Saturday September 3, 2016
We know portable vaporizers do many things incomparably well, and with our increasingly mobile lifestyle, these handhelds are just the way to get that ultimate high. It begs the question, what exactly is a portable vaporizer, and how does it compare with other vaping devices?
Here’s what you need to know:
The Basics: What a Portable Vaporizer is All About
To get a detailed picture of what a portable vaporizer is, let’s define what a vaporizer really means. A vaporizer is any inhalation device that, with the help of a heating element, vaporizes the active ingredients of plant material or any of its derivatives. The vapor produced is inhaled for medical or recreational purposes. So technically, the use of vaporizers isn’t limited to the use of cannabis. Other herbs such as mint, camomile, lavender and the like can be used as well. Liquid vaporizers, commonly called e-cigarettes, are designed to handle oils or liquids that contain active ingredients, the most common of which is nicotine.
Simply put, a portable vaporizer is an inhalation device powered by a battery or any portable power source. Because a portable device’s performance is limited to how long the power source lasts, manufacturers make sure the heating elements and the chamber are efficient enough to last as long as possible. Surprisingly, many advanced portable vaporizers do a good job that the quality of the vapor is as excellent as that produced by desktop or tabletop vaporizers.
Conduction vs. Convection: How Vaporizers Work
How portable vaporizers are designed has a direct effect on the kind of vapor that you are getting. Whatever device you purchase, it always uses one of the two heating methods: conduction or convection.
A handheld vaporizer that uses conduction heating has an exposed heating element that comes in direct contact with your vaping material. Heat is directly transferred from the element (usually a heating coil) to the botanicals. The problem with conduction is the greater chance of material combustion especially when the heating coil gets too hot. If you are particular with the quality and nature of vapor you inhale and would want to avoid inhaling smoke too, you might avoid these types of portable vaporizers. But if you’re in for bolder, thicker flavors, then you’re good to go with these types of handhelds.
For true vaporization, convection-type vaporizers are always the better choice. This type works by allowing air to pass through the heating element, and in turn, getting the heated air to vaporize the active ingredients of the vaping material. Thus, there is no direct contact between the heating element and the material. This process prevents burning of the dry herbs, avoiding the production of smoke. One disadvantage of the convection vaporizer though is the slightly longer time for the device to reach the desired temperature. But you can be sure you get consistently clean pure vapors.
What Portable Vaporizer Do You Really Need?
This is 2016, and things have been so much different from the previous years. Walk into a vape store or browse online and you’d find a whole lot of new portable vapes sprouting like wild mushrooms in the market. Here, we categorize the most popular ones not by their price range or popularity, but by how each one could fit your everyday lifestyle.
For the Traveller and Outdoor Vaper
When it comes to portable vaporizers, one of the first things that comes to mind are the sensitive electronics and controls of the device. The Haze V3 portable vaporizer changes all that. In anticipation of more users wanting to vape outdoors or while on the road, the makers of Haze V3 ensure unparalleled durability. The latest version has improved inner housing materials, plus the alcohol resistant cover and durable heater seals and advanced temperature regulator lets the vaporizer perform optimally even in varying altitude, humidity, air pressure and external temperature. Of course, battery life also matters especially when traveling in areas where there is no power source. The Haze V3’s rechargeable lithium battery lasts 35% longer than that of other portable vapes.
Other essential features of the Haze V3 portable vaporizer are the dual heating chambers (one for dry herbs and the other for concentrates/oils), four temperature control settings, relatively fast heat-up time of 90 seconds and stainless steel protective walls between heating chambers,. All these features work together to make the Haze V3 a very fitting choice for those who just can’t vape and stay at home.
For the Beginner
For the most basic, yet very satisfying vaping experience, the Magic Flight Launch Box Vaporizer remains undefeated. In fact, there is perhaps no other portable vape that could get any simpler than this. The MFLB comes with only three parts: the wooden box, which serves as the herb chamber; the external battery; and the glass or acrylic stem through which you take draws.
Launch Box by Magic Flight
To use the MFLB, just open the transparent lid of the box, place between 0.2 and 0.3 grams of dry herbs into the chamber, close the lid and insert the battery to start vaping. In fact, it’s so easy to use, there is no on/off switch at all. Just insert the battery to start powering up the herb chamber.
Although this vaporizer is basic, there will be some learning curve in the process for you to get to the right amount of vapor and temperature. The longer the battery stays inserted, the greater the amount of vapor and the stronger the flavor. Don’t forget to stir or mix the herbs after prolonged vaping to ensure even vaporization of the ground material.
For Those Who Get Deep, Down and Serious
For seasoned vapers, price wouldn’t matter if vapor quality and serious performance do. Thankfully, we have the perfect portable vaporizer to fit those needs. The Mighty Vaporizer by Storz and Bickel ($399) is a quality purchase thanks to the device’s advanced features.
