CLOUDIOUS9

If you’re anything like me—and by all that is holy, please let that not be the case—you’ve probably said to yourself, “Sure, I enjoy vaping, but, by golly, I enjoy my bong too. Won’t someone think of my needs—the needs of a vape-friendly bong lover?”

Dear reader, your voice has been heard, most likely via an NSA-modified microphone in your microwave, or the remote-controlled two-way cameras on your phone, computer, and TV. Big brother might be watching, but at least a vaporizer with a water feature is now available to you.

Though its name sounds like a sci-fi series on the CW, the Hydrology9 Vaporizer is a nifty package: a high-end, handheld, cordless vape married with a water feature that cools and cleans the vapor while making the gurgling, hubbly bubbly sound.

First, let’s get this out of the way: It looks like a real-life lightsaber in the off position. It’s about the size of a standard household flashlight, and it weighs about as much as a Maglite as well—a solidly constructed piece composed of “space-grade anodized aluminum,” as opposed to that non-anodized garbage crap used in lesser vaporizers. The rest of the body and mouthpiece are made of borosilicate glass, which should move you to nod sagely and murmur, “Ah, yes... borosilicate. Truly, the glass of kings.”

The heating chamber, or oven, is made of food-grade porcelain, and comes with the Hydrology9’s gamechanging built-in stirring tool. Midway through your session, you simply turn the dial at the bottom of the unit, and a small stainless steel piece—which resembles a dough hook on a KitchenAid mixer—twists and mixes through the material that’s being vaporized. By exposing it so that the heat can more thoroughly extract THC, you get more hits and canna-bang for your bowl buck.

The vaporizer has five heat settings, with its temperature monitored and adjusted by a microchip processor. It handles flower only. Okay, it’s supposed to handle flower only. Theoretically, if you were a cannabis columnist and one of these beauties showed up, and you were perhaps so excited to try it that you opted to forgo reading the instruction manual—because doing so is a 16-ounce jar of weaksauce—and instead filled it with bubble hash? If you were to do that, yes, you would get high AF, clinically speaking, but you would also have a gooey mess that moved you to become very, very familiar with the enclosed set of cleaning tools. So I strongly encourage you to mind the “flower only” part of the instruction booklet.

There is one button at the base. Press it three times to turn on, then once to rotate through the temperature settings. You have two minutes per session, then one minute of standby time. After 10 minutes, it turns itself off. Bonus feature: Each temperature setting comes with its own damn color-changing light show. This company knows its demographic.

The hits I got were clean, and varied in density based on the speed and power of my inhalations, just like a regular bong. There’s a diffuser in the unit which breaks the hits into smaller bubbles, increasing the cooling/cleaning effect. And the spillproof magnetic cover kept my countertop dry.

You can accessorize the unit with an extra leather carrying case, but while it’s a great handheld vape, I’m not certain I would use it exclusively when vaping on the go. Its sleek design and multicolored lights draw the eye, so the stealth factor is absent. The battery has a recharge time of two to three hours, and it’s not swappable. Users need to hold the unit by the glass midsection, as the battery gets very warm to the touch, especially when used at a rate that exceeds the manufacturer’s suggested cooling periods. Ahem.

The Hydrology9 is priced at $250, and would be a worthy investment for the light- to mid-weight cannabis consumer who prioritizes ease of use, high-quality vape hits, and a stylish-looking piece of gear.

Available at cloudious9.com