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MiniVap OR Cera (First time Vaper'er)

Discussion in 'ABV' started by dolphinman, Jan 8, 2014.

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  1. dolphinman

    dolphinman Member

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    24
    Hi All,

    New to this forum and new to Vaping.

    I would like to smoke hurbs at the weekend and was looking for something I can use at home, and maybe take out and smoke. I originally was thinking of the Volcano, but that is not portable. After researching further I have narrowed down to MiniVap and Cera.

    I am looking for your opinions on which would be better choice for my needs.

    Appreciate your responses.
     
  2. nopartofme

    nopartofme Well-Known Member

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    It would help to know what led you to narrow it down to those two vapes. They are very different! More info on what it is that you're looking for in a portable vape would make it a lot easier to point you in the right direction. Maybe even in a different direction than you're considering right now.

    In the mean time, here's a quick run-down on these two vapes and what makes them different. Out of the two, I only own the Cera, but I can give you a sort-of "forum summary" in regards to the MiniVAP.

    The Cera (with loose leaf cartridge) is a fairly unique portable vape. One of its big selling points is the space-age ceramic material that it's mostly made from, which only makes a functional difference in the mouthpiece and loose leaf bowl (and thus doesn't serve much use for most using Cera with only the oil cart). Having the bowl and mouthpiece all ceramic makes for extremely easy cleaning and top-notch flavor. Other strengths are a mouthpiece that filters and cools magnificently, and extreme ease in regards to reclaiming vapor condensation.

    The loose leaf Cera is a manual vape. It has no temperature sensors inside, no computer chips whatsoever. All of the temperature regulation is done by the user, principally through draw speed. Because of this, there is a large learning curve involved.

    That learning curve is made a little worse by the fact that the mouthpiece does an outstanding job cooling and maintaining small particle size in the delivered vapor. For an experienced user this means that you can take huge hits comfortably compared to most other portable vapes which would have you coughing sooner and reaching for a water tool. For new users, this means that it's not as easy to tell when you're working it right.

    To make matters even worse for the newcomer, heat builds up in the mouthpiece after a while and will eventually reach a point where you can't even hold it to your lips. An experienced user becomes accustomed to this and understands that as soon as the power is activated a countdown begins, and thus will only turn it on when it's actually time to vape. It's not something you leave running in the background. The experienced user can get well-medicated by the time heat becomes an issue, but a newcomer will likely still be coming to grips with the thing and then find it's become too hot to use, which is understandably frustrating for an owner who is trying to medicate with an expensive new tool...

    Some other downsides to be aware of are its weight (~12oz) and its obvious color. I personally find its aesthetics stunning, and you can't know how good that zirconia feels in your hands until you hold it yourself. But, it's definitely not a stealthy vape by any means.

    Because of all that, I see the loose leaf Cera as mostly a "specialist's tool", or a "vapor enthusiast's vape". It has a lot of unique strengths going for it but also involves what is perhaps some of the greatest potential for frustration among any functional portable vape (I'm excluding junk that just doesn't work, like Atmos).

    It is my personal favorite vape. As an avid reader of these forums I often find myself considering the purchase of another vape and then reconsidering while thinking about potential weaknesses I'd have to deal with in comparison to Cera's strengths that I'm accustomed to. Despite that, I can't recommend it to a newcomer to vapes without reservation. It's not the best pick as a workhorse vape or as a first vape unless you have atypical interests like I do, and a strong willingness to approach things with a learning mindset, as if learning to play a musical instrument. For me, it was my second vape and I always had my trusty MFLB to fall back on.

    As for the MiniVAP. Unlike the Cera, it is an "automatic" vape, meaning it has electronics inside that regulate the temperature for you. This makes it a "pick up and play" vape. It is also known for excellent flavor. Depending on what package you purchase, it can also run double duty as a desktop unit running of AC or as a battery-powered vape, though it will cost you extra.

    It's larger than the Cera, but also has greater battery life (at the cost of relatively cheap and easily replaceable batteries). It's more of a backpack vape than a pocket vape.

    From what I can tell the customer support of the folks behind the MiniVAP is satisfactory, but it's worth noting that they are located in Spain which could make any future repairs more of a hassle (or at the very least make response time a little slower).

    It has been said that the MiniVAP could be one of the most over-priced vapes -- a theory which seems borne out by the relatively rapid price drop that occured since its launch.

    Still, every owner I've seen here has sworn by it as a go-to vape. It seems to be a powerhouse and is easy to use. At a lower pricepoint, I think it would be hard not to recommend.

    But there are also many cheaper portable vapes that work very well, and for the money you could get yourself a few other portable vapes, or even a desktop vape to go with it, and set yourself up for more diverse use cases, depending on your needs.

    Which brings us back to the question: is there anything else you can tell us about what you're looking for?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
    FUnhouse, Quetzalcoatl, sasNW and 7 others like this.
  3. max

    max Bingo Coordinator Staff Member

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    Those two models aren't really apples to apples, even though they're both portables. The Cera is more of a pocket portable and leans more towards stealth, while the miniVap aims more at being an alternative to an AC model.

    If you're really down to those two, I'd recommend the Cera just because you're new to vaping and it's less of an investment. I'd want to make sure that vapor is for me before spending big bucks on any model.
     
