The Arizer Solo 2 review below was written by @Lucic and Chong from the VapeLife Forum.
In a market where some people are comparing portable vaporizers to different sports cars, the Arizer Solo 2 would be a Volvo. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Solo 2, from Canadian company Arizer, epitomizes Keep It Simple Stupid. It’s not a sexy looking vaporizer that’s full of gadgets and gimmicks, but it’s easy to use and it sure works well.
What’s in the box
The base package comes with everything that you need, plus a few things that you probably won’t.
- The unit itself (comes in a choice of black or mystic blue)
- Wall charger/adapter
- 2 borosilicate glass stems, or “aroma tubes” as Arizer likes to call them (90mm and 110mm)
- Aroma dish and sample aromatic botanicals (lavender)
- Belt clip carry case
- 4 stainless steel screens
- 2 silicone stem caps
- Stainless steel stirring tool
- Owners manual
I added the bent stem and both the 14mm and 18mm water pipe adapters to my order. I would have liked them to have included the WPA and maybe removed the aroma dish. Because really, are more people likely to use this for aromatherapy, or hook it up to a water pipe?
The unit itself feels and looks really solid, no cheap Chinese vape here. It has a ceramic heating element and is made with quality medical/food grade components.
It may not be a sexy looking vape, but it definitely doesn’t look, or feel, like a cheaply made unit either. The only thing you really have to worry about breaking are the glass stems. You can see and feel the quality. It’s not ugly by any means, it just doesn’t have that sleek look of some of the other portables out there.
Ease of use/How to use
The Solo 2 is a session style dry herb vaporizer with hybrid convection/conduction heating. It essentially has 2 pieces- the body, and the stem.
So there’s no small parts to lose, only the worry of breaking glass. It is probably one of the most user friendly vapes that I’ve ever used. One of my favorite things about it is it’s simplicity and how easy it is to operate. It’s really easy to get consistent, quality results straight from the get go.
I grind my material to about a medium grind, but I really don’t find the Solo 2 to be that picky with grind. Some people will even throw a full nug in there instead of grinding it.
The key here is that you don’t want to be getting a chunk of herb caught in one of the draw holes, there’s only 4 of them.
You can use one of the supplied screens if desired, but I prefer not to. And make sure not to pack too tight. Just scoop the herb from the grinder with the stem, or use a scoop/funnel if you prefer, and lightly tamp down. Tamp it enough where the herb is inside the stem enough that it won’t come into contact with the heater. But not so much that it will restrict the draw too much.
There’s no fancy apps to use here, precision digital temperature control is right on the body of the unit. 2 buttons, an inside button and an outer circle which acts as an up down button. Hold both buttons down for 4 seconds and the unit turns on, but not the heater. Another push of the up/down button will activate the heater. And in about 20-30 seconds it’s heated and ready to use.
As well as temperature control on the unit you also can swap between Celsius and Fahrenheit, adjust led brightness, adjust auto shutoff between 5-15 minutes, and adjust time on delay from 8-4 seconds. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but it has what you need.
The battery is fully enclosed and not user replaceable. Luckily battery life on the Solo 2 is one of its strong points, Arizer claims that it’s good for about 3 hours of use, and that it also takes about 3 hours to charge from dead. Now I’ve never timed it myself, but I do know that it lasts a really long time. I can often last a full day of use on just one charge.
It also has pass through charging with its DC wall charger, but lacks the convenience of usb charging. So make sure to fully charge it before you take it out with you. Or bring your charger.
It’s not in the pocket portable category at all, it’s on the larger end of the scale when it comes to portables.
To me it’s portable in a way that I can take it on my patio, backyard, or around the house without a cord. And it’s good to take over to a friend’s place too. But it wouldn’t be my first choice to take on a hike, or throw in a golf bag, or other more active vaping situations.
It may not fit in a pocket, but you could use the supplied belt clip to take it out if you wanted.
Or it could also fit in a purse/murse/small bag easily enough, but you still need to be extra careful with the glass stems. But the nice thing if you do take it out, if you leave with a full battery it should last you.
As far as discreetness, sometimes hiding in plain sight is the easiest. With the glass stem and bigger base, it doesn’t look a whole lot different than a lot of e juice vapes when it’s being held. Obviously the smell would give it away, but from a short distance it’s not that obvious.
The vapor quality is amazing, it’s so pure and flavorful with it’s all glass vapor path. It’s just a ceramic heating element, glass stem, and your herb of choice. You can get some pretty good clouds of nice potent vapor out of this thing too. The vapor with the shorter stem can be a bit warmer than with the long stem. And I find the bent stem the best of all for cool vapor.
This is a vape that’ll take you straight to flavor country, it’s a very satisfying vapor experience. Like most other vapes the lower temps will get you more flavor, while the higher temps will produce larger clouds. How you use it is all personal preference.
