New portable dry herb vaporizers seem to hit the market almost daily and while this can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming having so many options and price points to choose from.
Welcome to VaporizerWizard.com, my name is Buzz Danklin and I put together this list to help you find the best portable vaporizers in 2018. Each of the categories below will be continually updated to reflect the top rated portable and handheld vaporizers currently on the market in 2018 as well as portable vapes released prior to 2018.
At this point, I have currently tested/reviewed over 150 different portable vaporizers since I started back in 2013. My vaporizer reviews are graded by multiple different categories but the most important for me are ease of use, reliability, durability, portability, concealment, and overall vapor quality (taste, temp, smoothness). I’ve listed the top-rated portable vapes in each of the categories below.
I also have a complete list for the best desktop vaporizers of 2018 if you wanted something more stationary for home-use.
Directions: Click on a category below to learn more about the vaporizer and click the shop link for my recommended authorized retailer. You can also click on the images below to go to the full review.
|Category||Portable Vape||Best Price||Shop Vaporizer|
|Most Compact||Davinci IQ||$274||Shop Davinci IQ|
|Most Portable/Discreet||Pax 3||$249||Shop Pax 3|
|Best Vapor Quality||Firefly 2||$329||Shop Firefly 2|
|Best Battery Life||Mighty||$349||Shop Mighty|
|Best Overall Portable||Crafty||$279||Shop Crafty|
|Best Cheap Dry Herb Vaporizer||X-Max V2Pro||$59||Shop X-Max V2Pro|
|Best Portable Vaporizers Under $200||Pax 3 (Basic Kit)||$199||Shop Pax 3|
|Best Dry Herb Portable Under $150||CF||$109||Shop CF|
|Best Dry Herb Vaporizer Under $100||Xmax Starry||$99||Shop Starry|
|Best Dry Herb Vape Pen||Grasshopper||$225||Shop Grasshopper|
|Best Butane Vaporizer||Sticky Brick||$149||Shop Sticky Brick|
Based on: Easiest vape to pocket and conceal.
Davinci IQ Vaporizer ($274)
The Davinci IQ is a portable dry herb vaporizer made by Davinci. The IQ vaporizer retails for $274.99 and I recommend picking it up directly from Davinci.
First things first, I’ve found the Davinci IQ to be the best tasting portable conduction vaporizer that I have tested at this point. It tastes better at higher temps and holds taste throughout the session for longer. The vapor density is unreal if that’s your thing and it can also produce smooth tasty hits at the lower temps. It comes with a replaceable battery, a 10-year warranty, ceramic zirconia vapor path/mouthpieces and very smart/innovative software.
Davinci IQ vs Pax 3 Size:
I’m a big fan of the size of the Davinci IQ. It’s very easy to pocket and can be completely palmed for discretion. Even the new Pax 3 still sticks out of the top of your hand a bit. So if you are looking for the most “compact” portable vaporizer I would go with the IQ. With that said, the IQ uses three buttons on the side of the unit so it does give off some indication that it’s a controllable device. The Pax 3 has no visible buttons and in my opinion, still holds the title for the sleek/slender option.
Check out my Pax 3 vs IQ comparison for more info on these two.
IQ Vaporizer Pros and Cons:
The IQ vape offers a full temp spectrum ranging from 250F to 430F via the “Precision Mode” and it also comes with a feature called “Smart Paths”. The four different smart paths run from 350F to 430F in 20-degree increments and each path is set to run for a 10-minute session. So if you were to set it to the default “Smart Path 1”, the IQ would heat up to 350F (in about 45 seconds) and work it’s way up to 370 at about 5 minutes. It will then stay at the 370 temp for the remainder of the session. So far the default smart paths one and two have provided the best taste to vapor production ratio. I have noticed that the IQ tastes much better at higher temps than all other conduction vaporizers and I get bigger clouds with the IQ as well. The taste will drop off quicker than lower temps and like most other conduction vaporizers, the taste drops off after a few minutes into the session.
