2015 is definitely(and finally!) the year of the portable vape! We have endured many years with a marginal portable vape selection. Magic Flight, Pax, Solo(what I like to call the core 3) – those three were the dominant forces in the portable market. The others were just pretenders that either didn’t get hot enough, burned your herbs, or were a pain in the ass to clean…or taste.
Desktop vaporizers have been the workhorses of the industry. With massive amounts of power and no real size restrictions, it was easy to make a vape that vaporized perfectly. Flavor was completely on point, they are always ready to go with full power, and worked with a variety of substances. But there has been a switch. People seem to be done with desktop vaporizers. Or, at least, can no longer justify their purchase over a portable. Case in point: Recently 7th Floor LLC, the makers of the Silver Surfer, Da Buddha, and Life Saber vaporizers, all absolute legends in the industry, recently created a indieGoGo campaign to get their fans to help them fund a new desktop vaporizer that incorporated whip system, a bag system(a first for the company) and fancy mood-effect LED’s(dumb), and it only gained 12% of the needed funds. Clearly the vaporists have spoken.
Desktops are dead. Well…new desktops anyway.
Something happened during 2014. The vape designers and engineers went back to the drawing board. Seeing that the success of the PAX 1 vaporizer(over 500,000 units sold) was the market speaking loudly for a premium portable that actually worked. So as we enter the second quarter of 2015, we see so many portables that compete with the three legends. Now we have the Mighty and Crafty from Storz & Bickel, The Air from Arizer. The G-Pro and all its clones, the Ascent(not that new), the Vapium Summit, The Firefly, The Haze, PAX 2, the Goboof Alfa, the Quickdraw 300 DLX(pen that vapes herb perfectly)…all of these vapes do as good or better job of vaporizing marijuana than the PAX, MFLB, and Solo. Some are marginal improvements on the core 3, some are functionally superior with excellent performance.
With advances in battery technologies, namely vaporizers that utilize Li-Ion 18650 rechargeable batteries, run times are getting longer every day. As designs become more efficient, less and less power is required to vaporize, and as batteries gain more capacity, many vaporizers can last even the grizzled veteran days of use.
Vape companies are listening to our needs, and the airpath is something that a manufacturer can any longer ignore. Borosilicate glass, stainless steel, and silicone rubber are the most common now, as plastics and various non-stainless steel metals are phased out. All-glass pathways seem to have the cleanest and most efficient flavor transfer, but its also a matter of personal taste and practicality. Glass breaks. Stainless steel doesn’t.
More and more technology is being crammed into our portable vapes. Traditionalists may reject this, but lets break it down for a moment. These are handheld devices, so things like haptic feedback, (vibrations telling you its powering up, shutting on or off, etc,) and various forms and colors of LED’s to indicated heating processes and battery levels, well these things just naturally make sense. Now that function has been nailed down, it only makes sense for these devices to get smarter. Smaller. More efficient. Longer lasting. Better tasting. That would be my hope for the mission statement for every vaporizer company out there.
Some portables have even included bluetooth capability into the vaporizer, which allows for communication with smartphone apps. We have seen this hands on with the Crafty vaporizer, and despite our skepticism at the need for this extraneous technology, we found the app to be useful, relevant, and something we didn’t know we were missing, and this is the just the first implementation.
Desktop vaporizer makers have to be worried, if not quickly retooling to enter the desktop market. The writing is on the wall. Even popular vape companies like VapeWorld have a product lineup that reflects the current state of the industry. Currently 9 desktops on offer, and 27 portables. Add to that the countless pens -technically a portable and something we can start talking about for herbs again now that designs are being released that actually work. The Desktop is now an anchor to many peoples lifestyle. We love our SSV and Volcano and probably won’t ever stop using them completely, but our portables are just so much easier. Less whips, cords, and waiting.
Now that portable vaporizers have equal flavor and vapor capabilities, desktops just can’t compete with portables and even some pens anymore. Think that’s batshit crazy? Let us know in the comments!