Never before has there been such a vast selection of portable dry herb vaporizers as right now. It feels like just a few years ago that you had the choice between a clunky tabletop vaporizer and one or two brands or portable ones. Nowadays, there are so many brands and models to chose from, it’s easy to get confused.
To take some of the guesswork out of your decision of which dry herb vaporizer to get, we put together this buying guide highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the most famous marijuana vaporizers in 2020.
To compile this list, we focussed on a number of factors, such as the taste quality of the produced vapor, battery life, vapor cloud size, price, cannabis capacity limit, durability, and more. Our guide will help anyone new to vaping weed find the best portable dry herb vaporizer for them.
10. Dynavap – the portable steel vaporizer that needs a butane torch
Coming in at a respectable 10th place is a portable weed vaporizer that gets a lot of love online from vape subreddits, the DynaVap. This is a simple portable dry herb vaporizer that works without a battery. Instead, you will use a butane torch to heat it to its working temperature. The DynaVap weed vaporizer can produce some tasty milky vape clouds. Just as previous iterations, the new 2020 “M” model retails for $60 on the DynaVap website. The Dynavap M model is the brand’s stainless-steel edition and can attach to a 14mm rig for water vape hits. If you must have the premium option, there’s a titanium edition available for $180.
The DynaVap can fit between 0.1 to 0.15 grams of finely ground herb, which is the recommended amount for the best vaping experience (according to DynaVap). There’s a carb that you can close and open to increase and decrease vapor production. Unfortunately, it’s easy to accidentally combust your cannabis with the DynaVap as the clicking noise that’s supposed to tell you when to stop heating isn’t as loud as it should be. We recommend a triple flame butane pocket lighter to quickly heat your Dynavap, but be sure to listen for that click so you won’t burn your weed.
The Davinci IQ is a 360-degree conduction heating vaporizer with a zirconia ceramic oven. This premium vape retails for $274.99 online but is currently available for $229 at vapor.com. It has a rechargeable and replaceable 18650 3500mAh battery, comes with a micro USB charger, and requires three hours to charge fully. We averaged between 60 and 75 minutes of frequent use at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Davinci IQ has a filling chamber that can hold a quarter of a gram of ground cannabis. The loading zone is polished stainless steel that makes it easy to load herb. We recommend packing the herb tightly for the best vaping performance. The flavor chamber itself is made of zirconia ceramic to produce an optimal vaping taste.
The Davinci IQ has haptic feedback and vibrates when the vaporizer is ready to use and turns off automatically after 10 minutes.
The Davinci IQ vaporizer also comes with an app that lets you turn the vape on and off from your phone. The app also lets you raise and lower the temperature in single-degree increments and can even save smart paths that will automatically increase the temperature during a session according to your custom settings. Unfortunately, the app seems to be barely usable and has a measly 2.7-star rating in the Google Play Store.
Next up is a portable dry herb convection vaporizer called the Firefly 2+. This premium portable vaporizer retails for $299 online. The Firefly 2+ is best for solo use as it only holds up to 0.15 grams of dry herb. Nonetheless, it’s without a doubt a very efficient vaporizer for weed. All it takes is two small puffs to activate the vapor production and then draw for around 5-10 seconds for a big hit. The vapor quality is top of the line and very smooth. The Firefly 2+ also has an app that connects to it via Bluetooth and allows you to change the temperature in small increments.
The Firefly 2+ is ready to use in a blazingly-fast three seconds and cools down between each draw. That means each draw is its own session. The Firefly 2+ is actually an improved version of the Firefly 2 and has 33% better airflow. The Firefly 2+ has a magnetic lid that securely locks into place.
If dry herb isn’t your thing, the Firefly 2+ also works very well with concentrates. Flavor and vapor are top-notch, especially since the Firefly 2+ is a dry herb vaporizer. The Firefly 2+ comes with dynamic heating, which means that it heats up as you take a draw until you get to your pre-set temperature.
All in all, the Firefly 2+ is a thoroughly enjoyable vaporizer that will not disappoint you.
Arizer’s Argo retails for $188.99 and can be purchased online from Smoke Cartel and other retailers. This portable vaporizer is a session style vape with a slower extraction than many other portables. The Arizer Argo is a hybrid convection and conduction vaporizer and the most portable of the Arizer product line. The Argo’s mouthpiece is made of glass and fully removable for easy cleaning. If you plan on using the Argo with friends, be aware that the mouthpiece can get quite warm with heavy use. Thanks to the glass stem, the vapor quality is super smooth and pure and you can achieve huge clouds with this vape.
The Arizer Argo uses a micro USB charger and can be used while it’s charging. One nice feature not mentioned in the manual is a beep that notifies the user that the set temperature was reached. The Argo also ships with a small screen that stops pieces of herb from getting into your mouth. When you decide your mouthpiece needs a good rinse, all that’s needed is soaking it in cleaning alcohol.
