If you’re looking for the best portable vaporizer, you need something you can carry around as easily as a vape pen but that vaporizes your material as well as a desktop vaporizer.
Portable vaporizers – otherwise known as handheld vaporizers – are similar in size to a vape mod but are usually designed for vaping either dry herb or concentrates.
There are a lot of devices in the running for the title of best portable vaporizer, but some devices still stand out from the crowd. Here are our top picks and a basic introduction to portable weed vaporizers, how they work and what to look for when you’re picking one up.
Best Portable Vaporizers for Dry Herb
So what is the best quality portable vaporizer for flower? Which devices should you consider if you’re looking for a reliable portable vape pen? Although opinions differ, here are our picks for the top dry herb portable vaporizers on the market. If you're looking for more recommendations, check out our picks for the best dry herb vapes.
The Pax series always finds itself towards the top of lists of the best personal vaporizer devices, and for good reason. Often called the “iPhone of vaporizers,” the Pax 3 – and the series overall – has always been a favorite of vapers of dry herb, and it’s easy to see why.
The design is sleek and cool, with minimal branding on the body and smooth, rounded corners. The exterior is polished anodized aluminum, and it comes in a choice of four colors. The lifespan of the included battery is good for 8 to 10 sessions between charges, with a capacity of 3,500 mAh compared to the 3,000 mAh capacity of the Pax 2.
You can set it to operate at any one of four different temperature settings – 360, 380, 400 and 420 °F (or 182, 193, 204 and 215 °C) – and it takes about 18 seconds to reach the top temperature. Using the optional app, you can set any temperature across the whole range. There is no display screen, with the device using four color-changing LEDs to show settings and the heating status of the device (with all LEDs turning from purple to green when it’s ready to vape).
The Pax 3 would rank among the best portable vaporizer pen devices on its performance with dry herb alone, but the handheld vaporizer also includes an attachment which allows you to vape concentrates. This is an alternative lid for the oven (which is kept at the bottom of the device to prevent the mouthpiece getting warm) that has a protruding container for your concentrates. The performance for concentrates is excellent, too, so you’ll be more than satisfied whatever you’re hoping to vape.
The Pax 3 thoroughly deserves its spot as the best portable vaporizer, and although the $150 price tag is a little more than other devices on this list, it’s well worth the extra expense if you’re looking for something truly high-quality.
The DaVinci IQ has a lot of supporters and many class it as the best-rated portable vaporizer all-round, offering a combination of a sleek look, portability, tons of features and great performance.
The personal vaporizer uses conduction heating, but it still works exceptionally well, and allows you to set any temperature between 250 and 430 °F (120 and 220 °C) in “precision mode.” However, the IQ also offers something unique for the world of portable vaporizers: “smart paths” which have temperatures that vary through the course of a session. The device has an app, but you can control almost everything without it – the only time you need to have the app is if you want to customize the smart paths.
The IQ runs on an 18650 battery, which is replaceable so you can always have another one charged and ready to go. It does take a while to charge – a few hours in most cases – but you’ll get an hour and a half of use out of each battery before you need to recharge.
Overall, the performance is hard to fault and the flavor is excellent – DaVinci used ceramic zirconia for the air path, so nothing finds its way into the vapor and you get the pure taste of your herb.
The DaVinci IQ is priced at $229, which is a great price for a device widely-recommended as one of the top portable vaporizers on the market.
The Firefly 2 Plus is widely-considered one of the favorite portable vaporizer devices on the market. It’s about half the weight and two-thirds of the size of the original Firefly, but it performs excellently with both dry herb and concentrates.
The Firefly 2 heats up really quickly: reaching 400 °F in just five seconds, and it uses convection heating to provide a more efficient, heat-as-you-inhale vaping experience. The vapor path is made from borosilicate glass, so nothing will impact on the taste of the vapor. It heats to 400 °F automatically, but like with the Crafty, an optional smartphone app gives you increased control over the temperature you vape at. You can choose between 340, 360, 380, 400 and 420 °F (170 to 216 °C), as well as a dedicated setting for vaping concentrates.
It comes with two rechargeable batteries, and a charging dock that can recharge them from flat in an impressive 45 minutes. This is great for a vaporizer, and as long as you keep a spare battery charged you’ll never go without something to vape.
