Haze V3 Vaporizer Review

vapes-for-reviews-1047Introduction

The vapes-for-reviews-1051Haze V3 is the Swiss Army Knife of vaporizers! It does it all and it does it amazingly. concentrates, herbs, and oils, the V3 turns your material of choice into vapor with an array of accessories, screens and add-ons, there is something for everyone. If MacGyver vaped on his missions, he would likely choose the V3 for it’s all-in-one performance.

There’s nothing hazy about the Haze V3’s performance or vapor production but it surly delivers hazy effects! I would argue that this vaporizer is one of the best Dual Purpose vaporizers out today that I’ve tried, thanks to it’s compact size, impressive battery life, array of features and accessories, it’s tough design/construction and of course for it’s ability to vaporize dry goods as well as it vaporizes concentrates.


Features and Specifications

  • Conduction based heat
  • New temperature precise regulator
  • Patented heat-exchange mechanism, for cool vapor output
  • Mouthpiece conveniently can be used at any level (Glass or Staivapes-for-reviews-1056nless Steel)
  • Worlds first and only dual bowl vaporizer on the market (patented feature)
  • can use dry herbs and/or oil and wax interchangeably.
  • External Lithium Ion battery with great battery life. Impact resistant and durable battery latch
  • Built tough and can withstand the weight of a motorcycle
  • Inner housing surface designed with high temperature resistant, reinforced fiberglass material
  • ISO/water resistant exterior
  • Light weight and discreet
  • 4 different temperature settings (365F, 380F, 390F and 415F)
  • 10 year warranty
  • 3.2 inches x 3 inches x 0.8 inches
  • Weight with battery:  200 g

 


Design and Construction

-Overview

Tvapes-for-reviews-1053he V3’s design is compact, comfortable, practical, effective and durable. It’s unique shape feels equally well in your hand as it does in your pocket with it’s “curved” sides that hug you securely. Overall, the Haze feels very solid and reliable with it’s impact resistant battery latch to it’s re-enforced inner housing that can apparently withstand the weight of a motorcycle! It’s everything as portable vaporizer should be without all the nonsense and it’s a vape I can count on to deliver the goods. Haze even offers a 10 year warranty, which is pretty amazing and I believe it can definitely last that long with average maintenance.

-Body

vapes-for-reviews-916When you hold the V3 in your hand, you will most likely agree that it’s pretty bullet proof and quite possibly, literally bullet proof! Solid materials and solid construction make for a solid vape with little slop or rattling parts. The V3 is almost entirely plastic with the exception of a few key metal parts and the high temperature resistant, reinforced fiberglass material of the inner housing. The top and bottom of the device are in fact metal and it provides a quality feel and also balances the device nicely. It holds well in your hand and the curved sides make it comfortable to hold. The exterior is ISO and water resistant so clean-up is easy and worry free, unlike some vaporizers and parts I’ve cleaned in the past that have discolored, warped and faded with ISO.

I’m glad to see Haze has beefed up areas of high stress and areas that move, which are potential breakage and failure areas, especially the battery latch and the chamber door / hinge. I would rather have a metal chamber door and hinge but it’s still plenty tough. The chamber door feels a little sloppy and loose, so a tighter fit would be nice and / or a spring would be a great addition to hold the chamber door open while loading / unloading / cleaning because it always flops shut. I liked the “web” like design of this door and it gives it an interesting look as well as keeping it cool in your hand with a heat-sink like effect. The chamber door Latch is ok but it’s another area they could have improved and made it vapes-for-reviews-924lock or less flimsy but it does the job and stays shut, although a magnetic lock would be nice instead. The removable / replaceable chamber seals are very nice and they attach to the chamber door with a layer of Silicone, so not only does it keep the chambers nice and sealed, it also keeps it insulated. It would be cool and practical if you had a Glass window on the chamber door above the chambers to see what’s in there, to watch the vapor and keep your chambers straight. The back side of the device also actually pops open like the chamber door, so you can even get behind that if need be.

I also wish they had done something different with the chamber selector lever that’s not super smooth and it’s an area that seems pretty complex, so a lot could go wrong, especially since you will be using it at least twice every session to turn ON / OFF the device.

-Controls / Interface

vapes-for-reviews-1080The V3 is easy to operate and adjust it’s temperature. Basically, just move the chamber selector lever to one side or the other to select your chamber and doing so, turns on the unit and it starts heating immediately to. To change your temperature, just hit the top button ( temperature selector button ) and notice the LED’s on the front;  1 LED for 365F, 2 LED for 380F, 3 LED for 390F and all 4 LED for 415F. The LED’s are nice and bright enough but the chamber door’s holes don’t line up perfectly with the LED’s, so some are slightly more covered than others and I thought they could have made that look a little nicer. You have 4 temperatures to choose from: ( 365F, 380F, 390F and 415F ) where you can vape dry material on all 4 temperatures and 390F and 415F are best suited for concentrates, although I get vapor on all 4 using concentrates, even temp. 1 but it’s definitely thin and wispy.

The design of the controls is simply and straightforward but its not perfect. I would rather have the chamber selector lever just select the chamber and not turn ON / OFF the device. I like to clear my vapor paths a few times after my session to get all the vapor and to help keep it from collecting during cool down but if you have to push the mouthpiece down and return the chamber selector lever which prevents you from taking a draw. Sometimes I’ll take out the battery just so I can leave the mouthpiece up and take some draws after the session to clear it out and then close it all up and then re-insert the battery. It could be an improvement to have the temperature selector button also turn ON / OFF the device by holding it for a few seconds or something. I’m not a huge fan of moving parts and electronics like that lever because they tend to wear or break with all the moving back and fourth. The chamber selector lever also rotates the actual vapor path, which simultaneously closes one chamber off to the vapor path and opens the other up. It’s a pretty ingenious design and it seems to do a good job sealing the right chamber for vaping.

-Heater / vapes-for-reviews-926Chambers

I am a “can” fan! I really like the Haze chamber design and they don’t have your traditional chamber shape but they provide perfect, even heating no matter how much material you use or what material you use. These chambers are separated by an internal wall and insulation, so the other chamber stays cool during use and despite being so close, I was surprised how cool the other chamber stayed. The chambers are both identical Stainless Steel “trenches” with a hole in the bottom where fresh air enters, a hole in one side where the vapor exits and a Stainless Steel / Silicone top that seals them tightly. The unique shape provides amazingly even heat from top to bottom, side to side with no hot / cold spots and no stirring required. I believe the heat comes from the sides of the chamber where the top and bottom are not electrically / directly heated. I’m not sure how the heat is produced around the chambers, whether it’s an Element incased in Ceramic or something else but it seems pretty efficient with a fairly fast heat up time and the amount of sessions you can get from a single 18650 battery. Also, from what I understood while watching one of the first Haze videos, fresh enters the device alongside the vapor path, which helps cool the vapor that is exiting the device and at the same time, this fresh air entering is slowly heating from passing alongside the vapor path as well, so that adds a slight Convection Heat to the mix.

Svapes-for-reviews-1073ome vapes claim “Dual Purpose” like the Haze but I don’t think any of them do both, as good as the Haze and as easily as the Haze with the exception of the Sidekick. The Sidekick vaporizer by 7th Floor Vapes is on the same level as the Haze in terms of ease of use, efficiency and ability to vape both mediums. Most vapes usually require wicks, steel pads or  extreme heat to get good vapor but the Haze makes it effortless and the V3’s can pre-pack system is about as easy and mess free as you can get, they don’t require wicks or pads and they just really work. I also love that you have some variety between the way you load and use your Haze and you can choose from; “Conduction screens” that are open on two sides and offer more Conduction Heat, “Convection screens” which is basically a rectangular screen basket with screen on all sides but the top and offer less Conduction Heat  and finally, the “cans” that offer pre-pack abilities, less mess and a contained load inside a Stainless Steel can. Whether you prefer to use the screens and load the chamber that way or use the cans and pre-pack, there’s something for everyone and you will get results. I prefer the cans and find them the most convenient for on the go use, provide excellent vapor and even heating and they keep the device super clean. The cans are a contained unit with a “sheet screen” that drops on top and a tab holds it in place with holes on the top and on one side that faces the vapor path. A track for the can’s top screen to slide into could be an improvement over the tab system that sometimes likes to pop off but they really work just fine. The concentrate can features the same base as the dry material can but instead has a Silicone top that specially designed to allow air flow and prevent leakage. I never had a problem with concentrates running out but I used very small amounts. I think these dry / concentrate cans are the best design I’ve come across for all materials and that make vaping anything easy and less messy without having to use steel pads that get dirty after one use or wicks that are good for one use etc but the cans can just be wiped out while still hot and they will taste and work as good as the first time.vapes-for-reviews-1054

-Mouthpiece / Vapor Path

vapes-for-reviews-1040The Haze V3 has a very nice, comfortable mouthpiece and you can choose between Stainless Steel or Glass. I haven’t noticed a huge difference between the two materials but I would say the Glass may have slightly better flavor but the Stainless Steel seems to maybe have a slightly smoother draw. I still prefer the Stainless Steel most of the time but I do really like the feel of the Glass. The mouthpiece can be adjusted to any height, so you can have it short and discreet, fully extended for slightly cooler hits or anywhere in-between. The new design of the mouthpiece tip allows users to more easily grab it and extended it that the old version that was smooth but I wish they had a washer or “handle” around the mouthpiece, so you could grab that, rather than touch the very end where you will be inhaling from, especially if you have dirty fingers. I do really like that it stores away inside the body for portability and cleanliness but I wish you could keep it extended with the unit Off to clear the vapor path but the design does not allow that with the battery in place. The mouthpiece appears to have a seal near the top that holds it in place at any level and I haven’t noticed any stickiness after I’ve used the device for awhile but apparently that was an issue in their prior model, so I’d say they did a good job fixing that.

The vapor path is very easy to access and clean. There’s really only one short path where the mouthpiece sits inside and that appears to be Stainless Steel. Other than the main tube where the mouthpiece sits inside, you really only have two other really short portions of vapor path, only a few mm long each and they lead directly out of the chambers and into the main tube or vapor path. _dsc0049-8

It’s hard to tell exactly the fresh air enters the device but I believe it must either enter around the hinge of the chamber door or possibly from the top or bottom of the unit, along the vapor path main tube. The Haze features a “Heat Exchange” system for cool vapor output, which basically cools the hot vapor exiting the device with cool fresh air entering and at the same time, it’s heating up that cool fresh air from the hot vapor, adding a slight Convection to the chamber. The fresh air then enters the chambers through the bottom hole in the chambers, then your screen or can and into the short mm long chamber vapor paths and into the main tube, and finally into the mouthpiece itself. The

-Battery / Charger

The Haze V3 has a great battery system and I love that it’s removable / replaceable and that it has great battery life, quite amazing battery life. I can usually get around 7-10 sessions with the Haze V3, which is better than most of my other portable vapes with the exception of the Inhalator 05/06, the Mighty and the CFX, which all are comparable to the Haze’s battery life. EVERY portable vaporizer should have a removable battery, it allows you to always have a back-up, enables you to bring a vape on extended outings like camping and it allows you to change the battery when it inevitably looses capacity.

vapes-for-reviews-1041The unit comes with (2x) 2600 mAh rechargeable Li-Ion batteries, although you can purchase Extended Life (XL) batteries at 3200 mAh Li-Ion, which are one of the largest size 18650 batteries available and they provide 35% more session time. Both batteries come with a built-in PCB protection circuit, which prevents over discharge and extends the batteries life and they say to only use the Haze external charger for charging. I really wish they offered a Pass-Through system on the V3 for use while charging but you’ll most likely be using this device on the go, so not a big deal.

The Haze external charger is very nice and features: a Stainless Steel plate that provides a strong connection and quick charge, allows you to charge both 2 batteries at once and it also indicates their charge level with 3 LED’s. In addition to the AC port, this charger features another port for use in a car with the included car charging cable. It takes approximately 4 hours to charge Haze batteries and a Microcomputer IC controls the charging process to make sure that the battery is fully charged and prevents overcharging. The charger will automatically stop if the battery or charger temperature elevates to high levels due to environmental temperature increase. This charger is worldwide compatible and it also functions as a power source for all USB-plug devices, such as smartphones, tablets but a USB cable is not included.


Vaporization

-Operation/Usage

The Haze is easy to use:

  1. Choose between Convection screen, Conduction screen or the cans and load your material
  2. Place loads in chambers, note which chamber has what and latch the chamber door. If your using the cans, make sure the opening are facing the correct direction, towards the hole in the side of the chamber
  3. Move the chamber selector lever to choose chamber and turn on the device. Push the lever towards the back for the Empty Circle or the upper chamber. Pull the lever forward to select the Solid Circle or the lower chamber.
  4. Press temperature button to cycle through the 4 Temperatures ( 365F, 380F, 390F and 415F )
  5. Raise the mouthpiece to your preferred height
  6. Wait for the LED to stop flashing and Inhale

I found the Haze to be very easy to use with no problem getting thick vapor. This is a vape I can hand to a friend or anyone who isn’t experienced with vaporizers and they will get great vapor and a great effects, which cannot be said about all portable vaporizers. Things are pretty straight forward using the Haze, so there isn’t a whole lot of tricks to get going but occasionally, I ran into some issues such as selecting the wrong chamber or a chamber without any material in it at times or starting a session and not being able to reach temperature or finish the session because my battery would die because there isn’t a good Battery level indicator, so sometimes you just have guess or always carry a spare for back-vapes-for-reviews-1002up. You will get a Red LED if your battery is really low and the LED’s will be dimmer as well but usually by then it’s too late and your not gonna have enough power for a session.

Another thing that I have an issue with, is the fact that you cant clear the vapor path after a session with the device off, unless you take out the battery. You need to pack the mouthpiece away and return the lever in order to turn OFF the device, which also prevents you from using the mouthpiece to clear lingering vapor in the vapor path. This isn’t a huge deal as the vapor path is very short but I really like to clear my vapes just, so the excess vapor doesn’t collect as much and things stay fresher longer.

After a session, open the chamber door to expose the chambers and use the tweezers to help pull the screens or cans out without burning yourself and give them a quick brush and your good to go for the next session.

I think everything seemed to work as it should and I never really had a problem with a sticky mouthpiece, can getting stuck or any malfunction. The Haze V3 is definitely a vape I can rely on and even though it may not always be my first choice, it’s always a vape I bring along, especially on extended outings, as a back-up because I know it’s going to perform and perform well, no matter what.

-Vaporization/Vapor Quality

_dsc0819-2As with most Conduction based vaporizers like the Haze, these vaporizers put out thick vapor that’s typically cooler than Convection based vaporizers and the flavor can be amazing, especially at first but I typically find that it tends to fade quicker than Convection vapes whose flavor lasts longer. With that being said, the V3 is a top Conduction vaporizer. I still prefer the vapor from Convection vaporizers more often because of the flavor, greater control of vapor quality / production, less rushing because it’s not always heating your material but Conduction has it’s own advantages over Convection as well.

The Vapor production and quality from this vape is quite amazing, which is the most important part of any vaporizer besides safe construction materials and design. I always had good, clean and pure vapor that was never mucked up with any plastic or off taste. It’s vapor is easily on par with my top portable vapes, the Crafty and Mighty and in some ways it surpassed them and other ways it fell a little short. Where the Haze shines, is in it’s efficient extractions, even heat and dense vapor with just a puff. No need for swimmers’ lungs or long inhalations, just puff on it like a Cigar and viola, vapor! You can also throw a whole nag in a can and it will vape it, much more so than if you tried that with the Crafty. It falls a little short in the flavor category, not in purity but more in the long run ,where the flavor drops off fairly quickly and towards the end of your session you get that roasty, toasty  taste, not so much on temps 1 and 2 but more so on 3 and 4. It’s constantly heating your material so vapor is constantly being produced whether you inhale or not which is a huge reason why flavor dissipates quicker. Don’t get me wrong the flavor is still great but you sacrifice a little flavor for clouds of vapor all the time. You get a different flavor from Conduction vaporizers, its typically great, rich and full at first but eventually turns to a cooked like taste. Convection vaporizers offer a brighter flavor, sometimes less intense but it’s full and it sticks around. vapes-for-reviews-1063

The vapor itself is quite comfortable and smooth, never seemed overly hot or harsh. I prefer the lowest 2 temperatures for Dry Material and even on those lower settings but I wish the V3 offered more temperatures to really fine tune the vapor and effects. The 4 temperatures they provide do a great job covering a wide range and it’s really enough for most people but I prefer a fully adjustable temperature range. You also have some control over the vapor quality / production and you get thinner or thicker vapor by adjusting how you inhale and for how long. On temps 1 and 2, the vapor is smooth, cool, comfortable and I typically got a little vapor on the very first hit, immediately after temp was reached. Vapor got thicker and fuller with every puff / inhalation there after and you can puff on it, take a steadily inhale, it doesn’t matter, vapor practically shoots out of the Haze. I’ve never tried the Haze through water but they offer a wooden water pipe adapter that slide in place of the mouthpiece for $39, so you can use it with any water pipe, bong, bubbler etc. They also offer 2  water pipes specifically designed for the Haze and they look awesome! The Hazifier Glass Bubbler $159 and The Haze Reservoir Glass Recycler $159.

