Arizer Solo Review: A
The Solo is manufactured by Arizer, the same company behind the successful Extreme Q and V-Tower vapes.
The particular model I am reviewing today is the newest 2014 edition, with a serial number beginning with M1E. 2014 editions are those with serial numbers that begin after M1C (silver) and M1D (black).
2014 Arizer Solos have a few important design updates
- The airflow thru the glass stem is improved and increased. Many people complained that the original Arizer Solo had very limited airflow---akin to trying to drink a very thick milkshake thru a straw. Arizer listened to their customers complaints, and issued a fix.
- You can now use the Solo while it is charging. Previous versions did not allow you to do so.
- The heating element is revised. Previous heating elements had a cosmetic problem with ceramic coating chipping off. My particular review unit has a stainless steel crucible.
- Newer models have a glass stem that has 4 air-vents instead of 2 air-vents.
The Arizer Solo is neatly packaged with one box containing the Solo + charger, and another box containing two glass stems (one is bent, one is straight), one diffuser bowl, and a bag of potpourri.
The size of the Solo is smaller than I expected. It is like 10% smaller than a Red Bull can. The build quality is very solid and durable. The buttons for the electronics click with a very positive feeling. The glass stems insert snugly into the stainless steel crucible.
I heated mine to level 4 with an empty chamber, inserted the glass stem, and took a puff. I could taste that distinct chemical-plastic "new vaporizer smell." I cycled the Solo a few times and blew air thru the glass straw to burn off the smell. Eventually the smell goes away after a few uses.
The Solo is fantastic!
There are 7 temperature settings. FLIR thermal images show the heating chamber to be nice and uniform. With the Solo, you load the chamber by loading your herb into the glass stem. It was really easy to use the glass stem as a spoon to load up coarsely ground herbs from my grinder.
The herb should only come in contact with the glass stem, although some pieces at the bottom may touch the stainless steel surface of the crucible. The parts of herb that contact the steel may char.
Flavor is very nice and clean. The vapor path is all-glass which is as good as it gets.
The Solo heats primarily by convection, meaning hot air is drawn over the herb to vaporize it. The Solo's convection is very efficient. I didn't have to stir the herbs every few puffs to get an even golden-brown.
Be careful with the temperature settings. On the highest setting, level 7, I was able to get temperatures close to combustion temperatures.
- To turn off the beeping noise: hold down on the left button for a few seconds.
- To goto the last temperature setting: hold down the right button for a few seconds.
- The temperature settings seem to run hotter than their claimed temperatures, so experiment to see what works for you.
- The convection heating design is excellent. It cooks the herb very evenly to a golden brown, and doesn't waste material.
- Glass heating and vapor path. Great clouds and flavor.
- 7 temperature settings. FLIR thermal pictures show that the heating chamber has very even temperatures.
- The air-flow resistance problem has been fixed in this 2014 model.
- It is possible to use the Solo while it is charging in this 2014 model.
- Battery life is sufficient to vape about 10 chambers worth of herb--very good IMO.
- Made in Canada.
- Having to carry around a fragile glass stem in addition to the main heating unit will be annoying to some, depending on how portable and stealthy you want your vape to be.
- Right out of the box, the factory "new vape smell," takes awhile to burn off.
- Small bits of herb may occasionally get in your mouth unless if you add a mesh screen to the glass stem.
Overall Score: A
Conclusion: I really like the Arizer Solo. It is a built like a tank and it works reliably. If you are considering the Arizer Solo, I highly recomend it! The only annoyance is having to carry around a fragile glass stem in addition to the main heating unit.
Reviewed by: JW on March 25, 2014
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