7th Floor is one of the pioneers of the vaporizer industry. There Silver Surfer and Da Buddha stationary vaporizers are both known for their excellent manufacturing and vapor quality making them fan favorites for years. Today we are going to take a look at the first portable offering from 7th floor, the Sidekick! We hope it lives up to its desktop predecessors.
Review: Sidekick by 7th Floor
How it Works
The sidekick is easy to get functioning right out of the package. Tilt the magnetic lid back to pop it off the unit to expose the heating chamber and fill with your desired herbs. We recommend packing the unit fairly full for best results, but do not over pack, and snap the lid back on. Next press the power button for about 3 seconds to turn the unit on. Use the up and down arrow to set the temperature level and then tap the power button to engage the heating element. The numbers on the display will begin to climb until it reaches the set temperature in about 1 to 2 minutes. Once the unit has reached temperature extend the mouthpiece and begin taking draws.
For a dry herb vaporizer, the sidekick is unique in how the temperature settings work for a digital display. Instead of setting the unit to a temperature you set the unit to a heat setting between 1 and 11, increasing in .5 incriments (yes this vape goes to 11!). These numbers have a corresponding temperature range associated with them which can be found on 7th floors Sidekick manual page. What is interesting is that the unit’s temperature range changes if you run the unit on a second cycle. We are not exactly sure why this is, it may have something to do with the voltage needed when the unit is already heated up, but it’s worth noting as an interesting quirk. Overall the Sidekick has great temperature flexibility ranging from 120 degrees celcius at setting 1 up to 235 degrees celcius at level 11. For dry herbs they recommend vaping between 5.5 – 8 and for oils and concentrates 7 – 9.
Where this unit shines is the quality of the vapor produced. As we mentioned above the unit has great temperature flexibility, even though we would have liked to see precise temperature control, it offers a large enough range that it is still easy to find your own “sweet spot”. The vapor path features a “vortex cooler”, which is a corkscrew shaped piece of metal that sits in your vapor path. As you draw from the unit it passes through the vortex cooler causing the vapor to cool off while swirling around the metal vortex. This cooling system along with your glass mouthpiece helps cool down your vapor significantly to provide smooth flavorful draws throughout your session.
Unique seems to be a bit of a theme with the sidekick, it is not necessarily a bad thing; the Sidekick just has its own way of doing things. This is especially true when it comes to the batteries. A large majority of portable vapes run on one internal or removable 18650 cell. The Sidekick on the other hand runs on 2 18350 batteries, the 18650’s little brother. At first I found this a very bizarre choice, as the size of the 2 of them is around the size of 1, 18650, so why would they not just use one of those. But there is a method to the madness and it is directly linked to charging. The sidekick comes with a dual battery charger and when both batteries are inserted it only takes about 30 – 45 minutes to achieve a full charge. This makes it one of the fastest charging units on the market. In our tests a set of batteries lasted about 3 and a half cycles and 7th floor provides you with 2 sets (4 batteries in total) so it should last about 6 sessions without needing to charge any batteries. So even though the battery set up is strange, the result is a long overall battery life with a quick charge time should you find yourself with dead batteries.
As we touched on before, the size of the Sidekick reminds us of the size of the Mighty. Because of the large size of the Sidekick it is not the most portable unit on the market. Couple this with the fact that you need to carry extra batteries and a charger separately and you have a bit of a mess on your hands when it comes to portability. 7th Floor tries to rectify this by including a carrying case that will fit all the components for the sidekick but even the case is large and can only really fit in a backpack. For this reason we really can’t recommend the Sidekick as a vaporizer to take out with you for a day trip.
Ease of Use
Once you get used to the quirks of the Sidekick it really is an easy device to use. The interface is fairly straight forward, set your temperature range and tap the power button to begin the heating process. The unit will shut off after 7 minutes… well played 7th floor. The stir tool ensures your herbs are evenly cooked and the vortex cooling system ensures smooth and flavorful draws from first to last. Cleaning is also very simple as most of the device comes apart and you have full access to the vapor path for cleaning and from our tests it takes a while before residue starts to build up.
For their introductory unit into the world of portable vaporizers we have to say we are quite happy with the offering from 7th Floor. Though the unit has a lot of oddities, when you begin to use it you understand there is a method behind it all. From the quick charging 18350 batteries, the unique temperature settings, to the stir tool and cooling vortex vapor path it all works together to provide a satisfying vapor experience. The big drawback is that for a portable unit, it is not very portable. The unit is cumbersome and requires you to carry additional pieces separately from the unit and the included carrying case could only realistically fit in a backpack for day excursions. We wish it wasn’t so but this Sidekick is best left at home in the Batcave where it truly shines. If you are looking for a more portable unit we suggest checking out the G-Pen Elite as something smaller and more manageable out and about.
If you have questions about our Sidekick review or just want to let us know what you think, feel free to drop us a comment below! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to keep up to date with all our contests, sales alerts and other fun stuff! Thanks for reading and as always, keep vapin’!