Do you love handling fresh cannabis flower (but secretly yearn for the clean, smooth experience of using a vaporizer)? A new crop of portable, efficient and discreet dry herb vape pens and tabletop herb vaporizers is delivering the best of both worlds. If you’re an aficionado of top-shelf buds, this is one experience you’ve got to try!
What’s a Vaporizer?
Vaporizing is a relatively new science, especially considering that smoking cannabis has a history of at least a couple of thousand years! Whether they’re convenient vape pens or more elaborate tabletop models, all vaporizers work on the same principle: By applying very precise heat to either a cannabis extract or—in the case of a dry herb vape pen or herb vaporizer—to cannabis flower. This allows the cannabis to release its potent oils into an inhalable mist rather than into smoke.
Conduction vs. Convection Heating
Conduction heating puts your weed in direct contact with the vape’s heating element—like its coils—often getting you a faster heat time. However, if your product is too close to the heating element for too long, it’ll burn. (Simply shifting it around in the vape’s chamber is an easy fix.) Convection vapes tend to be more finicky and more expensive, but oftentimes are worth it for the vapor alone, especially if you prefer using dry herb. With these, the weed product doesn’t come into direct contact with the heating element. Instead, very hot air from the heating element circulates through the vape with every pull, indirectly vaporizing the product. On one hand, your product won’t combust, and the vapor is more even and flavorful. On the other, convection vapes can take longer to fire up, so patience is a virtue. These days, vapes can stick to one type of heating system or the other, but many market themselves as neither or both.
Here at Planet of the Vapes, we believe there’s no one best portable vaporizer for everyone. Instead, we think there’s a perfect vaporizer for each person, and we want to help you find yours. For some people, that might mean a super compact vape for quick hits while you’re out and about. For others, it might mean a bigger vaporizer for home use that you and your friends can use to take down full ovens. Everyone is different, and your vaporizer should reflect that.
With that in mind, we’ve created a number of categories for specific needs, price ranges, and specific focuses, to help you navigate our small, curated selection of portable dry herb vaporizers. Each category has a main pick that we feel best fits the criteria, as well as an alternate pick that brings something else to the table. We keep our picks current, with updates whenever something new pops up in our catalog or the market.
Our pick Storz & Bickel Mighty – Undeniably reliable
While some of the decisions in our guide took some debating, this pick was as easy as using the Mighty. There are no special techniques to learn or moving pieces to keep track of, it just works, pumping out smooth vapor that lives up to its name. It may feel a little on the large side at first, but with its amazing battery life and great sharing potential, it won’t be long until you’re finding room in your bag for the Storz & Bickel Mighty.
Storz & Bickel also makes sure that you’re ready to go right out of the box, with a grinder that perfectly shreds your herbs to the right consistency, and a loading tool that makes scooping it into the oven a little easier. It’s even charged to 80% when it comes out of the factory. It’s the little touches that make a vaporizer special, and the Mighty really nails it
Runner-up PAX 3 – A stylish alternative
While the Mighty’s dressed down appearance is perfect for some, we wouldn’t blame you for wanting something more stylish. The PAX 3 has a sleek outer shell that comes in a variety of elegant and eye-catching finishes. There’s still a lot of power under the hood, and the PAX is happy to puff out consistently potent vapor. It’s easy to slip in your pocket with a loaded oven, fits in right alongside your phone and keys, and doesn’t sacrifice when it comes to vapor.
All of the vaporizers we sell boast great flavor, but there are certainly options that stand out above the rest. These vapes take extra steps to preserve and present your herbs’ full flavor, with extra cooling, carefully selected materials, and controls that let you dial in the experience to your personal preference.
Our pick Firefly 2+ – Premium flavor
When it comes to flavor, the Firefly 2+ goes to great lengths to stand out. It uses convective heat that reaches vaping temperature in just seconds, so you don’t have to wait around long for your session. It also has a stylish, pocketable look that’s sure to catch the attention of owners with more mundane vaporizers.
Unlike our other flavorful pick, the Firefly 2+ travels easily, fitting into any pocket or bag. If you’re looking to fine-tune your settings, the connected Bluetooth app can help you get completely dialed in.
