Arguably the most and sought-after famous portable vaporizer on the market, the Storz & Bickel Crafty, changed the vaporizer game forever when it was released to the market back in 2014.
My first encounter with this vaping powerhouse was at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam in December 2014.
I’d just tried the Volcano Digit for the first time at Amnesia Coffeeshop, where I was lucky enough to sample their winning cut of cookies kush, when the budtender whipped out this little walkie-talkie looking thing that he’d just picked up at The Cup.
We broke up some Acapulco Gold and shared a chamber over a coffee outside in the cold. Our budtender, let’s call him Sean in case he still works there, saw my ‘visibly-taken-aback’ expression and let out a shrill laugh.
“It’s that good right?’ he uttered, and I couldn’t help but nod in agreement. What I had just experienced was the density of a joint, with the cool deliverance of a bong hit, but a taste like a huge dab. Straight terps.
What I had just experienced was the absolute future of the portable vaping industry. A device the combined amazing vapor output with next-level user friendliness and total portability! Certainly a game changer.
Quick note here so not as to offend some of our Arizer Tech fans. I love the Solo, I think the Arizer Solo is up there with the Crafty as one of the greatest portable vapes of all time, but it has a 4-inch glass tube sticking out the end. To me, it’s an at-home model.
The Storz & Bickel Crafty, pictured left to it’s bigger brother the Storz & Bickel Mighty, is still one of our top-sellers to this day.
Since 2014, virtually dozens of similar devices have hit the market, which I have since coined ‘sidewinder vapes,’ due to the way their mouthpiece swings out.
We’ve compiled a list of eight similar devices that all offer slight variances and that have all been designed in the similar ‘sidewinder’ style. Check it out!
One of my favorite vapes to draw inspiration from the Storz & Bickel Crafty is the beautifully crafted X Vape FOG Full-Convection Vape.
This portable is constructed from aluminum alloy and features a black zirconia mouthpiece that offers a flavor that’s actually superior to the Crafty, in my opinion.
While the flavor may be a little better, you sacrifice on full-spectrum digital temp control and airflow, as the X Vape FOG is definitely lacking that superb draw that the Crafty has.
The FOG is an analog vape that is equipped with five precision temperature modes that are perfect for vaporizing any grade of herb.
With its medium-size stainless steel baking chamber and aforementioned zirconia mouthpiece, the X Vape FOG has been designed with the flavor connoisseur in mind.
Did I mention a 5-second heat-up time? That’s right. Five seconds!! The FOG is ten times quicker at heating up than the Crafty, but the vapor delivered on that first FOG hit is definitely not as dense.
All in all the X Vape FOG is an amazing device that’s roughly half the cost of the Storz & Bickel Crafty. If the Crafty get’s a 10/10, this get’s an 8/10 in my book.
Like the X Vape FOG, the X Max Starry is another high-profile, low-cost portable vape that has been making waves as of late.
With a removal battery, full-spectrum digital temp control, hybrid dry herb/wax vaping capabilities, and even an OLED display, the X Max Starry has all the features of an ultra-premium vape, with only a fraction of the cost.
The X Max Starry, like it’s brother the X Vape FOG, features a removal 18650 battery, meaning that you can load up on spare batteries and hit the road for days at a time without having to worry about bringing a charger.
With a kit jammed full of unique accessories, you’re certainly getting your value for money with the X Max Starry.
In a previous post, I compared the Starry to the Storz & Bickel Crafty, and it matched up pretty well! The ceramic baking chamber means that the flavor isn’t up there with the Crafty, but the output is very decent.
If you’ve been tossing up whether to start vaping and want an entry-level vaporizer that’s going to get you where you need to be, the X Max Starry is perfect for that.
Where the X Max Starry and X Vape FOG win out, though, is with their awesome branded accessories.
The awesome thing about these accessories is that they are compatible with EVERY vaporizer on this list! If you’re looking at scooping one of these vapes, make sure to grab the aqua attachments too!
One of the biggest surprises of 2017 for me was this terpene-extracting phenomenon; the Flowermate Swift Pro!
The Swift Pro is quite similar to the Storz & Bickel Crafty in terms of airflow and cooling unit, but the vape is actually super lightweight, barely coming in at over 80 grams!
If you’re looking for a true convection vaporizer, this vape is about as good as it gets. The chamber sits over a ceramic heating element which helps to heat the air you pull through and subsequently the herbs, resulting in a vapor.
Included in the set are four interchangeable chamber rings that are constructed from various materials that are designed to subtly affect the flavor of the vapor.
These rings, constructed from bamboo, borosilicate glass, African Palisander wood, and South American Palisander wood, are a vaping innovation that I had never experienced before meeting the Swift Pro.
The flavor of the vapor is almost indescribably beautiful. It is the closest thing to a concentrate terp profile that I’ve come across in a portable.
