A peek at the PuffCo Peak

Many of you will know PuffCo thanks to their wildly popular and acclaimed PuffCo Plus concentrates pen vaporizer. If you dug that, then their next release, named Peak, will no doubt pique your interest.

PuffCo in-house design and engineering team’s only goal is to deliver the very best platform for concentrate consumption. They saw concentrates as the future of consumption because they contain the best parts of the plant. According to their site a good extraction process “leaves you with the most potent, flavourful, and healthy product”.

Dab rig 2.0

Up until recently the only choice for those wanting to unlock the potential of concentrates was a dab rig. Then, portable vapes started to integrate support for vaping concentrates. However, dab rigs are pretty crude technology wise and vaporizers designed for vaping flowers aren’t necessarily the greatest solution for vaping concentrates.

It’s no wonder then that the PuffCo Plus was such a success. High Times magazine were all over it describing it as “one of the best vape pens of all time” and it even made its way onto the Netflix hit - Disjointed (episode 9 - see if you can spot it).

Introducing the PuffCo Peak

PuffCo combined the futuristic technology of modern vapes with the high temperatures and water cooling functionality of a dab rig. The result is the spectacularly good looking “smart rig” the Peak.

It’s all stored in a purpose designed carry case. Inside of which you’ll find your 18cm high smart rig, with hand-blown glass, integrated LED band and a rugged silicon base.

Having seen one in the flesh I can truly testify the finish is nothing short of spectacular and they look like the kind of dab rig Tron 2.0 would be found using.

PuffCo Peak features roundup

4 unique user heat settings

No matter how you like to consume there is a perfect setting for you. The popular “sesh-mode” - which was included in the PuffCo Plus - lets you extend your session, creating a social dab experience for you and your buddies.

20-second average heat-up

Compared to the 3-minute process of heating and cooling times of typical dab rigs this is welcome news to concentrate lovers.

Intelligent temperature calibration

The smartware automatically adjusts heat times if your removable ceramic bowl is still hot.

LED light band / haptic feedback

The discreet light band provides battery and heat cycle indicators when needed, and conceals itself when they're not. Haptic feedback keeps your timing spot on so you get the perfect hit every time.

Fast charging / long lasting

The battery fully charges in 2 hours and will last for around 30 glorious “dabs”.

PuffCo Peak European shipping

At the time of writing the Peak is not available in any markets. However, Europeans can get an email notification of when the PuffCo Peak is available from VapoShop.

We’re hoping to start shipping in April 2018.


Best portable vaporizer for the slopes - Crafty (Storz & Bickel)

As an experienced snowboarder and vaporizer convert I’ve been on the hunt for the best portable vaporizer for hitting the piste. I think I have found it in the form of the Crafty from Storz & Bickel, here’s why I think it is such a good buy for skiers or boarders alike.

Crafty portable vaporizer

German engineering

I have a motto that has served me well through life. “If in doubt, buy the German one”. Germans don’t make rubbish, they strive to engineer the best - Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Siemens the list of quality engineered products is long.

Storz & Bickel are the first company in the EU that produces certified medical grade vaporizers. The Germans take their products very seriously.

Best portable vape quality

Storz & Bickel have a reputation of providing the best vaping experiences in the business. Their pocket wonder the Crafty lives up to that reputation. It’s a little slower to heat than their larger offering - the Mighty - but plenty fast enough to take a crafty draw on the way up the mountain on a ski lift. The convection heating system serves up copious clouds of tasty vapour. 

One button operation

The Crafty only has one button. Load it up at base camp, set your favourite temperature (via an excellent App) and you are ready to draw with just one press.

You can also set a booster temperature that can be activated with the same button - in case you vape all the good stuff and want the high heat to finish the rest. The button is big enough that you can feel it through your gloves so you can operate it without freezing your digits off. This gorgeous button is reason enough to make this the best portable vaporizer for use with gloves. 