When I want to puff clouds or get medicated quickly, I grab the Haze. I had great results in vapes-for-reviews-1033all types of weather and in all temperatures too. I tested this thing in the dead of Michigan Winter and it amazed me. Even though the LED light blinked more often when it was super cold, it still kept up enough to always produce a huge hit which definitely can’t be said about all vapes. Most vapes have a problem with cold outside temperatures, they bring the vapes temp down too quickly for it to heat back up and your left with weak vapor but the Haze has a new precise temperature regulator that maintains vapor production in any condition and at any altitude according to Haze. I couldn’t test the altitude claim but I don’t doubt the V3 will deliver!

Another great aspect about the Haze is the variety and control you have over your experience even with 4 temperature settings. You can choose between; Convection screens, Conduction screens and the cans. I didn’t notice a huge difference between the 3 choices but there were subtle differences. I preferred the cans for their convenience, on the go use, keeps the vape clean, efficient and they just work really well. I also liked the Convection screen and I thought that it may have had a slightly smoother and tastier vapor than the cans but they are messier and you cant really pre-pack them like the cans. I liked the Conduction screen the least because I thought it seemed to produce the hottest and least flavorful vapor of the 3 and it may have had slight hotter spots so less even heat. Either way you go, your gonna get great vapor so it’s really a matter of preference.

Another way you can customize your experience is by using the Stainless Steel or Glass mouthpiece. I couldn’t tell a huge difference between the two but I thought that the Glass may have had a slight edge on flavor, more pure but the S.S. mouthpiece may have had cooler vapor. I preferred the S.S. most of the time, I just liked the feels and hits a little more than the Glass.

vapes-for-reviews-1087The Haze is also great with concentrates. I think it is one of the best portable vapes for concentrates, thanks to the powerful Conduction Heat and the concentrate cans. These cans make vaping concentrates easy and relatively mess free because you don’t need and steel pads, wicks or exposed coils. Just put a rice grain size of your favorite concentrate in the can and seal it with the Silicone lid or use the dry material screens for traditional extracts or dryer extracts. You can get light flavor and some wispy vapor on temp 1 but I recommend temp 3 and 4 for concentrates. The vapor tastes great and you get a lot from a little material and its very efficient in that sense because some vapes require a fair amount to get some good vapor but the thoughtful design of the cans makes it very efficient. I prefer the vapor out of this device over coil pens because its; smoother and you get a constant hit. The vapor can definitely be a little harsher than the dry material but your likely using higher temps so just puff on it and it’s perfect.

-Cleaning/Maintenance

The V3 is by far one of the easiest vapes to clean and maintain. Short vapor paths and 1 or two removable parts makes it so simple and easy and if you use the cans, you don’t need to hardly ever tough the chambers because they will stay clean except for the short vapor path that leads from the chamber to the main vapor path tube/ mouthpiece tube. I’ll just pull out my mouthpiece, either Glass or S.S. and through it in some ISO along with my screens and cans, let them soak a bit and then scrub them with a brush and Q-Tip, rinse with water and dry. While all that stuff is soaking, I grab another Q-Tip and get a little ISO on the end and slowly and carefully scrub the main tube where the mouthpiece sits and repeat until I have a Q-Tip that comes out as clean as it went in. The short path from the vapes-for-reviews-1077chambers to the main tube is a little tighter, so I’ll just twist up a little paper towel with some ISO and use that to get in there. Everything else should stay clean and the outside of the device is ISO and water resistant so it’s also fine to wipe that down too. One other area to clean is the chamber seals and they can be wiped off while they’re still hot to save you time down the road and / or they can be cleaned with ISO but I just don’t recommend soaking the Silicone at all or for too long because it can discolor, fade and eventually ruin some Silicone. You can also by replacement chamber seals on their website for $5.00.


Pros

  • Extremely portable and compact
  • Durable and reliable. Great materials and design. Can withstand a motorcycles weight!
  • Dual Use: works as well with dry material as it does with concentrates
  • Amazing battery life along with a removable battery
  • Variety: screens, cans, Glass, Stainless Steel. Something for everyone
  • Dual Chamber. More convenient on the go
  • Adequate temperature range
  • Pretty fast heat-up
  • Works in all temperatures and altitudes
  • Pure, thick and flavorful vapor
  • Little draw resistance
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • 10 year warranty
  • Curved shape is comfortable in your hand and pocket
  • Great weight and balance
  • Adjustable Mouthpiece
  • 5 minute auto shut-off

Cons

  • Only 4 temperatures
  • Requires external charger
  • Cannot clear Vapor Path when unit is off with battery in place
  • Lack of a good battery indicator
  • Device gets warm and sometimes hot during use
  • LED lights don’t line up perfectly with holes in the Chamber Door

Conclusion

_dsc0073-7The Haze V3 is a serious vaporizer with serious features and powerful effects. I would recommend this vaporizer to anyone, people new to vaping and experienced vapers as well. It’s easy to use, maintain and you get great vapor anyway you pack it. The V3 offers users a lot of variety and accessories, even water pipes, so there is likely something for everyone. This is a vape you can rely on and it’s definitely a vape I bring on the go and especially on extended outings with its impressive battery life and the ability to carry spares for back-up. The Haze does it all, so if your into dry material, concentrates, Juice or all of them, this device can dish out the vapor no matter what your into. I think this vape delivers great, thick, comfortable and flavorful vapor that packs a punch no matter how or what you pack in those chambers. Although the Haze is a great vape, I have a few minor issues with the design of the device and I would have liked to see more temperatures and a better battery indicator. If your looking for one vape to do it all, the Haze V3 is your vape.


About / Contact

Greetings,

Thank you for checking out my site! My name is Justin, I am a photographer and a vaporizer enthusiast, not a writer… I love vaporizers and being able to use herbs in a healthier way is exactly like; having your cake and eating it too.

The vaporizer industry is very exciting to me and I can’t believe how many different types and styles there are and they keep getting better, faster, safer and more affordable. The technology is evolving and it’s only begun but I can’t wait to see what vaporizers the future holds. I am especially interested in how these vaporizers work, what makes some better than others, the different heating methods, the designs, materials, innovations and updates. I want to fill in the parts that other reviews have left out and hopefully provide some detailed photos to along. It’s my goal to provide honest, unbiased and in-depth vaporizer reviews, as well as provide a comprehensive vaporizing resource, where you will find information on different vaporizers, tips and tricks, different types and styles or vaporizers, different heat sources, dry herbs vs. concentrates, herb strains, and much more that relates to the subject. I appreciate your patience as I iron out the kinks, this site is a work in progress and I plan to show a lot more. Here are some ideas I am working on:

  • Arizer ArGo Review
  • BNDLS Tera Review
  • Haze Square Pro Review
  • Crafty / Mighty Review
  • Digital Volcano Review
  • Herbalizer Review
  • •”Strain File” A guide that will feature many different strains of herbs along with their genetics, background, photos. Along with: the main types of herbs, dry herbs vs. concentrates, storing, curing, cooking,  history, effects, exotic strains, Landrace strains,  Cannabinoids/Terpenes/Flavonoids etc.
  • The different heating styles: Their benefits / or drawbacks (Convection vs. Conduction) Bag/ Balloon vaporizers, whip vaporizers, portable, combustion, etc.
  • Different types of herb chambers: removable vs. permanent, styles and materials, pros and cons of each, photographs, etc.
  • Grinder Comparison: Chewy Electric Grinder, Kannastor GR8TR, Cali-Crusher Homegrown, Space Case Titanium, Storz-Bickel Arcyrillic, Atmos Electric,
Thank you again and please check back soon, I will be adding so much more! Please feel free and use the form below to send questions, comments, ideas or anything.
If you have a product you would like to see reviewed, tested or photographed, please contact me using the form below.
Keep vaping,
Justin

 

Elo Vaporizer Review

elo-369

Introduction

Greetings and introducing the Elo by Illimite Concepts of Hong Kong. Elo is a portable, user friendly herbal vaporizer, that uses convection heat and features a removable chamber called the “Chip.” Elo has to be one of the most unique and interesting portable vaporizers that I have come across and the folks at Illimite Concepts have packed a lot of thoughtful and innovative features into this handheld device.

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Features and Specifications:

  • Heating Method : Convection mainly, some secondary conductionelo-590-Edit
  • Temperature Settings : 150°C ~ 210°C (302°F ~ 410°F ) – ( adjustable by 5°C or 9°F increments )
  • Heat up in less than 45 seconds
  • Removable Chamber “The Chip” for easy swapping on the go
  • Compatible for : Dry Herb /  Oil/Wax / Juice
  • Chamber Dimension : approx. 6mm x 18mm x 12mm  (approx. 0.2g)
  • Dimension: 7.2 CM x 3.4 cm x 10.2cm
  • Weight : approx. 230 g
  • Removable vapor path
  • Retractable mouthpiece
  • Protective sliding doors ( mouthpiece and LCD )
  • Comes with Chip case ( Holds 2 spare Chips) 3 Chips Total included
  • Safety auto shut-off and sleep mode
  • Temperature LCD readout
  • Multi-color LED power button
  • Sturdy aluminum body
  • Food Grade Stainless / Aluminum air path
  • Food Grade Silicone Mouth Piece
  • 1 Hour + Battery Life

Design and Construction

elo-548-2Elo is an unusual vaporizer and it’s different than anything I have tried before. It’s rather simple looking on the outside but when you open up all the sliding doors and swing open the oven, you’ll quickly realize that there is nothing quite like it, which makes me like it even more. There are so many vaporizers coming out and so many of them are copies or clones of another vaporizer, so it’s nice to see something completely different and unique.

-Body

elo-600-EditThe Elo body is very sturdy, solid and it’s constructed out of aluminum, which  gives it a nice heft. The top and bottom of the device are plastic but the aluminum shell makes it feel very durable and has a nice, smooth matte finish.

The heater is attached to the aluminum body with a hinge, so it swings open up like a mouth, where you load your chamber or in this case, a Chip. The design and placement of the heater is well conceived, as it removes the heat source from the main body, where you hold the device and where all the electronics and the battery is stored. Not only does it stay cool and comfortable during use, it also keeps those sensitive components away from the heat.

The main body also features 3 sliding doors / buttons; The top door slides open, exposing the mouthpiece that hides inside the body for safe traveling while keeping it clean at the same time. The Second sliding button is located on the side, where it slides up and down, to raise and lower the mouthpiece and it clicks into place when it’s in the fully raised and elo-434-Edit-2fully lowered. The third and final sliding door is located on the opposite side and this sliding door reveals the LCD, “Plus” and “Minus” buttons as well as the AC Charging Port. I really like the addition of these sliding doors and buttons, as they keep everything tucked away, safely inside the device while your not using it, so everything stays in its place and stays clean.

The overall feel of the device is very nice and it has a certain heft to it, nothing rattles around, it fits comfortably in your hand and it’s also easy to draw from. The Elo is a portable vaporizer but it’s slightly heavier and thicker than some other portable vaporizers, such as the Crafty or Haze. Due to it’s aluminum shell, the Elo weighs in at approximately 230 Grams, the same weight as the Mighty but the Elo is shorter in height. The dimensions of the Elo is: 7.2 CM x 3.4 cm x 10.2cm and although it may be a bit bigger, it’s smart design travels well and you can be assured that everything will stay clean and in it’s place. A slightly thinner Elo would have been nice, so it fits more comfortably in your pocket but it’s not so big that you need a cargo pants to carry the thing.

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-Controls / Interface

elo-536-EditThe Elo can be powered on by holding the On / Off button for 2 seconds and you will see the power button light up and the LCD turn on. The power button features a color changing LED light that changes color based on your temperature range selection;

  • LOW = Purple ( 302°F – 311°F ) or Blue ( 320°F – 329°F )
  • MEDIUM = Light Blue ( 338°F – 347°F ) or Green ( 356°F – 365°F )
  • HIGH = Yellow ( 374°F – 383°F ) or Red ( 401°F – 410°F )

The On / Off button’s LED light also signals additional information besides your selected temperature range. The LED will “Flash White” after 60 seconds without usage/taking a draw, where it will turn off unless you press the On / Off button to reactivate it or you can also take a draw. If the On / Off LED is “Solid White,”  that signifies that the device has reached it’s 7 minute auto shut-off time, where it will turn off after 5 seconds when this light comes on. This LED light is also “Solid White” when the Elo is charging.

Aelo-516-Editfter you have turned Elo on, the device starts heating up and from there you can set your temperature using the “Plus” or “Minus” buttons to make your selection with 9°F increments from 302°F to 410°F. The LCD indicates the battery level, set temperature and the Celsius or Fahrenheit indicator, which can be switched by holding the “Plus” button for 5 seconds to toggle between the two. The LCD is very simple and basic and it does not show the devices temperature as it gets hotter, instead the On / Off LED light flashes until it turns solid, indicating that device has reached your desired temperature. I would have loved to see the actual temperature indicated as well as the set temperature so you always know where your at.

-The “CHIP”

The Elo is a very unique and fun vaporizer to use. Telo-657he main feature that makes the Elo so special and unique, is it’s removable material chamber, called the “Chip.” Elo allows users to swap out Chips with different materials to suit your needs, which makes vaping on the go easy and convenient. Elo’s Chip system works very well and I found it to be especially useful on the go, where I can have a Chip loaded in Elo and two extra Chips loaded and packed in the included Chip case for quick, hassle free vaping out and about.

The Chip is constructed out of plastic and Stainless Steel and it can be completely disassembled for easy cleaning. You load your material into a removable S.S. rectangular chamber with S.S. mesh screens on top and bottom and “snaps” securely into place within the “body” of the Chip. Those with disabilities or people with larger hands / fingers, may find this chamber somewhat small and difficult to use and clip into place but it’s quite easy once you do it once or twice. The actual material chamber measures; 6mm x 18mm x 12mm and can hold (approx. 0.2g).

I have always been a fan of a vape that uses a removable chamber for a few reasons. The main reason makes vaping on the go more convenient by allowing users to pre-pack or load chambers, capsules or Chips ahead of time, so you can just pop it in and vape, instead of fumbling around with grinding, loading, making a mess or having your precious material blow away. Not only does it make vaping on the go more convenient but it keeps your vaporizer cleaner for a lot longer and it can keep sensitive heaters from building upelo-566 debris that can often fall through the cracks and otherwise be very difficult to remove. Yet another bonus to the Chip design allows you have a different loaded Chip for your every mood or preference, so you could have a Chip loaded with an herb that is more energetic for daytime use and another Chip filled with an herb that is more relaxing for night vaping. Although I think a removable chamber has more benefits than drawbacks, there are a few to discuss. The main drawback is that they usually require more time and patience loading them at home, since there are a few parts to assemble, they can be fairly small, hard to grasp and put together. Removable chambers can also pose other issues, such as creating more areas where extra air to be drawn into the pathways, as the fittings and seals may not always be perfect, so potentially, they can dilute the vapor and this is somewhat true with the Elo. With the Elo’s complex Chip system, there is some room around the Chip where air can be pulled in, which can make the vapor thinner and weaker but on the plus side, it can also make the vapor cooler and smoother but I will go into further detail later on. One other thing to consider, removable chambers can also get lost, loose parts or wear over time, which can be also be good and bad. On one hand, you can usually replace the part instead of the whole unit, which can save you big time but it also means that you more likely to have to replace elo-603-Editsomething down the road when it gets lost or breaks. It really comes down to personal preference but for me, I’m a sucker for a removable chamber like the Chip, Inhalaters’ Capsule System, Hazes’ Cans etc. and I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Illimite Concepts has also included a Chip case that is great for carrying your loaded Chips. This case is made out of plastic and features 2 slots for your 2 extra Chips and they fit neatly inside and the Case also features a lock so it won’t accidently open. I would have liked to see some extra room in the case for a brush or something but I think it’s great that they included 2 extra Chips and a Case in the first place!

Illimite Concepts is also working on a Chip that will support concentrates and oils so I will try to update this review as soon as I receive any information on this.

-The “COOLER” / Vapor Path / Mouthpiece

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Another innovative feature of the Elo is the “Cooler.” This piece is a specially designed aluminum rod that connects to the mouthpiece and effectively cools your vapor with it’s unique design. This aluminum rod has a slice taken out of the middle that runs through the legth of the rod and features a few holes on the top where it connects to the mouthpiece. As vapor flows around the Cooler and the slits, the vapor gradually cools down, making it smoother ( please see photo ). I can say with confidence, that the Elo produces some cool and smooth vapor! Part of the reason why the Elo has such smooth vapor is because it isn’t quite as dense or thick as some vaporizers, such as the Crafty but more on that later.

