Not too long ago, if you wanted a good cannabis vaporizing experience, you’d have to buy something huge like the Volcano, find yourself a table to put it on and fill a bag, but times have changed pretty quickly. From high-end “stoner Apple” style devices like the Pax right down to more rough-and-ready options like the compact, wooden MFLB, there are tons of options out there if you’re looking to vape weed without having to set aside half your coffee table for the purpose.
AirVape is one of the many companies that have jumped onto the market in recent years, and after the pretty solid AirVape X, the Legacy is their next attempt to make their mark on the industry. We’ve taken detailed a look for our AirVape Legacy review.
On the face of it, the Legacy looks like a huge step up, with a completely reinvented design, incorporating hemp-based textiles and vegan leather, as well as an improved, gold-plated bowl right in the middle. But is it actually worth picking up, or is it all style with no substance?
The AirVape Legacy is a beautifully-designed vaporizer with an impressive range of features. The performance lets it down a little, but it's still a good option on a budget.
The AirVape Legacy benefits from many great design choices and plenty of awesome features, but is slightly held back by a seemingly-inaccurate temperature gauge and being in the same price bracket as much bigger-name devices. That said, it’s very flexible and the price is still pretty good.
AirVape Legacy Review
What You Get
The AirVape Legacy comes in a big kit, which contains the device, the branded replaceable battery, a USB-C charging cable and more extras than you’ll know what to do with. Alongside the expected cleaning brush, wipes and loading tool, it also comes with replacements for basically every filter found anywhere on the device, a metallic pad so you can also use it for concentrates and a little golden basket for micro-dosing with the Legacy.
They even put a little trippy cover on the box so you can have a little fun after vaping. Jokes aside, this is a really good selection of goodies, on par with or better than what you get with the Pax 3.
AirVape Legacy Review – The Design
The Legacy is a bit chunkier than the AirVape X, but the general look and feel of the device is undoubtedly much better. The textile coating on the large faces and the leather strip running down the back give the whole thing an air of class, reminding you more of a wallet or phone holder than a typical cannabis vaporizer. Without these, it would look a lot like a nicotine box mod, with a small display screen, a USB charging port and a few buttons on the front face, and a mouthpiece sticking up from the top.
The back side is completely covered by the textile, but on the front it stops about half way up, giving way to the base metal of the vaporizer, with the AirVape fan logo towards the top being the only branding on the entire thing. It looks awesome.
Behind the Panel
The outside appearance is only the beginning, though, with the half-textile front face opening up like a door to reveal the most important section of the Legacy. Towards the bottom, you see the gold-plated bowl, and there’s a separate compartment near the top for the removal battery and the removable glass section of the air-path. This has a cover too, with a picking and packing tool in a small slot on the outside and the slots on the inside (as well as a piece of fabric to help you get them out).
This is really where all the action happens in the Legacy, and the door opens easily so you can get access whenever you need it.
The most important part of the interior is the bowl section, which is at the bottom of the internal cavity, and is entirely gold-plated, with a rubber housing surrounding it and a corresponding section on the inside of the front plate to close it off when the device is in-use. This channels the vapor up through to a second filter, which is basically placed in front of the entrance to the glass air-path, which in turn leads directly up to the mouthpiece.
The bowl itself has a capacity of around 0.15 grams, making it a little small but in practice (for me at least) this wasn’t an issue.
It’s a completely convection-based device, meaning that your herb doesn’t touch the hot surface directly and instead heats by hot air passing over it, which generally costs more but leads to more consistent vaporization.
The Legacy also has a removable chamber component which lifts your material up even more and helps prevent issues at higher temperature settings.
The included mouthpiece is ceramic, with a rubber push-fit connection to the main body of the Legacy. Combined with the positioning of the bowl, the heat-resistant materials here make sure that you never get a hot mouthpiece in use. It also has a metallic filter built into the rubber base section (which comes with replacements) as a last line of defense against small pieces coming up through the vaping process.
Display Screen and Controls
The main user interface of the Legacy is on the side of the body, with the compact display screen, two buttons for temperature adjustment and a power button which is used to activate and deactivate the device. The display screen essentially just shows the current temperature of the oven, has an icon to show the fan is operating, a battery life display and a countdown for the current session.
You switch the Legacy on and off by pressing the power button three times, and the up and down buttons do exactly what you’d expect. It’s simple enough for you to feel right at home, but it does everything it needs to.
Comfort and Portability
The AirVape Legacy is a bit of a chunky device in comparison to some of the best portable vaporizer options out there – and it’s notably bigger than the AirVape X too.
It's 119 mm tall, 52 mm wide (around 4.7 by 2 inches) and weighs a pretty hefty 244 grams (about half a pound).
While its design makes it pretty comfortable to hold, and you do get used to the weight pretty quickly, if you’re looking for something compact and easily portable, there are definitely better options out there. Again, the AirVape X did pretty well in this department, and even more standard options like the Pax 3 do really well.
Personally this isn’t a huge issue for me – being used to vaping e-liquid with big box mods, and all – but if you want something small and light this might not be ideal.
The design of the Legacy is one of its major strengths: it looks awesome, makes great use of the space it has and is pretty easy to get to grips with.
AirVape Legacy – Features
Temperature Adjustment Between 212 and 464 °F
The Legacy offers a wider temperature range than many similar devices, between 212 and 464 °F (100 to 240 °C, switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit by pressing power and down together).
