By Spencer Brooks
The holiday season is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about buying gifts for friends and family.
If you have a cannabis enthusiast in your life (or if you want to get a little something for yourself), why not pick up a high-quality vaporizer?
When it comes to experiencing cannabis, premium vapes make a bigger difference than you might think. For one thing, premium vapes are a pleasure to use -- they produce smoother, stronger, more flavourful vapour than the $15 battery vapes sold at most dispensaries. High-quality vapes are also cost-effective: they vaporize more efficiently, meaning you don’t have to restock on cannabis nearly as often, and a good vaporizer will last you for years, if not decades.
This holiday gift guide has something for everyone, from the beginner who’s just getting into premium vapes to the experienced vape user looking for a world-class experience. Take a look and see what stands out.
PAX 3 Vaporizer: Style and substance
The PAX 3 is a sleek, portable vaporizer that’s surprisingly powerful for its size. Its smooth, minimalist design -- made of shock-resistant anodized aluminum -- hints at the PAX 3’s futuristic interior: a powerful heating chamber that takes just 15 seconds to heat up and produce rich, flavourful vapour.
The PAX 3 has exceptional battery life, with 90 minutes of active vape time before it needs a charge. Plus, it accepts both dry herb and concentrates, setting it apart from most other portable vapes on the market today.
The PAX 3 is also smartphone-compatible. You can download the PAX Vapour App for iOS or Android, sync via Bluetooth, and control your vape from your phone. The app also gives you real-time feedback about vapour production and temperature. And, of course, you can always use the PAX 3 manually if an app isn’t your thing.
Finally, the PAX 3 comes with a 10-year warranty from PAX Labs, the designer and manufacturer. The PAX 3 is smooth, sexy, and built well enough to be the last vape you ever buy.
PAX 2 Vaporizer: On-the-go convenience
The PAX 2 offers many of the same features as the PAX 3 -- powerful battery, sleek design, fast heating time -- at a lower price point.
The PAX 2 has lip-sensing, motion-sensing, and auto-cooling technologies embedded in its design, making it one of the more high-tech options on this list. It also has features for maximum on-the-go convenience: a magnetic lid prevents spills and the surgical steel heating chamber can withstand daily wear and tear. The PAX 2 even has a fitted mouthpiece that reduces draw resistance and preserves the flavour of the cannabis you’re vaping.
The PAX 2 doesn’t have smartphone app support like the PAX 3 does, and its battery is slightly less powerful, but it’s still one of the most popular portable vaporizers on the market today. Plus, it’s a great option if you want most of the features of the PAX 3 at a lower price point.
Black Mamba Vaporizer: Sleek and simple
The Black Mamba is a perfect introduction into the premium vaping world. With a large, easily accessible dry herb chamber and one of the fastest heating times of any vape on the market -- just 20 seconds to heat up -- the Black Mamba is a testament to the power of simple, well-made design.
Speaking of design, the Black Mamba is one of the best-looking vapes on the market. It has a subtle teardrop shape made with stylish, matte black, high-impact plastic. The outer shell is both durable and inexpensive to produce, which allowed the manufacturer to focus on what really matters: an all-ceramic interior that conducts heat evenly and a low price point.
The Black Mamba’s easy-to-use design and affordable price makes it an attractive option for beginners. If you have a friend who’s just getting into vaping, the Black Mamba would be an excellent gift.
Storz & Bickel Mighty Vaporizer: The connoisseur’s vape
The Mighty is made by Storz & Bickel, the same German vape manufacturer that created the legendary Volcano desktop vape -- which is still considered a gold standard two decades after its release.
Now, Storz & Bickel has created another gold standard. The Mighty is a top-tier, portable vaporizer that outperforms many desktop vapes in terms of both dependability and vapour quality.
The Mighty combines conduction and convection heating to give you the best of both worlds: impressively fast heating time (under 30 seconds before the vape is ready to use) and even heat distribution so that your cannabis never burns or stays raw on one side.