The vapor path of the Elo is a straight shot from the intake/ vents directly below the heater, where air is pulled in, passes through the heater, into the Chip, into your material and then through the Stainless Steel and Aluminum Vapor path, which is all removable and cleanable. When there are a few pieces that make up a vapor path, like in the Elo’s design, there can sometimes be room for air leaks in the pathway. You can compare this pathway to the DaVinci Ascent’s pathway, where two glass tubes or pieces meet and slide into one another but they aren’t completely tight, so air can be pulled in from the area in addition to it’s oven. The Elo’s vapor path is not 100% sealed where the Cooler meets the lower portion of the vapor path and the sliding mechanism tube but it’s sealed off from the electronics, so the “extra” air most likely enters the path through the sliding buttons / doors on the side of the unit and on the top. I would like to see this area improved, so the vapor path pieces seal 100%, so potentially more air can be drawn through the oven, potentially improving the vapor production.elo-513-Edit

Not only does the Elo feature a removable chamber and the Cooler but it also features a hidden mouthpiece, that neatly slides away for storing, protection and sanitation. You don’t need to touch the mouthpiece with your dirty little hands to use the Elo, instead just slide open the top door, exposing the mouthpiece and slide up the button on the side to raise your mouthpiece. Not only is this a cool feature but its very practical, it keeps your mouthpiece clean while you travel and it prevents you from touching it. The mouthpiece is made out of Silicone and it connects directly to the Cooler. I’m not crazy about the Silicone mouthpiece but it is comfortable and cool, although I would like to eventually see additional mouthpieces, maybe made out of glass or something else. I have noticed that sometimes the Mouthpiece likes to detach from the Cooler,  so you may have to push it back into position in order to lower it back into the unit and thus is a minor drawback of the sliding mouthpiece system.

-Convection Heater / Oven

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Elo’s heater; Chip off and Chip on

In my experience, Convection heat produces the better more flavorful vapor over conduction heat. Convection heat produces vapor that is almost always, more flavorful and flavorful for longer too. Convection heat also doesn’t cause a “slow burn” effect that conduction heat causes when your not inhaling because the conduction is always heating your herb, vaporizing it. Convection heat heats your herb when your inhaling or pulling the hot air through it. The Elo is a mostly convection vaporizer! There is some conduction going on as well but it’s minmal and most of the vaporization is coming from the convection hot air your pulling through your herb. I would compare this system to the Crafty and Mighty vaporizer, both of which, are also mostly convection based but they also relay on conduction heat as well but more so than the Elo. I would estimate that the Elo is roughly 80-90% convection and 20-10% conduction whereas the Crafty / Mighty are closer to 70% convection and 30% conduction. The Crafty and Mighty produce thicker, fuller and more dense vapor than the Elo but it is also can be hotter, harsher and the flavor can diminish more quickly than theelo-627-Edit Elo’s vapor.

The heater / Chip system works very well and it’s simple to use. The Chip is sandwiched and held in place between the oven / heater on the bottom and the Elo body / vapor path on the top, which is securely held shut with two strong magnets. The Chip fits securely in place and it’s easy to load and unload from the device. I would have liked to see a lock on the heater, so it would hold the heater open while you load your Chip because it can easily snap shut with those strong magnets.

Elo’s heater / oven is very interesting. It features a series of 4 ceramic heaters that make up a series of “walls,” where air is drawn through and around these heated walls and thus gently heated, until is passes through the Chip and your material. The top of the heater is protected by a S.S. layer grate, which protects the ceramic heaters and also provides an area for the bottom of the Chip to contact the heater directly and add a little conduction heat to the chamber as well.  This heater or oven is encased in S.S. but the entire assembly is then surrounded by plastic, including the intake / vents below the oven, for obvious heat 10-05-15-297-Editreasons but I would have liked to see an inner layer of metal for strength and the additional S.S. could also improve the flavor over plastic.  I will go into further detail about the vapor in the Vaporization section. On top of the heater is the lower Silicone seal that presses against the bottom portion of the Chip, creating a seal. This Silicone piece is removable for cleaning and I recommend soaking briefly and scrubbing all Silicone, plastic and metal pieces before vaporization to help remove any extra tastes, residues, oils that come from these materials and from the manufacturing process / assembly of these devices. I have noticed that the Silicone and or plastic around the heater and or Chip creates a slight Silicone taste and smell at times, more so during the end of my session when the unit has been on for a while and is much hotter but again, it’s not enough for it to ruin the herbs flavor in my opinion.

Inside the heater is a temperature sensor that measure the temperature inside the oven. This temperature sensor also acts as a draw sensor that can sense your inhalation as you draw, so instead of hitting the On / Off button every time the auto shut-off kicks in, you can just draw on the device and it should cancel the shut-off feature. I have noticed that my Elo dose not sense my inhalation, so for some reason it does not cancel the shut-off and I must hit the On / Off if I want to keep vaporizing but Illimite Concepts is working to correct this issue.

_DSC0434-2The heater is held in place on a hinge that connects it to the body of the Elo. As I have mentioned, by removing the heater from the main body, the electronics, the battery and your hand will stay cool during vaporization which is a great design. The heater can definitely get hot to the touch during use but there is plenty of cool Elo body to hang on to, so it’s not an issue but I would have loved to see some heat sinks or ribbing like they used in the Crafty and Mighty vaporizers deign, which do a great job keeping the unit cool  I would have liked to see the hinge beefed up a little because this is an area of high stress and it will be used often, so there is the potential for breakage if your not too careful but I have not had any issues yet. There are also some wires that pass through this hinge area, so there is potential of the wires breaking like the dreaded Ascent that had it’s oven on a swivel and those wires often broke in the early versions until they corrected the issue. I have taken one of my Elo’s apart and there is plenty of wire length to freely move when opening and closing the oven, so it won’t put stress on the connections and I doubt if we will see an issue with wires breaking.

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-Battery

elo-585Unfortunately, the Elo does not allow for users to vaporize during charging and the battery is not user replaceable. This is one of my major criticisms of this device and its so sad to see a vaporizer that doesn’t feature either one of these. Batteries eventually all loose capacity and become weaker over time, so eventually they will all need replacements. When the user can’t replace the battery, then the vaporizer becomes useless, unless the manufacturer provides replacements like the Crafty and Mighty Battery Program where it cost up to $40 to replace their batteries.

Elo features a permanent Lithium Ion Battery ( 1000 mAh 11.1 V ). I have noticed that the battery level indicator on the Elo screen can jump around a little, at least during warm up but after it’s all warmed up and the temperature has been reached, then it appears that the level seems accurate. Battery life could be better with this unit given its size but on average, I am able to get at least 5 sessions on 383F lasting for about 7 minutes each or until the auto-shut off kicks in, which isn’t bad and its more than enough to vape through all of your Chips that are included for a day full of vaping. Convection based vaporizers elo-602-Editusually require more energy than conduction vaporizers and with Elo’s relatively large heater, it uses a lot of juice, so that can explain why the battery life isn’t that great.

Charging is pretty quick and only takes a few hours. I would have liked to see a USB connection instead of their own connection, so it would be a little more universal and you didn’t have to plug it in to the wall each time. The On /Off LED light is Solid White when the unit is charging and there is also an LED on the charger unit that’s turns from Red to Green when the unit is fully charged.


Vaporization

– Usage / Instructions

elo-382Elo is very user friendly and easy to use. When you first open the box, you will see a quick start guide and within 6 simple steps, you will be up and vaping!

  1.  Grind your material, finely
  2.  Load your material in the Chip
  3.  Load Chip onto the oven
  4.  Press and hold the On / Off button for 2 seconds
  5.  Press (+) or (-) buttons to select your temperature
  6.  When the LED stops flashing, slide lid to open and slide up the mouthpiece
  7. Inhale!

I found that the is Elo fun, effective, comfortable to use and operate. It’s basically as easy as it outlines in the box but you can turn to the included user manual for more details. The manual is very clean, includes lots of pictures and is simply laid out. I always recommend reading the manual before using any vaporizer and I recommend it with the Elo because it does a good job explaining the different parts, the LED light signals, as well as how to properly clean the unit. This vaporizer has many parts, most of which are small, so I can see how some people may find this vaporizer difficult to use and load but it wasn’t a problem for me, although I have smaller hands.

My average session with the Elo begins like any other vaporizer session of mine where I grind my herb. I prefer a finer grind in my convection based vaporizers like the Elo and I found the finer grind allows for more surface area for the hot air to pass through, which provides for efficient and even heating. Most of the time I load the chamber full to the rim but loose, not packed and place the top screen on top, just enough that it seats inside the chamber and doesn’t compress the herb. Other times, I like to just use a pinch of herb, enough to cover the bottom screen and then I’ll place the top _DSC0286-5screen down all the way, so it’s touching the herb, but again, not compressing it, so the herb stays in place while the air is drawn through. One thing I dislike about the mesh screens is that they are tricky to place and remove and they can eventually get frayed with repeated use. I also have some difficulties clipping the S.S. material chamber into the Chip body and if it doesn’t snap in easily, I recommend turning it 180 and trying it that way and usually, one seems to go in easier than the other. Once the chambers are snapped into the Chip, they are pretty secure and stay put.

Placing the Chip onto the oven is pretty straight forward and they can only go in one way. Sometimes the Chips don’t like to line up perfectly and you need to move them around until they fall into place easily, don’t force them in. If you really having trouble placing the Chip onto the oven, I suggest trying to slide the entire metal part of the Chip with the S.S. material chamber, one way or another because the screws that holds this piece in place allow for some movement . I would have really liked to see the Chips completely made out of metal because I think it could improve the overall flavor but I’m sure it would get too hot with the metal. The oven features two strong magnets that keep it shut and keep pressure on the Chip, tightly pressing it against the Silicone seals, so these magnets have a tendency to snap the oven shut when your trying to load / unload your Chip, which is something to be aware of.

When your ready to press the On / Off button, you will hear a slight buzzing sound initially 10-05-15-278-Editbut it’s completely normal and it will go away in a few seconds. The Elo heats up quite fast and it usually doesn’t take more than 40-50 seconds to reach any temperature. The battery level indicator on the LCD likes to jump around when the unit is heating up, so wait for the unit to reach temperature before checking the level and it should indicate an accurate level at that point.

The mouthpiece usually slides up smoothly for use but sometimes it likes to detach from the sliding track when it’s time to lower it back into the device. The mouthpiece is Silicone and it simply is held onto the sliding track with a little groove on the inside of the mouthpiece that fits over the aluminum tube of the sliding track. If it detaches, just press the mouthpiece down while holding the mouthpiece raiser button and you should feel it “pop” into place and then it should lower normally. I would like to see this slider mechanism improved, so that it’s sealed better and that the mouthpiece doesn’t detach as easily from the track, otherwise I love the idea and it’s great to hide the mouthpiece inside for traveling and saves you from having to touch it.

– Vaporization / Vapor Quality

elo-635In short, the Elo produces nice, smooth, cool vapor that is flavorful but its not as thick or as visible as most vaporizers on a similar temperature. This is both good and bad. On one hand, I would like to see more, thicker, fuller vapor as it is often thin and feels slightly “airy.” On the other hand, the vapor is incredibly smooth, cool and comfortable and it never seems hot or scratchy, unlike a lot of convection style vaporizers that can be harsh or hot. I have noticed that the Elo seems to run cooler than most other vaporizers and I tend prefer using the Elo at 383°F-392 which would be way too hot in my Crafty, Mighty, Volcano etc. Even at that relatively high temperature, the vapor is still not thick or really cloudy but if you compare that to the Crafty the difference is huge and 383°F on the Elo is more like 340°F on the Crafty or around there. This dosne’t really bother me too much but I would have loved to see more vapor, although I do love how smooth it is. I actually prefer the thinner, smoother vapor at times because I can just “sip” away on the vapor, taking a number of inhalations to extract the chamber, where as other vapes, you’ve reached your desired effect in just a few inhaaltions. Theres no doubt that the Elo is vaporizings your materiasl, it just seems like a much gentler, slower process than some, maybe because it’s more convection than most vaporizers like the Crafty. I don’t understand why 350°F on one vape is complelty different than 350°F on another vaporizer and you would think they should be the same, produce the same vapor, extract your material with the same amount of inhalations but they are rarely cocnstant. Each vaporizer reads and measures temperatures differently, from different areas in the vaporizer and they all heat differently with different sources, different voltages etc. so that can explain a lot.

Elo is definitely not a cloud machine but it makes up for it in smooth cool vapor and even heating. I think if the temperatures were accurate and the device’s air and vapor path was sealed a little better, we would see some real clouds. I’ve never been a cloud chaser so I 10-05-15-265have been happy with the Elo’s vapor production and I really enjoy using this vaporizer.

Elo produces some flavorful vapor that can easily stand up to other high end vapes like the Crafty. It may not be as full flavored as the Crafty’s vapor but the flavor is there and it stays longer too. I can go 10 inhalations with the Elo and still have flavor but I typically don’t make it to 10 inhalations on my Crafty before I’ve extracted the chamber and the flavor is gone. The vapor also may not be as pure tasting as the Crafty because there is a fair amount of Silicone and Plastic in and around the Vapor path so your going to get some of that taste in your vapor as well, typically towards the end of a session when things are warmer. I find the slight Silicone and Plastic taste to be acceptable and non worrisome because I am fairly confident in the Elo’s construction and design that its putting out some good quality vapor despite the slight tastes. Everyone has different tolerances for theses smells and tastes and some people may find it to be too strong and others may not notice it at all. When you’ve been using the Elo and Chips for some time, the Plastic and Silicone taste and smell definitely lessen with time and use. I really would have liked to see some improvements made to parts of the Elo and I think some small changes in materials and placement could have made a world of difference in the Vapor Quality in such a unique and interesting vape.

– Cleaning / Maintenance

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Elo disassembled: Silicone Top Seal, Upper Vapor Path (The Cooler), Lower Vapor Path (S.S. Funnel/Tube), Silicone Mouthpiece. 2 Brushes. *Heater/Oven Silicone Seal not shown*

Elo allows users to easily break down its entire components for easy and through cleaning. The main body breaks down into 5 removable and cleanable pieces; 2 Silicone Seals (1 Seal above the Chip around the Vapor Path and 1 Seal below around the heater), the lower portion of the Vapor Path a S.S. tube/funnel, the Aluminum “Cooler,” and the Silicone Mouthpiece. All of these pieces can be soaked in ISO Alcohol but I recommend just soaking the metal parts and spot cleaning the Silicone with Alcohol instead of letting it soak because Alcohol can slowly ruin Silicone parts. Now all that’s left is the Chip and that breaks down into 4 main pieces but you can break it down further; Chip body with attached S.S. Slit/Grate Screen, S.S. material Chamber and 2 S.S. Mesh Screens. I typically just soak the Mesh Screens and the S.S. material Chamber and spot cleans the Chip Body and Grate Screen. One other area to check is the Mouthpiece/Cooler “Raiser Tube.” This is an Aluminum Tube that raises and lowers the Mouthpiece/Cooler combo and also connects this combo to the Lower portion of the Vapor Path. Where the “Cooler” meets the Lower portion of the Vapor Path inside this Aluminum Tube, its not a perfect seal, so some vapor leaks around and collects slightly inside this Tube. Just a quick brush with Alcohol or Q-Tip is enough to clean it right out. Now you ready to assemble thee Elo again. Everything goes back together fairly easily and things can only go one way ,so it pretty straight forward but you can always check out the manual.elo-443


 

Pros

  • Innovative and unique design
  • Sturdy build quality, solid feel and good materials, metal body
  • Oven/heater is removed from the main body
  • Mostly Convection heat
  • Removable Chamber, The Chip
  • Sliding doors protect and keep everything clean
  • Little to no draw resistance
  • Smooth, cool, flavorful vapor
  • Wide Temperature range
  • Auto-Shut off
  • Fast charge time
  • Decent battery life (around 5 Chips)
  • Completely removable Vapor Path (easy cleaning)
  • Multi-function LED light
  • Even heat and efficient
  • Works with small amounts and large amounts
  • Magnetic Heater/Oven
  • Ceramic Heater/Oven
  • Included Chip Case holds 2 Spare Chips
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Battery is not user replaceable and doesn’t feature pass through charging
  • Thin, airy vapor
  • LED is hard to see in the Sunlight
  • Draw sensor does not seem to work
  • Dry herb only (Originally planned to have a Chip for Concentrates too)
  • Lot of little pieces
  • Chip can be difficult for some people
  • Mouthpiece detaches occasionally
  • Silicone and Plastic smell/taste at times
  • Bulky and heavy
  • 9°F Temperature increments
  • (Elo is no longer being produced?)

