Product Review: Inogen One G2 & Inogen One G3

Inogen One G2 and G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Inogen One G2 and G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Inogen has been a leader in the portable oxygen concentrator industry, producing one of the first portable oxygen concentrators in 2004. Since the original Inogen One concentrator, Inogen has improved their design twice and now offers both the Inogen One G2 and Inogen One G3. I will review these two POCs together.

Primary Features

The Inogen One G2 and G3 are pulse only portable oxygen concentrators, using a minute volume delivery method. This means that they will provide a fixed amount of oxygen each minute regardless of your breathing rate. If you breathe faster, you get less oxygen per breath; if you breathe slower you get more oxygen per breath. The Inogen One G2 provides up to pulse setting 5, while the Inogen One G3 provides up to pulse setting 4.

Both models come standard with the Inogen One G2 or G3 concentrator in an attractive carry bag, AC and DC adapters for home and car, one (1) rechargeable battery in your choice of size. The Inogen One G2 also comes standard with a wheeled cart.

Inogen is the only company that offers two battery options – a small battery that keeps the weight down (7.5 pounds for the G2 and 5 pounds for the G3), or a large battery that lasts twice as long, but does increase the weight a bit (9 pounds for the G2 and 6.25 pounds for the G3). Most retailers will provide additional batteries at a discounted price when you add them to the purchase of your Inogen One.

Optional accessories include an external battery charger and backpack.

Both models are FAA approved for airline travel.

Inogen One G2 and G3 – What I like:
  • Dependable – Inogen is known for quality manufacturing, with fewer service issues than with most other POCs
  • Quiet motor – Inogen units have noticeably quieter motors than other POCs
  • Two battery size options – you decide which is most important, lighter weight or longer duration
  • Pulse flow settings of 1-2-3-4-5 for the G2 and 1-2-3-4 for the G3 (UPDATED 11/1/13: The Inogen One G2 now provides up to setting 6. The amount of oxygen per breath at 20 breaths/minute:
    • Setting 1 = 10.5 mL
      Setting 2 = 21 mL
      Setting 3 = 31.5 mL
      Setting 4 = 42 mL
      Setting 5 = 52.5 mL (G2 only)
      Setting 6 = 63 mL (G2 only)
  • Inogen One G3 is the smallest portable concentrator providing up to pulse setting 4
Inogen One G2 and G3 – What I wish were better:
  • Noisy purging sound on the G3 – Only the Inogen One G3 has this issue. The purging sound, which is the noise produced by the unit when it exhausts the non-oxygenated air, is rather loud. The unit purges about once every 15 seconds. Many people are not bothered a bit by the noise; others are quite distracted by it. The G3 is not a unit you would want to take to a quiet place like a fine dining restaurant or the theater.  I have heard that Inogen is working on this issue, but do not know when it will be resolved.
A special note about the Inogen One G3 and  the Sieve Columns

Inogen One G3 Sieve ColumnAn unusual feature of the Inogen One G3 is that it has sieve columns that can be replaced by the patient. The sieve is the part of the concentrator where the oxygen is concentrated. In all POCs, the sieve will wear out and need to be replaced. All other POCs, including the Inogen One G2, cover the sieve under the standard warranty for the unit (usually 3 years); therefore, the manufacturer will cover the replacement of the sieve within the warranty period, but charge upwards of $400 for replacement once the unit is out of warranty.

The Inogen One G3 sieve columns have only a one-year warranty, yet are expected to need replacing about every 24-30 months. Since this is out of the warranty period, yet prior to unit’s 3-year warranty, Inogen has designed them to be easily replaceable by the patient. The pair of columns is expected to be around $150 and would be available for purchase as an accessory item.

At first I viewed this as a design flaw. Why would Inogen knowingly produce sieve columns that would not last as long as on other models? However, I now see the advantages. Knowing that the sieve of all POCs will need to be replaced shortly after the unit is out of warranty, the cost of replacing the sieve columns on the G3 is fairly low when you consider the cost to replace a sieve on other models. And since you can replace the sieve columns yourself, you do not have the hassle of having to send your unit off to the manufacturer for service.

