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Reviews > Health & Safety > Accessories > O Canisters > Test Report by Kurt Papke

Oxygen Plus O+ Canisters

Test Series by Kurt Papke

Initial Report - June 26, 2019

Long Term Report October 12, 2019

Tester Information

Name: Kurt Papke
Age: 65 (I'll be 66 at the time of the Long Term Report)
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 230 lbs (105 kg)
Email address: kwpapke (at) gmail (dot) com
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona USA

I do most of my hiking in the desert Southwest, but occasionally get up into the Pacific Northwest and my old stomping grounds in Northern Minnesota.  I am a comfort-weight guy when it comes to most gear, trying to stay as light as possible but I don't go to extremes.  I have noticed for a long time that I get out of breath more easily than my hiking companions, and was recently diagnosed with early stage emphysema.  I have difficulty getting enough air in my lungs, particularly under conditions when I am exerting myself at high levels or hiking at altitude.

Initial Report

Product Description and Facts

I have watched with interest for many years as professional athletes try to speed their recovery during an event by breathing oxygen on the sidelines.  I am looking forward to trying for myself to see how well that works.

The product is bottled oxygen, under pressure in a metal canister.  Pure oxygen is dispensed into the mouth and nose by pressing on a tab or trigger on the canister, similar to using a can of spray paint.  We are testing three different sizes of their canisters with varying amounts of oxygen, trading off weight for volume.

O+ lists in their literature a number of occasions where the intake of pure oxygen could be useful: a slump period, stress, stale air, air travel, hiking and biking at elevations 3000 ft (~1000 m) and above, before and after resistance and/or cardio workouts, before sleep or the morning after alcohol consumption.  I plan to focus on the highlighted items in the above list.

Product Information
Oxygen Plus, Inc.
Manufacturer website
Products tested
O+ Mini (3 pack), O+ Skinni (12 pack), O+ Biggi (6 pack)
Country of manufacture
United States
Pure oxygen, aluminum, plastic nozzles
I was not able to find any warranty or guarantee information in their literature or website
Shelf life
24 months from fill date.  The fill date is printed on the bottom of each canister:
Note that in my case I received the canisters in June 2019, about 6 months after the fill date, so they will expire in about 18 months from the time of receipt.

O+ Mini
O+ Skinni
O+ Biggi
Oxygen Volume
1.55 L (52 fl oz)
3.4 L (115 fl oz)
11 L (372 fl oz)
Breaths/canister (estimated by manufacturer)
Listed total weight/canister
37 g (1.31 oz)
49 g (1.73 oz)
153 g (5.4 oz)
Listed dimensions
1.25x4 in
(3.17x10.16 cm)
1.25x7.5 in
(3.17x19.05 cm)
2.5x11.25 in
(6.35x28.58 cm)
Measured weight
35 g (1.23 oz)
51 g (1.8 oz)
136 g (6 measured canisters)
(4.8 oz)
Measured dimensions
1.25x4 in
(3.17x10.16 cm)
1.25x7.5 in
(3.17x19.05 cm)
2.5x11.25 in
(6.35x28.58 cm)
List price
US $15.50/3 pack
US $77.50/12 pack
$64.50/6 pack
US $3.33
US $1.90
US $0.98

As noted in the bold/underlined text in the above table there was one discrepancy from the manufacturer's specifications.  The Biggi canisters were considerably lighter than listed.

Initial Inspection


This is a lot of oxygen; the manufacturer was very generous in the supply they sent.  At first blush, the Mini and Skinni look appropriate for the trail, and the Biggi looks useful at basecamp, or for keeping in the car to use before/after a workout.

The canisters seem incredibly light in the hand, like there is nothing in them.  I am used to propane fuel canisters where the liquid is quite heavy, but these are truly featherweight.  The Biggi is not to heavy to carry in a backpack, but it is quite bulky.

Trying it Out

O3Of course I had to try it out, so I broke open the seal on one of the Biggi canisters and took a few breaths.  I like the way the Biggi canister has a face mask where I can be reasonably certain the oxygen is getting into my nose and mouth.  The Mini and Skinni just are sprayed in the general direction of the mouth and nose and I breathe in and hope most of it gets in.  They have no face mask (see above photo), just a push down valve on the top of the canister.  The Biggi trigger worked well, I could feel the valve opening as well as hear the gas escape.

I didn't expect any big rush, but I did experience a slight increase in clarity, similar to what I experience by taking a few deep breaths.