 

Conclusion

elo-391Overall, the Elo is a solid vaporizer. Elo happens to be one of my favorite vaporizers to use because of its design and aesthetics. If there were vaporizers in the 80’s, they’d probably look like the Elo and I mean that in the best way. May not be the smallest or lightest vaporizer out there but its defiantly one of the most unique and unusual. I think the Chip system is great and it really makes vaporizing on the go quick, easy and mess free. Although there are a lot of things I love about Elo, there are a few things I would like to change and probably the biggest thing would be a new design with less Silicone and Less Plastic, as well as a removable battery. Also, I would like to see a more accurate and wider temperature range, a working draw sensor and an actual temperature read-out on the LCD Screen. I would definitely recommend this vaporizer but not to everyone, especially people who may have difficulty with small pieces and people who like thick, cloudy vapor, otherwise Elo is a fun vape that belongs in any serious vipers collection.elo-383

 


 

 

miVape Vaporizer Review

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Introduction

_DSC0035After over 2 years of design, development and testing, Vaporfections’ miVape is finally available and it offers users, a pocket sized version of their flag-ship desktop vape, the viVape.

The miVape promises to be one of the most technologically advanced vaporizers on the market, with the cleanest and clearest vapor ever, thanks to it’s mostly all glass air path and true, convection heat. CLEAN TASTE, CLEAR CHOICE!

 

 


 

Features and Specifications

  • Quartz crystal glass components: airway, heating system, heating chamber, herb/wax Cups and draw stem.
  • Pocket sized, portable design
  • Medical-grade materials
  • True convection heating and conduction
  • Compatible with dry herbs and concentrates_DSC0065
  • Fully adjustable digital temperature control system (5°F increments)
  • Temperature range: 250°F – 430°F
  • OLED display
  • Fast heat up: about a minute or less
  • Rechargeable and user replaceable battery: custom lithium-ion polarized battery
  • Great battery life
  • Auto shut-off: set by user from 4-10 minutes
  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 4 x 1.25 inches
  • Weight: approx. 154 grams
  • Unique spiral quartz crystal glass heat engine/air path
  • Removable glass chambers ( Cups )

 Design and Construction

-Overview

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miVape Includes: 2 Quartz Cups, 2 Silicone Safety Cups w/ Silicone Lids, Brush, 10 Waxy/Oil Cloths, Pick (built in on miVape body), 3 Spare Screens, Wall Charger (not shown), User Guide (not shown)

After watching and waiting for the miVape for quite some time, I had high hopes for this device, given the amount of time it was in development and considering all of the delays.

I had expected and hoped for some metal in the design and body of the device but when I received mine on that fateful day, I was somewhat disappointed. First of all, no metal anywhere, besides the mouthpiece screen. Upon picking the miVape up for the first time, it felt more like a toy than a device I should be inhaling vapor through and a bit concerning at first. I don’t expect vaporizers to be 100% medical grade but most people switch from smoking for the health benefits and a lot vaper’s are medical users, so vaporizers should at least be built with this in mind and built to a higher standard. Even though the miVape is constructed with purity in mind and features lot of glass components, which is a great, pure and inert material, I worry about the rest of the device itself and what it’s made out of. I think the idea behind the miVape is great and this device is capable of producing very pure, clean vapor but I only wish that they had taken their design further and used higher quality materials in the body / mouthpiece in order to take advantage of the full capabilities of that glass convection heating system.

-Body

Sadly, the miVape is emiVape-1509-Editntirely plastic, excluding the quartz glass air path, glass Cups and glass draw stem. I understand that you can’t always use metal to build vaporizers for obvious heat reasons but it seems like Vaporfection could have used some in their design to make it feel more luxurious, reliable and less flimsy. A metal lid, metal sides and / or a metal battery door / latch would have done wonders to make this vape feel better. Companies have pulled off all plastic bodies before, like the Crafty and Mighty by Storz and Bickel, which are two amazing portable vaporizer’s and they still feel high quality and safe, not to mention the awesome vapor they produce. The plastic of the miVape isn’t overly solid either, it creeks and moving parts could easily break if your not careful, especially the lid and the battery door which are flimsy and loose. It also appears that some of the plastic is painted silver, which kind of worries me for obvious health reasons but at least most of the silver parts are on the outside of the device. Vaporizers don’t need to be bullet proof but they should be built with health in mind from quality, safe materials, after all, people will be inhaling heated vapors through them and I feel that Vaporfection could have done a better job constructing the miVape. The construction and materials of the miVape body is my #2 major negative of the device and it just seems like they should have built it slightly better, given all the fragile, sophisticated glass and special heat engine inside. However, I will say that after placing a battery in the unit, the miVape felt much better, it stiffened up a bit, it was less creaky and had a nicer feel and heft to it.

The very first miVape’s had a few issues from floppy lids, batteries that got stuck and _DSC0335temperatures that weren’t calibrated correctly, so they ran hot, about 100°F too hot. I think It’s important to mention the first miVapes because it shows that Vaporfection listens, that they stand behind their device and that they want to deliver a good product. As soon as Vaporfection got wind of the issues, they worked extremely hard to fix all the issues and eventually sent out replacement units. I have to give it to Vaporfection and especially Dan, for providing excellent customer service and for standing behind their product. I am a Vaporfection customer for life, even though I may not be 100% sold on the miVape. I Hate to be so critical towards the miVape but this is only my opinion and I am just trying to cover everything I can and as honestly as I can._DSC0474

After awhile, the replacement miVapes arrived and I received mine directly from Vaporfection. I was expecting to see some major changes to the unit after reading about the upgrades in a newsletter sent out from Vaporfection but the replacements looked and felt the same, however, the new units were re-calibrated, so the temperatures are more  accurate, they also supposedly beefed up the battery door and / or latch, cleaned up the battery compartment more for easier battery change out, changed the logo on the sides so the new ones are now recessed and they made the lid slightly stiffer and that was basically it. Also, the miVapes now come shrink wrapped and sealed for authenticity.

-Heater

miVape-1489The heater design of the miVape is definitely special. It’s unique, unlike any other portable vaporizer, which mostly all feature metal or ceramic heaters but the miVape is the first portable to have a glass air heating system, combined with a mostly glass vapor / air path. You can compare this device’s heating system to the VapeExhale Cloud Evo and Vaporfection’s own, viVape desktop, which both feature all glass heating systems, except on a larger scale. Glass is what most people prefer when it comes to flavor and purity, so when I first got wind of the miVape and saw the design, I was blown away and I just couldn’t wait! Again, I love the idea behind the miVape, a portable vaporizer featuring a glass vapor / air path with a glass convection heating system and glass material Cups, so you can only imagine the purest, cleanest, fullest flavored vapor production, given how inert glass is, so it’s a flavor chasers dream rig but I felt like the execution / construction of the miVape missed the mark.

GLASS, GLASS AND MORE GLASS. Except for a few areas, the miVape features an all glass air and vapor path, minus a small section of Silicone where the air enters the glass tube, a small Silicone seal around the top of the glass chamber and a section in the mouthpiece that joins the glass Cup with the glass draw stem. The DaVinci Ascent was the first portable vaporizer with a glass vapor path but it utilizes a conduction ceramic heater, whereas the miV

Glass-Tube-info-Graphic-web

miVape “True Convection” heat system. (vaporfection.com)

ape uses “True Convection” and I will touch on this more in the Vaporization section. This glass heater works by pulling fresh air in through the bottom of the unit through some small holes around the USB Port, which then enter a short section of Silicone tube that connects to the glass heater area where this glass tube makes a spiral and ends at the glass chamber where the glass material Cup sits suspended inside. The actual heat is produced from a small metal coil that is wrapped around a section of the glass tube, just above the spiral and below the chamber. This coil heats the glass, which then heats the air as it passes through the heated glass tube and spiral, then into the chamber and finally heats the material in the glass Cup. The miVape offers “True Convection” heat but there is also some conduction heat going on as well and this can be confirmed by leaving a loaded Cup inside the heated unit without inhaling and after a while, the material will be partially vaporized. Conduction isn’t necessarily a bad thing but  in this case,  it makes it more difficult to get good, consistent results with dry herbs but on the other hand, it actually is a plus when using concentrates. I think the conduction happens as a by product of their convection heating design or perhaps they wanted the conduction as well but the glass Cup sits so close to the glass walls inside the chamber and so close to the metal coil heater, the glass Cup inevitably conducts heat via conduction in addition to the convection hot air you pull through the glass spiral.  This extra heat centered mostly around the bottom of the Cup brings me to my  #1 negative of the miVape, I simply have a hard time getting consistent, even heating and without charring or burning the material when I’m using dry herbs. I think if they enlarged the chamber, changed the design of the Cups and / or moved / re-designed the coil, would potentially solve the issue of uneven heat and make a huge difference but as it is now, you can still get good results if you do things a certain way.

 

miVape-open

Inside the miVape, showing the glass tube/spiral heat engine. (vaporfection.com)

-Chamber / Mouthpiece

The mimiVape-1467Vape features a removable material chamber or Cup. These Cups are Quartz glass like the rest of the glass components and they can be used with dry herbs or concentrates, either by using the included wax cloths or on their own, if they are a drier consistency so it won’t drip through the holes and into the chamber / heater. These Cups feature 3 holes in the bottom for the air flow but when you look at them, its hard to believe that they designed these Cups with convection heat in mind, given that the holes are so small and theres on 3 of them, so how much convection heat is really happening? These 3 small holes can also allow debris to fall through into the chamber, so that’s something to be aware of and check for after a session so they don’t build up or fall into the heater where it could potentially restrict the draw even more and cause the vapor to taste off. The Quartz Cups have a rim that is there to hold them in place on the mouthpiece assembly, where they slide onto a track and kind of snap into place when they are positioned directly below the Stainless Steel screen of this mouthpiece assembly. I have noticed that its not a perfect seal where the glass rim meets the plastic, so some extra fresh air is being pulled in from that area, in addition to the holes in the Cup where the hot air enters, which makes me wonder if the device would work better if it was a tighter seal so more hot air could be pulled through instead of cold air from the outside that doesn’t aid in the vaporization process. Each pair of Cups also come with Silicone Caps that securely seal these Cups, so you can pre-pack them for on the go convenience and they also come with Silicone Safety Cups for cool handling of the Cups when they are still hot. I enjoy using the Cups but I wish they featured a flat bottom with an option for a screen, so it could potentially help the air-flow and convection heat, as well as keep the chamber cleaner. I would also like to see a Cup with Holes located half way up, on the sides or something, so you could use concentrates without having to worry about them dripping through the bottom but luckily I haven’t had an issue with this yet.

elo-721-EditThe actual mouthpiece assembly is another story entirely and brings me to my #3 negative of the miVape, you cannot take this piece apart to clean it and you can’t get it fully clean without taking it apart! This mouthpiece just doesn’t make much sense, given that Vaporfection was going for an all glass design, so they tossed in this plastic nightmare, which basically defeats the purpose of the glass system but at least the glass is used in most of the important places. I’m not so concerned that this piece is made out of plastic but that it cannot be broken down for cleaning, except for removing the screen which does little to help in this process. Although, I do like how the mouthpiece works with the rotating draw stem, which is really nice and I like using it, it’s very comfortable and it never gets hot but when if comes time for cleaning, it’s pretty much impossible to get it completely clean because of all the nooks and crannies for residue to hide and build, as well as the fact that if you try soaking it in alcohol for any period, you risk the orange paint washing off and the black plastic turning white. The “Clean Taste, Clear Choice,” just goes delo-743-Editown the drain when you can’t properly clean a mouthpiece, so no matter how capable the miVape is at producing pure, clean vapor, it just gets mucked up when you have a dirty mouthpiece, which is the main piece that will get dirty! At nearly $20 each for a replacement mouthpiece, it just doesn’t make sense to buy one every time they get dirty so you just have to work at it if you want to get it clean again and its not easy.

There is a rumor of an all glass mouthpiece in the works and if so that will be huge! I will keep this review updated, if and when the new mouthpiece happens!

– Battery

miVape-1404This vaporizer has really good battery life, along with the ability to change / replace the battery, means you always have plenty of power to spare and you have the option to bring back-ups for extended outings. The miVape uses a custom Li-Ion battery with a capacity of 3100mAh. Spare batteries are not particularly cheap though, at $39.99 they set you back a little but its not terribly unreasonable and its always nice to have spares, plus all batteries eventually loose capacity, so even having the option to replace a battery is a huge plus and I think EVERY PORTABLE VAPORIZER SHOULD HAVE A REPLACEABLE BATTERY! On average, I am able to get between 8-12 sessions at 350°F, lasting 6 minutes each which is really good in my book however, you can’t use the device while its charging.

Charging the miVape is easy as plugging it in and you will see the LCD turn on, showing “Charging” and the current charge percentage. The USB cable can be a little difficult to push into the charging port of the miVape, so you just have to make sure its in far enough. Sometimes during charging, my unit likes to get stuck on 80% or 90%, and then it stays there for a lot longer, then eventually it reaches the “Fully Charged” status. I would like to see a charging dock so you can have the option to charge your spares instead of having to put them into the device each time.

Also, the battery can be tricky to get in and out, so it usually requires a slight bump on the bottom to get it started and coming out so I can pull it the rest of the way but there is amiVape-1411
spring inside the battery compartment that helps.

The battery latch and door are a bit flimsy and I wonder how long it will last with repeated use but so far no problems. This is an area I would have really liked to see some metal used in place of the plastic for strength and reliability, after all, this mechanism is something that will be used often by most and without it, the miVape will be useless unless you fashion a way to hold the battery in place. One other note, the knob that you slide to open / lock this door, slightly protrudes out, so the unit is a little wobbly when standing up and I’ve tipped it over repeatedly but luckily I haven’t broken anything.


Vaporization

-Operation / Usage

The miVape is easy to operate but it’s not always easy to get good results, that’s the catch…. Basically just fill your Cup, LOOSELY with dry, medium to finely ground herb, no more than 3/4 full, slide the Cup into the mouthpiece assembly, line up the orange arrows and gently push it into place until the latch locks it into place. Turn the miVape on and set your temperature and I recommend starting at 340F, wait for it to get to temp and about a minute after it reaches your desired temperature, you should get visible vapor but you will definitely get _DSC0316some great taste before you see any vapor. I will sometimes turn mine down after a few minutes because it does get hotter after a while, so give it a little time before turning it up more. This vape defiantly heats up quickly but it takes a little while longer after the temperature has been reached to start  producing visible vapor, in part because I think it takes a little while for all the glass to reach the same temperature as the coil for the convection heat. I have seem some people who wait for their unit to reach their set temperature before placing the glass Cup / mouthpiece assembly into the miVape but I have found that you get vapor faster by leaving the glass Cup inside the unit while it heats up.

It can be a little difficult to push the Cup and mouthpiece assembly into the miVape body because there is a Silicone seal that surrounds the Cup around the rim of the chamber, so I found that it works best to always have the release / lock button pressed when loading and removing this assembly piece. Just line up the orange arrows and that’s really it, it can’t go in the other direction. The release button could be better, it sticks at times and the locking tab doesn’t always fully retract, so if you can’t pull the mouthpiece assembly out smoothly, so make sure the locking tab is fully retracted and you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Also, the lid can easily break! Use caution when opening and closing the lid and be aware of it as you load the device.

The miVape features and both Celsius and Fahrenheit, which can be selected by pressing the power button once while the unit is on and to change it, just hit either the “Plus” or “Minus” buttons to make your selection. The OLED screen shows your set temperature but it would have been nice if it showed the actual temperature as well because I feel like it changes during the session and gets hotter, although I don’t think that the miVape actually measures the temperature at all, I think it’s calibrated during production to reach a certain level based on your selection. Every time you start the miVape, it starts at 0°F then jumps to 42°F and then slowly climbs to your set temperature and after that, its never changes. Compare that to the Crafty and Mighty vaporizers that actually measure / regulate the temperature during the entire session, so when you start either device, the device / temperature starts out at whatever the outside temperature is, so if it’s 80°F outside then the Crafty or Mighty will start at 80°F and climb until it reaches your set temperature. From there, both of those units regulate the temperature to stay within a small given range of the set temperature and adjusts itself depending on the outside temperature, your draw speed and duration etc. I guess it _DSC0446doesn’t really matter that the miVape may not measure the actual temperature, as long as your getting good results but vaporizing is a dependent on a lot of things and these devices are capable of producing many different results and effects based on specific temperatures, so I prefer to know exactly what temperature I am vaping at, that way I can repeat the exact same results next time.

The miVape also features and adjustable shut-off timer from 2-10 minutes that can be changed by pressing the power button once more after the Celsius and Fahrenheit screen and it takes you to the shut-off timer, where you can use the “Plus” or “Minus” again to select your time. I prefer the 6 minute shut off time and I found like that was usually enough time to fully vapotize a Cup. I would also prefer to see the actual shut-off timer indicated on the screen at all times, that way you know how much longer you have, instead of the last 10 seconds of the session, when the units counts down before shutting off but you can at least hit the power button to cancel the shut-off and keep going if you want.