For me, the only downsides to the Davinci IQ are the draw resistance and the time it takes to charge a battery from dead within the unit. You are looking at about four hours to completely charge a dead battery. So you’ll need to pick up a couple extra and keep them charged in your downtime. Another option that I recommend is picking up the Nitecore i2 charging dock (~$11.50) and this will cut the charge time down to about 2 1/2 hours and allow you to charge two batteries at once. I’ve been averaging about 50-80 minutes per fully charged battery depending on temps, session lengths, and how many individual sessions.
Davinci IQ APP Info:
It’s also important to note that you don’t need the app to operate the device. You can still select smart paths, boost mode, precision mode, and dim the LEDs. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to customize the smart paths without the app. I’ve honestly found it to be the best vaporizer app that I’ve tested. Each of the smart paths is fully customizable down to the temp and session length. It’s easy to take screenshots and share paths with friends. The app is very fluid with no hang ups or problems connecting to the device.
Three words to describe the Davinci IQ… Innovative, Compact, Consistent. Don’t forget to use my coupon code “WIZARD” for 10% OFF Davinci IQ Accessories!
Based on: Size, Weight, Concealment, Discreetness.
Pax 3 Vaporizer ($249)
The Pax 3 features a lot of internal changes while keeping the same size and only adding 3 grams to the overall weight. Upgrades include the option to vape both dry herbs and concentrates with the new concentrate insert.
The Pax 3 also uses an upgraded 3500mAh battery vs a 3000mAh on the Pax 2. Pre-heat times for the Pax 3 now average between 15-20 seconds whereas the Pax 2 is about 45 seconds.
You also get haptic feedback and lastly, the Pax Vapor APP is live. The Pax 3 Vapor APP will give you full control over the temp spectrum (360F-420F) with options to select different heating profiles, change colors themes, lock the device, dim the LED or completely lock the device.
Appearances wise, Pax Labs changed the outer shell from a brushed aluminum (Pax 2) to a polished finish (Pax 3). So far the shiny surface is holding up pretty well but will be more susceptible to fingerprints and scratches.
I’m really enjoying the concentrate insert but I don’t really see it replacing anyone’s dab rig or e-nail. It does extract the materials very well and without creating a big mess but it doesn’t get anywhere near as hot as traditional methods.
I’ve been averaging about 100 minutes of use on a single charge and it takes roughly 100 minutes to fully charge a dead Pax 3.
Bottom Line: The Pax 3 is about as good as it gets for a portable vaporizer when considering battery life, portability, durability and overall ease of use. The new Half-Pack lid is a great feature for single person sessions. You no longer have to buy third party accessories to maximize efficiency and the concentrate insert provides a very good option to use materials other than dry herb.
Update: Pax Vapor is now offering the Pax 3 in a “Device Only” kit for $199 which includes everything you need to vape dry herbs, except the half-pack lid which you can pick up for $12.99. The Pax 3 “Complete Kit” comes with the half-pack lid, the concentrate insert and a new carrying case for $249. So they dropped price overall by $25 and included a new carrying case.
Based on: Taste, Density, and Temperature.
Firefly 2 Vaporizer ($329)
The Firefly 2 is premium “pure convection” portable vaporizer made by Firefly Vapor. The Firefly 2 comes with 5 different temp settings for dry herbs and one for cocentrates. It comes with two replaceable rechargeable batteries, pre-heats in less than 10 seconds and requires below average cleaning/maitenance.
The powerful heater and quick heat up times paired with amazing taste and density create a one of a kind unique experience that I think most people will really enjoy.
The Firefly 2 is currently my favorite dry herb and oil vaporizer to use with concentrates and I consider the Firefly 2 the best portable vaporizer when you looking solely at vapor taste, production, and temp/smoothness.
The new power tuning feature in the app has improved consistency and allows users to fully customize sessions. Clean up is simple, the chamber is a good size for 1-2 people, and the battery fully recharges in 45 minutes.