Operating the Crafty with gloves on

Haptic feedback

Haptic feedback means that the vape will give a buzz once it reaches your desired temperature. That means you don’t have to sit and stare at it for an indication it is ready to vape. Perfect for when you want to activate it in your pocket. Sit on your ski lift, press the button in your pocket, wait for it to vibrate then take a draw - no one will even notice.

Rugged plastic construction

The Crafty and its larger sibling the Mighty both come in a durable plastic body. They won’t look out of place alongside your power tools. The Crafty will withstand some serious knocks. 

Crafty mouthpiece

Rounded corners

Speaking of serious knocks. If you take a tumble you don’t want to be impaled by something sharp in your pocket. The Crafty has smooth rounded corners and won’t rip your clothing or skin should you fall and plant your hip on an ice patch. For this reason, it’s the best portable vaporizer to fall onto for sure.

Textured surface

There are a lot of beautifully smooth portable vaporizers on the market. They easily slide in and out of your pocket when you are at a concert or cinema. When you are using your device suspended 5 metres in the air being smooth is not necessarily a nice to have. The Crafty’s vented surface gives you something to grip. It also means that it’s the best portable vaporizer should you drop it on a snowy slope - there is a good chance it will stay where it lands. Not so, for some of the slick competition. 

Preload the loading tool for laters

The Crafty uses the same loading tool that all Storz & Bickel devices use. You can fill it full of your favourite therapeutic herb (or concentrate) and reload as you need. It’ll give even the most hard core vaper more than they will need for a day on the mountain. If you need more than that then it’s probably safer you stay in the chalet.

USB charging

It helps to have a vape that charges via USB when travelling. Why’s that? There’s a good chance that most of your electronic devices use USB. In the unlikely event you forget a USB cable one of your companions probably packed theirs. Failing that, you can pick one up easily. The battery lasts for ages - so you may even survive a short trip without having to recharge at all.

Crafty loading tool

The negatives 

To be fair, the Crafty is not 100% perfect. There are a few things you should be aware of before you purchase one.

First of all, this little beauty does not come cheap. Storz & Bickel operate in the top end of the market. All their vapes are the most expensive out there. The Crafty is their cheapest offering but it is still more than most. You pay for quality engineering.

Another thing that bugs me about the Crafty is the fact that it relies on the app (which is excellent by the way) to change the temperature. Depending on your use you may only have to do this once. In case you change your temperature often you should be aware that you’ll need to whip out your phone to do so. It was a bold move for Storz & Bickel to rely on an app like this - the flip side is - it simplifies use to one simple button press. For this reason, I see this as a secondary vaporizer and not a primary vape. Given the price - it may be out of reach for most people’s second portable vaporizer. If you are gonna buy only one portable vaporizer I would say go for the slightly more expensive Mighty - it gives you complete control over the temperature via the device itself.

Finally, to load effectively, you’ll need to use the loading tool that is shipped with your Crafty. This in itself is not a problem, but should you lose this tool you’ll need to load by hand until you get a replacement - which is possible but not as neat.

Crafty button

Conclusion

The Crafty is perfect for vaping on the go. I think it’s the best portable vaporizer for outdoors use. It’s rugged construction, durable materials, textured finish and rounded corners make it especially good for someone doing extreme activities. Easy loading, USB charging and long battery life make it a great choice for those vaping away from home.

To top it all off the Crafty from Storz and Bickel produces ample, great tasting, convection clouds from both flowers and concentrates. Therefore - of all the fantastic portable vaporizers on the market - the Crafty would be the first portable vape I’d pack for a snowboarding trip.


Lighter-based portable vaporizers explained (and our personal top 5!)

With the increase of recently released portable vaporizers containing high tech features such as Bluetooth connectivity (hello Davinci IQ and PAX 3!), powerful lithium batteries and the use of aerospace materials, it’s easy to forget about a specific niche in the world of vaporizing: flame-powered portable vaporizers. As the name implies, these vaporizers rely on an actual flame as heat source instead of a battery and electronic heater.

Vaporizing with a flame?

