Hey guys, it's Sneaky Pete here and today I'm excited to bring you my favourite video/blog of the year - the 2021 Vape Awards. I love doing these awards as it gives me a chance to look back at the last year and think about all the different vaporizers and accessories I’ve used. Keep in mind that I only consider products that I have personally used and tested, if it came out this year but I never used it, it’s not in contention. Some of these awards were really hard to choose a winner for, so for most categories I will be acknowledging a runner-up as well. So here we go guys, the 2021 Vape Awards, let's do it!
Best flavour: Vapman
Runner Up: Storz & Bickel Mighty+
The Vapman is an incredible little portable butane-powered vaporizer that has actually been around since the early 2000’s, which is insane. The brand seemed to go dormant for a while, but it has made a revival recently and the device has been growing in popularity ever since.
The Vapman has a gold-plated copper heating chamber with a heating pin in the centre, and a pointed section on the underside of the chamber where you heat the device with a butane torch. The flower is loaded into the top of the chamber, and then you connect the middle piece and mouthpiece of the Vapman to close the chamber. You heat it with three second heating cycles, my recommendation is to do a three second heating cycle three times, with a three second break in between each one.
The Vapman has a very analogue feel to its operation, and you get almost instant feedback on how much you have heated it as soon as you inhale. It absolutely excels as a microdoser, and you can even add an optional sieve plate to further enhance its microdosing abilities. I find it to be a very easy device to use, it doesn’t have much of a learning curve at all, which is quite uncommon with butane-powered devices.
Thanks to the very gentle and efficient butane heating that is transferred to your flower, not only do you get exceptionally pure flavour that tastes exactly how your flower smells, but it also does a really good job of distributing that flavour over multiple hits. Some vaporizers do a great job for the first hit or two and then produce hits lacking flavour, but the Vapman gives you great flavour on the first hit and several subsequent hits from that same bowl, which makes for a truly enjoyable session.
I gave the runner-up spot to the Storz & Bickel Mighty+, which is another vaporizer that produces extremely good flavour. I gave the edge to the Vapman because I think the Mighty+ falls into the frontloaded flavour category, whereas the Vapman is better at giving me good flavour throughout my entire session.
Most used glass: Mega Globe Mk 2
Runner Up: Glass Dynavap Insert For Ispire Wand
The original Sneaky Pete Mega Globe is our most popular water pipe, so I really wanted to build upon this well-known and very effective platform when we started designing our next glass piece. I find that the volume of the Mega Globe is perfect for vaporizer use, the size and centre joint placement also lends itself well to use with pretty much any vaporizer.
For the Mega Globe Mk 2, we took the original Mega Globe design and made two primary enhancements. We added a new 3-D sphere percolator, which not only looks really cool, but also features glass nipples to disrupt the vapour before it feeds out of the percolator. We also made sure that the new percolator retained the same super free air-flow that the original Mega Globe is known for, so you’re not adding any restriction to your experience.
The second change is the one I am the most happy with - the addition of a 10mm female joint which feeds into the same downstem as the main 14mm female joint. This increases compatibility by making the Mega Globe Mk 2 a 10mm and 14mm female water piece, so you’re getting two in one action. You can even use a 10mm vaporizer and 14mm vaporizer at the same time if you’re feeling adventurous, so you also get dual-use action without needing an adaptor. If you’re using it one joint at a time, you can use the other joint as a carb to clear the Globe without needing to remove your vaporizer. This makes it far easier to clear with a big or awkward vape. The Mega Globe Mk 2 comes with a glass mouthpiece, a whip, and two glass stoppers, everything you need for high-end vapour cooling.
The Glass Dynavap Insert For Ispire Wand is my runner-up in this category because the Ispire Wand has become my most used DynaVap induction heater since I added this Insert. It’s the only way I use the Wand with my DynaVaps now because the Glass Insert makes heating so easy and foolproof, and the added glass insulation slows the heat-up time, meaning I can charge it up for bigger hits.
Best accessory: Simrell Cage with Smoked Sneaky Pete Globe
Runner Up: Sneaky Pete Half-Bowl Converter
Austyn from the Simrell Collection is not only a really creative guy, but he also has an incredible eye for detail and produces very polished final products. He is best known for his DynaVap custom stems - the Vortex Stem and the new Vortex MVS, but the Cage that he created for our Smoked Sneaky Pete Globe is one of my favourite things he’s ever done.
The Simrell Cage is an awesome idea, it fully encases a smoked glass variant of our popular Sneaky Pete Globe in beautifully constructed, raw aluminium. This not only adds protection, but it also adds a ton of weight, making the Globe completely stable. The Globe isn’t a massive water piece, so by itself it’s possible for it to move around while using the whip, especially when it’s dry, but once it’s inside this Cage it’s not going anywhere. It’s easy to remove the Globe for cleaning, the top piece of the Cage comes off after removing the thumb screws. The fit and finish on this thing is 10 out of 10, and the decorative details on the top and the bottom really enhance the overall feel of the piece.
