When it debuted last year, the Cloud Evo had become one of the most anticipated vaporizers ever. Its much-vaunted “all glass vapor path” (more about that in a moment) and connect-ability to custom water pipe attachments — dubbed “HydraTubes” in Evo-ese — are the stuff of Internet sensation.
Make no mistake about it, this is a high end vaporizer, both in functionality and in cost. The basic Vapexhale Cloud Evo with a dry mouthpiece starts at $449.99, which is inching pretty close to Volcano territory. And since we’ve invoked the name of the dominant high-end vaporizer on the market, I’ll go ahead and commit sacrilege by saying the VapeXhale Cloud Evo didn’t match the Volcano in terms of being able to consistently deliver massive hits.
The issue with taking huge hits from the Cloud Evo is one mainly of lung capacity, created by the unit’s measured draw, as my girlfriend Lisa and I discovered upon testing it. I encountered some slight difficulty in getting a satisfactory hit, but she, with her smaller lung capacity, told me she only got one satisfying hit during the course of our testing. (The Volcano’s vapor bag takes care of that problem, of course, by letting users meter their own hits from the vapor bag, adjusting for lung capacity.)You’ll forgive me if I hold VapeXhale to a high standard, as it were. Things got a little hype-y when the company announced, on its website, “You should experience VAPORGASM within seconds.”
If you do spend the money, my recommendation is to go all in and get a HydraTube percolator along with it; the vapor experience is softer and smoother with the water, and of course your stoner friends will envy the hell out of you (although they might also knock it over and break it after a few hits, heaven forfend). You’ll spend $29.99 on a basic dry mouthpiece, but the HydraTubes range from $224.99 to $269.99, if you use the official VapeXhale website. Go big, or you’ll probably wish you had, later.The Evo base, standing eight inches tall and tapering slightly from a wider, 3-inch-square base, sports a power switch and a temperature dial on the front. The back has a connector for a standard computer power cable (included).
The “all glass vapor path” consists of a glass tube running the length of the unit, wrapped by a ceramic heating element. And while the makers almost achieved a glass free vapor path, they flubbed it in one important regard. The Cloud Evo uses a stainless steel screen capsule to hold the ground up marijuana, introducing, of course, metal into the vapor path. There’s a glass tube available for concentrates, which means an all glass vapor path is actually available that way.
LED indicators at the top of the base turn from red to green to show the unit is ready; it has a faster heating time (at about 3 minutes) than the original Cloud. The vapor produced by the Cloud Evo is quite sweet, although, as noted, one often finds oneself wishing there were more of it. The most effective strategy I discovered was letting the unit continue to sit a few minutes past the green-light stage — it seemed to me that the vape hits kept getting richer and thicker for a few minutes after that.
One welcome change between the first and second iterations of the VapeXhale Cloud is the introduction this time around of a handy little snuggie-type jacket for the unit. The base unit tends to get uncomfortably warm when you pick it up after a few minutes of use, especially nearer the top, and the jacket effectively addresses the issue.
Of the two base units, one had failed within a few months; rather than turning green in the heating cycle, it went to a red flashing light and never heated to vaping. The other is still working at press time.
Editor’s Note: The author was provided a test unit free of charge by VapeXhale; that didn’t affect the tone of this review.