Product Review: Arizer Solo Vaporizer
Hello PNW followers! Today we're here to bring you another dry flower vaporizer review from Arizer, the Arizer Solo. Here at the PNWCR HQ we are moving more and more away from smoking cannabis, preferring to either dab or vaporize our medicine. We have tested several dry flower vaporizers and we want to show you how the Solo compares.
The Arizer Solo:
Like the Arizer Air, the Solo arrives in a brown, discreet box so you don't worry about the mailman or your neighbors knowing you're medicating. It's about 6 inches long and about 2 inches in circumference, which is a bit larger than some of the portable vaporizers we've tested. It's still portable, you just can't hide it very well. It's smaller than the Cloud Phantom and the Air, but it's still not very easy to hide when you're out wandering.
As you can see in the image, the Solo comes with everything you need for aromatherapy or for dry herb vaporization. You get the unit with variable temperature control, two vapor stems with a single mouthpiece, a cup for your aromatherapy, and a couple of rubber caps. All it's really missing is a stirring tool but the heating chamber heats pretty evenly so we haven't noticed an issue with having to stir it around.
It's lightweight enough to be portable, but with glass tubing and no carrying case for protection I personally wouldn't use it for hiking or walking around town. It does work for taking to a sesh spot though, and it's easy enough to reload that it works well for seshing at a friends place.
Using the Solo:
As you see in the video above, we didn't get any instructions and had to research what temp each number was. Those temps are:
- Level 1 - 121 degrees
- Level 2 - 365 degrees
- Level 3 - 374 degrees
- Level 4 - 383 degrees
- Level 5 - 393 degrees
- Level 6 - 401 degrees
- Level 7 - 410 degrees
I guess what the mid range was in the video and was a bit high. That is my favorite vaporization temp for dry flower though, from 380-390 degrees. Level 4 and 5 give a great high while still giving great flavor and not tasting too hot.
To turn on the unit you press and hold the up/down buttons together until you hear a beep. This will turn it on to the lowest setting. Pressing up or down on the settings button will adjust the temperature. While the unit heats the colored LED blinks and when it's solid the unit is heated and ready to go. Once on, the unit will heat for 12 minutes uninterrupted. There are no buttons to press while hitting or anything, just draw while it's heated for a mouthful of vapor.
If you're coming back to the unit and you want to go straight to the previously set temperature, turn the unit on and then hold the up/down arrows together for about 5 seconds. This will jump straight to the last set temp setting.
When you've hit it a few times all you're left with is brown material that looks vaguely of dried tobacco. This is the vaporized flower that is left behind.
Loading the Solo is easy. You need to grind your flower to make sure it gets heated evenly, and then you just press the end of the stem (the small chamber at the bottom) into a pile of ground herb and give it a small twist. This will get some flower in the stem, you just repeat this process if it's not enough. When it's full you'll see a small bump above the stem, lightly compress that but not so much that you reduce airflow. Just enough to make sure there isn't any herb sticking out of the stem when you go to insert it into the unit.
The Solo comes with two glass mouthpieces, one straing and one curved. I preferred to use the curved one and I show why in the video. The straight tube seems unnatural and didn't feel comfortable to smoke out of.
The stem can be hard to insert into the unit. To make sure this isn't a problem, turn the unit on and set it to the top temp setting while you are grinding and loading your herbs. This pre-heating will cause the o-ring to expand a little and give it more flex when you're sliding the stem into the unit. You'll notice that this allows a much easier insertion than just trying to shove it in cold. Trust me, you wanna do this. I damn near broke my stem before I figured this out (again, no instrcutions).
Vaporizing With the Solo:
This is marketed as an aromatherapy and potpourri vaporizer. Arizer even goes so far to provide botanicals on their site that you can buy to vaporize in the unit. So we began our testing by adding the provided wildflower to the potpourri cup and set it to the highest setting.
This was pointless. The unit only stays on for 12 minutes so you don't get enough smell for even a single room. You can put some essential oils on a cotton ball and put that in the cup instead, so maybe that would be potent enough to smell up the room but just the wildflowers were a spectacular fail!
For cannabis this thing worked well! On the first setting you won't get clouds of vapor from this unit. However, you will get all of the terpenoids and cannabinoids that will vaporize at lower temperatures which gives you excellent flavor. My favorite was the mid range, level 4. This setting gave you decent vaporization of the THC and let you exhale a cloud of vapor instead of just tasting your cannabis. This was the best setting in my opinion.
Unlike the Air, we didn't have to play with the draw to find our best hit. The heating chamber heats so evenly that we got full hits with a nice even draw, right away. None of this small hits with pauses to create a full hit business. We enjoyed this quite a bit!
Care and Maintenance:
Cleaning the unit is fairly simple. You can use your favorite glass cleaner (like Weed Wipes, our favorite!), just soak the mouthpiece, stem, and cup (if necessary). The mouthpiece is easy to replace, and there are several attachments you can accessorize with. You can pick them up here. We haven't burned ours out yet, so I'm assuming that you get plenty of use out of these before a replacement is needed.
Cleaning the heating chamber is where it's a bit more difficult to clean. However, since the dry herb stays in the stem and isn't loaded directly into the heating chamber this doesn't get nearly as dirty. Unfortunately, you can't remove the top to pull out the heating screen so you have to use a cotton swab or pipe cleaner to get in there to clean it. That's why we didn't give it a 10/10 for cleaning.
There are a couple of flaws with this unit. First off it's hugely expensive, it comes in at over $100 more than comparable units. Second, there is no water attachment so there is no way to smooth out the dry herb vapor. Currently, at $224, it's cheaper than the Air but I wouldn't recommend buying this one unless you don't really care about the price.
It completely fails as a potpourri device. The auto shutoff just kills it's ability to spread any smell through a room without a fan to drive the smell throughout the house.