HerbalAire Review

HerbalAire Vaporizer
Staff Review -- VapeNow.com
November 1st, 2007

This article sums up the Pros and Cons of the HerbalAire Vaporizer, one of the vaporizer market's top-of-the-line models. It also goes into detail about the different components of the system, cleaning, as well as some useful tips and tricks. We at VapeNow.com hope you find it helpful and informative.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • Very efficient (comparable to the Volcano).
  • Can be used as both a direct inhale and a balloon-style system.
  • Ground-fx lighting on the bottom.
  • Manufactured with toxin-free materials.
Cons:
  • Slow bag filling times/weak air pump.
  • Poor bag design -- too small and vapor escapes
THE BOTTOM LINE: The HerbalAire is one of the better units on the market right now. It stacks up very favorably against the S&B Volcano, which is the established barometer of vaporization technology. The vapor it generates is of a similar density and it is just as efficient. The best part is that the $250 price tag is less than half the price of the Volcano. It is also easy to use, especially when compared to some of the other vaporizer models in its price brakcet. However, there are two major flaws. The air pump is very slow, so it can take 3-5 minutes for a bag to fill, compared with about 30 seconds for the Volcano. HerbalAire has been saying they they are coming out with a new, more powerful pump soon, but they seem to be encountering some problems since it isn't on the market yet. The balloon is also very poorly designed. We ended up making our own (see below) because the ones included were just to small. There is no way to close the balloon's opening either, so vapor inevitable escapes. If the manufacturers can fix these problems, then the HerbalAire will be an excellent unit. As is, it is just good, but still a great buy -- perhaps the best -- if one cannot afford a Volcano.

Components/Parts:

  1. Hot Air Generator:
    The HerbalAire hot air generator can be used either as a direct inhale style vaporizer or by connecting it to the pump, it functions as a balloon or bag style vaporizer. Turn the herbalAire on by turning the analog knob on the right. The LED light will glow red as the unit heats up and then changes to amber when the desired temp is reached. The LED glows green when the unit is too hot. Don't ask me how they came up with their color system... Regardless, the control is precise and adjusts fairly quickly. We prefer using in conjunction with the pump with balloons instead of direct inhale, but the versitility is a cool feature.

    Dimensions: The Hot Air generator is 6.5" tall 3.5" in diameter at it's widest point.

  2. Air Pump:
    To use the HerbalAire Vaporizer with the balloon system, simply attach the pump to the hot air generator with the clear plastic hose. Use the switch on the pump cord to turn it on and off. A nice feature of the HerbalAire is that herbs do not have to be ground before use when using the pump. The vibrations of the pump creatic mini seismic shocks which drive the hot air into the material being vaporized. Unfortunately, the pump is also rather slow.

    Dimensions: The Pump is 4" by 2.5" by 1.75".

  3. Crucible:
    The Crucible is a metal container about the size of a thimble, with a screen on the bottom. Herbs are put inside the Crucible and then the Crucible is set into the hole on top of the hot air generator. Be careful, the Crucible gets hot! Wait for it to cool down after vaporizing before lifting it out.

    Dimensions: The inside of the Crucible is 0.875" tall and 0.5625" in diameter.

  4. Straw and Mouthpiece:
    The mouthpiece fits over the hole in the top of the hot air generator, covering the Crucible. To use the HerbalAire as an direct-inhale-style vaporizer, simply inhale through the mouthpiece with long, slow, deep breaths once the HerbalAire has reached the desired temperature. Mouthpiece extensions fit into the main mouthpiece and make sharing easy. They are also used to connect the mouthpiece to the balloon so the HerbalAire can function as a balloon or bag-style vaporizer. One end of the mouthpiece extension fits into the mouthpiece and the other end goes into the balloon.

    Dimensions: The mouthpiece extension is 2.5" tall and 0.25" in diameter. The mouthpiece is 1.875" tall and 0.75" in diameter.

  5. Balloon/Bag:
    The HerbalAire comes with 2 pre-made balloons. There are two big problems with the bag: 1) they are small and the material they are made out of is not as nice as the bags used by the S&B Volcano and 2) there is no way to close the bag opening once you take it off the hot air generator so you continually lose vapor. We figured out a solution to the first problem by making our own HerbalAire balloons. The picture to the right shows a pre-made bag that came with the HerbalAire (top) and our custom made bag (bottom). However, we haven't figured out a good way around the loss of vapor from the balloon opening unfortunately. You can hold your thumb over it, but that's a hassle.

  6. A Note on the Materials Used to Manufacture the HerbalAire:
    "The herbalAire is constructed out of the safest of materials. Teflon is a high-tech material used in many high temperature applications for years, is odorless and tasteless. The exterior of the herbalAire is a sophisticated blend of nylon and glass that does not get hot to the touch and won't release gases. Conversely, we think it is very interesting that each of the vaporizers that have the "best" rating is predominately plastic and some even use long plastic tubes to inhale through." - herbalAire, Ltd.

Quickstart (Direct Inhale) -- Click here for a Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial:

  1. Plug in the HerbalAire.
  2. Set your desired temperature and wait for the tri-colored LED to indicate that the HerbalAire is ready. This usually takes about 2 minutes.
  3. Put loaded crucibles into the large chamber on top of the HerbalAire.
  4. Insert large the mouthpiece into the top of the HerbalAire. Mouthpiece extensions fit into the main mouthpiece and make sharing easy.
  5. Inhale through the mouthpiece with long, slow, deep breaths.
  6. Turn the HerbalAire Off.
Note: Don't worry if the LED changes color during a run, it is just maintaining the temperature.

Quickstart (Balloon-Style) -- Click here for a Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial:

  1. Plug in the HerbalAire and the pump.
  2. Connect the pump to the HerbalAire with the provided clear plastic tubing.
  3. Set your desired temperature and wait for the tri-colored LED to indicate that the HerbalAire is ready. This usually takes about 2 minutes.
  4. Put loaded crucibles into the large chamber on top of the HerbalAire
  5. Insert large the mouthpiece into the top of the HerbalAire.
  6. Connect the balloon and the mouthpiece on the HerbalAire with a mouthpiece extension.
  7. Turn the pump on with the switch on its cord. Watch the balloon fill and turn the pump off once it has fully filled.
  8. Depending on the temperature and material used, you can extract as many as 5-6 balloons.
  9. Turn the HerbalAire Off.

Cleaning:

Remove the mouthpiece and dump out the crucible containing the herb. A metal tool is provided to loosen any packed material. Mouthpieces can be washed with water. If a more thorough cleaning is required, place mouthpieces in the plastic tube provided and swish with rubbing alcohol. There are no small pieces to take apart.

Other Tips:

That's all for the HerbalAire. Next up will be the VaporCannon - 3G. Thanks for reading.
-- The VapeNow Staff


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