator on the market. However, their batteries work a little bit differently, so it’s important to understand these differences before you make a purchase.
The G5 runs solely on external batteries that can be attached or removed from the device. The G5 single battery (8-cell battery) which comes with the device offers up to 6.5 hours of life on a pulse flow setting of 1. The G5 double battery (16-cell battery) which is sold separately, offers up to 13 hours of battery life on a setting of 1.
Instead of coming with an external battery like the G5, the ResMed Mobi has a battery built into it. This internal battery offers 8.6 hours of battery life on a pulse flow setting of 1. However, there is an external battery you can purchase separately which extends this to 13.1 hours of battery life on one charge.
Weight is the third most important factor to consider when choosing a portable oxygen concentrator. After all, it wouldn’t be portable if it wasn’t light enough to carry around with you wherever you go. There are several important things to note when comparing the weight of the G5 and the weight of the ResMed Mobi.
The G5 weighs in at 4.7 pounds and the Mobi weighs in at 4.8 pounds. For the most part, the weight difference is negligible, however, you have to remember that the Mobi has more built-in battery life than the G5 offers with a single battery. If you want more than 6.5 hours of battery life with your G5, you’ll need to purchase an extra single or double battery which will add some extra weight.
All things considered, the Inogen One G5 and ResMed Mobi excel when it comes to weight. If you suffer from back pain or other conditions that prevent you from carrying heavy objects, you’ll find that these two units are some of the best on the market. Most patients can easily carry these machines over their shoulder without having to use a rolling cart.
Sound level isn’t usually a problem with portable oxygen concentrators. If you’ve never heard one before, most people compare it to a quiet hum, not much louder than a whisper. Some patients notice the sound at first, but after a day or two of using the oxygen device, they get used to it.
It is worth noting the noise level of both units, however, because the Mobi is on the louder side compared to other pulse flow portable oxygen concentrators. The Inogen One G5 is just 37 decibels (dBA) on a setting of 2 and the Mobi is 44 dBA on a setting of 2. In most situations, you probably won’t notice this difference, but if you’re in a quiet place like a library, you may find that the Mobi is too loud.
Ease-of-use and usability are important factors to consider when buying a portable oxygen concentrator. If you struggle to use your machine correctly while you’re out of the house, you could waste a lot of time that you could be spending enjoying your life. You should strive to find a POC that suits your lifestyle and doesn’t produce any unnecessary hassle for you in your daily life.
Both the Mobi and the G5 have user-friendly interfaces that enable you to easily modify your oxygen flow or check your battery life on-the-go. The control panel is built into the top of the unit and there aren’t a whole lot of buttons that you’ll need to deal with. Most oxygen patients are happy to find that they can learn all the ins and outs of operating their unit within the first day or two of owning it.
You’d be remiss to purchase a Mobi or G5 without looking into all the great accessories they have to offer. One of the things you’ll be happy to find is that both units offer plenty of carrying options in order to customize your experience and allow you to live life on your own terms.
The Mobi has a sleek, gray carrying case that can be slung over your arm, worn on your back, or even attached to a suitcase or rolling cart using four different straps that you can purchase separately. The G5, on the other hand, has two different carrying options: the G5 Custom Carrying Case and the G5 backpack. The custom carrying case is for those looking to travel light and the backpack is great if you’re going on a long vacation and need to carry a lot of personal belongings.
The Ideal Candidate for the ResMed Mobi
The Mobi is ResMed’s first foray into medical oxygen devices after acquiring Inova Labs in 2016. While they are new to the oxygen industry, they have three decades of experience with producing sleep therapy equipment and they are largely responsible for the success of CPAP and BiPAP therapy today. Coupled with their prominence and reputability, ResMed has what it takes to put out great portable oxygen concentrators.
ResMed certainly didn’t disappoint with the ResMed Mobi. This portable oxygen concentrator is lightweight, has a small form factor, and has an outstanding internal battery that will keep you going all day. The ideal candidate for the Mobi is someone who wants more freedom in their day-to-day life. This means not having to worry about refilling an oxygen tank, having a long-lasting durable battery, and a reliable machine that can run 24/7 while you’re asleep or while you’re awake.
The Ideal Candidate for the Inogen One G5
It’s hard to compete with Inogen when it comes to their track record of success. While they haven’t been around as long as other oxygen concentrator companies, the impact they’ve had is undeniable. In fact, Inogen is such a sought-after brand that patients and retailers alike eagerly await the release of their concentrators and accessories.
Having been released this past summer, the Inogen One G5 is a top-tier portable oxygen concentrator. In terms of weight and battery life, the G5 is neck-in-neck with the ResMed Mobi. Most importantly though, the G5 offers two more flow settings than the Mobi, so if you have higher oxygen demands, the G5 will always be a better choice.
At the end of the day, you can’t really go wrong with the Inogen G5 or ResMed Mobi. Both units are backed by reputable and experienced brands and they’re some of the most advanced oxygen therapy devices the industry has to offer. Once you ensure that your oxygen needs are accounted for, it ultimately comes down to preference. If you’ve used ResMed sleep apnea products before, go with the Mobi. However, if you’ve used other Inogen products like the G3 or G4, the G5 may be your first choice.