Over the last five years, the technology for dry herb vaporizers has been rapidly advancing. Much like personal computers, the latest weed vapes are not only way smaller but way more powerful than ever before.
Note: You may hear us use the term cannabis, dry herb, weed, marijuana or loose leaf on this page. They are all referring to the same thing. You might choose to use these products for aromatherapy or with tobacco but let’s be honest, they were designed to vaporize cannabis.
This section is dedicated to the best portables available on the market today. The cannabis portable vaporizer market is rapidly evolving so these are the latest and greatest portables to date!
Best portable vaporizers 2018
- Compatible with flower and concentrates
- Haptic feedback
- High-polished anodized aluminum shell
- 15-second heat up (30 seconds faster than PAX 2)
- 4 temperature settings
- Full-color LED interface indicating battery life/temperature and more
- Internal accelerometer saves energy and material
- 3500 mAh battery (16% larger than PAX 2)
- Double the oven power of PAX 2
- Bluetooth enabled; compatible with PAX Vapor app
- Dimensions: 98.5 (H) x 30.6 (W) x 21.4 (D) mm
- 10-year warranty
- 4 colors available (Black Gold Silver and limited edition Rose Gold)
The PAX 2 quickly became the iPhone of portable vaporizers and now PAX Labs has a new and improved version called the PAX 3 which takes some of its best features to the next level. Increased airflow, faster heat-up times and a Bluetooth app that controls your temperature, the PAX, one of the best portable vaporizers to date just got that much better.
- Vaporizes dry herbs and concentrates
- Storage capacity 0.25 grams
- Temperature levels: 104° F - 410° F
- Initial heating approximately 60 seconds heating system hybrid
- Heating coating material: stainless steel
- External coating material: plastic
- Battery capacity: approximately 90 minutes
- Charging time: approximately 2 hours
- Compatible w/ USB chargers
- Compatible w/ smartphones
- Dimenisons: 14 x 11 x 3 cm
- Weight: 226 grams
- Warranty: 2 years
The Mighty has withstood the test of time. It has been around for years now and like the Volcano, the design still holds up. This is a vaporizer you can count on for years to come, as long as you take good care of it. It vaporizes dry herbs or concentrates with included pads. The design has been slightly improved over the years, so this Mighty is now mightier than ever.
The device utilizes both conduction and convection to create a steady flow of vapor. It has an intuitive dual-button interface for dialing in precise temperature settings. A built-in display makes it easy to see battery life and the current and target temperatures. It’s one of the most well thought out portable weed and dab vaporizers ever made. Not cheap, but well worth the money.
- 30-60 second heat up time
- Made of anodized aluminum
- Single-degree or 10-degree temperature adjustment
- Precise temperature 50°C – 220°C (122°F – 428°F)
- Pass-thru charging
- Two-year warranty with Arizer
- Full glass vapor path
Arizer has gained a reputation for making dependable vaporizers. The Solo II was the long awaited update to the acclaimed Solo. The airflow has been slightly opened compared to the original, but still maintains a nice restrictive draw. It utilizes a removable herb chamber which comes in clutch for those stop and go situations. Its internal battery provides
The Solo II is slimmer than the classic Solo. Its ergonomic design feels great in the hand. It has a bright screen and a menu system for adjusting your settings and is constructed of quality materials. The Solo heats up fast and delivers great flavor due to an all glass vapor path. It also feels durable and is covered under a two-year warranty with Arizer. It’s time to go solo.
- Streamlined profile and simplified user interface
- Single button operation
- Four temperature settings
- 30 to 60 second heating time
- Integrated accelerometer
- Quickly check battery level by gently shaking device
- Deeper oven
- More consistent draw
- 10 to 25 draw capacity/dependent on temperature
- LED feedback display/quadrant based
- Multi color
- Elegant anodized aluminum surfacing
- Multitude of color options
- Comfortable to hold: ergonomically shaped
- Improved lithium ion battery
- Increased efficiency
- Intelligent heating and cooling systems
- Magnetic charge port
- Included with magnetic charging cradle
- Two mouthpiece options: flat and raised
- Easily cleaned
- Includes cleaning kit
- 10-year warranty
- Register your device through PAX Vapor
In short, the PAX 2 is the iPhone of portable weed vaporizers. When you first pick it up, it doesn’t make any sense. Its simple and understated design can actually be confusing at first. Once you figure it out, it is smooth sailing from there. It doesn’t just look cool, it actually works too.
The first PAX was known for its good flavor. This has been improved in the PAX 2. The battery life is also better, and the body is smaller and narrower. The PAX 1 or 2 is not going to give you big milky clouds but you will get great flavor and it is a discrete way of using cannabis.
