Let’s make one thing clear about portable vaporizers: They’ll never be as portable (or enjoyable) as a good old-fashioned marijuana cigarette. So when I was asked to review the Firefly 2, I immediately scoffed. How on earth could this dorky little gadget possibly match the sweet bliss of a tightly rolled joint?

I learned the hard way: the Firefly 2 is a very powerful stoner tool that will knock you flat on your ass if you’re not careful. It’s super portable and will easily slip into your back pocket. It’s also ridiculously simple to use because it only has two buttons—both of which are touch capacitive and do the same thing. You load the bowl up, put your fingers on the buttons, and start inhaling.

So that’s what I did: I pulled the vape out of its packaging, charged it for about 40 minutes, loaded its bowl with delicious medical-grade herbs, and started inhaling from its stubby spout. I quickly learned the Firefly 2 heats up instantly, and if you load it up with the right greens, it will give you an insanely smooth, clean, aromatic hit of your precious buds.

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Now, you might be just as confused as I was: “That’s it? That’s all you have to do?” I was expecting more continuous maintenance, much like the whip vaporizer I used to own in college. I figured I’d have to stir the bowl, watch the temperature, and constantly fiddle with different components. But that’s not what vaping with the Firefly 2 is like.

The Firefly 2 is a convection vape, meaning that the leaves are only heated when you’re inhaling. Also, through that heating process, the vape blows around your herbs inside the bowl, mixing them up so that they’re heated evenly. Every pull you take from this gadget is just like the first—and there’s where I ran into trouble.

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The bowl on the Firefly 2 holds about as much as a standard chillem (or roughly 3 to 4 hits). I assumed that it would perform just as well as that type of short pipe, but maybe it would be a little cleaner since the leaves weren’t actually combusting. What I learned was that the small bowl, when packed to the brim, was actually a dangerous amount to vaporize.

Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t go all Maureen Dowd and lay in bed for the next eight hours. But I was much more... elevated ... than usual. The feeling was distinct and vivid. I was able to finish my thoughts and continue functioning as a normal adult. But I wasn’t normal at all.

It was like I was 30,000 feet in the air looking down at everything. I felt slightly removed from the situation, but still able to function within it. Thankfully, the stakes were low since my only responsibility that night was to eat. And I ate like a starved animal.

But back to the vape: With the bowl packed to brim, I was able to draw seven long, clean pulls of dense vapor that, again, are more potent than your standard joint hit. I didn’t cough, but I could taste the herb clearly. It was tasty. I loved it. I could see myself using this device regularly. I didn’t have to worry about getting ashes everywhere or smelling up the room. The vape hit harder than anything else I could have used—and it was so much cleaner.

When I finally finished the bowl, I emptied the device, and stood in my kitchen thinking. I couldn’t stop going over how easy it was to use. There had to be a catch.

So I decided to test the vaporizer over several nights. One of the downsides had to be the battery life, I figured. How long could it possibly last if the device was constantly getting cranked up to 400 degrees fahrenheit?

Again—I learned the hard way. The vape lasted three nights in a row of multiple bowl packs before its battery finally withered out. When it was done, it wasn’t even that much of an inconvenience. The Firefly 2 comes with two batteries, so when one runs out, you can quickly swap in a new one. Each battery lasts for at least 20 draws, which is plenty of action for medical grade marijuana.

The two batteries are also enough for anyone just hanging around the house, or going over to a friend’s house for the night. But, even though the batteries lasted for a long while, I wouldn’t recommend bringing the Firefly 2 to a concert.

The problem is that it’s just not worth the extra weight and bulk of carrying batteries around in your pocket. It’s also not the easiest to load while standing up.

Aside from how difficult it is to pack while standing, there aren’t many shortcomings to the Firefly 2. The vape is just as portable as a standard joint, but it’s cleaner, less smelly, and will get you much higher than any joint ever could—and for that, it’s well worth its $330 price tag.

ReadMe

  • Easy to use: just fill the bowl and press the side buttons
  • Compact and easy to fit into jean pockets (and hide from concert security)
  • Long battery life—lasts at least one full Phish song
  • Magnetic top is easy to remove, but strong enough to stay on