Compared to the near infrared, many technologically and industrially relevant gas species have more than an order of magnitude higher absorption features in the mid-infrared (MIR) wavelength range. These species include for example important hydrocarbons (methane, acetylene), nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides. Tunable laser absorption spectroscopy (TLAS) has proven to be a versatile tool for gas sensing applications with significant advantages compared to other techniques. These advantages include real time measurement, standoff detection and ruggedness of the sensor. We present interband cascade lasers (ICLs), which have evolved into important laser sources for the MIR spectral range from 3 to 7 μm. ICLs achieve high efficiency by cascading optically active zones whilst using interband transitions, so they combine common diode laser as well as quantum cascade laser based technologies. Our application grade singlemode distributed feedback devices operate continuous wave at room temperature and are offering several features especially useful for high performance TLAS applications like: side mode suppression ratio of > 30 dB, continuous tuning ranges up to 30 nm, low threshold power densities and low overall power consumption. The devices are typically integrated in a thermoelectrically cooled TO-style package, hermetically sealed using a cap with anti-reflection coated window. This low power consumption as well as the compact size and ruggedness of the fabricated laser sources makes them perfectly suited for battery powered portable solutions for in field spectroscopy applications.