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Based on the following, what is the best Portable for me?

Discussion in 'ABV' started by FlyingLow, Feb 20, 2014.

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  1. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

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    I have been lurking the last few weeks and have read several hundred posts [of thousands] but I am still on the fence and looking for guidance on a portable vape. I have included a brief background and what I am looking for below:

    After a terrible sinus surgery last year, I switched to vaping and got myself a Plenty. I had had previous experiences with the Volcano and fell in love with the unit, and the Plenty provided the same quality of hits on a lesser budget. My health has also gone through some major transformations since starting, but that is probably better left for another thread...


    Over the last year, I have taken the Plenty nearly everywhere with me, but it is time I get a more convenient, cordless unit. I need help choosing my next device based on the following criteria, and believe I have narrowed it down to the FF and the Pax:

    • This will be used with dry material. NO concentrates or oils will be used with this portable.
    • Ease of draw resistance- IMO the best characteristic of the Storz & Bickel products. I do not want to feel like I am sucking a milkshake through a tea stirrer.
    • Vapor quality and efficiency- I am a heavy user using excellent material, I like to get medicated ASAP and am more interested in the most affective unit.
    • Battery life- I have other hobbies that put me off-the-grid on a regular basis and and outlets for the Plenty are unavailable. However, I do have USB power to recharge; thanks to a few LiPo batteries and one of these.
    • Discretion is a lessor concern, but still don't want to be obvious.
    • Cleaning- I travel regularly, so prefer a unit that can be cleaned thoroughly.

    If I typically take 2 half-packed bowls on the Plenty to feel good, how many bowls would the equivalent amount be in the other units?


    Any and all feedback is appreciated from you more experienced fellas.
    I would be most curious to hear from some persons that have had experience with the FireFly, Pax and the Plenty.

    Thanks for the guidance!
  2. Caligula

    Caligula HTTP ERROR: 404 - NOT FOUND

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    Lotus? (Suck it @vorrange I beat you to it!)
  3. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

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    I had never heard of that before your post; I guess it is time for more reading:)
  4. natural farmer

    natural farmer god is in the neurons...

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    You beat me to it as well! :lol: :tup:
  5. SpruceGruve

    SpruceGruve Bag of sand in hand,Eyeing up the gold statue

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    The magic flight launch box is portable and afordable,but has a bit of a learning curve.
    No draw restriction,although I get best results with a slow draw.

    The lotus is flame powered so it's good for off the grid,but I have no experience with it yet....mines in the mail.

    The pax from my experience is really harsh and doesn't taste that good on its highest setting.
    The lower two settings arnt harsh though.generally speaking this doesn't have a learning curve.

    The pinnaclepro is one you could look into aswell,good feedback this on this site,and good flavor


    Good luck with your choice
  6. natural farmer

    natural farmer god is in the neurons...

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    OK, I need to note a couple of things for FlyingLow here… He asked more than a plain recommendation. :)

    No problems here with most of the vapes that are designed primarily for loose leaf herbs. Pax and FF will surely do the job…

    Pax has a very restricted air-path and it's most comfortable draw would be puffing it like a cigar with your mouth and not your lungs. From what I have read here FF has a quite open air-path but I guess no portable will be as open as the Plenty. Lotus is also quite open.

    I never liked the vapor quality of the Pax as I hate conduction heating since I had the MFLB. It's oven can hold a big load though and can get you high fast if you use a high heat setting. The FF and the Lotus use much less and can lower your tolerance significantly if you pace yourself at the beginning and do only a bowl or two. In a couple of days one bowl with a 0.05-0.1g load would get you as high as half a gram gets you on the Plenty or Pax. That's what I call efficiency! Vapor quality is top notch and possibly better than the Plenty (a couple of friends that have tried the Plenty as well are telling me that the Lotus has a superior vapor quality)!

    From what you are telling us, charging a USB vape won't be too much of a hassle for you so you are good to go with either the Pax or the similar PnP. Firefly will need an outlet or lots of batteries and they are not that cheap. The Lotus would be of course your best bet here since a small butane can will last you for ever on a trip!

    Pax is super stealth as well as PnP. Firefly is also quite stealth if you hold it with your back of your hand facing up. Lotus is not so stealth in public obviously but it can hit so hard and can finish a load in less than a minute so you can just excuse yourself for a pee and get blasted! For me it is the most stealth cape ever for those reasons...

    Pax and PnP can be thoroughly cleaned as well as the FF but Lotus's vapor cap can hold some bits that are not so easy to completely clean out.


    About how many bowls you would need to get you there, it's very subjective and you are the only one that can control this. You can get equally high from 0.02g and from 1g depending on your tolerance. If you stick to a routine with small loads your tolerance will drop pretty fast!