The Firefly 2 is pretty expensive – priced at $249 – but overall it’s a great handheld vaporizer and well worth the money if you want a reliable portable vaporizer.
The K Vape Pro from Kandypens is proof that great portable dry herb vaporizers don’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, the K Vape Pro performs exceptionally well but keeps price below $100, offering everything you need from a dry herb vaping device while keeping the simplicity and affordability many people are looking for. The K Vape Pro looks like a bit of an advanced vape pen, with one button in the center and a column of four LED lights along the front to show your current setting. It comes with two glass mouthpieces, which cool the vapor as it passes through while not interfering with the flavor at all.
The K Vape Pro does limit you to four temperature settings (350, 375, 400 and 428 °F / 177, 191, 204 and 220 °C), but they cover more than enough ground for most users’ needs. It uses hybrid conduction and convection heating, combining the efficiency of convection with the simplicity and speed of a traditional conduction based system, and there’s a 5-minute session timer that matches the 0.5 gram chamber size pretty well. The chamber is completely ceramic, and the whole vapor path is completely inert so you get the pure taste of your herb every time.
The K Vape Pro costs $99.97, which is an awesome price for any handheld vaporizer pen, especially one that performs so well.
The G Pen Elite is a little different to most of the portable vaporizers on this list. It’s a very beginner-friendly device and because of its size it could be considered the best portable vape pen. It has a cool, ergonomic design and all rounded edges, making it both comfortable to use and very portable.
The device has a deep ceramic chamber just underneath the mouthpiece, and can reach 400 °F in 20 to 30 seconds. It offers you a free selection of temperatures between 200 and 428 °F or 93 and 220 °C, which is shown on the LED display on the side of the device and controlled with dedicated adjustment buttons. The short version is that this pocket vaporizer offers you full control over the temperature you’re vaping at, and using it is about as intuitive and simple as it could be.
It isn’t the most high-tech device on this list of the best performing portable vaporizers, but for just $69.95 it’s a great deal, and perfect for a newer vaper looking for something to use out of the house.
The Crafty and the Mighty are two very similar portable vaporizers and either would be eligible for this list. The main difference is that the Crafty is much more portable than the Mighty, but has a shorter battery life and a slightly less user-friendly interface.
Both of these portable herbal vaporizer devices have a similar look, with both having a chunky, ridged black body and a long, thin mouthpiece. The main difference – aside from the size and thickness – is the Mighty’s display screen and the temperature adjustment buttons beside it. Both the Crafty and Mighty perform exceptionally well, rivaling many desktop devices while still remaining impressively portable.
The Crafty only has two pre-programmed temperatures – which you can switch between by pressing the power button twice – but you can use an app to dial in any temperature you want. For the Mighty, there are dedicated adjustment buttons so you don’t have to use an app. The maximum temperature on both devices is 410 ° F (210 °C), and they use a combination of convection and conduction heating to make sure all of your herb is vaporized efficiently.
The Arizer Air takes a spot among the top portable vaporizer pens and other handheld vaporizers for it’s combination of small size and powerhouse performance.
With five temperature settings ranging from 180°C / 356°F to 210°C / 410°F, a lightweight aluminum body, a ceramic heating element and a tube mod-like look, it’s an especially tempting option if portability and low price are big priorities for you. It also uses an external battery, which means you can easily bring a spare with you if you’ll be using it out of the house for a while. You can also vape while it’s charging.
The Arizer Air uses inert ceramic and glass parts so that the only thing you taste is your dry herb, and the top of the device is vented to keep everything cool. It’s really easy to use – with just two buttons on the whole device used to turn it on or off and adjust settings – and the performance is hard to fault.
Best Portable Vaporizers for Concentrates
Here are our top picks for the best portable vaporizers for wax, oil, and dabs. If you're looking for more options, we have more recommendations in our best dab vapes list.
The G Pen Roam from Grenco Science is a feature-packed, premium concentrate vaporizer device. While most concentrate-focused devices don’t go far beyond the basic vape pen design and functionality, the G Pen Roam has much more of a portable vaporizer feel. It has a kind of chunky design, with an angled silicone mouthpiece at the back, a small display screen with adjustment buttons on the side and the tank/chamber at the top of the front edge. It may have a lot of components, but once you get used to the Roam you’ll be very impressed with what it can do.
