Released just a few months ago by Cloudious 9, the Hydrology 9 is a portable liquid filtration vaporizer which uses water to cool the vapor that it produces. As someone who loves using bong attachments on my vaporizers, I was curious to see how the Hydrology 9 would perform while in use!
After unboxing my Hydrology 9, I was greeted with a cylindrical vape manufactured from a mix of space grade anodize aluminum as well as solid borosilicate glass. The unit is ergonomically designed and comfortable to hold in my hand providing I’m careful not to block one of the airflow ports located on the side of the unit. There’s quite a few parts to the Hydrology 9, and there’s six detachable parts which include the water chamber, herb trench, mouthpiece, and vapor path. The bowl is located at the bottom of the unit, and can be accessed by unscrewing it, and the mouthpiece cover is a magnetic design making it easy to open and close. I found the modular design to be great as it allows for super easy cleaning after a session. Also included is a pick and some brushes, and the instruction manual details how to clean the unit using the tools in an easy manner. The Hydrology 9 lacks a screen, is operated by a single button which enables you to turn the unit off and on as well as select between five temperature settings indicated by various colors via an LED on the unit.
Although the Hydrology 9 can be classified as a portable vaporizer due to being battery powered, I wouldn’t rank it in the same category as other portables, and would instead classify it as a hybrid portable desktop vape. Firstly, the unit measures 7 inches tall with a diameter of about 1.5 inches, making it rather large and heavy compared to other portable vapes on the market and although it fits easily in a backpack, it won’t fit in a pocket. Secondly, the fact that it must be filled with water to use means that you’ll need to have access to a water source prior to starting a session, and you’ll also want to empty it out once you’re finished. I also don’t find the Hydrology 9 to be the most discreet vape, especially since the water chamber and size draws attention if you plan to use it in a public space.
The Hydrology 9 bowl is quite deep, and you should be able to fit between .3 and .4 grams of high quality ground cannabis inside. After filling the water chamber to 70% capacity (as per the manual) and loading the bowl with some high quality ground cannabis, I started with the lowest temperature setting and gradually worked through all the temperatures during my sessions to see what the experience was like. Pressing the power button three times powers on the Hydrology 9 (afterwards pressing the button once will change to the next temperature setting), and the unit took several minutes to reach an optimal operating temperature. Once it did I found that it unit produced satisfying amounts of vapor, but not huge clouds by any stretch. The unit uses a ceramic heating element, and I found myself turning the bowl halfway through my vape sessions in order to ensure that my herb gets evenly cooked throughout the session. Fortunately, one cool aspect of the Hydrology 9 is that there’s a small hook which is built into the bowl, and by rotating the bottom of the unit you can turn the bowl without having to open it and use an extra tool! This is a really innovative feature and helps keep the heating element at a steady temperature as you turn the bowl. Another cool feature is the fact that there’s two vapor paths in the unit; one which passes through the herb trench and another which mixes into the water without passing through your cannabis. This allows you to easily adjust the draw of the vape to your liking, although I did find it to be slightly tight even on the most open setting. The end result of my vaping sessions was some moderately dark vaped bud which you can store and use for a wide range of things (as explained here in my AVB guide)!
The Hydrology 9 has a non replaceable battery rated for 2000mAH, and I was generally able to get about 12 full sessions out of a full charge depending on the temperature setting used. Remaining battery life is indicated when you turn off the unit and hold the power button for three seconds. A green light indicates a full charge, whereas a blue light means the battery is halfway used, and a red light signifies low battery and that you should charge the unit soon. Furthermore, the Hydrology 9 uses a standard microUSB connection for charging, making it easy to charge the unit virtually anywhere, and it takes about a two and a half hours to fully charge the battery from empty.
Overall, I feel that the Hydrology 9 is a well built, quality vaporizer with a super smooth taste thanks to its built in water filtration mechanism. Moreover, the inclusion of an adjustable vapor path plus a built in stir stick are well thought out features which definitely improve the vaping experience. However, don’t expect it to be as portable as other portable vapes, so keep this in mind if portability and discreetness is an essential aspect of your vaporization experience. I recommend the Hydrology 9 to those looking for a smooth hitting high quality vape!