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America’s Next Top Vape: Firefly2

After reviewing vaporizers for this publication for more than a year — time in which my long-gestating novel, The Tiger’s Revenge, gathers ever more kief dust — a reward for this dubious anniversary appeared on my writing desk in the form of the Firefly2.

And what a reward. This San Francisco-designed device is a clear innovator in the field of premium vapes.

Don’t take my word for it. Take the monkey’s word for it.

No one bends a more discerning eye on quality than my editor, Stephan. He is, as many of you already know, a monkey of no great size, but he is possessed of a singularly angry impatience with poor writing, unclear or illegible instruction manuals, and bad products — peccadilloes that became clear after the tiger found me.

Maybe for the first time, Stephan has given a vaporizer an unqualified monkey thumbs up.

Most of what we’ve reviewed falls into two categories: Pax imitators and concentrate-oriented, coil-powered vape pens. The convection-heat powered, old-flip-phone-shaped Firefly2 is neither.

The device’s entire top panel slides off solidly but not too easily, thanks to the perfectly calibrated magnetic design. The chamber for dry flower material underneath is not huge, but reloading it so easy that it doesn’t matter. There are also pads handy for concentrates.

There is a little window into the circular chamber. The user just places a finger on the touch sensor on either side of the device — my God, aren’t opposable thumbs grand? — and it activates. That’s it. You don’t even have to squeeze.

There’s also no uncertainty. An indicator light goes on, and soon — and I do mean very soon — you can see your chamber glowing, and the vapor is already going where it should with a strong, clear stream.

The max temperature is adjustable with an easy-to-use smartphone app (it’s not the only vape with an app, but one of damn few). Yet perhaps the most awesome, intuitive, and downright usable aspect of the touch sensors is that the user can control the flow and temperature by activating them for as long as desired.

You can even tap them as you draw, just as you might caress a bowl of weed with a lighter when smoking.

Maybe he’s just high and happy, but Stephan also swears the Firefly2 vapor reveals better flavors than competitors. (He has just discovered the word “terpene,” you see.)

The physical design brings other advantages. In our household Stephan turns up his nose at such tasks, but vaporizers need to be cleaned. The Pax 2, a wonderful device, makes you feel like a sexual deviant when you insert a pipe cleaner through the urethra-like length of the thing to ream out the old resin. Most of the Firefly2’s vapor stream goes right under the removable panel, so it cleans up with a casual wiping motion that even the stoniest stoner can handle.

What’s not to like? Very little. It’s a huge improvement on its predecessor, but the Firefly2 is not particularly small or light. Although it clicks into a phone-cradle recharger beautifully, the battery only lasts for three or four bowls of vapor. Firefly’s answer? They just give you an extra battery.

True, it’s easier to sit to reload given that the detached panel leaves you one-handed if you’re trying to perform this task on a Tenderloin sidewalk, but I have not seen a portable vape yet that solves this problem.

If you want to invest in a premium vaporizer, this is primo, fully the equal of the Pax 2 (albeit with different advantages). Take the monkey’s word for it.

THE VERDICT

Cool Factor: Not exactly the coolest to look at, but the Firefly2 is cool to use, and the compact convection function has won design awards. The founders of the company met at Burning Man. If Prince ever vaped, he’d be using it in Heaven, Eye just know it.

Practicality: The Firefly2 does sacrifice long-lasting battery life for incredible performance, but its usability is so pleasurable that you’re not likely to hold this against it, and if you do, pop in the other battery. It has concentrate pads for your favorite oils as well.

Affordability: At $329, this is a premium vaporizer, and it’s just coming on the market (the Pax 2 is $279). Keep in mind: app, extra battery, and cleaning kit are all included. There are even little pads to put concentrates on so you don’t muck up the chamber with them. So if you were ever going to spend on a vaporizer, this one justifies it.

Overall: Superior, innovative design makes for more than a nice vaporizer – the Firefly2 manages to eliminate the nagging question that comes with so many vapes, even good ones: “Is it working?”

Rating: 4.5/5

Available at: www.thefirefly.com