It runs from a 1,300 mAh internal battery, supporting vaping at anywhere from 400 to 800 °F (204 to 427 °C) and offering haptic (i.e. vibration) feedback when it reaches your chosen temperature. This gives you tons of control over the vape that you get, but it doesn’t end there. Below the mouthpiece you’ll find a borosilicate glass hydrotube, which you can fill and use as a water filter before you vapor reaches the mouthpiece. Combined with the all-quartz tank this ensures exceptional flavor with every puff, and the massive range of temperature settings makes it easy to get the right amount of vapor too. If you’re looking for the best portable vaporizer for concentrates, this is definitely one to consider.
While most of the top portable vaporizers people rave about online are focused on dry herb, there are tons of fantastic options for concentrates and oils that deserve a look-in too. The PuffCo Plus is one of the best options on the market if you’re interested in a compact, well-designed pen for vaping oils, with an all-metal body and the perfect balance between simplicity and functionality. From the outside it looks like pretty much any other oil vape pen, with a single button on the front and a fairly basic-looking mouthpiece, but PuffCo has put a lot more thought and care into the design than you might think.
Firstly, when you open up the top you’ll notice that the mouthpiece section is actually multi-function, doubling as a loading tool (just push the top of the mouthpiece down to extend it). Essentially this is just an extendable spike on the bottom of the mouthpiece, but practically it’s very useful because you don’t have to bring a dab tool with you when you’re vaping outside.
The bowl itself is completely ceramic and coil-less, so there’s only pure vapor with no “burning” your material directly against exposed coils like on many options. Combined with the three heat settings on the PuffCo Plus, this offers exceptional flavor and vapor production every time. There’s even more, too with the 12 second “session” mode making it easier to take a nice long hit (just tap the button twice).
The Crystal 2 from KandyPens is basically a sub ohm vape pen designed for concentrates and oils. If you aren’t familiar with (nicotine) vaping lingo, this means that the coil is less than an ohm in resistance and thereby heats up quicker and puts out more vapor. It looks basically like an ordinary vape pen too, with a tube shape, a single button on the front (above a column of four LED lights), with the atomizer and an adjustable airflow ring above it. It has 510 threading, so you can change the atomizer if you have one you prefer. However, the included atomizer is all quartz crystal glass (hence the name), and the low-resistance coil means you get a great balance of excellent flavor and clouds.
The Crystal 2 is built around a 1,200 mAh battery, which is more than enough for a day or two of use unless you go pretty heavy on your vape. The four LEDs are there to represent the four available voltage settings: 2.6, 3, 3.6 and 4.2 V. This gives you more control over the performance you get than many comparable devices, and puts it right up there with the best portable vaporizers for concentrates. You can just press the button as you vape (like on most devices) but there’s also a “session mode,” where you click the button twice to activate the coil for 10 seconds continuously.
Portable Vaporizers 101 – What You Need to Know
What is a Portable Vaporizer?
A portable vaporizer or handheld vaporizer is a small, battery-powered electronic device used to vaporize plant matter or tobacco (usually pipe tobacco), heating it to create a vapor without combusting it.
Portable vaporizers are hand-held, and have small heating chambers which material is added to and then patted down before you close it and vape. They usually feature a range of temperature settings, which gives you more control over the sort of experience you get.
The defining characteristic of a portable weed vaporizer is that it can vaporize dry herb, but some of the portable vaporizers on the market can also handle things like concentrates, waxes and oils. Some devices can also be used to vape e-liquid.
But if your question is “what is a portable vaporizer?” the answer is simply a device which can vape flower or concentrates and can reasonably fit in a pocket or a small handbag.
Some of the best portable vape pen style devices can do a good job with dry herb too, though, so they could be considered portable vaporizers too. The classification gets a bit difficult at the boundaries, but it’s not really important provided the device can do what you’re looking for.
What’s the Difference Between Portable Vaporizers and Desktop Vaporizers?
The key difference between portable vaporizers and desktop vaporizers is made clear by their names: portable vaporizers can be taken around with you easily but desktop vaporizers are intended for home use.
Desktop dry herb vaporizers like the Volcano are much larger than portable units, often using a wall outlet for power and sitting on a flat surface when in use. They’re used in a very similar way to portable vaporizers, but desktop vaporizers either have a long tube for you to inhale through or fill up a bag with vapor, which users then inhale from.
