A vaporizer in the shape of an asthma (ventolin) inhaler? Sounds like the perfect stealth vape to me. But is stealthiness alone enough to compete in the increasingly crowded market for portable vaporizers? We thoroughly tested this brand new unit and paid particular attention to taste and efficiency.
Out of the box, the PUFFiT Vaporizer (by Discreetvape) can hardly be distuingished from a traditional ventolin inhaler. It is slightly larger, but it would take an expert to notice. It is worth noting that we received a beta unit in the color blue, which is not (yet) available for sale at the time of writing. The blue perfectly resembles the original 'inhaler' color, adding to the stealthiness factor. Still, even in a different color the PUFFiT is very easy to hide in the palm of your hand and shouldn't draw much attention when in use.
The casing of the PUFFiT is made out of hard plastic, giving it an overall solid feel. At the bottom, the mouthpiece is protected by a hard plastic cap. Taking off this cap reveals the mouthpiece, as well as the temperature control switch (a dial wheel marked with 1-8) and the mini USB port for charging. To access the latter two there is another plastic cap that needs to be taken off. This 'mouthpiece' can also be replaced for hygienic reasons.
The PUFFiT Vaporizer comes with three mouthpieces, a USB charging cable, a neoprene carrying bag, a metal cleaning/packing tool, extra screens, a silicon heat shield, a herb stirring attachment and an illustrated user manual.
Ease of Use
Operating the PUFFiT is quite easy. In order to fill the bowl, the top cap can be twisted in a 90 degree angle and taken off. The bowl holds about .25 grams of (shredded) herb, which I think is very reasonable.
Taking the plastic protection cap off the bottom allows the user to look inside the mouthpiece, where a LED indicator light is located. This LED is vital to operating the PUFFiT, as it shows when the unit is on stand-by (red), heating-up (flashes red) and when the selected temperature has been reached (green).
After filling the bowl and taking off the bottom cap, simply push the top cap for about 2 seconds. The LED will flash while the unit is heating up. When it has reached the selected temperature, the LED turns green. There is now a 15 second window to draw, after which the PUFFiT will switch to stand-by mode again. To restart the heat-up process, simply push the top button again.
At temperature setting 7, which corresponds with 405 degrees Fahrenheit (205°C), heating up takes about 20 seconds. When going for a second cycle shortly afterwards, you'll only need to hold your patience for about 10 to 15 seconds. Not bad.
As for the battery, A fully-charged battery lasts between 15 and 20 cycles (or large hits) at temperature settings 7 to 8.
No complaints here, and it doesn't take long to get used to operating the PUFFiT. Like with most portable vapes, it is important not to draw too fast. Another thing to take notice of is that you'll want to keep your eye on the indicator light, because the 15 second timeframe is easy to forget - especially after a few hits.
The teflon protection piece on the top part gets somewhat warm, but not too hot to hold - I'd advise to keep it attached to the cap.
Charging by USB takes about two and a half hours. However, to increase overall battery life, it is recommended to charge the battery as often as possible, even if it's not fully drained.
The latest batch of PUFFiT's features an option that gives an indication of the battery status. To activate this, one needs to press the top cap 3 times. The LED will turn either green (~80 percent charge), orange (~50 percent) or red (below 50 percent battery). A very useful feature, but I had the impression this option did not work as well as it should in our beta unit. I'm expecting this'll be fixed in the final version.
Vapor and Taste
Seeing taste as an extremely important factor, I was pleasantly surprised with the taste of the vapour produced by the PUFFiT. There is no nasty plastic or rubbery taste or smell. Why this surprised me? Mainly because there are no glass parts and at first glance the unit feels quite 'plasticky'.
The first two hits were particularly tasty, and with the browning of the herb the flavor faded more and more, slowly turning into the 'burnt popcorn' taste that every vaporizer enthusiast will recognize.
With about .1 gram of finely ground and loosely packed herb I was unable to produce visible vapour, even at the highest temperature setting. Packing the bowl more firmly and using temperature setting 7 or 8 did produce some noticable clouds - much to the satisfaction of my smoker friends.
Preferring lower temperatures myself, I've been using setting 6 or 7 mostly, as this seems to give the best taste and a nice 'daytime' effect.
When emptying the bowl, the golden brown color shows that the herb has heated very uniform. In no case was there any combustion.
Efficiency & Durability
As stated above, the PUFFiT does a very efficient job at vaporizing your favorite herbs. The temperature settings seem just about right, there is no combustion, and the taste of the vapour is excellent. The unit consists of many plastic parts, but the body is hard enough to take a beating. The part that is most prone to damage would be the top button/bowl, which feels a bit fragile. Make sure you tell or demonstrate first time users how to handle the bowl mechanism, or they might start pulling and twisting the wrong way.
As for transportation goes, the neoprene carrying bag does a great job at protecting the PUFFiT when you're not using it.
What about cleaning it, you might ask? I though this would prove to be challenging, but I was wrong. The screen in the bowl can be taken using a wooden toothpick or tweezers and a small soft brush will get most of the loose debris out. A piece of soft cloth and iso alcohol will take care of the residue. Needless to say, it is important to keep the screen well cleaned to prevent the holes from blocking the airflow.
The PUFFiT is a well-crafted, extremely stealthy and very efficient portable vaporizer that certainly exceeded our expectations. With different temperature settings, a friendly price tag, hard-to-beat stealthiness, a decent-sized bowl, good battery life and excellent taste, there is not much more one could wish for in a portable vape.
It may not produce the biggest clouds, but given its size and all other pros that's not really something worth complaining about. It gets the job done very well (and fast!) and makes an excellent choice for those who value both stealthiness and portability as well as the taste of their herb.
Thumbs up for the PUFFiT!