If you’re anything like me you are probably excited and overwhelmed with the options and jargon when choosing a portable weed vaporizer.
To make your journey smoother I’ve dug through countless forums, blogs and websites and summarised the key points that you need to consider.
I’m going to share it all with you today here so you can make an informed decision. This guide takes you through some of the main considerations and link to the best products on the market.
Note that the references to weed in this post are for people who use medicinal marijuana or legal herbs. I don’t condone, suggest or promote the use of any illegal substances.
The first step when making a decision about which weed vaporizer to choose is really getting down to the nitty gritty about what you really need. When you have a clear picture of what you want then you can start eliminating products that don’t meet this. Hopefully by the end you should be then down to a list of 2 or 3 which you can decide from.
You may be tempted to try and get a portable vaporizer that will be your home and away option. I would recommend against this as you inevitably compromise and get a device that isn’t a fit for purpose.
I don’t sell products directly but I use affiliate links so if I help you make the decision and you purchase the product through one of those links I receive a reward for helping you. It isn’t essential but I certainly appreciate it if you do.
Pros & Cons Of Portable Vaporizers
You are here reading this because you have decided that portability is important or convenient.
It is worth noting that in your decision quality should also be at the top of the list. Be cautious of buying a cheap imitation portable weed vaporizer as it can result in poor taste, inefficient use of your weed and are made with poor quality parts. Poor quality vapes clog up and leak more easily. They are also harder to clean as they don’t use metal and ceramic.
You would also expect that support to be little to none. Many of the more mainstream providers pride themselves on the quality of their support & service so you get peace of mind that they will look after you when something goes wrong.
If you are on a budget as they generally cost a lot less than the desktop varieties
A good option if you are a light user
Some are extremely easy to conceal
Portable units aren’t able to deliver the same size hits that you can get from a powered model
Battery life isn’t unlimited so when you need it might not be usable
Portable vaporizers will need to have their batteries replaced eventually
They aren’t as well suited to parties or more than 2 people using them
If you are using a lot at home then you may want to consider a plugged in version
Concentrates are a popular alternative to buds or flowers. Hash and hash oil are more well-known but are joined by wax and shatter(hardened oil). These have a higher concentration with less plant material, resulting in a cleaner healthier vapor. They can be consumed in smaller amounts for the same effect or for people with a high tolerance they can have a greater impact.
Processing these concentrates incorrectly can leave chemical contaminates like butane. If they are made properly and correctly contaminants can be cleansed from concentrates. Ice water hash and CO2 extracts are good examples.
Have you considered if you would like or will be vaporizing flowers or wax/oil with your vaporizer? It is worth thinking about as not all the vaporizers are designed to work with the various forms of weed.
Concentrates are best consumed by heating rather than combustion(direct flame) so they are a good match for portable weed vaporizers. They are also more discreet as they don’t produce as much vapor and the residue doesn’t reek as much.
There is a lot of talk on the net that you can get vaporizers that don’t smell. Sometimes people are asking to purchase a vaporizer that has no smell. Other times people are saying that their vaporizer emitted no smell.
It isn’t true.
All vaporizers are going to smell to a certain degree, some more than others but it isn’t possible to vaporize medical weed and not have some smell. Compared to combusting however it is far less, which is why some people probably feel that there is none.
To reduce the smell you can try some of the following:
Vaporizing – Vaporizing has less smell and less lingering time compared to combustion
Do it outside – Do it in a well ventilated area where the smell doesn’t get a chance to linger
Use a spoof – A sploof is a filter that you can blow into to reduce the smell. There are homemade options or you can purchase
Keep it clean – Keep your vaporizer as clean as possible
Keep it in an airtight container
Use concentrates – They produce less vapor and leave no residue behind
Being stealthy means different things to different people. I tend to think of it being where all people see is you putting to your hand to your mouth, no vapor comes out of your mouth and there is no smell. If you are taking looooong drags, you have to stir or you are pulling on something that looks like a crack pipe then you probably aren’t being stealthy!
Heat-on-demand is where the device heats only when you inhale. They are preferred over constant-heat devices when you need to be discreet as they don’t need time to heat up. Constant-heat devices will smell while they are heating up.
If discretion is important then you should consider using concentrates and for bonus points use a concentrate only device like an oil pen. Concentrates produce less vapor and leave no residue which smell when the device is not in use. Also, devices that can handle flowers need more room so they end up being bigger. They also will have more residue on them so will smell more when not in use.
Newbie Alert – Concentrates, Vape Pens & Top Shelf Strains
If you have never used weed before then you probably shouldn’t be starting out using concentrates. That will pretty much rule out vape pens since concentrate use is the only thing they’re good for, generally.
Concentrates and top shelf strains can be too strong and with a bad first experience you might never want to try it again.
Convection or Conduction
Vaporizers can use either convection or conduction as a method of heating. Both methods will get your to your destination but they take a different route.
Conduction heating is where the heating element and the materials are in direct contact. The process produces enough heat to vaporise the herbs and can be the most effective in the amount of vapor it produces. The main drawback is that the combustion rate is a lot higher than that of convection vaporizers. Pen and portable weed vaporizers typically have conduction heating.
Convection heating is where a fan blows air into the heating element which is then exposed to the material. This is the most effective method of vaporization. This method is preferred for the purity of the vapor produced. Unlike conduction heating methods, convection heating generally doesn’t require you to stir the materials during vaporization. The product of convection heating devices takes more technology, time and materials to product quality vaporizers. Desktop vaporizers that plug into an outlet are typically the most common vaporizers that use convection heating.
Cleaning & Maintenance
How you should clean your vaporizer depends on what you are vaporizing and also what the parts of you device. Atmos Raw for example come is three parts: the battery, ceramic heating chamber and mouthpiece. Without the oil attachment, you can use the Atmos Raw with any kind of ground herbs you like.
Cleaning a portable weed vaporizer that has been vaporizing dry weed is simple & easy. Unscrew the heating chamber and tap out the contents into the bin. Using a cleaning brush(which usually comes with the product), remove dry particles from the chamber and the screen. Never use water to clean these parts, only cotton cloth. You can clean the mouthpiece with running water.
Vaporizers that have been vaporizing wax and oil are the hardest to clean as the concentrates leave behind a sticky residue. To clean, open the chamber and separate the mouthpiece. Then using a Q-tip, dab tool or a cotton bud dipped in isopropyl alcohol, rub the rim and the inner lining of the chamber and mouthpiece. A dark residue should build on the Q-tip or cotton but. Continue until no residue is visible and it is clean.
To make the cleaning process quick and easy, make sure the vaporizer is warm as higher temperatures help to loosen the residue easily from the vaporizer. Avoid using water or too much of the alcohol as excess liquid can seep into the circuitry of the portable weed vaporizer.
Batteries & Charging
The portability of these devices means that they need to be powered in some way. Like the smart phones some models have replaceable batteries while others do not. If you are using your device regularly for an extended period then it’s likely at some point you are going to see a degradation of the life of the battery. When you reach this stage you will become much more interested in how easy and cost-effective it is to replace the batteries.
It is worth reviewing the battery replacement policy before purchasing.
There is a lot of talk about the portability of weed vaporizers. The biggest “con” for these devices is limited battery life when away from power outlets. The solution to this problem is portable battery packs. They allow you to charge your device while away from power outlets.
Thank you for reading, I really do appreciate that you have take the time to read my article. I’m not an expert but I hope that I have been able to clear the vapor on some of the aspects that you should consider when purchasing a portable weed vaporizer.
Have I missed anything? If you have questions or still aren’t sure please fire away in the comments below.