The German-made Mighty Vaporizer features efficient vaporization with the use of convection heating combined with conduction to ensure pure and clean vapor. To promote faster heating, conduction kick-starts the process, while convection sustains the production of vapor especially during longer vaping sessions. In addition, the Mighty Vaporizer sports a dual lithium ion battery for extra power while vaping on the go. That means very long sessions for the serious vaper.
Despite the advanced features, the Mighty Vaporizer is also easy to use. The filling aid allows fast and easy refilling of your favorite dry herbs. And the cooling unit helps cool the vapor down, while maintaining the rich flavor coming from your ground botanicals. What we also love about the Mighty Vaporizer is the precise temperature setting that’s accurate by one degree. Just press the +/- button to go one level up or down.
Mighty Vaporizer by Storz & Bickel
Weighing only 0.5 lbs and measuring 5.5" tall by 3.2" wide, the Mighty vaporizer is relatively discreet with its black finish. With all these features packed in one device, the Mighty Vaporizer is every seasoned vaper’s dream come true.
For the Budget Vaper
While most portable vaporizers cost more than a hundred dollars, beginners or those on budget might find this price range a little expensive for a start. That’s not a problem with the new G Pro vaporizer by Grenco Science. Priced at only $89.95, this option is a great value without sacrificing vapor quality and performance.
You’d be surprised at just how much the G Pro Vaporizer offers. One of the first features you’ll notice is the above average size of the heating chamber. This could support up to 0.6 grams of dry ground herbs. Compare that with other portable vapes at just a maximum of 0.5-gram capacity. That’s not too much, but it does offer a bit of an extra mile given the price of the device.
What’s even more impressive is the three temperature settings you can choose from. Given the G Pro’s size and compact design, the makers of this device still managed to incorporate such a valuable feature. This is just what is needed when vaper pen users often complain about combustion in many compact vaporizers. For beginners, you can choose the lowest setting, and as tolerance builds, you can gradually go up and up to the highest setting.
The low price tag of the G Pro, coupled with its high-quality performance and vapor production, makes this device a perfect vaping partner for those who are on budget. Saving a few dollars does not mean doing away with the good things you get with vaping. The G Pro Herbal vaporizer is one proof you could do more with less.
If you’re into vaping not just dry herbs but also oils or wax concentrates, the Atmos Astra does the job very well. The heating chamber is designed to support all kinds of materials. To use it with dry herbs, just fill the main chamber with the ground material. Do not pack it tight in order to allow air circulation while taking draws. We recommend well-ground dry herbs for even exposure to heat. To use the Atmos Astra for oils or thick concentrates, load the material into the small cup (comes with the kit), and place the cup inside the chamber. When your botanicals are inside the chamber, connect the components together and start vaping.
What we love about the Atmos Astra is that this device is a true vaporizer. It guarantees zero combustion! In fact, it also comes with five preset temperature settings (356, 374, 392, 410, and 428 degrees Fahrenheit). The best part of the Astra is the low price-point despite the very attractive features of the vaporizer. You can purchase one for only $109.95.
For the Vape Pen Fan
Vaporizer pens are so popular that they arbitrarily fall under a different category from portable vaporizers. Despite the only difference being that they come in a pen-shaped, compact design and are more lightweight in general.
For bold flavors and really good vapor production, the Atmos RX Vaporizer does a good job for dry herb vapers. The exposed heating coil that directly comes in contact with the ground material ensures more intense vapor density. When it comes to versatility, the Atmos RX is designed to support a special oil attachment, which can be purchased separately. Just unscrew the herb chamber and replace it with the oil attachment to enjoy vaping with your favorite oils or e-liquids.
The simplicity of the Atmos RX vaporizer, coupled with the fast heat-up time and affordable price-range, has made this device the bestseller in the vaping world. The ceramic heating chamber allowed great flavors, and the overall vapor production is really satisfying.
The exposed heating coil, which also ensures fast heat-up time, should not be a problem if you are into serious recreational use of your favorite botanicals. For the purists or the health-conscious, the presence of smoke (from the direct contact between the heating element and the vaping material) is not very encouraging. So for some, the search was on for true vaporizers.
Then comes the Atmos Boss vaporizer. This vaporizer pen is the Atmos company’s answer to the dissatisfaction of consumers who do not tolerate the presence of smoke in compact vape pens. Unlike pens with exposed heating coils, the Atmos Boss vaporizer sports an embedded heating element that does not come in direct contact with the dry herbs inside the chamber.
The result? Ground materials are evenly heated just below the combustion point. This process produces pure and clean vapor as it should be. You can tell true vaporization by the look and texture of the used-up vaping material. The color is rather dark orange to brown, unlike the charred look of the burnt herbs produced by exposed heating coils.
It took only about six to seven years for vaporizers to flood the vaping world. Portable vaporizers have become the most popular device with our evolving lifestyle. The race to creating the best in terms of long battery life, vapor quality and versatility is on. We’ve thought about categorizing the vaporizers not only according to the price range, but according to how each might just perfectly fit your everyday routine. Which one is your favorite?