All-in-all, apart from a caution with regard to the purging sound of the G3, I would highly recommend both the Inogen One G2 and the Inogen One G3 for oxygen users who are looking for a small, lightweight unit that provides a pulse flow of oxygen.

Two companies that sell the Inogen One G2 and Inogen One G3 are OxiMedical and POC Medical.

About Allison Waters

I'm the Oxygen Gal, teacher of all things oxygen, sharing news and information about home and portable oxygen concentrators. I am passionate about helping others learn about oxygen concentrators so they can make the best decisions for their respiratory needs.

Comments

  1. Ulysses Torres says:

    Good afternoon my mother have COPD wich portable can use.

    • Unfortunately, knowing that your mom has COPD does not help me make a recommendation to you. What is more important is the amount of oxygen her doctor has prescribed and her mobility needs.

  2. This article is incorrect in one aspect. Both the G2 and G3 are constantly calculating your breathing patterns, and giving you the correct amount of oxygen per breath. It changes when your breathing patterns change, in order to dose you with the correct amount of oxygen based on your prescribed liter/minute setting. Also, if Medicare/your insurance is paying for your Inogen equipment, the sieve bed replacement is fully covered.

    • Yes, the Inogen adjusts to your breathing rate and provides a minute volume delivery. Therefore, as I stated above, you will received less oxygen PER BREATH when you breath faster and more oxygen PER BREATH when you breath slower, so that you are always receiving the same amount of oxygen per minute. Thus, I do not think my information is incorrect. However, please forward me your source if you still disagree with the information I have provided.

      Thank you for the information about the sieve column. That is helpful for those who have insurance or Medicare coverage.

  3. Nancy Wilkinson says:

    will there be a poc available soon or in the next year that is smaller than the resperonics simple go at 10 lbs I want to have option of wearing on my waist like a pager or at least weigh less. I find it hard to keep dragging the cart in and out of the car when shopping . I need to have only a 2 pulse dose but sometimes put it up to 3-4 when out and about . Continous would be soooo nice,

  4. Judi Wilson says:

    I am fairly new as an oxygen user but here is what I have learned so far. Number one, my medicare complete would NOT pay towards my concentrator at all! But without the oxygen assistance, I would be kept from my activities. I show dogs. I discovered how needy I was at higher altitude when I spent a weekend in Flagstaff at dog shows. I had an ugly time and went to my wonderful pulmonologist when I got back to the valley. After a series of tests, he wrote orders for a concentrator for me. His office recomended the Inogen One G3. I started reading everything I could find and it looked good. I am a 70 yo woman weighing about 120 or less, so size and weight were very important and because I handle large dogs, I needed something flexible.

    I wanted to buy from a bricks and motar store if possible. Wow, did I luck out! I found OxiMedical and they have been wonderful. I have some disappointment with Inogen and everyone should be cautioned that they quite over-state the virtues of their product. They state “up to 4 hours” on battery …….. but I found that to be untrue under any normal use. At 2 level I was only able to get <3 hours. I guess technically "up to" covers that, but it is misleading and deceptive. Because the batteries are very expensive as is the independent charger, buying additional batteries and the charger are simply not possible after purchasing the unit with my own $$$ . So, in that respect, I am disappointed with the Inogen and believe they could be more forthcoming in their material (and perhaps more reasonable in their batteries and chargers). That disappointment is compensated for with the great service I have received from OxiMedical. They adapted the carrier case for me, helped me out with tubing (lesson learned regarding using the unit in a motel) and generally offered me all the assistance I could ask for. I could not be happier. I would send anyone needing concentrators of any kind large or portable to them in a heartbeat. Thank you

    • Thank you, Judi, for your candid assessment of the Inogen One. The experience an oxygen user has with a particular model will depend greatly on their oxygen needs, financial abilities, and personal expectations. And the support you get from your dealer goes a long way, too! I’m glad you found a company that has been so helpful. Kudos to OxiMedical!

  5. Hi Alison,

    i’ve been reading all the information I can get my hands on – even medical journals!! not that I understand much of that, but nevertheless quite interesting….

