After having tried a number of electrical and portable marijuana vaporizers, I finally had the chance to try something fairly different, a Vaporstar vaporizer. Based out of the UK, the Vaporstar is designed to be attached to a bong for and is designed to produce consistent vapor and a smooth hit. The Vaporstar comes in two sizes, 14mm and 18mm in order to fit most standard bong downstems.
After unpacking the Vaporstar, I noticed that it came in two pieces, and was quite small. One piece is wood with a screen inside, and the other piece is a metal heating element which goes on top of the bowl. In the middle of the metal piece there is a hole where the flame of your lighter passes through to heat the herb. The herb chamber was able to fit about the same amount of marijuana as the Vaporgenie’s bowl, which I find to be a tad small compared to other vaporizers.
After packing some herb into the chamber fairly tightly, I placed it on my bong and gave it a try. Since the Vaporstar is flame powered, you must gain a feel for how to hit it properly to get the maximum amount of vapor without torching the bowl. This took me a few tries to get right, but once I did I was able to get hits comparable to the Vaporgenie. The vapor was clean tasting, and with my clear bong I could see the vapor building up in the chamber slowly, giving me an idea of how big of a hit to take. I recommend using a regular butane lighter, and not a jet flame. Since the Vaporstar has a wood construction, it can be accidentally torched if you use a jet flame. Also, since the metal heating element is removable, be careful not to lose it as it is quite small. Although I would prefer using a ceramic element, the metal one worked fairly well.
Overall, the Vaporstar is a decent vaporizer, especially for the price (about $25 USD), and I recommend it to anyone who is on a budget and already has a bong that they want to double as a vaporizer. However, it does have a few downsides. Firstly, the bowl is a little small, so bowls finish rather quickly (you’ll need to reload it a few times if you’re vaping with friends). Secondly, you must be careful not to get the flame near the wooden base, as it can leave burn marks. Finally, although it is a small vaporizer, you must have a bong to use it with, which isn’t nearly as portable.