Competition in today’s portable herbal vaporizer marketplace is at an all-time high. Manufacturers are in a constant race to out-create and out-innovate the competition, churning out model after model of the latest new “must-have” units. With so many options for consumers to choose from, the question eventually becomes: “What’s the best vaporizer?” While the answer to that question tends to differ depending on who you’re talking to, factors such as temperature control options, battery life, portability, vapor production and of course, overall value, are all things you’ll want to take into consideration when investing in a vaporizer. In an attempt to help you through the often confusing and intimidating process of figuring out which vaporizer is right for you, we’ve asked the folks at VaporNation.com to present their favorite portable herbal vaporizers (in no particular order) of 2015.
KandyPens K-Vape: $99.95
Best known for their popular concentrate pens, the K-Vape is KandyPens’ first venture into the full-sized portable herbal vaporizer category. Three selectable heat settings give the K-Vape great temperature range, and for just under $100, it’s a great value at the price point. While the K-Vape isn’t exactly the most innovative vaporizer on the market, the fact that the manufacturer covers this vape under a lifetime warranty is what really separates this unit from others in its class. We’ve found the combination of a large herb chamber and durable design make the K-Vape an ideal companion for on-the-go vape sessions.
Goboof Alfa: $199.99
The Alfa is the inaugural, ultra-portable unit from European newcomer, Goboof. Utilizing an intelligent shutoff function, the Alfa conserves its already impressive two-hour battery life by turning itself off 15 minutes after your last puff. In addition to three preset heat settings selectable by way of a convenient rotary dial, the Alfa also features Smart Puff Technology, giving users ‘slow-cook’ heating control. We’re big fans of the Automatic Heat-By-Puff (A/P) setting, which raises the temperature by three degrees after each puff until the max setting is reached. On the Automatic Heat-By-Time (A/T) setting, your herbs are gradually heated from the LO setting to the HI setting over a period of 20 minutes.
As one of the most popular vapes on the market since its introduction in 2013, the Firefly continues to shine among the competition. While its unique design is somewhat reminiscent of an old-school cell phone, the functionality of this vaporizer is hard to match. Calling the Firefly ‘heavy-duty’ seems like a bit of an understatement, as it’s without a doubt one of the most solidly built units on our list. The removable lithium-ion battery charges in just 45 minutes, which is a huge plus for those of us that don’t necessarily plan out our vaping excursions. Since the Firefly’s internal temperature won’t exceed 400°F, there’s zero chance of your herbs reaching the combustion level, making this unit a favorite amongst enthusiast looking for a true vaporizer experience. This portable remains a fan favorite, as it’s capable of producing large clouds of extremely smooth, high quality vapor time and time again.
With so many cookie-cutter vaporizers on the market today that look like they’ve been stamped out of the same factory only to be differentiated by their respective logos, the Indica boldly breaks the mold with a truly unique and innovative design. Resembling a slightly oversized Zippo lighter, the Indica is one of the smallest portable herbal vaporizers around, measuring in at just 3”x2”, and will fit discreetly into the pockets of even our skinniest jeans. Considering its compact size, the Indica’s herb chamber is more than accommodating, allowing for extra-long sessions and less time spent grinding and packing. Extended battery life and five heat settings make the Indica an excellent value at just under $200.
Vaporite Cosmic: $149.99
Not only does the Cosmic produce great vapor, we also think it’s one of the sexiest looking portable herbal units on the market. Leather trim and chrome accents give this unit a unique and luxurious look. The Cosmic is the first of the new line of Vaporite products to feature Bluetooth capability and a downloadable app that allows you to sync your vaporizer to your smartphone and remotely adjust temperature, as well as monitor the frequency and intensity of your sessions. In addition to being one of the most technologically advanced units on our list, the Cosmic also includes a high quality glass water filtration attachment, giving you the ability to moisturize and hydrate the already smooth vapor being produced. However, our favorite feature has to be the super-convenient external power bank which allows for on-the-go charging and unprecedented versatility.
