Firstly, thanks for following the journey of one man, trying to sort himself out.
Why I Finally Purchased a Portable Vape…
Greetings again Vapers and Soon to be converts!!!
As you know, I’ve been vaping for a few years now…
When I started my journey, I only looked at vaporizers to use at home. The part of my brain that tried to remind me that I do go out very quickly got dismissed and pushed to the back of my mind.
Take that brain for trying to do the right thing!!
When I stopped smoking, being social wasn’t the issue for me… It was being at home. I’m not really a drinker or even a social drinker, so worrying about falling off the wagon after having a few drinks was a non-event. I think this is why I didn’t factor in portables when looking to purchase a vape.
Almost a year ago, I decided it was time to start looking for a portable vape. I visit friends quite regularly, and as you will recall from my last post, only one of my friends, Mr. Naysayer, was the only other person to own a vape. Little did I know a few of the boys had portable handheld vaporizers. I had acquaintances I have known that have used portables, but never really had anyone rave about how fabulous it was…
Now, I come from a desktop vaping background, so noticing the difference between vape and smoke I had down to a fine art. I knew all about breathing and technique, preparation, inhalation all the way down to cleaning…
My First Issue; Shutting Up All The So-Called Professionals
I’m sure many of you have tales of people sticking their 2 bob’s worth into a conversation. We all have opinions, and we are all entitled to them. No one has a wrong opinion. That’s the whole point. An opinion is your point of view. It may be right, it may be wrong, but it’s your opinion and your feelings, so it matters to you! As outsiders, we don’t have to agree with your opinion, only respect that it is your opinion.
So for me, this was a case of back to the drawing board. I was going to take on all I had learned about vaping from my desktop units and tried to apply the same rationale that led me to purchase the Arizer Extreme Q.
The only advice I wish someone gave me on this matter, was to unlearn what I had learned. Portable vapes are very very different to a desktop unit.
Plunging Into The Unknown
So my first experience with a portable/handheld vape, was the same as it was for many people. The Magic Flight Launch Box.
This contraption to this day still to me looks like something someone assembled from a kit. No frills, nothing fancy, just a simple box, battery and a tube. First thoughts. Not for me. The unit, whilst being portable didn’t exactly fit into the discrete category.
I was also concerned about the number of “moving” or “removable” parts. Seeing the heating element light up like an old school heater, still had me convinced something in here was burning…. Not exactly in line with my f*&@ combustion philosophy. So I kept pulling black bits out of the chamber. Did some googling, and found that this is related to flow, or so it would tell us to believe.
So the Magic Flight Launch Box was a no for me.
Don’t get me wrong, it did work, but seeing charred/black/burnt bits was not what I wanted from a vape. It also took a lot of getting used to flow control/draw speed in order to get a good feel for it.
After this, there was a lot of no-name units that people had that they were ramming down my throat. It wasn’t until someone handed me a PAX that I finally found something I was liking…..
What we would call the PAX Original was the one I had my hands on.
This discrete looking device was really pretty, very discrete, and feature packed.
The unit has 3 adjustable temp settings, LED indicators to tell you what was going on, and all in a very compact design. At that point in time. I say this because PAX 2 came out and was smaller than the original!!!
The chamber design was very generous, easy to load and fill, and I really enjoyed this unit. The mouthpiece was really comfortable and it didn’t feel like an invasion.
Discretion was ensured as from a distance, and even relatively up close, if you didn’t know what it was, you would have no idea what was in my hand.
Now I really did like the PAX, but, something was missing… What? I don’t know, I didn’t know, but I knew I wasn’t happy with what was available. Yes, I was being picky, but when you are spending money on anything, you always want to get some value for money… It would be even better if that value for money did everything you wanted it to.
It was about this point that I abandoned my search for a portable.
Fast Forward To About A Year Ago
About a year ago, I contacted the Customer Support team @VapeFuse.. (Remember, I’m not an employee, I’m just a customer sharing his own experiences)
I thought I would ask the team if they could suggest anything. The response was awesome!
Basically, I got told to go on the site, have a look around, and if I needed any more information to contact them and ask for it!
Before I could do all this, I got pinned down by another mate…..
It was about a year ago now that a close mate, another one of the lads, let’s call him Big G, bought his portable. Big G is Diesel Mechanic by trade. So lots of heavy, greasy, vile heavy things.
Something that Big G was really concerned about was build quality. Coming from his mechanical background, he knew, that a quality and sturdy device would be what he needed. Big G was a 1-2 pack a day smoker.
He has young children of his own and a lovely wife. These were his inspirations for F&%@ Combustion and head for a healthier lifestyle.