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  4. Caligula

    Caligula Maximus

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    Why no Solo on the list?
     
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  5. dolphinman

    dolphinman Member

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    24

    Firstly thank you for the details behind your reasoning for keeping the Cera. It is indeed interesting to read other peoples perspectives.

    Ok so back to why I am looking for a vape.

    Some time ago I started to on and off indulge in a little herbal stuff. Just to help calm one self down from work/life in general. This would be one every few months in the form of plant matter with direct combustion the old fashioned way. As of recent me and my partner decided we need to relax more often (at least once or twice a week). It happened that when I was purchasing the plant material one of the guys was smoking using an electronic cig. I thought that was a very cool idea and had the obvious covert factor if you know what I mean! I went back home and started to research e-cigs and how they can be used with plant matter. The more I researched the more I became interested in trying to understand concepts like 'pure vapor' and conduction versus convection etc...I started to see what is the top end of the market and was for a week or so convinced the Volcano was the answer. Then one day my partner said it would be a good idea to maybe take a hit when going inside a bar/club. Well I guess in a scenario like that kind of difficult to carry a volcano around, hence arose the need to look for a more 'portable' solution.

    I am a person that would generally try and get the best I can afford (within reason) and avoid cutting corners when it comes to quality and health. Cutting a long story short this is how I ended up short listing the MiniVap and Cera. Both are pretty much regarded as top contenders.

    So my friends the question I am facing is this. Do I get say the MiniVap because it is perceived to be easier to use and all the you tube videos I have seen of people demo it say it is the best? or do I go with a unit that is smaller or more portable but may be a little harder to master? Both in my opinion have from a technical design perspective best of class technology.

    Then there are other questions such as, can i drive around wit a MiniVap and what if I get stopped? Is it legal? Can I walk into a club or bar with a MiniVap and pretend I am just vaping? Heck what if I get stopped with a Cera? Are these things legal to carry around in public?

    Finally as for usage patten, I expect to use it once or twice a week in doors and once a week in a bar setting if possible.

    Hope this helps.

    I am swinging between MiniVap one day and Cera the other. No I do not have the budget to buy both and yes I am 100% new to Vaping. I am guessing if I do not like it, I could always sell them on ebay :-)

    Good question why no solo!

    Modnote: 3 back-to-back posts merged
     
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  6. Tweek

    Tweek Well-Known Member

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    6,142
    I wouldn't go with the Cera...there is a possibility you may find the LL cartridge unsatisfying. If you like lighter vapor, and are ok with having to learn a technique to get it going, then it may please you...but that is a gamble that you may want to take once you have more experience.

    If your choices really are down to these two units, I would start with the MV. Not so stealthy as a portable, but you can hit the ground running right out of the gate.

    If you are open to other suggestions...I would recommend you have a look at the pinnacle pro for a portable. Easy to use and packs a punch in a portable package. Out of all the portables I have tried so far (and there have been many) this has been my favourite.
     
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  7. dolphinman

    dolphinman Member

    Messages:
    24
    Yes I am open to suggestions. After all that is the reason why I am on this forum. It is hard to know all that folks here on the forum know when you are a newbie. I will look into the Pinnacle too.

    Generally I am currently relying on goggling portable vaporizer reviews and write-ups such as "Top 10 Portable ..." etc etc
     
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  8. Caligula

    Caligula Maximus

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    I think you will best be served with two units. One for outside stealth and one for at home use. There really isnt something that can "do it all" in a proper manner.

    That being said, for stealth and convenience reasons I suggest getting a concentrate pen for "out and about" medicating. These are typically much smaller than herb vapes and resemble e cigs a lot of the time which obviously lends to the whole stealth thing. Plus you can pull it out, instantly take a hit then put it back in your pocket or purse. Of course you need access to concentrates. Not a big deal if u have access to MMJ or live in a legal state like CO. For research suggestions I think you should start looking at the O-Phos, Omicron, Dabbler, and Dr. Dabber pens. Stay away from Atmos and G Pen stuff.

    Then again if you cant get a hold of concentrate then look at things like the Solo, Pinnacle Pro, Inhaler XP, and Firewood to do herb on the go. Also the Firefly looks interesting but its too new for me to know much about so I cant personally suggest it.

    As for straight herb vaping when stealth isnt important, I have no issues suggesting you research the Arizer Solo, Lotus, Epic Vape E-Nano, LSV, and Underdog.

    Also High Times reviews lie. Just wanted to throw that out there since I know youre googling stuff.

    Oh and you will find the general consensus about the Volcano is that there is much better to be had for a lot less money.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
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  9. b0

    b0 Vapor powered

    Messages:
    1,013
    Location:
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    If I have to choose between the 2 I have to admit that will buy the minivap for sure.
     
  10. nopartofme

    nopartofme Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I also think the Pinnacle Pro would be a good place to start. Definitely better for covert use on the go than a MiniVAP, while retaining the ease of use factor like Tweek mentioned. Save the Cera for after getting used to your first vape, if you're still interested then.

    Vapes are legal, it's only the material inside them that causes problems. There is no legal issue with buying a vape and using it with tobacco or mint or a number of other ethnobotanicals.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
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