I always start my reviews off with some information about the company and where the product is made. The company is Zephyr Vaporizers out of Tarzana, CA.
The Zephyr Ion vaporizer comes with a 2 year warranty, but in reality I feel the way Zephyr believes in its product and the way it works that if you did have an issue down the road they would quickly solve the problem even if its after the warranty date.
The only downfall – which is just a bad "stereotype", is that the vaporizer is made in China. Vaporizers are manufactured in China to save on labor costs and costs of circuitry and other small parts. When I found out the Zephyr was made in China with a price tag of $360 I was a little perturbed, but Zephyr explained the manufacturing plant is ran by Zephyr not out-sourced, to help insure quality control, safety and by the look of things on the Zephyr digital vaporizer itself it was designed with quality in mind. If it was made in the USA the cost of the vaporizer would be closer to $500 MSRP instead of $360.
Since its soo new – we are even on a waiting list for them to come in; there is no actual experience about handling warranty claims but I have talked to the guys of Zephyr a bunch and they really are good with replying to emails and returning voice mails – something many other already established named companies are not good at it.
Automatic shut off will help save the life of the heating element... No more going to bed to find out that the next morning you left your vaporizer on all night at 360+ degrees.
The solid construction of the vaporizer gives the Zephyr a sturdy feel and will make you feel better about spending $360 on a vaporizer. If it weighed nothing you would think it wasn’t made well, with the added tough construction it won't tip over easily and risk breaking the straw. The actual visual appeal of the Zephyr is a mix between a digital appliance from your kitchen and something Craftsman tools would design both because of its shape and texture. It reminds me of shoulders and half a face of a robot.
The buttons on the control panel are super easy to see, read and use; great job on Zephyr's part on the ease of use when it comes to working the vaporizer. There is no heat indicator light but instead you get a night-light style LED screen, when its at its desired temperature it will turn green – Green; means go vape and Red means wait another 30 seconds, because it heats up soo fast – you probably only have 30 seconds left of waiting at any temperature point. The Zephyr's screen will stay red whether it's on or not – something that would be a little annoying if it was in your bedroom at night. The Zephyr heats up lightning fast if you keep the lid closed though they suggest you open it between sessions and when not in use. Even then its still one of the fastest heat up times on the market.
The filling chamber basket works well and is efficient but it's kind of big. But I also feel the same way about the Volcano's filling chambers – they are both tough vaporizers for single use for one or two persons. A normal amount of your material just looks ineffective maybe forcing you to using more material than need to be – efficiency is key when it comes to choosing a top rated vaporizer.
The valve and mouthpiece are both one unit kind of like the Easy Valve style for the Volcano except for the mouthpiece tip that is detachable with the Volcano. The Valve clamp opens by squeezing the valve [see pic] and to be honest it’s a tough, it might get easier with more use but I think it's so when you secure the valve onto the straw [see pic below] to help seal it better. If you’re an older aged person or have arthritis in your hands it might be a two hand open and close valve. There is a noticeable amount of leakage from the top of the valve where the balloon attaches only when you're filling up the bag and especially when it’s the first bag and the vapor is thick and visual. The leakage is not coming from the valve, stem, or lid but the way the actual bag is fastened onto the valve with a zip tie.
The balloon the Zephyr vaporizer uses is the standard oven hose material you would find with the Volcano and Extreme vaporizers. Figure a life span of 1-2 months maybe even less depending on how often you use it – now here's the issue we were having about the leaking. Changing the balloon is a tad on the un-easy side due to the tiny push pin [see pic below] that you would find on an electronic sensor on your car. Push in the "pen tip sized" tab and lift the top part up. That’s the cover that keeps the valve clean looking compared to just seeing the end of the balloon zip tied [see pic below] to the valve and then trimmed around the edges. We have used other vaporizers that try to use a zip tie to hold vapor and it will never be completely air tight. Is it a major problem? No, but maybe a better o-ring or something will eventually come out.
Above: The arrow shows where the tiny push pin tab is located
Above: You can see where the zip tie is located and holds on the balloon and also where the push pin tab fits to the top cover.
For those of you who enjoy aromatherapy; lavender, chamomile, damiana etc, then your in a for a treat. The unit works well through both inhalation methods but also if you leave the straw into the atmosphere you can make any room "aroma-tized" in few a seconds. We have been leaving it on here at the office with Damiana (a relaxing aroma blend) and the Zephyr works really well like this as well, a selling point for massage therapist, yoga and Pilates instructors and anyone else in the business of relaxing yourself or your clientele.
The taste and effectiveness of your vapor is exactly the same as the Volcano vaporizer. Super clean tasting – what your maerial smells like is what you taste. Every time you fill a bag it’s the same consistency and same effectiveness. Be prepared of the strength it will extract from your material – just another great quality factor in this vaporizer.
As shown at Champs show there is a USB cable included and plug on the Zephyr Vaporizer. As of right now the software only works with Windows XP so I couldn’t set it up and use it but for demonstration purposes I'm told that you can set a time for it to turn on and to what temperature. Very cool if it works with different operating systems but I feel the unit heats up soo fast that there is no need to worry about it turning on 15 minutes before you get home. But a cool feature on an overall cool vape.
Per request from many members we wanted to use it with a whip – Zephyr Ion says they are coming out with a nice whip with valve and mouthpiece but for now I used a SSV quality silicon whip and an SSV mouthpiece (something we will include with your order until Zephyr produces there own). Because the basket is completely air sealed under the lid you could use it with or without the fan. Without the fan the whip works really well and is great for single use compared to having to fill up a full bag. With the fan it works just as well and takes the inhale method out of the whip style but probably is more wasteful than direct inhalation without the fan. It also gives the Zephyr extra value compared to being a balloon vaporizer.
In Summary, the Zephyr vaporizer is a digital balloon style vaporizer with a retail price of $360. It comes with a 2 year warranty and a crew of people at Zephyr who really believe in their vaporizer. The Zephyr is a solid feeling sturdy vaporizer with a super easy valve design – though it comes with a kung fu grip valve clamp. The vapor taste is on par with much more expensive vaporizers with a great consistency and true to blend flavor. The few cons it has, made in China, tough to open valve and small leak are not enough to change your mind compared to the amount of pros it provides for its price point in the growing vaporizer market.