We have seen multiple iterations of the torch powered vaporizer, starting with the crude homemade lightbulb vaporizer (not recommended), the Vapor Genie, and the Vapman. It has been a while since we have seen any type of innovation to this style of vaporizer until we got our hands on the Lotus Vaporizer. This unit is made in the good ol’ US of A so you know it was crafted with care and precision. Let’s take a closer look to see what sets it apart from similar units.
Lotus Vaporizer Review
Unlike units like the Vapman and Vapor Genie which use your torch to create conduction heat to cook your herbs, the Lotus uses convection. This is obvious when you look at the distance between the herbs and the heat source. To use the Lotus, remove the vapor cap, load your herbs and click the top back into place, the stem of the unit has magnets that hold the cap in place. Next take your torch and adjust the flame so it is about ½ to 5/8 of an inch long. Lotus has actually designed there unit so that the distance between the 2 flower petal tips is the how long your flame should be. Once your flame is adjusted you are ready to start vaping. Hold the Lotus to your mouth with the flower pointing up, light your torch and preheat the top plate for about 4 seconds and then start to inhale. As you inhale count to 10 while slowly circling the flame around the center indent on the unit. Stop heating and continue to inhale to clear the chamber of vapor. The Lotus is designed to stop vaporizing as soon as you stop drawing, another indication of convection heating.
Because the Lotus uses a torch to heat the unit your temperature control is dependent on how long you heat the top plate and your draw speed. The problem for most of these types of units is actually managing the temperature as it can be difficult and inaccurate. The Lotus tries to simplify the learning curve by implementing convection heating, meaning your herbs are cooked by the hot air that is drawn from the heating element as opposed to direct contact with the heat source. The result is a more forgiving heating method with less chance of combustion, in fact during our testing we never once combusted our materials. We definitely came close a few times recognizing that distinct burned popcorn flavor but cut the draw short enough that nothing actually combusted. This doesn’t mean combustion won’t happen, but it’s safe to say that combustion is harder to achieve with the Lotus then other comparable units.
One of the shining qualities of Lotus is the vapor production. We had no issues getting nice dense clouds of vapor on almost every hit. Now, we prefer a higher temperature which is easier to achieve with a torch heated device, but for you flavor chasers out there heating the unit slightly less will result in nice full-flavored hits and nice thin vapor. Even at higher temperatures we found the vapor to still have pure flavor but tended to be a little harsher on the throat and you could definitely taste when your session was getting close to the end. There certainly were instances of hot spots and uneven heating which is to be expected with torch style heating but for the most part herbs seemed evenly cooked. The Lotus does have a stirring rod built into the heating cap so you can stir your herbs half way through the session to ensure a more even cook. We should also note that the package we received included a 14mm water pipe adapter so you can use it with your own water pipe. This is a nifty little add-on and worked very well in practice providing a smoother vapor experience.
When we first received and opened the Lotus we were impressed with the overall quality of the unit. As we stated it is made in the USA and you can definitely tell quality craftsmanship went into making this device. The Lotus feels comfortable when you are holding it in your hands and resembles the feeling of a traditional pipe. The Lotus logo on the heating cap is nicely designed and etched out, the stem of the unit is made out of ceramic to ensure proper heat dissipation and maximum durability. As we noted before the stem also features built in magnets to hold the cap in place. The 14mm water pipe adapter was also a nice addition and was well crafted with a handle so you can easily disengage the device from your water pipe and clear your hit. The only negative about the manufacturing quality of the device was the torch itself. It tended to heat up very quickly and after your first few draws you have to be very careful not to touch any of the metal parts because they will burn you, oh how they will burn you (can you tell I’m speaking from experience?). But Lotus was nice enough to include the torch for free and they do offer an upgraded lighter which may yield better results.
The Lotus is not the most portable torch based vaporizer on the market, especially when you compare it to the Vapman. We imagine because of the heating method the vapor path had to be fairly long when they designed the unit to ensure cool draws but we do wish it was a little smaller. It’s rather cumbersome due to its shape and will not easily fit into your pocket. We should note they offer a slightly smaller stem but it’s the overall shape that makes it bulky. They do provide a carrying case so you can keep the unit and accessories all together making it a great companion for a bag or purse.
Due to the size and shape of the unit it really cannot be considered all that discreet. The shape resembles a pipe and is going to draw looks if you are heating it in public. It can’t be easily concealed and you have to be careful putting it away after use as the metal on the top of the unit will still be hot to the touch. As such we really can’t recommend this unit if discretion is your main priority.
Overall we enjoyed the Lotus Vaporizer, even if it is geared towards a niche market of the vaporizer community. It has an easy learning curve resulting in great vapor production though it does have a slight chance of combustion if it is over-heated. We loved the fact that the unit uses convection as its main heating method to provide flavorful, satisfying vapor, and a somewhat even cook. The big drawback to this unit is the size of the device and overall convenience. If you are looking for a similar unit that is far more portable definitely check out the Vapman as an alternative. The Lotus vaporizer definitely did not disappoint and is a fun device to have in the arsenal if you ever looking for a unit that does not require batteries to operate. We are happy to see there is still a market for these types of units and even more thrilled to see innovations being made to torched based units like The Lotus.