Getting high is fun, but can also be both messy, and dangerous AF.
Messy, because as anyone who has ever tipped over a bong can attest, the rancid stench of the vile water can permeate any absorbent surfaces such as a couch, chair or bed, and linger for weeks. Dangerous, because the venn diagram of "high" and "600F blowtorch" intersect perfectly with "intensely painful second-degree burns."
- Courtesy Hydrology9
A newly updated water filter vaporizer solves these issues, as well as being highly portable, with well-designed options to keep the consumption going for hours. Put down the paper towels and burn ointment and meet the Hydrology9 NX.
It's the v.2 of Hydrology9, a flower-only, cord-free, water-based handheld vaporizer that I reviewed and enjoyed when first released. It was a great vape whose sole drawback was shared by all portable vaporizers: battery life. Yet, that minor universal complaint has been addressed with the new NX version, as well as adding the ability to vape all forms of concentrates. I know, because I tried all forms of concentrates for this review, to the point where I tried using my TV remote to text.
The NX is slightly taller than a pint glass at just under 7 inches, and far thinner at under 2 inches around (aka 45 mm x 175 mm for all three of my Canadian readers). Its small size belies the solid weight and construction of a borosilicate glass mouthpiece and anodized aluminum alloy body. It doesn't leave the hand fatigued post session, but its heft indicates a high-quality build. The bottom third is encased in a removable silicone sheath to assist in grip and diffuse the heat of the chambers, or ovens.
The two chambers have dedicated uses: One for flower, the other for concentrates. The NX uses a sensor to recognize which is being used, and they slide in and out easily. When not in use, an oven recesses seamlessly into the unit.
Flower is heated using a patent pending combination of conduction and convection, and provides smooth, flavor-filled hits.
Concentrate ovens come in both 100% quartz glass and ceramic buckets, based on selected temperature. I tried oils, hash, shatter and more, and found a terpene-rich session from each.
- Courtesy Hydrology9
- Meet the new bong, NOT the same as the old bong.
The NX has six pre-set temperatures for both options: Flower offers 356, 383, 401, 419, 437, and 455 Fahrenheit, while concentrate ranges from 554, 590, 626, 662, 716, and 770 Fahrenheit.
Twisting the dial at the base changes the temperature settings, which also changes the color of the bright light within the water chamber, which denotes the temperature. Green indicates you are ready to inhale, and blinking white informs the battery needs to be recharged.
I used 1/8th of a cup of ice water—much more can result in wet lips with a vigorous inhale. It smoothed all hits as only water can. The mouthpiece prevents leaks and spills, and its magnetic top offers ingenious carb cap storage. The entire piece breaks down easily for cleaning.
It charges fully in an hour, and the manufacturer states the 1900 mAh battery will provide 60-120 "sessions" per charge, depending on selected temperature. I'm taking their word for it, as 60+ sessions in a row exceeded even my monster tolerance. Its design allows a "hot swap" with a 2nd battery if you don't want to wait for a recharge.
While the preset temperatures start a bit higher than I would select with a desktop unit, staying with the lowest two settings did me fine. I would love to see future models offer users the ability to select their own precise temperatures. After a solid two-week test run, that remains my only desired change to what is a very ergonomic, well-designed vaporizer that's both attractive and very functional.
Buyers can select an NX with either flower or concentrate chamber for $270, or both for $300. That puts it on par price-wise with the Puffco Peak, but the ability to handle flower may make this a better choice for some users. Highly recommended for getting high.