Whereas most vaporizers are electric, and use a battery to convert energy into the heat that is required to vaporize your favourite herb (generally at temperatures between 170 and 220°C), flame powered devices use the heat of a flame from either a regular lighter or a more powerful torch lighter. However, as the herb directly touching the flame would cause it to scorch and cause combustion, the heating is indirect, using the flame to heat a material and to pull this hot air through your herb (convection heating). Having said that, combustion may still occur when the heat is applied for extended time, so it is important to always use the right technique.

And while these vaporizers are certainly not for everyone, there are some clear advantages to these ‘basic’ flame-fueled vapes.

1. Use anywhere, anytime

With an exhausted battery but no electricity outlets around, your battery-operated vaporizer has become pretty much useless. If the batteries of your vape are removable this can be prevented by always bringing an extra battery, but with many popular models not offering this feature, a power bank or power outlet is a necessity to keep vaping once you’ve run out of the initial charge. While of course it is possible to run out of lighter gas, there is usually a good chance someone in your surrounding has a lighter for you – much like in smoker’s culture.

2. Low cost

As the design of these flame vaporizers is often more straightforward than that of an advanced electronic vaporizer (containing a battery, a sophisticated heating system, a heating path etcetera), most flame-based units are priced around or even below 50 euro. Some people even use them as disposable vaporizers, for example when traveling to a foreign country.

3. Flavour

Due to the absence of plastics and electronics, flame-based vapes are known for producing excellent tasting, pure vapour. The majority of these models are constructed using mainly natural or inert materials, such as a glass, ceramic and wood.

5 popular flame based portable vaporizers

VapCap (€39 - €159)

The VapCap (by DynaVap) is a relatively new product on the scene. Manufactured in the USA, the VapCap is available in various materials, ranging in price from 39 euro for the VapCap original (glass) piece to 159 euro for a heavy duty Titanium (OmniVap) edition, with the VapCap M offering the best value (making it our best selling VapCap). What’s unique about the VapCap is that is clicks when the material has reached the desired temperature. The video below demonstrates the heat-up method:


DynaVap has a strong fanbase of dedicated users that praise the VapCap products for their ease of use and outstanding vapour quality.

Browse all VapCap models

VaporGenie (€ 49,50)

An all-time classic, the pipe-shaped VaporGenie has been around for almost 10 years. Featuring a clever (patented) filter system, the VaporGenie is heated by applying a flame to the filter (but without touching it!), transporting the hot air through your herb, allowing for sublime convection vaporization. While this requires a bit of a technique at first, many people swear by the elegant and affordable VaporGenie vapes and prefer it over modern day battery powered portables.

Note that the VaporGenie works best with a regular lighter.

Order the VaporGenie Classic

Vapman (€80)

The Vapman is a high quality, handmade Swiss pocket vaporizer that is best used with a torch lighter. The outer shell in an egg like appearance is hard and does well to protect the Vapman from any damage and shock. The internals are cleverly designed, applying a combination of convection and conduction for optimal vapour output.

Order the Vapman

Vaponic Plus (€79)

Vaponic Plus is a super small and stealthy, reliable and well thought-out glass portable vaporizer that is constructed using only the highest quality materials (borosilicate glass, stainless steel and medical grade silicone). As a result, the vapour of the Vaponic is extremely flavourful.

While there is a slight learning curve to get the most satisfying clouds of vapour from your Vaponic (mainly getting the right time to heat the glass piece), it is well worth investing the time to become acquainted with its use.

Order the Vaponic Plus

The classic version of the Vaponic (minus the wooden shell) is available for only €39.50.

New: Sticky Brick vaporizers

Another recent addition to the range of flame-powered vaporizers are the Sticky Brick vapes. Available in various models and wood types, these handmade wooden vapes are simple by design but incredibly effective and widely touted for the thick and flavourful (convection) vapour. Definitely worth checking out!

