Having a great quality and reliable desktop (also called stationary) vaporizer is a must for any serious vaper.
Portable vaporizers are getting better and better, however, they can’t replace the convenience and extreme effectiveness of desktop vaporizers.
Most people I know in the vaping community comes to this conclusion sooner or later. Even if you have an awesome portable, such as the Crafty or an Arizer Air, your desktop vaporizer will be more convenient to use at home.
Once you come to the conclusion you need one, the question arises, ‘which one’?
There are many great devices on the market. The Storz & Bickel Volcano Digit or Classic are both very strong contenders with extremely good built and vapor quality.
The Arizer Extreme Q and the VapirRise2.0 Ultimate come with a lower price tag, still highly reliable and liked stationary vaporizers.
On the top of those, you have the Zephyr Ion vaporizer to consider. I have been testing one of these for about a year now and have a few insights to share with you after all.
First impression of the Zephyr Ion Vaporizer
I have to be honest and tell you that, I had a mixed reaction to opening the Zephyr. I read a lot about it before deciding to test it out. Based on my research and on the pricing of the unit (it sits between the VapirRise2.0 Ultimate and Volcano Classic) I was expecting a Volcano or VapirRise type of product turning up.
It is not quite like that.
Opening the box and taking the device out made me think if it was a brand new one at all.
It took me a little time to get used to the fact that it was indeed a new vaporizer, however, the parts and the finish of the product here are not as ‘refined’ as some other vaporizers. You’ll see on some of the pictures below what I mean.
Most people would not have any issues with it. However, I open a lot of vaporizers and this one was a little bit unusual. It looks more like a sculpture than a vaporizer for the first view.
On the positive side, I got over it real quick and despite the ‘slow’ start, we got to warm up to each other… quite literally.
Design of the Zephyr Ion Desktop Vaporizer
The design is unique and seems to be focused on the usability and user experience more, than anything else.
Zephyr uses a surprising amount of plastic in the construction of the vaporizer, however it is for the case only and not for the vapor path.
It is all food grade materials that are used for the vapor path, and it surely is all fine based on the vapor quality, but more on that later. Underneath the plastic cover, there is a lot of other stuff as well. You’ll feel that in the weight of the unit.
The robustly designed body encloses and protects the ceramic enclosed heating element that powers this high-quality vaporizer. The air path to the heating element is also ceramic.
Other materials used in the construction of this vaporizer are 304 surgical stainless steel (for the herb basket and screens) and teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is used for the straw, which is milled from a single block of pure Polytetrafluoroethylene.
The back of the unit looks like this:
The large digital display is very handy and easy to see even from a distance across the room.
The backlight of the display is orange while it is heating up, and turns to green when it is at the set temperature and ready to go. I find this quite useful as you always know when it is ready, just by the colour of the digital display’s background.
It is super easy to operate, you have two buttons on the side of the display. The big one is the power on and off button, while the smaller one is the air pump on and off button.
The only other buttons on the device are a + and – buttons to adjust your temperature.
You can really operate the vaporizer with one hand, or more like with one finger, pretty much as easy as it gets.
How Does the Zephyr Ion Work
Operating the Zephyr Ion vaporizer is a walk in the park. You start by opening the lid and take the herb basket out of it. Then close the lid back.
Once you have done that, you can plug in your unit and press the big power button to power it up. It will start heating up to the temperature you used it at with your last session.
If you’d like to adjust the temperature, you can easily do that with the + and – buttons under the digital display. Available temperature range is from 100°F to 440°F (38°C to 227°C), which covers most herbs you may wish to vaporize.
While the vaporizer is heating up, fill up your herb basket with your favourite herb combo. You can grab it by the handle and use it as a little scoop. Pack it loose and only feel it up to about ¾ of the way or less. You do have to have enough herbal materials in the basket to completely cover the bottom of it.
When your vaporizer has heated up (your display background colour changes to green), you can open the lid and place the filled basket back in the chamber. Then close the lid again and you are ready to place on your balloon or whip.
Balloon vaporization system
I personally prefer the balloon to the whip, however, it is really due to personal preference.
