Atomic 9 Vaporizer: Finally, a Portable Vaporizer That Works
Since 2017 I’ve been reviewing portable vaporizers steadily as they come to market, and in that time, have mostly been disappointed. The functionality of pretty much all of the devices fall short from my experience; portable vapes seem to fall into one of five categories:
- The vaporizer functions but is too big to be considered portable
- The vaporizer lacks battery performance which leads to constant charging which can take hours
- The vaporizer is entirely inefficient and produces almost no vapor
- The vaporizer hardly works and is nearly impossible to clean
- Hard to load and empty, especially in low light conditions
Solving Age-Old Portable Vape Problems
Cloudious9 seems to have gone back to the drawing board and redefined how a portable vaporizer should perform. The Atomic9 portable vaporizer is next level because it doesn’t fall into any of the disappointing categories I listed above while doing so for a fraction of the price of other portable vapes.
Before getting into my review, I want to take a second to explain the criteria that I use to review all portable vaporizers. These are essential functions that any good vaporizer will have in common and are also the most common pain points for users.
- The units ability to vaporize herb into a dense flavourful vapor
- Is the vapor cool?
- Can you control the temperature effectively?
- How long to heat up?
- Vaporizing efficiency
- How loose is the units draw?
- How easy is the unit to load and empty?
- How many uses per charge?
- Is maintenance easy and fast?
- Charging time?
- Can you vape while charging?
- How portable is the vaporizer unit?
- Construction materials and build quality
- User interface
- Cost of vaporizer
This Product Is Easy to Use and Performs
My impression of the Atomic9 after the first test session was disbelief. I’ve tested the Mighty, Arizer Solo 2, Firefly 2, Ghost MV1, Davinci IQ, Miqro, Pax 2 and 3, Xmax Starry, Boundless CF, Vapium and Grasshopper; not one of those vaporizers produced quality vapor on the first test. How could this compact vaporizer that costs less than $70 bucks produce beautiful clouds new out of the box without charging, reading the manual, and playing around with settings? The Atomic 9 vaporizer accomplished that right out of the box without investing any time, watching any videos, or doing any in-depth reading, its totally impressive.
A Different Portable Vaporizer
Each of the portable vaporizers I’ve mentioned didn’t perform well in at least 4 or 5 of my testing criteria but not the Atomic9; this is the little vaporizer that could. How have the developers been able to build a superior product for less money? The smarty-pants engineers at Cloudious9 developed a new patented heating technology that uses both conduction and convection heating at the same time. Using these heating systems together allows the crucible, which contains your ground herb, to be heated evenly without the need for stirring. This dual-layer heating technology produces high-quality vapor, with excellent flavor transfer while using less battery energy.
Produces Cool Clean Vapor in A Truly Portable Product
The unit produces cool vapor with no harshness even though the heating chamber and heating path are less than an inch long. Cloudious9 designed a special cooling chamber that uses unique materials that dissipate heat from the vapor very quickly.
Taking A Hit Should Be Smooth and Easy
The unit overall is under four inches tall and weighs just a couple ounces. This is a real portable vaporizer that you can palm and pocket without a second thought, unlike most “portables.” You will also notice immediately as you begin your toke that the Atomic 9 has a good draw for such a small portable unit. You won’t feel like you need to suck hard to get a decent draw, nor will you need to continue inhaling for an extended period to get a complete haul. With many of the other portables I’ve tested, I tend to feel almost breathless by the time I get a full, satisfying draw.
Long-Lasting Battery and Pass-through Charging
The next feature of the Atomic that I love is that I can get about ten sessions on a full battery charge, which is somewhat better than the average for most portables. Charging the battery from drained takes about two hours using a standard USB charger and cord. A fantastic power management feature of the Atomic 9 is its ability to operate while charging; there is nothing more annoying than not being able to use your vape while it’s plugged in.
The controls and information display on this vaporizer are straightforward with just one button and two light-up display areas that provide the information and control you need for a perfect vaping session. To power the unit on or off, press the button three times. The LED that reads Cloudious9 on the front of the vape will begin to glow red and dim on and off until the unit has reached operating temperature when the LED reading Cloudious9 glows green. You’re ready for your first hit!
To adjust the temperature to one of the Atomics 6 predefined heat settings, just press and hold the button for three seconds. The temperature setting indicator will light up the selected temperature setting. To increase or decrease the temperature, press the button a single time for each level; once you are satisfied, the unit will start to heat up to the new temperature setting.
This vaporizer produces good quality vapor clouds on all temperature settings, which is astonishing. At the highest temperature setting, I did find the vapor to taste slightly burnt.
Slower Than Average Heat Up Time
The only weak point of this unit is the heat up time from cold. To heat up to a middle-temperature setting takes the Atomic 9 about 30 seconds. Not the fastest heating time for sure, but I’d rather wait 30 seconds to have a great vape experience than 10 seconds for an adequate session. I believe that this slower heating time saves battery life and allows for more uses per charge, which is a fair compromise from a usability perspective.