We made our Globe in a dark smoked glass for this cage, with a matching glass cooling mouthpiece and glass whip elements. I think this really gives the kit a beautiful overall look, with the dark glass contrasting nicely with the bright metal of the Cage. It’s a really complete kit, as not only are you getting all of the components I mentioned, but it also includes our popular Pass-Through Adapter, which offers a similar functionality as the second joint of the Mega Globe Mk 2, and you also get a titanium adaptor which allows you to use pretty much any DynaVap body, glass stem, or even a Simrell MVS with the whip. You can also use it in something like a Mighty for even more versatility.
The runner-up prize goes to our Sneaky Pete Half-Bowl Converter, it has been used in every single one of my DynaVap sessions since I received my first prototypes, I think it really enhances the DynaVap experience. The half-bowl position means you get more fresh hits because you’re refreshing the bowl more often, and it doesn’t reduce the flavour or hit size. The Half-Bowl Converter makes using the half-bowl position completely foolproof, I always used to struggle with getting the CCD in place, and often bent my CCD’s. The added thermal mass of the Half-Bowl Converter also soaks up additional heat, leading to huge hits from tiny loads.
Biggest surprise: Xmax V3 Pro
Runner Up: Elev8r E-Heater
The Xmax V3 Pro comes in at a very reasonable price of approximately $109USD, but gives you way more features and performance than you would ever expect from a vaporizer at this entry-level price point. It’s a sleek and slim device that actually looks pretty good. It stands about 6 inches tall and only weighs 120g, so it’s very portable and easy to take on-the-go.
At the top it has a magnetic mouthpiece, and even though it’s very close to the chamber the spiralling going on inside extends the vapour path for reasonably cool vapour. From the stainless steel bowl you get primarily convection heating with some conduction, and it reaches temperature in only 15 seconds. The bright LED screen is a nice size, and the simple three button control scheme is easy to figure out. It features USB-C charging, which is always nice to see, and it’s powered by a removable 18650 battery which is stored behind a magnetic panel on the back. Overall, it’s a killer battery setup.
The V3 Pro has single degree temperature control, but one of the coolest things is that it has both session and on-demand modes. I prefer on-demand mode as it heats up fast and allows you to hit it with a one hit at a time style, which is my favourite method. The vapour is surprisingly tasty and if you don’t do too many hits per session it is pretty cool. While using the extended session mode, I find it gets a little warm after multiple hits, which is another reason I prefer the on-demand mode.
The runner-up award goes to the Elev8r E-Heater, which managed to improve the already excellent butane-powered Elev8r. To me it seems like a better overall system than the original because you get a really consistent experience every time, although I do find that adding the terp pearls to the heater tip is pretty much a necessity, as it massively increases the performance.
Easiest to use: Oldhead Hot Rod
Runner Up: Storz & Bickel Crafty+ USB-C
The Hot Rod is a super cool new desktop Vaporizer from Oldhead Customs, who worked with Sticky Brick Labs on the wood elements for the device. Brian from Oldhead was the guy who brought you the TerpTorch, and the Hot Rod is really a significantly improved version of the concept of the TerpTorch. The heater mounts in a fashion reminiscent of an old school telephone, and all of the controls are on a simple black plastic box which is mounted on the wooden segment. Looking at the heater itself, the 18mm male titanium tip is engineered to produce very even vaporization without the need to stir. Inside is a ceramic rod encased in ruby terp pearls which creates a massive amount of complex airflow.
The Hot Rod is specifically designed to be used with any 14mm water pipe, and the included wooden bowl has a very easy screen changing system, making it a breeze to remove for cleaning, or to simply replace it. The Hot Rod can also be used with an alternate 18mm female bowl, like the original TerpTorch bowl, or the Elev8r bowl, or even the new one that Ed’s TNT released recently.
Using the device couldn’t be easier. On the back of the control box you will find a physical on/off switch, which I like because it means I can have it controlled by a smart plug to automatically turn on in the morning and then off at night. On top of the control box you will find the rotary dial which controls the temperature. Put your flower in the bowl, put the bowl on a water pipe, put your heater tip to the bowl, and inhale as soft or hard as you would like. It has enough heat to keep up with any speed of toke that you want to throw at it, and there’s absolutely no learning curve or technique required. The fact that you can leave it on all day long so you can just walk up to it and get an instant pure convection, strong, and tasty hit makes it such a handy device to own, a true daily driver.
The new 2021 update of the Storz & Bickel Crafty+ is my runner-up, this is a super simple, portable, plug and play sort of device. It has preset temperatures with a simple one button interface, making it a perfect vaporizer choice for a first timer. The USB-C update makes a huge difference since it doesn't have a massive battery capacity, so the increased charging speed gives the convenience of the device a notable boost.
