For better or worse, herbal vaporizers are becoming increasingly complex. On the one hand, it's a good thing because we’re increasingly able to customize our vaping experience, and more efficiently vaporizing material than ever before.
At the same time, vaporizers run the risk of becoming too complex and too difficult to use. A ton of customization is terrific for the tinkerer, but the average cannabis consumer probably will rarely (if ever) use most of these features. In essence, these folks are paying a premium for features they have no use for.
Enter the Arizer Solo 2. It certainly isn't the most attractive vaporizer out there. Still, it’s simple design and no-nonsense operation makes it perfect for those of us just looking to get the best possible vaporizer for the lowest price without needing to read an instruction manual to do it.
Design, Portability & Ease of Use
As we said, the device itself is pretty basic. The vaporizer itself measures in at about 4.5 inches tall with the attached glass mouthpiece, and is a svelte 1.5 inches wide or so, making it quite portable. It also doesn't weigh much either: at just a half a pound, it is one of the lightest vapes we’ve tested.
Although quite small when it comes to portable vapes, Arizer still is able to include an OLED screen on the front with a circular menu pad, which is relatively easy to use and easy to get the hang of.
The filling process is super easy, and unlike many vaporizers, the Solo 2 doesn’t seem to be picky on the type of grind you need to get it to work its best. If you hold down both the inner and outer parts of the circular pad for four seconds, the unit will turn on. Pressing the upper part of the outer ring starts the heating process, which takes about 30 seconds to complete.
The upper and lower parts of that outer ring are used to control the temperature, and you can set a temperature anywhere from 122 to 428 degrees Fahrenheit, adjustable in either one or 10-degree increments.
The ceramic oven uses a combined convection/conduction method to vaporize your cannabis, and it works well, without singing or burning it. This is what you want to see out of a quality vape, and even though the Solo 2 might not be the sexiest vape on the block, it is certainly well-performing.
Vaped material was light brown in color like you’d expect from an oven that is properly vaporizing your herb, although some report that material towards the bottom of the oven was a little darker, indicating some combustion. This said it isn’t such that we think the oven might be getting too hot overall.
What’s in the Package
The Arizer Solo 2 is a dry herb only vape, so if you need a dual-use vape, look elsewhere. But it will have everything you’ll need to enjoy a solid dry herb sesh (plus a few things you might not). Here’s what the base package includes:
Vaporizer: you can choose either black or blue
“Aroma Tubes:” Arizer supplies two of these, which are glass mouthpiece stems, in 90mm and 110mm sizes
Aroma Dish: This dish can be placed on top of the vaporizer to use it as an aromatherapy device (thus why the Solo 2 has such a wide temperature range). Arizer includes sample lavender botanicals with the device.
Belt clip carry case
4 stainless steel screens
2 silicone stem caps
Stainless steel stirring tool
We’re willing to bet that most people won’t end up using the aroma dish, but it is a nice added feature if you’re into that.
Vapor Quality and Performance
The Solo 2 does not have a removable battery, as it is built into the device itself. Arizer claims about three hours of battery life: from what we’ve been able to gather from testing and user reports, those claims are about right. However, we do prefer removable batteries, since its more straightforward to swap out batteries than wait for it to recharge.
The longer mouthpiece of the Solo 2 makes the vapor much cooler than most other vaporizers. On the vapor production itself: while the draw resistance is a little much, we’ve found the vapor production to be on the higher side of most vaporizers out there.
This means you’ll probably need to take some time and some trial and error to get it just right. Slow, long draws are key. We’ve also noticed that if you’re not careful, the glass mouthpiece stems can get clogged easily since there are only four air holes. This is easily remedied though by regular cleaning, which you should be doing regardless.
Another potential downside for heavier cannabis users is the small oven size, which comes in at just .15 grams. This is smaller than a lot of competing vapes, but still good enough for a single person session with anywhere from 5-10 good draws before your herb is spent.
None of these issues are deal-breakers, however, just something to keep in mind if you’re considering the Solo 2.
The Bottom Line
The Arizer Solo 2 isn’t in the market to wow you in style or crazy features. However, for a vape on the lower end of most midrange cannabis vaporizers out there, it does the job well. Vapor production is its standout feature, even if its smaller oven means it’s better for single person rather than multi-person use.
While it isn't perfect, it certainly isn't a slouch, either. I'd score this a seven out of ten, bolstered by its superb vapor production and ease of use, making it a great beginner vape for a very competitive price. However, more experienced cannabis connoisseurs might be better served by a more feature-rich device.