Vaping has come a long way from its infancy. It’s now a sophisticated industry worth $22.6 billion. Juul alone raked in $1 billion in revenue last year, and everyone (including the government) wants a piece of vaping.
In fact, the vape and cannabis industries have been critical in my blogging success. They emerged in the U.S. right as I became a full-time freelance writer in 2011. I followed these industries closely, as a user, analyst, researcher, journalist, and more.
It’s not just drugs that these devices can be used for. They’re popularly sold by recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries, smoke shops, and vape shops because they’re associated with cannabis and tobacco.
But nicotine and THC aren’t the only drugs that can be consumed with vape pens.
And essential oils, medicines, and other products can be consumed by them. This is why devices like Magical Butter were able to secure financing and grow massive earlier than any other cannabis company. It’s only auxiliary.
Of course, that doesn’t mean vape devices are immune to regulation – everyone from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to state regulators is watching the vape industry closely, dubbing everything essentially “e-cigarettes.”
While all of this is going on, I reached out to the top vape companies to find out the best vaporizers and vape pens on the market.
To be clear, I receive these products for review for free, but I’m not paid, nor are there any affiliate links in this article. This is my honest opinion on the devices, and I do not condone their usage in any illegal or immoral way.
Some can be used for multiple purposes, so I listed them with the one they worked best for.
OMG I can’t say enough great things about the Hydrology9. It’s a herbal vape water bong that gets everything right. It looks great, is a decent size, and the hits are fantastic and smooth.
There are a variety of settings, and LED indicators make it easy to use even in pitch black darkness. I can’t remember ever hitting a better-tasting vape in my entire life.
If you’re a hardcore herbal vapor, Hydrology9 is the best water vape I’ve used to date. It doesn’t leak or rust, and the ceramic heating chamber and integrated stirring mechanism are light years ahead of everything else on this list.
A smaller version of the popular IQ herbal vape, the Da Vinci Miqro is 33 percent smaller, includes a removable/replaceable 18350 battery, and includes all the accessories you’ll need in a very small package.
This is the ultimate travel vape for herbal users, and ceramic airpath/oven, zirconium airflow, and simple temperature control makes this the iPhone of herbal vaporizers.
The Firefly 2 is a vape and concentrate pen that’s discrete and handles both in a very sleek and slim design. This vape pen takes things to new heights with a magnetic design, metal mesh faux-healthstones for concentrates, and bluetooth connectivity to be controlled by your phone.
The phone app and touch sensors make it a very smart device that’s easy to set temperatures for whatever herbs or concentrates you decide to vape. You can even do kief, although you’ll need to constantly wipe it clean after every hit, especially with concentrates, or things get gummy quick.
Gaia is a convection herbal vape pen that uses quartz for the cleanest flavor around. It’s no wonder High Times loves this vape pen, and I’ve included it in my personal collection too.
Because of its high-quality design, this vape heats the herbs evenly and instantly, letting you enjoy the experience just like you would with a pipe, cigar, or other smoked version.
It also looks like many oil vape devices, so you’re less likely to draw attention while drawing on your vape in public.
The Pax 3 handles both herbs and concentrates with Bluetooth connectivity and a sleek design that doesn’t resemble most vape pens (aside from the Firefly 2).
Connect it to your smartphone, and you get even more intuitive access to over 60 temperature settings on this beautiful design.
You can even set it to vibrate when ready so you don’t have to sit around watching and waiting for it to change colors like other devices on this list.
The Volcano Digit is a premium desktop vaporizer with a massive chamber and accessories to handle anything you want to throw at it. One button heats the unit to the set temperature, and the other activates a fan that blows vape into supplied bags. You can then hit at your leisure.
Volcano vapes are created by Storz and Bickel, a well-known brand in the vaping industry. This unit isn’t cheap at $600, but it’s a lot more discrete than a giant glass bong for more adult users.
The Boost eRig is a marvel of modern vaping equipment (albeit a pain to clean). Boost is designed so you only vape on the surface you’re looking for, whether quartz, ceramic, or titanium.
Even better – all 3 dishes are included, along with a bubbler attachment, dabber, keychain, two silicon cases, and a replacement heating element. It’s a great dabbing kit, but it gets dirty quick and looks like an old man’s bong you hate to hit because it’s so dirty.
It may not look the part, but the Nexus Pro from Qloudup is one of the most advanced and high-class concentrate vape pens I’ve ever used.
The chamber can hold up to a half a gram (although I wouldn’t fill it more than a quarter full personally) and interchangeable magnetic mouthpieces and atomizers make it a handy vape tool for connoisseurs.
It’s a solid and compact way to consume concentrates anywhere you go.
My biggest gripe with dabbing is the amount of butane/propane it takes (along with the safety concerns of using often shoddy butane torches). Thanks to the MiniNail electronic dabber, it’s not an issue.
This complete system is expensive (and you’ll still need a dab rig), but once you’ve replaced explosive gases with electricity, you’ll never go back. Plus they have a ton of customization options for each piece of this modular system. And it comes with a TON of extras.
The G-Priv2 replaces the H-Priv tank design with a one-piece and touchscreen and the G-Priv with a smaller form factor. It’s the latest from Smok’s varied oil-based vaping collection.
What the G-Priv2 starter kit doesn’t include is extra batteries, though it’s nice that you can replace the batteries. That alone makes this a better value than the H-Priv, which takes DIY knowledge to replace the internal battery. If you want the best oil vaping technology, this is a company to watch.
The Halo Triton II has a solid tank/coil system in a portable form factor. Most notably, the starter kit came with two batteries (both a beautiful metallic rainbow titanium) – an absolute necessity for vaping while another battery is charging.
Long after most vape pens lose their shine, these colorful and solid beauties remained in my vape collection. It’s compatible with most prefilled tanks I’ve come across.