Firefly 2 Pros and Cons:
The Firefly 1 was big, heavy and had below average battery life but the new Firefly 2 is over 100 grams lighter, easier to pocket/conceal and I’m getting 4-6 bowls now PER BATTERY (FF2 comes with two batteries). The batteries ARE replaceable but they will have to be charged within the unit.
The only downside to the Firefly 2 would be the unit does require some technique for best use.
Tips: Adding an extra battery isn’t a bad idea if you plan to take any long multi-day trips, concerts, hikes, etc…. It’s extremely easy to just swap one in and out.
Based on: Best average battery life per full charge.
Mighty Vaporizer ($349)
The Mighty is the bigger brother of the smaller Crafty portable vaporizer and although it’s definitely not the best small vaporizer, it comes with some pretty great features.
For one, the Mighty currently has the best battery life on the market per full charge. The unit can only be charged via DC but the battery will easily last a full day of hiking/biking or to enjoy an outdoor concert. I average between 6-8 sessions on a full charge and the unit will fully charge in about 90 minutes.
Next, the Mighty comes with an on vape, easy to read, LED display and easy to use temp buttons located on both sides. The full temp spectrum ranges from 105F-410F.
Although the Mighty is a bit big for the pockets, the extra size and weight make it extremely easy to pass around and use in group scenarios. This is perfect because the Mighty really is the best vaporizer for long sessions. It works best when you have time to sit down and enjoy a 10-15 minute session.
The Mighty could be easily be considered as the best vaporizer for dry herb. Especially if you don’t mind the size.
Mighty Pros and Cons:
Overall the Mighty is one of the easiest vaporizers to use. It’s reliable, durable and produces great vapor production. The only downsides to the unit are the overall size and weight and the battery charging options. It CAN be pocketed if needed but it’s pretty bulky in the jeans. The Mighty will fit much better in a purse, hoodie, or backpack.
Lastly, the battery can only be charged via an AC wall outlet. Check out the Crafty if you want something a little more portable with more charging options. Or check out the Pax 3 as an alternative for the best battery life.
Based on: Portability, Vapor Quality, Ease of Use, and Design/Durability.
Crafty Vaporizer ($279)
The Crafty is the newest addition to the Storz and Bickel product line along with its big brother, the Mighty. The Crafty is easy to use with only one button and the rest is controlled via the app.
It comes with two temp selections, one default, and one boost temp. The default and boost temp can be changed to any temp ranging from 104 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also change it on the fly via the app. It uses mostly convection heating with just a little bit of conduction when pre-heating the bowl.
I consider the Crafty to be the best dry herb vaporizer for the overall enjoyment of use. I can also easily conceal the Crafty in my pocket or in a hoodie and I can almost completely palm it.
I still recommend the Pax 3 for one of the most portable vaporizers but the Crafty is pretty darn close.
The only thing I don’t really like about it is the battery life but it does use micro USB so you can charge it pretty much anywhere you have access to a USB slot. It also has pass thru charging which allows you to use the unit while it’s charging as long as it has about 20% or greater battery life remaining.
Crafty Pros & Cons
First things first, the Crafty is one of the easiest portable vaporizers to use. It’s extremely consistent and you don’t have to worry about packing/loading techniques. Just load the amount you want and go. The Crafty is very portable but still not quite as concealable as the new Pax 3 or the Grasshopper. It uses a hybrid convection/conduction heating method which creates very smooth/cool draws that are very enjoyable. You also have the ability to vape at a large spectrum of temps.
The main con of the Crafty would be the overall battery life and the fact that the battery is NOT user replaceable. The Crafty does, however, charge via USB so you can charge it in quite a few places. I just picked up an Anker battery pack for around $20 and it will fully charge my Crafty on the go two or three times. I definitely recommend this if you are going to pick up the Crafty.
If you don’t have the patience to deal with battery packs or don’t need/want absolute portability, I would check out the Mighty. With the Mighty, you get double the battery life of the average portable vaporizer, quicker heat ups, and on vape temp display. But lose USB charging and the pocketability aspect. I usually get around 6-8 sessions on a full charge with the Mighty. Whereas I get about 2-3 with the Crafty.
