• Stephen C.

Choosing a Portable Dry Herb Vaporizer: NZ

Updated: Jun 5

The vaporizer industry has been steadily improving since it hit the scene in the 2000s. As batteries, heating elements and production facilities have improved we have had access to stronger, portable and harder-hitting vaporizers than ever before. That being said it is now 2020 and the sheer range and number of vaporizers on the market has become completely daunting.

If you’re here you probably already know what a dry herb vaporizer is but I just want to state again that a dry herb vape (I call them herbalisers) are completely different from e-cigs and as such don’t carry the same risks as vaping an e-liquid. A herbaliser is a little oven which gently heats your herb of choice to the point it releases the active oils and compounds but before the plant material starts to burn.

Within herbalisers, there are a few different camps conduction, convection and hybrid types. With the different brands offering differing build quality, battery life, features, power output, prices and general design features.

There isn’t one overall winner in all categories but there are some specifications I would recommend anyone keep in mind when choosing a portable herbaliser:

Temperature control

Each herb has a different temperature its optimal to vape at, even within that you may want to fine-tune which temperature you want to use for certain herbs - I would suggest getting a device degree by degree control or a device with 10-degree increments at a minimum.

Heatup time

This one is a function of its heating type and general quality, either conduction or convection is fine (though convection type is generally prefered). Some devices have a heat-up time which indicates how long it takes to get up to temperature

Mouthpiece/build components

This one is super important for flavour. A ceramic or stainless chamber is always prefered and a glass, ceramic or al least quality mouthpiece is essential to the flavour. Cheap plastic herbalisers really taint the flavour - I haven’t come across this often in vapes these days but keep an eye out for reviews of a ‘plastic/oily taste’.

Air Pathway

Whether or not your vaporizer has an isolated air pathway - Basically meaning it isn’t pulling air through the guts of the device, it’s only really an issue a few devices (I had a G-pen that always tasted of plastic because of this).

Vapour output

Not all heating coils are created equal and some herbalisers are able to put a lot more power into each hit, this will affect the density of the vapour, the sesh time and the flavour overall. Generally, price plays a large role in whether or not you will find a hard-hitting device.

What Type of user are you?

If you have a vaporizer with a neutral flavour, good temperature controls and decent heating capabilities you’re ready to get into choosing your herbs! The question is what is most important to you? Below I have a few recommendations for different types of users.

"I’m just getting started with herbalisers"

This user may already be smoking their herbs and looking to try a dry herb vape for health reasons or ease of use.

For them, I recommend the Airistech range - Viva or Nokiva:

  • More affordable

  • Has a very neutral flavour (unlike cheaper vaporizers)

  • Fairly low draw resistance

  • Super portable

  • Good build quality

  • $70-$140

This vaporizer is a great gateway into vaporizers, its build quality is nice, it’s reliable and makes a great workhorse. If you are a heavy user you may find it doesn’t have the heaviest vapour production out there and therefore the session-time runs up to get the same effect.

"I’m looking to upgrade but don’t want to spend too much"

This user has tried or maybe has a beginner vaporizer, maybe a g-pen or viva. They liked their old vaporizer but it’s a little outdated and lacking in oomph.

I recommend the TopBond range, Novae 2 or Odin 2:

  • Released just last year they are packed with features

  • Odin has a convection element (generally considered better than conduction)

  • Great metal case

  • Ceramic or glass mouthpiece

  • $140-$160

These are a bit of a shift from the Airistech, nice metal bodies as well as interesting features. The Novae can be programmed to ramp up the temperature over the duration of the sesh and the Odin has a reasonable convection element so either has something unique to offer.

"I need as much vapour as possible"

This user has tried other herbalisers but they just didn’t pack enough punch. This can be quite common with heavy smoking users as they don’t get the headrush or immediate effect that smoking can give them with the lower power units.

I recommend the X-Vape Fog

  • Conduction + Convection Hybrid

  • Super powerful, can be turned up to quickly charr herbs

  • Great ceramic mouthpiece and metal unibody (feels great in the hand)

  • Replaceable 18650 battery (can be swapped out for extended sessions)

  • $200

I cannot recommend this vaporizer enough if you’re ready to take the next step with your vaporizer collection or want a fully capable device that won’t break the bank this is it. It’s my go-to now and for the foreseeable feature. It’s also just so beautiful and has a water bubbler mouthpiece option I would also recommend.

"I want the best"

Money isn’t an issue, what is the best vaporizer I can get right now. Full vapour, flavour, the lot.

I recommend the Mighty

  • Full Convection

  • 2x lithium batteries for reasonable battery life

  • Vibration alarm

  • Good taste

  • $600

Yes, the most expensive is the best, not the most portable or discreet but for sheer effect and stopping power the mighty has to take the cake. Made in Germany and very well thought out this is the herbaliser for the top of the line user.

"I want to be discreet"

For someone who wants to vaporize on the go but doesn’t want to be obvious. Vapour production can take a backseat for a smaller size and ease of use.

I recommend the Fyhit Eco

  • Slim profile resembling an e-cig

  • Full aluminium body

  • Low visible vapour

  • Good battery life

  • $70

The Fyhit Eco is something of an underdog on this list, one the cheapest but still with great build quality and usability. What it lacks in power it makes up for in stealth, easily fitting in a pocket and indiscernible it’s easy to get it wherever you want it to go.

That's about all the vaporizers I have tried personally but there are a lot more out there, reviews tend to be quite indicative of the quality but in this post, I have tried to be as upfront on each product as I can.

If you want to get one of these vaporizers or get more information you can find many of them on our store page https://www.eherbalist.co.nz/vaporizers. Thanks for reading and happy herbalising :)



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