Times have changed in the vaping world.
There was once a period when vaping was very rigid and it felt like your vaporizer was the one calling all the shots. Vaping was a great concept, but it was restrictive in terms of choice, style and convenience.
Enter the game changer – the portable vaporizer.
If you have any experience with using these dynamic vaping devices, then you will know just how important they have become as a lifestyle choice for busy, out-and-about vapers.
The key of course is in the term ‘portable’, meaning that you can take them with you anywhere, and with the purpose that you can fire them up and be drawing back on your favorite ingredient in a matter of mere seconds.
Portable vaporizers have become extremely popular because they are accessible, quick starting, stylish and can pack a punch that does even the most hardened vaper proud.
With so many of them on the market now, your current challenge is in finding the best portable vaporizer.
This is where we can help.
If you want to know which are the best vape pens on the market, then read on as we explain all that you need to know about portable vaporizers and review only those which are worthy of your attention.
What is a portable vaporizer?
If you are at all familiar with vaporizers and vaping, then it will make sense to you that portable vaporizers (PV or handheld) are simply a specific type or class of vaporizer that you can use from any location.
By definition, you can take them with you, power them on, and vape away without restriction from the device itself. As long as they are charged and loaded with your favorite vaping substance, you have all that you need to enjoy those long draws that you could otherwise only have done from home.
For those who are only now just getting into the vaping experience, portable vaporizers are like the pocket variety of your standard vaporizer.
They can vary in size and shape from a pen to a small flip cell phone and anything in between. They are extremely popular because they are versatile, attractive inexpensive and powerful in their delivery.
How vape pens work
There are 3 critical components to your handheld vaporizer.
Firstly, it has the cartridge which is where you load the herb, wax or oil, depending on your vaporizer. In most cases you will load herbs into the PV.
Next, there is the atomizer which houses the heating element. Rather than combusting your herbs, the heating element uses the method of convection to heat the air which in turn heats boils the oil from the herbs. This is what produces the vapor.
There is also an alternative heating method known as conduction in which the heating element heats the herb directly through touch.
Which method is better?
Convection is the method used by most new portable vaporizers because it is more reliable and effective. It ensures that vaporization is spread evenly across the entire substance and creates the desired vapor effect that you can then inhale. It also prevents combustion from creating the undesirable effects of smoke and fire.
Thirdly, there is the battery. This is what determines how long your vape pen takes to charge and how long you can enjoy your PV before you need to recharge it.
Your vape pen will come with a user manual in any case, but there is only a very minor learning curve for complete beginners and we created ultimate guide to vaporizer, so you can start right here if you need to go through the basics first.
Advantages of handheld vaporizers
The popularity of handheld vaporizers in the marketplace now means that you have a large range of brands available for selection.
This in itself is an advantage of using PV’s because it means that manufacturers are continually improving upon the device to win your approval and purchase.
Of course, there are specific vaping benefits that are only available by using vape pens;
- Portability to carry them in hidden pockets
- Convenient to use away from home
- Easy to use without much learning curve even for new vapers
- Discreet in that they can be smaller than other smoking devices
- Minimal odor release
- Converts herbal ingredients to be better absorbed as vapor
- Less expensive than larger models
- Heating temperature control removes the need for an open flame
- Direct burning is not required
- Retain their flavor with no loss of throat hit
- Can be used to charge other portable devices
If you are more into the “traditional” looking e cigarettes, read more about them right here.
What makes a portable vaporizer the best?
While portability is the obvious reason for purchasing a PV, what makes one the best is how it performs against the others on the market, and how it meets your needs on a personal level.
Most times, it’s a matter of choice and efficiency for PV purchasers; what it is that you expect for the price point you are willing to pay.
You can certainly read a bunch of reviews on vaporizers to form an idea as to those which are the most recommended, but there are a list of features which you should take into consideration when comparing handheld vaporizers;
Size of the vaporizer
handheld vaporizers by definition are built to be carried, yet they are certainly not the same in length or weight. You want to make sure that yours is pocket or purse worthy for the duration of your outing.
Don’t be tempted to simply purchase the first or cheapest one you see. There are a range of prices and categories for a reason. You should also consider the make and material of the vaporizer. You want it sturdy enough to stand the test of time.