When your done with your session, just hold the power button to shut off the miVape. I found that the Cups are easy to maintain and keep clean if you brush them out quickly while they are still warm by using the Silicone Safety Cups.

-Vaporization / Vapor Quality

miVape-1450

Vaporizing Dry Herbs:

Vaporfections’ miVape is capable of producing some of the tastiest, purest vapor ever out of any portable available but it can also easily char your material and taste really awful if your not careful and don’t experiment around to find out what works best for you. My first session with the miVape was bad, it was way too hot (first version miVape with hot temperature issues BTW) and I had uneven heating with burnt pieces on the bottom and fresh material on the top of the Cup and it tasted awful. After that experience, I realized that the first miVape’s temperatures were off so I lowered it proportionally to Vaporfections instructions, using a temperature conversion chart they provided to get a more accurate temperature and then I started getting better results but I also quickly learned that the miVape needs things a certain way, in order to bring out it’s full potential and I think most people, especially those inexperienced with vaporizers, will find it somewhat disappointing and difficult to get good results out of the box

Even though the miVape features a full range of temperatures at 5°F increments, there is really just a small window that produces the best visible vapor without burning or overheating dry herbs, at least in my experience. The sweet spot for the best taste with the most visible vapor without overheating is between 325°F and 350°F but it varies on personal preference, the _DSC0483herbs moisture content, amount, grind size etc. Typically, I find the vapor to be the best around 340°F, which is a lower temperature than I use on any of my vapes but even at that temperature, I have experienced especially dark ABV (already been vaped) near the bottom of the Cup, especially if you let the herb sit a while or if you pack in too much, so it doesn’t have room to move around during inhalation. I found that long, slow inhalations work best, the slower and the longer, the better. You don’t want to inhale so hard that all the herb gets sucked up on the top screen and stays there, so you won’t get the full vapor but you don’t want to inhale too lightly, or the herb won’t move around enough and the hot air can’t flow through, which results in overheated herb on the bottom and under heated herb on the top, so there is a fine line in my experience. I also try to inhale frequently, so the herb doesn’t have an opportunity to sit too long on the hot bottom of the Cup, which will eventually over heat the herb and even if you don’t inhale at all during your session, you will find that your herb will still be partly, if not mostly vaporized, thanks to all the extra conduction this unit produces. The miVape needs more and better convection and less conduction!

When the vapor is flowing and the results are good, then the vapor is really great, the flavor is fantastic, the vapor is smooth, cool and pleasant. I’ve experienced some of the best tasting vapor through this device using the smallest amounts of herb, which is quite amazing abd you will be surprised how many clouds the miVape will pull out of a tiny pinch of herb! I have noticed that the flavor can be excellent but it may not always be as full or potent as other vaporizers, like the Crafty or Grasshopper but the flavor lasts longer with the miVape. Those other vaporizers seem give you most of the flavor in the first few inhalations, then tampers off, so it’s give and take, either you get less full flavor for a lot longer or you get the fullest flavor for a short while and that’s one reason why the miVape has a place in my vaporizer line up.

Even when I think I’ve got a good session going and I can’t taste any over heating, sometimes it comes later in the session and then you can tell it’s overheating slightly  because the vapor changes, the taste changes and it gets a little “scratchy” on my throat and then I know to turn the unit down or inhale in a different way, otherwise when you pull out that Cup you will see a dark bottom! I found I get great, amazing results with one herb and poor results with another, using the exact same amount, grind size, temperature, inhalation method/duration etc. so I think the vapor quality has a lot to do with the herbs moisture content but I never really know what to expect. If I could repeat good results across the board, then that would be a different story and I could recommend this vaporizer to more people but the consistency isn’t there, at least not for me.

If your getting over heating / uneven heating and don’t want to turn the unit down, you can also try a few things. For instance, try placing something in the bottom of the cup to raise the herb a few mm up and away from the extreme heated Cup bottom, like a screen that’s balled up ( see photo ) or the wax cloths also work and then you can get away with the higher temperatures because your getting more of the convection heat and less of the conduction. Part of the reason why small amounts work better IMO, is that when you inhale the herbs are pulled off the bottom of the Cup and away from the extreme conduction heat so then just the hot air is mostly heating your herb.

_DSC0183-3Tip/Tricks: If your experiencing uneven heating or black/charring of the material near the
bottom of the cup, there are a few things to try: First and most importantly, do not overfill the cup. Make sure there is some room near the top of the cup for air and for the herb to move around, no more than 3/4 full of medium to fine grind seems to work best for me. Make sure your
temperature is not too hot, I prefer 325F-350F and sometimes I turn it down when I get a few minutes into the session. Take long, slow, steady inhalations, 8 seconds is a good amount to try and go from there. If your still getting blackness near the bottom of t
he cup, try pulling the cup/mouthpiece assembly out of the fully locked down position and bring the cup / mouthpiece assembly up a little, just enough so that the area that is normally locked with the silver tab is even/ flush with the silver area where the lock button is locked (See photo). With these tips, I get great results and great taste, even heating and nice visible vapor without black bits. 

elo-751-Edit

Vaporizing Concentrates:

Vaporizing concentrates with the miVape is quite amazing on the other hand and it’s easy too. Where the miVape doesn’t always nail it with the dry herbs, it makes up for it in vaporizing concentrates, of all consistencies! I think the miVape does concentrates better than any other portable vaporizer but I think the Haze V3 produces more vapor from concentrate’s but the flavor is better with the miVape. The added conduction and extra hot convection heat on the bottom of the Quartz Cups that can cause charring and uneven heating with herbs, is extremely beneficial when vaping concentrates that need that extra heat for really good vapor production. I have experimented around with oil and waxy consistencies using the wax cloths and it was amazing! Great flavor, great visible vapor and it packed a punch, although I do wish there was a better way for the runnier concentrates than the cloths that require a fresh one each time for best results but overall, I was quite impressed. Drier concentrates are amazing and they can just sit in the bottom of the cup without anything extra where they can bubble away and just a nooky at a time will produce amazing results. You can also mix herb and concentrates together to get some really great results and sometimes it actually helps because the concentrates soak into the herb, preventing them from overheating, so your left with just amazing flavor and great, evenly vaporized ABV. I would be careful with some concentrates that could potentially drip through the holes and i_DSC0207-4nto the chamber/glass spiral but if you use small amounts and your careful, you shouldn’t have a problem. If nothing more, the miVape is worth buying for concentrates alone!

The only other thing I will mention regarding vaporization and vapor quality, is that the miVape has a somewhat restricted draw. It definitely requires a little lung to inhale but it’s not a deal breaker and it’s not nearly as restricted as some other vaporizers I have owned such as the MiniVap (may have been a faulty unit?) or any Atmos Pen. I have found that some Cups have less resistance than others and sometimes it depends on how you turn the Cup in the track of the mouthpiece assembly or if you have it pushed all the way back into position or not.


Cleaning / Maintenance

_DSC0453Overall, the miVape body stays perfectly clean as long as you are careful and check the chamber once and a while for any debris that may have fallen through the holes of the Cup. Just a quick dry brush for the chamber is as far as I have ever needed to take it with the body of the miVape.

The Quartz Cups clean up like a breeze with a quick soak in ISO and they will be brand new again and again and you can buy plenty of spares to have on hand, so you’ll never be without a clean Cup and the come in packs of 2 for $15.99 with the Silicone Lid but the Silicone Safety Cups are separate at 2 for $2.99 . If you brush the Cups out while they are still warm, then you won’t need to soak them for quite awhile and they will stay pretty clean.

The mouthpiece assembly, the part that connects the Cup and draw stem is a whole other story, a sad and frustrating tale of misery and confusion. As you have read, this is one of my biggest negatives of the miVape design and I really wish they allowed for users to be able to break down and take this assembly apart for cleaning because it’s damn near impossible to get it all clean. If you soak the mouthpiece assembly in ISO like the user guide shows, you risk having the orange paint wash off and the black plastic turning white-ish. All glass is great for taste but it really doesn’t matter when you can’t fully clean your mouthpiece assembly, so there will likely be a lingering taste added to the pure vapor flavors, so I hope they re-design that piece for easy cleaning.

I recommend soaking theelo-777-Edit assembly briefly and scrubbing it with pipe cleaners and repeating the process of soaking briefly and scrubbing instead of leaving it in ISO for a long period of time, which is more likely to get it cleaner but also more likely to cause discoloration of the plastic. Soaking is the only possibly chance to get it clean after a while of vaping and you really have to work some pipe cleaners in and around, to try and bend your way into all of the different chambers and crevasses of the assembly and there are a lot of areas that are hard to get to or impossible. Its a bit of a pain but you can get it fairly clean if your patient and persistent.

 


Pros

  • Mostly all glass air and vapor path
  • Features convection heat
  • Replaceable battery
  • Removable chamber: Quartz glass Cups ( great for on the go and you can pre-pack them for convenience )
  • Great battery life ( 8-12 sessions, 6 minutes each at 350F )
  • Pure, clean taste
  • Fantastic with concentrates of all consistencies
  • Rotatable draw stem for comfortable vaping
  • Very small and portable
  • Can be very efficient: works best with small amount of material
  • Great customer service from Vaporfection
  • Wide range of temperatures with custom shut-off timer
  • Fast heat up

Cons

  • 10-05-15-324#1 negative: Convection heating system combined with secondary conduction heat can cause inconsistent results, overheating, uneven heating, charring and burning at times.
  • #2 negative: Cheap-ish feel, all plastic construction, painted pieces
  • #3 Major negative: Very difficult / near impossible to clean the mouthpiece assembly entirely
  • Somewhat restricted draw
  • Herb cups only support small amount of materials
  • Relatively long charge times. Tends to get stuck on 80-90%
  • Cannot be used while charging

Conclusion

miVape-1512Overall, I love the design and idea behind the miVape: A portable vaporizer with glass components, combined with pure convection heat, features a replaceable battery along with the ability to vaporize both dry materials and concentrates. It sounds like a dream vaporizer and it has those features and vaporizes dry materials and concentrates. However, the miVape doesn’t quite fully live up to the dream with inconsistent results, uneven heating and a disappointing build quality that feels like a toy. The miVape is a diamond in the rough and it just needs to be polished and refined to really shine!

Even though there is room for improvement, the potential is there, the idea is there, it just needs some upgrades. The miVape has a place in my vape collection and I do pull it out once and awhile when I’m in the mood for concentrates or just want to taste a pinch of herb but it just doesn’t have the chops, yet, to keep it on the top shelf. I hope Vaporfection will work on the miVape, give it some love and release the miVape 2 that takes advantage of what glass can truly offer. I would not recommend this vaporizer to everyone, just those who have some experience with vaporizers and who like to fool around to get the results its capable of, otherwise I think most people may find it too difficult and particular to get great vapor by just tossing in some herb.

#1: Improve or re-design the glass heating system so it features more convection heat and less conduction.

#2: Build it better with higher quality materials, maybe use some metal.

#3: Update that mouthpiece! Please, we need to be able to clean this piece! Glass anyone?

If they change all or any of those issues, then the miVape could become a dream vape!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grasshopper Vaporizer Review and Resource

bw_floating_gh


Grasshopper 2.0 AKA: Mega Grasshopper 

Here is a little project on mine that I am working on. I love my Grasshoppers but the vapor is too hot for me to use it all day, everyday, so I decided to make a wood body for the GH and extend the vapor path, for cooler hits at home. I did not modify my GH in any way and it can be pulled out at anytime.

In this first version; The GH is inverted but the On/Off button is right side up, so it’s easier to click and the extended vapor path is very cool. The vapor path consists of a silicone elbow from my 7th Floor Sidekick Vaporizer and the rest of the path is Stainless Steel and glass. There are vents cut out for the GH intake and for viewing the LEDS. The bottom portion is held on tightly and there are also magnets to secure the bottom.

 

This is the second version of my project and I am still trying to get this one to work…The main reason for this project, was to give the GH a “Heat” button that I could hold instead of clicking the On/Off every draw. Unfortunately, I cannot get my switch to work and I don’t know that much about electricity but I am guessing that the wires are too small  of Gauge and / or the switch I am using is the wrong voltage….Any ideas??? I also wanted to give the GH another Mouthpiece/Cap, to cool the vapor as well, so I made one similar to the first version and it pulls off the same. The vapor path is shorter and similar in design to the Crafty/Mighty/CFX/CF/CFV/Tera/Alternate vapes with their “Cooling Tops,” and this “Cap” is held on magnetically with a magnet from a GH Charger that I took apart and strongly connects to the GH On/Off/Temperature Dial that I have parallel to the GH Body. I separated the two pieces of the GH, so I could add a wire between them for my “Heat” switch, which I am still trying to figure out…Hope you enjoy these projects and thanks for checking it out!!!


GRASSHOPPER UPDATES: 1/29/17

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Stainless Steel, Titanium, Heat Treated Titanium

The New Year brings new items from the folks at Hopper Labs! Water Pipe adapters, Cleaning Vials and even a new Grasshopper Model, the HT or Heat Treated Grasshopper. I have also found an excellent Herb Scoop that fits the GH perfectly from newvape.com and also, a good case idea for your Hopper.

 

First and foremost, the HT GH! Hopper Labs has been releasing a few batches of Special Edition Titanium Grasshoppers that have been heat treated to produce color gradients in the Titanium. Each Hopper is hand crafted by one of three on staff artists, who prep, design and execute these beauties using a 1000 C Furnace and a Torch. This process creates some really interesting units that have a wide range of colors, from blues and purples to bronzes and yellows. This process doesn’t change the surface of the metal, so it still has the shiny quality, unlike the Anodizing process that’s creates a more matte finish. These Special Edition Hoppers are available immediately when they come out in batches but act quick, they sell out within hours! Currently they are going for $350 but there is no waiting, which was some incentive for me. I saw these and I had to pick one up for myself and I must say, it’s a pretty Hopper, although I can’t compare it to the Anodized Titanium. I thought the color wasn’t as vibrant in person, as it appeared on their website but still, it’s colorful and one of a kind.

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Stock Mouthpiece and the new GH 14mm Water Pipe Adapter

Next on the list, the all anticipated Water Pipe adapter! These are likely to be available in February and will come in 14mm or 18mm and screw directly on your GH in place of your existing mouthpiece. I was able to get my hands on one of these and I really love it. It’s basically the same on the inside as your stock mouthpiece with the screen but slightly longer and features a 10 to 1 taper that provides a perfect seal on your glass  downstem. I don’t use a water pipe thavapes-for-reviews-1541t often but the GH is ridiculous when combined with one and when their forces combine, monster clouds are the result! I was hoping to see a universal Water Pipe adapter that fits 14mm and 18mm in one but this keeps the adapter small, compact and sleek. Look for these on the GH website in the next coming months.

With lots of requests for a Mouthpiece Cleaning Vial, Hopper labs has listened. These Vials are the perfect size to fit your Mouthpiece and allow you to soak them in Alcohol, worry free. They feature a Teflon Cap that seals in the Alcohol and prevents evaporation while your Mouthpiece soaks. Hopper Labs recommend that you soak your Mouthpiece for 24 hours for the best result and it’s important to have a good, safe container to do that and after the soak, just brush or scrub a little, then rinse and dry! They are available now on the GH website and cost $5.00. The dimensions are: 26mm Diameter X 60.0mm Length (1.02in X 2.36in)

This next item is not from Hopper Labs but it’s a match made in Heaven. This little number was originally designed for the Pax Vaporizer from the newvape.com but they fit the GH like a glove! They are machined from Aluminum and are small enough to hold some herb and fit inside the GH Chamber, which makes loading pretty effortless. It will cost you $16.00 but will likely last forever with good care or you can buy a Cleaning Kit for around $37, which includes the Scoop and much more, as well as, a sweet little case that also works great for the GH!

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Herb Scoop

 

 

I would also like to add that the GH Batteries are now the GHB2, which replaced the GHB1 Batteries and I will be testing them to see any difference. They appear to be the same but the wrapper feels better to me and I will be adding my results within the next few weeks.

lastly, according to the recent Email Update from Hopper Labs, there will be a price increase coming, so if anyone is on the fence about ordering a GH, I’d get to it before the increase. Currently, the Stainless Steel GH is $175, Plain Titanium / Color is $225 and the Heat Treated Titanium is $350.

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GHB2 Battery

 

 

Introduction

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Wild Grasshopper Box

I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical at first, after all, how could this pen size vaporizer really work? No wires, magnetic chargers, instant on-demand heat, full convection, 95% metal, removable battery with a lifetime warranty? It sounded and looked too good to be true and I thought the only way I would ever have a vaporizer like this, would be in my dreams but dreams do come true…….