The X-Max V2 Pro is extremely impressive for the size and price. You can pick up the X-Max V2 Pro for $59 (retail: $79) with code “XM”. You get 5 temp settings ranging from 356F-428F, an easily replaceable 18650 battery, and a ceramic heating chamber. If you want to spend $10 extra, you can get an upgraded mouthpiece with improved airflow, and requires less cleaning, or a water pipe adapter.
Pax 3 ($199 – Basic Kit)
I know I’ve already listed the “Pax 3 Complete Kit” ($249) above as the most portable vaporizer but the “Pax 3 Basic Kit” for $199 is the way to go if you’re trying to stay under $200.
You get everything that comes with the complete kit except for the concentrate insert, the half-pack lid, and some extra screens. So if you’re not going to be using concentrates and just planning on sticking with dry herb, this kit is perfect for you.
You still get the 10-year warranty, the 25-second average heat up time, Bluetooth, haptic feedback, and full control with the paxvapor app. It’s literally the same device minus the insert for concentrates and the half-pack lid.
The only thing you can’t get with the basic kit is the glossy finish. I personally like the matte finish anyway so that’s not a big deal to me. The matte finish doesn’t show fingerprints or scratches as easily.
I recommend picking up the Pax 2 directly from PaxVapor or from VapeWorld. PaxVapor doesn’t ship to all states so be sure to check both sites for the best deals and shipping options.
Boundless CFX Vaporizer ($169)
Next vape in the best vape under $200 category is the Boundless CFX. The CFX vaporizer features a full temp spectrum (100F-430F) via an on vape LED display and easy to use temp change buttons.
The best feature on the CFX is the heat up/pre-heat time. I’m able to hit 400F in 20-25 seconds which is extremely quick for a portable conduction vaporizer.
The only other conduction vaporizer that heats up that fast currently is the G Pen Elite. Lastly, the CFX has outstanding battery life using two (2) 2500mAh rechargeable batteries.
CFX VS Mighty: The CFX is basically a Mighty clone with faster heat up and a prettier LED display. The Mighty is definitely the better unit delivering much better vapor quality, way less draw resistance and a proven track record of reliability/durability. BUT, the Mighty is also $349. Do I think the Mighty is $180 better than CFX? Yes. I feel like the Mighty does everything exceptionally, whereas the CFX leaves something to be desired in quite a few of my grading categories. Both units have the ability to do concentrates.
I feel like Boundless is here to stay. They have been very active within the community and seems like they are working extremely hard to push out quality vaporizers.
Boundless CF Vaporizer ($109)
The first option in the best portable vaporizer under $150 category is the Boundless CF. The CF vaporizer is the smaller version of the CFX with the same fast heat up time but only 5 preset temps and no display.
The CF is very easy to use, works well with varying load sizes and varying grind types.
It looks and feels sort of similar to the Crafty vaporizer. It’s easy to pocket, very light and almost small enough to completely palm. It uses a non-replaceable battery and can be charged via USB.
Lastly, the CF vape comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty.
Pax 2 Vaporizer ($149)
The Pax 2 received a price drop from $199 to $149 with the release of the Pax 3 Kits. The Pax 2 is now my top recommended portable vaporizer under $150 along with the Boundless CF which you can read about below.
If you don’t already have the Pax 2 and looking for an upgrade, I would go straight for the Pax 3. The quicker pre-heat time, better battery life, concentrate insert and access to the app via Bluetooth make the $100 price difference worth it.
Check out my Pax 3 review for more info on that device.
If you already have a Pax 2 and you’re looking to upgrade to the 3, I would maybe consider just picking up the concentrate insert ($50) and the half-pack lid ($13). The Concentrate Insert IS interchangeable with the Pax 2. Granted you’re missing out on the app and the quicker heat up times but they do function quite similar and you can spend a bit less money.
Xmax Starry Vaporizer ($99)
The first and best option that I recommend in the under $100 vape category is the Xmax Starry Vaporizer.
