The Summit is a portable dry herb vaporizer that joined the market in early 2015.
It’s features include a secured magnetic oven lid, vibration feedback (buzz instead of beep), and a wide range of temperature options with eight preset settings.
The mouthpiece on the Summit is removable, it’s held on by two strong magnets.
Covering the mouthpiece is an easy to swap clear plastic hygiene cover. You get two of these covers with the Summit, for those who like sharing their vape, but not their germs.
Also included with the Summit: flat micro USB cable, USB wall adapter, pipe cleaners, cleaning brush, spare screens, screen tool, and alcohol wipes.
Herb Chamber Lid
The herb chamber lid is magnetic. Great! It’s smart-ish, too. The Summit will detect when the lid is removed and pause heating.
It’s well designed, it won’t slide around when in place. It’s also easy to remove, even if you’re doing it one-handed.
All those magnets in the lid also make it easy to put it back. The lid lines itself up with the Summit perfectly every time, in fact, I just have to get it near the herb chamber and it’ll spring into place.
I won’t be loosing the oven lid because it’s tethered onto the Summit (genius).
BUT (why is there always a but)…
If you drop the Summit on the ground, and it’s loaded, expect the treasonous oven lid to abandon it’s post and let your herbs run wild.
Happened to me a few times, juggling the Summit, my dog, my phone. A stray squirrel catches the dog’s attention and the Summit is on the ground, herbs all around it.
Solution? I put a small rubber band (the kind they put on lobster’s claws) around the herb chamber, problem solved. And plus I’ve given another lobster at the grocery store a fighting chance.
Also: I’m not thrilled with the use of plastic in the portion of the oven lid that covers the herb chamber.
Herb Chamber Capacity
A full pack, without packing too tightly, is about .2 grams of dry herb. Leaving the chamber a bit loose, .15 grams will still give good results.
Another flat stamped screen. I’m not thrilled but it’s the nature of the beast. Conduction vaporizers benefit from a certain level of restriction in the airpath. It lets the herbs soak heat up from the oven walls before that hot air is drawn away.
I wasn’t getting great vapor from the Summit until I read the manual and it instructed me to press the screen firmly to the bottom of the herb chamber, creating some additional restriction.
All flat stamped screen gripes aside, the Summit screen has a handy tab built onto it. The tab makes it easy to remove the screen with the provided tool.
Using the Summit
You turn the Summit on by holding main button, which Vapium calls the “Go” button. The Summit will vibrate once and the Go button will turn blue to let you know it’s on.
The four indicator lights will light up white for a moment to display battery status. But they don’t each correspond with 25% battery life.
The the number of white lights indicates:
- 5% Battery Remaining
- 15% Battery Remaining
- 50% Battery Remaining
- 75% Battery Remaining
After that, one of the four lights will begin to flash and the Summit will begin to heat up. Which light flashes? The light corresponding with the last temperature you used the Summit on. If you wanted to change the temperature, now would be the time to do it.
Use the + or – button to change the temperature. There are a total of eight temp presets to choose from. Each of of the four lights can light up dim, or bright to represent two different temperatures. The range starts at 320F on the far left and ends at 426F on the far right.
Waiting for the Summit to heat up is less than two minutes for the highest temperature, but in general heat-up time will vary depending on the ambient temperature, and the temperature the Summit is set to.
Ready to Go
How do you tell when it’s ready to vape? The Summit vibrates twice, and the Go button turns green.
From there you have 90 seconds of heat until the Go button turns blue and the Summit goes into standby mode.
To heat the Summit back up, tap the Go button you’ll get another buzz from the vaporizer letting you know it’s heating back up. If you didn’t leave it in standby mode for too long, warming up back up can take as little as 15 seconds.
How is the vapor?
The Summit is a traditional convention vaporizer. The metal oven the herbs sit in heats up and transfers the heat through the walls. A flat metal screen covers the air path at the bottom of the herb chamber and restricts the airflow.
The vapor has the distinctive taste of conduction vapor. By this I mean a dry toasty almost nutty taste. The intensity of this toasted taste vs the taste of the herb itself depends on the temperature selected. The higher the temperature the toaster the taste. The highest two settings on the Summit are a bit too harsh for me, I might step up there if I’m using a water pipe with the Summit, but otherwise I wouldn’t.
I don’t notice any unfavorable tastes or smells from the Summit, and by that I mean hot plastic and burning off smells. Many of the simple portable vapes in this price range suffer from those problems, so it’s worth mentioning.
The Summit does a good job of cooling off the vapor before it gets to your mouth.
The Appeal of the Summit: Rugged or Inexpensive?
This vaporizer is presented to appeal to the outdoorsy person. It’s labeled as a weather friendly vaporizer on the box, and the accessories available for the Summit provide a weather friendly utility outside the home.
By itself, I wouldn’t trust carrying the Summit in heavy rain. Even with the little rubber port cover in place.
I would however carry it around in the provided dry-bag, a small roll top bag with waterproof stitching.
Vapium also makes an optional solar powered charger (called the Spring) that will soak up the sun’s rays for your vaporizing pleasure. Built into the side of spring is a small led flashlight that I always find a use for. Didn’t think I needed a flashlight on my portable battery that urgently.
Would I say this is a rugged and inexpensive vaporizer, the best of both worlds?
Sadly no, this isn’t.
It’s an inexpensive vaporizer, inspired by the essence of ruggedness, but not very rugged itself.
That being said, no points off for having a theme. I’m a little murky on the “weather friendly vaporizer” text on the box, but since the dry-bag is included with the vaporizer, as well as the port plug, I’ll say the user can make it weather friendly when needed.*
*If you carry the dry-bag around.
Fret not my friends: Those of you who are not reading this from your dust and mud covered cell phones on the Appalachian Trail can still find utility in the Summit being a fine vaporizer.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- Price – At $150, the Summit is relatively inexpensive as far as digital portable vaporizers go.
- 8 temp settings – The wide temperature range spans from 320F to 446F.
- Easy to clean – Mouthpiece comes off for cleaning. The rest can be cleaned with a pipe cleaner.
- No vibration on auto-shutoff. Once the Summit is up to temperature, you won’t get a vibration to let you know when the vape switches to standby mode.
- The two highest temperature settings are too high for my enjoyment. It takes finess to get good vapor from herbs at temperatures that high, and the Summit doesn’t do a great job. The vapor is hot and harsh, tastes very toasted. A weakness of conduction vaporizers.
- Plastic on the underside of the herb chamber lid. I understand there might be logic and reasoning behind using a certain kind of plastic in a certain kind of application. I don’t want to have to worry about who is following the rules and who isn’t in safe plastic use. In a high temperature location like the oven, I’d prefer to see metal lining the inside of the oven lid.
- Drop it on the ground and the spill will be ugly.
Another worthy contestant in the $150 portable vaporizer category. I’d recommend the Summit over the dime-a-dozen me-too portable vaporizers that are springing up in the same price range.
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