    In order to meet all your requirements I would suggest the Pax actually. The PnP has many drawbacks imo. One of them the hot capsules when you need to reload on the go. Get a Lotus for home and I am sure it will replace the Plenty in no time. It has replaced better vapes! ;)
    EveryDayAmnesiac likes this.
  7. vorrange

    vorrange Well-Known Member

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    The Lotus fits perfectly in your needs. The Firefly would be another option but the battery life is ridiculously short.

    The PAX's only advantage is the size, other than that is light years behind the Lotus and the Firefly in taste and overall quality of extraction.

    As for the Plenty, i don't like it. Too big, not very versatile and the bowl is huge so you need to load a lot to have thick hits. I prefer to load less, more times.

    Check the SSV, LSV, Enano, Herborizer, Herbalaire for better desktop units IMO.
  8. deadheadbill

    deadheadbill I can see clearly now the smoke is gone...

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    Lotus will meet all your criteria admirably except for possibly stealth. The only way to be discreet with the Lotus in public is to take it to a bathroom stall etc. Even then you have to deal with the hiss of a torch lighter.

    PAX has it's draw restriction to consider(I personally don't find it too bad) and it tastes like shit about halfway thru.

    I've not used the FF. But from what I understand it meets all your criteria other than battery life. I wouldn't wanna be in the woods with a FF and a pocket full of proprietary batteries.

    Others that meet most of your criteria are the PnP, Solo and MFLB. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
    SSVUN~YAH likes this.
  9. Lo

    Lo Combustion free since '09 Staff Member

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    I agree the Lotus would be a good choice with no charging/batty limitations.

    I actually like the Pax for on the go, discreet use but it is a slight restricted draw, great for travel though. I'm on the go a lot and have 3 for travel :D but you do have to carry chargers and not a USB style. Flavor isn't as good as a nice glass path vape but the units work well.

    The Magic Flight Launch Box is a nice portable once you learn to use it well and has no restrictive draw, great flavor. While it does take batteries you can have a slew of charged battys to travel so you're less limited than the Pax.
    SSVUN~YAH likes this.
  10. paytonpenn

    paytonpenn Level 30 Nature/Healer

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    I have no hopes of trying to outdo the Lotus community, I've noticed one mention of the Hammer is nothing compared to the 5+ you'd get from users that haven't used a Hammer and went with the Lotus.

    But it works very similar to a log style vape or an Arizer Solo, the unit itself does not get dirty meaning very easy maintenance with only having to clean glass.

    With a Hammer unlike the Lotus the torch is hidden and built in the device preventing a blue flame from being seen. It also doesn't look like you're hitting a pipe, just hold the device for 30 seconds and inhale, easy to walk around and use. pakalolo may say its too hot to go in your pocket after use, but I disagree, after a session I can easily put it in my pocket, I can also touch the top of the Hammer that gets hot and cup it with my hands.

    There is definitely a hiss but since people can see what's in your hand I don't think it would be the biggest concern, in all honesty I don't think average humans care about devices that look too confusing for them to comprehend.

    I would knock the PAX off your list unless you are willing to consider a T-Vape which I personally feel to outrank the PAX especially in the bang for your buck category. The T-Vape can be charged with micro usb and used while charging.
  11. vorrange

    vorrange Well-Known Member

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    I forgot about the hammer, another good choice for your current needs FlyingLow.

    Its weirdness is both a blessing and a curse. It does not look like a pipe and you can't see the blue flame so there is not an obvious conclusion for what it is used.
    I'd love it if the lighter part was smaller.
    deadheadbill and paytonpenn like this.
  12. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

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    I am so appreciative of all of y'alls real world experience. I have learned so much here already!

    I am now really leaning towards one of these butane units like the lotus or hammer. Do these units have any greater tendency towards combustion?

    It seems the overall response is 1) Due to power requirements and my limited access to outlets, I should avoid the FF and proprietary batteries. And 2) It seems there are are better quality vapes out there than the much hyped Pax.

    I am refreshed to hear these comments, as I was discouraged to keep reading reports that Pax was the best. I tried it and did not like the "sipping" method that was required because of the tough resistance.


    Some of this new info has led me to more questions:

    -Do the butane pipe's have a higher chance of accidental combustion?
    -Is it easy to overheat material?


    I am hesitant though, while I have little shame of my use, I am concerned the torch and glass pipe might appear to the non-user as looking too much like a crack pipe... it just might be too obvious for highway use.

    In spite of this, the lotus and hammer have moved to the top of units I am considering.

