Best Portable Vaporizers
In 2018 the portable dry herb vaporizer market exploded with new products launching constantly; 2019 seems to be more of the same. As a tech geek like many of my readers, I suffer from shiny object syndrome. I’m compelled to upgrade or buy every shiny new portable vaporizer that hits the market. I have the same problem with phones, but I won’t get started about that.
Since I was buying so many vaporizers both desktop and portable, I decided to start reviewing them and sharing them. I know most people aren’t buying several portable vaporizers like I am, so my goal is to help consumers get the right one the first time. With overwhelming numbers of vaporizers on the market and more coming; my reviews will aid you in narrowing down your focus to the best vaporizer for your personal situation.
Welcome to Budsgrowguide.com, top portable dry herb vapes, an updated list of the best vaporizers.
|Category||Portable Vape||Best Price||Shop Vaporizer|
|Most Compact||Davinci IQ||$274||Read Our Review|
|Best Overall Vaporizer||Storz & Bickel Crafty||$279||Read Our Review|
|Most Discreet||Pax Labs Pax 3||$249||Read Our Review|
|Best Vapor Quality||Firefly 2||$329||Read Our Review|
|Best Battery Life||Storz & Bickel Mighty||$349||Read Our Review|
|Best Vaporizer Under $200||Arzier Solo 2||$174.99||Read Our Review|
|Best Vaporizer Under $150||Davinci Miqro||$149||Read Our Review|
|Best Dry Herb Pen||Grasshopper||$225||Read Our Review|
|Best Vaporizer Under $100||Vapium Lite||$79||Read Our Review|
Most Compact Vaporizer
Best for pocketing and concealing in your hand
Davinci is a premium vaporizer brand and the IQ is their flagship portable vaporizer. The Davinci IQ retails for $274.99 and the best way to get your hands on it fast is directly from the Davinci website.
Flavor is something I’m personally very concerned about when vaping cannabis. I like exotic strains and tasting and smelling the unique differences of each dry herb; The Davinci IQ turns out to be the best tasting portable conduction vaporizer I’ve tried to date. The reason for this great flavor is the patented ceramic zirconia heating chamber, pathway, and mouthpiece. The flavor comes through in both high and low temperatures but lasts longer on high. No other manufacturer has this feature so if you are a connoisseur of fine cannabis this unit is the one for you.
Besides the amazing flavor profiles achieved with the Davinci it also creates very good vapor density which I know all of you love, I mean how satisfying is it to exhale a massive cloud after a hit?
The build quality of the IQ is outstanding due to the use of high-quality materials like anodized aluminum. The unit comes standard with a replaceable battery and an unheard of 10-year warranty. You can’t go wrong investing in a Davinci product for the warranty alone, it guarantees your vaporizer will be functioning for at least 10 years, talk about getting your money worth.
Davinci IQ APP
The engineers at Davinci enabled the IQ to connect to your smartphone to open up even more options and control. Using the APP, you can select “smart paths” precision mode, and dim the lights. It’s important to note that the only way to customize a “smart path” is through the APP. You can change the temperature, session length and share your custom paths with friends.
I found the App very easy to use and is connected to the IQ without any issues at all.
Davinci Vaporizer Pros and Cons:
The people at Davinci patented a feature called “smart paths” for IQ. Along with being able to manually select temperatures from 250F to 430F via precision mode”; the user has the ability to choose one of four “smart paths”. These options run from 350F to 430F in 20-degree increments and each path is active for 10 minutes.
If you were to select “smart path 1” the IQ would heat up to 350 Degrees in less than 45 seconds and then the temperature will increase slowly over the first five minutes. This gradual heating maximizes your session by removing more THC from your cannabis material. “smart path 1 and 2” provided the best flavor from my cannabis. I’ve already mentioned this but it’s worth bringing up again, the flavor produced by the IQ is unsurpassed.