This is realistically higher than the vast majority of users would want to go – in fact, cannabis combusts towards the upper end of this range – but you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find the right temperature for your preferences.
You can also adjust the temperature setting freely, so you aren’t limited to a handful of choices from across this range, just press the up and down buttons to dial it in and you’re good to go.
It reaches vaping temperature impressively quickly, too, ready to go within around 15 seconds, which is way beyond most of the options on the market.
On-Demand Heating or Variable Session Length
The Legacy also features a pretty unique option for a portable dry herb vaporizer: on-demand heating. By pressing the up and down adjustment buttons together, you switch to on-demand mode, which means that the Legacy only heats the chamber when you hold down the power button. This wouldn’t be feasible on many devices, but with the 15-second (ish) heat-up time it’s actually pretty practical, and works well if you don’t want to be confined to 3-minute sessions.
However, the 3 minute session length is a good length for most situations and for the size of the bowl. You can certainly get more than one session out of a bowl, but you’ll need to turn the temperature up a little higher and you’ll lose some flavor since most of the terpenes will have already vaporized. Pressing the power and up buttons together allows you to change the session length from 3 to 5 or 10 minutes. Personally I went with 5 because I always want to get the most out of the herb, but having the choice is a great feature.
It also shuts off after 60 seconds if you don’t move it, based on the internal sensors in the device. This is handy because you won’t vaporize all your herb if you have to put it down suddenly and forget to shut it off.
If you have a wireless charging pad, or want to buy one, the Legacy supports wireless charging in addition to ordinary charging with the included USB-C cable. The wireless charging symbol is on the back of the device, so you can just lay it down if you want to charge the battery wirelessly. Honestly, I doubt there were many people really wanting this feature, but it’s nice to have the option nonetheless.
Concentrates or Dry Herb
The Legacy also comes with a metallic concentrates pad so you can use the device with waxes, oils and dabs as well as with dry herb. There isn’t too much to say about this, but it’s a great feature and all you have to do is put the pad in place to start vaping.
AirVape Legacy – In Use
The Legacy does a solid job overall when it comes to performance, with a couple of caveats.
Once you’ve ground up your material and packed the bowl, you switch it on and it heats up impressively quickly, with vibration feedback to tell you when it’s ready to go. It’s better to leave it for maybe 10 seconds afterwards – when I use it immediately I don’t get much vapor – but it’s still an impressive heat-up time all-round. You get great flavor at the start of your session in particular, and once it gets going you get a satisfying amount of vapor too. The flavor does diminish towards the end, but this is kind of normal, and the clean air path means you don’t get any notes from other components of the device.
The main issue when it comes to performance is that the Legacy seems to run a little hot, so you’ll have to adjust downwards and likely settle on a lower temperature than you’re accustomed to. This is a bit of an issue because the pre-set temperature when you first switch it on is 420 °F (of course), and for me this isn’t beyond my usual vaping range, so at first I just went with it. This resulted in some quite charred bits of bud after the session, and some combust-y flavor too.
Battery Life and Charging
The included battery on the Legacy is 3000 mAh, which is good for around 6 to 7 sessions at 3 minutes each, which is right in line with what you’d expect from most other devices. Of course this depends on the temperature you’re vaping at and the length of your sessions, but you get a readout on the display so you always know your remaining charge level.
The fact that the included battery is removable is a great feature, though, because if you’re going to be away from a charger for a while or just want to be prepared, it’s easy to pick up another 18650 battery to use.
Charging with the included USB-C cable takes around a few hours. This is pretty great, but you can also remove it and use a stand-alone battery charger if you prefer. I haven’t tested the wireless charging, but it will likely be a little slower owing to the extra induction circuits in play.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The fairly large number of parts on the Legacy means cleaning could potentially become a pretty big job. However, AirVape has really thought everything out well, with plenty of replaceable filters and the whole glass section of the air-path being easy to remove.
It comes with a cleaning brush and some wipes, and the included tool is great for getting the filters out of the more difficult-to-reach places. Overall it isn’t much different from any other portable vaporizer. You should be careful removing the glass air path section, though, it didn’t break on me but removing it takes a bit of force and feels a little risky.
Problems With Debris
While the various filters and long vapor path makes it basically impossible to get debris in the mouthpiece while you vape, there is one issue around the bowl section. The fact that the seal for the bowl is partially on the inside of the door means that there isn’t always a perfect seal in-use and it’s easy to get small bits of bud in the creases there.
This wouldn’t be too big a deal but it can affect the performance by disrupting the sealed air path, which affects the airflow through the device and can lead to combustion or over-heating if you’re not careful.
AirVape clearly put a lot of time into the design and development of the Legacy, and the attention to detail really shows. While some of the choices – for example, is gold really necessary for the bowl – seem a little over-the-top, there’s no denying that everything is put together nicely.
The AirVape Legacy is a very explicitly high-end vaporizer, with the team clearly going to some effort to give it an air of class and prestige. It must be said that the result is impressive, if a little chunky, in terms of design and the feature-set.
Some minor issues, such as the heat settings seeming a little off, hold it back quite a bit, but the $249 price-tag isn’t too bad at all. It isn’t the best vaporizer out there today, but it looks awesome, performs well enough to hold its own and has handy features like a removable battery that make it more flexible than many options out there. The main issue is competition from devices like the Firefly 2+, which is the same price, but if you want something a little different, this is still a solid choice.