What people seek in a “portable” vaporizer varies. Cordless vapes range from cigarette-sized hash oil pens to not-super-portable versions like the Arizer Solo. Some handle cannabis flowers only, or hash oil only, while others accept both. They may use convection heating (hot air) or conduction heating. Some are cuter, some allow for more or less air flow, some weigh more, and some cost more.
A few people have asked me to compare different models: Should I buy the Pax Ploom, the Firefly, or the Ascent? Well, that depends, I say. Each has their strengths and weaknesses, and at the end of the day, each will get you high and set you back between $200-300. Like most products, the question isn’t which is best, rather, which one best fits my intended uses, my lifestyle and my price range.
I kept that in mind when I received the Pinnacle Pro from the kind folks at Vaporizers.com. I mean, it’s not not particularly cute, but the all-black design is fairly discreet, and I think many consumers value discretion in a portable vaporizer. (Discretion is the better part of valor, after all.)
The Pinnacle Pro looks like a beefy vape pen, standing five inches tall and one inch wide. It’s pretty light at 100 grams and fits wonderfully in the hand. One button controls it all, and a series of five LEDs indicate the heat level. (And, on occasion, other color-coded messages that will only confuse you when stoned. “Hey look, I think the Pinnacle’s trying to tell us something!”)
Startup time takes over a minute, which at first made me think it wasn’t hot enough at the lowest setting. So I punched it up to level 3, not realizing the temperature ranges from 370-470 degrees Fahrenheit. A moment later, I puffed a massive cloud of 420-degree vapor and thought, “Holy crap this is not subtle, and it’s fairly hot; I need to turn the heat down and be patient and maybe read the manual.”
The high temperatures allow the little Pinnacle Pro to vaporize hash and hash oil, and it has cartridges for both flowers and concentrates. Flower people, best stick to heat levels 1 and 2 and even then, it is fairly hot when drawing in, and that may irritate the throat. Some vapes take pains to increase the length of airpath between the heating element and the user, but the heater in the Pinnacle Pro is an inch from your mouth. That means the vapor is hot, and I found it best to draw slowly to counterbalance that heat.
To beat the heat, the Pinnacle Pro is designed to work with water pipes, and manufacturer Vapor Blunt produces several purpose-built “HydroTubes” (not to be confused with “HydraTubes” from VapeXhale) for the unit. But you can also just stick it in your bong. I actually turned it upside down in my bubbler and it worked pretty well, though this method won’t work for hash oil.
Used like this, these little vapes become almost glorified lighters, which I think is a brilliant idea. We’ve all had those lighterless moments of frustration, right? The other night, my week-old lighter went dry, and as I repeatedly fiddled with it — certain it simply should not be empty — I had a hyper-focused thought. “What if I could do this without fire?” And then I paused, looked up at my small stack of vaporizers, and chuckled, “Up to speed, man, you’re getting there. Welcome.”
I think the Pinnacle Pro is a great portable option, particularly if you switch-hit between flowers and hash oil or if you want to run your vape through a water pipe. It’s pocket-friendly enough and produces serious vapor, though heat-sensitive consumers may find it harshes their mellow.
The Pinnacle Pro retails for $209 and can purchased directly from Vapor Blunt.
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