Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Philips Respironics SimplyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator Review:

The Philips Respironics SimplyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator is one of the most popular portable oxygen concentrators available today. Its compact size makes it ideal for use while hiking or camping. However, its small size does make it susceptible to damage if dropped or mishandled.

It comes with a 1L tank which can last up to two days depending on how much you use it. You will need to refill the tank once every four hours. If you are using the device for medical purposes, then this is not a problem since there are special refills available from pharmacies.

If you are looking for a smaller portable oxygen concentrator, then the SimplyGo may be just what you’re looking for. It’s small enough to fit into your pocket or purse and it’s large enough to provide sufficient oxygen supply without causing any problems when used outdoors.

However, if you plan on using the device indoors, then you’ll want something bigger like the Respironics Oxygen Tank 2L (which costs $150).

Why Does the SimplyGo Need a 1L Refill Every Four Hours?

A common question people have when they first get their SimplyGo is why they need to refill the tank every four hours.

The tank is actually 2L in size, so why does it only last for 4 hours?

The truth is, it doesn’t and the issue has to do with the way oxygen concentrators measure their tanks. Most devices measure their tanks in minutes rather than miles, as a liquid measuring cup does.

For example, if you put 10 cups of water into a measuring cup that measures in mL (milliliters), then that 10 cups of water only fills the cup up to be 1/2 full. In order to fill up the same measuring cup to 3/4 full, you actually need 20 cups of water.

Oxygen tanks are measured in minutes rather than miles, so a 2L tank that lasts for 4 hours actually contains 40 hours of oxygen.

While a 40 hour tank sounds like more than enough for most outdoor activities, you might want to bring a second refill anyway since it only takes about 2.5 hours to fill up a completely empty tank.

If you are planning to camp outdoors for more than two nights in a row, then it will probably be more convenient if you bring an extension hose to hook the tank up to your sleeping area. You can find an extension hose on Amazon for about $40. If you are bringing an extension hose, then you can go ahead and fill up the entire 40 hours of oxygen so you don’t have to keep stopping every 2.5 hours to refill the tank.

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While an extension hose is fairly easy to set up, you will need to make sure that you are using a large enough power source to support the additional draw. The SimplyGo only uses 6W of power, but if your extension cord or outlet doesn’t supply enough watts then the concentrator won’t work. If you’re not sure if the cord you have will work, then you can go to a hardware store and purchase a short extension cord that is rated for outdoor use. You can find one for about $3.

Why Does the SimplyGo Need a Power Source?

Most portable oxygen concentrators are battery-operated, but the SimplyGo is different in that it needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to work at all. This makes it less convenient, but that is the price you pay for a smaller, more lightweight concentrator that you can easily carry with you wherever you go.

When choosing an extension cord or outdoor plug, you’ll want to make sure that you get one that will supply at least 6W of power to the concentrator. If your cord or outlet doesn’t supply this much power, then the SimplyGo simply won’t work.

If you are looking for a battery-operated concentrator, then you might want to look into the AirSep Freeda. It’s about the same size as the SimplyGo and can run for 4 hours on a single battery, but it’s a little bulkier and heavier.

The AirSep FreeDa does have the ability to run without being plugged in, but you’ll need to buy additional batteries for it and the batteries are not cheap. A package of two lasts about a week in my home, and I only use it for an hour or two each day.

The AirSep also has a built-in water filter, so if you will be breathing in a lot of fuilds (swimming, farming, etc) then this is probably a better choice for you. You can see the AirSep FreeDa on sale on Amazon here.

What Comes in the Box?

The SimplyGo is available with two different sets of accessories. You can either get a package that includes battery and battery charger, or you can get a package that includes an extension cord and outdoor plug. Whichever set you choose, the concentrator comes with everything else you need, including wall charger, car charger, spare filters, and a carrying bag.

The following is a list of everything that comes in the box:

SimplyGo Oxygen Concentrator

wall charger

car charger

carrying bag

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2 extra patient filters

2 dust filters

Here is a photo of all the accessories that come with the concentrator:

How to Use the SimplyGo Oxygen Concentrator

Turning the SimplyGo On and Off

Before you turn on the SimplyGo, make sure that everything is unpacked and within reach.