At higher temperatures, the unit produces dense vapor, but that same high temperature will cause the flavor to dissipate quickly.
There are a couple of cons about the Davinci IQ and they are draw resistance and the hefty battery charging time. To charge an empty battery you’ll be looking at about 4 hours for a complete charge. A full charge is providing me with 60 to 70 minutes of vaping time depending on the temperature I’m using. The draw resistance is like many other portable vaporizers and it’s tight and takes an effort to get a good draw.
The charging issue can be overcome by purchasing the Nitecore i2 charging dock for about 12 bucks; this will cut the charging time down by half.
Overall the IQ has earned my respect as the best compact portable vaporizer on the market. The size is a perfect balance of discreetness and usefulness, in other words, it’s just small enough and still vaporizes your cannabis.
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|“Smart Paths” are a great feature||Heating time could be improved|
|Great vapor density|
Best Overall Portable Vaporizer
This product has the best overall performance
Storz and Bickel have produced a premium line of vaporizers for quite some time now and have ventured into the portable vaporizer market with its newest product addition The Crafty. This unit takes its genes from its big brother the Mighty Vaporizer which is the winner of our “best battery life award”.
Like the Crafty’s big brother the unit is made from high-quality materials and looks like, well nothing else on the market. Its full operation is driven by just one button on the face of the unit. All the available adjustments can be set via the Crafty APP on your smartphone. These adjustments include two temperature settings, the default and a boost option. You can, of course, control these temperatures to your preference in the app.
Crafty Pros and Cons
This vaporizer heats up in about 30 seconds via convection and conduction heating providing the user with the best of both worlds. The Crafty shines when it comes to cleaning and maintenance which can be a real drag on a portable vape. I use my Crafty daily and its withstood several years of what I would consider rough use without any issues.
In my book, the Crafty has earned the title of the best vaporizer for the overall enjoyment of use. It’s easy to load, empty and has a decent draw when you are taking a pull. I found the vapor to be smooth and cool all the way through my session. The unit is concealable in my hand being just a little taller than a Pax 3.
My main complaints about the crafty are related to the battery and charging system. The battery life on this unit is not great compared to other units, I get just 3 sessions off one charge. The unit is USB chargeable which is convenient, and the unit can be used while charging is taking place if the battery is at least 20% charged.
If you don’t have the patience to deal with battery packs and short life, I would recommend its big brother the Mighty which is triple the battery capacity. If you want true reliable portability, then you won’t mind the short battery life.
|Great vapor draw||Price|
|Holds more dry herb then other options||Must use APP to change temperatures|
|Super quality construction|
Most Discreet Portable Vaporizer
Hides in a cupped hand and is easily pocketed
The Pax 3 looks just like its predecessor but weighs 3 grams more. Somehow their engineers figured out how to pack new features into the same small-sized vaporizer. The Pax 3 is truly the best usable discreet vaporizer on the market. The unit is small, I mean hide in the palm of your hand, no ones seeing anything small.
The best new feature of the Pax 3 is the ability to upgrade the unit to handle dry herb and concentrates. I find this a big strong point because the unit cooks both options equally well.
The battery life of the Pax 3 really stands out above the rest; its 3500mAh power cell allows the unit to heat up in just 20 seconds! While running the vape at temperatures around 410F the battery lasted me around eight five-minute sessions.
The Pax system relies on the Pax 3 Vapor App which gives you complete control over the temperature settings between 360F to 420F. You can also set up custom heat profiles, change the LED color, themes, lock the device or dim the LED.
On the outside, Pax Labs upgraded the shell to brushed aluminum instead of a polished finish on the Pax 2. The casing is tough but doesn’t hold up well to scratches and fingerprints.
The concentrate insert is nice to have and covenant. It works decently but there isn’t enough heat conducted to really take advantage of concentrates fully. I’m not a big concentrate guy so the insert worked well enough for me but if you are a real concentrate fiend, I’m sure you’ll stick to your traditional dab rig or E-nail.