You will need to decide between lithium-ion and disposable batteries. Check reviews of vaporizers before you purchase because battery charge is a feature that is always hotly discussed.
Density and flavor
This is possibly the most personal preference of all PV purchasing decisions. Keep this at the front of your thoughts when selecting one handheld vaporizer over another.
You want your vape to last, so make sure that yours is resilient and easy to clean.
How to find handheld vaporizers
The handheld vaporizer industry is in a period of boom that is set to continue for the foreseeable future.
This is not only good for competition, it also means that there is not too much effort required on your part to track down the most convenient place for you to purchase the best portable vape of your choice.
If you have read several reviews, then you have no doubt noticed the large number of different brands and types of PV’s now in the marketplace. If you find this to be more of a hindrance than a help, here’s what you can do to clear your way through the online clutter;
- Make a shortlist of which handheld vaporizers are always recommended in reviews
- From your list, decide which have the features and functions closest to those of your preferences
- Ensure that they are available from large, well-known and reputable online providers
- Make contact with the provider before purchase to test their communication level and knowledge.
This is the easiest and yet most thorough way in which to find a personal vaporizer. There are of course offline retailers who stock and sell PV’s as well.
However, in order to receive attention from a specialized dealer, established online vaporizer stores are the best place to purchase them.
The best portable vaporizers – reviews
Busy vapers have taken to portable vaporizers for their discreet appearance, their high functionality, and of course their portable convenience.
They have proven to be the perfect companion for e-smokers who have no other means of accessing their vaporizers during periods that they are away from home.
So versatile are PV’s that they are now even replacing the standard desktop vaporizers in many homes. They are quickly gaining ground as the vaporizer of choice because of their reliability, ease of use, and striking list of features that ensures they impress with their performance right out of the box.
In other words, portable vaporizers are not going away anytime soon.
The question now is, given the rate at which new PV’s are hitting the market, how do you know which is the right one for you?
Well, much of it is simply a matter of personal preference. While the featured design of many is a definite draw card, you also need to consider cost, liquid or herb capability, battery charge, hit strength and taste, and which features overall are the most useful to you.
At the very least, you need to have the basics together so that you get the best experience from your portable vaporizer.
To help make your choice a whole lot easier, we have listed below our selection of the market’s current top vaporizers based on our own extensive reviews.
Use this information as a handy resource guide for selecting your own handheld vaporizer.
Pax by Ploom
Three words immediately spring to mind when thinking about the Pax; stealth, intense and unparalleled. The Pax has placed itself into a whole different class when it comes to size, portability and flavorsome hits.
When it comes to being discreet, this premium vape will fit right inside your pocket, but don’t let it fool you with its size. The Pax might be sleek by design, but it is easily one of the best pen vape experiences we have had and it certainly knows how to pack a punch.
The Pax has 3 heat settings, and is ready to rip almost immediately. It holds a decent sized oven chamber which delivers clean, pure vapor with absolutely no burning taste at all. In testing, we received a very satisfying output right from the first puff.
Busy vapers on the move will definitely find this to be a top rated vape pen. It’s stylish, durable, and you can expect to get a good 6 sessions from it every time without fail.
The key selling point for the Firefly is vapor; flavorsome and instant. This is due in large part to the design of its internal heating chamber dividing the vapor and cooling it just as it hits your mouth. The result is a dense and very pure output of vapor.
We had heard talk that this reasonably new player to the portable vaping scene made use of special heating technology to give users quick and easy hits of aromatic herbs and blends. We found this not only to be accurate, but also understated.
This convection vape needs only 10 seconds to raise vapor temperature to 400 degrees F which means that you are going to get an explosion of flavors the second they are vaporized.
Granted, the Firefly could be mistaken for looking like a flip top cell phone at times, but forget that. This thing puts you in control for drawing light or rich vapor every single time. Whether you use it on the go or at home, this is one PV that packs a punch whenever you are ready.
The great draw card for us with the Pinnacle Pro is that we win the trifecta with it; we can vape not only herbs, but wax and oils as well. Surprisingly, very little odor comes from this mid-range vape which gives you the option to increase your bang with the hydrotube add-on, while still paying less of your buck than you would for other top vaporizers.
If we had to choose one portable vaporizer that does it all, this is the one that we would pick. And yes, you can even use it while it’s plugged in.
