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Portable Vaporizer Guide 2015
With the proliferation of portable vaporizers entering the market in recent times, it can be very hard to choose which one is right for you. There is a number of factors to consider, and you may not even know where to begin. That’s why we are going to walk you through some of the basics so that in the end, you can choose the best portable vaporizer for you, in this Portable Vaporizer Guide 2015!
First let’s discuss some of the general range of features and corresponding limitations to bear in mind whilst making your choice.
One of the first orders of business for you newbies out there is to understand what vaporization is, right? For those who already get it, hold tight, just a quick learning curve to surpass.
Vaporization is essentially very simple. No burning, no fire, no matches or lighter. You simply heat some air to around 200-390 degrees, then inhale through your well ground botanicals. When we say botanicals, this can be a wide variety of extract, some more legal than other (depending on your state law), yet all delivering their own tasty aromatic vapors. It’s important to note that at this heat, only the active essential compounds such as oils, terpenes, and cannabinoids aerosolize from the botanical. That’s right, you heard it, no flame.
This vaporization process is achieved in a varied number of methods. The heating source can be achieved by either using butane gas, or battery (rechargeable). Other factors to take into consideration is the portable vaporizer’s design – is it sturdy solid construction or merely functional without any eye appeal? Also, what kind of inhalation method is used, forced air or just manual inhalation? Other things to consider is ease of use and cleaning maintenance? More on this later.
Again, in review, we are describing portable vaporizers, which means we are referring to handheld devices that operate using a cordless heat supply (battery or butane gas) and can be carried easily in your hand and pocket.
One must evaluate the portable vaporizer aesthetics (what it looks like) as an important part of the decision making process. Is it sleek, practical, and portable? Or is it clunky, and so big that you just can’t see this vape fitting your desired style of portable vaping, let alone fitting in your pocket?
Discreetness is another factor. Does the vape come with a carry case? And will you feel comfortable taking it out in public, and or surreptitiously taking a taste while on your way walking down the sidewalk, in public, wherever you may be headed? Basically, is the device stealthy? Attractive? Which attribute is the most important to you?
Build Materials and Design
The manufacturing materials used in your portable vaporizer can range from wood, various types of plastic, to brushed aluminum, stainless steel, glass, and even a combination of all. Think about what you may prefer when you feel the vape your hand. Does it feel well built? Or is it light and feels cheaply made?
How the vape is designed, without a doubt, is a huge factor in the portable vaporizer’s stylishness, sleekness, its ease of use and how easy it is to clean. From how the device turns on, to knowing where the battery life is at, along with how precise you can control the vapes temperature can vary from device to device and are important things to consider when making your choice.
Behind the Scenes
What happens inside the portable vaporizer is where the real story happens. Does your portable vaporizer use convection or conduction for its heating process? Let’s go into some detail about each to get a better understanding what we are talking about.
Conduction vs. Convection Heating
As the below diagram illustrates, conduction heating is where the botanicals are heated from a source that is directly touching the botanical chamber, versus convection heating where the heat source is apart from the chamber and hot air is passed over the chamber to achieve heating of the herb.
Which is the best? Well, like in life, everything is trade off. With conduction heating, it is more simple, more effective and based upon current batter technology, affords for longer vape sessions to occur on one battery charge; typically about an hour on continuous use. Yet, with conduction heating the botanical can sometimes not heat evenly, with the necessity to stir during a session to achieve even heating of the plant material which correlates directly to vapor production quality and taste. Please note, these differences that we speak of are noticeable, but not huge differences in taste quality. Although some may differ to agree.
With Convection heating, the heating source is apart from the botanical chamber, and hot air is passed over it to achieve the desired outcome. With this method, the botanical is heated more evenly, which some say produce a better vapor quality and taste. From experience, yes there is a difference, but minimal. The con is that this process is energy intensive, which why you see it implemented in most desk top vaporizers.
That said, portable vapes like the Mighty vaporizer from volcano, use the convection process and do provide greater battery life, around an hour for continuous vaping.
