Portable vaporizers have boomed in recent years and are fast becoming the most popular choice of vaporizer for all kinds of users.
Portable vaporizers vary a lot in terms of size, operation and quality, which is why it's important to research which kind of portable is right for you. Portable vaporizers are devices that run off batteries and don't need to be plugged in. They can be small or large, digital or analogue, simple or high tech, and come in a wide array of sizes, designs and materials.
Whether you're looking for superb vapour quality, high tech features or a super stealthy pocket device, there is a portable out there for you. We've selected our top five portables from across the range to help you get started.
From the same company that makes the infamous Volcano, the Mighty is the ultimate portable vaporizer. Combining high efficiency operation with the convenience of a portable, the Mighty is for those who don't want to sacrifice on performance.
The Mighty uses a digital display, similar to the Volcano Digit, that shows both set and actual temperatures controlled by two + and - buttons. It uses Storz & Bickels' patented aluminum heat exchanger for super efficient vapour extraction and precise heating. Coupled with digital temperature control, the Mighty provides very accurate and stable heating to produce very high quality vapour.
The Mighty also features a cooling unit between the heating chamber and mouthpiece that regulates vapour temperature as you draw. This tends to be an issue in other portables with a short vapour path, as vapour doesn't have time to cool and can result in harsh hits. Thanks to the cooling unit, hits from the Mighty are always cool and comfortable even on higher temperature settings.
The Mighty is powered by dual Lithium-Ion batteries and can be used while charging. It has a temperature range between 130°C and 230°C and uses soft vibration alarms to tell you when it's ready to use. It also features an automatic shut off function that conserves battery power. It is large for a portable, measuring around 14cm high and 8cm wide, which is likely too large for those looking for a vaporizer they can put in their pockets. Unlike its little sibling the Crafty, the Mighty can be used while connected to power on completely flat batteries, so you can still continue your session if it runs flat. One full charge should provide approximately 90 minutes of continuous use.
Perhaps the ultimate stealth machine, the PAX is the most pocketable dry herb vaporizer around. Very discreet in appearance, the PAX is a fully analogue unit controlled via one button. The analogue operation doesn't mean this vape is primitive by any means. With smart motion and lip-sensing technologies, the PAX is an intuitive little vaporizer.
The newest model, the PAX 2, has four heat settings ranging from 180°C - 210°C indicated in different colours by the four petal shaped LED lights on its interface. The PAX 2 has two interchangeable mouthpieces, one flat and one raised, and both incorporate intelligent lip sensing technology that increases temperature as you draw for more consistent temperature regulation.
Inside the PAX 2, an internal accelerometer detects when your device is sitting idle and automatically puts the PAX into standby mode. When you pick it up again, this same accelerometer detects you are again using your vape and will re-engage heat. Intelligent features like these are what make the PAX 2 such an innovative vaporizer for its size. The motion sensing capabilities don't stop there either; the PAX 2 uses gestures such as shaking the machine to check battery life, which is indicated by flashing LED lights. It also has some hidden games and a “party mode” feature for you to figure out.
With its small, intelligent and aesthetically pleasing design, the PAX is very popular among vapers whose number one priority is portability and stealth. While super discreet, the PAX's small size does somewhat affect its performance as a vaporizer. It is possible to get good vapour performance from the PAX, but one issue often found is that it has a very hard draw resistance and can produce harsh or hot vapour on higher settings.
Smaller and more easily transportable than its older sibling the Solo, the Arizer Air is a redesign of one of the most popular portable vaporizers on the market. The Arizer Solo has been a favourite among many vapers for years, and the Air provides the same high quality performance in a smaller package.
The Arizer Air has a full ceramic heating element and glass draw stem, providing clean vapour with great taste. It is an analogue vaporizer with 5 pre-set temperature settings ranging from 180°C - 210°C controlled via incredibly simple button operation with colour coded LED notifications. Simple to operate straight out of the box, the Air also produces very high quality vapour thanks to its powerful fast-heating battery.
The Air runs off a user replaceable Lithium-Ion battery that can be easily swapped out when it runs dead. It charges via an AC adapter, but an external charger is available for the batteries so users can easily carry spares around. The Air can also be used while connected to power, so a dead battery never means you have to stop vaping.
Due to the Air's small size and large battery, it can get hot to touch during use. To remedy this, Arizer have included a protective silicone sleeve that insulates heat and protects the Air's anodized exterior from damage. The glass draw stem is separate from the unit, an issue many had with the Solo. While transporting a glass stem may not be ideal for some users, the Air's stems are smaller and sturdier than the larger Solo stems. The Air also comes with a convenient travel pouch but more protective travel cases are available.
Made in Canada by Arizer, the Arizer Solo is an excellent mid-range portable vaporizer that is suited mainly to at-home use. Due to its large size (around the size of a Red Bull can) and the external glass mouthpiece, portability is somewhat limited but not impossible with the Solo.
The Solo has seven pre-set temperatures that can be easily selected by pressing the up or down buttons on the face of the unit. It uses LED indicators to signal temperature settings, battery life and device readiness, and also incorporates a 12-minute shut off function to preserve battery life. One full charge will provide ~ 1-2 hours of continuous use, but the Solo can also be used while charging for added convenience!
Virtually fool proof to use, the Solo is also very easy to clean and maintain. We highly recommend it for frequent vapers looking for a reliable hand-held unit they can use at home.
Our favourite portable under $200, the Flowermate V5 Pro has high end features in a wallet-friendly package. Featuring digital temperature control, LED readout, a clean ceramic chamber and a glass mouthpiece, the V5 Pro ticks all the boxes of a quality product at an affordable price. The Pro offers precise temperature control, inert materials and a thoughtful pocket-friendly design that allows you to store the glass mouthpiece inside the unit when travelling.
The ceramic element and stainless steel chamber produces clean, great tasting vapour that is surprisingly good quality for a vaporizer in this price range. Though the Pro does produce nice quality vapour, it can be hot and harsh to draw from on higher heat settings due to the short vapour path. However, this is quite standard when it comes to small portables in general.
The V5 Pro is most suited to casual vapers who want to vape around 2-3 sessions a week, and would also make a great portable vaporizer for users who already own a larger home unit and would like a cheap handheld vape to take with them out of the house occasionally. The internal Lithium-Ion battery will provide around 5 10-minute sessions per charge, though this varies widely depending on temperature setting and method of use. Unlike some portables, the Pro cannot be used while charging, though this shouldn't be an issue for casual use.
Overall, the Flowermate V5 Pro is a simple vaporizer with great user features that is easy to clean and maintain. Without a doubt one of the best units in its price range, the V5 Pro is a win for affordable vaping.