I was impressed from the start with the Ascent by Da Vinci. The portable vaporizer is stylish and well-packaged, but what really caught my eye was the glass mouthpiece that pulls out of the unit like a straw. Further inspection revealed the Ascent has an all-glass vapor path, a much-lauded feature in desktop models, but unheard of in a portable vape. Exciting!
The Ascent is the size and weight of an electric razor, and it looks like one too. Twice as heavy as the Pax Ploom — one of its main competitors — it might be too bulky for some on-the-go tokers. For me, the weight and form made it feel sturdy.
The digital display, also a rare feature in the world of portable vaporizers, is another example of the Ascent’s reach for the stars. Once powered on, the temperature can be adjusted up to 430 degrees using the OLED screen and three-button user interface.
The glass-lined ceramic heating chamber is contained in the bottom quarter of the unit, which swivels out for loading. It can be a little awkward to load since it must be held upright while the chamber is open and it won’t stand on its own, but that’s a minor inconvenience. I found a tightly-packed bowl to work best, and was pleasantly surprised at the amount of vapor it produced. And the flavor was super pleasing, like my herb traveled through warm glass rather than warm plastic.
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The Ascent also handles hash and hash oil, using small glass containers that insert into the heating chamber. Medical-grade silicone lids can be omitted to retain the all-glass experience. I managed to vape both hash and hash oil in the unit, but it didn’t produce near as much vapor as ground cannabis. I assume it performs better with a heavier fill of oil or hash, but I’m a writer, not a baller, and could only muster a meager stash of concentrates.
At a retail price of $249, the Ascent is a high-end, high-quality portable vaporizer from start to finish. From the all-glass vapor path and glass concentrate inserts to the digital display and adjustable temperature, it’s packed with desirable features. And most important, it works pretty damn well.