The missing link of cannabis vaporizers
By Greg Zemen
The latest from San Francisco’s VapeXhale, the Cloud Evo is a nearly perfect hybrid of vaporization’s health and flavor benefit melded with the experiential satisfaction of a classic bong rip.
This vaporizer outperforms all other comparable products when it comes to vaping flowers. But it carves out a class all its own with a unique concentrate system that can handle everything from full melt hash to The Clear.
Vaporizers are nothing new in the cannabis world. Some older enthusiasts might remember the “frying pan” kind that looked like a little gumball machine (but probably not very fondly). There have been many iterations of the vaporizer since that Tom Servo in Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque model shuffled off into the ashbin of hash history. And unless your idea of a fresh sesh involves whispering backwards through aquarium tubing or sucking on turkey bags, none of them has hit the mark when it comes to the hit.
But just one hot air “dab” hit and you’ll understand why this rig-slash-vaporizer’s middle name is “Cloud.” The heating system is engineered to rapidly adapt to your inhalation, regardless of speed and force, to ensure adequate heating for big rips every time.
Never again will you have to ask, “Am I getting a hit?” When you take a rip from the Evo, you will see and feel the dense, flavorful vapor it creates the whole time, in the glass and in the air when you exhale.
The device could replace all the rigs in your closet. It definitely does away with the need for a torch. You will need some new glass: a variety of “hydratubes,” Evo-specific waterpipes, are available through VapeXhale. But because of its all glass vapor path, the heating element also provides the option of using it with your 18mm glass-on-glass bong.
Simply load the little metal basket with flowers (this technique doesn’t work with concentrates) and flip the Evo upside down, gently placing it in the drop stem where your bowl would normally go. Now you’re taking your bong rip from a bong, like nature intended — no lighter required.
The main downsides of the Evo are its lack of functional portability (you can take it with you, but you can’t use it on the go) and the small capacity of its concentrate and flower delivery system. You get an amazing hit every time, but you spend about half of an Evo sesh handling the little parts involved.
And those little glass tubes used for vaping concentrates get pretty hot. Eventually you’ll perfect a technique for pulling it out with minimal discomfort (think snatching hot sausages from the grill) but then you’ll need to wait for it to cool before reloading it or your wax will melt and vape off before you can hit it.
The base itself gets a bit hot during operation, but the slick-looking cozy they offer reduces that to a harmless warmth.
Cool Factor: The design is sleek and herbonomic, effortlessly combining the appearance of future tech and classic science glass water pipes. The ability to use it with any 18mm glasson-glass pipe is exceptionally cool.
Practicality: The Evo needs to be plugged into an outlet for use, so it’s not at all practical for on the go use. But it’s about as practical as a bong. If you’re the kind of person who takes bongs and rigs on the road for use in your hotel room or whatever, this would be just as practical.
Affordability: It isn’t cheap, but current promotional deals make a basic setup available for just under $400. That makes it almost half as expensive as some truly inferior bigname products.
Overall: The glass on the hydratubes is thick and the construction is sturdy on everything. The device heats up quickly and adjusts to desired temperature easily using a knob interface. This is a conversation starter that you’ll want to take out when (certain) company is over, but also a reliable workhorse you’ll want to turn on right after your coffee maker.
This article was originally released in SF Evergreen Issue 13 l 2016.