Big G came to me asking for a suggestion as he had truly enjoyed vaping on the Extreme Q. Now as you will remember from my previous post about Mr. Naysayer, he was another person who was concerned about build quality. Big G and Mr. Naysayer were chatting and it was at this point the Big G heard of Storz and Bickel, The German Engineering powerhaus (spelling intended) that gave us the Plenty, Volcano and now we get into the Crafty and the Mighty…..
Big G did his homework, and before I knew it, the call came in to help unbox and give training on how to vape… (I must be a legend?? Like I’ve barely been vaping and all these misguided people think in The Oracle. The all knowing…..)
When we first look at the Crafty all packaged up, I don’t really know what we thought it looked like? I’m still of the opinion it looks like a pocket warmer, so in my eyes, wins a lot of points for discretion.
Big G was at this time trying to work out why he had paid a premium to something that he couldn’t really get a feel for…. I reminded him that it’s like a German car… You can’t tell too much by looking at it, you need to experience it.
So we charged it all up, gave it a clean and grabbed the bowl of herb…
I would, quietly, like to take this opportunity to thank Storz & Bickel for their dosing system…..
Grabbed the grinder supplied and the dose kit. A few quick turns of the grinder and our herbs well perfectly sized. Put the dosing tool/filling aid on, and bam! Ready to rock and roll!!!!!
This Is Where The Crafty Kind Of Lost Me
Jumped on to the both app stores and we got the apps for Android and iOS. Now, this is where the gimmick for me wore off really quickly, but Big G loved it….
For those that don’t know or haven’t seen it, the Crafty uses a Bluetooth connection to your telephone or tablet, and this application is how you setup your device. From temperature to LED brightness this is how they want you to configure the unit.
Now, for people like Big G and other techno buffs, this is a big selling point. “Hey, I can use my smart device to work with my vape…..” I personally can think of better things to do than getting my device out, power it on, turn the app on, set or check temps and go from there.
Anyways, Crafty did work very well. It was comfortable to use, but the time taken to get it out, power it up, dose, load, flick out mouthpiece, it was almost an effort to use it… I haven’t got time for all that…. I have 3 daughters!!!
Big G Still loves his Crafty, all though, I don’t think he uses it as much as he should. He still smokes but nowhere near what he used to.
I can’t help but think to myself if he had bought something simple to start with, he could have worked out what he wanted, but when you are buying these products, a lot of your decisions, if you aren’t in the know, come from people who have some form of experience. Unfortunately for Big G, he got Storz and Bickel advice from someone who uses their desktop device, not a portable.
Like a lot of people today, money isn’t growing on trees, and if it is, I have yet to find one!
So back to what I was saying… I had sent a few emails to VapeFuse about portables. Nora was exceptional at assisting with my inquiries.
The big things for me were reliability and ease of use.
As I had experience with Arizer, I thought I would look into their portables. We all know I love the Extreme Q, so I thought I would stick with what I knew.
Both the Solo and Air, are exceptional looking units. I love glass for vaping because I feel it doesn’t change or alter the flavour. When you vape essential oils this is pretty important, but it’s not a game changer… The Air and Solo both have glass tubes, robust compact design, features, etc, etc.
This was ticking all the boxes, except for one major component. Both of these exceptional units are far, far, FAR from inconspicuous!! This was a little heartbreaking for me. I like to stick with what I know, but I just could not get past that it wasn’t discrete.
I spoke to a few people that had the Solo or Air, and the feedback was good, except, it wasn’t discrete. I spoke to the team at VapeFuse for some “information” regarding the unit. And it was the same story I found everywhere else, Great Unit, Good pricing, Good Features, NOT DISCREET!!!!
Now, chose to believe this if you want, but I was speaking with Nora @ VapeFuse, and we were having a bit of a chuckle…. Apparently, if you want this unit to be discrete, you need to go and get a paper drink cup, like the ones the fast food chains give you. Don’t place any liquids in it… Load your device, put inside drinking cup, glass straw comes out of the cup, and Presto!! Hey, look at me!! I’m drinking a drink, but, hang on, why is there vapor or smoke coming out of you every time you take a sip?? LOL, I still crack up at this. Kudos to whoever came out with this idea… Bravo!!!
So back to my dilemma. I needed a portable, but, I just couldn’t find one on the budget, that would do what I wanted it to. So, I waited another month or so, researching more and more…
That was when I stumbled across what would ultimately be, my next purchase!
Decision Made!! Oh, And How I Came To It!
I’d seen a lot of great reviews online about the Vapir range. Good products, great warranty and build, cleaning was simple, but most of all, it was discrete. Then, I saw it. The perfect colour, and, the perfect discrete size!
