If you have been smoking cannabis for the past few years you probably already know that vaporizer pens and devices have taken over the industry. If you have been smoking for a long time you probably are familiar with a desktop device known as the Volcano. Remember that huge bag they filled with smoke at those house parties back in the day? Yeah, that was a desktop vaporizer. Fast forward to 2017 and what once was a big and bulky device can now fit in the palm of your hand. The 7th Floor Vapes team is known for their high-quality vaporizer products and the SideKick Vaporizer is their first step into the portable vaporizer market. Their past creations like the Silver Surfer, Super Surfer, and Da Buddha Vaporizer were all huge successes and helped set standards for the desktop vaporizer niche. They hope to do the same with the SideKick Vaporizer and push the evolution of portable vapes to new levels.
SideKick Vaporizer Build Quality & Accessories
From the second you grab the SideKick Vaporizer you can feel that it is a heavy-duty vaporizer, and maybe a tad more on the heavy side than you might anticipate. It doesn’t seem to me like it is one of those on the go vapes you’d carry around in your pocket every day. It is more likely you would have it in a backpack or purse which might even be preferred for most people. For those who are more homebodies or do very light travel, the weight and size are more than optimal. The vaporizer itself comes with a really nice carrying case which is also used to store all the accessories and maintenance tools you will need. I am actually very impressed with the bag since most portable vaporizers do not even come with a bag or case and if they do it is sort of low quality in comparison to the vape itself. Kudos to 7th Floor Vapes on the bag.
The stand-alone charging station fits right in the bag and comes with 2 sets of batteries so you always have a set ready to use while the other set is charging. I was a bit surprised the SideKick Vaporizer didn’t have some sort of way to plug in a charging cord. Having just the stand-alone charger makes it difficult to charge it in the car using the typical USB cord we are used to. The SideKick does come with a car charger however it does not plug directly into the SideKick itself, it plugs into the stand-alone charging station. This is pretty minor detail, however, there are other vaporizers which can charge while in use which can be convenient.
The handmade glass mouthpiece is a nice touch to the SideKick Vaporizer and is actually made in Colorado by 7th Floor Glass Blowers. Many other vaporizer companies would normally outsource this to China, however, 7th Floor Vapes prefers to sell higher quality products. I can respect that and actually prefer it when possible.
The SideKick rounds out the rest of the accessories with included cleaning brushes with alcohol pads, small Phillips screwdriver, marble pick, small tongs, stainless steel oil can (for concentrates), and lubricant for the glass mouthpiece. It is really an extensive list and literally is everything you need to properly use and maintain your vaporizer for the long term. This is key since vaporizers like the SideKick can be on the expensive side and you want to get the maximum amount of quality use out of it.
SideKick Vaporizer Technology
Temperature control is everything when it comes to vaping dry herbs and concentrates. Too hot and you will get fewer pulls and maybe even a burnt throat. Too low and you may not get the cloud of smoke you anticipated.
SideKick Vaporizer comes with its own digital controls built in and clearly visible on the front of the device.The digital controls are especially easy to use, only coming with 3 buttons for powering on/off, increasing the temperature and lowering the temperature. You can set the temperature between 1-11 with 11 being the hottest temperature. My preferred temperature lately has been about 6-6.5 and it typically takes about 30-40 seconds to get hot enough to start pulling some good hits off it. It even vibrates once the vaporizer has reached your set temperature, which is a cool feature. The digital screen itself shows you your temps, how long you’ve been vaping at your desired temperature and a battery life indicator. All valuable pieces of information for sure.
The vortex cooler located in the vapor pathway is also a nice piece of technology although not the electronic kind. The vortex cooler essentially is a twisted rod that allows the pathway for the vapor to be a longer distance than if it was straight. This allows for a sort of cooling effect since it takes longer for the vapor to reach your lungs. I think it works wonderfully, the SideKick Vaporizer definitely delivers a nice and cool hit. Even at slightly higher temperatures than 6.5, you can still get a pretty cool hit. Some others online have mentioned they like to remove this piece to get heavier clouds however I think nice sized clouds can be achieved without removal.
Probably my favorite piece of technology from the SideKick Vaporizer is the stir tool which is attached the top cover of the ceramic heating chamber. In the past, when I have tried handheld vapes, keeping a consistent air flow was particularly difficult. You would need to open the vape and sort of stir up the cannabis because it would usually heat unevenly or even clog up. This tool eliminates this need to keep opening the vape up and finding some tool to stir it up. Huge convenience in my mind, really love this. I believe at the time of this review they are the only handheld vaporizer to use this type of stir tool.
SideKick Vaporizer Battery Life & Charging Time
The only disappointment I had from the SideKick Vaporizer is the battery life. It has typically lasted me about 2-3 bowls worth (maybe 30-45 min or so) then the battery starts to get low enough where I need to charge it. If you have both sets fully charged I think that is more than enough for any session, even with a few friends. Each bowl worth will probably last a dozen or so hits before it starts to taste a little burnt up depending on how long you pull. Lower temps will make it stretch a bit more but you will get slightly less vapor. The charge time, in my opinion, is a bit slow (over an hour) and makes me wonder why they didn’t make it so you could use the vape and charge it at the same time. I guess having two sets of batteries plus in use charging might have been overkill. Seems like most vaporizers are one or the other.
Does SideKick Vaporizer Work Well?
While the aesthetic is solid and it comes with every accessory you need, the question is how well does it actually work? So far after a few months, I can’t say that I have any complaints. I am able to to get nice, full hits and get the expected flavor enhancements that I get from other top-tier handheld vaporizers. It may not replace my everyday habit of using a bong or rolling up however it has worked reliably and consistently. If anything I would say the more I use it, the more I am able to use it efficiently and effectively. For those looking for a healthy way to smoke cannabis, want to get a fuller flavor profile from their bud and needs a device that is not complicated to use I can recommend the SideKick. I would say it is probably best suited for indoor use or light travel.
The biggest value is that the SideKick Vaporizer is a complete handheld vaporizer system including all the tools and accessories you would need. They do have some additional options like the bubbler attachment which gives you some water filtration might be a good option for those who have sensitive lungs. Currently, you can grab your SideKick Vaporizer for $200 USD from their website directly, which puts this vape right around the middle of the pack as far as pricing goes for similar vaporizers.