This vape is unique because it’s the first model I’ve reviewed that you’re supposed to use water with.
It’s basically a hybrid vaporizer/water-pipe and it does a pretty good job at producing strong, dense vapor.
The benefits of vaporizing through water are debatable; some say it helps to cool and condition the vapor, but some people (like me) can’t tell much of a difference.
The price point is very high with the Cloud and I think it targets a very specific type of user. I give it a very good rating because it does a great job as far as vapor production, but there are certainly some drawbacks to consider if you’re thinking about buying one (which I discuss in the video).
I still think people looking for the best high-end vape overall should consider the Volcano, and if you’re looking specifically for the strongest or most comfortable vapor I also recommend checking out the Plenty. In my humble opinion those are just better-made, more reliable vapes with the same level of performance.
*** Update Sept 2013: After 9 months of occasional use my unit has stopped working, it no longer heats up. Luckily this happened within my 1-year warranty period, but VapeXhale doesn’t currently have the parts available to repair my unit, so I will have to wait to have it fixed.
You have this part here; this is the base of the unit, this is the part that heats up. Then this part is what they call the HydraTube; this is part that you put your water in and that take your draw from. To use this vape it’s a pretty straightforward process. You turn it on and let it heat up for at least 10 minutes, I’ve found that’s a minimum, if you can let it go for 15 or 20 minutes, that’s even better. You’ll heat it up, and in the meantime while it’s heating up, what you’ll do is take out the EZ Load Bowl which is basically the chamber you’re going to put your material in; that’s this thing right here. You’re going to take this, it has a little cap on it, you’re going to to take off the cap, like that, and you put your material in here. They recommend to fill it anywhere from 20% to 80% up, in here, you don’t want to pack it too tight because you don’t want to impede the airflow. You put the cap back on when it’s packed. It should fit pretty snugly right back inside the top piece. Then you would take your HydraTube piece and fill it up with some water, I have mine filled not too far above where the slits are in here, or where the air comes out of. Then you’re pretty much ready to go. What I’m going to do is get right into the demo clip of me using this thing while I continue talking about it.
While you’re watching this, the first thing I just want to mention is that my lighting setup here is setup to emphasize, or enhance, the visible vapor. When you’re using your vapes at home, you might not see as much vapor as you see in this video, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not there. I’m using mine here with the herb chamber packed almost full, I’d say roughly 80%. I also have the unit set on the recommended 12:00-position on the dial. The dial is where you control the heat intensity of the unit. You’ll notice that just like with a lot of other vapes, the first draw you see me take, you don’t get too much vapor out of it, that’s where a lot of the flavor comes through. But then after the first one, is when it really starts to rip pretty good.
The idea behind vaporizing through water is that it’s supposed to help cool and condition the vapor a little. Some people find it a little irritating. I don’t know, I have mixed thoughts about it, personally. I don’t vape through water often; I find that it creates some extra resistance that can in itself cause discomfort, just the resistance itself. I also find that the water kind of takes some of the flavor out of your material. With the Cloud, for instance, I even tested using it a few times dry, or without any water in the HydraTube, and I personally thought that the taste was better. I tasted more of my material that way. It’s kind of silly to get this to use it like that because the whole point of this device is to use it with water in it. Anyway, I know a lot of people vape through water, they like it, so that’s just a personal preference of mine. It does work pretty good. Like I said, I feel a little resistance when I use it, but I’m just comparing that to some of the other vapes that I like, that have virtually no resistance at all. It’s not that it’s really hard to pull this one, but it’s not super-easy. The only other thing to consider with that is that you kind of do need to take a pretty hard pull from this to get a big draw of vapor. You can’t pull very lightly, it’s not going to work that well. Sure enough, if you do take a nice, strong pull for 10 seconds, maybe a little longer, you will get a lot of vapor. It definitely works really well. It produces big clouds, as you can see.
One of the other key features about this vape is that it has an all-glass construction inside, like the heating element and the vapor pathway is all glass, with exception of course, of the actual EZ Load Bowl where your material is, because that thing is metal or stainless steel. I know it’s a little nitpicky to say something like this, but it’s more realistically a 95% glass pathway, not 100% all glass.