Pax 3 Pros and Cons
If you consider the basic requirements of a portable vaporizer, portability, durability, functionality, and ease of use the Pax 3 nails it. Pax also creates amazing accessories that improve or widen the use of your vapes like the Half-Pack feature for single user sessions or the concentrate insert. The Pax 3 comes with a 10-year warranty, so you know you’ll be getting value from your vaporizer for years to come.
My only real gripe about the Pax 3 is the draw when taking a haul. It’s a tight feeling and requires you to draw hard to get a good toke. For me that’s a big drawback, I prefer the draw on the Crafty much more.
|Small and discreet yet functional||Requires APP to make modifications|
|Can be used for concentrates||Tight draw|
|20 second heat up time|
Best Vapor Quality
Exceeds expectations in both density and potency of vapor
The Firefly 2 provides users with the option to smoke dry herb or concentrates with the same unit and without changing accessories. The heat is provided by a unique convection system that can be ready to use in just 5 seconds while providing cool flavorful draws of your favorite herb or concentrate.
The unit has 5 heat settings for use with dry herb and provides a special setting for concentrates which stokes up the heat to 500F for an amazing concentrates experience providing extremely potent draws which produce dense vapor and fantastic flavor.
The firefly owes its loose draw from the 55-hole ventilation pattern in the bottom of the bowl. These holes are significantly larger than on the original Firefly unit and greatly increase air flow.
The Firefly 2 relies on an iOS/Android application’s which connects via Bluetooth to make changes to the unit’s heat settings. All the unit’s temperature and features can be selected from within the APP. The Firefly 2 supports temperatures of 340F, 360F, 380F, 400F, 420F and 500F.
My favorite part of the Firefly 2 is that requires less cleaning maintenance than other portable vapes. You can do a lot of sessions before the unit needs cleaning and starts to lose performance. There is no screen to clean, just use alcohol to wipe down the bowl. Next, clean the vapor path and lid and you’re done in less than a minute.
The manufacturers of the Firefly have greatly improved the devices battery life and battery quality. In my testing, I’ve averaged 5 bowls with 8 draws per bowl per charge. I couldn’t test how long the batteries lasted while using the 500F concentrate setting because I got too blasted and had to quit before the battery gave out. I would imagine that you get 30% less battery life going from 440F to 500F.
Firefly 2 Pros and Cons
This portable has become my favorite for concentrates because of the 500F temperature boost. It provided flavorful potent draws that when released created pleasing dense vapor clouds. The heat up time is incredible on this unit and had you smoking in as little as 10 seconds of preheating.
The draws backs of the unit are battery life though improved is still short. I’m also not a fan of cooking dry herb with this vape, it takes some practice to get the performance you are expecting. The bowl needed to be stirred often to cook all the material.
|Amazing flavor||Requires App to update settings|
|Good vapor density||Less battery life then other units|
|Easy to clean|
Best Battery Life
Longest lasting battery and fast charging
The Mighty is my favorite portable vaporizer by far because of its amazing functionality and battery life, the unit is much bigger then its smaller brother the Crafty and that’s why it’s hard to consider this unit a portable. This bad boy is not particularly discreet because of its size but outperforms even another portable on the market hands down.
During my testing, I was able to average eight 10-15-minute sessions per battery which lasted me all day. Though the unit must be charged with an AC charger it charged the battery in 90 minutes flat.
Unlike many other portables, you have full control over the Mighty without using an APP to log into the unit. The Mighty’s large size allows for a battery life display as well as temperature display and control buttons. The temperature spectrum for the Mighty vaporizer is 105F to 410F.
I must be honest about the size of the Mighty, it’s just too big and heavy to fit in your pocket and won’t be hidden in your hand when smoking either. This bad boy is big, but there just isn’t another portable dry herb vape that comes close to its performance. This unit shines when you are a heavy smoker, like long sessions, or want to share because a session easily lasts 10 to 15 minutes.
