Earlier last week I was charged with reviewing the Vapir by Air2, purported to be one of the cleanest and most effective methods to inhale plant products. In the name of research and Science I humbly accepted the responsibility.
There are several models to choose from, but I had the corded version which starts at $199. At first, the idea of using a vaporizer made me feel a little uncomfortable. Here I am using a device that looks like it is straight out Blade Runner to reduce the active ingredients of plants into vapor—my hippie cred would be shot. I wondered how my friends would react to this thing when I busted it out at parties, Monday afternoons, Wednesday mornings...
The Vapir is essentially a heat gun which applies hot air, at a controlled temperature, directly to plant matter without igniting it. The result is a cooler than smoke mist that does not contain the harmful byproducts of smoking (tar, carbon monoxide, etc.). Time to retire bongzilla? Of all the materials that accompany the Vapir, the DVD is the only thing worth looking at. Despite the fact that it's supposed to serve as the instructions, check it out only after using the Vapir, trust me. It mimics the Matrix; "Neo" in the DVD is actually named "Blaze" and puts on this burn out (good Keanu Reeves impersonation) act as he stumbles through figuring out how to use the Vapir.
You begin by loading the device with ?herb discs.? Out of the box these come pre-loaded with such fine flavors as headache-inducing eucalyptus, and throat-irritation mint. Skip this all together unless you are a firm believer in healing crystals. The mechanism which locks the tray into did not fail at any point during the week but seems flimsy—after extended use I could see this breaking. Also, watch out when you remove the tray and disc after use, both are very hot.
Plug it in, the Vapir also comes with a Europe voltage adapter in case you need to get your vaporization on across international borders. The manual states that 250 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temp for vaporizing most herbs, but with a top end temperature setting of 400 degrees you can easily reach the 392 degree boiling point of THC although that would be illegal in many countries. Dial in the desired temperature with the digital controls and press heat. Time to Vaporize, motherfuckers!
The Vapir heats up and is ready to go in a matter of minutes; when a faint mist appears start hitting it. The only thing that sucks about the process is that once it begins it's like a race. You gotta concentrate and pass this thing with a fury lest the precious vapors will escape into the air and not into your lungs.
The Vapir even has a USB port which the company claims can be used to create an online file [of smoking habits] available to any practioner, something tells me most users will choose not to upgrade to this feature. The company maintains that the Vapir should only be used for legal herbs and as a method to quit smoking, but come on, this thing has a vapor chamber illuminated by blue LEDs!
Over the past week I've noticed some minor design flaws that affect the overall experience of using the Vapir. If you actually go out and buy one of these, get the rechargeable battery version; being tethered to the wall by a cord is whack. While passing the Vapir, the power cord as it connects to the unit has the potential to slide the power switch to the off position; a definite buzz kill when if you?re in the middle of a session. The way in which the hookah tube connects to the Vapir is also a little annoying. What user is gonna take the time to boil the tube for 30 minutes then get a set a pliers to pull it through the hole only to have it fall out again when you pass that shit around.
In Version 2.0 I'd like to see the following: A straight plug for the power adapter and a tube pre-connected to a screw top with an O ring so that you can simply screw the hookah tube onto the Vapir. Oh yea, and Air2, next time around, if the Blue LEDs strobe to music, well, that would be fucking rad. And it would totally help me quit smoking, too.
It's not a bad product, insofar as it does do what it says it does, but it does have a lack of overall quality that is off-putting in such an expensive device (even the plastic feels strangely slipshod). If I'm going to drop multiple bills on a smoking accessory, I want something that feels like quality.
Company Page [Air-2]