Best Portable Vaporizers in 2017 – Reviews & Comparisons

VaporFi carries more exclusive, VaporFi brand mods, but I have yet to find a single bad thing about any of them. They're expensive though, unfortunately

Pax

PLOOM

The pax vaporizer is ‘set for simplicity and design’ as said by Ploom, the designers of the Pax, and it does live up to its name, being so small it can easily fit into your pocket and with such a sleek case that it even feels comfortable to hold. The Pax is the equivalent of what the iPod was to the music world, it took a common concept and made it into something that people actually wanted to use for how well it functions.

At only a little over four inches long and an inch and a half wide with a curved aluminium frame the pax is one of the smallest portable vaporizers on the market and for people who are trying to stop smoking this certainly takes away the problem of not being able to carry it around with you and resorting to using one of the cigarettes that are a lot easier to carry. On the bottom is a removable, stainless steel, magnetized lid that covers the ‘oven’ of the vaporizer and keeps your burnable products where they should be without a chance of them falling out. The mouthpiece is located on the top of the pax and when pressed down it activates the heating elements so that it isn’t heating up in your pocket or needs constantly switching on and off again with each use. The simplicity of the design is that it only takes 20-30 seconds for the Pax to start working and when it does the small star sign on the top will turn green. One of the very useful features of the Pax is that by using a small motion sensor it knows when it has been put down so it lowers the temperature as not to waste any energy or heat up any more than it needs to.

Ploom recommends grinding whatever product you use into relatively small pieces for maximum efficiency and if you completely load the chamber with around 0.4g of your product you can get up to 25 draws out of it. If you want a vape that can be used for longer periods of time then the pax is probably not the right choice as it seems to be much more suited to traveling people. With only a 2,600 mAh battery it makes sense that it won’t last for days but charging it just requires you to plug the Pax into the charging stand, which plugs into the wall. Because It uses high quality materials and is so universal in what products can be used inside of it the Pax isn’t one of the cheapest portable vaporizers around at $250 and it is manufactured in China so some delivery charges can be a hassle, however for what it’s worth the Pax is certainly worth the price.

Arizer Solo

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Having been on the market for over 3 years now the Arizer Solo doesn’t include much of the modern technology or high-end materials. Since portable vaporizers haven’t been very big on the markets until recently the designs have also only recently gotten better. Even with its small(ish) design the Arizer Solo doesn’t seem like the kind of portable vaporizer you’d be able to use in public.


At a height of around 4.5 inches tall and rather stout width the Arizer sits moderately comfortably in-hand and is quite easy to use. Like most portable vaporizers the ‘oven’ sits at the bottom, heated by a ceramic heating element located next to the stainless steel chamber. A nice touch is the coloured LED’s on the side to indicate the heat level, heater status and charging status, all good things to keep an eye on if you want to conserve the charge for long journeys. The chamber is relatively easy to load your product into and connecting to glass tube attachment to the top, which acts as the mouthpiece, is as simple as slotting it into the clear slot on top and you’re good to go. A nice little feature is that the Arizer is able to stand upright on its own, not a major factor but a handy touch for when you sit at a desk all day.

There really isn’t all that much about the Arizer Solo to make it stand out over any other portable vaporizer since it doesn’t have any defining features, and at a price of $244 before shipping fees some might say this doesn’t really give a lot for your money’s worth. Only being able to use solid products in the chamber and the glass attachment quite drastically reducing draw speed and the amount of breath it takes to take a draw there isn’t a lot to make the Arizer seem like a great choice compared to other portable vaporizers on the market.

Magic Flight Launch

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A very strange version of the normally metallic portable vaporizers that dominate the market and yet it still is one of the best going today. The almost vintage style look of the wooden box frame just makes this seem more like some strange contraption that a portable vaporiser and if you were to take this in public then you would certainly receive some strange looks from almost everyone.
Instead of all the fancy metallic cases that all portable vaporisers have nowadays the MFL comes in 3 different wood types: Maple, Cherry and Walnut and it really is just a carved out piece of wood done in a almost spectacular way.

The main ‘trench’ inside the box is the chamber for your dry herbs, the two holes are for drawing and air intake and a battery port can be found on the side. Inside of the seemingly basic wood carved exterior is a stainless steel mesh screen connected to two metal rods, these make contact with the battery causing the chamber to start heating up. Surprisingly enough the wooden exterior doesn’t get hot or difficult to hold and never seems to burn or char the wooden case like you would expect it to.

The attachable draw tube is fairly easy to attach in its slot and with little distance between the heating chamber and the draw tube then it requires no excessive breath to use. It does take a bit of getting used to as this isn’t a portable vaporiser for people new to the scene as taking draws can sometimes get a little bit weak or build up for a bigger draw than you were expecting. The strange thing about the MFL is how it is powered, well you power it from double A batteries you can buy at most shops so there is no charging involved and the batteries last plenty of time.

For its price and how simple it looks you really wouldn’t expect much from the MFL but if you are just looking for a portable vape to take quick draws from then this would suit you much better. There are a lot of much more advanced portable vaporisers on the market and ones that look better than this one but for only $119 then it’s really not a big deal if you don’t love it in the end and with free shipping you won’t have to pay any extra fees.