There are only two switches on the SimplyGo, and they are both located on the right side of the unit. One is the main power switch, and the other is the pulse dose setting switch.

To turn the SimplyGo on, flip the main power switch to the right. The concentrator will immediately start up.

To turn the SimplyGo off, simply flip the main power switch to the left. The unit will shut off almost immediately.

Adjusting the Pulse Dose Setting

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There is a pulse dose setting wheel located right next to the main power switch. The concentrator comes preset at a pulse dose of 2, but this can be adjusted from 1 all the way up to 8, in intervals of 1.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with pulse dose, this setting allows you to control the amount of oxygen that is delivered to you in short bursts. This is helpful for people who experience breathing problems during the night, or for those who find themselves experiencing shortness of breath during the day.

Turning off the Pulse Dose Setting

The pulse dose does not have to be turned on all the time. In fact, for most people, it can be left off all the time except when it is needed.

If you do choose to leave the pulse dose setting off, just turn the wheel to the far left where it says OFF. The wheel will not be visible when it is in this position.

Programming the Clock

The SimplyGo’s clock is preset at the factory, but it will need to be set manually before its first use. Once the clock has been set once, it will remember the time when it is plugged in to an electric outlet.

To set the clock, press the MODE button until the clock display is highlighted. Use the +/- buttons to set the hour and minutes. Once you are finished, press the START button. The clock will start counting up from zero.

Charging the Battery

The SimplyGo is equipped with a built-in battery that can be used when the unit is not plugged into an electric outlet. The battery is not meant to be a primary power source, but it can help out in an emergency. If you know you will be away from an outlet for an extended period of time, the battery can help make sure your concentrator never loses power. The length of the SimplyGo’s battery charge is 8 hours.

Plug the concentrator into an electrical outlet. The battery indicator (one of the 4 lights on top) will start blinking.

If a power outage occurs while the SimplyGo is plugged in, the unit will automatically switch from electric current to battery backup. If you are using the SimplyGo at this time, your session will continue uninterrupted.

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When the battery needs to be charged, the battery indicator light will flash red. The other 3 indicator lights (O2, HEPA, and FAN) will remain illuminated.

The battery can be charged by plugging the concentrator into an electric outlet. The charging process will begin automatically and the battery indicator light will turn off when the battery is fully charged.

Protecting the Environment

We have developed a recycling program for outdated concentrators. If you are replacing your SimplyGO Plus, simply return it to us and we will eliminate it in an environmentally responsible manner.

The SimplyGO Plus uses cutting-edge technology to give you the comfort and confidence you need to live life to the fullest. Please take a moment after you’ve made your purchase to register your unit. This will allow us to contact you about new products and services from time to time. Of course, you can always unsubscribe if you decide that you’re not interested in receiving information about other products.

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Sources & references used in this article:

A comparative study of 3 portable oxygen concentrators during a 6-minute walk test in patients with chronic lung disease by CJ LeBlanc, LG Lavallée, JA King… – Respiratory …, 2013 – rc.rcjournal.com

Portable oxygen therapy: use and benefit in hypoxaemic COPD patients on long-term oxygen therapy by J Vergeret, C Brambilla… – European Respiratory …, 1989 – Eur Respiratory Soc

Portable oxygen concentrator by A Dubois, P Bodelin, X Vigor – US Patent 6,520,176, 2003 – Google Patents

Filter housing assembly for use in oxygen concentrators and other compressors by Å Fahlman, N Caulkett… – Journal of Zoo …, 2012 – American Association of Zoo …

Compliance with long-term oxygen therapy by concentrator by HP Amann – US Patent 6,866,700, 2005 – Google Patents

Portable oxygen concentrator by P Howard, JC Waterhouse… – European Respiratory …, 1992 – Eur Respiratory Soc

Portable oxygen concentrator by PL Bliss, CR Atlas Jr, SC Halperin – US Patent 7,329,304, 2008 – Google Patents