The PAX 2 has a unique design that is based off the original PAX. It has a deeper oven that holds a decent amount of herb, and works best when it is fully packed. Cleaning and maintenance is minimal, but must be done often for the optimal vaporization of your herbs.
- Heats in only 3 seconds
- For both aromatic blends and concentrates
- Charges in 45 minutes
- New charging cradle
- USB 3.0 cable connects to any phone or tablet charger
- Sleek magnetic lid
- Borosilicate glass vapor path
- 2-year limited warranty
The Firefly 2 heats up when you press the button so there is never any vapor coming out of it, which greatly reduces the smell. This is a big consideration for people who are stealth vaping.
The Firefly took the portable vaping world by storm because it was drastically different from anything else on the market. Now the creators have come up with a new version that improves upon just about every critique the first one had. The Firefly 2 is very different from the rest of ‘em.
What makes the Firefly 2 so unique is the fact that it has on-demand heating. In other words, it is not an oven that will stay heating. The user presses a button which initiates the heating process, similar to the old Magic Flight Launch Box. Perfect for long, drawn-out sessions.
One of the benefits of this heating system is the fact that none of the flavor gets wasted. That has a positive effect on flavor. Its small size makes it great for on-the-go use, however the oven can only hold small amounts at a time. Last but not least, it is good at concealing odors.
- 300F – 435F adjustable temperature settings
- Digital display
- Convection heating
- Optimum airflow
- Discreet design
The Diamond features a decent-sized ceramic chamber with four holes that are built into the edges of the chamber which is reminiscent of the PAX oven. The mouthpiece is one solid piece of plastic without screens or filters, so it is actually very easy to clean and maintain.
The Cloud V Diamond is extremely portable and compact. It has a magnetic cover for the mouthpiece. Best of all, this thing heats up almost instantaneously. Within seconds of powering on, you will smell the aroma and even see vapor flowing out the mouthpiece.
The Diamond is dependable, efficient and just works the way it should, no matter how much you pack. The flavor is fantastic and the vapor production is abundant for a portable herb vape.
- Device size: 1.65 inches wide
- Height: 3.54 inches
- Depth: 0.94 inches
- Device weight: 5 oz
- Heat-up time (to reach 230° F): 16 seconds
- Replaceable 18650 battery
- Charging time: 3 hours
- Ten-year warranty
The Davinci IQ is not just impressive in size. Its also impressive in performance. The IQ allows you to dial in precise temperature control settings. It also has a 51-light grid display and simple to use interface. Suitable for anyone from beginner to advanced dry herb vapers on the run. The device is powered by replaceable 18650s, so you can swap them without ever missing a beat.
The vapor path is made entirely of ceramic zirconia. This material creates thicker clouds and allows heat to be distributed evenly across your herbs. It’s also one of the reasons for the IQ’s top-notch flavor. Choose from 4 different heat settings or use the Bluetooth App for full control.
- Vaporizes: dry herb
- Storage capacity: 0.65 g
- Preconfigured temperature levels: 5 levels (180 ° C to 220 ° C)
- Initial heating: approximately 20 seconds
- Heating system: conduction
- Heating chamber material: ceramic
- External coating material: plastic
- Battery capacity: approximately 60 minutes
- Charging time: full charge in approximately 3 hours
- Compatibility with chargers: USB
- Compatibility with smartphone applications: no
- Other functions: one button operation
- Dimensions: 14.5 cm x 4.6 cm x 2.6 cm
- Weight: 190 grams
- Warranty: 1 year from manufacturer
Easily one of the most affordable portables for dry herb right now. It really doesn’t get much more affordable than this. The Black Mamba is impressive for its size and price. It offers a glass vapor path and a ceramic chamber, features normally found on the more expensive vaporizers.
It has a unique flat shape that fits well in your pocket. The device is coated in a soft rubbery plastic for durability and added grip, similar to the Kandypens Feather and Micro G Pen. If you want to ditch the lighter and start vaping, but you’re low on funds, the Mamba is your best bet.
- Vaporizes: dry herb and concentrates
- Storage capacity: 0.4 grams
- Preconfigured temperature levels: between 37 and 221° C
- Initial warm-up time: 20 seconds
- Heating system: hybrid (conduction and convection)
- Heating chamber material: stainless steel with ceramic heating element
- External coating material: plastic
- Battery capacity: between 10 and 15 sessions (or around 90 minutes) - 2500mAh
- Charging time: Full charge in 30 minutes with dock / 2.5 hrs with USB charger
- Compatible with Micro USB chargers
- Other functions: emits vibration when power is on / reaches set temperature and turns off 5-minute session timer / standby mode
- Dimensions: 12 x 7 x 3 cm
- Weight: 208 grams
- Warranty: 3 years from manufacturer
The Boundless CFX is a solid choice. Smaller than the Mighty, but larger than the Crafty. It also borrows a few design cues from both devices, while incorporating a few of its own. This portable vaporizer has a bright, colorful LED screen and does temp control with true precision. There’s also a concentrate pod suitable for vaping cannabis extracts.
