Apple just unveiled their new iPhone X to the wide-eyed drooling masses, and while it doesn’t (ever) seem like that much of a departure from last year’s model, the device does tend to influence design throughout a wide variety of product categories. The tiny supercomputer has not only changed the way we consume information and communicate on a daily basis but also the way other companies shape their visions — even in the marijuana industry.
Take vaporizers, for example. Gone are the days when you need a bulky box on your tabletop with long, sketchy, clear plastic tubing protruding out of it to enjoy your smoke-free flower. Today’s carcinogen-cutting cannabis accessories look more and more like something you’d see in “Men In Black” or on Batman’s utility belt — full of innovation, crafted with other-worldly engineering and stunning aesthetics.
I received a Hydrology9 vaporizer and immediately had trouble getting the handleless cardboard box containing the unit to slide open — much like an iPhone box. Fortunately, that’s where my frustrations ended with the Hydrology9, as the space-age-looking device blew my expectations out of the water (which is luckily very well contained in the vaporizer to prevent spills, but we’ll get to that).
We’ve seen a rash of portable flower vaporizers hit the market in recent years as the popularity of “pens” has grown exponentially, but the experience rarely lives up to the packaging or feature list.
When I first set my eyes on the Hydrology9 after my struggles with the box, my gut reaction was that I had found the long-lost Continuum Transfunctioner, dude. The cylindrical device is built with space grade anodized aluminum alloy and borosilicate glass, so your significant other might actually let you keep this beauty on the coffee table full-time instead of in the basement with all of your other “gross bongs.”
The Hydrology9 is part vaporizer, part bong, and all engineering. People have been filtering their smoke through water for over 2,400 years to cool the smoke before it enters the body. But there haven’t been many upgrades to the technology in that time — until now. Not only can you take this portable vaporizing bong on the go without its water reservoir ever spilling into your backpack or glovebox, but it also revolutionizes the way vapor travels through that very water on its way to you.
The Hydrology9 uses a patent-pending technology called “tunnel tube” to allow a steady stream of vapor while ensuring each component throughout the liquid filtration system is leak proof. The design team also spent considerable time on this mouthpiece, as it’s noticeably unique to any other smoking device I’ve ever seen. The quarter-inch thick Borosilicate glass piece is as strong as it is stunningly flawless. It was specifically designed to offer the perfect opening size for comfort during use and cleaning once you’re finished. A ball valve in the center of the mouthpiece closes off the opening to the water reservoir should your Hydrology9 fall over.
The most important part of any vaporizer is the flower chamber, as they come in a wide variety of sizes and construction — most of which don’t really work all that well. Whether the chamber is too small, forcing you to repack every few hits, or it takes too much guesswork to figure out the ideal temperature to vape that old dried up nugget of cannabis in your drawer, the experience is typically more frustrating than satisfying.
But with the Hydrology9, an 18mm deep food-grade porcelain chamber allows you to pack a surprising amount of grounds into the bottom of the cylinder. [Side note: flower should be shredded to an almost-kief level to ensure optimal vaporization (fewer air pockets in the chamber). We recommend the Easy Grinder. A simple one-button system allows the user to cycle through five distinct heat settings, all precisely controlled by a built-in microchip processor that can react to any temperature changes within the chamber in milliseconds so you’re vaping experience is unaffected.
But my favorite part of the Hydrology9 is something that every vaporizer since the beginning of time has needed but never included — a way to shimmy the weed around inside between hits so you don’t have to keep opening, shaking, tapping, and repacking. A dial on the bottom of the Hydrology9 allows the user to turn a heat-resistant steel curved rod that resembles a paper clip inside the flower chamber to essentially put the contents in shuffle mode so you can vaporize any portions that had gone untouched on previous hits.
Images courtesy of Gina Coleman