2016 was a big year for the vaporizer. A plethora of new vaporizers hit the shelves. Smaller, sleeker builds and stronger vapor production arose. Innovative features like mobile app compatibility continued to appear in more advanced vapes, giving us a taste of what’s to come. And on top of it all, herb was legalized in four more states, a watershed moment that could affect the way we use vaporizers. What a time to be a vaporist!

To capture the essence of what might be the Golden Era of vaporization, we pinpointed the top five best vaporizers of 2016. How do we have the power to say which vaporizer is best? We don’t! We’re interested in providing an insightful look into five vaporizers that stood out to us. Our rating system is based on build quality, performance, features, and usability–all of which we observed using each vaporizer on the daily.

Here are five of the best vaporizers of 2016, all of which do what great vaporizers should–they make vaping easier, more enjoyable, and even fun to use.

Airvape XS

Airvape XS Vaporizer Review The AirVape XS inhabits a special spot in the dry herb vaping world. It’s under $200, but performs nearly as well as top herb vaporizers like the Firefly 2 and DaVinci IQ.

The build quality of the AirVape XS is very sturdy–this vape feels solid yet smooth in your hand–and the design is sleek-looking with a flat shape that’s easy to hold. The lightweight, elegant, and durable build quality is what we expect in the best portable vaporizers.

Less is more when it comes to controlling a vaporizer, and the AirVape XS is one of the easiest to use vaporizers currently on the market. A glass mouthpiece (which makes for some smooth, clean tasting vapor) doubles as the herb chamber lid. Simply pull it out, load the chamber, and reattach the mouthpiece. (Use finely ground dry herb and pack it tight to make sure the AirVape XS evenly vaporizes the contents of the oven).

The AirVape XS makes choosing temperature very easy with simple arrow buttons. You can choose precise temperatures between 317F and 428F, and heat-up time for this portable vaporizer comes in at a rapid 30 seconds.

The mouthpiece of the AirVape XS features a screen system that cools down vapor to deliver smoother hits, which taste clean and flavorful thanks to the ceramic heating chamber and inert glass mouthpiece. Lovers of dry herb vaping on-the-go will be happy with the AirVape XS vaporizer’s pure-tasting vapor production, strong and sleek build quality, easy usability, and affordable price.

KandyPens Gravity

KandyPens GravityWaxy oil vaping on-the-fly is a challenging pursuit that the KandyPens Gravity helps you master. Design-wise there is a lot to admire in this wax pen. The build is elegantly crafted with a sandblasted black finish and compact dimensions that make it easily concealable in your hand and pocket. Overall, this wax pen delivers some of the best vapor production with solid build quality and easy-to-use controls.

The KandyPens Gravity features two out-of-this-world atomizers, both of which improve upon the ceramic and quartz technologies found in the Donuts and Galaxy units. The coilless ceramic atomizer vaporizes wax concentrates efficiently with slow and low heating. A quartz rod atomizer delivers intenser, bigger, and arguably tastier hits. An elevated airflow system not only keeps hits flowy with air-holes, but includes a sealed bottom that prevents oils from leaking down to the battery from the heating chamber.

Operating the KandyPens Gravity is simple with a single-button control that toggles between four presets: 300F, 350F, 390F, and 430F. That easy-to-use quality coupled with a compact design and great vapor quality make the KandyPens Gravity the perfect companion for vaping on-the-fly.

Boundless CFV

Boundless CFV VaporizerIf you’re looking to upgrade your vape or nab a dry herb vaporizer, the CFV from Boundless Tech is a feature-rich unit at a downright reasonable price. The shape of the CFV vaporizer conforms to your hand and features a swivel draw stem for contained daily use. The heating chamber is ceramic and features a unique heat retention system, which allows for swappable rings of quartz or wood to customize your vaping experience. This dry herb vape features a twenty second heat-up time, with convection heating to preserve your herb. At a street price under $220 this falls under the category of best vaporizer of the year for us, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.

Source Nail

Source Nail Vaporizer

The Source Nail packs the incredible power of a dab-rig in one compact unit with three advanced atomizers to boot. In other words, it’s the ultimate portable vaporizer for dabbing enthusiasts, providing you with a number of ways to vape your precious waxes.

The Source Nail vape has an insanely powerful sub-ohm 40W mod battery. Its dynamic, easy-to-use, and feature-rich. Like the best vaporizers, the Source Nail can pinpoint a precise temperature or wattage based on your idea of the perfect hit. But unlike most portable vapes, the mod battery can choose with precision specific wattages and temperatures up to 400F.

The Source Nail Signature Kit comes with 3 atomizers: Titanium, Ceramic or Quartz. Each atomizer lets you experience wax oils differently. For instance, the quartz atomizer displays the flavors and aromas of your waxy oils as they’re meant to be experienced, while the ceramic atomizer vapes waxes slow and low for smooth, flavorful hits. This variety sets the Source Nail further apart from other wax vaporizers.

Pulsar APX

Pulsar APX Vaporizer ReviewWe would be remiss to have a list of the best vaporizers of the year without including the Pulsar APX. This guy is constantly brought up in best vaporizer lists. A solid contender at any price point, the $60 entry fee makes this portable vape a pound-for-pound champion. The form factor of the Pulsar APX is quite appealing, falling somewhere between a portable vaporizer and a vape pen, making usage discrete for vaping on-the-go.

The Pulsar APX features five preset heat settings to optimize the vapor production of your dry herb and a ceramic heating element to ensure even and efficient vaporization. While the unit comes with a chamber for wax compatibility, if you’re a true dab head or looking for a wax pen, you should check the wax-specific model, the Pulsar APX Wax.

Well folks, 2016 came and went with some big surprises and even bigger letdowns. But through it all, these sweet, sweet vapes have kept us going. I’m sure they’ll do the same for you. Make sure to check Vaporizer Review in the New Year. We have some exciting vaporizer reviews coming your way.

Feel like we missed your favorite vaporizer? Leave a comment below. We are always open to spotlighting new vapes!