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Micheal Laffey

No Humidor, No Problem: How to Keep Cigars Fresh

If you aren’t a frequent cigar smoker and don’t want to invest in a humidor, that’s okay. In this article, you will learn how to store cigars without a humidor but still keep them fresh, plump, and ready to smoke.

Whether you have cigars for a fun boat trip or a bachelor party or college graduation, you want them to be fresh and flavorful when you crack them out and light them up. But if you are a once-in-a-while cigar user, you probably don’t want to buy a humidor for just one occasion. So these are some ways that you can transport and store cigars without completely ruining them.

There are several options you may not have thought of that this article will explore. Take notes so you can have the best cigars possible without a wooden humidor.

Importance of Proper Cigar Storage

Proper cigar storage is incredibly important. If you do not keep your cigars in the right humidity, temperature, and location, they can expire. Cigars exposed to dry air will also dry out. When this happens, they lose flavor and aroma. They may taste like dirt or nothing at all.

On the other hand, if cigars get excess moisture, they may rot or begin to fall apart, ruining them. To ensure your cigars stay fresh and yummy, ensure you use one of the proper storage methods below. That is if you don’t have a humidor!

How to Keep Cigars Fresh Without a Humidor

Here are some DIY methods of storing and preserving your cigars, no matter where you’re taking them. Remember, none of these methods will be as effective as a proper humidor, but they come pretty close.

Ziploc Bag

This way is one of the cheapest methods. All you need to do is place the cigars in a plastic bag or freezer bag. You can add a humidifier into the bag, which we recommended. A Ziploc bag is risky because you can wind up with crushed or broken cigars if you aren’t careful in transit.


You can use one of those smaller coolers that people like to take to the beach or sporting events. These are excellent for maintaining the humidity and temperature to keep your cigars in perfect condition. You can place a damp sponge or paper towel in the cooler to maintain higher relative humidity. The smaller the cooler, the better because the environment inside will be easy to regulate.

Airtight/Watertight Container

This method works the same as a cooler, but Tupperware is less regulated temperature-wise. Environmental temperatures can seep through these containers, affecting the air surrounding your cigars. You can also include a damp sponge, paper towel, or humidifier adjuster inside the container.

Plastic Wrap

Plastic is the worst and laziest option, but we had to include it. If you don’t preserve your cigars in a humidor or one of the methods above, you should leave the plastic wrappers on your cigars. This method is the bare minimum way to keep your cigars fresh, and the wrappers will only protect the cigars for up to three months.

More Tips For Storing Cigars

Here are some general rules of thumb for storing cigars. Keep these in mind in addition to whichever DIY method you choose for the optimal results.

Avoid Sunlight

Whatever method you use to store your cigars, keep them out of sunlight. Sunlight will warm up the cigars, drying them out and causing them to lose flavor and smell. So try not to leave them sitting in a hot car or anything like that.

Rotate Cigars

If you use a humidifier source inside your cigar storage, make sure you move the cigars around so that one does not receive more moisture than the others. Try to move them around at least once a day to keep them all of the same quality.

Separate Different Cigars

If you have different flavors of cigars and varieties, you should store them separately. If you store a cherry vanilla cigar with plain cigars, all of the plain cigars will take on the smell and flavor of the cherry vanilla. Storing them separately maintains each cigar’s unique flavor and smell, so you can enjoy them properly.

Use a Humidifier Source

You may not want to do this because it requires purchasing some cigar-specific products. But buying floral foam blocks or humidifier gel beads and keeping them with your cigars will help maintain the proper humidity levels, no matter what storage method you use. There are also humidification packs that look like ice packs but maintain humidity.

A cheaper DIY solution is to gently wet a sponge or paper towel and store it in the same container as your cigars. Doing so will keep the air fresh and moist, so your cigars do not dry out before you enjoy them.


So if you need to take your cigars on a trip, but don’t have a travel humidor, don’t panic. Follow one of these DIY humidor methods to keep your cigars fresh and seal in the flavor.

Keep this guide handy to preserve your cigars, even when you go on a journey!


For more information on storing cigars, read the frequently asked questions below.

Do travel humidors work?

Yes! Travel humidors are wonderful products that are compact and portable. If you tend to take cigars on trips with you often and have been using all of these methods, it may be time to invest in a travel humidor. They’re extremely useful for cigar-lovers on the go!

Which method is the best for storing cigars?

Well, the best method is a real humidor. But from our list of DIY options, we would recommend the cooler. Coolers maintain a temperature that will make it easier to preserve the cigars. Plus, they will be safe from breaking or being crushed as they can be in a Ziploc bag.

Can I save an improperly-stored cigar?

Yes, there is hope, even if your cigars have dried out. The longer you store your cigar improperly, the harder it will be to revive it. But you can give it a try either way.

To review dry cigars, place them in a humid environment for as long as possible. Do not blast them with humidity, as this must be a slow process. We recommend storing them in a plastic bag with a wet sponge for a few days, rotating the cigars once a day.