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Vessel Compass Review: Posh and Powerful in Your Palm

Dave Kriegel
August 18, 2020

Product intro and specs

Vessel is best known for their high-end oil pens, like the Vista which I recently reviewed. The Compass is their first attempt at a 510 thread palm-style vape, the biggest trend in cannabis oil vaping. It goes for the same price as the Vista, but it packs an extra 210 mAh of battery life. That’s almost double the size of the original Vessel and almost as much as the PCKT One.

The Compass has a drop-in design which protects your cartridge nicely. The 510 connection has a built-in swivel system, so you can always get your mouthpiece the way you like it. That’s a relief for OCD vapers out there who use cartridges with those flat-style mouthpieces. I’m curious how the airflow is going to be because that is one of my favorite things about Vessel devices. Let’s find out how the Compass compares to some of the best 510 thread vapes on the market.

The Compass was sent courtesy of Vessel for the purpose of this review.

Price: $59 (at Vessel)
Colors: gold, gunmetal

Specifications

  • Features a protected cartridge drop-in design
  • Fits most 510 thread cartridges (cartridge not included)
  • Features cartridge swivel for proper mouthpiece alignment
  • Powered by a high-quality 550 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery core
  • 3-LEDs indicate battery life and power settings
  • Three (3) power/voltage settings (low 2.8 V /medium 3.2 V / high 3.6 V)
  • USB-C charging port + cable
  • Dimensions: 2.625" L x 1.625" W x 0.75" D
  • Weight: 66 G
  • Six (6) month limited warranty
  • Compatible with Scout Case (sold separately)

Kit contents

  • 1 x Vessel Compass device
  • 1 x USB-C charging cable
  • 1 x Display cartridge

Build quality and design

The build quality is phenomenal. The Compass looks like a big key fob for a luxury vehicle. Looks aside, it feels rugged and comfortable in the hand. It has the high-end look we’ve come to expect from Vessel. The Compass is currently available in gold, if you want something flashy, or gunmetal if you want something more low key. I prefer the gunmetal edition for daily use, but I would use the gold one if I wanted to look extra fancy once in a while. It has a unique shape and the Vessel logo printed on one side, and engraved into the back. The device has a USB-C port on the bottom and magnets, which hint at a potential charging dock in the future?

The Compass is just over 6.67 mm (2.6″) in length, 41.3 mm (1.6″) in width and 19 mm (0.75″) in depth. It weighs 66 grams, and about 81 grams with a cartridge installed. It feels like it’s designed for your hand. Unfortunately it doesn’t stand up on a desk, but it slips easily into your pocket. There are no magnetic adapters and it fits all of the standard 510 carts that I’ve tested. It also has a cool swivel system which gives you 180 degrees of freedom to adjust your cart. As with all Vessel devices, make sure not to overtighten or you might have trouble unscrewing it.

It’s still a Vessel, but in a new form. It still has the same easy to use interface and LED indication. The LEDs are brighter than the original and more like the ones on the Vista. I’d like to direct your attention to the big firing button located on the front of the device. I think it was a very nice touch because it’s super easy to locate. The Compass has a 550 mAh battery, which is the largest capacity offered by Vessel in their lineup. That’s a huge capacity for a 510 thread vape.

Using the Compass

Even if you’ve never used a Vessel before, it’s similar to most of the button-operated vape pens out there. Here’s a quick rundown on how to use the Compass:

  • Five clicks to turn on and off and hold it down to fire.
  • The device has an automatic 8-second puff limiter.
  • To change the voltage, click the fire button three times.
  • The device will turn off after 15 minutes of inactivity.
  • The Compass will remember your most recent voltage setting.
  • The 3 LEDs near the fire button indicate your battery life.
  • The lights will blink when it’s charging, and will stop when it’s fully charged.
  • Use a cotton swab and alcohol to clean the threads and connection every so often.

If you are still a little bit confused, Vessel provides a few informative and useful videos on their website to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about their products. Eventually you will get the hang of it and using the Compass will most likely become second nature to you.

Performance

When it comes to performance, the Compass hits it out the park. I was hoping for the airflow to be as smooth as their previous devices–and it is! The draw is on par with the original, the Vista seems to provide slightly more airiness since it has that wide open collar design. In any case, all of the Vessel devices I’ve tested have the perfect restrictive yet airy draw that is perfect for oil.

The voltage output is on point too. I mostly use it on the middle setting (3.2 volts) because it’s the perfect middle ground for me. I rarely hit it on the pink (3.6 volt) setting out of fear of burning out my coil. I never got a burnt hit on the lowest setting but if you chain vape on the middle setting it can get dry. It also depends on the style of cartridge and wicking system it utilizes. I’ve used the Compass with some CBD distillate cartridges and it has been extremely enjoyable.

I’m not going to list this as a con, but I find that the Compass is ideal for longer full-sized cartridges rather than 0.5 gram ones. The reason is that when I used it with a shorter style oil cart, the mouthpiece doesn’t pop out much, so your lips might touch the device when vaping.

The device shuts off after 15 minutes of inactivity, which is pretty convenient (most of the time). It doesn’t feature pass through charging, but it fully charges in about an hour and change. I’ve gone through almost a full gram cartridge on a single charge so far and it’s still going strong.

Pros / Cons

  • Large 550 mAh battery life
  • Extremely ergonomic
  • High-end look and feel
  • Rugged construction
  • Protects cartridges
  • Compatible with most oil carts
  • Three power settings
  • Nice swivel feature
  • USB-C compatible
  • No pass through charging
  • Charging dock sold separately
  • Six-month limited warranty

Verdict

The Compass is currently my favorite device that Vessel offers. It has tons of battery life, looks stunning and feels like it was designed to sit in your hand. The performance and airflow are on par with the rest of the Vessel line, and easily one of the higher end 510 thread vapes I’ve ever used. The big fire button, battery life and overall aesthetics are some of its standout features.

If you’re done with cheap throwaway vape pens, you might want to check out the Vessel Compass. It encompasses all of the features from the previous Vessel products, but in a new and unique form factor. And considering the price, it’s easily one of the best options out there right now for a daily driver. How do you feel about the Compass? Leave a comment below.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dave has always had a passion for helping people quit smoking. As a former smoker himself, he knew how hard it could be. As soon as he learned about vaping, he instantly became obsessed with it and helped many people stop smoking. Vaping360 has given Dave a platform to do this on a much larger scale, by educating the public about the wonders of vaping. When Dave is not writing he is either listening to music, performing it, or cruising around on his Penny board.

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Christopher Stegmeier

Bought and can’t get CCell cartidge out of device. Please help!

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