    I need to find the best option available in POC (on an as needed basis – continuos flow, 5lpm – needed as a back up to a home system, long or multiple battery, car charger and very light weight ) which is available in South AFrica or could be sent there and still be covered by the warranty. I’m also not sure what a dealer would offer – Inogen’s video expect you to ;’say goodbuy to your current supplier and rely on the POC only’ – really! – Is there a POC which makes travelling between countries less laborious? The lungfoundation in Australia have been really great resource for much information and assistance, but RSA don’t have one. Although the World lung foundation cover RSA, can’t find more than medical Trials and TB info though. Converting the power to RSA standards would be a concern too. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you

    • Unfortunately, there are not any POCs on the market that will provide 5 LPM continuous flow. The most a POC will produce on continuous flow is 3 LPM.

      The Inogen One G2 is a good unit if you can use a pulse flow. I wouldn’t recommend giving up a home oxygen concentrator and relying only on a POC. With all the bells and whistles they need to operate, there is much more that can go wrong with a POC, and a backup is always recommended. However, Inogen units are pretty reliable. U.S. retailers are not allowed to ship internationally. But Inogen does have partners in Africa; please visit their international listings at http://www.inogen.net/inogen-home/partners_worldwide

  6. Ron Cochrane says:

    Hi

    Great blog and helpful. I have had the Inogen one G3 for around 3 months. Bought in the USA and shipped to Shenzhen China were I live.

    After 3 months normal use I now get a warning message “low Oxygen..see User manual” The User manual says “see your supplier”

    Have you heard of this problem before, and if so is it something I can do myself. ?

    Thanks

    Ron

    • With the Inogen One G3, if the display says O2 Service Soon, then the sieve columns need replacing, which you can do yourself. However, an error of Low Oxygen means that there is something else wrong with the unit and it would need manufacturer repair. I think units purchased in the U.S. need to be repaired in the U.S. I looked at Inogen’s international partners and I don’t see any in China – http://www.inogen.net/partners_worldwide/

  7. Dana Busenbark says:

    I started looking for a POC on 10/3/13. I finally got in contact with OxiMedical.com about 3 weeks after that. Today I got my POC. I love it. I think it is quiet, and it is smaller than I thought it was going to be. Walked around the apartment and showed my next door neighbor. I’m tickled with it. They gave me an oximeter with a lanyard as well to go with the Inogen One G3. The G3 is lighter and smaller than I pictured it would be. I can’t wait to get started on using it when I’m running around doing what needs to be done.

  8. Hi, I am writing for my 87 yr old father that is trying to determine what kind of oxygen to get. He is debating between a concentrator such as the Inogen one and portable oxygen in the canister. He has COPD, and unfortunately, he does not have a specific perscription from his doctor. His doctor is open to him using either type of machine. My father seems to like the idea of the inogen but is worried about the quality of the product. He is rather mobile and probably would rather have something lighter over something less noisy (but I’ll be sure to mention the noise issue with the G3 just in case). Do you think the Inogen would be a good option for him?

    • As long as his oxygen needs do not exceed Setting 4 pulse then the Inogen One G3 would be a good option. The advantage of a portable concentrator over cylinders is they do not run out of oxygen. You do have to keep an eye on the battery level, but the Inogen can also be powered via AC power or DC power in the car. If he ever intends to fly, then a portable concentrator is a must. As for reliability, Inogen makes a good product, but I have found the Inogen One G2 to be more reliable than the G3.

  9. Carol Buynak says:

    I currently have a Invcare Xpo2. It is about 2 years old and in repair. Apparently I dropped it and caused some internal problem. Since it is under warranty they are repairing it for under $25.00. But I am so interested in the Inogen G3. On XPO2 I use pulse level 3 with good results. A full charge doesn’t last more than an hour and 1/2, so I turn it down to level 2 when I am sitting. Is the noise level of the G3 comparable to the level of the XPO2? Also, on 8 cell battery life at 3, I’ve been told it would last 3 hours, on a 16 cell, weight would be 5.8 lbs, #3 would last 6 hours. Could this be true??