Draw resistance is the one area where I have to penalize this vape a bit, it can be a bit restrictive. You will hear some people comparing it to “a milkshake through a straw”. Packing the stem too tight will worsen this too, less is more.
Now I really don’t think it’s THAT bad, but it’s definitely not as free flowing as some of the premium vapes on the market. It’s still very manageable and quite enjoyable to use. Long, slow draws are the key here. A good steady 20-30 second draw can produce excellent results.
There are also aftermarket stems available out there that are said to help the draw a bit, but I’ve never tried one. Using the WPA with a small bong or hydrotube can also help improve the draw.
The stem will fit about 0.13g and is quite efficient with it. Without any stirring needed the AVB will be cooked evenly, with it maybe being a bit darker towards the end closer to the heater.
Same herb before and after a Solo 2 session:
Depending on the heat and herb used, I’ll usually get 6-12 good draws per session. On the higher end if I’m flavor chasing with lower temps, and less if I’m cloud chasing with higher temps.
It is also very effective for micro-dosing, the stem doesn’t have to be full. At 0.03/0.04g there is just enough herb to spread evenly tamped down, and that’ll get me 2-4 draws. Just kick the heat up a bit since the herb is farther away from the heater.
The unit itself has a plastic cap that will keep the smell fairly contained, and it omits minimal odor as is. Where any smell will escape is with any herb in the stems. The stem cap only covers the one end to prevent spillage, but not the other end where smells can escape.
If you keep your herb separate and only load it before use, smell shouldn’t be an issue.
In my eyes the Solo 2 really shines through a water pipe. A small bong used dry like an extended mouthpiece can give amazing clouds, while still maintaining excellent flavor. Or run it through a little water to make it extremely smooth. I’ll get less hits per session when I use it this way due to the bigger draws that I’m getting, but it’s well worth it.
This is how I primarily use my Solo 2 nowadays, with just a small bong or a mini hydrotube. It really seems to help with my little gripe on the draw resistance too.
For a simple vape it can still get your v.a.s. juices flowing. I picked up both sizes of WPA’s and the bent stem right away. I find that not only do I prefer the vapor of the bent stem, but I also prefer the feel. Maybe it’s because the Crafty was my first portable, but I really prefer the feel of holding it vertical, kind of like a juice box. And with the wpa’s, I find myself checking out small bongs more often.
There’s also the aftermarket stems that are black, and the stems that have little grooves in them to improve airflow.
This Delta 3D Studios honeycomb organizer has proved to be very handy as well for keeping the stems organized and all in one place. With everything being glass I really like having something that will keep everything secure. I don’t want 3 stems, 2 wpa, and an aroma dish rolling around in a cupboard just asking to get broken.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The glass stems can get nasty looking with residue after not too long, but luckily they’re simple to clean (there are also aftermarket black stems available that will make it less visible).
I like to use the plastic tubes that the stems came in to clean the stems, you just need to plug the small hole at the bottom. Put the stem in with a bit of ISO and course salt, shake to agitate, give it a rinse and it’s clean in no time. A Ziploc bag or small bowl works as well. The part that takes the longest is drying it, and that can be quickly remedied with a hair dryer if you’re impatient.
Give the oven a little swipe with a cotton swab dipped in iso once in a while too (make sure to keep the unit upside down when you do this to help keep liquid from dripping inside the unit). I’ve probably done this less than a dozen times in the almost a year that I’ve owned mine, and the oven doesn’t look too bad.
If I’m using it lots I find every week or 2 for cleaning the stems is fine. It doesn’t affect performance, it just doesn’t look nice. But if you leave it too long it could eventually affect flavor.
Warranty and Reliability
From Arizer’s website- “The Solo II carries a lifetime warranty on the heating element, a limited 2-Year warranty covering defects in materials or workmanship, and a limited 1-Year limited warranty covering the battery. Glass is not covered under warranty.”
Arizer vaporizers have a reputation for reliability. Searching through google and different forums it can still be difficult to find many “Arizer problems” threads. That’s not to say that they don’t exist, but they’re not common like they can be with so many other vapes.
From a country that has created such amazing things as all dressed chips and Trailer Park Boys, Canada produces another gem in the Arizer Solo 2. It’s not quite a premium vape, but it’s not priced like one either. I think that it’s a great higher end, mid level vape, that’s well worth it’s price tag at around $200 us, depending on sales and promos .
This vaporizer is not for everyone though. It has a smaller chamber so it’s best suited for 1-2 people and it’s not great for groups of people, or people requiring heavy hitters. The stems are glass so those who are prone to dropping things may also want to avoid it, or at least buy a few extra stems.
But there are a lot of people that this vaporizer would be great for too. Anyone looking for a vaporizer that is easy to use, clean and maintain, while also having amazing flavor and being very efficient with excellent reliability, should be very happy with it.
