If you are hip to the vaporizer scene then at some point you likely saw the AirVape or perhaps you know it as the Pulsar Slim. Maybe the VS2. Regardless, that early model was made out of plastic and had room for improvement… so that is exactly what Apollo Vaporizers did, they improved their design. This next generation unit was dubbed the AirVape Xs vaporizer. With a slew of portable vapes already on the market, do we need anymore? Let’s see if the Xs has anything that sets it ahead of the pack.
AirVape Xs Features an Ultra Thin Design
Though the outside of the box is a little drab, I do like how the AirVape Xs is presented when you first open the packaging. Angled up slightly, it’s almost as though it comes with a built-in display stand.
When picking it up you can quickly see just how thin the Xs actually is. It’ll fit in the pocket of your skinny jeans easier than George Costanza’s wallet. Despite the size you still get a fully digital temperature display which is ideal when vaporizing dry herb.
The Solid Metal Body of the AirVape Xs
A drastic improvement in quality over the plastic body of its predecessor, the AirVape Xs is constructed with a highly resistant metal shell. This doesn’t feel like you can crush it with only the strength of your hand. The added durability makes me less concerned about breakage when tossing it in my bag and taking it with me while traveling or camping. And the solid metal body doesn’t seem to add much weight to the unit as it weighs in at only a little over three ounces.
AirVape Xs Bowl Capacity
Although the unit itself is quite small and it may not appear to be, the bowl is relatively deep. It can hold about .2 grams of finely ground and roughly half that if you keep the grind a little coarser. Don’t pack it much higher than the little strip of black above the white area of the chamber.
The rubber connector won’t fit on properly if the Xs is too full. That white section of the bowl is ceramic, which is probably the most common material you’ll find for portable vaporizer heating chambers. It is efficient and provides nice flavor.
What Does it Include?
Positioned next to each side of the AirVape Xs, there are two smaller boxes within the packaging. One contains a magnetic closure leather carrying case (no belt loop on it though (sorry dads of the world)). The other, labeled “Accessories” holds the USB charger with wall adapter, cleaning tools and some spare screens & rubber mouthpiece covers. The accessories you get for maintaining the Xs are a brush, tweezers and a metal pick with a slight scoop-life end. Although there are two additional screens, you’ll only find a single tiny metal “airflow box” which is crucial for optimal performance. So don’t lose it or you won’t achieve the same sort of hits.
Full Digital Display
When trying to obtain consistent results from the wide variety of strains out there, an exact temperature control is very helpful. No guessing if a preset temp is providing the correct heat for the herb you are vaporizing. Moist bud requires a higher level of heat in order to achieve the same vapor production that drier cannabis can at lower temps. That can require a pretty wide range of temperatures.
The AirVape Xs is capable of heating from 200 to 428°F. As well you can rapidly toggle through the various temps by holding down either the up or down arrows. That means you don’t have to repeatedly press the buttons a few hundred times to reach your desired setting. Plus the display screen is incredibly reflective, it essentially can act as a mirror.
Vibration Notification System
After you click the middle button on the AirVape Xs five times, the unit will automatically begin heating to the last temperature you had set. I had it set to 377°F which it reached in 23 seconds. If you happen to get distracted in that brief amount of time, the Xs vibrates once it has heated to your set temp. With the short attention span of folks these days, a little reminder isn’t a bad thing. It will also vibrate when the unit is being turned off, as well as flashing the words “Goodbye” before shutting down. How nice.
Built-in Timer with Auto-Shutoff
The AirVape Xs comes equipped with a built-in timer that appears on the lower left of the display. It starts counting down from five minutes the moment the unit is turned on. I did find that this timeframe was pretty much on point with when the herb was fully vaped in the chamber. And since it vibrates when shutting off, you’ll be aware to turn it back on right away so it doesn’t cool down. Without that notification you could be holding a cold vaporizer for a while and not even realize. If you want to shorten the time span just press and hold the down & middle buttons until it changes.
I find that for basically any vaporizer it is best to pack the herb before you start the heating process. For a couple of reasons, one being that since your bud is heating while the vaporizer warms up you get a better initial hit. Also who wants to try and stuff some ground material into a hot chamber, just isn’t a logical approach. So grind those nugs up and fill the bowl right to black line above the white ceramic walls, I went just a smidge over and packed it down to make the herb a little denser.
Don’t over do it though or you might impede the airflow making it difficult to get a decent hit. Once your herb is packed, place the mouthpiece back into position above the heating chamber.
