VapeXhale EVO Review
The Cloud EVO is an herbal vaporizer from the team at VapeXhale. It is the evolution of their original VapeXhale Cloud design. Having been in danger of almost completely disappearing, team VapeXhale literally rose like a Phoenix from the ashes to produce one of the most sought after high-end vaporizers on the market today. It’s small, light, has a simple appearance and user interface, and is exceptional when it comes to thorough extraction while maintaining flavor.
The EVO uses and improves upon most features found in the original Cloud. It leaves behind the large and bulky Aluminum housing for the more sleek looking and much lighter Zytel housing. While some may think of this as a downgrade due to Zytel feeling like plastic, the fact is that this material lightens the EVO over the original Cloud design considerably while still maintaining its heat resistance. Zytel is not plastic, it is a glass-resin filled polycarbonate designed to handle high temperatures. The glass air path or Bamboo as it is monikered by VapeXhale is widely known to be the reason the Cloud and EVO offer such incredible flavor. The Bamboo has changed slightly with the restrictions being moved from the top near the ground glass joint on the original Cloud and Cloud+ to the bottom where the air intake is located on the EVO. The dial remains very similar although the hashmarks on the original Cloud dial have been replaced with a single hashmark. The new removable plug is a huge plus and it makes it easy to store the EVO when not in use. Not only that, it can be heated to thermal mass and then unplugged and used moderately for a few minutes. So, if you want to head outside and watch the sunset while hitting a freshly loaded ELB (Easy Load Bowl), now you can do it untethered. Speaking of ELBs, the EVO can make use of all the old ELBs your original Cloud made use of. These mesh bowls are really handy and a few can be loaded up at one time to keep the party going.
The EVO upped the game over the original Cloud by improving upon the heater. The new heater not only gets up to vaporization heat faster than the original, but the heater is more precise in conjunction with the CPU that controls it. It can maintain a more even heat both during use and while idle. One of the issues some may have is that this new heater in combination with the less robust Zytel housing can cause the top of the unit, above the dial, to get pretty hot. While I personally do not feel that it gets hot enough to injure someone, people with sensitive skin may want to be careful handling the EVO from the area above the dial. A popular addition to the EVO is a stack of silicone wristbands wrapped in the area of the heater. While this does help sink some of the heat, I feel it still better to grab the unit from below the dial. (Note: VapeXhale is currently developing a neoprene heat sleeve that will insulate the top of the unit from users hands. We’ve tried an early version of the sleeve with great results.) Amazingly, the area below the dial remains absolutely cool to the touch. Even when the unit is left on high heat for 10+ hours, the bottom of the unit below the dial remains absolutely cool.
One of the biggest draws to the EVO is the hand in hand compatibility with water pipes, but especially the Hydratubes offered by VapeXhale. These upright water pipes attach directly to the top of the EVO via a connection between the EVO’s 18mm male ground glass joint and the Hydratube’s 18mm female ground glass joint. The vapor is drawn directly up through the Hydratube which holds contains water and a percolator of your choice. These Hydratube are created by some well known and respected glass artists like Swagger Glass and Evolver Glas. They are available in a variety of size, shapes, and percolator options such as a Circ, Inline, Gridded Puck, and even a Recycler! These Hydratubes can be held upright with the addition of a classic Hydrafoot or the new and exciting Hydrafoot 2.0! The Hydrafoot 2.0 is a base that contains a second percolator for your Hydratube.
These Hydratubes can be purchased in a package deal when you purchase and EVO or can be purchased separately. The EVO can also be used with your existing glass as long as it contains an 18mm female joint or you have an adapter of some sort. The huge plus of using a water path with your vaporizer is that it cools and scrubs the vapor to make is much smoother on the throat and lungs. This process does scrub away some of the flavor you would get with a dry mouthpiece, but in my opinion the flavor loss is negligible and is a great trade off for huge lung filling rips that produce the most amazingly big and potent vapor clouds. Using the EVO in this manner is the most reminiscent to me of the overall effect of combustion, but with the flavor and ease on the lungs of a vaporizer. It is truly a great experience.