The Argo’s battery last’s for an impressive 90 minutes per charge and comes with replaceable batteries. The Argo weighs 97 grams, making it one of the best portable dry herb vaporizers in 2020. It also comes with a nifty carrying case that’s very nice for holding the vaping device. This is truly a pocket-friendly vaporizer for weed.
Next on our list is the Arizer Solo 2 portable vaporizer. The Solo 2 is another convection and conduction hybrid and currently retails for $184.99. Inside this unit is a ceramic heating element that sits underneath the stainless-steel chamber and is separated by an insulation disc. As its name suggests, the Solo 2 can only hold 0.15 grams of cannabis, which is less than most other dry herb vaporizers. One of the best features is that little to almost no maintenance is required, and keeping this unit clean is almost effortless.
The vapor production of the Solo 2 is impressive and its taste is one of the purest on the market. Unfortunately, its cooling capacity isn’t the greatest and it can get pretty hot during long sessions. The Solo 2 heats up in only 15 seconds and can even be set to heat up in just 4 (!) seconds. It will automatically turn off after 10 minutes of not being used, which can also be customized.
The Solo 2 vaporizer comes with an internal rechargeable lithium battery that lasts for roughly 15 sessions on a full charge, which is achieved in about 3 hours. Like others on this list, the Solo 2 can be used while it’s charging without damaging the battery.
Fifth place goes to another Storz & Bickel portable vaporizer known as the Mighty. This staple of the vaporizer world has been around for years and is still one of the best vaporizers on the market. A fact that is also reflected by its mighty price tag of $349. The Mighty’s heating chamber can hold around half a gram of finely ground cannabis and needs about 90 seconds to fully heat up. Once it reached its operating temperature, the Mighty produces thick white clouds that are a pleasure to inhale.
A 10-12 second draw will fill a small room with potent vapor. If you’ve ever used the Volcano table-top vaporizer, you know what to expect. Like its big brother, the Mighty has almost no draw resistance, but it’s important to keep it clean to maintain a good draw. We recommend cleaning the heating chamber after 20 sessions.
The Mighty’s battery life is outstanding, lasting an average of 90 minutes of heavy use. After about two hours its batteries will be fully charged again and ready to go. The Mighty is certainly at the upper end of the portable segment and has roughly the dimensions of a very thick iPhone 6s. With 230 grams, it also weighs more than most other compact weed vaporizers. Unless you have huge pockets, it’s not small enough to fit in your pocket but it’s very durable.
Fourth on our list for the best portable dry herb vaporizer in 2020 is the Crafty from Storz & Bickel. As you all know, this company is famous for its Volcano vaporizer which is a desktop weed vaporizer. The Crafty is another hybrid convection and conduction vaporizer and retails for $279 online. This weed vaporizer can vape both cannabis and concentrate. The Crafty has a smartphone app that it connects to via Bluetooth. The app allows for precise heat setting options.
They include a grinder that allows you to grind your cannabis extremely fine. A packing tool is also included that snaps onto the bottom of the Crafty dry herb vaporizer and a filling aid is also included. The heating chamber can hold up to a quarter gram of cannabis.
When it comes to concentrates and we recommend only a small grain size amount of shatter, crumble, or distillate (from a syringe). Te Crafty can handle concentrates, but if you want to vape concentrates frequently, you’re better off with a vaporizer specifically for those. Vaping cannabis concentrate is much more of a mess, compared to vaping flower, and it’s just not worth the cleaning that comes with the regular use of vaping cannabis extract with this dry herb vaporizer.
The battery life of the Crafty isn’t impressive since it only lasts around 45 minutes of heavy use. The Crafty does, however, have an auto turn off feature after 60 seconds to help increase its short battery life.
Third place on our list goes to the Gpen Pro portable weed vaporizer from Grenco science. The company is a great affordable option for those who want to spend less on a vape for weed. Its most famous weed vaporizer is the G Pro which retails at $89.95.
The Gpen pro is similar to the Pax 2 in size and is also a conduction vaporizer. It comes with three pre-set temperature settings with color LED lights to represent each temperature. Its lowest temperature is 375 degrees Fahrenheit, midrange temp is at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and the highest 428 degrees Fahrenheit. No matter what temperature mode, the vape air will be warm because of the close distance between the mouthpiece and the heating chamber.
The Gpen Pro heating chamber is a ceramic oven that can hold up to 0.25 grams of marijuana. It takes 30 seconds to heat up with lights flashing to indicate when it’s ready. Pulls are very easy and smooth with almost no draw resistance. The clouds may not be as dense as others such as the Pax dry herb vaporizer, however, its enough to accomplish an excellent high.
The Pax 3 has some significant upgrades from its predecessor. We start off with it’s incredibly super-quick 15-second heating time to vape huge clouds depending on your temperature. Two new features include a vibration mode and the ability to vape concentrate. The Pax 3 price retails at $229.99 for just the Pax 3 or $259.99 for the Pax 3 complete set.