    • The motor of the Inogen One G3 is quieter than the XPO2; however, it has a loud purging sound every 15 seconds. If you contact a dealer, they should be able and willing to let you hear it over the phone; it is quite noticeable. Yes, the 8-cell battery will last 3 hours and the 16-cell battery will last 6 hours. However, the total weight with the 16-cell battery is 6.25 pounds. (The weight of 5.8 pounds that you were told may have not included the carry bag.)

  10. Norman Crosby says:

    I just received an Inogen One G3 POC that I had done serious research on. Yes, it does make a loud purging click every 15 seconds, but at 5.8 pounds and its small size, that can be over looked very easily for me. I have owned and/or rented two other brands of POC in the past. I own and still have a Respreonics Ever Go that was my first POC. Unfortunately it is pulse mode only and I had trouble sleep with it. I then was supplied with a Devibliss iGo by the Insurance company. Love this machine, but it was very heavy (25 pounds with two batteries and cart) to travel by airplane and automobile. But in my Motor Home I could use the iGO 24/7 as it is pulse and continues flow. I made a 11,000 mile road trip last year with it in tow. I used the iGO as my main POC, with Ox2 bottle’s as backup. Now with the new G3 I hope to be able to use it for all portable and stationary conditions and also I can sleep with it just fine so far. There are some very interesting conditions that all POC are limited by, temperature’s below 41 degrees is there limit for long durations. Here in Alaska that does pose a problem for long stays outside in the winter when I am taking photograph’s of the Northern Lights. To get around this problem I have kept the small portable/luggable bottles of Ox2 to use for outside when the temps are below 41 degrees. I really appreciate the small size and light weight of the G3. I will keep you posted of my experiences with the G3.

  11. I need some advice. I purchased an SeQual Eclipse model 1000 3 years ago along with 4 extra batteries. This is my backup oxygen for travel and overnight stays away from home. I use it at 1Lpm in pulse mode. Recently it began alarming and both indicator lights came on. The dealer I purchased it from tells me it is the sieve needs to be replace. The cost of the repair will be somewhere around $1000 and only has a 90 day guarantee. So basically repair doesn’t make sense.
    I am thinking of just replacing the unit with a Inogen G3 because of the size but I am concerned about the purging noise. Is there a way to mitigate the noise when I’m in a quiet place? Could I put my jacket over it or something like that or am I being overly concerned about the noise.
    My big question is this. Is there a market for used batteries? I have 5 perfectly good batteries for the SeQual and while I have no problem returning it to the dealer for disposal, I hate to see the batteries just be wasted. As I understand it the batteries are compatible with a couple of the later SeQual Eclipse models. Is this true and if so how do I go about making them available to someone who can use them?
    Thank you,
    Keith

    • The purging noise of the Inogen One G3 is distracting to some and hardly noticeable to others. Some people feel very self-conscious in quiet environments, while some have found that others may take notice at first of the noise but are quite forgiving once they realize it is providing life-giving oxygen. I don’t think you can muffle the noise very much. You can cover part of the unit, but you have to be careful to keep the air intake and outflow areas well-ventilated. If you would like to try the Inogen One G2, be sure to make a purchase from a company that give you a 7-10 day trial and lets you exchange it for another model. If you find the noise of the G3 bothersome, you will be pleasantly surprised at the quietness of the Inogen One G2. It is a bit larger, but still much smaller than the SeQual Eclipse you have been using.

      As for your batteries, you can sell them on eBay, or perhaps the dealer you choose for your Inogen purchase may be able to offer a small credit for them. Of course, they’ll want to test them first to see how well they perform.

  12. I have the Inogen G3 and I use it mainly for traveling, I was concerned on the sieve you were speaking of. Does it need replacing every year with continuous use or just every year?

    • According to Inogen, the sieve beds (metal columns) have an expected life of 1 year. Actual life will depend on frequency of using the unit and the humidity of the air in which the unit is used. The unit will display a message that says “O2 Service Soon” when the sieve columns need to be replaced. These should be replaced within 30 days of the alarm.

  13. I recently spoke to somone at inogen (forget his name) and I thought he said it was possible to get a free 30 day trial of the G3. Did I hear (or remember) correctly?
    If so, which dealers would provide that free trial?
    Thx.