Desktop vaporizers also tend to have more features than portable vaporizers – for example, more choices for temperature settings and things like variable fan speeds – and are usually more expensive. For the very best performance, desktop vaporizers are often preferable, but the top portable vaporizer style devices still do an impressive job when it comes to efficiently vaporizing your herb.
How to Choose the Best Portable Vaporizer
Finding the best portable vaporizer is partially about what the devices can do and how well they work, but personal preference has a part to play too. So it’s important to think about what you’re looking for in a vaporizer when you make your decision.
What will you be vaping?
One of the easiest things to think about when you’re looking for the top portable vaporizer pen for you is what you’ll be vaping with it.
If you’re just looking to use it with marijuana or other plant matter (i.e. dry herb) then you can choose most devices, although ones bigger than a traditional vape pen tend to work much better.
If you're looking to vape CBD oil, there are lots of great and portable options for cbd pens.
Conduction vs. Convection Heating
Different portable vaporizers heat your dry herb in different ways. Most use conduction heating, which is where the material is warmed because it’s in direct contact with a hot surface. Accomplishing this is relatively easy, and it generally works well, but there are some downsides. In practice you’ll need to shake your vaporizer or mix the material around with a tool part way through a session to ensure your herb is evenly vaporized. There’s also a bigger risk of combustion with this method, and it’s slightly less energy efficient.
Convection heating works by vaporizing your herb using heated air, with no direct contact between the heating source and your material. This is generally preferred when it comes to the quality of the vape and energy efficiency, but convection vaporizers are more expensive. Some of the best-rated portable vaporizers use this heating method, but there are still many solid-performing conduction-based vaporizers, and these are generally more affordable.
So if you’re looking for a great portable vaporizer pen, it might be worth spending the extra money and getting a convection device, but for most purposes you’ll save money and not lose out too much on performance with a conduction vaporizer.
Internal or External Batteries?
While many of the top portable vaporizers come with in-built batteries, there are some that work with external batteries that you pick up separately.
Although it might seem like internal batteries are better, with external batteries it’s easy to carry a spare in case your main one runs out. If you’ll be vaping away from the house a lot, with an internal battery device you’ll only have one full charge to use, but with an external battery device you’re only limited by the number of batteries you can carry.
However, if you’ll usually have access to a charger or won’t be vaping out of the house very often, you’ll be able to use either without issues. The main benefit to an internal battery device is it’s generally more user-friendly, which is a big bonus if you’re new to vaping.
How Important is Portability?
Although portable vaporizers, by definition, are pretty portable, they aren’t all created equal. You’ll have a much easier time vaping discreetly and stealthily if you’re using the Magic Flight Launch Box instead of the Mighty.
Portable herb vaporizers range from the size of vape pens to the size of a chunky box mod, so there is a lot of scope to choose based on what you’re likely to need. Anything on this list is ultimately a handheld vaporizer, but some will fit into a pocket more easily than others.
The only thing to keep in mind is that there are benefits to bigger devices too. Some of the best portable vaporizers are quite chunky, but this generally means you can get more material in the chamber and their batteries last longer.
The smallest devices often don’t have display screens and other useful bells and whistles too. You need to weigh up the pros and cons based on your own needs and preferences, but in general, it’s better to focus on features and performance over size unless stealth and portability is essential to you.
How Much Control Do You Get Over Temperature?
Temperature settings are what bring vaping to life. While you can get a good vape from devices with a single set temperature, the most user friendly portable vaporizer devices almost all allow you to choose a temperature to suit your tastes. If you’re vaping marijuana, the temperature controls which components are released, and this allows you to tailor the effects to your liking.
Most devices just offer a fixed set of different temperatures. For example, the Pax 3 offers four temperature settings ranging from 360°F / 182°C to 420°F / 215°C, while other devices offer five or even more options. Although this level of precision isn’t really needed, some portable vaporizers allow you to dial in any temperature you want.
Conclusion – Find the Best Portable Vaporizer for Your Needs
This post has given you a run-down of how to find the best portable vaporizer pen, but it’s important to remember that the general advice here needs to be tempered with your personal preferences.
Perhaps you’re on a budget, so can’t afford a device like the Pax 3, or you might be looking for a solid e-liquid device as well as something to vape dry herb with, or one of any number of potential situations.
The devices listed above are all great portable vaporizers, but finding the “best” portable vaporizer is as much about thinking about your needs as it is evaluating the options on the market.