After I take a few draws from this, you’ll see that I do take the cap off the chamber inside, and I do stir the material around a little bit. I found that you do have to do this once or twice during a session, if you’ve fully packed the chamber like I did. The way it’s designed, it’s kind of skinny and deep, or long, so when the heat comes up through the unit, the heat itself isn’t heating all of the material evenly at the same time, so you have to get in there after a few and stir it around to just make sure everything is getting vaporized evenly.
The vape itself is silent; it doesn’t make any noise so you don’t have to worry about that. It’s also fairly easy to use, as you can see; it’s only two main pieces aside from the chamber piece. On that note, it is a fairly fragile unit so you do need to be careful, especially in the beginning. You definitely need to be careful if you’re going to let friends use it, or anything like that, you’re going to want to coach them. You’re going to want to stay close by while they’re using it, to watch, because most of the parts are glass. You just have to be careful with this one; it’s not one that you can really knock around that much.
Something else to keep in mind is that the outside of the unit will heat up a little bit during use. You’ll notice when I’m using it, that I’m generally holding the bottom half of the unit every time I pick it up. That’s because, after a while when you’re into your session, the top half is where most of the heat gets generated. Even though it does have this heat shield around the outside it still gets kind of warm. If you keep the vape on the 12:00 position, or lower than that, you shouldn’t have too much of an issue with it getting too hot to handle. A few times during my testing, I did try to use the vape with the temperature set higher than 12:00, up to 1:00, 2:00, or 3:00 positions, and what I found is that once you get up to that point, the top half of the vape will actually start to get so hot that it’s uncomfortable to hold. All I’m trying to say is that once you start using it, it becomes pretty apparent that you’re really only supposed to grab the bottom half.
As far as cleaning or maintenance with this unit, there’s two things I found that will be the main issues with it. One is the EZ Load Bowl pieces or the chambers, they’re not going to last forever, so eventually, you’ll have to buy some replacements of those. They’re not very expensive, but the unit does only come with two of those when you first get it. The other thing is the HydraTube. Because you’re using water in this vape, I found after every couple of sessions or so, the HydraTube develops a funky odor. Me personally, I would clean it at least after every couple of uses, probably after every use. It’s just something to keep in mind.
As far as the price, I did mention in the beginning of the video that the package I have here, that you see, is $575. When I was doing my research, I saw that this vape came out in the middle of 2012, and originally, was supposed to be $450 for a package. I checked back every so often and I saw that they did keep bumping up the price. As of the time I’m making this video, I see that it is up to $575. That would make this the most expensive vape that I’ve reviewed so far.
It’s pretty cool. I’ll run over the pros again, or the things that think are good about it. That is, that it produces very strong vapor. You can get big, huge rips, big clouds off of this thing. That’s the main purpose, so it does its job, it works well. It’s also fairly easy to use. It’s not too complicated, even though you have to be careful with it, it’s pretty simple. It also doesn’t make any noise; it’s a silent vape which is always good.
On the flip side, unfortunately my con’s list is a little longer for this one than I thought it was going to be. I think that a 10-minute minimum warm up time is a little high. To push the vape industry forward, I feel like we should be cutting down warm up times, not making them longer. I think that it might be a little too fragile. I know using glass is cool and everything, but I think there’s a little too much glass going on here. I also think that although you are filtering through water when you use it, and that’s supposed to help cool and condition the vapor, I find that what it actually does for me, personally, when I use it, is it just creates too much drag; there’s too much resistance when I’m using this vape. I also think that using the water in it takes out flavor; it makes your material taste more bland than if you were to use it with no water in it. The extra cleaning and stuff that using the water is going to make this require, I also don’t particularly like that much myself. Like I mentioned before, this is the most expensive vape that I’ve reviewed, as of now. It’s the most fragile vape I’ve reviewed as of now, and it has one of the shortest warranties out of any of the vapes I’ve reviewed. Mine that I got, they’re giving me a 1-year warranty with this.
Overall, do I think this is a cool unit? Yes, I think it’s cool. I think there are a couple of things that could probably be improved upon for a next version. Will I be shelving all my other vapes to use this one every day? No. If you want to see the overall rating I gave to it, or where it falls among the other vapes I’ve reviewed, you can check out my home page on my website VapeCritic.com. I do appreciate you taking the time to watch. Stay up!