The Pax 3 comes with an extra screen, a keychain tool to pack the cannabis, two mouthpieces, a cartridge for concentrates, two lids, brush to clean the Pax 3 chamber, and an instruction manual. One lid is flat for a full packed chamber, while the other design allows you to pack half of the chamber with cannabis. One mouthpiece is flat while the other extends out like the first-generation Pax mouthpiece.
The concentrate set up sticks out a bit which doesn’t look natural, it’s magnetically held onto place which does hold sufficiently. There are five different temperatures. We recommend temperature 4 for concentrates. The Pax 3 vapes cannabis extract great! We recommend shatter or crumble the size of a grain of rice. Another tip is to vape holding the Pax 3 straight, so the cannabis concentrate doesn’t leak into it.
The Pax 3 is a conduction weed vaporizer with four different temp modes tailored towards different vaping preferences. There’s a boost mode for those who are cloud chasers. There’s an efficient mode for session style vaporizing. There’s also a flavor mode for those who enjoy getting the most flavor from their cannabis. Lastly, there’s a stealth mode for those who don’t want to attract too much attention.
The battery life is where the Pax 3 shines. It lasts much longer than its previous model. Unfortunately, the battery is not removable. The heating time for the Pax 3 is almost three times faster than the Pax 2. Maintenance is relatively easy for those concerned about it being difficult to keep clean. We recommend removing the concentrate cartridge and soaking it in alcohol for 10 minutes to completely clean it. The dry herb chamber doesn’t require much cleaning, simply use the brush that comes along with the vaporizer (with some alcohol to be more efficient). We certainly recommend spending the extra $50 for the Pax 3 because the upgrades are worth the extra money.
Finally, we’ve reached the most searched for portable cannabis vaporizer of them all. The Pax 2 is a conduction vaporizer which heats up much quicker than convection. The chances of combustion are a possibility with conduction if the heat is turned up high enough. The vape isn’t as smooth and tasteful as a convection vape such as the Volcano Vaporizer. Convection needs a pathway for heated air to pass through the cannabis extract and also room for it to cool down. This process is what makes desktop vaporizers more efficient than most portable weed vaporizers.
The Pax 2 can produce a lot of vapor quickly with only a small amount of ground cannabis. Longer draws that are 10 seconds plus can generate a significant amount of vapor. Draw resistance depends on how clean you keep your heating chamber and screen. It’s important to clean after frequent heavy usage.
Final reflections about the vapes in our best portable dry herb vaporizers for 2020. We don’t recommend vaping concentrate frequently with any of these weed vaporizers. We recommend taking a look at our list of the best vape pens for wax in 2020 when you prefer vaping concentrates such as shatter or distillate over cannabis flower. The numbers speak for themselves and our list has broken down the features of the most searched portable dry herb vaporizers in 2020. Our readers can use our list to determine which portable vaporizer for weed is the best for them.
Why make the switch to vaping dry herb?
1. Vaporizers are healthier
There are many reasons why someone would want to switch from smoking cannabis to vaping. First of all, vaping is much healthier than smoking cannabis. Long-term smoking (especially if you mix your cannabis with tobacco) can lead to lung damage. While smoking cannabis is a lot healthier than tobacco, you are still combusting a plant and inhaling burned particles into your lungs.
2. Vaping is cheaper
Vaping weed, instead of smoking it, can actually save you money and time. Apart from the initial cost of the vaporizer itself, you don’t have to buy papers or blunt wraps. People also usually end up using less cannabis as a vaporizer lets them dose exactly how much they want to consume. If you’re on a budget and use marijuana daily, you will greatly benefit from making the switch to a vaporizer. It’s awe-inspiring how much vapor a tiny amount of cannabis can produce – just 0.2 grams of marijuana can provide multiple puffs with reasonably large clouds. A higher temperature setting will produce more vapor if that’s your thing.
3. Vaping is stealthier
If for whatever reason, you need to hide your weed use from people, a vaporizer could be your best friend. If you use the right setting, they produce little to no cloud, and the smell is much less noticeable than with a joint, blunt, or bong.
Is the high from a vaporizer different?
The evidence for this point is largely anecdotal, but most people who tried vaping cannabis will tell you that the high from a vaporizer feels much cleaner than from a joint, pipe, or bong. Since you’re not combusting any material, vaping is smoother on your throat than smoking. Nonetheless, you can still get properly baked with a vaporizer after only a few good rips. If you like weed for its taste, you will love vaping, since you can really taste the entire flavor profile of the bud.
What types of vaporizers are there?
Before proceeding with our list of the best dry herb vaporizers in 2020, we need to explain the different types of heating technologies available.
The two most common types of heating are convection and conduction. Convection allows hot air to travel through the cannabis and produce the best flavor and true vaping experience. Conduction, on the other hand, has a heating device that is physically heating the cannabis. This increases the chances of combustion when the temperature of the convection chamber is set to high. There are also hybrid portable dry herb vaporizers that make use of both types of heating technology.
What’s your favorite dry herb vaporizer of 2020? Let us know in the comments.