Our Pick Arizer Solo 2, stems save the flavor
The Arizer Solo 2’s most noticeable feature — the glass stem — is also the most important when it comes to flavor. The heat passes into your herbs at the end of the stem, and from there on out, it stays in the glass, resulting in vapor that’s clean and flavorful. You can load up several stems ahead of time, and the Solo 2’s impressive battery is happy to keep chugging along.
Desktop Option EpicVape E-Nano – Pure taste all day long
The E-Nano is not a portable vaporizer, but it’s here for the same reasons as the Solo 2 – nothing but pure glass touches your vapor before it reaches your lips. The taste is amazing, and lasts a long time with this desktop convection vaporizer. With unlimited power at its disposal, the wood-constructed E-Nano also scores with smaller doses, and shines on a glass bubbler. This hand-crafted work of art features an adjustable bowl for any size dose you want.
Best everyday carry vape
If you want a vape that you can always have by your side, it has to be durable, compact, and consistent. It needs to be tough enough to slide in and out of your pocket or bag throughout the day without worrying about occasional drops or scratches, small enough that it doesn’t weigh you down, and provide a great experience every time, without having to tinker with settings or adjust any finicky parts.
Planet of the Vapes ONE, compact and versatile
The extremely pocketable Planet of the Vapes ONE would be happy to spend the day with you. This tough little vape fits easily into your pocket, and heats up super quickly, so you won’t be waiting when you have a moment for a session. When you get home, you can use the water pipe adapter or mini bubbler to settle in for the evening.
Even on the road, the ONE happily pumps out surprising clouds of vapor, considering its size. The only part that suffers a bit is battery life, but with the potency and efficiency of the ONE, we think it will carry most light to medium users through the day without any issue. Plus, at just $99 with your choice of glass attachment, it’s a great value.
Runner-up DynaVap VapCap – Unique and memorable
The DynaVap M doesn’t fit what most people expect out of a vaporizer, and that’s one of the reasons we love it. Rather than settling in for a long session, you heat the end of the VapCap for a big, bold hit, any time you like.
It’s extremely pocketable, has no batteries to recharge, and there are tons of awesome upgrades and even third-party mods. Buying a VapCap opens a whole new world of fun, and the VapCap M is a great place to start.
If you like what you see, but don’t want to use a torch lighter, check out one of these induction heaters. They’re amazing!
Runner-upStorz & Bickel Mighty – Old school cool
The Storz & Bickel Mighty is one of our favorite vaporizers overall, and the cooling unit up top plays a big role. It may not look like much, but the series of fins packed inside lets you take big, hefty rips off the Mighty without worrying about coughing or sputtering. It’s also extremely easy to use, which makes it a great vape for sharing with friends.
Our pickStorz & Bickel Mighty – Big vape = big clouds
When it comes to clouds, there are few portable vaporizers that can compete with the Mighty’s prowess. Even though it doesn’t have the largest oven, its powerful, well tuned heater produces thick, luscious hits at any draw speed. Plus, it’s sizable cooling unit means you can hit it hard, and at high temperatures, without having to worry about coughing.
And of course, when you need it to, the Mighty is a great vape for passing around or taking on a long weekend. Everyone will appreciate the ease of use, and of course, its potent effects, even at lower temperatures. When you need it to, the on-board digital controls let you bump up the heat to get the party going.
Runner-upPuffco Plus – Sleek and Easy
While the Sai has options to serve up any style, the Puffco Plus has one – tasty! The ceramic bucket preserves flavor, and the precision heat keeps things under control. The Plus is low-profile and stylish, with a pen shaped body that’s slimmer than the EZSai, and a fingerprint-resistant metal-alloy shell with a classy feel. You’ll love unique features, such as the built-in loading tool. Never carry around a sticky dab tool again!
Best concentrate vaporizer
Nothing is better for strong, inconspicuous hits than a good concentrate vape, and the taste can be amazing if you grab a quality product. The big question is whether or not you want a strong, dab-like hit, or something gentler that can also vaporize dry herbs. Dual-use vapes don’t come close to the intensity of a dab, so keep your expectations in check if you go the dual-use route.