Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer that often catches people unawares while they’re asleep or on a long drive. If you’re someone always on the go, it’s important to have the best portable carbon monoxide detector for travel installed in your vehicle. The danger with this gas is that it is colorless, odorless and tasteless so you’ll never know if the CO levels have reached dangerous levels without a detector.
That’s one of the reasons why some governments mandate the use of CO detectors in factories, hospitals, and homes. To maintain a level of safety, a CO detector should be added to your list of must-have accessories for the ultimate road trip. You can be sure with the best portable carbon monoxide detectors to keep you safe during travel, your road trip will be a stress-free one.
What to Look for In a CO Detector
Although most CO detectors come with a battery some that run on electricity may not have the option. It’s always a good idea to have a battery backup in case there is a power failure.
A good digital display gives you first-hand information about the CO levels. When you have a display you can not only view the CO levels, but you’re also certain that your device is working.
There’s no point in purchasing a detector with a soft alarm. The alarm needs to be loud enough to wake you from your sleep.
Make sure that the device you’re purchasing is certified for quality and safety. A cheap CO detector that has no certification will put you in more danger.
One more thing that you need to bear in mind when buying a CO detector is to look out for the date of manufacture. Very often a device that has a long shelf life may already be well past the date because of the manufacturing date.
First Alert CO600 Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detector
Some of the best portable carbon monoxide detectors are from First Alert. However, unlike the other carbon monoxide detectors from First Alert, the CO600 has a plugin option. You can plug it into a 120-volt power outlet. It also has a battery back up for continuous monitoring in the event of a power failure.
A loud 85-decibel alarm will sound if the carbon monoxide reaches dangerous levels. Four beeps and a pause indicates the detection of carbon monoxide. Although the CO detector has a 7-year warranty, it also comes with an end of life notifier that informs you when you need to replace the device.
- Portable and easy to install when traveling
- Works with electricity
- Does not have a display
Alert Plus Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector with Digital LCD Display
The Alert Plus CO detector is one of the best portable carbon monoxide detectors to have in your car. It’s small and easy to install and also comes with a five-year manufacturer warranty. A small LCD display shows you the level CO and light on its face continuously blinks to show you that it’s doing its job.
During a CO leak, a powerful 85-decibel voice alarm will go off to alert you of the danger. The manufacturer also assures of 100% satisfaction and will take back the device if you’re not satisfied with its performance.
- Easy to install
- 5-year manufacturer warranty
- Superior alarm performance
- The detector comes with installed batteries. However, the plastic wrapper on the battery must be removed to activate it.
- No date of manufacture on the detector or the carton
GXG -1987 Handheld Carbon Monoxide Meter
If you’re looking for a portable carbon monoxide detector for travel which is great value for money, the GXG-1987 is a good option. This compact handheld detector is extremely easy to use and monitor.
The GXG-1987 has a large digital display that updates every 15 seconds to record any abrupt changes. When levels of CO reach an unhealthy point an alarm will emit four quick audible beats every five seconds to alert you of the danger.
- Handheld and easy to use
- Large LCD display with CO and temperature levels
- Does not come with clear instructions to set up
Forensics Car and Aircraft CO Detector
The Forensics Carbon Monoxide Detector is one of the best portable carbon monoxide detectors for travel. It can be used in a wide range of automobiles as well as in a train or aircraft.
The plastic protective sleeve-mount at the back of the device makes it easy to attach to any part of the vehicle. A digital display indicates battery level and CO level. It’s fairly easy to operate with a one-button operation. The CO alarms are set at 9ppm with an audible alarm of 70 decibels.
- Great for travel as it can be fitted anywhere
- Good accuracy
- Strong construction
- In order to reset the device, the batteries have to be removed
- The adhesive on the back is a little weak so you may need to use a screw
Although the Sensorcon Inspector was designed for commercial and industrial purposes, it does a good job personally too. This waterproof CO detector is a good travel companion too as it’s small and portable.
LED alarm lights and a sensor inlet can be used to reach areas that are not easily accessible. Unlike most of the CO detectors, this device goes off when the CO levels are as low as 35ppm. The display shows CO levels from 1 to 1,999ppm. Another advantage of this detector is that it’s designed for long term use with a replacement battery, sensor, and calibration services available.