Mighty Pros and Cons
Like I’ve already said I love this product, I think it’s one of the easiest vaporizers to use. It’s durable, reliable, tastes great and has fantastic vapor density. There is no playing around with the bowl to keep your session going, no shaking or taping; it just works. For an additional $10 you can purchase the upgraded mouthpiece which provides greater airflow and needs less cleaning.
You aren’t going to be able to walk around with this product in your jeans pocket like many of the other portable’s but if you need to stash it quickly in your pocket it will fit but it carries much better in your hoody, backpack or purse.
The requirement of a charging unit is a drag but not the end of the world because of the 90-minute charging time. If you need discreet and more charging options, then the Crafty or Pax 3 might be for you.
|Outstanding vapor density||Price|
|Great vapor draw||Large for a portable|
|Built for long sessions|
Best Portable Vaporizer Under $200
Overall performance, portability, and effectiveness for the price
Arizer makes one of my favorite reliable desktop vaporizers but has also been in the portable market for some time with the Extreme-Q, Solo and now the Solo2. Arizer hasn’t mastered the minification of their product yet as Solo 2 is one of the larger portables on the market. You can pocket it, but it would be uncomfortable to walk around with it in your pocket. I worry about having a glass mouthpiece in my pocket. Having said all that this bad boy has a lot going for it starting with battery performance.
The Solo 2 heats up in just 20 seconds and I ran it for 18 sessions before I needed to charge it, and that was on a high temperature! This unit easily operates for 3 hours on a charge. The drawback to charging is that requires a DC wall charger. You can still use the unit while charging if you don’t completely drain the battery before charging.
The digital display is a nice touch, showing you temperature and what features are in use as well as battery life and a session length timer.
Even though the Arizer Solo 2 is a portable vape I would say that it’s fantastic for moving around at, home and backyard but just too big for easily using it in public. It’s really a 210-gram piece of steel which is just too big and heavy in your pocket to be comfortable.
Arizer products that I’ve used have all been produced with a meticulous build quality and the Solo 2 is no different. The whole package is well designed and put together with a perfect fit. The case of the vape is brushed steel making the unit resistant to impact and scratches.
Where it really counts the Solo 2 vaporizer delivers an excellent user experience. This unit manages to pass on a fair amount to the cannabis terpenes and flavor through to the smoke. After heating the unit, the first two draws are still weak while the heating unit reaches full temperature but as you start drawing on the third pull, you’ll notice that the unit is producing dense vapor when you exhale.
Not only is the heating unit super fast and powerful they’ve been able to open up the draw so that the user feels as though they are getting good air movement through the device and into their lungs. No dreaded portable resistance that you may experience on other vapes.
This unit works best with medium ground material. Fine ground material did smoke better but I found that the smaller cannabis particles clogged up the unit quickly. Stick to a larger grind and you’ll need to perform maintenance less often.
To experience the best performance, brush out the screen after each use or you will find the draw resistance builds up quickly.
Arizer Solo 2 Pros and Cons
The pros well outweigh the cons of this vaporizer. This is a great all round easy to use and a very effective unit. It produces large dense vapor clouds without any playing around with the setup of the unit or how you pack in your dry herb.
The battery life is insane on the Solo 2 with the ability to do around 18 sessions on a charge.
On the Con side, the unit is too large to comfortably carry in your pants pocket and is better as an around the house vape. I really don’t like the idea of the glass mouthpiece which could easily break if dropped or hit in your pocket…. Ouch!
|Easy to use||A little too heavy to carry in your pocket|
|Great battery life||Only decent vapor draw|
|Good vapor density|
Best Portable Vaporizer Under $150
Overall performance, portability, and effectiveness for the price
Davinci vaporizers a brand known for its premium high-quality products released their newest product in 2018, the Miqro. Taking its lead from the Davinci IQ the Miqro looks very similar only 33% smaller than the original. As far as portable vapes go the Miqro is the smallest on the market that is available with usable features and accessories. The company has done a great job miniaturizing the components down to a truly discreet size. This unit easily hides in a cupped hand and will not be noticed by anyone around you.