Some things to think about here are: How quickly does the portable vaporizer charge and discharge with normal use? Can you use the device while it’s charging? How quickly does the portable vaporizer reach the desired vaping temperature?
Clearly, while vaping at home with total access to electricity not a problem, right? But what if you want to take it away for a weekend, camping, hiking, or other; the amount of time you can keep it charged will be a bigger factor. Optional car adapters and USB chargers are standard upgrades that are available for these situations.
On average, most rechargeable battery vapes need anywhere from 1-3 minutes of warm up time to reach your desired vaporization temperature. Some of the newest portable vaporizers, for example, the Vapir Prima, released in September of 2015, can reach desired vaping temp in a minute or less. We have tested the Vapir Prima, which uses lithium ion technology, and found that when set to its highest temperature setting, it takes 52 seconds to warm up from a completely cold start in an ambient environment temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the contrary, there are those that chose to use butane gas it because of its fast heating capabilities, it’s inexpensive, and portable. However, some users are not partial to the un-burned residual gas that can sometimes be present. Some examples of this type of portablee vaporizer is the iolite v2 portable vaporizer that uses Butane for nearly immediate heat.
Residue from vaping can be incredibly sticky and almost impossible to remove with just water. One needs to use Isopropyl alcohol (ISO) and a cotton swab to maintain a clean vape. Some vaporizers may have harder to reach areas based upon design that can shorten the the life of the device if not cleaned properly.
“The Draw” of a portable vaporizer can deteriorate if a vape is not cleaned properly – especially any meshes or filters that the oily hot air passes through. So be sure to keep your vape properly cleaned affording good air flow and little obstructions allowing for free flow of the warm, tasty vapor.
How to obtain information on cleaning a particular portable vaporizer? Check out the manufacturer recommendations, reviews on distributor websites, and even online forums.
One other thing to mention here is that you get what you pay for. There is allot of competition in this business so be advised. Just remember this simple rule, if you are getting too good of a deal, then it’s probably too good to be true. For example, there are some third party websites that offer rock bottom prices, like EBay for example. Just be sure that these resellers are authorized to resell that product. Also, if the product is priced well below the MAP, (manufacturer asking price) then you product may be a knock off and or the manufacturer will not honor the warranty as authorized users have to adhere to these pricing rules and more, in order to stay in good standing with manufacturer.
And don’t just ask the re-seller. Go to the manufacturer’s site to verify the seller is listed with the manufacturer. If not, there that’s probably the reason why they can offer such rock bottom prices.
Durability and Longevity
How well built is your portable vaporizer? Have you read on forums or customer reviews about any weak points? As mentioned earlier, your retailer should have information about the warranty for the device.
For example, the Vapir Prima, has a 5 year limited warranty from the date of purchase. This shows that the company is willing to stand behind the device. Are you getting that from 3rd party sellers? Probably not. There are allot of clones out there from China, so ones needs to make sure that your retailer has gone through the proper distribution channels to obtain its merchandise. And if for some reason you loose a part, or drop your unit and something breaks, make sure that you can purchase replacements parts for situations that are out of the scope of the warranty (like dropping and breaking the unit).
You’re the Decision Maker
For most of us, money is an object. So by learning from some of the information listed above on how your portable vaporizer works along with the decision making criteria questions to ask yourself about portable vaporizers, you can research with a greater knowledge about what you’re looking for, determining which portable vaporizer falls into your budgeted spend, with the desired looks, performance, and durability you desire.
You may even want to become a collector of portable vaporizers. Each one has it distinctive design, sleekness, and practical application based upon your needs.
We feel that Vaporizing is a personal and intimate experience. It is definitely a lifestyle choice. Whether you’re a newbie, seasoned in vaporizing, just winding down from work or have a prescription for the good stuff, hopefully some of the decision making criteria and information listed above will be useful for you to make an informed decision on choosing a portable vaporizer. But more importantly, that you thoroughly enjoy the your vaping experience!
Hope that helps. We would love hear from you and we appreciate your feedback! Feel free to reach out (even, anonymously). Thanks!