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Go Back to Basics With the AirVape X

Short on bells and whistles, this handy home vaporizer is a welcome blast from the past.

As a somewhat spoiled cannabis consumer, I’ve had the pleasure of putting many vaporizers through their paces. Some leave the box and are ready for action, while others require serious study before proper enjoyment can ensue.

Lately, I’ve been running a test that’s yielded some telling results. I don’t have a double-blind study or a control group, but nowadays whenever I open the packaging on a new vaporizer, I start by attempting one simple thing — I try to use it.

If this seems absurdly obvious, I agree, and yet, more often than not, the act of packing a vaporizer, powering it on, and taking a hit is nearly impossible without a deep dive into the accompanying instructions. Figuring out how to adjust temperature, cycle through settings, or in some cases, even turning the damn thing on, are not always as straightforward as one might expect.

Thus, it was with great delight that I encountered the AirVape X. Far from the slimmest vaporizer on the market, this unit is the size of a deck of cards, with a protruding mouthpiece. I’ve previously extolled the virtues of vaporizers that maximize discretion, but in this case, it’s simplicity that serves as the AirVape X’s signature offering.

At the center of the unit is a 1.3-inch display screen. Having a screen that can actually be read by the naked eye is a godsend. Many of the market’s most popular vaporizers try to cram as much information as possible into tiny displays, while others require users to cycle through screens. The AirVape X may be retro in its choice to go big, but I was thrilled to have the remaining battery life, current temperature, and more all in plain view.

For a vaporizer the size of the AirVape X, it’s a little surprising the chamber isn’t deeper. While that does make for easier cleaning, prepare to cycle through bowls at a pretty steady clip. I tried a handful of different strains and even played with how finely I ground the buds, but the results were essentially the same. However, if the hits are limited, they’re certainly high quality. The ceramic chamber ensures you aren’t left with an awful metallic aftertaste — a total bummer when you’ve shelled out for some truly tasty buds.

Aside from the chamber size, the only other downside for the AirVape X is battery life. I was surprised how quickly my unit demanded a charge — after five or six brief sessions. As long as you’re at home, it’s hard to see this as a major issue, but it does mean this is likely not the vaporizer you want for extended outings away from a power outlet.

On the plus side, I love the unit’s simple, up-and-down arrows to control temperature, and the vibration feature that informs users when the AirVape X has hit your ideal heat. Both of these features are fairly commonplace with today’s vaporizers, but again, the simplicity of buttons shaped like arrows and a single vibration is refreshing compared with the rainbows of light cycles and vibration patterns you’re expected to memorize to use other models.

As someone who doesn’t often consume concentrates, I did not test that element of this unit, but the AirVape X does offer the ability and comes with a concentrates pad insert in the box. It also comes with the X Shell, an addition I love. This carrying case is a tight-fitting plastic exterior that offers protection from both water and unwanted smells that might give away what’s living inside your pocket.

I’m the cautious type, so I haven’t doused the case in water, but I can confirm the smell-proof component works reasonably well. It’s also nice to have something to store your vaporizer in that doesn’t increase its size tenfold. Some cases are built to house additional items — like cleaning tools, charging cords, et cetera — but I like how the X Shell is as slim as possible.

Overall, the AirVape X is a great option for the casual home consumer, and quite possibly one of the best models out there for someone who is just getting started with cannabis. I’d feel confident giving one to my 77-year-old father (and perhaps I will!). For advanced users who enjoy all the bells and whistles vaporizers these days may offer, this may not fit the bill, but if you don’t need Pink Floyd-caliber light shows when you toke, the AirVape X will have you admirably covered on the important stuff.

Rating: 4/5