Review: AirVape XS Portable Vaporizer

While I will still accept a joint at a party or something, I moved over to using vaporizers about three years ago. The high was a little different than burning the flower and in the end I decided I preferred it. More importantly, though, I could taste my flower so much more. It is hard to express to you how significantly different cannabis with a solid terpene profile tastes when vaped instead of burned. I have brought my vape with me to visit growers and they are astonished by the clarity of taste and say they feel like they are tasting their own weed for the first time. Moving to a vape allowed me to really experience the terpene profile of the flower and toking has become a much more enjoyable experience since getting one.

So it is with that bias towards a good vaporizer that I happily received the Airvape XS. The ultra-designed packaging looks like something you’d buy from Apple. When I first took it out of the box, the vape was very satisfying to hold. You know how sometimes something looks like it should be quality-made but then you pick it up and it feels flimsy? This is not that. As soon as I picked it up, I felt like I had an elegant race car in my hand. A well-made machine. A medical device.

I have been using a Pax 2 for the last year and have loved it. That said, as soon as the AirVape was in my hand, I realized that I probably had a new favorite vaporizer. I tossed some Sour Cheese strain in the grinder, opened the top of the vape and tapped it in. I like how the flower is inserted in the top of the device instead of the bottom so it travels a shorter path to my mouth. There is less pathway to clean and a whole lot less constriction of air flow than most other vapes out there. With the cannabis at the top, I can get a hit that feels more substantial even though I am just inhaling vapor and not full-bodied smoke. I also like that the mouthpiece is large enough that I am unlikely to set it down somewhere and lose it while packing the vape.

It is also pretty cool when the device starts up.  There is a small LED screen on the front that looks snazzy and impresses everyone I show it to. I really like the digital control for the temperature being right there on the front and not somewhere that I have to dig for it, especially since I use this vape for flower, hash and concentrates. Three clicks of the button and it fires up to the temperature I specify. One of the things I was surprised that I loved about this vape was that it gives a quick little vibration when it gets to the right temperature. That way, if I am chatting and get distracted while it is heating up, it lets me know I am ready. That is really helpful too when toking while sitting at the computer.  I can look away to whatever I am working on and the vape will give me a sign when I can hit.

For flower, I found that 350 degrees F was just about the right place to get a full spectrum vape hit without causing the flower to get toasty too fast. For hash and concentrates, be sure to crank it up all the way to 410 degrees F. I found that I needed to wait for the vape to get up to 410 degrees F and then wait another 15 seconds or so for the concentrate to get bubbly to get a really good hit from a concentrate.  Vaped concentrates are a milder experience than dabbing but you still get the power of the dab in your hit. Also, the taste is great, as would be expected with a low-temp dab.

When enjoying kief, bubble hash, shatter or some other extracted oil, you’ll want to drop in the concentrates cup. It is a novel way to give the AirVape XS an ability to use concentrates instead of only flower. It’s true that if you are a dabber that this won’t replace your rig, but if you are leaving the house and going to a show or hiking or something where you are on the move and may be toking with friends, this will do you just fine.

As far as accessories, I also like the XS Shell that protects your vape and adds some disguise to it. The unit doesn’t scratch easily and I usually want to show it off, but I also carry it in a backpack or briefcase and everything gets banged around in my bag. It would be a real disappointment to walk all day with my stainless steel grinder rubbing against the metal vape. Better to have it in some protection.

Vape technology just keeps getting better and better and it is nice to see a vape with some original usability enhancements that the others don’t have.

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