You turn the AirVape Xs on by pressing the power button in the middle five times in rapid succession. Immediately the word “AirVape” scrolls up and the unit begins heating. As stated prior it goes to the last selected temperature. While it heats up a fan blade looking animation spins then turns into the company logo when the temperature has been reached (which doesn’t take long). I always pause for a moment or two before taking my first hit from a freshly packed bowl. A long slow continuous draw is the way to go when inhaling. There is not much restriction when pulling from the AirVape Xs so you don’t get that “thick milkshake” feeling as with some vaporizers. That can be headache inducing!
As with almost any dry herb vaporizer the first hit is pretty light but the flavor is at its purist. The ceramic chamber of the Xs evenly distributes heat throughout your herb so it does not char/burn in any spots. I was operating it at 377°F throughout most my testing and found that setting to be my personal “sweet spot.” If you like thicker clouds then crank it up higher but know that the vapor will feel warmer when you inhale.
The bowl lasted pretty well throughout the five minute timer, was basically done when the unit kicked off. I was vaping some pretty moist bud so I don’t feel that a three minute timespan would have been adequate. The option of varying times is nice though because not all herb requires a longer vape time. Some herb can be kind of dry when you purchase it (often depending on where you live) so a three minute auto shutoff makes sense.
Upon emptying the vaped bud onto the table I could see it was a dark brownish hue but not blackened or burnt anywhere. I quickly brushed the heating chamber and the top screen attached to the mouthpiece. Try to do a clean of the unit off before it has a chance to cool down too much, it’s just easier that way. And in the long run you’ll replace fewer screens if you get into a vape then clean habit.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The components of the AirVape Xs that will get dirty over time would be the heating chamber, screens & airflow box and the glass mouthpiece.
Maintaining the chamber is pretty straightforward and basically just involves brushing off the ceramic and bottom screen after a use or two… they give you a cleaning brush so make use of it. I suggest at least brushing the top screen off after every use considering it will affect the airflow if anything builds up on it. The screens used in the Xs are little oblong ovals that are specific for the unit. You do get two additional so you won’t have to worry about buying more right away. For the glass mouthpiece just pop it free from the rubber piece and drop it into isopropyl alcohol, easy. At the same time you can also place the airflow box in the alcohol. If you are able to, it actually pops open for an even better clean.
The thing is absolutely tiny though so when trying to separate the parts, don’t be surprised if you find it difficult to do.
AirVape Xs Warranty Coverage
If you are someone who worries a lot then the AirVape isn’t a bad choice. Backed by a limited lifetime warranty you won’t be losing sleep at night. However, you must make sure that you purchase your AirVape directly from Apollo Vaporizers or through an Authorized Reseller, such as VaporNation. Always look for the AirVape authorized badge on the product page as the number will be necessary if you ever need to file a claim. After a quick search online though I really do not see anyone having issues with their unit that has required a return. If there have been any problems with the AirVape Xs, nobody is talking about it.
AirVape Xs Vaporizer Compared to the Competition
Taking a look at other portable vaporizers with the same price as the AirVape Xs, I landed on options such as the G Pen Elite, Micro Vaped Fob, Iolite WISPR and Arizer Solo. Each of these units are compatible with dry herb and fall within $10 (cheaper or more expensive) of the Xs vaporizer. Starting with the G Pen Elite, which is one of the newer units out the four I compared, let’s take a look at how they stack up.
G Pen Elite Compared to the AirVape Xs
Right off the bat I would say the G Pen Elite is the closest to the AirVape Xs. Both have digital temperature displays and ceramic heating chambers with removable mouthpieces. Each of them also utilize micro-USB charging ports and offer up a similar battery life. So what sets the Xs apart? Two big factors in my opinion. The quality of materials that it is built from and the size. It is hard to get any slimmer than the Xs. If I am going to be taking the vaporizer out and about frequently then I’d put more trust in my AirVape to withstand the rigor of daily use.
Micro Vaped FOB and the AirVape Xs Comparison
The Micro Vaped FOB vaporizer was released not too long ago and has some similarities to the Xs. I’d say that the biggest would be the size factor. Both of these vaporizers are discreet units for dry herb. The FOB goes a little further by looking just like a car key. However you do lose out on the digital display screen that the Xs offers and only have a choice of six preset temps. When holding them at the same time it is safe to say that both are solid vaporizers, I don’t feel like either would break too easily.
iolite WISPR Matched Up Against the AirVape Xs
Staying within the price range we get to two vaporizers that have been around a bit. The iolite WISPR is a butane powered vaporizer, big difference from the Xs right there. That does make it quite portable, especially if you like camping or just generally being outdoors. No need for an outlet to plug in and charge. However, vaporizers that rely on butane as a power source often don’t work well (or at all) in high altitudes. So if you are in Denver, the WISPR might not be your ideal vaporizer. The AirVape Xs does require a power source to charge but can work at any altitude without issue.
