Where the Medusa really shines, though, is user experience. You control the rig with a single button on the front. It features haptic feedback, such as a gentle vibration that lets you know when it has reached the right temperature. The Medusa also delivers precision temperature feedback via an LED ring that wraps around its base. And the Puffco Peak Medusa’s new “sesh-mode” function also retains some of the old-school pass-around fun of sharing your portable dab rig with friends and extending your vaping session.
Also, you have to replace the ceramic bowls sometimes, and even the chambers with some regularity. In fact, they are designed to be replaced—but at $24.99 each once a month, that is an ongoing cost to consider. Furthermore, not breaking things like the ceramic stem is a challenge, and although I am one of this unit’s biggest fans, breakage is a problem. The bottom line: If you want a real showpiece for concentrates, the Puffco Peak Medusa Edition is your portable dab rig. It performs beautifully, tastes great, and looks super cool. It also provides a sexy user experience and a great, old-school sesh mode without any of the old-school hassles. There is something about using a torch to heat your nail to exactly the right temperature, and if you’re an experienced dabber, you know exactly what I mean. With the Higher Standards Rig Kit, you get the quartz construction and glass that you want, for the thick clouds of vapor, water filtration, and high heat resistance you need. The materials are high quality and last, with a medical-grade, borosilicate glass rig and a quartz banger for flavor that is top notch. The airflow is also optimal thanks to a sealed air path.
This minimizes drag and resistance so you get all the vapor where you want it. In other words, it’s a really high-quality build, yet it comes in at a much lower cost—in large part because you are powering this rig yourself with a torch. This rig is pretty easy to clean, easier, the team felt, than the Puffco Peak Medusa Edition. It’s simple to empty and fill the water chamber through its mouthpiece, just as you clean it. The ability to keep it clean easily also means better flavor, not to mention a sleeker look. It looks great and makes transporting this unit easy, rendering it far more portable among these portable dab rigs. There’s a space for all of its accessories, including a quad-compartment concentrate container. Down sides: let’s face it, a torch is either a benefit or a hazard, like a Replicant. Some on our team find it to be a hazard, and not because we’re Bladerunners, but because we like our eyebrows. Just saying, the need to port a torch is…less convenient and cuts into portability as a concept. That said, this is a far more cost-effective option than most of the enails! It’s also a high-quality build that allows you to hit huge clouds of vapor with excellent flavor for less money. And finally, if you just love the old-school way of doing things but want the flavor and performance that better materials can achieve for you, you can’t do much better than the Higher Standards Heavy Duty Rig. The bottom line: If you are serious about concentrates—and you can handle a heat source—the Higher Standards Rig Kit is absolutely a fantastic option. It’s a decently priced choice that lets you do just about everything any of the other models does, except you heat it instead of pressing a button. The Vivant Dabox Vaporizer is a powerhouse in a tiny space. It is only around 50mm in size, and just about fits even in Marta’s hand—pretty good! Yet it’s a solid build, heavy in hand, made of quality materials. The Vivant Dabox Vaporizer is basically like a portable dab rig without water filtration, at a bargain price. You can still hit your concentrates with this little thing easily, and it isn’t too difficult to use. Basically, there is a flip door toward the bottom of the box that swings open. Inside the chamber is the dual quartz titanium coil that comes with the unit. You just spread your concentrate on the coil with a dab tool, shut the door, and you’re ready to go. The flip door snaps into place, and it’s not easy to mess this up or break it. The heat-up time is fast, far less than a minute, thanks to the the 1500 mAh battery with its over 40w output. It takes just about an hour to fully charge, and lasts for many, many dabs in practice. The tiny Dabox will give you lots of thick clouds, too, in part due to a coil resistance of 0.5ohms. Down sides: This, especially compared to the others on this list, does not look fancy or impressive.
If you pull this out at a party, no one may notice…until they use it.
Also, these coils work very well given the size of the unit, but they produce slightly less flavorful pulls than the other units on this list. Sure, you get more vapor than you would from a regular vape pen, but the on and off limits are reminiscent of that littler vape pen experience. This also means that with more use, the temperature is a little inconsistent; maximum wattage output is 40W, but the unit can get hot, and produce inconsistent results.