Pax 2: $279.99
Perhaps the most widely recognized name amongst all portable herbal vaporizers, the Pax 2’s popularity is only surpassed by its impressive features and overall functionality. Let’s talk percentages. When compared to the original, the ‘2’ is 25% smaller and 10% lighter, with a 20% deeper herb chamber and a battery that lasts up to 30% longer. We like setting the Pax to ‘party’ mode and watching the iconic LED display lights dance to our favorite tracks. Utilizing an advanced motion and ‘lip-sense’ technology, which detects the length of your draw and adjusts heat appropriately while simultaneously optimizing power and cooling down when not in use, the Pax 2 also gets high marks for aesthetics, featuring an elegant anodized aluminum body that comes in four distinct colors. Taking into account everything the ‘2’ brings to the table, we think it lives up to its hefty price tag.
Magic Flight Launch Box: $119
The MFLB has amassed a huge following since its inception and has quickly become one of the most popular portable units with vape enthusiasts around the world. The Magic Flight is by far the smallest, most portable unit available, making it highly conducive to the out-and-about vape lifestyle. Each MFLB is hand-carved from wood and does not contain any plastic or metal. The Magic Flight also gives you more customization options than any other vaporizer on the marketplace, available in a multitude of styles and finishes, with a slew of handy accessories and add-ons available as well. Perhaps the Launch Box’s biggest draw is the unique way in which it operates. While most units focus on providing cutting-edge technical features that are great while they last, but tend to experience issues over time, the LB doesn’t contain any fancy moving parts that are prone to degradation; thus the manufacturer is able to offer an extended lifetime warranty. Powered by a single rechargeable battery, we revere the MFLB for its simplicity and longevity.
Arizer Air: $259.99
Building on the success of its predecessor (the Solo), the Air features enhanced portability and advanced power options while maintaining the same high quality build and top-of-the- line performance we’ve come to expect from Arizer’s vaporizers. While the Solo’s extended battery life comes at a bit of a price (the unit is a bit bulky), the Air features a slimmed down design and is powered by a replaceable/rechargeable 18650 lithium ion battery capable of being used during charging, making it highly versatile. Unlike many other vaporizers, which compromise flavor by using plastic, rubber or vinyl mouthpieces, the Air’s high quality borosilicate glass draw-stem brings the true taste of your favorite herbs to the forefront. With five easily selectable temperature settings and plethora of available accessories, you’d be hard pressed to find another portable herbal vape on the market today that gives you the type of control and performance you get from the Air.
Volcano Crafty: $339
Storz & Bickel (manufacturer of Volcano products) have been on the forefront of vaporization innovation for more than 15 years. While best known for their flagship desktop unit, they certainly didn’t disappoint with one of their newest portable devices, the Crafty. This compact, cutting-edge creation utilizes full hot air convection combined with conduction heating, giving the user a truly unique and ultra-satisfying vaporizing experience. The body and ‘swivel’ mouthpiece are manufactured from high grade plastic, making the Crafty a heavy-duty, ultra-durable unit that will withstand more wear and tear than most other units. Aside from two preset temperatures selectable by way of a standard push- button system, the Crafty also offers a downloadable app for your smartphone that allows for more precise temperature control remotely. As far as vapor production is concerned, we can’t get enough of the large, satisfying clouds this little guy puts out.
DaVinci Ascent: $249.99
The Ascent utilizes a glass-on-glass vapor pathway that produces the cleanest, most flavorful vapor of any other unit in its class. As we don’t want to have to worry about that glass mouthpiece breaking in transit to our favorite vape destination, we appreciate that the Ascent’s draw-stem can be housed inside the unit when not in use and easily slides out when it’s time to vape. The advanced temperature control is displayed through a digital LCD screen and is very intuitive, giving the Ascent a more user friendly interface than a lot of other vaporizers. Additionally, you have the option to set the temperature to automatically adjust during your session. As we’re fans of ‘slow-cooking’ our herbs, as opposed to ‘flash- heating,’ we love that the Ascent’s temperature can be set to raise in ten degree increments every two minutes as you vape. Big things certainly come in small packages, as you won’t find another portable herbal vaporizer that does as many different things as well as the Ascent does for under $250.