    • I am not aware of Inogen’s free trial, but you may have heard them correctly. That would probably be an offer you would only receive if you purchase directly from Inogen. I’d be surprised if any dealer can extend the same offer, although you can find dealers with a 14-day trial period (OxiMedical.com)

  14. Destiny Densley says:

    I’ve used the Inogen G3 for over a year now and I love it for it’s size and weight… I don’t have the strength to haul tanks and I HATED the constant calls and having to sit around all day waiting for Oxygen tank delivery. I’m not ready to give up on live and wait on some company that wants to charge me for air. I did alot of research on the Inogen G3, the batteries last a long time and when I’m in a vehicle I can run with the adapter for the cigarette lighter or if I’m in a Hotel or visiting… can just plug it into an AC source. I will get a beeping error that used to scare me saying I need servicing but in reality I had pinched the hose and all I needed to do was to make sure the hose was okay and turn the machine off and on… AOK. I don’t hear so well and all this noise I read about isn’t an issue… I do have a large floor concentrator at home and it is ten times as noisy as the G3. If you can afford the G3, I would recommend it.

  15. I just purchased the Inogen G2 Independence Freedom directly from Inogen, and thanks the terrific customer service by the sales rep that I’m dealing with, I will probably be a long-time loyal customer. but right now I have a few issues. I prefer the pulse method of delivery, as it does allow the battery to last longer. I actually tested the G2 on both A/C current and battery current. The problem I encountered was that the G2 quit delivery any detectable pulse of air after about 3 hours of continuous use, using both just the battery, and then just the A/C plugged into to house outlet (with battery still in place for re-charging). I noticed that the G2 was making some very quiet popping noises, seemingly coming from inside the concentrator. I also noticed that while the green light continued to light upon intake of breath, the amount of oxygen with each breath diminished substantially over time, and since I was feeling dizzy and getting blurred vision, I checked my oxygen with an oximeter, and it registered only 88%, with a lot of variation up to 92% after several deep breaths of just room air. At the time this was happening, there were NO warnings or errors being displayed on the user window. It only ever showed Battery % full when on the A/C, or Battery hours and minutes left when running strictly on the battery. My sales rep transferred me over to technical services, and also wrote up a service report. After over 25 minutes on hold, the tech that finally answered was abrupt, and verged on rudeness.

  16. Regarding the purge noise cited for the Inogen One G3 model how does it compare in “loudness” compared to a Respironics EverFlo model? How does the loudness sound compared to an Inogen G2 model and the Respironics EverFlo model?

    • The purge is about the same as the Respironics EverFlo, but louder when compared to the EverFlo Q model. The Inogen One G2 is very quiet, so the purge is much louder.

  17. Joan Wilson says:

    I’m new to home oxygen, and appreciate this review. What is the difference between pulse and continuous delivery? My home concentrator and O2 tank valve are set at 4. How does this compare with the numbers on the G2 and G3?
    Thank you in advance

    • Your home unit is a continuous flow machine, meaning the unit is always sending out oxygen even if you step away and are not using it. With a pulse flow delivery, you get a puff of oxygen every time you inhale. If your oxygen tank has a regulator on it, then it is providing a continuous flow just like your home unit. If it has a conserver on it, then it is providing a pulse flow delivery. The G3 has a maximum pulse flow of 4, so you would be using the highest level it provides. Therefore, I would recommend the Inogen One G2, which provides up to pulse setting 6.

  18. I’ve had the Inogen One G3 for about nine months now and I love it. I’m at 2L/M, so it last about 3+ hours. It’s so much better then those Oxygen tanks I had to lug around. We went on a trip to the Outer Banks in NC last year and only took the small unit with us. It was great all I had to do was plug it into the cars receptacle and I could go for hours. When we stopped to eat or use the restroom, I’d just unplug it and go in to the service area, then when I got back into the car I just plug it in again. We only needed the G3 cause I could use the batteries, AC plug or in the car DC plug. (I Looove it.) I’m so glad the sales rep. explained everything to me and the service is great when I call and have a question or need products. Keep up the good work.

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