The Zephyr Ion is predominantly a balloon vaporizer and designed as such, however, with recent updates, Zephyr added a whip attachment as well.
The balloon system is easy to operate. You need to push the valve on the balloon in all the way as you can see on the below picture:
Then place the valve on the white straw sticking out of your vaporizer, as you can see below:
Next, you’ll have to turn on the air pump by pressing the button below the power button on the side of the digital display.
The pump is on the noisier side compared to the VapirRise or Extreme Q and even noisier than the Volcanos actually. Not a huge concern and most users would not mind it at all.
Once your balloon is full with vapor, turn off the air pump with the same button you turned it on, and you are ready. To inhale vapor from the balloon, you just put it to your mouth and press the valve in to release the vapor. Very easy.
Whip vaporization system
I have to admit that, I haven’t used the whip function a whole lot as I tend to default back to the balloon nearly all the time.
It is super easy to use as well, though. You just have to slide the whip on the straw as you can see below:
And then you are ready to whip away.
The mouthpiece on the whip is quite nice and feels good to use. It is plastic, however, works perfectly fine for me.
The air pump seems to be way too powerful to use it for assisted draw with the whip. It only has one speed because it is designed as a balloon vaporizer first and foremost.
Overall in my view, it is a very easy vaporizer to use and get used to. After I got over my initial surprise, I kept having a good experience with the Zephyr Ion and find it one of the easiest desktop vaporizers to work out and learn.
What’s in the Box
- Zephyr Ion Vaporizer Unit
- 2 x Mouthpieces (bags pre-attached)
- 1 x Whip
- 2 x Herb Baskets
- 1 x Liquid Pad Set
- 2 x Replacement Air Filters
- 2 x Replacement Basket Seal Washers
- 4 x Replaceable Bags with Bag Ties
- 4 x Replacement Screens
- 1 x USB Cord
The vapor quality is top of the range and right up there with other outstanding units like the Volcano. The air path flowing into the chamber is apparently kept away from the coil and that may have something to do with the great vapor quality.
Very flavorful, rich vapor that you can only get with a high-quality stationary vaporizer, such as this one.
The air goes through an air filter that you can find at the bottom of the unit, which also helps to keep your vapor pure and mostly free from dust and particles.
Cleaning and maintenance of the Zephyr Ion vaporizer
Cleaning it has been very simple. It is worth giving the herb basket a little brushing after every session to keep the residue built up the minimum. Every once in awhile you need to take off the top screen and give that and the straw a good clean and that is all you need really. The straw riches into the balloon, so the valve does not need as much cleaning at all.
Every once in a while you need to take off the top screen, and give it and the straw a good clean.
That is all you need really. The straw riches into the balloon, so the valve does not need as much cleaning at all.
You need to change the balloons every once in a while. Very easy to do, just pop the plastic cover off the valve and off you go.
If you use the whip, you’ll have to clean the whip and the mouthpiece every now and then.
Who is the Zephyr Ion for?
This device is suited for anyone from beginners to seasoned vapers. It is good to have a great quality desktop vaporizer and this one suits most situations.
The large display makes it easy for seniors to operate, so this is one of the best devices for an elderly vaping enthusiast.
Having said that, it is equally suited for mid aged couples who use their vaporizer to entertain. With the balloon and whip dual functions, this is a great device for group sessions.
The Zephyr Ion is a great quality vaporizer and very easy to use. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a cheaper alternative to the Volcano.
This is surely not a Volcano as such, however, the vapor quality is right up there.
I prefer the look of the Volcano, and other devices in this category, such as the Arizer Extreme Q and VapirRise2.0 Ultimate, but this is just my personal preference. However, operating the Zephyr Ion and considering its ease of use, this is right up there.
It is a little heavy and bulky. Some people like that, others aren’t as keen.
Overall it is super easy to use and produces great quality vapor. If those are something you are looking for, you should certainly consider this device.
Do you own a Zypher Ion desktop vaporizer? How’s your experience with the device so far? Please share your story in the comments section below.
If you haven’t decided which vaporizer to get, check out our vaping guide for more useful information.