The build quality is fantastic with its light steel construction and magnetic snap shut lids. The power plant of the unit is a 900mAh battery which is extremely small this, in turn, causes short operating times down in the 30-minute range. To battle this issue Davinci did make the battery easily replaceable and provided a second battery for convenience.
The vapor paths and heating basket are made from the same ceramic Zirconium material as the IQ which is fantastic because the Miqro also creates some fine tasting vapor. I would say when it comes to cannabis flavor the Miqro is even better than the IQ. Unfortunately, the high-quality conduction heating and vapor path and leaves the user breathless from trying to draw out of its tight airway.
This tiny vaporizer manages to contain a lot of the options that it’s big brother the IQ featured. You’ll enjoy the “4 smart path settings” which start your session off at a lower temperature and then slowly raise the temperature as your session continues. This helps to ensure you cook all the material in the bowl as well helps preserve the taste of your fine cannabis.
Davinci Miqro Pros and Cons
I like the newly usable depth adjustment peal which allows you to make the basket adjust the amount of cannabis you are using. The unit also contains a handy pick tool you can use to clean the unit which is hidden away in the underside compartment of the vape.
I find the Miqro hard to fill with material, it’s loading area is very small and you end up needing to make a paper funnel to not drop half the material. I guess that makes sense because the unit is so small. I was very disappointed in the draw you can get from the unit, it’s just way too tight for my liking. I prefer an easy draw.
|Handles big or small sessions||Tight vapor draw|
|High-quality build and materials||Hard to load dry herb|
|“Access to Smart Paths”|
Xmax Starry Vaporizer (great starter)
The Xmax Starry is the first vaporizer under $100 that I’ll be reviewing. If you are just entering the vape market and don’t want to drop a load of cash yet, then this vaporizer is for you. Even at such a low cost, the manufacturer managed to include a full spectrum temperature range suitable for dry herbs as well as a replaceable battery system.
The Starry easily tucks away in your pocket discreetly but still has an easy to read LED display that tells you the temperature you are set at and how much battery life you have left.
I found that the draw on this unit was tighter then I like but not terrible. The heating process took about 30 seconds from cold to ready to smoke. It took some playing around to get this unit to function at the performace level I expect but it did achieve it with some playing around.
Xmax provides a one-year warranty on the device for peace of mind. I know it’s only one year, but the product is under $100, that’s still a great value.
Best Dry Herb Pen
The Ulitmate in discretion
As the smallest vaporizer product currently available on the market I was pleasantly surprised that the conduction heating unit in this vape could reach the full temperature in just 10 seconds.
The Grasshopper was designed to look like an ordinary pen for the ultimate in discretion and you’ll find you can hold on to this pen vape in any pocket. Though it’s small size may be deceiving the Grasshopper is powerful enough to drive your glass bubblers and bongs. The unit is not designed for sharing and wouldn’t hold enough material to satisfy more than one person.
I recent update by Hopper Labs released a new performance front end or “PFE” for the Grasshopper which provides direct compatibility with glass bubblers while also reducing draw resistance. A great touch! This item is available separately.
The Grasshopper is available in 3 dynamic finishes classic stainless steel, titanium, and colored titanium. The unit also comes with a fantastic lifetime warranty, what a great deal on such a cheap product.
Grasshopper Pros and Cons
The Grasshopper by far is the best pen vaporizer for dry herb. Its fast heat up time via the convection system provides good vapor quality. The until also functions well with varied amounts of cannabis load.