The package arrived and I ripped that box open like a kid on Christmas morning. Immediately upon my first inspection, the Grasshopper was different than any other vaporizer I have owned before. It had a heft and weight to it, felt solid, rugged and refined. The smooth, stainless steel body felt good in my hand with it’s simple design _DSC0094-4and familiar shape.

The time finally came, so I proceeded to carefully pack the chamber, spun the mouthpiece back on, set my temperature to 3 on the dial, clicked the button on and watched the red LED turn to blue within seconds and I took a pull. I could feel the vapor flowing in, I held it and then exhaled……..A huge cloud billowed out and I was amazed!

 

 

 

Features and Specifications

  • Specifically designed for dry or loose-leaf herbs ( Concentrate front end is coming )
  • Adjustable temperature range between 130°C – 210°C (266°F – 410°F)
  • 5-second startup time
  • User-replaceable battery
  • True convection technology
  • 95% metal construction
  • Mechanical button for great on/off feel
  • Magnetic charging connection
  • 14mm Diameter X 140mm Length (0.55in X 5.50in)
  • 30-watt heater
  • Li-ion 3.7V 750mAh rechargeable battery
  • 1.2cc herb chamber (approx. 8.5mm x 19mm)
  • GH weight with battery: ( Stainless Steel: approx. 67g ) (Titanium: approx. 55g )_dsc0101-4

Design / Construction

-Overview

Not only does the Grasshopper come in Stainless Steel but there is also a grasshopper-1298Titanium version! If you choose Titanium, you can also have it anodized for $5.00 more with your choice of color; Dark Grey, Bronze, Green, Purple and Blue. The Titanium version is more durable, has better scratch resistance, lighter weight by over 10 grams and it has better thermal properties that allow it to cool down faster. For this review, I used both versions, a Stainless Steel model and a plain Titanium. The devices have the exact same chamber, electronics, heater, battery etc. and the main difference lies in the outside shell or body of the device. You can expect the same results, taste and vapor, battery life etc. from both devices but overall, I have found that the Titanium version’s body heats up quicker than the Stainless Steel but it cools down faster than the S.S. The machining is slightly different between the two metals and I prefer the feel, machine quality and performance of my S.S. GH over my Ti GH, just ever so slightly. They are so close but subtle differences can make a difference and the Ti is noticeably lighter, and tends to pick up far less scratches and dings, so I tend to take that model with me more often than the S.S. for those reasons. Performance is basically the same, so it comes down to personal preference and cost, the Ti GH is $50.00 more than the S.S.

Along with the a magnetic charger, a manual and a battery, each Backer and Pre-Order Grasshopper comes with a Silicone mouthpiece that fits over the metal mouthpiece for added comfort and protection from the heat.The Silicone Mouthpieces are $5.00 extra and I find that I don’t need mine unless, I am vaporizing with friends or using the Grasshopper on the highest temps, otherwise I find that the Grasshopper is perfectly comfortable, especially if you take shorter, slower inhalations and give the unit a second or two in-between inhalations, that’s the key.

grasshopper-1228The Grasshopper Leather Sleeve protect your vape and it keep the air inlet holes free and clear during transportation without any worries. I highly recommend the leather sleeves, they do a great job protecting your vape and at only $10.00, they are well worth it. I would like to see a full length leather sleeve that covers the entire GH, including the power button for added protection but Hopper Labs will be releasing a metal case that will hold your GH suspended inside an airtight tube with a storage space for herbs or whatever. I will update this post as soon as I get my hands on the case!

-Body

The Grasshopper is small, really small at 0.55in X 5.50in, which is about the same size as the Atmos RX Raw vaporizer pen but it has the same heat output as the powerful and popular Mighty vaporizer from Storz and Bickel, which is gigantic in comparison. It really doesn’t seem possible that a pen size device is capable of producing some amazing vapor, almost instantly but it does!

The Grasshopper is 95% metal which makes durability and reliability very promising with this vape compared to other vapes that are mostly plastic, and its also very promising that

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Size comparison: DaVinci Original, Inhalater 06, Atmos RX, Grasshopper, Mighty and Crafty

Hopper Labs is offering a lifetime warranty. There’s nothing wrong with plastic vapes, in some ways they are better and handle heat much better but I prefer the feel of metal and if something is going to be portable, it should also be able to take a beating, like the GH. The body is well machined, parts unscrew with ease and they fit together nicely with smooth seems and no loose parts or rattling. The one criticism I have at this point is with the clip and I wish it was a little heavier duty but so far it serves its purpose and its not really a critical piece anyway. The Stainless Steel model is polished to a matte like sheen and its not overly shiny, so you won’t blind yourself if your out in the sun and the Titanium version is slightly smoother, shinier and has a slight color to the metal but is hardly noticeable unless you have an S.S GH alongside the Ti.

 

Three main components make up the GH body; the main piece houses the battery, a small PCB board, the heater and the herb chamber. Second, is the mouthpiece and the third piece is the temperature dial and on/off button assembly.

 

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Grasshopper disassembled; Mouthpiece, Herbs, Chamber and Body, Battery and Temperature Dial with On/Off Switch

-Temperature Dial / On-Off

_DSC0144-2The temperature dial is located on the top, along with the on/off button. There are 5 “tick” marks on the dial, starting with mark 1 at 266°F to mark 5 at 410°F with 28.8°F increments and you can stop anywhere in between the marks, which allows users to fine tune their temperature. The temperature marks and the + / signs are engraved into the metal, so there is no worry of them rubbing off and they are very clean, crisp and easy to read. The dial turns smoothly and with a good amount of resistance so it will stay where you set it.
What sounds and feels like a regular ball point pen? The Grasshopper’s on/off button of course! The button is designed just like a pen with a mechanical action and It takes a nice amount of force to click it on, so there is little worry of accidental “pocket vaping” but I suppose it’s possible and it’s something I’m aware of when I carry it in my pocket.  A twist lock or something else in place to prevent accidental vaping would be a nice addition, although I have not had the GH power on accidentally. There is an auto-shutoff of 18 seconds, so if it did turn on accidentally, it will shut itself off but more on that later.
Update: The design of the GH clip ring area has changed. Now, the GH features a seamless ring that connects around the clip and looks much cleaner and finished. This seamless design may add even more durability and reliability to the GH as well ,with the simplified and sleek design.
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-Chamber

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First version Grasshopper heating chamber. Without extra screen

The Grasshopper’s heating chamber is approximately 8.5mm in diameter and 18.5mm deep, which gives you about 1.2cc of space so you can pack up to about a 1/4 teaspoon of herb or just a pinch at a time. The original GH featured the chamber inside what is now the mouthpiece, so you would load your herb in there instead but they changed it, so you load your material in the body of the GH.

The chambers in both GH versions are exactly the same, therefore they should produce the same vapor, same taste with the exception of the mouthpiece that will be different, so that can affect the vapor and overall experience. I will continue to try and explain any differences that I notice in the performance and use between of Ti and S.S. GH’s. They have Stainless Steel walls and a permanent screen at the bottom, which is very heavy duty and will not need replacing. They have added a additional screen to the chambers, so now there is added protection for the heater and permeant screen underneath. I found that the chamber is not quite as easy to load/unload as other vaporizers, as it is narrow, fairly long and has a small opening but I like the design of the chamber and it seems to be very efficient with different amounts or herbs and different grind consistencies. I have found that a small spoon or scoop, like a teaspoon or the Vapir Scoops work great and they help the loading process or if you can find a funnel like the Pack-N-Stash funnel, those work great as well without making a mess.

Update: Now Grasshoppers will feature a “Honeycomb” screen that sits on top of the permanent heater screen mentioned above and it will help protect your heater / inner screen. With the addition of the new screens, the chamber length has also decreased a tiny bit. These new screens are removable but I do not recommend removing them unless you have a proper tool, otherwise you may damage the screen.

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Newest Grasshopper with Honeycomb style chamber screen

 

-Heater

Behind that permanent screen lies the powerful heater, which is one of the most innovative elements of Grasshopper. I am amazed how powerful, how fast and how efficient this tiny little vaporizer actually is and to have full Convection heat is really unbelievable. Typically, Convection based vaporizers require a lot of surface area and a lot of power to be able to heat the air, unlike Conduction vaporizers that require less power and heaters that are much, much smaller, so the Grasshopper is truly in a class of it’s own.

“Using Direct Metal Laser Sintering, (a type of metal 3D printing), we’ve created an extremely compact heat exchanger with very little flow resistance. A 30 Watt heating element means that Grasshopper will always keep up, no matter how aggressive your usage.” ~ (Hopper Labs)

This high-tech heater is capable of reaching it’s top temperature in about 5 seconds and it produces pure, hot air that evenly heats your material without having to stir, no matter the amount of material, nor the grind consistency. Until now, full Convection heat in a device this small was not possible and normally they would require exposed coils or Conduction heat to maintain such a compact size. I can think of a few portable vaporizers that are similar to the size and heating method of the Grasshopper such as; The Firefly, Elevape SV, Thermovape T1 and the closet contender would be the Thermovape Evolution but non are as small, as fast, efficent and as powerful as the GH. Sure there are true vapes almost as small as the GH like the Source Ghost, Cloud Phantom and the Imag Plus for instance but all feature Conduction heat that constantly bakes your herb. Most portable vaporizers are limited by the length of their heating pathways and Convection based heaters generally require a long path, so the air can be drawn through and heated efficiently. The Grasshopper’s heater is influenced by nature, specifically a shell and this heater packs 36mm of heating pathways into 4mm of space with it’s spiral shell design. Not only is the Grasshopper full Convection but it also offers on-demand heat, not typical in Convection based vaporizers because they often require more power, more battery life and more time to heat these long elements and some of the best Convection vaporizers require over a minute to heat up like the Crafty but not the GH with nearly instant heat, relatively good battery life and plenty of power. This innovative heater effectively heats fresh air that is pulled in from the 8, air intake holes and it spirals through the heat exchanger, super heating the air and your material, vaporizing the active ingredients. This convection heat, makes it possible to use any amount of herb in the chamber and you will get great results without combustion.

-Mouthpiece

grasshopper-1290The mouthpiece screws directly on to the end of the heating chamber with just a few turns and the threading is very minimal, so it comes off and on with ease. Inside either the Ti or S.S. GH, the parts are the same and the vapor path is also the same, except for maybe a mm at the very tip, where it passes directly over the metal of the mouthpiece. You can expect the same flavor from both versions but the mouthpiece will heat / cool at different rates, depending on what metal you chose. From what I’ve noticed, the S.S. GH mouthpiece warms up slower overall but it seems to take longer to cool. The Ti mouthpiece seems to warm up faster but seems to cool down quicker. Again, I tend to prefer the S.S. GH slightly over the Ti, it just feels better to me and I like that it takes a little longer to warm up and if I wait a minute or so between inhalations, it really doesn’t get hardly warm at all.

The mouthpiece features another heavy duty screen, identical to the new screens inside the chamber and have the same “honeycomb” pattern. These screens are thicker than your average screen by far and can take plenty of beating, repeated use and cleaning. I doubt if anyone will need to replace the mouthpiece screen. In order to remove the mouthpiece screen, you will need a special tool or key, which has 3 tabs or teeth that fit the 3 slots in the screen, so it can be unscrewed. Hopper Labs is currently considering to release a tool but the screen will likely not need replacing and you can get the mouthpiece clean by soaking the entire unit in Isopropyl Alcohol, so it’s not necessary to take it out. On the other side of the screen is a funnel of heat safe material that is connected to the threads of the screen assembly. On top of the funnel, sits a metal “cone” that appears to be Copper, which looks like it acts as a type of shield that helps keep the tip of the mouthpiece from getting too hot ( see photo below of mouthpiece parts ). Overall, I think Hopper Labs did a good job designing the mouthpiece, making it as compact as possible but I hope they release an extended mouthpiece that features more cooling and filtering action for extended sessions, better use with multiple people and smoother, cooler vapor, especially using the higher temps.

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Inside the Grasshopper mouthpiece: Threaded screen / funnel, metal “shield” cone and finally the mouthpiece body

Hopper Labs is also including a Silicone mouthpiece aka. “Silicone Session Extender”. This piece is great for a cooler vaping experience and you can use it with a water pipes / bubblers, as it creates a good seal. I would prefer a different color of the Silicone Extender than the clearish-white, so it better hides the signs of repeated use but it does a great job keeping the mouthpiece cool and comfortable. Spare Silicone Session Extenders are only $5.00, so I recommended getting a couple extras, especially if plan on using the device with multiple people or if you prefer higher temperature vaping.

There are rumors of oils-end attachment, that will allow you to vaporize oils in your Grasshopper and there is also a Water Pipe Adapter in the works.

-Battery / Charger / LED

Battery

grasshopper-1284The Grasshopper uses a replaceable battery, a feature that EVERY portable vaporizer should have! That’s kind of the main purpose behind a portable vaporizer, to be able to bring it with you, so being able to bring spare batteries and replace them, can greatly increase your vape time on the go.  At $7.00 each, it’s easy to pick up a few extras for just such an occasion, that way you always have a charged battery ready to go.

The Grasshopper’s proprietary, Li-ion battery is 3.7V 750mAh, about the size of a AA battery, only skinnier and a little taller. Batteries can be charged inside the Grasshopper with the included magnetic charger or you can use an external charger like the Tenergy TN270 to keep your batteries juiced.

I recommend using caution when handling and changing these batteries because if you cut or wreck the plastic wrapper around the battery, then they will not work properly inside the Grasshopper. The Grasshopper is constructed without any wires, which is a really cool design feature and it also makes the device much more durable and reliable. Instead, the actual metal tube/body of the Grasshopper serves as a “wire” that connects the heat exchanger to the temperature dial assembly, so if the wrapper of the battery is cut or ruined, then the exposed metal of the battery can touch the metal tube/body of the Grasshopper which will interfere with the circuit.

Battery life of the Grasshopper is good and better than I thought it would be, especially considering it’s small size and heat output. The battery is only as big as a AA battery, so considering that, how powerful the unit is and the fact that it is full Convection, I am pleasantly surprised at how good thecharger connector battery life really is. This was one of my main concerns before trying the Grasshopper and I feared a repeat of the Thermovape T1 situation, where you needed to replace the batteries after every load basically, thankfully that is not the case with the Grasshopper. On average I have been able to get about 20-30, 5-8 seconds inhalations on temperature 2-5-3.5 on the dial, which has been equivalent to about 3-5 full chamber loads using the on/off method. In my experience this is usually more than enough for a full day of vaping on the go and if it’s not, you have the option to bring spare batteries.

Charger

The Magnetic charger is simple, sleek and securely attaches to the on/off button and you can even use it while it’s charging. Unfortunately it’s not a complete pass-through, so there must be some juice in the battery if you want to use it while it’s charging, which isn’t a big deal considering that you will most likely be using this vaporizer on the go and away from home. Hopper Labs will be releasing their own external charger as well and I personally like to have both chargers around, so I can keep my spares on the external and keep my battery inside the Grasshopper juiced with the magnetic charger.

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Update: Charger 2.0

Update 10/19/16: The new 2.0 chargers are now available and shipping with current GH orders. I loved the old charger, I thought it was great and really innovative, I didn’t realize it could be better but 2.0 is quite an improvement. The cable is much more flexible, forgiving and thinner. The cable is now one piece, instead of two cables that split into the magnetic ring, making it much sleeker, less bulky and is also faster / easier to manufacture. The other huge improvement lies inside the charging ring itself and features a oval like shape, that has a slight angle on one side, which allows you to “rock” or tip off the charger effortlessly, instead of the prior version that had a tight circle and required pulling and yanking straight up. There is still plenty of magnetic hold on the new chargers, so your free to use the device like before during charging and it is much less restricting as well. Spare 2.0 chargers are available on the Grasshopper website for $35.00.

Charging the Grasshopper with the included magnetic charger takes around 90+ minutes to fully charge from a drained battery. I thought the charge time seemed a little slow, especially considering the size of the GH battery but you can use the vape while it’s charging, plus it’s great to have extra batteries around, so your never without power. External chargers are also available and offer multiple battery charging and faster charge times.  _dsc0253-4

LED

The Grasshopper utilizes one LED that emits two different colors; Red for heating up and charging and Blue to signal that the unit is up to temperature and that the unit is fully charged. When the battery power is getting low while the unit is heating up, the Red LED will blink, letting you know that you need to charge your Grasshopper. I have been able to get a couple more hits after this warning but it’s still a good idea to charge it up when you notice this. In direct sunlight, the LED can be difficult to see but this really isn’t much of an issue because you can just expect that your Grasshopper will be ready to hit in a couple of seconds after you click it on so you don’t really need to see the LED.

