An Opinionated and Arrogant Pot Expert Reviews the Firefly 2 Vaporizer
Posted anonymously so as to stave off bribery or other coercion.
Editor's Note: Late last year, in an operation called Project Firefly 2, the KINDLAND staff searched its combined contacts lists to ferret out the most inflexible marijuana know-it-all that any of us were acquainted with. We assigned that person—who shall remain anonymous for reasons that will soon become clear—the task of test driving the Firefly 2 Vaporizer in a fully independent, unfiltered, tact-light review process. Read on for the unvarnished truth we ended up with.
Why you should read this
I’ve been smoking weed regularly (everyday, unless I’m on vacation to a country where I can’t get it) for the past six years. In that time, I’ve used bowls, bongs, hammers, bubblers, vaporizers, joints, edibles, hastily engineered gravity bongs, more vaporizers and spliffs. Getting high is probably the thing I’m best at.
Image via VSCO
My personal bias is toward spliff. What you may find surprising is that the first time I actually tried a cigarette, I was 25 (I’m 30 now). I was in the back of a Bushwick bar in the summer, trying to convince this cute little tattooed girl that I was edgy enough for her to take me home. I remember smoking the cigarette, getting a head rush, and promptly rushing to the bathroom to vomit. It was amazing.
If I had to choose, it’s almost always going to be a spliff. Something about the combination of nicotine and tobacco speaks to me in a way that no other method of ingesting THC compares to.
But spliffs are fucking awful for you. You’re essentially smoking unfiltered cigarettes. Your clothes will reek of smoke, and your lungs will consistently ask you what they did to offend you.
As a result, I’ve purchased and used a lot of vaporizers including the Volcano, Pax 1, Pax 2, Da Buddha, G Pen Pro, Magic Flight Launch Box, and countless disposable pens.
Personally, the Volcano is undefeated in terms of fun. You get giant bags of weed vapor—how fucking cool is that? However, there’s no real point comparing a desktop vaporizer to a portable one. The Da Buddha also ripped really well, but whip vapes are annoying to clean and store.
I’ve never liked the PAX series. They’re super portable and they look like Jonny Ive’s wet dream. They’re also really fucking awful to clean. They get all gunky after like two or three uses, and the vapor hits become super flaccid. As Louis Henry Sullivan wrote :
“Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple-blossom, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law.”
The PAX was definitely a form first design. Superficial ass bullshit. It reminds me of an ex-girlfriend who once confessed that she wanted nice things but didn’t want to work very hard. And I included that Henry Sullivan quote so you know I’m smart and that you should trust me.
Ease of Use: I never read the owner's manual so the Firefly 2 had a bit of a learning curve in order to get good pulls out of it. Honestly, the first few times I used it, I thought I had a defective unit. I would pull on it and not catch any visible sign of vapor.
However, I believe in Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset; so I consulted the Internet. You have to really figure out how to draw on the Firefly 2 thing properly. Once you do, the quality of vapor is really solid.
Once you master the draw, the Firefly 2 has the best vapor quality of any portable vaporizer I’ve ever used.
Given the challenge for new users, this could be a blessing if you’re a selfish asshole.
Quality of Vapor: Unless you’re some sort of savant when it comes to vaporizers you might not get a good hit the first couple of times using the Firefly 2.
However, once you master the draw, the Firefly 2 has the best vapor quality of any vaporizer I’ve ever used. Full, cloudy hits (if you turn the temperature up). And it would get me nice and stoned.
Portability: One of the first things I noticed when I used the Firefly 2 was that it’s larger than I imagined for a portable vaporizer. I could definitely take it out, but there was no way this thing was going to fit in my front pocket (I’m quite svelte). I would roughly estimate it’s anywhere from 30 to 50 percent larger in terms of volume than the PAX 2.
That being said, it’s still fairly easy to carry around. It’s definitely on the portable side. It can easily fit in a jacket or a backpack.
Conservation: I’m super successful and important; so conservation of weed isn’t the highest priority for me. Also, after paying about $25 a gram in New York for weed, moving to California where medicinal marijuana is readily available skewed my frame of reference.
The conservation of bud on the Firefly 2 is unparalleled and probably rivals log vapes.
That being said, this thing is amazing at getting the most out of your herb. I would be able to have two or three sessions with it before the bud would turn a crispy brown and would go into my jar to make firecrackers later.
The bowl is also tiny. I think it’s something like 0.25 grams per load, and it definitely makes the most of this. The conservation of bud on the Firefly 2 is unparalleled and probably rivals log vapes.
Design—Build Quality: Dieter Rams would love this thing. It has such a solid build and a nice heft. There are two main pieces: The foundational piece, which has the bowl and the mouthpiece, and then there is this glass lid that attaches with magnets. It’s satisfying to attach it with the magnets. It doesn’t make a noise, but if it did, it would be thunk.
It’s not a light device. I think it could be used as a weapon in a pinch.
Design—Coolness: Straight up, my “oh so cool” Venice friends don’t think it look as cool as the PAX. If you’re vaping to pick up that cool stoner chick who loves Run the Jewels, the Firefly isn’t going to earn you any brownie points.
That said, the reddish orange glow it makes when it heats up is badass. Clearly a lot of work has gone into the functional design of this product (see more about that below). And someone once said that “if James Bond vaped, he’d have a Firefly 2” so there’s that.
Battery Life: I haven’t tried to take this thing on the road for extended periods of time, but the battery life has been solid for me. I’ve used it multiple times over the day, and the battery was still more than half full at the end of the day.
I’m sure other, more technical reviews will give you exact specs, but those reviews are boring.
The App: The Firefly 2 has a companion app. The app lets you set the vapor temperature, adjust how you activate it, and see the battery level. I’m a tech douchebag; so I was initially really excited about this feature.
Honestly, you’ll probably only use the app once to get the unit set up to your vaping preference, then never use it again (unless you’re adjusting the temperature during a session to get the most out of your herb or updating your firmware). It’s not really a selling point for me.
It would be cool for the app to track number of uses and stuff like that. I don’t know why, but it would be cool. Everyone likes graphs and charts.
Concentrates: I don’t use concentrates. I get plenty high off flowers. Apparently the Firefly 2 does a solid job for concentrates. But really, do we need to have a super potent way to get high? If you’re someone who fucks with shatter, oil, or extract, you’re basically someone who really would rather do heroin but just don’t know it yet. Get off my lawn.
Maintenance: If a vaporizer is tough to clean, it’s immediately on my shit list. Think of the user experience. I want to use this thing to get high. After I use it, I really don’t feel like cleaning it. I feel like watching some bomb ass nature documentaries or eating an acai bowl.
Despite the limitations noted above, the Firefly 2 is the best portable vaporizer I’ve used.
To me, this is where the Firefly 2 really shines. It’s so much easier to clean than the PAX or any other portable vaporizer I’ve ever used. Kudos to the team who designed it. Because of the unique design, you just need to make sure there’s no weed on the vapor path. Cleaning the bowl is pretty easy with an alcohol wipe. I hate cleaning vaporizers. This one was less of a pain in the ass than most.
I used it several times when I’m sure it would have been better to clean it. It still worked pretty well.
Firefly 2 is the best portable vaporizer I've used, despite the limitations noted above.
At $329, this is not a cheap purchase. It’s a decent investment though. The efficiency of this vaporizer is amazing. You’ll probably make your money back through the savings on the conservation of herb.
I would recommend the Firefly 2 for anyone who wants a serious portable vaporizer. It’s well designed, it’s easy to maintain, and it’s portable enough.
To learn more or buy one for yourself click here... but I still would rather smoke a spliff.