There’s also an OLED display that lets you control your vape temperature down to a single degree, as well as a boost mode and cooling unit that consistently produce smooth, flavourful vapour. The Mighty is compatible with both dry herb and concentrates.
DaVinci IQ Vaporizer: The day tripper’s vape
The DaVinci IQ is the perfect vape for backpacking trips, day hikes, wilderness exploring, and other situations where you’ll be away from civilization (and an outlet) for a long time. That’s because of the IQ’s exceptionally long-lasting battery, with three hours of active vaping time per charge. The IQ is also both small and light -- perfect for slipping into your pocket or backpack for a day of adventure.
The IQ also has Bluetooth capability and can connect to an app on your phone, allowing you to control temperature and monitor vapour production with ease. Of course, you can also use the IQ manually.
This vape is made to last, and the manufacturers stand behind it. Each DaVinci IQ comes with a 10-year warranty.
DaVinci MIQRO: Small package, big vapour
The DaVinci MIQRO is 33% smaller than its predecessor, the DaVinci IQ, making it one of the most portable and discreet vaporizers on this list.
Despite its small size, the MIQRO packs a punch when it comes to vapour production. The MIQRO’s battery is surprisingly powerful for its size: it features a full temperature spectrum ranging from 300°F-430°F, as well as a boost mode that heats quickly for extra convenience. The battery is replaceable and charges in just 45 minutes, so you can swap it out with a spare battery or recharge it rapidly on days when you’re away from home for a long time.
Finally, the MIQRO’s zirconium ceramic vapour path and mouthpiece produce extra smooth, flavourful vapour.
Arizer Solo II: The flavour lover’s vape
The Arizer Solo II is all about flavour. It features three interchangeable vapour paths made of nonreactive borosilicate glass. Each one is a different size and shape, giving you the option for a more concentrated or more diluted vape session. You load dry herb directly into the vapour path, protecting it from scorching in the heating chamber and ensuring full-flavour vapour. The Solo II’s shortest vapour path also doubles as a diffuser, which is perfect for vaporizing lavender, chamomile, and other aromatics when you’re not actively vaping.
The Solo II is the easiest vape on this list to clean: just empty out any loose herb from the chamber and swab the empty bowl with a piece of cotton soaked in rubbing alcohol.
With minimum maintenance and maximum aroma, the Arizer Solo II is a great choice for anyone who enjoys the nuances in flavour from different cannabis strains.
Boundless CFV Vaporizer: Perfect temperature control
Temperature control is an important part of any vape. Different cannabinoids and terpenes vaporize at different temperatures, impacting both the flavour and effect of your cannabis. A vape’s temperature also changes the potency of the vapour it produces, with hotter temperatures producing thicker, more cannabinoid-rich vapour.
The Boundless CFV offers some of the best temperature management of any portable vaporizer. Its LED display lets you change the temperature by one-degree Fahrenheit increments for incredibly precise temperature control. It also has a full convection heating chamber, meaning it heats the air around your dry herb instead of blasting the herb itself with heat. Convection means more even heating and increased efficiency, so you get more vapour out of your cannabis.
Storz & Bickel Crafty Vaporizer: Versatility and technology
The Crafty is another portable vape made by German manufacturers Storz & Bickel, and in keeping with the company’s reputation, it’s an excellent vaporizer.
The Crafty takes both dry herb and oil concentrates, setting it apart from most other vapes on the market. It has a hybrid heating system that combines convection and conduction, with a high-efficiency heat exchanger to ensure rapid, even heating. The Crafty comes to temperature in less than a minute and vibrates to let you know when it’s ready for vaping.
Simplicity is another plus for the Crafty. It has an ergonomic design with an intuitive one-button operation method, allowing you to simply press the button and vape. If you want more precise control over your vaping session, link the Crafty to your smartphone, where an accompanying app gives you complete temperature control and information about the Crafty’s vapour production.Buy the Crafty here.