Easy to Use Vaporizer That Works!
Once the Cloudious9 LED light glows green, you are ready to take a hit. You’ll be able to continue taking hits from the vape continuously for the entire two-minute session cycle without any heat deviation or loss of vapor density. If the unit completes the session cycle and you want to continue vaping, press the button three times to turn the unit back on. The temperature won’t have dropped if you continue your session, so there isn’t any heating time the second go around.
I get two or three two-minute sessions per fill, and the crucible only holds about a quarter gram pressed in slightly. This vape is exceptionally efficient at vaporizing herb. After three sessions, the cooked cannabis from the crucible is very brown looking and dry but not burnt. The Atomic 9 never actually combusts that plant material but only extracts the water content, THC, and CBD from the plant matter.
Replacing the Cannabis Load Is Easy
To access the crucible to replenish your ground cannabis material flip up the top lid of the anodized aluminum body. You will feel slight resistance when you open the lid because of its clever magnetic closing feature, which creates a good seal every time you close the unit. This feature is found on most of the more expensive portable vaporizers, and so it was fantastic to find it on such a low-cost product.
Access to the crucible is easy with the lid opened. You’ll want to keep a pointy tool or a pin around to loosen the cooked material when emptying. You won’t be able to tap the unit on a hard surface to loosen the finished material to release it. A built-in poking tool like the tool housed in the body of the Davinci Miqro would be an improvement to the design. I would even be willing to pay extra for the unit for that feature.
Super Cool Feature Makes Refilling Fast and Easy
Loading the Atomic 9 has been made especially easy with the patented retractable scoop, which extends and contracts using a slider button on the side of the unit. With the scoop extended, you can easily scoop ground cannabis or use the available Tectonic9 grinder to funnel your ground cannabis into the crucible without making a mess and dropping material all over the place. This feature is a simple idea, but no other portable vaporizer has a system that helps you quickly load.
Fast and Easy Maintenance
The Atomic9 is unique in how easy it is to maintain the vapor path. One of the larger pain-points that turns many users off portable herb vaporizers is the amount of cleaning it takes to keep a smooth draw and how difficult it is to perform the cleaning. I’ve found it challenging to commit to using a portable vape because of the amount of cleaning that is required. Cloudious9 has solved this issue in a big way.
As you use your portable to vape, resin from the cannabis starts to build up over the surfaces of the vapor path, causing the draw to become tight or completely blocked up. In other portable vaporizers, it means using several tools and disassembling many parts to be able to access and clean the sticky resin from the surfaces.
Easy Cleaning System
The Atomic9 is a whole lot of easy when it comes to cleaning. First, open the lid and remove any cooked material from the crucible. Next, use a pin to poke any remaining material through the holes in the bottom of the crucible basket. I like to use a cotton swab with some alcohol to wipe down the crucible to keep the taste clean.
With the mouthpiece flipped open, you will see a white round part attached to the underside of the mouthpiece. Just screw this part-out with your fingers to remove it from the top. Once you have the cooling chamber in your fingers, you can unscrew the front and back covers. A quick alcohol swab of the surfaces, and you can put these parts back together and insert the chamber back into the lid.
Next, pry open the small LED that reads “Cloudious9” on the front of the vaporizer. This part will come loose from the body so it can be removed. Generally, I wipe it on both sides with a cotton swab and insert the piece back into the device.
That’s it. In less than two minutes, I’ve got a clean unit that draws like its brand new again. If you can’ t commit to this minor cleaning regime, then portables aren’t for you because it doesn’t get easier than this.
Built to Last and Perform
The overall construction of the Atomic 9 is also surprising for the price point. The solid Aluminum body provides lightweight protection for the unit, so it’s safe to jam it in your pocket without needing to worry about breaking it. The hinged magnetic mouthpiece is a nice touch that makes it easy to access the crucible. I like the simple use of lights to display information and the control button, which is easy to press and provides a slight click as feedback when you press it.
Conclusions About the Atomic 9 Vaporizer
What is truly amazing is that for less than $70 bucks, you can have a very usable, maintainable, long-lasting, and easy to fill portable vape built with high-quality materials that function’s as you are expecting it too. No practicing, no playing around, the Atomic 9 vaporizer just works, simply, easily, fantastically.
I haven’t been impressed with any portable vaporizers other than the Crafty, which can’t be considered portable when compared to the Atomic9. Since testing this vaporizer, I’ve been so impressed with the performance that I packed away my desktop vaporizer and purchased a second Atomic 9. I now have a traveler and a home portable vaporizer. I would never have thought that a portable vaporizer could replace my trusty desktop, but it’s happened.
Based on my standard review criteria the Atomic9 is the king of portable vaporizers. There isn’t a competitor for the Atomic9 that I know of. Based on performance and price this vaporizer just can’t be beaten.