Check out the Sticky Brick vaporizers


3 Super Easy to Use Portable Vaporizers

When it comes to portable vaporizers, the market has seen quite a bit of innovation over the last years. More and more tech is incorporated into today’s vaporizers, ranging from Bluetooth (app) connectivity to motion sensors. But is all this technology really necessary? According to a survey by online retailer Torontovaporizer, 51% of all surveyed vaporists believe that pre-set temperatures are enough to satisfy their vaporizer needs. Only 20% did not agree with this and 29% answered the survey with ‘neutral’. So while digital displays and precise (app-controlled) temperature controls seem to be big selling points, it seems most users generally seem content with only having pre-set temperatures at their disposal.

In this article we’ll discuss three of the best rated and most easy to use portable vaporizers that are available today. Not only are these portables an excellent choice for beginning vaporists, these vapes also rank well amongst medicinal users.

1. Mighty

According to many vaporizer enthusiasts, the Mighty (by Storz & Bickel) has been the undisputed king of portables since its release in 2014. Featuring two built-in high quality batteries, the Mighty is a portable powerhouse that packs enough power for multiple sessions. With a heat-up time of 90 seconds it is not considered particularly fast these days, but it makes up for that by excellent flavour and impressive vapour production. Featuring a combination of convection and conduction heating as well as a large capacity bowl, the Mighty has turned many long-time smokers into avid vaporizers.

How easy to use is it? The Mighty is operated by three buttons. The plus (+) and minus (-) buttons are located conveniently between the large LCD display. This display indicates the necessities: current and set temperature as well as the battery status.

Downsides? The battery capacity makes the Mighty somewhat bulky, and not exactly stealthy or pocket friendly. However, if you’re willing to take the size of this beast for granted, it is unlikely you’ll ever regret choosing for this high quality German engineered vape.

Order the Mighty

2. Boundless CF

The LA based Boundless company made an impressive debut in 2016, releasing numerous handhelds that were all received very well.

One of their best-selling, and also easiest to use units, is the CF. A powerful 80 watt heater ensures a very fast heat-up time of around 20 seconds. With a large capacity bowl, five pre-set temperature settings and an affordable price point (the CF retails for 129 euro), you can’t really go wrong with this compact, no-frills portable.

How easy to use is it? The CF’s swivel-like bowl opens in a similar fashion as the Mighty, making loading and unloading a breeze. Pressing the power button five times turns the power on, pressing the same button three times helps you select any of the five pre-set temperatures. The temperatures are indicated on the device itself with a LED and a mark, making it easy to see your current temperature. Charging is easy and fast; simply connect your CF to a micro-USB cable, the same type that is used by most smartphones.

Downsides? Most outer components from the CF are made from (rubberized and high quality) plastic, which does not give it a very premium look and feel.

Order the Boundless CF

3. Arizer Solo

The Solo by Arizer has been on the market for several years now, but remains the number one choice for many medicinal and recreational users alike. It offers a durable vaporizer in an incredibly solid housing while boasting decent battery life and excellent vapour production.

With the successor of the Solo, the Solo II, released in June 2017, the original Solo has dropped in price a bit, providing for an ever better deal.

How easy to use is it? The Arizer Solo features two buttons, which double as power button (hold both simultaneously to turn on the Solo) and temperature up/down buttons. LED’s show the current and set temperature on a scale of 1 to 7. To use, simply fill the bottom side of the glass mouthpiece with some herb, put it back on, and once heated up, enjoy delicious vapour!

The Solo is also very easy to maintain. The glass mouthpieces can be soaked in ISO-alcohol, and the bowl is easily cleaned by using a small brush or a quick rinse with an alcohol swab.

Any cons? The Solo is showing some signs of aging, mostly reflected in the heat-up time (which is close to 1 minute) and it’s bulky appearance, making it less than ideal for carrying around. The all-new Arizer Solo II tackles the battery problems by offering faster heat-up and longer battery life. It has an updated look, while still paying homage to the original. Although these are excellent improvements, the new Solo features a LED display can be a bit fiddly to work with, which is why we did not include it in this listing.

Order the original Arizer Solo


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