Vaporizer type: Travel Portable
Heating type: Convection
Materials: Dry Herb
Best features: Virtually instant heat up, ultra portable, highly efficient, stealthy as can be, can produce massive hits
Worst features: Vapour can be on the hot side, unit itself will get hot with continued use, batteries wear fast over time and need to be replaced regularly
Watch Video Review Here:
Overview: The Grasshopper began as a Kickstarter campaign, and it created a lot of interest right from the start. There had never been another vaporizer like this - tiny, super stealthy, instant heat up, and pure convection heating?? How could they fit all of that into this little pen, and include a lifetime warranty, all for a reasonable price? I can’t answer that question, but I can confirm that they did it. The Grasshopper really represents a brave new world in vaporizing, you can rip it with a water pipe at home, or you can sneak a toke literally anywhere, I mean it looks just like a pen! It really enables a new behaviour category - if you’re leaving the house and you figure you’d better have one more hit, this is your new best friend. You’ve gone from thought to exhale in 15 seconds, how cool is that? The Grasshopper was the 2015 Overall Winner in my Vape Awards, so let me tell you why that was. Also a very important note, at the time of this review this is still a pre-order item, so if you haven’t got in line, do so now.
How to use: The Grasshopper is a very straightforward device to master. The first thing that you’ll notice is that it looks just like a pen, including the ‘clicker’ at the top (which turns the device off and on) and a clip to secure it in your pocket. To load the device with herb, unscrew the lower section to reveal the chamber. My unit didn’t require a burnoff, but it’s never a bad idea to run a few high heat cycles before you use it for the first time. When you’re ready, load your herb into the chamber - this can be a little awkward, so take some time to find the best method for you. I typically ‘scoop’ herb into the chamber directly from my grinder with my finger. It’s not the most dignified method but it works. I would love to see a simple tool designed to load the Hopper, it’s a bit of a design oversight IMHO. You can load a little tiny bit of herb, or fill the chamber to capacity, it works equally well with either method. I like to finely grind my herb for best results, as is the case with many vaporizers. When it’s loaded up, screw the lower piece back on and turn the dial on top to select your temperature. I find myself using notch 4 the vast majority of the time, though sometimes I turn it down to 3 when I’m out and about and not using a water pipe. The vaporizer has a series of holes around the unit, these are where the air comes in and so you can see the LED lights. The LEDs will go red when the unit is heating up, and a few seconds (literally) later they will turn blue letting you know it’s reached temperature. Place the vaporizer to your mouth, and inhale! I click mine on and off between each hit rather than trying to leave it on for a session, and I recommend you do too. If the device reaches the auto turn-off state, you will have to click it twice to turn it on so try to avoid this. Charging the unit is simple, simply click the magnetic charger onto the end of the pen and plug it into a USB port. The change batteries, unscrew the upper piece and slide the battery out (make sure to note which end goes in first!). The device includes a silicone mouthpiece that you’ll want to use most of the time. It will ensure your lips don’t get too hot while doing multiple hits, and the Grasshopper will then work with almost any water pipe joint; male or female.
Cleaning: Maintenance is dead simple for this one. Unscrew the lower portion, and toss that into some isopropyl alcohol. Shake and dry, this will come virtually 100% clean easily. For the chamber, you’ll want to do one thing to minimize the need to clean - empty the device directly after use. That’s not to say take a hit then empty it, but don’t take a hit, wait 10 minutes, then empty it. When you empty it hot, almost all of the herb will fall out and not stick, that’s virtually all I do. If the chamber is getting funky though, hold the unit mouthpiece-down and clean the chamber with a isopropyl soaked Q-Tip. That’s it that’s all, takes a minute or two everyone once in a while.
Battery Life: Battery life is great but with a caveat, the batteries will age fast. When they’re new, I averaged 10-20 hits per battery, which is pretty remarkable for a device this small. And those are large hits, like 1 per session (think of a VapeXhale session). After the batteries have some mileage, you’ll get 3-4 hits per battery. So when you see that decreased life, it’s time to replace them. Luckily they’re not expensive, so grab a few. When your battery is almost out, the blue LEDs will start flashing to let you know this is your last hit.
Heat up time: This is where this device holds no equal, click the button and hit it (well, almost). Heat up time is literally a few seconds, and I don’t mean a few as in 12, I mean a few as in 4. The heat up time is quite literally a game changer, and one of the main reasons this vaporizer is always featured heavily in my rotation.
Quality of vapour (taste, size of toke, harshness): I thought the Grasshopper would really lack in this department, but it’s a lot better than I would have imagined. You are inhaling very close to the heat source so it won’t be the coolest toke, that’s why I use it with a water pipe whenever I can. But when I do take it out and about, the harshness is acceptable, not bad not amazing. The taste is very good due to the convection system, and you can produce MASSIVE rips from this thing. I’m constantly amazed at the thick, milky tokes that this can produce.
Efficiency: Another area where the Grasshopper shines! You can literally use a tiny pinch of (good) bud, and you will get a satisfying hit. You can fill it to the brim (full, but not tight) and get a number of huge hits. However you decide to use it, it will harvest every last bit of active ingredient from your material.
Stealth Factor: Another home run. The device is sized and shaped like a stainless steel pen, complete with the clicking top button and clip. If you didn’t no better (and didn’t click it) you would never think it was a vaporizer. Hide this one out in the open, it would be very hard to make a stealthier vape. Keep in mind that it’s also tiny, meaning that if you do want to conceal it you will have no problem doing so. Easy to slip this one anywhere, stealth factor is off the charts!
Strength of effects: When using it with a water pipe the effects are about average. I don’t take as deep of draws, so the effects are not as powerful that way. That being said, adding in an extra hoot will make up the difference, so you can still get to whatever level you’re looking for. When paired with a water pipe (as it really should be), this thing will rival the strongest of vaporizers. Check out my YouTube video, as well as tons of others online, and you’ll see the thick milky tokes that this can produce, and that my friend will get you wherever you’re headed.
Price: The Grasshopper comes in 3 flavours, and the time of the review they cost $175US for the stainless, $225US for the titanium, and $225US for a coloured titanium. I would recommend the titanium model as it’s noticeably lighter when you put the two side by side. When you take the battery out it barely feels like anything, it’s remarkable. These also feature a LIFETIME warranty, so the Grasshopper is a tremendous value IMHO.
Love about it: Instant heat up time, highly efficient, ultra portable, stealthy beyond stealth, familiar form factor fits anywhere, massive hits when paired with water pipe.
Not a fan of: Vapour quality is only average without water pipe, batteries age fast with regular use, LED lights aren’t equally visible around whole unit, has been pre-order for a very long time.
Final thoughts: I can summarize my thoughts on the Grasshopper like this - it’s the only irreplaceable vaporizer in my arsenal. If the Crafty goes down, I can replace it with a number of comparable vaporizers. They aren’t going to be exactly the same of course, but they function similarly enough to act as a replacement. This isn’t the case with the Grasshopper. If it goes down, I don’t have anything that will heat up that fast and is anywhere near this size. The Firefly 2 heats up pretty quick, but it’s significantly larger and much less portable. I don’t care how many vaporizers you own today - if you don’t have a Grasshopper, order one right away. You will marvel at it’s form as well as it’s function, it amazes me to this day. I built my first vaporizer out of a soldering iron, a piece from a floppy disc, and a 1L pop bottle. Fast forward to 2016 and you can toss this efficient, hard hitting little son of a bitch in your pocket and head ANYWHERE. I love the Grasshopper, and I cannot wait until they can finally meet demand and have these straight available for sale. Please hurry Hopper Labs!!