**UPDATE May 2015: Check out my NEW best portable vaporizer page for the most up-to-date information**
“Hey, I’m looking for a new portable vape and I’m not sure which model to choose, what’s the BEST one in your opinion?”
When it comes to vapes made for dry herbs the models I like and recommend most are the Crafty, Mighty, PAX 2, Alfa, Firefly and Summit. As far as which ones I personally use most often, those would be the Crafty and the PAX.
If you’re looking for a vape pen to use with wax and oil concentrates I highly recommend you check out the Dr Dabber Ghost. If you want a pen that works with dry herbs that’s where the V2 Pro comes in.
Most of the herbal vapes I recommend can be purchased from this authorized dealer, which is a fantastic store with awesome customer service and support.
These units are next-level, they perform just as well as good desktop vapes but they’re in nice small packages and they’re cordless. Build quality, performance and vapor quality are top notch with both, and they’re really the same in this area. They also have the same herb chambers but there are a couple of differences…
The main difference is the size, the Crafty is a pocket-sized unit and the Mighty is a little bigger, although it’s still easy to hold, store and transport. The Mighty is bigger because it has two internal batteries instead of one, which gives it 90 minutes of actual usage time before it dies, versus 45 minutes with the Crafty.
Either way, you can’t go wrong with these.
The Firefly (Rating: 89/100) is a sleek, elegant portable vape.
This is not necessarily the best vape to carry around with you, although you absolutely could if you wanted to, I feel it really shines as a cordless home unit or a travel vape that can be conveniently stored and transported.
The build quality of the Firefly is impressive, it feels really solid and has a very sleek finish. It’s also efficient with your material since you don’t have to pack a lot in the herb chamber, and the vapor you can produce with it is top notch quality, very tasty and potent.
It’s not the easiest to use for beginners, there is a little bit of a learning curve involved because of the technique required to get the best performance (which I talk about in my review). However, after a little practice anybody could become an expert with it.
The Ploom Pax (Rating: 88/100) is another one of the highest rated portables I’ve reviewed with every aspect of ownership considered.
***UPDATE 4/2/15: The PAX 2 is now available, check out my full review on this page: http://www.vapecritic.com/vaporizers/pax-2/
What I like most about it is its sleek design, small size, and ease of use. This is a great vape to take with you when you leave home. The Crafty is now my personal favorite portable vape, but the Pax held that spot for over 2 years so it does deserve some props.
If you’re looking for something to comfortably carry around with you and easily use on-the-go, the Pax is a good choice. You can also pre-pack this one before leaving home so that you don’t need to carry your material with you separately, which is very convenient.
You do have to clean your unit and apply a tiny drop of mouthpiece lubricant about every dozen sessions for best performance, so I made a cleaning tutorial for this vape recently where I show the whole procedure (it’s not too difficult).
The Vapium Summit (Rating: 87/100) is one of the newer portables I’ve reviewed and I think it’s really nice for the price.
It’s more affordable than the top-tier models but still manages to provide a good vaping experience. The performance and vapor quality is a little above average, and it’s very similar to the Pax in this area.
Efficiency is great too, it can really make a small amount of material (~.25g) go a long way.
They designed the Summit to work in extreme cold conditions as well, and it has a nice rubber grip on the back to give it a more rugged feel, so it’s a good option if you’re looking for a vape to take with you on ski trips, hikes, camping, etc.
Draw resistance isn’t too bad also which I really like to see, it’s not the easiest but it’s really not hard to pull from at all.
If you want the best bang for your buck definitely check this vape out.
The V2 Pro Series 3 pen vape (Rating: 81/100) is the first pen I’ve reviewed that can truly vaporize dry herbs to a satisfying degree.
It’s actually a 3-in-1 unit, it has different cartridges you can use to vape e-liquids, dry herbs, or concentrates. I only reviewed the herbal aspect so far, but I was impressed with the build quality and the efficiency.
The chamber has a capacity of only about 0.1g, so you won’t get big clouds from this one, it’s definitely a lighter vapor, but it’s pretty smooth and tasty and is nice for a small sesh.
