HerbalAire Review

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Rating: 9.6/10 (5 votes cast)

To those who aren’t familiar with vaporizers, the Volcano is one of the most visible and marketed vaporizers in the public eye. It has been shown in movies, mentioned in comedy routines and it is one of the few vaporizers that have gotten medical recognition by government regulating bodies. With the ubiquity and popularity of the Volcano, one might be inclined to think that there aren’t any other quality bag-style vapes, or that the Volcano outperforms every other on the market. While the Volcano is of course a wonderfully built and performing machine, there are other vaporizers available which allow the user to get the same sort of bag-filling operation and experience with better flavor and efficiency than the Volcano for a fraction of the price.

The HerbalAire was invented and manufactured by Canadian artist, author and engineer Bohdan Petyhyrycz in the early 2000’s. The unit features a striking all black design, with a single turn dial and LED being the only front facing components, and a single hole at the back for plugging in the blower. One very welcome characteristic of the HerbalAire is the length of the power cord, allowing the unit to be easily passed around or moved. The unit stands about 7 inches tall and four inches around at the base. It is much smaller than either the Extreme Q or Volcano vaporizers, but that is due in part to the fact that the blower is not an internal part of the unit; rather plugging in to the unit externally. A big plus of this design is that you can replace the stock blower unit if it fails, or upgrade to a better pump, like a silent/variable speed fish tank pump. Any pump which has a tube dimension of 3/16″ inner diameter and 5/16” outer diameter will fit. This is a standard size among aquarium pumps.

This vaporizer uses a mix of both conduction and convection heating to completely extract all essential oils from any blend you put in it, and a by-product of this style of heating is that you do not need to grind the materials you wish to vaporize. Flower heads and other botany can be placed whole into the crucible, where they will be completely extracted of all essential oils. This makes the HerbalAire a favorite among those in vaporizer community who believe that grinding lowers the quality of their blends. The HerbalAire uses a stainless steel crucible which gets inserted into the also stainless steel heatport. The mouthpiece then gets placed over top of the heatport.

The HerbalAire uses a primary mouthpiece made of high grade PTFE Teflon. This material is very temperate and does not degrade over time. The mouthpiece is very well shaped, and mates perfectly with both 14.5mm and 18.8mm water pipes for direct use. The unit also comes with several PTFE straws which are inserted into the mouthpiece for mating with a bag or a whip. The HerbalAire comes with vinyl tubing, but any vaporist interested in preserving taste should upgrade to silicone tubing as soon as possible. The vinyl tubing can still be used for plugging the pump in but it adds a very detectable taste to any vapors being pulled through it. Although the HerbalAire is an effective whip unit, it is also able to do a great job of blowing thick and flavorful bags of vapor. However, those familiar with the Volcano or Zephyr Ion vaporizers may be slightly put off by the lack of a valve system on the bag’s mouthpiece. However, it is not as big of a problem as it may seem at first. A finger makes an effective valve, and if the need is present to leave a bag for a minute you can close off the mouthpiece with a mechanical pencil eraser or piece of tape. While a valve is a nice addition, it is by no means necessary.

The mouthpieces for the bags are the same mouthpieces which are used for the whips, and the bag is held around the mouthpiece by a gear clasp. Fitting the bags over the mouthpieces can be slightly frustrating at first as there are no instructions on how to do it. However, once figured out it is a very simple process. First you take the bag and roll about an inch of it back over the outside of the bag. Then while holding the mouthpiece with your forefinger and thumb, use your other fingers to grab four corners of the bag and pull those inwards. Then grab the excess bag around the pulled in points and push them in with your free hand while using your other to hold the mouthpiece and bag together. After that put on the clasp and suck all air out of the bag to test for a leak.

Simply put the mouthpiece of the bag on the end of the Teflon straw which is plugged into the Teflon mouthpiece of the unit. The whip fits on the same way. The HerbalAire has an effective temperature range of 250°F (121°C) to 400°F (205°C). The HerbalAire heats up in less than two minutes. The Teflon is prone to thermal expansion, and therefore, the Teflon mouthpiece does not fit securely in the unit until it is warm. Once the unit is ready, just drop in the crucible and put the mouthpiece over it. Whether your choice is the whip, the bag or a water pipe you are ready to enjoy clean, pure vapors of the blends of your choosing.

Like the Volcano, the HerbalAire is also considered a medical grade device by certain regulating bodies. The air and vapor path contains only high grade stainless steel and Teflon. The construction of the unit is easily the most durable out of any vaporizer on the market save for perhaps the Thermovape’s. The HerbalAire can be severely physically and electronically abused and will continue to perform as if it had just come out of the box. The exterior of the unit is a rugged material with but still allows excess heat to escape well. The 2.2 version of the unit has a window on the bottom for the LED which is constructed of impact resistant Lexan. Four rubber stoppers on the bottom prevent the unit from sliding on slippery surfaces and a large, protective sheathe protects the cord from fraying where it enters the unit.

Something that can be slightly confusing to a new or potential owner of a HerbalAire is the difference between the HerbalAire 2.1 and 2.2. The HerbalAire 2.2 is a refresh of the HerbalAire 2.1 with a few purely aesthetic changes. While the 2.1 version looks identical to the 2.2 version, the 2.2 version has an upgraded front LED which will turn from red to green when the vaporizer is at temperature; as well as a LED on the bottom of the unit which gradually changes colors as the vaporizer gets closer to temperature. When the unit reaches its auto shutoff time (which comes after 30 minutes of no temperature adjustment), this LED changes from a temperature indicator to a randomized light show.

All in all, the HerbalAire is a durable, flexible and incredibly well thought-out vaporizer with a great taste and second to none extraction. It makes a great first vaporizer because of its incredible versatility and hardiness, but while it is capable of doing all sorts of different types of delivery, it does not particularly excel past other vaporizers on the market in any one method. The old saying “Jack of all trades; master of none” comes to mind here. That is not to say that it is not a great vaporizer though, because it really is. No other vaporizer gives such a host of options to the users, and few other vaporizers are able to extract whole, unground material as perfectly and evenly as the HerbalAire. It makes a perfect first vaporizer and a great addition to anyone’s collection.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your HerbalAire:
– Upgrade from the stock vinyl tubing to silicone as soon as you can. You will love the taste.
– If you run out of vapor bags or want larger ones, Turkey Bags (for roasting) make a perfect replacement
– The screens in the crucible and mouthpiece are rather coarse, so adding a finer screen will prevent any small pieces from flying up and out of the vaporizer.

– Plethora of choice of how you take in your vapor
– Incredible extraction abilities
– Extremely durable
– External pump allows for replacement and upgrade
– Long and well protected power cord
– Fast heat up time

– Stock tubing adds a taste to the vapor
– No extra screens come with the unit and the ones in it are quite coarse
– Stock pump is loud


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Rating: 9.6/10 (5 votes cast)
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HerbalAire Review, 9.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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