Posted by Vaporizer Chief on January 01, 2017
Welcome to Vaporizer Chief's guide to the top convection vaporizers available in 2017. Today, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the top convection vaporizers that can be purchased across just about every budget. Before we get down to business, though, let’s talk a little bit about convection itself. Convection vaporizers work by heating up an element, chamber, or air path in order to pass hot air across the herbs, heating them as you hit. This heating method is touted for its superior efficiency, vapor production, flavor profile, and generally lower draw resistance. Convection vaporizers can have somewhat high heat up times and use more energy than conduction units; for these reasons, there are relatively few convection portables. However, the entirety of the desktop vape world is entirely dominated by convection units. Given the high power of convection units, they do tend to reach for a higher price point than conduction units.
Arizer Solo & Arizer Air: For the sake of this article, these two can be grouped together. The Solo and Air are hybrid conduction and convection portable vaporizers made by Arizer. Aside from form factor, price, and batteries, they work almost identically. They are by no means the best convection vaporizers, but they are the cheapest portable, electronic convection units, and they work phenomenally. The Arizer Solo is the cheapest way to have convection vapor on the go.
Arizer Extreme Q: Dropping in at just under $200 is this legendary jack-of-all-trades. The Arizer Extreme Q is absolutely chock-full of features: three fan settings, a remote control, adjustable temperature settings in both Fahrenheit and Celsius, a glass vapor path, bag function, whip function, and the capability to be modded. The generous number of features in the Extreme Q can really help a beginner vape user find out what they really want and like.
The incredibly versatility of this unit does come at a cost, however. Among convection units, the Extreme Q is certainly less efficient than a considerable portion of the competition. On the stock unit, there is a good amount left to be desired in terms of airflow, evenness of vaping, and especially bag functionality. Depending on fan settings, the bags take between 2.5 and 5.5 minutes to fill up, which is undoubtedly a bit too long for relatively small bags. Furthermore, the bags could have much denser vapor and could definitely use a valve - as is, whomever is holding the bag has to keep their finger over the hole. Mods can fix these problems, but those mods are a further investment of time and money over the original purchase.
A huge plus with the Arizer Extreme Q is that it has one seriously whimsical and enjoyable function: fan-assisted water pipe hits. Using a glass adapter, the Extreme Q’s whip can attach right into a water pipe. As or before you begin to draw on the water pipe, simply turn the Extreme Q’s fan on at whatever speed you prefer (I personally prefer 2). This allows you to take monstrously massive, cloudy hits of water-cooled vapor using a low amount of effort.
Da Buddha Vaporizer by 7th Floor: At $170, the Da Buddha should need no introduction. It has been a household staple for vaporizer enthusiasts for years, especially for those on a budget. In many ways, the Da Buddha is the polar opposite of the Extreme Q. It is incredibly straightforward, with a single rotary dial for heat control being the only setting on the entire device. A ceramic heating unit sends heat up through a wide, glass vapor path and out through the front, allowing for use with whips or any piece of glass.
What makes such a simple unit so special? The simplicity itself does the job, actually. With few features and a straightforward design, the Da Buddha does its job with good efficiency, vapor quality higher than the Extreme Q, great durability, and time-tested consistency. This makes a great choice for your first desktop vape, but its durability and carrying case also make it a viable choice as a secondary vape for travel and social events.
The $200-300 price point is a little bit strange. There are a lot of good choices, but few that are truly impressive. For the most part, the main difference between the under $200 tier and this one is the existence of products that feel a little bit more luxurious.
The Silver Surfer Vaporizer by 7th Floor is the Da Buddha’s older, sexier brother which sits at a $270 price point. The design of this unit’s heater, vapor path, and base are almost identical to the Da Buddha. The most dramatic difference between the units is that the Silver Surfer is slanted at about a 45 degree angle, making the herb chamber a bit more convenient and nearly spill-proof. Beyond that, you do receive a higher quality glass wand and whip with the Silver Surfer than what is packaged with the Da Buddha. The little rotary dial is also upgraded to a unique, hand-blown glass dial.
Overall, these changes do not make for a tangible increase in quality of actual vapor in comparison to the Da Buddha. Instead, they make the unit a touch more personal and convenient and dramatically more luxurious.
The Plenty by Storz & Bickel is a unique, handheld whip vape by the legendary manufacturers of the Volcano for just under $300. As its name suggests, the Plenty sure does hold plenty - it has one of the biggest bowls of any vaporizer. It fits well in the hand, is easy to pass, and has a brilliantly designed vapor path that delivers cool, never harsh vapor as soon as you hit it. The Plenty is luxurious, simple, and amazing for parties.
The down side of the Plenty is twofold. First of all, the Plenty is absolutely an herb-hog. It is one of the least efficient convection vaporizers available. Secondly, it sits at a very premium price point, but does not entirely eclipse its cheaper competition.