    Also, how many heavy draws might one get from a fully packed Lotus or Hammer?

    That is one of the best features of the Plenty is that it will vape for 10 mins on a half-pack (about .3g)
  13. Meghan

    Meghan Well-Known Member

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    I'm a big fan of the Lotus (and the Firefly, for that matter). The Lotus is interesting in that you can really tailor your session since you're controlling the heat source. I have bowls that I sip from, that last for a good 10 minutes at least. Other times (if I'm in a hurry), I'll finish a bowl in just a few huge hits. The Lotus is as efficient as any vape I've used, but the sessions are more variable than with most--and that's the beauty of it!
    SSVUN~YAH and paytonpenn like this.
  14. paytonpenn

    paytonpenn Level 30 Nature/Healer

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    Its the same with the hammer, combustion isnt hard nor easy, once you figure the point where you will combust you'll easily learn how not to. But with the Hammer I use the dial as my perspective of temps if I use a 30 second heat up each time, 50 percent and below are difficult for combustion, reaching 75 it makes it easier. At each temp you can combust but overall usage is easy and simple. Heat for 30 seconds 5 to 10 second reheat for a new hit.
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  15. natural farmer

    natural farmer god is in the neurons...

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    Combustion would be quite hard to reach once you have explored the limits. I never even reach blackening any more. The taste is a very strong indication that you are reaching this point and with the Lotus (not sure about the Hammer) you have plenty of time to remove the torch and coll down the load. Combustion and over heating should not be your concerns imo.

    Winds might be… The Hammer should be more comfortable to hit with some wind drafts blowing around you when on the move… And also somewhat more stealth as you preheat and then hit it... Check some vids of both in use and judge by yourself which would be stealthier for your use.

    Imo the Lotus is much simpler and bombproof and it's much faster to take a hit (no need for preheating, a big thing for me!). Oh! And it has better control over temps as you can instantly vary both your draw and the flame distance from the hot plate. It's even more manual imo! And that's not bad right?
  16. paytonpenn

    paytonpenn Level 30 Nature/Healer

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    The Lotus is definitely simple in design, but there should be no Lotus use while on the highways or at least if your the driver, its possible but don't danger other drivers trying to get high. I use the Hammer for most drives it shouldn't affect your driving performance while handling the Hammer.

    Once you feel a Hammer you will be able to vouch that this thing is one tough tool.

    Just put my hammer at 100 percent preheated for 5 seconds inhaled for 10 while heating until I felt hot vapor, blew a massive cloud from that one heat up, you don't have to wait long.

    I wouldn't say it's temperature control is better as I think of them to be equivalent, the dial decreases flame height and draw has the same effect.

    The taste is also great with the Hammer, combustion is something I would have to try and get. I can taste the abv before combustion so I have never actually reached combustion in my Hammer. But I have put the same bowl in my UD and it combusted immediately. Normally the load tends to just be black when I get that high of temp, but if you go higher than 75 percent you'll notice combustion isn't hard. But I never go above 75, I haven't felt the need to. But now that I know I can get hits off of less than 10 seconds of heat I may start doing that.

    You'd probably only combust if your holding the flame while inhaling and trying to blacken the load. Or just gave it too long of an inital heat up.

    EDIT:
    @natural farmer is there really no heat up time? Like instant vapor as soon as torch makes contact? Otherwise it seems like the Hammer can be used with the same directions and get vapor instantly too. Thank you for your post, I would have never tried to just hit the Hammer off the bat.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  17. natural farmer

    natural farmer god is in the neurons...

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    It's actually a couple of secs preheat for the Lotus but if you tested the Hammer and 5 secs give you results then I would suggest the Hammer as well, 5 secs is almost no-preheat! :tup: Preferably with a non-glass stem for the outdoors!

    I hope I can get a Hammer as well in the future. :D It should compliment the Lotus and the FF just fine!!! The right tool for the right occasion! :nod:
  18. deadheadbill

    deadheadbill I can see clearly now the smoke is gone...

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    Actually, if I didn't already have a Lotus, MFLB and TVape the Hammer would be in my sights. As it is, I have filled all the needs it would fill with other devices.
  19. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

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    Well... I just left the head shop and did some more poking around.

    I did get to check out and hold the FF, and it is impressive and something I am still considering... but the battery deal sux and maintenance looks tedious.

    The butane ones are looking more and more appealing but the shops butane selection was limited. No Hammers, no Lotus. They did have one called an Essential Vaaapp, does it measure up? I am mostly using dry material.


    I dont wanna like it... but I really like the feel of that FF. Pricing and batteries (and maintenance) are the biggest turn-off's though.