- Designed to last
- Digital display showing levels from 1ppm to 1,999ppm
- Does not have enough memory to store readings
- You may require to recalibrate it after some use
Fasohere Multi-Function Car Carbon Monoxide Detector
A portable carbon dioxide detector for travel is the Multi-Function Car Carbon Monoxide detector from Fasohere. The great thing about this device is that it combines a CO detector, USB fast charger, and a safety emergency hammer. When the CO levels are over 100ppm in the car, the alarm will beep and a red light flashes to alert you of the danger.
The charger is also pretty handy with qc 3.0 port and USB type C port. It also has the convenience of being able to charge two devices at the same time. The top material of the charger is 304 stainless steel. To use the safety hammer you’ll need to unscrew the charging head at the top.
- The multifunctional option makes this a handy device to have
- Beeps when the CO levels in the car are over 100ppm
- Since there’s no indicator as such, you can get confused about its functioning
- The weight tends to make it fall out of the socket sometimes
UEi Carbon Monoxide Detector CO71A
Resembling an old model mobile phone, the UEi Carbon Monoxide Detector is another handy portable carbon monoxide detector for travel. You don’t need to fix it anywhere but can place it where you need it or attach it to your clothes. This one is especially great if you move around a lot.
The simplified interface of this handheld detector constantly indicates precise quantities of CO. The detector has a 9V battery life and shows a reading of up to 999ppm on the display. Like most CO detectors, an alarm goes off when the CO reaches dangerous levels. A graduating LED light warns of changing CO concentration levels.
- A handy portable detector which is easy to move around
- Simplified interface constantly indicates levels of CO
- Has a low battery indicator
- Needs annual calibration to ensure that it’s working properly
Pyle Meters Hand Held CO Meter
If you’re looking for the best portable carbon monoxide detector for travel, a good option is a handheld meter like Pyles Handheld CO meter. It has a high level of accuracy measuring between 1- 1000 ppm and uses electrochemical sensors to detect CO levels. To help conserve battery life the meter will shut down automatically.
The LCD display works great even in poor light conditions because of the backlight. Four buttons help in controlling the various functions that the meter has. When the CO goes up to 35ppm the beeper will go off.
- Handheld and easy to use
- Uses electrochemical sensors to detect CO levels
- Good value for money
- LCD display works well even in poor light conditions
- The beeper continues to beep until the CO levels go down which can be quite annoying after a point
- The product comes with a disconnected battery so the red protective strap has to be removed and the batter connected before use.
Kiddie Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm
The Kiddie brand has some of the best portable carbon monoxide detectors for travel and the Kiddie Plug-In does not disappoint. It’s pretty easy to install and use. All you need to do is to plug it into a 120V outlet and you’re good to go. The device also has a backup 9V battery.
A digital display shows the CO levels in your surroundings. You can also view the peak CO level recorded by the alarm with the peak level button. There is also a button for testing the functionality. An 85-decibel alarm will sound to alert you of dangerous CO levels.
- Dual power source of battery or plugin option
- Three mounting options for setting up the device
- Digital display shows levels of CO
- 5-year limited manufacturer warranty
- There’s nothing to fault in this device
KOABBIT Plug-In Carbon Monoxide and Explosive Gas Detector
For someone looking for double protection, this portable carbon monoxide detector for travel from KOABBIT is a great device to have. It not only alerts you about dangerous CO levels but also detects any explosive gases. It’s easy to set up and connects to 90V-240V. A backup 9V battery can also be installed.
Updating every nine seconds to record any sudden changes, the LCD digital display clearly displays levels of gas from 0 to 3000ppm. If the levels of CO reaches 100ppm or the concentration of combustible gases reaches 6%, an 85-decibel alarm will go off and red LED lights will flash.
- Works with electricity but a 9V backup battery can also be installed
- Dual function for CO and combustible gases
- Beeps, when CO levels reach 100ppm and combustible gas levels, are 6%
- Backup battery not included
- The alarm sometimes goes off randomly
First Alert CO710
Another great portable carbon monoxide detector is the First Alert CO710. This portable and handy device is fairly easy to install. This 10-year battery-operated alarm provides continuous monitoring of CO levels. Predictably, the device comes with a 10-year limited warranty. When it’s time to replace the unit, an end-of-life signal chirp will alert you.
The digital display is a great feature on this one as it’s fairly easy to read. Temperature and CO levels are displayed. Another great feature on this one is the voice alarm function which replaces the beeping sound. At 85-decibels you can be sure to hear the alarm once a dangerous level of CO is detected.
- Long-lasting battery up to 10 years
- Automated voice alarm
- Digital display
- Be sure to check out the date of the manufacturer as some units may be closer to the date of replacement when you buy them