While the vapor isn’t generated as quickly as the Storz & Bickel Crafty, the Flowermate Swift Pro has a fast heat up time and will not leave your herbs as browned as the Crafty would.
If you’re a flavor chaser that’s looking for an awesome portable vape that’s going to do your herbs justice, you may have met your match in the Flowermate Swift Pro.
Boundless CFV Portable Vape
One vape producer that has gone super hard on the Storz & Bickel Crafty angle is Boundless Technology, who have utilized a similar style for a handful of their portable vapes.
The most entry-level of the three Boundless Technology vapes pictured in this list is the Boundless CFV, which is actually remarkably similar to the Flowermate Swift Pro.
Due to the lack of the interchangeable chamber rings, the flavor is not on par with the star-studded Swift Pro, but the CFV still offers better than average vapor that is thick and flavorsome.
The exterior texture of the Boundless CFV almost feels like rubber, meaning that it has a good grip and fits perfectly in the hand.
Like the Storz & Bickel Crafty, the Boundless CVF has a decent battery life of around one hour, and airflow and draw is fantastic.
Boundless Tera Portable Vape
One of these premium portable vaporizers that I just mentioned is the Boundless Tera, that’s more like a Boundless CFV crossed with an Arizer Solo than a Storz & Bickel Crafty!
The Tera blows HUGE clouds of vapor in seconds and has a number of unique accessories and functions that help elevate it to the top of the vaping food chain.
Equipped with the food-grade plastic sidewinder mouthpiece, a wider-set glass mouthpiece, and even a universal water pipe adapter, the Boundless Tera blows clouds any which way you desire!
The Tera comes equipped with two removable 18650 batteries that slide into the back of the device.
This may seem a little excessive, but when you think that the vape’s concentrate mode shoots the chamber up to 500°F (260°C), that extra power is certainly necessary.
Boundless CFX Portable Vape
The most famous of the Boundless Technology line of portables is the Boundless CFX, which has notably one of the coolest OLED displays that you’re ever likely to come across.
The Boundless CFX comes equipped with a large liquid cup for vaping oils and concentrates, which could easily fit up to a half gram and likely blow for ages.
This vape is super easy to both clean and maintain, and is the best of the Boundless Technology line, in my opinion.
The Boundless CFX is actually a lot similar to the Storz & Bickel Mighty than the Storz & Bickel Crafty, owing to the too-big-for-the-pocket size and large OLED display.
If you are looking for a powerhouse that’s going to knock your socks off and give you that different type of high that you look for in a good vape, the Boundless CFX is the one you’ve been waiting for.
The portable vaporizer that bears the most resemblance to the Storz & Bickel Crafty on this list is the Vivant Alternate.
With it’s ridged hard-plastic exterior, soap bar shape, and near-identical cooling unit, it’s pretty safe to say that we know where the Alternate got its inspiration.
What I can gauge from using this device for an extended period is that it requires a higher degree of maintenance to use, and the one-minute session timer is great for short bursts, but reheating can get repetitive fast.
When you consider that the Vivant Alternate is half the price of the Storz & Bickel Crafty, it’s a pretty good vape! The vapor produced is near identical, only the Alternate will leave the herb a little more spent that the Crafty.
The Alternate features both an OLED display (concealed on the bottom) and a removable 18650 battery, making it a lot more user-friendly than the Crafty, but some people are a big fan of the Crafty app, so it’s hard to say which is better.
If you are looking to buy a Crafty but it is a little outside your budget, the Vivant Alternate is definitely a viable alternative, if you pardon the pun.
Of course, we couldn’t list a whole bunch of vaporizers that draw inspiration from the Storz & Bickel Crafty without giving reference to it’s big brother, the Storz & Bickel Mighty.
The Mighty is basically just a big crafty with a larger battery and an OLED display that shows it’s battery, set temp, and actual temp.
If you prefer to enjoy your vapor at home but don’t want to be restricted like you would with a desktop vaporizer, the Mighty is the best in the game.
The Mac-daddy of the Storz & Bickel portable vape family, the Mighty vaporizer is really quite huge, making it less suitable as a portable model and a little more suited for at-home use.
Our writer Joe LaGrasso swears by his Storz & Bickel Mighty and has written a bunch of comparison pieces which you can find here.
This star-studded lineup is really the cream of the crop of all the vapes that have been influenced in some way by the Crafty.
The best thing about all of these vaporizers is that they all offer some slight difference in both style and output. So no matter what vaping style attracts you, there is a vape for you in this list.
One of the biggest complaints about the Storz & Bickel Crafty was the lack of an OLED display and removal battery, which is advice that a lot of these competitors took on board with their own sidewinder vapes
When I went back to Amsterdam in 2016 I eventually stumbled across Amnesia Coffeeshop again, my mate ‘Sean’ was still working there and greeted me like an old friend.
We shared a laugh and a coffee, and a chamber of Headband through the Volcano and thought about how the vape that we had tried upon its initial release was now a star around the world.