I am looking forward to getting this product out into the backcountry and trying it out.  I have some high altitude training hikes planned in the next month, and I would like to see how well this product assists with my breathing challenges.

Good Things:

  • Very lightweight
  • The Minni and Skinni are slender enough that they will be easy to store in a backpack


  • Potential for wasting too much oxygen with the two smaller sizes

Long Term Report

Non-Hiking Use

O4During the warm months, which is about 1/2 the year here in Tucson, I try to swim laps regularly for conditioning.  Swimming is one of those exercises where one must breathe in a rhythmic fashion to match the stroke timing, I can't just pant like I do when hiking or running.  I thought the O+ product might be useful during my swimming workouts and indeed they are!

I typically will do 10 lengths or so of the pool, then take a short rest.  I found that if I left the O+ canister at the shallow end of the pool, then taking about five puffs of the pure oxygen after each 10 lap interval, that I recovered much faster.  What seemed to work for me was one pull of the oxygen, followed by two regular breaths, then repeated four more times was perfect.  Taking the two regular breaths between each O+ dispense felt more natural.

Between the goggles and breathing out of a canister I'm sure I looked pretty bizarre.  Good thing this was done in the privacy of my back yard.

Hiking Use - Testing Conditions

Distance Hiked
July 6-7, 2019 Tonto National forest, Pinal Peak just south of Globe, Arizona
~2 miles
(~3 km)
7600 ft
(2310 m)
Partly cloudy, 55-70 F
(13-21 C)
July 20-21, 2019
Chiricahua Wilderness, Southeast Arizona
Crest Trail
14 miles
(22.5 km)
8300-9450 ft
(2530-2880 m)
Sunny, breezy, 50-70 F
(10-21 C)
August 3-11, 2019
San Juan Mountains between Durango and Silverton, Colorado
Colorado Trail(s)
38 miles (61 km), 21 miles (34 km) backpacking
8000-12708 ft
(2440-3873 m)
Mix of rain and sun, temperatures 50-80 F (10-27 C)
September 12-13, 2019
Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness near Big Timber Montana
West Boulder River
6 miles (9.7 km)
5542-5866 ft
(1689-1788 m)
Mostly sunny, temperatures 45-65 F (7-18 C)
September 15-18, 2019
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Bechler River Trail
30 miles (48 km)
6400-8600 ft
(1950-2620 m)
Sunny the first and last day, cold and rainy the second and third day
25-65F (-4-18 C)
September 19-22, 2019
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
7+12+14=33 miles
(11+19+23=53 km)
6750-10400 ft
(2060-3170 m)
Sunny the first and last day, cold and rainy the second and third day
32-65F (0-18 C)

Pinal Peak

This was a one-night car camping trip.  It was insufferably hot in Tucson, and I was looking for some altitude to get relief from the heat.  I had hiked Pinal Peak, but never driven to the campground before so it seemed like a good time to go.  I did some day hikes, but nothing too long as the campsite was almost at the peak, and I didn't feel like hiking down the mountain then back up again!

I used the Biggi canister several times to give me a boost after my short day hikes as shown in the above photos at lower left.  I could tell I was at some elevation (7600 ft or 2310 m), as the oxygen had more of an effect than it did at home.

Crest Trail

One-night backpacking trip to the second-highest of Arizona's Sky Islands.  The Crest Trail follows the high ridgeline, so maintains enough elevation to keep a hiker fairly cool even in an Arizona summer.

I used all three sizes of the product in the following fashion:
  • Mini: I kept this in my backpack hipbelt pocket where it was easily accessible while hiking.  See photo above at upper left.
  • Skinni: I kept the mid-sized canister in the front pocket of my pack where it was accessible when I took my pack off.
  • Biggi: the large canister remained in the trunk of my car for use before/after the hike.

I was happy with the way I deployed the three sizes.  The Mini got used after some of the climbs along the trail.  Most of the hike was at about 9000 ft (2700 m) or above, so I became easily winded on the climbs.  I used the Skinni in camp, both on arrival and in the morning just before I set off.  I used the Biggi before departing on the hike, and upon my return.  In most cases I took a series of about 5 breaths of oxygen.  I noticed the impact the most when I had the biggest oxygen debt, i.e. when I was panting after an uphill climb while hiking.