On the downside, this unit got hot while I was testing it. I’m a heavy cannabis user so my sessions are longer and by the end of a hard session the mouthpiece was getting quite hot. The silicone mouthpiece guard makes the heat less uncomfortable. The silicone insert also creates a 14mm glass adapter.
|Great price point||Tight vapor draw|
|Very discreet||Holds a small amount of dry herb|
|Heats up fast|
Best Portable Vaporizer Under $100
Overall performance, portability, and effectiveness for the price
There are no shortages of portable vaporizers on the market but Vapium an innovative company out of Toronto, Canada has made its own space within the market. The people at Vapium have released the first quality made portable dry herb vaporizer for just $79 bucks! Even at that low price, the Lite competes with several of the $150 range products.
You won’t find any patented “vapor paths” or fancy technology built into the Lite but what you do get is 4 main heat settings and 4 half step heat settings which provide you with a wide range of vaping temperatures that suite dry herb vaping. I preferred to use the unit at full heat to get bigger hit and denser vapor; from cold to hot the heat up time was about 40 seconds which is much more time than most of the other options.
I managed to get blasted on one full bowl which I tamped down slightly so it would make good contact with the ceramic conduction basket.
The battery life on the Lite is low with the ability to complete about 6 decent sessions before the 18500 lithium mAh battery will give out. Charging is simple using a standard USB charger, a full charge taking one hour.
Link to Lite Video
Lite Pros and Cons
I’ve been disappointed by many portable vapes over the years, but this super cheap option isn’t one of them. Vapium engineered a fine product that’s easy to use, works and at a super low price point, what can I possibly complain about?
|Provides on unit controls and reporting||Heating is a little slow|
|Compact and discreet||Vapor draw is tight|
|Charges vast via USB with passthrough|
Best overall portable vaporizer – This category highlights the best portable vape in terms of ease of use, dependability, consistency, vapor density, flavor and ease of cleaning/maintenance. This is the unit I would recommend to any level of smoker if they had the budget. Spend the money once and just by the best possible vape possible. It will save you money down the road in upgrades. This is my go-to vape for just about any occasion.
Best vapor quality – Vapor density and quality is talked about often but I’m not sure anyone knows exactly what makes good quality vapor. These two terms mean the same thing; they refer to the taste, the coolness of the toke and the amount of vapor produced when you exhale a hit. The taste and amount of vapor produced by this unit would satisfy heavy smokers and would make novices whish they didn’t switch to vaping sooner.
Most Portable/Discreet – The winner of this category provides complete discretion and portability while not sacrificing all the features you expect like battery life, vapor quality and ease of use. This unit is easily pocketed or cupped in the hand and can be taken along on daily activities such as hiking, bike riding, concerts, wherever!
Best dry herb vape pen – The winner of this category provides a functional vaporizer the size and shape of the average pen. The idea behind a pen like vapes is to bring another level of discreetness to your daily dosing. The winner is quick to heat and fully vaporizes your herbs while being totally discreet.
Best battery life – This category is carried by the vaporizer that provides the longest life with the most sessions and session length available.
Best vaporizer Under $100 – The top and cheapest vaporizer available that still supports a broad range of features, build quality and usability.
Best vaporizer Under $150 – The best vaporizer available for under $200 provides the user with a middle of the road priced vaporizer that doesn’t sacrifice quality, reliability, and usability.
Best vaporizer Under $200 – The best vaporizer available for under $200 provides the user with a middle of the road priced vaporizer that doesn’t sacrifice quality, reliability, and usability.
Still can’t make a choice?
It can be overwhelming trying to buy your first vaporizer. But if you’re having trouble it’s best to ask yourself these questions:
- Where will you use your portable vaporizer?
- Will you be using your vape for large periods of time without access to charging?
- Will you use the vape alone or with multiple people?
- How discreet do you need to be? Can it be cupped and pocketed?
- Are you looking for quick hits or a will you be doing sessions with your vape?
- What is your budget
Still not sure? I’m happy to talk with you about any vaporizer and can offer my two cents into your decision. Just email me at email@example.com and I’d be happy to help you out.