    The Lotus has such a familiar look to it, it is now the second most appealing to me in spite of needing a torch to smoke. I also like that it has a smaller parts count than the Hammer; just put material in and torch it.

    Tough choices for sure.
    EveryDayAmnesiac likes this.
  20. EveryDayAmnesiac

    EveryDayAmnesiac Some things can't be fixed.

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    The Firefly is a fucking fantastic unit and feels like pure luxury in your hands, but it does have that battery drawback. I use it on-the-go and very regularly at home and rarely need more than one battery, but I am a 1-2 hit quitter and have easy access to electrical outlets all throughout the day. If you're off the grid and are using the thing all day... you'd have to spend a small fortune on batteries.

    I don't find the maintenance to be tedious at all. Somewhere between every 1-10 days I do a less-than-five minute ISO wipe down. Although I tend to ISO the mouthpiece more regularly than that but that's just me.

    It does take a stir about halfway through each bowl. Or a "smash down" action if you haven't ground the herbs. I'm finding much better success with no grind. Much less work!

    To me, one of the butane units sounds perfect for you when you're off the grid. If you're okay with butane. I'm generally not, but the Lotus and Hammer sure are neat devices that are still on my radar, especially at their respective prices.

    But if you got the coinage, the FF would make a very convenient home vaporizer. I love being able to walk around with it in the kitchen and porch and living room and having it available wherever and whenever. And it hits so damn smoothly that it makes me forget about how much I love hitting through water. And forgetting is one of my favorite things! :dog:

    And yeah, the Firefly is expensive... but you can see every dollar in its performance and in its customer service. And especially with its speed. You pick the thing up cold and in 10 seconds you've got vapor in your lungs and more on its way!
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  21. Caligula

    Caligula HTTP ERROR: 404 - NOT FOUND

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    Someone has a FF for sale in the classifieds right now. Just saying.
    vorrange and EveryDayAmnesiac like this.
  22. Skeena

    Skeena Standing stone faced like a statue.

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    How about the flashvape with convection screens? I have not been able to try this but I did try a flashvape when they first came out and they are really nice once you get the technique down.
  23. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

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    I really like my Plenty as a home unit, and would be quite impressed if the FF would replace it as a home unit. But if it is that good, I would not rule FF out... So here is one direct question:

    The FF is constantly referred to as a great home unit; is it on par with the Plenty/Volcano experience?

    At the end of all my findings, it keeps being said that the FF really is a home unit and keeping it at home seems to eliminate its shortcomings- most notably the short battery life and expensive extra batteries. It pretty much requires a heavy user like myself to buy a handful of expensive proprietary batteries and be near outlets to continually charge.

    On the flip side, if it does produce a true portable experience of a heavy hitting home unit [like StorzBickel], then I would probably get one in spite of its shortfalls on the road.
    _____________________________

    My immediate outdoor needs do make me really like the Lotus more and more... I just hate the look of and the act of using the torch. Yet I still think I like the familiar look of the lotus more than the hammer and stems.

    Regarding the Hammer, do the stems lock into place on the hammer? Or is it still a two-handed process?
    *Edit~ I see they sell a locking stem accessory. I still does not have the same appeal to me as the Lotus. Getting closer to pulling the trigger, any additional feedback before I do is much appreciated fellas:tup:
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  24. EveryDayAmnesiac

    EveryDayAmnesiac Some things can't be fixed.

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    881
    I have not used a Plenty but I have used a Volcano. I would choose the Firefly over the Volcano anytime for flavor alone. And for the fact that you don't have to inhale your vapor out of a plastic bag.

    I would not call the Firefly a "heavy hitter," but if you sit down and take 3-4 hits with top shelf herbs and get that heater nice and warm, you can make some major clouds. Maybe not as big or cool of hits as a Plenty might give, but whatever sacrifice you make in size of clouds you could probably make up with in portability and efficiency. But again, I have not used a Plenty so I'm basing that only on what I've read on FC.

    If you are indeed a heavy user, the FF is definitely going to be a home-only vaporizer. I augment mine with an Ascent for high-temp vaping through water. Sure is nice to keep all that smell outside.

    If you're really happy with what you have at home though, the FF probably isn't necessary unless you're looking for something new or if some portability might come in handy.

    But I have to admit, it's kinda nice to be able to use a vaporizer just as easily in the bathroom as it is in bed as it is while walking the cats. All in one piece and virtually no waiting.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
    vorrange likes this.
  25. 1_gr8_underdog

    1_gr8_underdog Trapped in the Astral Planes

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    I don't know? You fuckers' of combustion got me thinking. That I need a lotus NOW! :argh:
    vorrange and natural farmer like this.
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