Below are my current top picks for best portable vaporizer for dry herb of 2017. If you’re looking for a wax pen check out my list of top picks for best vape pen.
BEST VAPORIZER FOR $200:
BEST PORTABLE VAPORIZER – MORE TIER 1 TOP PICKS:
BEST PORTABLE VAPORIZER – MORE TIER 2 TOP PICKS:
BEST VAPORIZER UNDER $100 – MY TOP PICK:
Check out my VapeRatings table for a detailed breakdown of each vape (click to enlarge):
This page is updated regularly so check back soon for any changes and new models!
Previous top picks:
True portable convection vape for dry herb
The Swift Pro from Flowermate is a sweet little vape, and it actually shares almost identical internals with the Boundless CFV that I have listed below this one. This one is a top contender as far as best vaporizer for dry herb around $200.
It utilizes pure convection-heating which as of now is not a very common feature among portable vaporizers. 100% convection heating means your herb gets heated solely by hot air, so there is very little to zero conduction effect happening.
This type of heating has both advantages and disadvantages, but most people would agree that the pros outweigh the cons.
The Swift Pro has a nice look, shape and feel also, and I’m finding myself reaching for it pretty often. Build quality and the materials used in construction are probably it’s biggest weakness, it can feel kinda light and hollow, but I still like the performance of it a lot.
Convection vaporizer that is NOT complex
This is the CFV which is a really cool portable vaporizer from Boundless.
Their other vapes, the CF and the CFX, are both a hybrid of conduction and convection heating, so this CFV is actually pretty different in how it’s designed and how it performs.
The oven is on the smaller side with a capacity of about 0.15g, but this vape is super efficient and you’ll get 5-8 really nice draws from that amount.
Flavor is very good with the convection heating and the draw resistance is surprisingly not that bad, it’s slightly easier to pull from compared to their other models.
On-demand convection portable for herb & concentrates
The Firefly 2 is one of the few convection-based portable vaporizers that has good performance, really good.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this unit is the superb flavor of the vapor it produces.
It’s also incredibly efficient and does an equally great job of vaporizing both dry herb and concentrates.
Some people have struggled a bit to fully enjoy this one because of the slight technique involved to get the best results, but I feel that once it is mastered it offers a type of experience you can’t get from other portables.
Make sure you watch the video reviews I made that include the Firefly 2, they’ll really help you learn how this vape works so you can make sure it’s the right one for you.
Very well-rounded and extremely popular
The PAX 2 is arguably one of the sleekest and sexiest vapes made, and the performance matches its good looks. In terms of sales the PAX is the best portable vaporizer for dry herb of all time, and the fantastic reliability of the new model makes it a no-brainer if you like the style.
Flavor and smoothness is actually really good considering this a conduction-style vaporizer, and it’s a noticeable improvement over the original model. One of the cool advantages this one has is the ability to create nice satisfying clouds of vapor from short ~4 second draws, which is not an easy feat.
I feel it provides a great overall vaping experience and it’s very easy and intuitive to use, so I highly recommend it.
For 2017 they now have the PAX 3, so you might wanna check one that out too.
Good build quality & performance
The Arizer Air is an easy to use, strong performing unit made in Canada. Build quality is great and it even has a removable, user-replaceable battery (standard 18650), which is not an extremely common feature.
I don’t consider this one “truly portable” because realistically it’s a little cumbersome to try and use on-the-go, however, I feel it is a very good cordless vape best used around your home. Arizer makes a few other vaporizers also like the Solo and the Extreme-Q, and they’re a fairly popular brand in the industry that a lot of people like.
Small, compact portable with a big oven
This one is the Flytlab Lift vaporizer and it’s got a few unique qualities that set it apart.
The Lift is definitely a pocket-portable in that it’s compact shape and design makes it easy to carry around in small places.
But what’s cool is that the performance is above-average for a unit of this size, it can really produce some big draws if that’s what you like in a vape.
Its oven or herb chamber is also bigger than most other portables with damn near a 0.5g capacity, and that’s important because I recommend packing it to the top and keeping your herb tamped down for best results.
Another cool feature is the retractable mouthpiece which is held in place magnetically. During your session this piece is also used to tamp down your herb, and keeping it tight the whole time keeps vapor production at the max.
Back in 2015 I posted a video about the best portable vaporizers at the time, and here is the original transcription:
So those are the two top shelf units currently. The Tier two units which are still very good,
the ones I like generally range from $150 to $300 bucks.
I’ll start with the Firefly ($280) here. This one has really high build quality, it’s really sleek. It feels really solid. It’s nice, it’s a little harder to use than some of the others because it is manual heating. The technique is slightly more intermediate/advanced. Sometimes beginners can’t get great results with it. But the one thing that’s really cool about this one is as far as portables go, the taste is superb.