Keeping control of your temperatures is made easier than ever thanks to the nifty LED light for each of the 5 setting levels. When we ran it through its paces it took less than a minute to heat and from then it was load bullet time. We have to say that we found very little draw resistance.
At around 5” in length and 1” in thickness, simply slip the Pinnacle Pro into your pocket, bag or purse and you’re ready to go.
While we’re not sure that we can agree with that assessment, it certainly holds its own in the looks department. Compact and definitely discreet, this is one of the smallest pens on the market, but as we know, size is what you make of it with your personal vaping requirements. In addition, it comes in 7 parts which can be split, which in our book makes the entire unit easy to clean.
If you’re the impatient type, you will also appreciate that the Atmos Raw heats to 450 degrees F and you will only need to wait 2 seconds to use it after powering it on. It also allows you to use flowers or dry herbs without the need to change tanks.
You should be aware that the Atmos Raw is not your traditional vaporizer. Instead, it tends to ‘combust’ more than vaporize, but don’t let that stop you from trying it. This will produce thick, full vapor and a very clear taste.
If you’re not worried about vaping herbs, but you are definitely concerned with portability and quality, then the G Pen might just be the PV that is best for you and, being more affordable than most others, at the right price as well.
The G Pen has been designed for oils and concentrates, which means that while being very lightweight, it can produce fantastic density along with crisp and pure flavors without being impeded by the thickness of herbs.
The G Pen is ready to go at the push of a button, and we were able to get close to 400 hits from it before having to recharge, which took all of 4 hours when it was completely out. You can charge it with either a USB port or an AC adapter.
We found the G Pen to be very newbie friendly and screw off–load-screw on easy to use. Don’t mistake easy for wimpy though; you will find no lack of punch with this device.
Take the best of the iTaste MVP and push new limits with it, and that’s what you get with the Innokin iTaste VTR. As far as box mods go, the VTR is setting new ground in variable voltage and wattage vapes. The device has a rotational wheel that you simply turn to control your desired settings, while the display screen offers almost intuitive control to promote accurate performance.
This is what we consider to be quite possibly the best vape on the market. We found that it could handle every atomizer that we tested on it, and each time its output was accurate to the levels that we set on the PV.
There’s no doubt that the VTR is weightier than other vaporizers that we have tried, but it fits snugly within the hand and is especially durable to suit those who are likely to knock it around through work or other means.
The real power behind this model however is the strength of the hit that we experienced even on the first pull. Big unit definitely equals big taste in this case, and you can experiment with the iClear 30S which, like the VTR, is an upgrade on a much used product.
When we found out that Innokin was releasing an update to its widely popular MVP device, we knew immediately that this was going to make our top personal vaporizer comparison list. The flavors delivered from this device are strong, direct and hit with an extremely lasting punch.
In fact, we defy anyone to argue that they have never experienced their throat taste sweet spot after putting this class performer to the test.
The MVP is arguably the best known of the variable voltage/wattage mods and performs like it owns the market. With the upgraded MVP 2.0, you can look forward to accurate resistance levels measurements and battery readouts, though as a heads up you should expect an all-round stellar performance from every feature of this latest handheld vaporizer.
Why you should get a handheld vaporizer
Forget vaporizer ratings for a minute and think about your current lifestyle.
While you certainly do not need to be a busy person in order to own a portable vaporizer, it is for that particular purpose that PV’s were made.
With that said however, it’s also because of their convenience, speed and powerful architecture that they have now become a household item for many, making them without doubt the best vape on the market.
With a range of new handheld vaporizers being released every month, they have experienced a rapid transformation in which each is vying to be known as the best pocket vape in the industry. With this type of competitiveness between suppliers, you come out as the winner in a variety of ways.
Portable vaporizer suppliers understand that to be competitive, their product needs to meet the expectations of a community that will move on quickly if their device fails to deliver.
For this reason, PV’s are now housing technology that has practically every portable vaporizer guide calling them the Apple of the vaping world.
The very best handheld vaporizer brands, like those reviewed here, meet the needs of every vaper who has ever wanted the freedom to fire up their vape whenever they feel like a hit. That is the beauty of the handheld vaporizer. While they do everything that you would expect from a top vaporizer, you can now carry one with you at all times and without being obvious about it.
In other words, portable vaporizers have given you the right to control your own vaping experience.