It has pass-through charging which is cool, meaning you can use it while it’s plugged in.
I like it because it’s inexpensive yet it feels well-made and works pretty well. This is definitely a personal vaporizer though, there’s really not enough to share with anybody unless you re-pack.
The Magic-Flight Launch Box (Rating: 85/100) is the least expensive of the bunch, but I think it’s a good quality product and I still use mine to this day in certain situations.
This one is very small and quick, but utilizes a fairly basic design with few moving parts.
There’s a little bit of a learning curve at first before you really dial in the best method of using it for the results you want, but if you have a little patience I think you’ll find it’s a decent performer.
The MFLB is the vape you want if you’re someone who likes to take just a few draws at a time, spread out over a longer period.
It’s strength is the fact that it works well with very small amounts of material, and it heats up/cools down very quickly.
The way I typically use mine nowadays is I pack it and set it on my desk so that throughout the day I can quickly take a draw or two whenever I feel like it, without having to wait for my vape to heat up and without the risk of wasting any material.
There are many ways and many situations in which the Launch Box can be used, but I normally recommend it to people who say they’re only looking to vape a small amount at a time.
The Haze vape (Rating: 86/100) is the first one I’ve tried with dual chambers or bowls.
Build quality is good and battery life is excellent, you can get 2-3 hours of usage with the two batteries they provide.
Performance and vapor quality are just about average or slightly above, I think the vapor it produces is good but it’s a little on the hot side.
You can use this one with dry herbs and wax or oil concentrates, so it’s “dual” in that regard as well.
Overall I think this is a very decent vape and if you value long battery life and want the dual bowls you’ll probably like this one.
The Arizer Solo (Rating: 85/100) is another popular model that I think is pretty good.
It’s easy to use and produces good quality vapor but it does have a fairly strong draw resistance to contend with, it’s the hardest to pull out of all the models I’ve reviewed.
It feels like trying to suck a really thick milkshake through a straw – some people (like myself) find this resistance a little irritating and uncomfortable, and some people don’t seem to mind it much.
As far as true portability this one doesn’t score very high in that area, it’s a bit on the large and bulky side and isn’t really meant for use on-the-go.
I usually recommend the Solo for people who plan on using it mainly inside their home, but just don’t want to deal with cords. Now that I’ve reviewed the Firefly though, that model I feel is a little better overall so that’s really my first recommendation for cordless home use, but this one is still good.
The DaVinci Ascent (Rating: 86/100) is the only portable I’ve reviewed aside from the Solo that has a glass vapor path, and it actually does one better by having a glass-lined ceramic herb chamber also.
The taste of the vapor it produces is nice, not blow-your-mind great but a tiny bit better than the non-glass models. However, it’s still not the most comfortable vapor, I find it to be a little on the warm side and halfway through my sessions I tend to get a little scratchiness in my throat.
The vapor is also on the lighter side, meaning it’s not very dense, but this vape still manages to provide a good experience.
It does have a fairly long battery life which is nice, just keep in mind it seems to take about 4 hours to fully recharge after it dies, which is kind of a long time.
I basically consider the Ascent a more portable version of the Solo, the vapor just isn’t quite as dense or comfortable.
It also works best when the herb chamber is fully packed, and it holds a lot of material, so I would only get this one if you typically like to pack a lot at once.
Lastly there is the Vapir NO2 (Rating: 80/100), which I don’t recommend as often as the others but still feel is a decent performing vape.
This one is physically the largest of all the portables I’ve tried, so its portability is limited in that regard.
I wouldn’t normally take the NO2 anywhere with me outside the home, but if that’s not an issue for you I think it’s easy to use and it has some small advantages over the others.
It doesn’t have much draw resistance which is always a plus, it’s fairly easy to pull from this one, and that I like.
There is a little bit of cleaning and maintenance required to keep the NO2 fresh and working properly, but if you like the other aspects of it I wouldn’t let that hold you back.
Most of these vapes can be purchased at the main authorized dealer I recommend.
Do you own any of these? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!