Next, we have the Alfa. This is a more recent one I reviewed but it’s very good, it’s small, it’s light. One of the cool benefits of this one is that it works really well when you take short draws so you only have to pull on it for 4 seconds. I think you get a pretty satisfying amount of vapor. I like this one. $200.
PAX 2, this one is also fairly new, released in April 2015. This one is really good, I like it, it’s sleek, small, sexy, performs well. There is also the original PAX from 2-3 years ago. This one is also really good. The new one is improved in pretty much all areas. These are great vapes for on the go, to take with you, stick in your pocket or purse. These are awesome! They are very, very popular, so you have probably heard of these already.
The Vapium summit, this is also a fairly new one. What I like about this one is it is inexpensive. It is only $150, but I like the performance. It performs closer to the $200 vapes. I’m happy with it, I like it, it’s a nice little unit.
Then up here, we have 2 other models that are very popular. A lot of people like them. The newer Arizer Air, and the Arizer Solo. Most people and most stores will consider these portable vaporizers but one of the reasons I don’t consider these truly portable is they aren’t pocket vapes, you do have to carry these around if you are going to bring them out of your home. They are multiple pieces, the glass stems come out. You have to carry them separately. Then you have to carry your material separately so that you can pack it when you are ready to vape. They are a little large, they have the glass parts, you have to bring your materials separately. They are good vapes. I like these as cordless units for use around the house. The performance is good with those. A little bit of draw resistance. It is okay though. Good build quality. I like them.
Then we have the Haze, this is a pretty good one. This is the one that has the two bowls, or dual chambers which is pretty unique. It also has the mouthpiece that goes in and out. This one is pretty cool. The vapor quality is average, a little above average. The battery life is really good, the two chambers is cool also.
So then we have the Lotus, which I actually haven’t put out my full review of yet. This is a really cool little piece. It is actually powered by a torch lighter. This is why you see these marks on the top here. It’s really solid feeling. This is a really nicely made piece, it really is. So basically you would hold the torch above here, while letting it hit here. The flames never actually touch your material, just the hot air radiates through it, and that’s how it vaporizes. This also is a little more advanced like the Firefly in that it is that manual heating. You can overheat and combust you material if you’re not careful. I even still do it sometimes by accident occasionally. So there is some technique involved with this one.
Then there is the DaVinci Accent. This is a fairly popular one. It’s not really one of my favorites because I find the vapor a little on the hot and harsh side. I also don’t really find it to be that efficient. But the battery life is good, build quality is okay. This one is pretty good, fairly popular like I said.
Then we have the simple ones over here. The Magic Flight Launch Box. This one is a classic. It has been out for a while, many years. It is extremely simple. Some people knock on it for being so simple. I think it is cool, very unique. It is powered just by a rechargeable AA battery. It doesn’t produce humongous clouds, it’s not great for multiple people but for small sessions, a couple of draws here and there, this thing is just over $100 and I think it’s pretty cool. (A dry herb one.)
Then made by the same company, by Magic flight, you have the Muad-Dib, which is the concentrate version. You have a little screen in there, instead of the big screen. This is the one for concentrates, oils, waxes, stuff like that. Very cool.
Then we have the Inhalater, another vape I haven’t put out my full review of yet. It’s pretty cool. One of the only negatives is the kind of vapor that is on the hot side a little bit. What is unique about this one is that it works really, really, really well with a water piece. If you hook it up with one of your pieces you have already and you bump the heat it up all the way up, and hook it up to your piece, you get humongous clouds, the taste is good. It is better than using it regularly and is smooth. That is kinda what I like that one for.
Then we have the Cloud V Phantoms. This is the original one. I have a video for this. One of the few things that I didn’t like about it was the vapor was little hot and harsh because it only had one temperature setting. The default set temperature is over 400 degrees which is a little high. So then they came out with a slightly newer version which is not really that different, but one of the main differences is this now has 3 different temperature settings now and one of them is under 400 degrees. I think it’s 374, so that’s actually where I prefer vaping with this one. I think the vapor is the smoothest. You might get a little more vapor output on the higher temperature that’s above 400, but I think the overall experience is better on the lower temp. It is pretty efficient and it is not expensive, a little over $100. I think these are pretty cool. Entry level.
Then we have the Flowermate which is also pretty cheap. This one’s okay, build quality, average. It’s a little unique and neat because it has this mouthpiece that unscrews which is glass. It has storage compartments on the bottom for it. It is pretty clever and cool. But the vapor, once again, which is very common with inexpensive portables is a little hot and harsh. It is pretty decent on the vapor output and if you keep it on the lowest temperature-it has a few temperature settings-it will be pretty smooth most of the session and tastes fairly good. But then once you bump up the temp, it is just downhill from there. It is a nice unit and inexpensive.