I had concerns while using the Mini and Skinni that I'd waste much of the oxygen into the atmosphere, since it neither has a face mask.  I found myself spraying directly into my mouth (mouth breathing) in order to maximize the amount of oxygen making it into my lungs.  I'm wondering whether it might make sense for the manufacturer to offer an optional mouthpiece that fits over the spray tip and allows all of the oxygen to be consumed.  I use a bronchodilator inhaler, and something along those lines might work.

Overall I had a positive experience with the product on this trip.  The canisters are lightweight so I don't feel like I am weighing my pack down, easy to use, and effective.

Colorado Trail(s)

This is an annual trip for the Tucson Backpacking Meetup group to the San Juan Mountains.  We rent a group campsite for a week and do day hikes for a few days, then I lead a 3-day backpack along the Colorado Trail after everyone has had a chance to acclimate a bit.

Some of the participants were a bit out of shape and struggled with the altitude on the day hikes, and I ended up lending my O+ canisters out to several of them.  In the above photo collage at lower right, Kat was having some breathing issues even in camp and she was the first to partake.  She found it quite helpful.

O6On our second hike we were quite ambitious and did the hike up to Columbine Lake (see photo at left).  We began at an elevation of 10,300 ft (3140 m) and climbed to 12,700 (3870 m) over about 4 miles (6.5 km) one way.  This was pretty ambitious for the second day out.  I was getting by with an occasional shot from a Mini cartridge that I kept in my lumbar pack.  I was struggling a bit, but the guy I was hiking with told stories around the campfire that night about how I sped past him after taking a few shots of oxygen!

On the way down I encountered one of our hikers that was really struggling.  I gave her my Mini cartridge, which she greatly appreciated and mentioned that night how much it helped her.  Oxygen Plus to the rescue!!

Our backpacking trip was pretty strenuous, and I was carrying a good-sized pack, but oddly enough after a few days of tough day hikes I must have acclimated a bit, and didn't need to hit the oxygen as much as I did earlier in the week.  It makes sense when I think about it: supplemental oxygen is more useful for me before acclimating when I am really breathing hard.

West Boulder River

I brought several canisters with me, but did not use them as the altitude was not enough to bother me and the hike was easy enough that I didn't really get out of breath at all.


Yellowstone National Park - Bechler River

This was a four-day backpack along the Bechler River trail from the Lone Star trailhead to Bechler Ranger Station.  The first three photos in the above set include Mark, Jeff and myself using a Mini canister along the trail.  The Bechler is not terribly strenuous, but it does cross the Continental Divide several times and the elevation was enough that we all felt a bit gassed crossing it with our heavy packs.  Everyone thought it was helpful, that it indeed does provide a "boost" when we were not particularly well adapted to the elevation.

Grand Teton National Park

We had intentions of doing four days of backpacking, but when we arrived to get our walk-up permit the weather forecast looked horrendous.  We opted to do day hikes instead, and as it turned out the weather was worse than predicted and we would have been hiking & camping in a major snowstorm with potential very bad outcomes.

Hike one: from the top of the tram we did an out-and-back down the South Fork trail.  I didn't carry a day pack, and so I forgot to bring any O+ canisters.  It's a pity, because I could have used them.

Hike two: loop hike around Jenny and String Lakes.  Not much elevation, so I carried a canister but never got it out.

Hike three: out-and-back up Paintbrush canyon to Holly Lake.  I did some serious huffing and puffing on this climb, and the fourth photo in the set above shows me gasping for oxygen (and getting it!) along the trail.


My takeaway after using the product for nearly four months is that it is quite effective in helping me to recover more quickly when I am winded.  I didn't notice the effect nearly as much if I was just sleepy or tired.  It didn't make me feel like I had more energy, it simply helped me to bounce back rapidly, but this is a very good thing!  The canisters were very lightweight and easy to carry as well as use.  I wish I had a better way to ingest the oxygen with the two smaller sizes, but of course I'm not willing to make the product more bulky or have it weigh more!

The canisters can be easy to forget to bring along.  When I had my backpack with me it was no problem, because I simply kept one in the front pocket.  When day hiking, I had to explicitly remember to pack one.

Of the three sizes I prefer the Skinni.  The Mini doesn't last long enough on a backpacking trip, especially if it is shared with other hikers.  The Biggi is just too bulky to carry easily in a backpack pocket.  The Skinni is just right: enough capacity, and the slender profile fits nicely into a pocket of my backpack.

Many thanks to Oxygen Plus and for the opportunity to test this product.

Read more reviews of Oxygen Plus gear
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