The Volcano is a special vaporizer to me. Way back in the day, when I first started with vapes, there weren’t many options on the market, and my first one was a huge piece of shit. After that disappointment, I saved and saved until I could afford an original Volcano. I absolutely loved everything about it. That lead to me purchasing many other vapes, making reviews, and eventually even the website you're reading right now.
The new Volcano Hybrid is replacing the old Digital Volcano, and while it’s relatively expensive at $700US, that’s still only a hundred bucks more than the old Digital. It may sound crazy, but with the upgrades, the overall user experience, and the quality of Storz & Bickel, this vape is definitely worth its high price tag.
A sleek touch interface
The new Hybrid Volcano design looks like an updated Digital. It features new touchscreen controls and the entire display is more refined. I think the design is gorgeous: the buttons and dials are gone, and a sleek touch interface has taken their place. The loading chamber has been improved and it now locks on top of the Volcano securely.
The Hybrid name applies to two new features. First, there is now a whip function that goes with the balloons. It is made of very dense material and somehow, magically, it doesn’t attract pet hair. The whip’s attachment allows it to rotate freely on top of your Volcano’s loading chamber when in use, so it’s perfect for passing around a group.
Secondly, the new Volcano is no longer limited to just convection heating, with a new ring in the centrepiece adding conduction to the loading chamber. Storz and Bickel is serious about its vaporizers, so I guarantee you the engineers put a lot of thought into this decision. The added conduction results in much faster heat-up and vapor production, and preheating can be done just by leaving the chamber on top of your Volcano (you don’t have to run air through it as is recommended in the manual).
The final major design upgrade is an excellent Bluetooth function. You can use your Volcano Hybrid with an app on your phone. It can turn your Volcano on and off from across the house, which is cool for sure, but it has many more capabilities than that. It can run workflows which program temperatures and times for filling up a balloon, giving you an unlimited number of ways to extract your vapor with custom settings. It’s been a long time since I’ve got an app with a vape that I’ve actually continued to use, but this one is handy well past its novelty phase. This technology is a full generation of advancement.
Produces vapor in about 45 seconds
This is a desktop vaporizer, and the power cord is now detachable, making for a much more durable design. When ready to vape, press the heat button and your Volcano will start to warm up to the last temperature you had it set at.
The first thing you’ll notice is the lightning-fast heat up time. The Hybrid produces vapor in about 45 seconds, versus the comparatively glacial three to five minutes of the Digital Volcano (which also needs a couple more minutes to heat soak). The huge time saving alone makes the upgrade worth it for many Volcano users, and for me, it really changes how I’m able to use the device.
The chamber bowl is huge, fitting a half gram comfortably. I find it best to fill up at least halfway, and for smaller loads, use the chamber reducer or dosing capsules. The whip makes me cough at higher temps, but much less when I use fan assist, which was odd. As you can see in the video review, the ABV is just lightly browned after a few sessions, still having some green in it really.
A brilliantly integrated app
Storz and Bickel did a great job with the app integration. It’s handy to be able to turn on and pre-warm your Volcano Hybrid from anywhere in the house, and filling a balloon before you leave the house is very convenient. Aside from that, you can also change the vibration, brightness, automatic shutoff time, and more. You can view usage and device statistics, such as temperature graphs and total run time, and if you’re really keen you can monitor how well it responds to your adjustments.
The other benefit of the app is the ability to create workflows. They enable you to program your Volcano to fill your balloon at any temp you like for different times with adjustments in between. It's nice to fill a balloon to 75% at 385°F, and then have your Volcano automatically turn up to 410°F for the last 25% so it extracts all that extra kick from your herb. I find about 30-35 seconds fills the balloon how I like it, so I have a few different workflows set around that. If you’re a nerd for custom settings then you’ll love experimenting with the workflow feature.
The vapor quality is the ultimate reason you’re buying a vaporizer like this, and it is absolutely exceptional. The device is crafted to high standards and the controls are so precise you can set the temperature very accurately. You can get the ultra-wispy clouds or make the balloon so thick you can’t see through it. The taste from the first heating of your herbs, especially if at a lower temp, is completely pure with no flavors other than your strain.
The vapor’s smoothness is probably the number one aspect I appreciate about the Volcano Hybrid’s vapor quality. Even at 410°F, it’s smoother than some vapes are through water. Considering the amount of vapor you get from the whip and the balloons, the smoothness really is mind-blowing. Hits can be as big as you want them to be. My favorite method is to take in a balloon in three large hits without any inhales in between. That pretty much finishes a balloon for me, and the effects can be super strong if done at higher temperatures. This is still primarily a convection machine, and the potency of the vapor fits that.
EFFICIENCY AND CLEANING
Uses more material than other vaporizers
This is a catch-22 for the Volcano. It extracts tons of vapor from your material, but the chamber is so big it uses more material than other vaporizers. And the flavor from fresh bowls is so good I always want to pack a new bowl, even when I could still get less tasty vapor from the current bowl. The color of the ABV really speaks to the efficiency of the device. Even after numerous bags at 400°F, it isn’t even close to brown.
Passing around the whip for group sessions will get a lot of miles from a bowl, but I prefer the balloons myself. They’re so convenient for personal use around the house. The loading chamber is easy to clean with a quick wash in isopropyl alcohol, and the screens can be changed if needed. I recommend replacing the balloons when they get gummed up, taste off, or start to leak. They’re not super cheap, so don’t replace them more often than you need to.
There is a lot to love about the Volcano Hybrid desktop vaporizer. First, the vapor quality just can’t be beaten. The smoothness compared to other vapes is remarkable and you can take as deep of a toke as you like, back to back to back, and almost never cough – while blowing out huge clouds with every breath. The strength of the effects is also impressive since it’s primarily convection, plus those thick balloons are very easy and go down super smooth.
The overall quality is apparent in all aspects. From the packaging to the extremely thorough instruction manual, Storz & Bickel really considered every detail. The fit and finish of the device itself are worthy of the price tag. And while it may not be perfect, the phone app is a fantastic addition to the experience and something I use often. Workflows are a total gamechanger and dialling in your kind of balloon is something you’ll find yourself doing regularly.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, you can use your new Volcano Hybrid through water! The whip adapter for our Mega Globe and C-250 fits the Volcano Hybrid’s whip perfectly. Be sure to pick one of these up to go with your new Volcano.
It’s difficult to use in the dark. When you have physical buttons, you can feel what you’re pressing, but these integrated buttons are not illuminated, so in the dark, it can be hard to operate. I don’t like how loud the pump is when it kicks on with this new Volcano compared to the older models. And of course, the price tag. That will make the Volcano Hybrid an unrealistic purchase for a lot of consumers.
An investment that’s well worth it for long term use
The Volcano Hybrid is a super-expensive, super-performing, German-engineered vaporizer that delivers like no other vape on the market. If you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed. The overall experience is pretty much unmatched. I have a ton of vaporizers, but if I knocked my Volcano Hybrid off the table and broke it tomorrow, I’d still repurchase it. It’s an investment and one that’s well worth it for long term use.