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New 2.0 charger on left and previous charger on right

 


 Vaporization

The Grasshoppestump gh boxr offers a unique style of vaping that is different than most other portable vaporizers out today and this in part, is due to it’s insanely fast heat up time. With the Grasshopper’s “heat on demand,” your only seconds away from tasty, potent, satisfying vapor, which allows you vape at your own speed. Some vaporizer similar to the GH’s unique style and heat include: the Firefly, Elevape SV, Thermovape, and The Magic Flight Launch Box to name a few.

Most portable vaporizers take a minute or more to reach a desired temperature, which takes a lot of battery power and once the temperature has been reached, you tend to rush and finish your chamber load as quickly as possible to minimize power, keep from losing precious vapor and  over heating your material. These “session” style vaporizers make it difficult to relax and enjoy vaporizing, they are always using power and heating, so you can’t take your time in between draws or risk running out of juice before your material is done and you can’t turn them on and off after every hit because that’s not efficient or practical either. Not with the Grasshopper though, you can day dream all you want in between draws because it’s not always on, heating, wasting herb, wasting battery, it’s only on when you need it, only when you want it. Someone transitioning into vaping may find the GH a good first step, as this style of vaping is about as close to the smoking experience as you can get, where you apply the lighter you heat your material for every hit, just like hitting the power button on the GH to take a hit. This also makes getting a proper dose much easier for medical users because your able to take a few draws, wait a bit and see how you feel and then you can repeat or save it for later. The Grasshopper style makes vaporizing so much more convenient and much more efficient for a portable unit.

-Usage

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Manual, Front

The Grasshopper feels good and familiar in your hand and it’s not awkward to hold or operate. Your off to vaping in just a few steps:

  1. Unscrew the mouthpiece to reveal the chamber, grind your material and load the chamber.
  2. Replace the mouthpiece and select your temperature on the dial.
  3. Click on the button, wait for the red LED to turn blue.
  4. Take a slow and steady draw.

This vape was designed to be turned on and off for every hit or two and this is my preferred method of use, however you can use the Grasshopper like a traditional vaporizer and leave it on for your session. Due to it’s mostly metal construction, the on/off method is a much cooler option and conserves the most battery life.

The Grasshopper features an auto shut-off after 18 seconds to preserve6-24-15-1143 battery life and for safety reasons. This shut-off feature can be reset with your inhalation, as the Grasshopper will sense this and cancel the shut-off, therefore staying on for another 18 seconds or until you inhale again. This is a good feature for people who like to keep the Grasshopper on, instead of clicking it on/off each inhalation and it is nice in case you forget about it or it somehow turns on when your carrying it.

I prefer to set the Grasshopper between 2-4 on the dial and turn the unit on, take a draw for about 5-8 seconds, turn the unit off and take another hit while its still hot but cooling down. You can usually get two good hits this way if your quick and it clears the chamber of any left over vapor. The Grasshopper’s unique heat exchanger does not require any pre-heating or waiting and you can typically get visible vapor on the very first inhalation, depending on your temperature, draw speed and duration.

Clean-up is easy and quick with the Grasshopper. I recommend unloading the Grasshopper while it’s still warm after your session and most of your material will fall right out. Just take a small brush and quickly go around the chamber to get any leftovers and then just brush the screen in the mouthpiece. This will keep your GH clean and running at its best and it will greatly increase time between deep cleanings.

-Vapor Quality

The Grasshopper is extremely powerful and has the ability to 6-24-15-1142vaporize an entire chamber with just a few draws on the higher temperatures if you want, or you can take it nice and slow, with a lower temperature for better flavor and a smoother draw. This vaporizer is incredibly efficient and I tend to use a lot less material and often require less inhalations to achieve the same effect. You can essentially put just a pinch of herb in the chamber and effectively use the Grasshopper as a “one hitter” and replace the herb every hit or two so you always have fresh, clean tasting vapor and it really allows you to conserve your herb and cut back on usage. The Grasshopper will work just as well if you fill it up too but don’t over pack it or pack the chamber too tight, preventing the hot air from freely flowing through the material, effectively and evenly vaporizing your herbs active ingredients. Vaporizers that use Conduction heat on the other hand, require the opposite and it’s better to fill the chambers full and packed tighter, as they vaporize by direct contact with the heat source, essentially “baking” the material.

Occasionally, I like to start my GH on a lower setting around 2 or so, for the best flavor and turn it up a few inhalations later for thicker vapor, ensuring the material is fully spent. I am usually able to finish a chamber within 5-10 draws or so on temperature 3-4 and the herb is evenly toasted without stirring, similar to the Crafty’s ABV (Already Been Vaped) with the same amount of inhalations and similar temperature range.

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Manual, Back

Before trying the Grasshopper myself, I expected the vapor to be much hotter and harsher due to the very short vapor path, the Convection heat and the metal construction. I was pleasantly surprised at how cool and smooth the vapor is for such a small vaporizer and for the coolest experience, I recommend taking slightly shorter, slower draws than your typical, steady inhalations while using other Convection vaporizers. Most of the time I don’t use the Silicone Extender and I found that the metal body doesn’t get too hot or uncomfortable and vapor is perfectly fine using the on/off method. It’s important to give the GH time between draws after the first few inhalations, to keep the mouthpiece cooler and more comfortable. The very tip of the GH mouthpiece can produce very hot vapor and at times it can be uncomfortable, so I also recommend drawing on he mouthpiece slightly further up, rather than the very tip, where all the vapor is flowing out and you will find it’s much cooler on your lips.

The vapor quality of the Grasshopper is on par and better than most portable vaporizers,_DSC0113-4 especially on the lower temperatures. The vapor is not always as cool as the Crafty or Mighty but the vapor just as great, even better at times, especially the first few inhalations. The very short vapor path of the GH provides intense flavor, minimizes build-up and means you won’t be missing any of the active ingredients. Longer vapor paths can be great for cooler, smoother vapor but they can collect vapor that has cooled, making the flavor less pure but the GH tastes pure all the time, unless the it’s in need of deep cleaning. With the Crafty or Mighty, their Cooling Tops allow much more room for the vapor to expand and cool than the GH, allowing you to take longer and larger hits but on the flip side the vapor may taste less pure in the long run and requires more time to clean.

You have a ton of control over the vapor quality and vapor temperature with the Grasshopper and you can find what works best for you by playing around with different draw speeds, different draw duration’s as well as, the set temperatures and how you choose to pack the Grasshopper. These all affect the quality of the vapor and you will be surprised at how much control you have if your willing to experiment. It may take a little playing around to get it just right but anyone can also pick the Grasshopper up for the first time and get vapor on the very first hit. I think Hopper Labs could have done more with the mouthpiece, maybe by making it slightly longer, they could have fit more cooling features, while still keeping it compact. A longer mouthpiece could fit a small cooling spiral or a type of filter, which could really improve the vapor output.

Overall, the flavor is grasshopper-1274great, pure and satisfying but I have noticed that the flavor seems to drop off faster than other vaporizers on the mid-high temperatures, which I think is due to the awesome extraction/efficiency of the heat exhanger, as well as the small surface area in the herb chamber. With that said, I have found that the vapor tastes great, every hit on the lower temperatures but there is less visible vapor and with the mid to high temperatures, the vapor always tastes great on the first few hits but the flavor and smoothness fades a little as the unit gets hotter but this is true for all vaporizers. I have inhaled with the GH with nothing in the chamber and the heat is pure and basically tasteless, so yo taste only the material your vaping.

There is little draw resistance with the Grasshopper and it doesn’t take any lung power to get a good draw. If you over pack the chamber or pack it too tight, you can easily increase the draw resistance and over time, the mouthpiece screen builds up with residue and plant material, also increasing the draw resistance but you can really go quite a while without having to do much at all.

The powerful heater allows you to hit the GH as hard as you want and it will continue to dish out the vapor. With normal use, you will not overpower the heater and it takes a lot to do so, which makes the Grasshopper a good fit for a wide range of people as it will accommodate different styles and methods of use. With colder weather and lower battery power, the GH’s heater can more easily be over powered but I am extremely impressed with power and heat of the GH.

  • QUCIK TIP: Use your hand to transfer some of the heat out of the Grasshopper body after a draw and you will find that the Grasshopper cools down much faster and it hardly gets above warm. Tip from Buzz Danklin, The Vaporizer Wizard. http://www.vaporizerwizard.com

Cleaning / Maintenance

The Grasshopper’s simple design makes cleaning and maintenance a cool breeze. Herbs are easily dumped after vaping with a few taps on the chamber and or a quick poke with a pick and your ready for another load. I have found that some dust gets stuck to the walls of the chamber but that is easily brushed out.

  • QUICK TIP:  if you use a q-tip / brush while its still warm and quickly swab the walls, everything comes out and its like brand new again. Doing this will save you from having to “deep clean” the chamber with ISO. when things build up after time.
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The Perfect Pair

The only other thing that you will have to occasionally clean is the mouthpiece assembly. All you need to do is drop it in some ISO. and after soaking, give it a quick scrub with a brush, pipe cleaner or q-tip and it’s good as new. This will get most of everything and you will likely never have to go any further than this, especially if you keep up on your cleaning. Hopper Labs is considering to release a tool that will allow users to unscrew their mouthpiece’s screen, which could make cleaning easier and allow you to replace the screen if you should ever need to. The screens are not like traditional “mesh” screens but they are made from a thin sheet of stainless steel which makes them very rigid, durable and with normal use and regular cleaning, I doubt that you would ever need to replace these screens. The threads of the chamber, as well as the backend assembly, can get a little gunked up, especially the chamber and mouthpiece threads, so also cleaning those will ensure smooth assembly.


Pros

  • Extremely portable and farmiliar design
  • 95% metal construction for great durability and reliability
  • Efficient Convection heat: effectively vaporizes different amounts of herbs
  • Heat-on-demand
  • Stealthy and inconspicuous
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Very little maintenance and cleaning
  • No wires
  • Replaceable battery
  • Ability to use during charging
  • Good battery life
  • High quality materials and craftsmanship
  • Great taste
  • Handy clip for carrying
  • Full temperature range
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Good sized chamber

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Cons

  • Not the best vaporizer for multiple people
  • 95% metal: can get hot to the touch
  • Chamber is a little difficult to load/unload
  • Currently only for dry or loose leaf materials ( oil attachment in the works )
  • Vapor can get hot / harsh due to short vapor path
  • Hard to see LED’s in sunlight
  • Lack of good battery indicator
  • Can potentially turn on in your pocket without a locking mechanism
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    The Atmos Travel Case is perfect for your GH! Safely store your GH, a spare battery, cleaners and pokers or whatever, all inside a zippered leather case.


Conclusion 

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Just Floating

There is no perfect vaporizer out there, at least at this moment in time but I think the Grasshopper comes closer to perfection than any other portable vaporizer on the market.  The GH is extremely portable, easy to use and efficient. Quality design and construction as well as it’s insanely fast heat up and great vapor quality, make it the total package. Although it has not been proven in the long run, it’s fine craftsmanship feels very reliable and durable. There is simply no other portable, full Convection vape, this small or with this many innovative features. It may not be quite as smooth or flavorful as the Crafty or Mighty but makes it up with it’s portability, durable metal construction, faster heat up time and features a replaceable battery, all for less than half the price. This vaporizer has completely lived up to my expectations and took vaporizing to another level. I highly recommend this vaporizer to anyone and I bet you won’t leave home without it once you try it!

Thank you for reading and checking out my post. I hope you found it helpful, informative and entertaining. Please contact me with questions, concerns and comments. Happy vaping!

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Pack-N-Stash funnel works great to easily fill the GH

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grasshopper Vaporizer Introduction

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_DSC0254This is a preview and Introduction to the already famous and mysterious, Grasshopper Vaporizer from Hopper Labs of Boulder, CO.  For the full production review of the Grasshopper vaporizer, please see the other page, Grasshopper Review and Resource or click here.    For this preview, I used a pre-production Grasshopper, but the differences are minimal compared to the final production version. Some of the minor differences in the production version include; a faster charge time, more insulation in the heating chamber for a cooler experience and minor software upgrades.

The Grasshopper is simply an amazing vaporizer that is dial and clipunlike anything on the market today. This device blew me away from the very start and it’s obvious that a lot of thought and attention went into designing this vape that rivals other vaporizers that are 3x as expensive. The Grasshopper is fast, powerful, simple, stealthy, durable, sleek, fun to use and familiar.

The main features behind the Grasshopper include: 95% metal construction, user replaceable battery, pure convection heat, 5 second heat up time, easily accessible heating chamber and a full range temperature dial from 266F to 410F.

At approximately .55 inches x 5.5 inches in length, the Grasshopper is tiny, about the size of a traditional pen / marker or the same size as the Atmos RX Raw vape pen. I was immediately impressed by the design and quality of constructiobic grasshopper atmosn, from the great mechanical on / off button to the threading that creates a near seamless unit. The Grasshopper is very well machined, it feels good in your hand and it’s solid like a rock. The only other vape that I can compare it’s construction to, would be the Elevape SV, which is also nearly all metal but the Grasshopper is much more powerful and it comes with a lifetime warranty and when you feel it, you will agree that it will last a lifetime. The solid construction, simple design and high quality materials make the Grasshopper ideal for on the go use without having worry about damaging the unit and it’s small size will make you forget that you are carrying it.

One of the greatest features of the Grasshopper is it’s heat up time which is almost b_w floating grasshopperinstantaneous and it’s one of the many, innovative features that sets the Grasshopper apart from any other vaporizer on the market. The Grasshopper heats on demand, around 5 seconds is all, and your good to go. The Firefly, Elevape SV also offer a similar “heat on demand,” but the Grasshopper is far more portable and in my opinion and it does a better job extracting the active ingredients in your material with a fewer amount of inhalations.

Usage

To use tred LEDhe Grasshopper, fill the chamber with your herb, set your temperature on the dial, click it like you would a regular pen to turn it on/off and get ready, it’s that simple! My preferred method of use is to click it on, take a puff and click it off. I got great results with this method and there’s no need to rush to finish your load because it doesn’t need to stay on, just click it on when you need and its heated almost instantly. This method also keeps the unit from getting too hot but if it does get hot, wait a few seconds and it will cool back down. When you click it on, a red LED light illuminates, letting you know that the unit is heating up and it turns blue when it’s ready to use. I have found that the LED can be difficult to see in the sunlight but you really don’t need to see the LED, just wait a few seconds after you have clicked it on and inhale. The LED will flash red when the battery gets low, indicating you need to charge the battery and you don’t need to worry about leaving blue LEDit one because it has an 18 second auto shut off. If you continue to puff, the Grasshopper senses when you inhale and it will cancel the auto shut off, so the unit will continue to heat for about another 18 seconds and you can keep inhaling every so often to keep re-setting the shut off timer, allowing the unit to stay on. Do to the nearly all metal construction, the Grasshopper does get hot but it cools off fast and from what I understand the Titanium version cools down even faster! I found that it’s perfectly fine and comfortable with the click on, puff, click off method so it doesn’t get too hot and I have also noticed that it’s cooler on your lips if you use the moutgrasshopper driftwoodhpiece further up, rather than the very tip, which gets hotter faster. If you want a little more action or you feel like sharing, Hopper Labs has a silicone mouth guard that fits snugly over the metal mouthpiece for a much cooler experience especially on the higher temps or if you like to leave it on, instead of clicking it on/off each inhalation. This silicone mouth guard/piece will also allow users to use bubbler’s and bongs with the Grasshopper because it will create a good seal on your glass joints.

 

 

Chamber

The heating chamber is a great size and you can really pack a lot of herb or just amouthpiece 2 pinch at a time, it doesn’t matter, the results are the same, it evenly and effectively vaporizes your favorite blend every time without the need to stir, thanks to the convection heat. The Grasshopper also works well with different grinds from fine to courser, larger pieces of herb but for the absolute best extraction, it’s always best to grind your herb to increase the surface area, allowing the heat to easily boil the active ingredients of your herb, releasing their vapors. The chamber holds approximately 1.2cc of herb and its about 8.5 mm in diameter and about 19 mm deep. The heating chamber is stainless steel with a screen in the bottom and the chamber’s easy access makes loading and unloading the Grasshopper a breeze. I usually brush the chamber out after every load to reduce the build up of residues and it keeps you from having to “deep” clean the chamber almost entirely. Some herb dust sticks to the walls of the chamber but is easily brushed out and nothing seems to stick to the chamber screen which may be anodized and thus is more “non stick”.

Heater / Vapor Quality

The Grasshopper may be smdifferent vape sizesall but it’s 3d printed heater puts out a lot of heat, enough to kill a chamber in a few puffs if you choose to or you can set the temperature a little lower and take it easy and puff away. It utilizes a 30 watt heater that can fluctuate up to 45 watts, depending on your setting and draw. To put that into perspective, the famous and powerful Storz and Bickel Mighty vaporizer puts out 30 watts of heat which is enormous in size compared to the Grasshoppers pen size.