$200-300 Champion: The Plenty may be the most convenient desktop vape under $300 as well as the best for groups, but its efficiency is quite poor and it is not easy to hook up to water pipes. The stunningly luxurious look and feel of the Silver Surfer as well as its seamless use with both whips and water pipes put it on top.
Any vaporizer in the $300+ range ought to be a supremely effective and luxurious device. The greatest vaporizers in this enthusiast price range are all incredible, but more importantly, they each provide a unique experience. This next vaporizer needs no introduction.
The Volcano by Storz & Bickel is the most well-known, iconic vaporizer of all time. Starting at $480, this classical piece remains a titan even sixteen years after its initial release. The Volcano is the original bag vape, and is a unit truly without flaws. The Volcano is the most reliable unit of all time. There is virtually no risk of getting even one subpar bag of vapor, just as there is virtually no risk that any part of the Volcano might break.
Other than this unmatched consistency and durability as well as being proven by time, what else really sets the Volcano apart from other bag vapes? It has an impressively accurate temperature range between 133°C/266°F and 226°C/439°F. This perfectly covers close to the entire spectrum of temperatures at which you can successfully vaporize dry herbs. The vapor itself is thick, milky, potent, and smooth. Most importantly, the Volcano can fill an entire bag in under a minute(after three to five minute warm up time). This makes the Volcano an insane party machine. In just five minutes, you can have five milky bags of vapor passing between all of your guests.
The major benefit of the Volcano is that it really gives the user absolute freedom. It is low maintenance both in and out of use. Once a bag is filled, you can do absolutely whatever you want. The Volcano is on top when it comes to ease of use, durability, and entertaining groups.
The Herbalizer is a relatively new product which currently sits at $599. It is a true monster among vapes. Like the Extreme Q, the Herbalizer is incredibly feature-heavy, allowing modes for balloons, whips, and aromatherapy. The aromatherapy mode simply fills the room with warm vapor of any essential oil of your choosing, a feature that can actually really make a session that much more luxurious and relaxing.
First, let’s talk about the bags. The Herbalizer’s warm up time is only ten seconds. Following those ten short seconds, the Herbalizer can fill a one-liter bag of vapor in only twenty seconds. Compared to the three to five minutes a Volcano takes to warm up and the minute or so it takes to fill a bag, the Herbalizer is just mind-blowing. Even the temperature range on the Herbalizer is larger, going all the way up to 445°F or 229°C. How is the vapor, though? Divine, actually. Truly divine. It imparts a bit deeper of a flavor than the Volcano can, a difference that only becomes larger at higher temperatures where the Volcano simply pales in comparison.
What about the whip function? Well, the Herbalizer is just the best whip vape around. There is no doubt about it. The vapor comes out smooth, cool, delicious, and oh-so-potent. It shows no weakness at all in any temperature point. The Herbalizer is truly godlike in every quality, including efficiency.
The only complaints I have about the Herbalizer are fairly small. To begin with, the lid basically just seems like a plastic eggshell; for $600, a luxury vaporizer should look a little bit more luxurious and sturdy. Furthermore, the fact that it does not come with a water pipe adapter kit is pretty disappointing. For $600, the Herbalizer ought to come with everything you could possibly want right out of the box.
The VapeXhale Cloud Evo is a great example of a device that comes with everything you could want out of the box for $450. At $350, the Cloud Evo is available alone, but being a glass-based vaporizer, it feels almost mandatory to spend
$450 to get it with a HydraTube. The Cloud Evo itself boasts an all-glass air path which connects itself to a HydraTube, glass mouthpiece, or any water pipe you have. This design allows for vapor that actually stands on-par with the Herbalizer.
The style of the Cloud Evo is much different than the Volcano or the Herbalizer. While it is good for small to medium sized groups, the Cloud Evo is a much more personal vape. The handheld form factor as well as the stunning quality of HydraTubes make the Cloud Evo a much more personalized experience. It also makes a perfect choice for a glass-collector looking to switch from combustion to vaping. The intensity of the Cloud Evo’s hits combined with the ability to continue using an old glass collection can make anyone forget about combustion altogether for as low as $350.
In order to make an unbiased verdict, we will compare the categories each vape excels in. The unit with more victories takes it all.
The Volcano wins:
The Cloud Evo wins:
The Herbalizer wins:
In the end, the Herbalizer comes out top with a price point to match. You absolutely get what you pay for with the Herbalizer, and it is impossible to ignore the truly connoisseur-tier quality of this luxury unit. It may not be quite as durable and party-friendly as the Volcano nor as personal and simple to use with glass as the Cloud Evo, but the Herbalizer is simply the best convection unit currently available.