So, the Prima Portable…. Snazzy little inconspicuous portable vaporizer. A few funky colour choices, feature packed, lots of spares and tools, and all in something that fits in my hand, without being seen. Now, what I say fits in my hand, I have reasonably large hands… To confirm that it was a good size, I asked the wife to hang on to it for a moment, and sure enough, it fits in her hand too!!!
Anyways, more on this later, but, there is going to be a few people out there that want to know why I chose the Prima Portable……
Whilst I was doing my homework on portables, the Prima was hitting all the boxes for me, but, the price was more than my Arizer Extreme Q. For this reason, I never really looked too far into it. I mean sure, it was worth the money, but I couldn’t justify paying more for a portable than I did my desktop.
Another thing that ticked boxes for me, as I mentioned earlier, was what came in the box. When you unbox the unit, you realise there is a bit in there… You get the unit, battery, charger, wall adaptor, but on top of that, you also get additional screens to ensure that your device is always clean and you don’t lose flavour or vapour.
You also get Oil Pads. You can vape essential oils in the device with the use of the Oil Pads/Screens. If you don’t plan on using Oils, I would still recommend putting and oil screen in the chamber, as, that chamber is HUGE!!!!
It also comes with a cleaning brush, that, when the device is not in use, can be pushed down the mouthpiece to rest into the tube. This will ensure that before and after use the device is getting a quick clean. It also comes with a funky little cleaning tool. The cleaning tool really does make life easy when cleaning the unit, as it has the correct size hooks and probes to get into every bit of the device that you need to, and nothing else!
Check Out What’s in the Prima Box
The device itself is pretty straight forward. Very comfortable in the hand. You can tell that comfort was important, that’s why they provided the unit with a rubber comfort grip that goes over the bottom. The single button on the device activates the device and allows you to configure. Want to check your battery level? Whilst the device is off, tap the button once! Want to change the temp? Press the button until the desired heat level setting is reached. Want to turn if off?? Hold it down… Simple…..
Available in Blue (what I got), Black, Orange and Silver, the device, in my opinion, is probably one of the best portables on the market.
It’s easy to use, offers lots of features and accessories, really well built, best draw resistance I’ve experienced on a portable. The list could go on forever.
So back to the dilemma… The price… It just wasn’t for me.
It was about this time I jumped online and started looking for pricing again. Much to my happiness, I jumped on to VapeFuse and noted that the Prima was now $100 OFF and selling for $219!!!!
There was no discussion, it was one of those shut up and take my money moments.
The unit arrived express the next day. Discrete packaging and well packed.
Unboxing the unit I was full of happiness as, I could now go out, without freaking out. If I wanted to vape whilst I was out, I could just crank this bad boy up, and off I’d go! Unit comes really well packed from Vapir, has a sensible and easy to follow instruction book as well as lots of information.
After unboxing, I let the battery charge for approx. 4 hours before using. It did already have charge, but I wanted it full.
Whilst this was charging, I got the Isopropyl Alcohol and some cotton tips out and gave the unit a clean. You will hear me say this a lot. Cleaning… This is really important if you want the best quality and longevity out of your device(s).
Again, I looked at the herb chamber, and it was huge. Almost ridiculously huge… That’s a lot of herb in a tiny little device!!! As I said before, the oil pads, make a great space muncher, meaning you can tailor your doses by simply adding or subtracting the oil pads. It also means that, if you do have oils, you can go right from there if there is already an Oil Pad loaded.
I’ve been daily using the Prima and I must admit I do love it. It’s not the same as the Extreme Q but the Q is a desktop balloon/whip style, and this is just a portable powerhouse.
My Only Regret With This Purchase
If you have the device on its highest setting, the unit can get somewhat warm. Not always, just sometimes. For this reason, I should have purchased the Prima Glass Bubbler that is available.
This bubbler or Glass filtration device, utilises water, to cool down the vapour coming from the handheld prior to inhalation. Similar to what water pipes do for smokers. It cools it all down and provides some filtration.
Points To Consider
Portable vapes, like desktops, all require a bit of personal flair. You get what you want, you get what ticks the boxes for you, but more importantly, you get something and start your process to F^%@ Combustion, and stop smoking.
When purchasing, do yourself a favour…Work out a short list… Write down the products that tick the boxes for you. After this, drop the list down to just 3 devices. Then use the comparison tool on the VapeFuse site, and see what really is and isn’t ticking your boxes…
If you can’t find an answer, ask! Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask away! You will be blown away by the support and responses from the VapeFuse team.
As always, stay safe, stay happy and keep Vaping!!!