When you look at the price, it doesn’t even make sense. The CFX has features normally found on more expensive vapes, that usually go for double the price of the Boundless CFX. For example it has quick heating and a 2500 mAh battery capacity good for up to ten sessions. Its ceramic and steel heating system utilizes a combination between convection and conduction.
These portable cannabis vaporizers have been around for awhile now but still are worth mentioning on this list. They include the Goboof Alfa, the HipVap and the Crafty. We will be keeping our eyes out for future products so that we can keep this list up-to-date.
What is a dry herb vaporizer?
Let’s back up for a second. Just like personal computers, the original vaporizers were gigantic! Now we refer to these as “desktop units”, which still work great and have a purpose. However, in more recent years, marijuana vaporizers started getting smaller and more portable.
One of the first ultra-portable vaporizers to gain traction would have to be the original PAX. Unfortunately the $300 price tag discouraged a lot of people from switching over to vaping.
Since then, and even since I started working for Vaping360, I have noticed more portable weed vaporizers hitting the market for under $200! Another notable portable marijuana vaporizer is the Magic Flight Launch Box, which is still used by vapor connoisseurs on the regular, to this day.
PAX Labs has since released the PAX 2 portable vaporizer, an updated version of the original, in order to compete with this rapidly growing market. This market has become a lot more competitive since they started and basically cornered the market on portable loose leaf vaporizers.
Tips for vaping with dry herb vaporizers
- Always use a grinder to get the most vapor of out your herbs.
- Also make sure that your herb is not too moist or sticky. The dryer the herb, the better the vapor production.
- Wait an extra 10-15 seconds beyond when your device says it is up to temperature. Let it create a nice flow of vapor and you will typically have a better session.
- Make sure your portable weed vaporizer is charged before you pack, the worst part about vaping is having your device die in the middle of a session. Not fun.
- Start at a low temperature, and work your way up towards the end. Once the flavor and vapor production start to die down, your session is over.
- Don’t overpack your portable cannabis vaporizer! I can’t stress this enough because this makes such a huge impact on the heat distribution and overall efficiency of your dry herb vape. When it comes to portable herbal vaporizers, a little bit can go a long way. (Less is more.)
- Don’t underpack your portable dry herb vaporizer either because then your loose leaf will just fly around and end up getting sucked in the mouthpiece. Don’t be cheap, pack enough so that the herb can “sit together”, but also make sure that air can travel in between.
- Wait about 15-20 seconds between hits, to give the portable vaporizer some time to create more vapor. It is not an e-cig where you can chain vape and blow humongous clouds.
- Don’t be lazy. Clean after each session. My grandmother used to say “a stitch in time saves nine”. This is incredibly true for cannabis vape pens.
- If you wait, it is gonna get ugly.
- Wait for your dry herb oven to cool down first, then gently use your brush to clean it.
Conduction vs. convection
You might hear the terms “convection” and “conduction” thrown around a lot when talking about portable dry herb vaporizers. These terms might sound like confusing scientific terminology, but it is actually quite simple.
Conduction means that there is a conductor of heat, for example a heated surface that makes contact with your weed. This heating process will probably give you a stronger hit, but will run the risk of getting close to combustion. Another advantage is that it will heat up faster.
Convection has to do with air. In this heating method, the dry herb material is heated by air, which takes longer to do, but will give off better flavor. Another advantage to this process is that you won’t need to stir your loose leaf around to ensure that it gets evenly vaporized.
Most portable vaporizers operate with a combination of both conduction and convection heating. For example, the weed might be touching a heated surface (Conduction), however when you inhale, the air that is pulled inside is then heated thus increasing vaporization (Convection).
Dry herb pens vs. portable vaporizers
You may have seen our Best Dry Herb Pens page. In that section we have specifically chosen those particular vaporizers that have the form factor of a vape pen. Although rare, this type of product has been in high demand probably long before the technology was available.
The main advantage to using a weed vape pen would be portability and discretion. However, although bigger in size, portable dry herb vaporizers usually have more advanced features such as an LED screen with battery-life indication. More importantly, you will usually get a more satisfying vape from a portable vaporizer versus a pen style. The choice is subjective.