UPDATE: Check out my review of the new DaVinci IQ below, the latest model from DaVinci that blows the doors off the Ascent:
As far as IQ vs Ascent, I think it’s a no-brainer. The IQ scores better in every category that I consider when I rate and review vapes.
Buy the IQ from the official DaVinci store for $275.
Here’s my Ascent review video in case you really wanna watch it:
VapeRating: 85/100 (Tier 3) by The Vape Critic
So first let me show you the Ascent up close, and then I’ll talk about how it performs.
Alright so here’s what we’re workin with… we have the screen on the front, we have the plus and minus buttons above and below the screen, then there’s another button for like the menu right here.
You got the power button up in the top corner up here, and this is the glass mouthpiece that actually pulls out. You can use your nail and sort of just pull it out like that.
So it’s not like super snug in there you could actually move it around a little bit, and that’s just because the way it’s designed you could actually pull it out all the way to clean it, you could pull out this piece and the other piece which I’ll show you in a second.
Also up here they have a little poker tool, and you could use your nail again to pull it out like that. I think something like a brush might have been a little more useful but this is still kinda cool to help you clean out the chamber and stuff if you need to.
So before I turn it on and it starts heating up let me just show you the actual chamber. So the way you open it is you just pull out the bottom like that. This is where you put your material in the ceramic chamber down here, and then if you flip the vape over this is the bottom piece of the mouthpiece.
The glass pathway is actually a two-piece thing, and the top piece like I showed you pulls out from the top, and then to get this piece out you first push on it from the top, it starts to come out, and then you could get your nail under there or somethin to pull it out the rest of the way.
Alright so this is the piece that’s in there. Now it is fairly dirty, so if you want to talk about cleaning this is basically the part that looks like you’re gonna need to clean.
This was after a dozen sessions or so, so you know that’s about average for a portable vape, they all need to be cleaned occasionally.
The way this one works, I don’t know if you could even see it, it’s probably too small, but it has four little holes at the end of the glass piece here, and that’s where the vapor will actually pass through up tot he mouthpiece.
So after about 4 or 5 sessions these holes started to get clogged, and I had to take a little pin and push it in to unclog them. That allowed me to use it for a few more sessions but it does look like I should clean it now.
To get it back in after you clean it you just push this part back in first, then you could flip it back over, take that other piece, and stick it down the top.
Now if we go back to the herb chamber for a second, it is fairly large so it does hold a lot of material, and it does seem to work best with a full chamber.
There are ways to use less material like a half-packing or so with adding some screens in and things like that, and I thought it worked ok like that. I did experiment with varying amounts of material and I did find that it seemed to work better and it produced more satisfying vapor with a full chamber.
Now on the topic of screens you might notice that at the bottom of the chamber there’s actually four holes, and they’re not large holes but they’re not super tiny either.
So if you’ve seen any of my videos before you’ve probably heard me say that to get the best results in your vape generally the finer you grind your material the thicker the vapor will be and the stronger it’ll be.
The problem I found with this vape is that you wanna put in really finely ground up herb, like for instance herb ground up in the finishing grinder, it did have a tendency to fit down those holes, so a little bit would fall out and it would actually just fall out the bottom of the grill here.
I’m not talkin a lot but just a couple little bits and pieces here and there. And then also when the material is ground up that fine a few tiny pieces did get through these holes and travel up through the mouthpiece – again not a lot but it did happen a couple of times.
What they provide in the box when you get it are these two tiny little round screens, and I would show them to you but I actually lost them already, and that’s one of the reasons I don’t like little tiny screens in vapes because they are so easy to lose.
So anyway what those little screens are for is one of them can go in the bottom of the chamber before you put your material in, then you could pack your herb on top. And in case I haven’t mentioned it yet it does seem to work better when you push your material in and pack it fairly tight. Then after you pack however much you want in there you could put the second screen on top.
It’s not really an ideal scenario, especially for smaller amounts, but it did work and it did work fairly well.
So I was going to use it and I just packed my material I would close it up and then hit the power on the top. When you do that the vape is gonna turn on and just start heating.
The default temperature when you first get it is 375°F, and I did test on a variety of temperatures as low as 355°F and as high as 390°F, and I actually found that somewhere around 370°F-375°F seems to produce the best results.
As I usually say, everyone’s experience is gonna be a little different and everyone’s gonna prefer a different temp so definitely just do some experimenting on your own.