The vaporizer itself is rather basic when it comes to user interface. A switch, a dial, a power cord, and the ELB. That’s about it. Plug in the power, flip the switch, turn the dial to your preferred setting, load the ELB, place a Hydratube or the dry mouthpiece onto the glass joint that holds the ELB, and inhale. Ta-daa! Vapor bliss. This may sound simple, but anyone that has used a vaporizer before knows that it’s that “turn the dial to your preferred setting” part that requires time and experimentation to know exactly what that setting is. While not every EVO will not be calibrated exactly the same, there is a sweet spot on the dial for every user as long as the unit is working properly. Personally, I like to jump the dial up in increments as I make my way through an ELB. I start off at about 11 o’clock on the dial for excellent flavor, light vapor, and a more heady experience. After one or two inhales I crank to 12:30 for one inhale, then to 1:30 for one inhale, and finish of at 2:30 with one last big inhale. At this point the light heady experience has turned into an overall heavy body and head experience. It works like magic every time. I rarely need any more after that. In my experimenting I found that any temperature before about 11 o’clock did not do much for me and that if I moved the dial past 3 o’clock for flowers that combustion was a definite possibility and actually occurred a few times. It didn’t take long to find out my zone of use, and its become second nature to use it as such. I get the the full spectrum of flavors and effects when using the EVO in this manner. Every individual will have to experiment with their own units, but finding your sweet spot doesn’t take long.
The housing of the EVO is molded Zytel. Zytel is a high temperature and lightweight plastic. The key word here is lightweight. The EVO is incredibly light and may feel very awkward to users coming from using an original Cloud with its much heavier Aluminum housing. The light weight of the unit in combination with the heavy duty removable cord can make for some situations where the unit may want to slide around on a table top as it is being pulled by the heaviness of the cord. While I have not done it myself, I have seen small chunks of silicone tubing split down the middle and placed on the feet of the unit to help resist sliding. I have also seen lighter weight cords purchased separately that will also reduce the sliding. I did not purchase a lighter cord, but did purchase a longer cord so there is more slack when the unit must be passed around. Being able to purchase different cords for different situations is a plus to me.
One of the EVO’s huge plus factors is the all glass air path or Bamboo. This air path is not a simple glass tube, but actually a well designed pathway that offers restrictions to allow for air turbulence within, which in turn, heats the herbal material more evenly. Some may feel that the restriction is too tight at first, but after some use and time one becomes very familiar with the feel. One huge annoyance that some find is that at certain draw speeds the Bamboo will whistle pretty loudly. This whistle can be muffled with a bit of cotton stuffed into the base of the Bamboo. Not too much as you do not want to cause any further restriction in your draw. (Note: VapeXhale has since redesigned their bamboo to reduce whistling without the need to use cotton. New units should be much quieter.)
A huge factor for buyers is obviously going to be price and I will admit that the VapeXhale EVO is not an inexpensive choice. The base unit with a plain glass mouthpiece is $450 and Hydratube packages start at $550. My honest opinion is that this vaporizer is worth the money especially if purchased in a Hydratube package. The VapeXnail alone brings incredible temperature control to the world of concentrate vaporizing. This means that you will get more hits out of less material that’s to the magic of low temperature dabbing (which is vaporizing).
It is a powerhouse of a vaporizer and while no vaporizer is entirely worry free, I have had this unit for over 6 months and have not had a single issue to date other than the rare combustion of material, which is actually on me as the user. I also have taken notice that VapeXhale seems to be standing behind their product when people are having issues.
I am a huge fan of this vaporizer. It does everything I want it to do and it does it quickly and easily. There are some negatives, but I’ve never had a vaporizer that doesn’t have at least a few negatives. The important thing is that it extracts extremely well and is very efficient at being able to use very small loads. Flavor and vapor density is top notch and the vapor can be smoothed out very well with the simple addition of a Hydratube or any other water pipe. It is simple to use and makes for a very mellow vaporizing experience.