As I’ve mentioned before, I’m excited by the increasing number of well-designed vaporizers on the market. My first vaporizer was a Steinel heat gun with a specialized glass bong attachment called the Vriptech. I still think that heat gun is one of the best vapes ever, but some adjustment must be made for the number of times I burned myself on the damn thing. In contrast, none of the products I’ve reviewed for The Cannabist have nearly the unintentional fire risk of my Steinel and that, dear friends, is a good thing.
And vaporizers are getting so darn cute, especially these little portable units. When the kind folks at Vaporizers.com suggested I try the Arizer Solo, I wondered how the now 3-year-old vaporizer would stack up against more recent market entrants. Is legalization-era pot technology much different than prohibition-era paraphernalia?
Barely paying attention and stoned half the time, I thought the Arizer Solo was more of a desktop unit — probably mind-mixing it up with the Arizer Extreme Q — so when the little box arrived on my stoop, I was momentarily puzzled. And really, the scene only got more stonerific as I eagerly opened a series of ever-shrinking Russian nesting dolls disguised as small shipping boxes — one box, two box, three box, and a hunk of foam packaging — until the little Solo revealed itself.
The Arizer Solo is a stout cylinder standing 4.5 inches tall. The bottom houses electronics and the top contains a ceramic heating element surrounding a stainless steel chamber. The unit is controlled with two buttons, and has a series of LEDs to indicate the heat level, heater status and charging status. Included are glass stem attachments that you fill with herb before placing into the little base. The whole thing is battery-powered and includes a charging cable.
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Let’s be blunt: the Arizer Solo isn’t as sexy as the Pax Ploom, the Firefly, or the Ascent. But I ain’t lookin’ for a supermodel, just a friend to get me high. I mean, we’re not talking rocket science, just a heat source, some weed, and me — and I got the last two elements covered, so bring the heat.
And the Solo certainly heats cannabis to the vaporization point — mission accomplished! — seems well-made and super sturdy, and I really like the glass attachments, though I wouldn’t want to regularly travel with them. It’s easy to load the glass stems and to clean the whole thing out.
The vapor from the Solo tastes great, presumably owing to the glass stem and a short air path separated from the vaporizer’s electronic components. One small benefit over the Ascent and its glass air path is that the Solo stands upright on its own — life is about small comforts, right? And it’s made in Canada, that country to the north whose marijuana we used to buy. (Remember those days, Canada?)
Also worth noting: The Solo has low air flow, so drawing in air can be slow going. Many forum-posting non-combusters complain about it, and many came up with home remedies to increase air flow. The manufacturer modified the design to allow a bit more air, but it’s still a slow draw. To understand this, take a full breath in and time it. For me this take about two seconds. The same full breath through the Arizer Solo takes me about 25 seconds. That said, this little heater still gets you high.
The Arizer Solo retails for $224 and is a good option for those seeking a small home vaporizer. The glass attachments are great — unless you travel or are clumsy — and the stout little vape definitely gets the job done just as well as these new-fangled, legalization-era vaporizers.
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