So the vape seems to heat up pretty fast it’s only about a minute or two before it gets to the operating temperature. You’ll notice that there’s a little battery indicator down here, well first you might notice that… soup’s ready.
When you reach the target temp and it’s ready for you to start drawing from it you’ll see this little icon on the front. You may also have noticed this little battery indicator down here, and one of the things that I do wanna mention about that I found that it’s really not reliable and not really correct a lot.
Like right now as you can see it says I have no battery left, but this is about half-charged I know I have half left, and it does seem to just fluctuate so if I turned it off and turned it back on it could show me half battery now, so it seems to be a little inconsistent.
I haven’t with my unit been able to rely on that, I have to just remember how many sessions I’ve used it for so I know how long I have left with the battery.
Now speaking of the battery it does have fairly long battery life, I get about two hours of actual usage before it dies, so that’s an area where I think they did a very good job.
Keep in mind though that this vape is fairly heavy, and if you wanted to compare it to the Pax it is roughly double the size. So if you’re not familiar the Pax has about an hour of usage or battery life and with the Ascent I seem to get closer to two hours of usage before it dies.
But, the Ascent does weigh twice as much as the Pax, and it is almost twice as large. The Pax weighs 94 grams and the Ascent weighs 192 grams. It’s not major, it’s not like this thing’s a brick or anything, it’s just that if you wanted to carry this in your pocket of your light pants or shirt this might be a little heavy for that.
One other small minor annoyance I found with this thing personally is that when you’re going to pack your material in the vape doesn’t stand on its own, it sort of just wants to fall to the side, so you have to physically hold it in your hand while you pack your material, then you could close it up and put it down.
So you could see how the size of the Ascent compares to some other ones real quickly this is the original DaVinci vape, this is the Solo, this is the Pax, and this is the Launch Box.
So in this vape session I packed a full chamber, I have it set on 375°F, and I’m taking slow ~10 second draws.
Now one of the things I noticed when using this vape is that even with a fully packed chamber I don’t seem to get really dense or really thick vapor, which isn’t really bad because most portable vapes don’t produce very thick vapor, but for the amount of material it takes to pack it full I expected just a little bit more.
Now the taste of the vapor is good because of the ceramic chamber and the glass pathway, so that sorta makes up for it. The only thing I noticed about the vapor though is that it kinda feels a little on the warm side.
What I mean by that is that after I’m about halfway through my sessions I start to feel a little scratchiness in my throat, which is not really abnormal especially when you’re talkin about portable vapes, I was just a little surprised that even with the ceramic and glass pathway and stuff it still wasn’t the most comfortable vapor I’ve experienced.
Now just as a side note you may notice a little vapor coming out of the bottom of the unit right here, and this seems to happen sometimes if you’re not holding the vape right-side up.
So it’s a little weird that it does that but as long as you don’t hold the vape sideways or upside-down while you’re vaping it shouldn’t be an issue.
I don’t wanna come off as hyper-critical about the Ascent because like I said I do think the vapor is above-average, but for comparative purposes what you’re seeing here is me taking a draw with the Pax vaporizer.
I actually only have the oven half-packed in this clip so it’s half the amount of material that was in the Ascent, and you’ll notice that the vapor it produces is actually slightly thicker.
So I know a lot of people are curious about how the Pax and the Ascent compare, and that’s what I noticed myself through my own testing, that the vapor definitely tastes slightly different between the two, most would consider slightly better out of the Ascent because of the glass, but the vapor for whatever reason feels a little thicker and a little more comfortable out of the Pax in my opinion.
I’m talkin very slight differences here though this is like really nitty gritty stuff now. The vapor isn’t THAT different between the two, they’re both good vapes.
So a fully packed chamber in the Ascent will produce 20+ draws, which is expected but it’s good. I did experiment with using smaller amounts in the chamber like a half-packing, and the results were fairly similar, obviously you’re not gonna get as many draws and the vapor will be a little bit lighter.
Overall it does provide a satisfying experience so I do think it’s a pretty good vape. It’s kind of on the heavier side but that at least gets you some extra battery life, the taste of the vapor is good just don’t expect it to be as dense as your favorite home unit, and it does seem to work best with a full chamber so just make sure you pack it in there good.
To learn more about some other portable vapes I think are good like the Pax, Solo or Launch Box, check out my website at VapeCritic.com.
I do appreciate you takin the time to watch, and stay up!