The Inogen One G4 is the latest edition to the Inogen family of portable oxygen concentrators. With an ever-increasing demand for small and lightweight portable oxygen, Inogen is rising to the challenge with its newest offering. The Inogen One G4 weighs an impressively light 2.8 pounds with the single battery and fits in the palm of your hand.
What You Get with the G4
The Inogen One G4 comes standard with the G4 concentrator in a thin, serviceable carry cover to protect the unit from scratches, AC and DC adapters for home and car, and one (1) rechargeable battery. The G4 offers two battery options – the Single battery provides up to 2.7 hours on setting 1 and keeps the overall weight at 2.8 pounds while the Double battery provides up to 5 hours on setting 1 and increases the overall weight to more than 3.5 pounds. Most retailers will provide additional batteries at a discounted price when you add them to the purchase of your Inogen One G4. An optional accessory is a desktop battery charger and I hear a hip bag is also in the works.
The Inogen One G4 is a pulse-only unit and provides up to setting 3. I was unable to find any information about the actual oxygen output. The fact that Inogen does not make this information readily available concerns me because I have stressed that pulse flow settings are arbitrary numbers set by the manufacturers and there is no industry standard, which means that a setting 2 on one portable concentrator may provide a different amount of oxygen per breath than a setting 2 from another model. Thus, while the small size and weight of the Inogen One G4 may be very attractive, don’t ignore or sacrifice the oxygen you need.
Comparing the New G4 with the Inogen One G3
For current Inogen One G3 users considering making a change to the G4, please note you are making only a size and weight improvement. You would sacrifice several pulse flow settings and possibly oxygen output at the same setting you use on the G3 so be sure to try a G4 before making the financial commitment. Also, note the reduced battery times – about half the time of the Inogen One G3 Single and Double batteries. Active users may find the size more appealing, but will also need more batteries to keep up with their activity. The last notable difference is the carry bag. Inogen provides the unit with the shoulder strap connected directly to the unit itself, so the carry bag is not really a bag at all but more like a protective sleeve. Unlike the G3 carry bag that loads the unit from the bottom while providing easy access for changing the battery, the G4 carry bag/sleeve loads the unit from the top, so you have to remove the unit from the bag/sleeve in order to change the battery. Because of the small size, this will not be a great concern to most, but something to keep in mind. Similar to the G3, the G4 has replaceable sieve columns that are warrantied for one year and will need replacing about every 15-18 months depending on use and climate.
Inogen One G4 – What I like about it:
Lightest POC that delivers up to pulse setting 3 – only 2.8 pounds
Noise level – Good
Two battery options
Runs on pulse flow, and charges the battery, when plugged into an automobile outlet with the DC adapter
Backed by Inogen’s reputation of quality products
Inogen One G4 – What I wish were better about it:
Carry Bag – As I mentioned above, the carry bag is more like a protective sleeve. It has a side zipper and flap at the top that closes with a snap. The bag fits so snugly around the unit that I found it difficult to fasten the snap. Some people may even have trouble with the zipper due to the snug fit. Also, given the frequency with which the unit will have to be removed from the bag for battery changing, I am concerned the snap may pull away from the fabric over time.
All-in-all, I am impressed with the Inogen One G4. With its small size and light weight, it offers the greatest portability of all portable oxygen concentrators. For most, greater portability means more freedom to be active – and that’s the goal! The G4 is a great option for oxygen users who need only low oxygen settings. If you need more than setting 2, consider the more powerful Inogen One G3.