Best value: DynaVap VonG
Runner Up: Ispire Wand
The DynaVap VonG went through a huge upgrade in 2021, giving us a beautiful hybrid of wood and titanium. The HydraVonG was a pretty cool way to use your DynaVap with water, but the new Vong is way more functional, robust, and I also much prefer the look. The VonG has a new beefier titanium tip paired with a Captive Cap, it’s designed to retain heat more efficiently, and it also features adjust-a-bowl functionality to utilise a smaller bowl position. The tip fits into the body with a really satisfying click into the stylish upper crown, which also helps to dissipate the heat from the body.
The wooden section rotates around the inner titanium body, this adjusts the air port to any position you prefer, be it fully closed, completely open, or halfway in between where you can use it completely hands-free in a water piece, which is what I prefer. Because the VonG is designed to be used with a water pipe the mouthpiece will natively fit in either a 14mm female or a 10mm female joint, without any need for an adapter. Since the 10mm section of the mouthpiece is the same size as the 2021 M it has a great mouth feel and it doesn’t feel wide in your lips.
The VonG is very good value as it sits closer in price to the DynaVap M than the OmniVap, but you still get a titanium tip with a titanium body like the Omnivap. I really like that you can use it with a water pipe without needing an adaptor, while still having the option to comfortably use it dry, it’s so versatile. I think the VonG would be a brilliant addition to most people’s lineup and it's one of my most used devices of the year.
The runner-up goes to the Ispire Wand, which offers really good value for the price. It’s super functional and customizable in terms of how you can use it as a DynaVap induction heater or as a concentrate rig with the induction bangers.
Best overall vapour: Storz & Bickel Mighty+
The Mighty+ might not be a massive change compared to the previous model, but when you are updating what is often regarded as the best vaporizer on the market, a few small tweaks can go a long way. The new Mighty+ adds USB-C charging, which is a huge improvement over their old device-specific charging cable, and it’s also capable of receiving a fast charge power source, which greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to achieve full battery life. You get a significantly faster heat-up time, getting to whatever temperature you want in around 60 seconds. The bowl is now coated with ceramic, like they have done with the rest of their lineup, and there’s now a boost mode which can be engaged by triple clicking the power button.
People love the Mighty+ for its great battery life, consistent performance, and lack of technique required to get great results. It has a simple to use interface, doing the basics really well without any extras. What impresses me most about the Mighty+ is the quantity of vapour that you get, even when you use it at low temperatures around 355°F, the vapour is abundant and comes readily whether you inhale softly, or as hard as you can. The quality of the vapour on the Mighty+ is also impressive. For a device that is made with so much plastic, you would never know it, the flavour is incredibly pure and the terps flow in abundance. It’s one of the few devices that I actually use at lower temperatures, because you still get a good amount of vapour and the flavour is just out of this world. The Mighty+ ends up in my bag a lot of the time when I’m travelling, even though it’s on the larger side, it’s just foolproof and produces amazing sessions every time. For anyone who doesn’t care about price and just wants a device that gives great vapour without any fuss, the Mighty+ fits the bill perfectly.
Product of the year: Vestratto Anvil
It’s usually tough to choose a winner for this category because there are so many devices that stand out, but this year I was pretty sure I had found my winner after my first few uses. The product of the year in 2021 goes to the Vestratto Anvil. When I first used the Anvil it struck me as something a bit different. I haven’t used many vaporizers that are able to achieve the results that you get with the Anvil, and not only are the results amazing, but you can achieve these results with remarkable consistency.
The Anvil features a copper core which is sandwiched between two stainless steel layers, copper has insane thermal conductivity, around 25 times higher than stainless steel. The copper core has a larger copper section called the thermal battery, this is specifically calibrated to have enough mass to reach the perfect temperature to ride the line, which is essentially the most you can vaporize before it’ll combust. You simply point a single flame torch at the thermal battery until it clicks, there’s no need to rotate the Anvil while heating, which makes it super easy to use with a water pipe. It’s crazy that you can consistently ride the line with so little technique required, and the effects are staggering every time.
Although it’s capable of blowing your head off, by no means do you have to hit that hard, pointing your torch anywhere closer to the tip will give you a less intense hit. The hits are customizable and very consistent, as long as you hold your lighter in the same place each time. Even though you soak this thing with heat, the herb stays isolated from the exterior, and the copper helps to transfer the heat from that thermal battery back to other parts of the oven to maintain ideal oven temperature throughout your hit.
It’s a very new product, but once the Anvil gets into more peoples hands and word spreads, I think there’s going to be a lot of people in line to pick one up. It’s an incredibly impressive device, I’ve gone back to it again and again, and I will definitely continue to in the future, because not many vaporizers knock it out of the park like this.
Thanks for reading and watching the 2021 Vape Awards, I appreciate each and every one of you who engage with my content and I can’t wait to share with you the developments the world of vapes sees in 2022.
Until next time, keep it green, keep it sneaky!