People have been wondering if the vapor is harsh and in my opinion, it’s perfectly fine, if you take shorter, more frequent draws. I preferred using the Grasshopper on 2.5-3.5 on the temperature dial and with those settings and shorter draws, the vapor was never too hot or harsh and doesn’t require the silicone mouth guard either. With the Grasshoppers relatively short vapor path and convection heat, the vapor is on the hotter side but I had no problems taking shorterpen pocket inhalations and the Grasshopper seems to give you more active ingredients per hit, thanks to that powerful heater so you don’t need to take long inhalations like other vaporizers to get a satisfying hit. I would say the vapor feels similar to the Inhalater vaporizer but it tastes better in my opinion. The first hit on the Grasshopper is the coolest, smoothest and the most flavorful. After the first few hits, the unit gets warmer to the touch and the vapor gets a little hotter, less smooth and the flavor diminishes but this is true for any vaporizer. I have inhaled with this vaporizer when there was nothing in the chamber to see if I could detect any off taste and as far as I could tell, it tasted fine and pure, less a very slight, metallic hint. This vaporizer could appeal to people who prefer combustion as it feels more similar to the smoking method than other portable vapes I have used, partly do to the stronger, denser and shorter drags and instantaneous heat. The Grasshopper offers a different style of vaping because the heater isn’t always on, only when you need it, (heat on demand) so you don’t have to finish the whole chamber if you don’t want to. I also found that this is a great vape to medicate with because its quick, convenient and packs a punch. Other “session” style vaporizers like the Crafty or Davinci, take a while to get up to temperature and once that temperature has been charger cablereached, then you tend to rush and finish the load because it’s maintaining that high temperature constantly which takes a lot of energy, draining your battery and always heating your material. With the Grasshopper you can take as long as you want between draws and a tasty, potent and satisfying hit is never more than 5 seconds away. I prefer heat on demand vaporizers like the Grasshopper and the Firefly for portable vapes because it makes more sense to use it only when you need it instead of all at once.

Battery

On this non-charger connectedproduction version, I was able to get a good 20-30, 8-10 second puffs, per battery, on level 3-4 on the temperature dial, equivalent to about 4 chamber loads using these settings and method. I usually get another hit after its off but still hot and cooling down if your fast enough or you can leave it on and keep hitting
it. This version charges slower than the production units and I was able to be fully charged from a drained battery in 90 minutes. Batteries are easy to change, just unscrew the top and pop in a new one. The batteries are 750 mAh, 3.7 v Li-ion, about the same size as a AA battery but a little skinnier and longer. It will be easy to take the Grasshopper on
extended outings thanks to the replaceable batteries, so you can take a bunch of them partsalong and be good for a long time. When it comes to charging the Grasshopper, it doesn’t get any easier. The sleek charger magnetically connects to the on/off button and it makes a secure connection so your free to move around and use it while its charging.

 

Cleaning / Maintenance

Cleaning and batterymaintenance is pretty straight forward and you just need to soak the mouth piece in Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and swab the chamber with a q-tip soaked in IPA and that’s basically it. The screens in the mouthpiece are replaceable but they will likely not need to be changed as they are very durable and sturdy. Hopper Labs is considering to release a tool that will make  screen removal easy. The Leather Sleeves retail for $10.00 each and I recommend getting one to carry and protect your Grasshopper. They fit very well and it also keeps lint, dust and particles from entering the air intake holes which you could potentially breath in.

 

Conclusion

Overall my first imgrasshopper and casepression of the Grasshopper was amazing! The Grasshopper is the total package, with a great design and high quality construction, produces tasty, pure and potent vapor, all neatly wrapped up in a sleek and stealthy, ultra-portable pen that is built to last a lifetime. If your looking for a reliable dry herb vaporizer that you can take everywhere, the Grasshopper is your vape! Nothing is more powerful, this compact, or durable that provides instant satisfaction and features that other portable vapes don’t have at prices 3x as much. Please check back soon for my FULL PRODUCTION GRASHOPPER REVIEW! I will be updating this post periodically with new information as my testing continues along with more photos as and information from Hopper Labs as it is released . Thank you for reading and please contact me with any questions or comments. Please use the contact form below.

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Alfa Vaporizer Review

alfa box

Introduction

Introducing the Alfa Vaporizer from Goboof! The Alfa is a simple yet sophisticated, small Conduction style vaporizer that is designed for dry materials and it’s made in Ireland. Easy to operate and only about as tall as a regular Bic lighter, the Alfa packs a punch in a little package and sports some incredible, innovative features that are sure to please any vapor enthusiast.


Alfa Kit

Complete Alfa vaporizer kit: Alfa conduction vaporizer, AC charger, 1 extra food-safe silicone mouth piece, 3 screens, 3 pipe cleaners and a quick start guide. *not shown: (3 wood picks, also included.)


Features and Specifications

  • Sleek, simple and compact design
  • Rugged, reliable and safe construction
  • Fast heat-up time and good battery life (up to 2 hours)
  • Can be used while charging
  • First in class rotary dial: 3 constant temperature settings: ( Lo 374 F, Mid 410 F, Hi 437 F) and 2 automatic temperature settings: ( A/P: Automatic Heat-By-Puff, A/T: Automatic Heat-By-Time)
  • Anodized oven with heating pin that ensures even and efficient heat distribution with easy cleaning
  • Safe auto shut-off

Design / Construction

-Overview

The Alfa feels good, alfaholds well in your hand and It’s built with quality materials that provide a clean and pure experience for whatever dry blend you prefer. Discrete and inconspicuous, this small vape is perfect for people on the go and it fits comfortably in your pocket or in a backpack, so you never have to leave your vaporizer behind on adventures ever again.

Just 3 parts make up the Alfa; the vaporizer body, a removable food-safe silicone mouthpiece and a stainless steel mouthpiece screen. This makes operation and clean-up incredibly easy. The Alfa’s outer shell, top,oven and rotary dial are aluminum, making the device lightweight and durable. The device measures approximately: (3.5 inches tall x 1.8 inches wide x .8 inches thick)

-Body

Alfa is a very simple and compact vaporizer, perfect for taking anywhere and it’s definitelyalfa size comparrison-443 one of the smallest vaporizers I have tried. I am impressed with the build quality of this device and it feels really good in your hand, nothing rattles or feels flimsy. The outside of the device is made from a solid piece of aluminum or steel that makes up the devices shell, which holds and protects everything inside. The shell of the Alfa must be aluminum and it’s well finished, painted nicely and the rounded edges make for a comfortable grip and in your pocket too. I have noticed that one little screw above the charging port, appears to hold the entire insides to the shell, so when I am closing the chamber door, I can move the insides a bit with the force to latch the door. I think it’s plenty sturdy but I wish there was more holding everything inside.

The small and simple design of the Alfa makes for a reliable and easy to use vape but it also means that it’s going to heat up too. The electronics and battery are all underneath the same metal shell, so they can inevitably heat up as well but I haven’t had any issues and the vapor path is also sealed, so no real worries. Also, the charging port on my Alfa is slightly off center but I can still use the charger no problem

*UPDATE (10/11/16)* The design of the body has changed since the first Alfa I tried where it had a separate Metal top where the Temperature dial connected to but the new versions have a longer outer shell that goes the full length of the device and thus they removed the metal top all together. I think the new design seems more reliable and lighter but I preferred the metal top of the early version which added a little extra weight, balance and felt a little more high quality. This change does not effect the vapor in any way as it still has an all metal; vapor path like before, except the top of the device is now slightly different (see photos)

-Oven / Heating Chamber

alfa ovenThe Alfa’s oven or chamber is located at the bottom of the unit, which is accessed by a door that swings open on a hinge and locks with a sliding latch. Slide the latch and swing open the door open to reveal the silver-colored, anodized chamber, featuring a center heating pin. The chamber is a good size and can hold quite a lot of material given how small the actual device is and it’s unique design allows you to get away with filling it completely or just using a smaller amount thanks to that center heating pin. Loading and unloading the chamber is a little awkward at first because the door is slightly in the way and it likes to flop over if you’re not careful. A spring would be a great addition to the chamber door and it would keep it open during loading and unloading.

*UPDATE (10/11/16)*  The early version of the Alfa featured a series of small holes in the metal portion of the chamber door for air flow but the newer versions do not have any holes but it still draws just as nice so the fresh air must enter around the side of the door. Without the holes is also a benefit because material doesn’t get as stuck on the door making clean-up even easiealfa doorr.

As with most vapes, it’s important to grind your material finely and evenly to increase its surface area to get a good extraction. With Conduction vaporizers like the Alfa, it’s better to pack your material on the tighter side but not to tight that you can’t take a good draw, unlike Convection style vaporizers where it’s better to leave your material fluffy. The capacity of the chamber is comparable to the original DaVinci Vaporizer or the Elevape SV but maybe a little larger. The chamber’s size and design means a little material will go a long way and it heats evenly and efficiently, leaving you with a rich dark brown ABV (already been vaped). An chamber load produces well over 10-15+ good hits of thick, cloudy vapor. The chambers heating pin makes it a little difficult to unload the device but it’s not really an issue and the anodized surface makes it fairly non-stick so most material falls out, especially if the chamber is still warm. This vaporizer may appeal to those who still like to smoke because your able to hit this thing like a pipe where you can puff and puff.

-Vapor Path / Mouthpiece

Tvapes-for-reviews-1201he Alfa has a great design and I really like how simple everything is, including the vapor path and mouthpiece. Basically, the vapor path is a straight shot from chamber to mouthpiece, which is connected by a Stainless Steel tube. This seals off the vapor from all the electronics and battery inside, so no funny business. This also makes cleaning easy and effortless, just run one of the included pipe cleaners in and out a few times with a little ISO and it’s good to go. The early versions had a mouthpiece screen only, so particles would sometimes find themselves up and around the mouthpiece which made things a little dirtier and messier than the new chamber screens. The new chamber screens do a great job keeping the vapor path clean and clear.

The mouthpiece is Silicone and seems to be high quality and cured correctly, so it does not add any flavor to the vapor. The mouthpiece drops into place and has a decent snug fit, so it’s not going anywhere but they give you an extra in case it ever did fall out or something. I would prefer if the mouthpiece retracted inside the device or had a cover because it tends

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Alfa Mouthpiece with Atmos Ceramic Filter

to collect dust and lint, especially if you keep it in your pocket. The mouthpiece is on the shorter side to keep everything tight and compact, so there’s not a whole lot to draw on but it can be pulled out a little to give you some more area to inhale from. I like to use my Ceramic Filter from my Atmos Pen’s mouthpiece which fits perfectly in the Alfa and it helps filter the vapor slightly and also seems to help smooth out the vapor a little.

 

-Battery

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New version Alfa: Solid shell without a separate metal top.

The Alfa features good battery life, especially considering its small size. Roughly 3-5 hours to fully charge from a drained battery and on a full charge, I averaged 5-7 sessions on the MID setting, with each session lasting around 10 minutes each. The LED will turn Amber when the battery is low and needs to be charged but the Alfa can be used while it’s charging. Battery life can vary greatly depending on the setting used, but for this review, I preferred the MID setting for the majority, so it should be in the middle range of the battery life, more sessions on LO and possibly less sessions on HI. My biggest problem with the Alfa is the fact that you can’t remove the battery. All vaporizers should have removable, replaceable batteries because they don’t last forever and it’s really nice to have back-ups on adventures incase you run out of juice. Goboof is developing a battery replacement program that will solve your battery issues if one should arise. The Alfa also allows users to use the device while charging, which is always a great feature and the LED will signal the current charge of the battery while the temperature dial is in the off position.

-Control / Temperatures

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New version Alfa without holes in the Chamber Door

Simple settings make vaporizing with the Alfa fun and easy. The design of the temperature dial reminds me of a camera function dial and its a nice way to control the device simply and effectively. Each temperature setting has a slight “sweet spot” when your turning it, so you know when your locked into a temperature, no guessing and the dial also  has a fair amount of resistance which is important to keep it from turning on when you don’t want it to.

You have 5 settings to choose from: LO 374 F, MID 410 F, HI 437 F and two auto settings A/P and A/T ( Auto Puff and Auto Time ). A/P gradually heats your blend from lowest temperature by 3c after every puff until it reaches max temperature. A/T gradually heats your blend from lowest to highest over a 20 minutes cycle. The rotary dial selects your temperature and an LED starts blinking signaling that the Alfa is heating up and becomes solid Green when its reached temperature.

The LED signals battery level and current state:

  1. Blinking Green: The vaporizer is heating up and the battery is charged
  2. Solid Green: The vaporizer is up to temperature and the battery is charged
  3. Blinking Amber: The vaporizer is heating up and the battery is low on charge
  4. Solid Amber: The vaporizer is up to temperature and the battery is low on charge
  5. No light: Automatic shut-off has powered down the device -or- the battery has no charge
  6. Solid Red: The vaporizer is charging it’s battery

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Vaporization

-Usage / Operation

Thw Alfa’s easy operation is great for people who are new to the world of vaporizing as well as vaporizer veterans.  In 3 simple steps, you can be vaping like the pros and blowing thick, tasty clouds!

1) Load the oven

2) Turn the dial to select your setting

3) Wait for the light to stop blinking and inhale!

-Vapor Quality / Production

Heat up time is fairly fast and on a full charge it can reach the MID temp in 40 seconds butalfa and box as the battery level drops, the heat up time increases and nearing a drained battery, it can take over a minute to reach MID temp. The Alfa does get warm after a while on the MID setting, which is inevitable with a vaporizer this small but it never gets hot or uncomfortable to hold. A Silicone sleeve that could slip over the body of the Alfa or the chamber area would be a nice accessory to keep the unit cooler, especially during extended sessions.

The vapor quality is good, tasty and pure without any off tastes coming from the electronics or materials. The short vapor path is good because it means the active ingredients will get to you faster and at full strength but on the other hand, it doesn’t allow for the vapor to expand and cool very effectively, making the vapor somewhat on the hotter side. The vapor can be a little harsh and hot at times, especially if you take a really huge draw but isn’t necessary with this device. I found it is better to take slow, short drags or puff, puff as opposed to most vaporizers, mainly convection style, that require a slow, long and drawn out inhale to get a decent cloud.

I enjoyed and preferred the MID setting which produced thick, flavorful vapor that was potent and mostly smooth but not too hot. The LO setting had great flavor but not really much visible vapor, although I really enjoy this setting for light, smooth and extremely flavorful vapor and a milder effect. The auto setting, A/P is really interesting and is quickly becoming my new favorite setting because it starts off slow and low, producing wispy vapors after 1-2 hits and gradually gets thicker and thicker. Another great aspect of the auto settings, A/P and A/T, is the fact that it takes your blend through a wide range of temperatures so it is more likely to release all those different active ingredients that require different temperatures for vaporization.


Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleanup is a breeze and after a satisfying session with the Alfa, your ABV falls right oualfa airwayt of the chamber if it is still warm, leaving behind a clean chamber, ready to go again. The anodized chamber makes it practically non-stick, so I rarely have to clean the chamber at all but again a spring on the chamber door would do wonders to help make cleaning and loading easier. When the unit requires a deeper clean, it really doesn’t get much easier than with the Alfa, thanks to its simple and brilliant design. The chamber and mouthpiece are connected by a stainless steel tube that completely seals the airway from the electronics inside the unit, so the entire path from chamber to mouthpiece can be cleaned to like new condition with one of their included pipe cleaners or your own apparatus. Just a little ISO on a pipe cleaner will get the vapor path clean in just a few strokes. The only other thing left to occasionally clean, is the mouthpiece -or- chamber screen and the mouthpiece its self.


Pros

  • Small, discrete, stealthy and lightweight
  • Simple and easy operation
  • great build; safe, high quality materials that provide a pure experience
  • easy to clean and anodized oven is almost non-stick when warm
  • vapor path is completely visible, clean able and sealed off from electronics
  • rugged and reliable
  • Good battery life with fairly fast heat up
  • Even and efficient
  • Good draw resistance
  • Unique auto modes

Cons

  • Battery is not user replaceable
  • Loading and unloading is a little awkward
  • Oven door may be easily broken
  • Gets warm after a while
  • Only 3 constant temperature settings
  • Vapor can be a little hot and harsh depending on the setting
  • Only for dry goods

Conclusion

The Goboof Alfa is a great, rugged, reliable and highly portable vaporizer. This is a perfect vaporizer for people on the go, people who are looking for something to get the job done well without a lot of distractions, bells or whistles and without adding a ton of weight to their load. I found the Alfa produces thick, flavorful vapor that was satisfying and enjoyable while feeling similar to the smoking experience without the smoke. Overall, I would recommend the Alfa to anyone, people new to vaporizing because this device is so easy to use and its hard not to get good results and I would also recommend this vaporizer to experienced users, as it offers everything you need in an extremely portable design. I would have liked to see more temperature settings or a removable battery but for the price, your getting a great value and a great vape!