AirVape Xs and the Arizer Solo
A personal favorite of mine, one that I have had for years is the Arizer Solo vaporizer. We have to address the obvious first, the Solo is borderline gigantic in comparison to the Xs. It also only has preselected temperatures, seven of them to be exact. So why is it one of my favorites? Mostly because of the glass draw stem, which is also the bowl. The Arizer Solo provides very tasty hits. The AirVape does have a glass mouthpiece, but a rubbery connection is part of the airpath so it isn’t quite all glass like the Solo. But as it has been doing, the Xs wins out in the size category. There just isn’t a slimmer vaporizer that I have come across.
Now those last two that I compared, the iolite WISPR and Arizer Solo are definitely two of the older units available… but they are close in price to the AirVape Xs. I guess what I am getting at is that you can buy a vaporizer that has been on the market for over five years or you can get more innovative/recently released vape for the same price.
The price for the AirVape Xs originally was set at $199.99 however it recently was dropped down to $179. Likely to stay in line with the PAX 2 which also had a decrease in cost not too long ago. Since we’ve looked at the Xs in comparison to other vaporizers out there, I’ll focus specifically on if this vaporizer is worth the price tag of $179.
Automatically because the body is constructed from metal, I value it higher than similarly priced vapes made out of plastic. The digital display screen with a wide range of temperatures put it ahead of other vaporizers which only offer preset temps. Taking the compact size of the Xs and the large clouds you can get from it, this unit might set some new standards for what it means to be a portable vaporizer. The AirVape can fit into places that other vapes can’t… such as skinny jean pockets.
So considering the materials it is comprised of and the features it offers, I would say that the price of the AirVape Xs is competitive.
What I Like
The size of the AirVape Xs vaporizer is both sexy and appealing to a daily vaporist. Easy to take on the go without concern of damaging the vape. The solid metal shell is designed to handle consistent usage while looking good. Plus the material seems to be somewhat scratch resistant, I had it in a pants pocket with my keys and there was no damage to the body. However please note that I do not recommend it because the screen might sustain some scrapes. I just didn’t really think about it at the time, kind of on autopilot and just put the Xs in my keys pocket. Yes I have designated that I put my keys in every time.
An ultra fast heat up time (20 to 30 seconds) with the built-in vibration notification are nice features. It isn’t quite as fast as the Herbalizer at reaching temp but since the Herbie is a desktop that is essentially comparing apples and oranges. As far as portable vaporizers go the AirVape is among the quickest at reaching the optimal temperature. And the lower body of the unit stays perfectly cool to the touch. The top section where the heating chamber is located gets warm but it isn’t as though you are going to burn yourself.
What I Don’t Like
I have to say that my biggest complaint about the AirVape Xs is the little airflow box. Don’t get me wrong, the design makes sense and provides a lengthened maze-like airpath in a small vaporizer. Which allows for bigger hits. What I don’t like about the airflow box specifically is trying to clean it. Talk about tedious. If you even remotely have sausage fingers, good luck.
At the time of writing this review I do not see the airflow box available as an individual accessory, which would be a nice way to avoid cleaning it… just buy a new one. Honestly you can drop the whole thing into some isopropyl alcohol but unless you pop it open the inside might not dry entirely.
The other thing that kind of grinds my gears is the lack of belt loop on the leather case. And this is just me fighting for the dads out. The ones who would like to have their flip phone on the right and their AirVape holstered on the left. Maybe one day.
This is a great mid-range cost portable vaporizer. I prefer it over the competition that is similarly priced. The quality of materials used to make the AirVape Xs is apparent when holding the unit in your hand. However it doesn’t feel heavy or weigh your pocket down. It is the definition of portable.
The AirVape Xs heats up crazy fast. I’ve said it a few times already but only 23 seconds to hit 377°F is impressive. Plus it maintains the temperature efficiently and does not have any major spikes or fluctuations during use. Some vapes cool down a little as you inhale and the temp drops, not with the Xs.
If you have the money and are in need of a new portable or are simply shopping around for your first, the AirVape Xs is a vaporizer I believe is worth a look. Apollo Vaporizers has made a real quality item.
I suggest getting your AirVape Xs vaporizer from this retailer who provides some free gifts with your purchase (metal grinder and Tightvac container). I do get compensated if you purchase through my link, but I never let that affect my choices. I wouldn’t lead you in the wrong direction.
Cheers guys and vape on!