The only downside to the MFL is that you can only use dry herbs that have been crushed up before use and no liquids either, this does limit what you are able to use however if it is only dry herbs then this would do the job just fine.

Iolite

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The iolite looks more like a walkie talkie than a portable vaporiser and if you need something a bit more inconspicuous for when you’re out and about in public then you’ve found the right one. A very small curved device that can fit in your shirt pocket and provide you with enough draws to last a day if you use it sparingly so in theory there’s nothing wrong with it, right?

The strange thing about the iolite is it doesn’t use normal methods to power itself, it uses butane to power itself, very similar to how normal lighters are powered and refuelling the butane is very simple and doesn’t cost too much to buy your own online. Since it doesn’t rely on typical electric power methods you’d expect to get less charge out of it, this isn’t the case as you can get around 6 full sessions of around 10-15 minutes out of just one filling and without the reliance on any electricity you can recharge it anywhere if you have some butane with you.

The ‘oven’ is at the top of the Iolite for a change and you turn it on and off by flicking the switch on the side from 0 to 1. However there is a known problem with the Iolite not always turning on the first time you press the igniter so you might have to do it more than once to get it going. It takes around 20-50 seconds for the heating element to get to its optimal temperature and then once it reaches this temperature it will cycle on and off to keep the temperature at the desired heat.

One of the smaller flaws of the Iolite is that you can smell the butane when you hold the vaporiser close to you, not a major problem but it can be slightly off-putting if you don’t like the smell of it like most people don’t. What can be a flaw if you are new to portable vaporisers is the heat of the draw you take, because of the reduced distance between the heating chamber and the mouthpiece there is little time for the vapour to cool down, so if you have a sensitive mouth to heat then you might want to look for a different portable vaporiser.

Overall the Iolite does have a really nice idea by using butane instead of typical electric heating methods and this makes it much easier to refill in a hurry but it does leave you with an odd smell at times. The price is relatively cheap for such a small portable vape and since it doesn’t have any fancy technology or heating components you wouldn’t expect it to, it can usually be found for around $129 from most authorised dealers and the butane can be bought from some shops or just online for around $4, so it could start to add up eventually but still not as much as some portable vaporisers.

Davinci Ascent

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A very sleek, portable and discreet portable vaporiser that is said to be better than the rest, well it certainly seems to be great with its jack of all trades style of usability as it can handle all forms of product that many like the Pax can’t.

Being only about 3 inches thick and about 7 inches tall it is clear to see that they wanted to ensure you could use this wherever you go and with the smooth metallic casing that looks a lot better than most vapes you wouldn’t receive any unwanted attention from using it. The Davinci maximises on making sure you are in control with its front-face OLED display showing you the temperature and giving you control over it with the touch of a button.

The retractable glass mouthpiece inserts into the top of the device and the entire pathway for the vapour is made of glass so it doesn’t affect the taste at all. The bottom section of the device opens up to allow you to insert whichever product you choose into the glass insert, that way it can handle both solid and liquid products that most portable vaporisers are unable to manage. The Davinci can heat up from nothing in about 3o seconds and can remain within very close parameters of your chosen temperature. One slight drawback is the charging time of 5 hours which does seem like a long time but it does provide you with enough charge to last at least 3 hours minimum on a high temperature.

The Davinci isn’t without fault though, because it is able to handle both solids and liquids they had to make compromises on the materials used inside and one thing they couldn’t prevent is the pathway getting sticky after multiple uses. This isn’t a problem if you only take small draws but if you take deeper draws then you’ll want to keep some cotton buds handy as it can get rather sticky and prevent the vapours from going though the pathway correctly. Surprisingly though this only costs $199, cheaper than a lot of other portable vaporisers and for the quality of the product you wouldn’t expect it to cost less than them. It would seem that the Davinci was made to benefit the consumers rather than the producers in this case and for a lot of people this is a very good thing.

Comparison

Overall the three main portable vaporisers that were the best in my opinion are; The Pax, The Davinci Ascent and the Magic Flight Launch. The reason I picked these three is because they all have got far more upsides compared to whatever few problems they might have. In the case of the Pax it provides a great quality of product and looks great however it is only able to use solid products and it costs the most out of all of the reviewed portable vaporisers.

The Magic Flight Launch is its own kind of special with its wooden casing and almost too simple design, it may not look great but the short pathway for the vapour allows for easy draws but does mean the vapour can be hot. Unfortunately there is no way to use the MFL in public without drawing a few gazes because of how strange it looks and it doesn’t really fit in the pocket very well without some awkwardness. Finally, with regards to the Davinci Ascent the only thing that is holding this back from being the best portable vaporiser is the inability to make it so that using certain products doesn’t cause the insides to get all sticky and need cleaning, other than that it is all around great with its sleek design and completely customisable temperature control so you can be in full control of what you are using instead of just having a 2 setting temperature switch like most portable vaporisers have on the market and for the price it is it is well worth it.




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Bridget Rogers
Bridget Rogers is an independent freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Bridget's work can be found on a variety of sources in both online and print media.