The XMAX Starry is the perfect vaporizer for someone just entering the vape market. You get a full temp spectrum, replaceable battery system, it’s lightweight and very to easy to pocket for use on the go.
There’s honestly nothing cheaper that is better. It’s easy to use, easy to maintain and features an easy to read digital display.
Last but not least, the Xmax Starry comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Based on: A pen sized vaporizer for dry herbs.
Grasshopper Vaporizer ($225)
The Grasshopper is one of the lightest and smallest portable vaporizers currently available on the market. It’s a pen vaporizer that offers pure convection heating powerful enough to have you vaping in under 10 seconds.
The Grasshopper vaporizer directly mimics the look of an actual pen and it’s similar in size to bigger fancy pens or something like a graphic design stylus.
The Grasshopper vape is great to use on the go and powerful enough to use with your biggest glass bubblers and bongs. It’s not the best for group sessions because of the external temps but perfect for 1-2 people.
Update: Hopper Labs just released the new Grasshopper Performance Front-End or “PFE” which offers easier compatibility with your glass bubblers and decreases overall draw resistance by a good amount. The Grasshopper PFE works with your 14mm glass pieces and they offer a 14-18mm adapter. Click the shop link below for updated Grasshopper vaporizer prices.
You can choose between a classic stainless steel, a titanium version, and a colored titanium version. The main differences between the SS and TI versions are that the TI is about 10 grams lighter, it’s less prone to scratches, and the unit remains a little cooler overall. All units come with a lifetime warranty. Read the full review below.
Grasshopper Pros and Cons:
The Grasshopper is currently rated as my best dry herb vape pen. It offers replaceable batteries, quick heat up time, pure convection, great vapor quality and works well with varying load sizes.
The downside to the Grasshopper is that the unit gets pretty hot with prolonged use. So they included a silicone mouthpiece guard to use with longer sessions. The mouthpiece guard also creates a perfect fit for 14mm glass pieces.
Based on:Highest quality butane vaporizers.
The Sticky Brick vaporizers are exactly what the name implies. They are wood bricks that connect together via magnets (sticky) and use a butane torch to produce on-demand convection heating. The Sticky Brick butane vaporizers are some of the most efficient vaporizers currently on the market plus they are hand-made in the USA from natural hardwood.
Sticky Brick Original
The first butane vaporizer made by Sticky Brick is the Original or OG. I consider the Sticky Brick OG a home-use portable vaporizer because it’s definitely not going to fit in your pocket. It works great around the house and can easily be carried room to room.
I also find the Sticky Brick OG the easiest to use of all the Sticky Brick vaporizers because you get immediate clear feedback as vapor forms in the glass mouthpiece. The vapor quality is fantastic and it works very well with varying load sizes.
The wood finish is very smooth, unique and all the pieces fit together beautifully. Sticky Brick Vaporizers also come with a lifetime warranty on the wood body and 15 days on the glass pieces.
The Sticky Brick Original retails for $179 and I recommend picking it up from here.
Sticky Brick Junior
The next Sticky Brick I would recommend would be the Junior. The Sticky Brick Junior (“JR”) is very similar to the OG but smaller, more compact, and a little harder to master because it uses a smaller mouthpiece. I was able to master the technique after a couple tries and I’ve never combusted with any of the Sticky Brick vaporizers but it’s still not going to be as easy as something like the Mighty.
The cool thing about the Junior is that the glass pieces can be rotated and covered for easy concealment. Not only does this make it a good portable option but it conceals the contents of the box while it’s sitting out. Set it next to some books on a bookshelf and no one would think twice.
The other thing that I like about the Sticky Brick JR is that I feel like I can get bigger clouds and richer hits. The OG produces smoother/cooler hits but the Junior packs a punch. I’m a bit of a heavier user so I like the fact that it can get me to that next level.
There are no loading techniques with either of these vaporizers but they do require stirring after every couple draws. I also recommend an average grind and be sure to pick up a quality butane torch. I’m using a brand called “Eagle” which comes with your purchase if you buy it from the link below.
The Sticky Brick Junior retails for $149 and I recommend picking it up from here.
