The Grasshopper is an on-demand vape that uses 100% pure convection heating. It’s the only vape I’ve ever seen achieve this minuscule form factor, and I reviewed this originally in 2015. A lot has happened since that first review, and it’s safe to say the Grasshopper doesn’t have a good reputation for reliability. It has a lifetime warranty, but if your device needs to get fixed regularly or if the repair takes 6 months the warranty isn't really worth much. I wanted this to be as fair of a retest as possible so I got a friend to order it so they'd have no way to know it was coming to me for this review and I'm going to keep this a little more brief than my typical review - if you want to see my full review of the advice there’s a link below.
The Grasshopper is tiny. It's about the same length as an actual pen, and while it’s much thicker, it is still about the smallest battery-operated dry herb vape you can get. It's super light and portable. When you take the battery out it weighs next to nothing and it comes apart in a few pieces. The front end which will work natively with a 14mm water piece female, the main body is where the heater lives, you have your herb chamber which is a decent size, and the top end is where the pen clicks on and off and it's also where you adjust the temperature. There's a clip on the side so the device really does pass the glance test, you see a pen unless you're looking at it very closely.
Battery Life/Charging/Heat-Up Time
The battery takes up the majority of this vape, so they packed as much in as possible to get this size. It is a custom-made battery that holds 740mAh of juice. The proprietary battery has caused a lot of problems as it's not just an off the shelf model you can get anywhere, you have to get it from Hopper Labs, and they have them made so there are currently none available. And then there was the whole battery recall which we will discuss later.
I like to hit this mainly through water at about 4.2 / 5, so it's up there temp wise, and I'd say when the battery was brand new, I'd get around 5 to 6 hits before I'd notice the performance would drop. But I've been using this for about 2 months and now the battery is getting just 1 hit, maybe 2, before it needs to be charged. The batteries are much more of a consumable than with other vapes so it's really unfortunate you can't get batteries at the moment. The included charger snaps on the top, and it doesn't take a ton of time to charge up even through a laptop.
How to Use
This one is a bit tough to load without a small funnel I just kind of scoop and press with my finger. You can fit at least 0.2g in there, probably a little more. Once it’s loaded up, operation couldn’t be any simpler. Change your temp by rotating the top dial, then click the button to turn it on. The lights glow red when the Grasshopper is heating up and turn blue when it’s ready to go. It is a true on-demand vape. Within 10 seconds you can have a very quick and stealthy dry herb hit outside. I love that about this vaporizer. I’ll use it around 3 without the silicone tip, after that it starts to get warm. The rips are definitely satisfying at this temp level. The Grasshopper really excels through water and will milk up any piece pretty much instantly with that on-demand convection power.
Vapour Quality (taste, smoothness, size, effects)
The ‘Hopper hits hard and the convection gives you pure terpy flavours. It can also give you some massive rips, going toe-to-toe with heavyweights especially when vaping through a water piece. Natively, it is a little warm because your mouth is so close to the heater. But the loss in smoothness is still worth the gain in portability convenience.
Officially, this is the Grasshopper - not the Grasshopper V2, or the Plus+ version. But there have been several enhancements along the way. The main thing I noticed is the backend doesn’t get warm at all. My old one got hot. The click also feels more solid on top. Aside from that, the heater rips just like always, so I believe most of the improvements are focused on reliability. Aside from the batteries, the oven feels like it’ll be able to handle abuse for a long time. But to test that, we’ll need those new batteries for sure.
On-demand pure convection vapour, words we all like to hear when discussing a vape. The size is unrivalled for stealth and travel use. You can take this vape in your shorts pocket, it’s like a big distillate pen.
Reliability has been the biggest issue by far. If they can fix that problem, they’ll have a hands-down winner here. But it’s been 4 years now, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can recover their reputation. The battery issue really needs to be solved. My battery is borderline useless now as I’m only getting 1 or 2 hits before it needs a charge. That limits it to a home vape, which is the exact opposite of what the Grasshopper is intended for.
My new Grasshopper has been an awesome experience so far. If the batteries were available, I’d have zero complaints and it’d be in my regular rotation. Whether or not you should buy this one is entirely up to you.
On November 12th, Grasshopper Labs had a fire at their facility. You can read about it on their site. It sounds like it did a ton of damage to their facility, and they have a caution about the batteries etc. that you can read there. It’s not a good development for the company, I wish them nothing but the best and really hope they can get everything up and running again soon. This vape has so much potential, they’d have a home run here if they could just get the reliability issues down.