Because of it’s simplicity I believe that it’s one of the best choices for a beginner vape, while still also easily holding a place in a veterans collection. There’s just something nice about having a simple and reliable vape that produces consistent and quality results in your arsenal. And the flavor of the all glass vapor path is tough to beat.
It’s not my favorite vape that I own, but it’s up there. I’ve owned mine for almost a year and I enjoy it so much that I still use it almost every day.
Review written by @Lucic and Chong
The Solo 2 is my regular use vape, it’s far from my favourite but it is the one I put the most miles on. Like all vapes it has its drawbacks but what to some are weakness’ for others are strengths, it’s all a matter of perspective and it depends on your style and needs. The question is will it suit you?
To start with this is a pure and simple vape, anyone can use it straight out the box. The list of things it doesn’t have is huge compared to its competitors. No Bluetooth app, no vibration, no flashing lights, no micro USB, no removable battery, no cooling chamber or fancy hi tech features. Clearly Arizer have little regard for going with convention and I like that, just because most companies are doing the same thing does not mean it works for everybody. What Arizer do concern themselves with is simple, functional, reliable, aesthetic design and straight up tasty vapour. For me this approach works, the solo 2 is about ease of use, versatility, functionality and smooth steady flavour. It just does its job and does not make a fuss, it gets me where I want to be, and I don’t have to make any effort.
If I want top end flavour, potency, a sit-down immersive experience with a ritual to perform then I have other, on demand convection vapes for that. When I want to really focus on and enjoy vaping that’s what I use. When I want to be medicated but I don’t want it to slow me down, that’s when I use my solo 2 for vaping on the go and keeping busy. A major criticism of this device is that it isn’t a heavy hitter, and I agree. It’s a small bowl 0.1-0.15, you can cram more in, but I think its wasteful, a very light tamp down and a medium to fine grind is best to get the convection side of the hybrid going and produce the best flavour. A session won’t hit as hard as its rivals, but you can have two sessions on the same amount of herb as one in a crafty or the IQ so that’s shouldn’t be a drawback. I would rather have the option to spread the session out, or have a light hit without the need for an oven spacer. Do a repack and you get two rounds of those first few super tasty draws to a longer session.
This is a light use session vape that does a brilliant job of taking a small amount of herb and spreading it out over 10 minutes and tasting great. It works like espresso or single malt, they should be sipped to stretch out the flavour, taking chugs tastes bitter and burns. The vapour works the same way, it can produce big clouds if you draw on it for a long time but doing this doesn’t taste great and feels more like the conduction side of the hybrid is doing most of the work. Smooth slow draws for eight to ten second can make the small bowl last for 20 draws or more and while the early part is better, the flavour stays smooth right through the session. It is more for the flavour chaser than the cloud blower, if taking big heavy rips back to back is your thing I think there are other vapes that do that better but the solo 2 is for making a little go a long way while tasting smooth and consistent.
A major downside of this vape is the draw resistance, this mostly comes from the stems. Blowing through the oven the air moves quite freely but with a stem attached the device feels stuffy. The best cure for this is to aftermarket your solo, you will be much happier. I have black steams that have much larger holes and improve this device immensely, I have similar water pipe adapters to link to whatever glass and water takes your mood and it works brilliantly like this. I almost always use a small glass hydro tube or micro bubbler for better flow and cooling and I enjoy the versatility of being able to use different mouth pieces or larger glass rigs very easily. I switch it up between my glass all the time and only really use the short straight stems if I’m out of the house and need to be portable. If you are into wood Ed’s T’n’T do stems with a gauze for better flow.
If you want something that focuses on flavour over clouds, is aimed at lighter mobile use than heavy couch lock then the solo 2 is an awesome vape. Cleaning and maintenance could not be simpler, just ISO swab the oven every so often and soak the stems in ISO to keep them fresh, no stripping required. The battery can power over a dozen bowls and can chew through up to 2g on a single charge, so while it’s not removable one charge goes a seriously long way. Charge through works well so you can never be dead in the water at home. The glass stems do hold it back as a pocket portable but with a case, stems can be packed and capped for transport making quick loading on the fly a breeze. It’s called the solo for a reason and it’s not the best for sharing, the bowl is too small for that but if it is your only vape or part of a big collection where you want a hassle-free handheld the solo 2 is an excellent choice and even better value for money. For medical or recreational use, you can control your dose and add it to a variety of glass or water attachments with ease.
I have a small collection of vapes for different styles of use and while I enjoy a lot of them much more than the solo 2 I always seem to use it more than the rest, it takes no effort and I always know exactly what I’m going to get. Even when I’ve had a desktop on demand convection session and I’m enjoying the top end flavour and effects I still find myself reaching for a milder smoother solo session chaser.
Review written by @standingsideways from the VapeLife forum