Then we have the NO2V2 which is the new version of the original NO2 which looks exactly the same. I believe the improvements are faster heat up time and longer battery life. Performance is the same and everything else about it is the same. It is a pretty good middle of the road vape. It is considered portable but just like the Solo, it’s large so it’s not really a vape for on the go. But for around the house, it is pretty cool.
The V2 Pro Series 7- this one’s also fairly new. I consider everything about this one average. I don’t think it’s really fantastic but it produces okay vapor, tastes pretty good, has a cool cartridge system. This one is a 3-in-1. You can use it with dry herbs, e-liquid or wax. I don’t think they came out with the wax cartridge yet though.
We have the Titan / G Pro / K-Vape. This one is pretty cool and also cheap. What I like about this one is you can get a lot of vapor from it and get big clouds. It is fairly strong. Once again, the vapor is not that high of quality. It will be a little hot and harsh. There is a trade off when you want to go cheap, you’ll have to deal with the harsh vape.
Then we have the K-Vape, KandyPens is the company that makes the K-Vape, they just came out with the K-Vape Micro DX. It’s smaller, long battery life, pretty efficient. It has a smaller chamber. This one is cool if you like vaping at low temps. You’ll get a lot of use out of it, it’s small and light.
Next we have what I would consider one level lower. The Indica, which is a tier 3. I’m not really down with the whole Zippo thing, and I don’t use it a lot at all. This one is okay, the performance is okay. Nothing about it is bad. If you like this whole Zippo idea, there is no reason I don’t think you should get it. It is just not one of my favorites. The Pinnacle Pro, CloudV Terra, Atmos Orbit and Atmos Transporter, these are at the cutoff point of ones I recommend. This is base level. This is the worst and cheapest I think you should get if you are going to go that way. All of these are going to be okay performance. Everything about them is just going to be okay.
Over here we have some of my favorite pens for waxes and oils and a couple of them do herbs. This is the Dr. Dabber. The battery life has been fantastic. I really like the mouthpiece, it is in there good. The coil has been good to me. I have a bunch of them and none of them have gone bad and I have had this for many months now. There is nothing I don’t like about it. They have some cool glass attachments too. What is really cool is they just came out with this light and this thing is cool. I haven’t seen one of these mini ones that work like this, but you can actually get a regular pen experience. It is basically a mini version of the normal Dr. Dabber coil. It is cool because performance is almost the same or very close. This one is extremely discreet and portable. Very light, basically only a little bigger than a cigarette. Mouth piece comes off also, so it’s actually a few different pieces. One of the only things I don’t like about it is the button sticks out. It sticks out about 2mm, and it would be cool if it was a little more flush. But otherwise I have been using it a lot and it is really cool. My wife likes it too because it is a little more girl-friendly.
While I am talking about girl-friendly, I’ll show you the pink one. I actually did get this for my wife. This is a KandyPens SkyCloud. This one I got a while ago, and some things have been updated. There is a black edition that is new and I’ll be reviewing that one soon. This company is cool, they do a lifetime warranty. They have a pretty unique atomizer or coil. Another cool thing is that the atomizer or coil stays in really good and locks into place nice which is cool because some of the sucky pens come apart easily in your pocket. That is really nice.
Speaking of that feature, that is also why I like the Cloud V pens. This is the Classic and this is the Classic Mini, which is a little newer. These also have the nice tight coils or atomizers so they don’t fall apart. I like it, it has a cool coil, it’s good quality, vapor is good, battery life is good. I like everything about this one.
The V2 Pro Series 3- this was the first pen vape that I reviewed that worked kind of well with dry herbs, because pretty much up until very recently, any pen that claimed to work with dry herbs just burned and combusted it. This one actually vapes it. It is a 3-in-1 pen, so it comes with different cartridges. This is the dry herb cartridge in it now. They also have cartridges for wax and e-liquid which I think also work well. I like the wax one. What is cool about this is that it is small, discrete, light. This one is better for smaller sessions because the vapor is light, and can only fit .1. It is efficient and you’ll get a handful from that amount.
This is the same exact unit, but this is a different brand, QuickDraw. This one is good too. This one is cool because they come in different colors and designs and the way they package it is a little different.
The last one here is the Omicron. I’ve had the body of this one for a while. The V2.5 I bought a couple of years ago. Back then, it had a different cartridge for the oil. They now have a new kiss cartridge. It has a ceramic rod.
So back to the herbal vapes, there’s also Tier 5, but we’re not going to talk about Tier 5.
So there you have it! This video is as of May 2015, who knows what’s in store for the future ;) Thank you very much for taking the time to watch this video, and stay up!