Sticky Brick HydroBrick/MAXX
Sticky Brick also makes two other butane vaporizers called the HydroBrick and the HydroBrick MAXX. I will be picking up the Sticky Brick MAXX here soon and add more info on it when I do. Basically, the Hydrobrick MAXX is the complete package for someone that already has some glass at home or will plan to use glass with your vaporizer. You get the 18mm connector, glass mouthpiece, whip and connector for $199.
The HydroBrick MAXX also conceals into a wooden box just like the Junior but much bigger overall. So you can still store it in plain sight but I don’t think you’ll be getting it into your pocket. Both of these vaporizers are more home-use portables just like the OG.
The last butane vaporizer that I would recommend is made by Dynavap and it’s called the VapCap. I’ve already mentioned it a few times in this article but if you wanted the absolute best cheapest butane vaporizer, I recommend the VapCap at $35. It definitely looks a lot shadier because it’s just a glass tub and a torch but it does the job well.
Best Overall Portable – This is the category highlighting the best portable in terms of ease of use, consistency, vapor quality, cleaning/maintenance and dependability. This is the best of the best when it comes to portables and would be the one that I recommend most whether you are a beginner or experienced vaporist. Basically, this is my daily driver. #oneandonly
Best Vapor Quality – The word “vapor quality” gets thrown around quite a bit and it’s never really defined. So for me, the best vapor quality means the best taste, the best temperature, and the best density or production. The highest rated vaporizer in this category will produce some of the best-tasting vapor that you can experience in a portable. It will more than satisfy the daily user and leave the novice wondering why he didn’t switch to this vape earlier.
Most Portable/Discreet – This category is for those who needs absolute discretion and portability without sacrificing the main features like battery life or vapor quality. The most portable vaporizer is possibly the smallest vaporizer, definitely easily pocketable and ready to use quickly. The vape in this category can usually be taken on all-day activities like hiking, snowboarding/skiing, festivals, concerts, boating, etc…
Best Dry Herb Vape Pen – Originally this was a pretty small market with really only one option but now I have two options! yay! The vaporizers in this category will mimic the look, feel, and design of a pen. They will be easily concealable and preferably heat up very quickly in order to obtain maximum discreetness. They will also fully vaporize your herbs without combustion.
Best Battery Life – The best battery life category will have the portable vaporizer with the best average battery life per full charge.
Best Cheap Vaporizer – If you are trying to pick up a portable vaporizer on a budget, check out my recommendation for best cheapest vaporizer. When I say cheap, I don’t mean physically made cheap, I mean best priced vaped without sacrificing quality or reliability.
Best Portable Vaporizers Under $200 – This category of vaporizers will be the best options for under $200.
Still lost in the sauce?
If you still can’t quite figure out what portable vaporizer is best for you, ask yourself these questions and shoot me an email with your replies:
1. Where will you be using your portable vaporizer?
2. Will you be using it alone or with others? If groups, how many people?
3. Will you be using it for long periods in between charging?
4. How important is discreetness, size, pocketability, smell?
5. Are you wanting a session vape (10-15 minutes, similar to a joint)? OR do you want a quick somewhat on demand vape (Similar to a bowl, easy to break into multiple sessions)?
6. What is your budget? For example, “No Budget” or $300+, $200-300, $100-200, under $100.
Video review coming soon. Subscribe to my Youtube for new releases.
I do believe that any one of these vaporizers could be someone’s favorite. It’s important to know that not everyone will have the same opinion on what might be the best vaporizer. It completely depends on your specific situation.
With that said, I believe the Crafty and the Mighty are currently the best overall portable vaporizers on the market for most people due to their ease of use and consistency. The best vaporizer for the person who wants replaceable batteries would be the Davinci IQ and the best vaporizer for the stealth user always on the go is the Pax 3.
Do you have a portable vaporizer that you recommend or want to see reviewed before you buy? Leave a comment below or hit me up on my contact page and I will get back to you as soon as possible! Thanks for checking out my site and have a great day.