Today you're getting the results of our month-long review of the Arizer Solo 2. We tested the Arizer Solo 2 on every possible metric a vaporizer can be tested on:
- Vapor quality;
- Efficiency, and many other metrics which you'll learn about today.
You'll also get an easy comparison table to compare the Arizer Solo 2 to its 2 biggest competitors.
The best part? You're getting simple but effective tips to optimize the performance of the Arizer Solo 2.
Arizer Solo 2 Review Summary
- Size: 4.5 x 1.7 x 1 inches / 11.4 x 4.3 x 2.5 cm
- Weight: 210g ( = 7.4 oz / 0.46 pounds)
- Battery-Life: 150 minutes or 15 sessions
- Heating System: Hybrid (mostly conduction)
- Draw-Resistance: Medium
- Bowl-Capacity: 0.15 grams
- Heat-Up Time: 20-30 seconds
- Materials Outer Shell: Aluminum
- Materials Vapor Path: Mostly glass
- Materials Heating Element: Ceramic and metal
- Warranty: 2 years
Pros and Cons
- Superb value for money
- Extremely reliable and well-built
- Great vapor quality, even after first few hits
- Very long battery-life (3h)
- Very easy to use
- Great for micro-dosing
- Precise temperature control
- Air path not fully separted from electronics
- Large and bulky, not a pocket-vape
- Not best vaporizer for groups because of the smaller bowl
Design/Looks/Build Quality (8)
The original Solo was built like a tank and looked like one as well.
Arizer continued this trend with the Arizer Solo 2. But the Arizer Solo 2 looks more like a modern, high-tech and sophisticated tank.
And this has to do LED screen and the beautifully rounded off user-button. Especially the LED screen makes it look like a high-tech gadget. Add to this that it’s considerably slimmer than the original Arizer Solo, and you can see why the Arizer Solo 2 is a sleeker portable vaporizer than the original Arizer Solo.
Onto the materials used.
The outer shell is made from brushed aluminum, which looks beautiful, feels premium, and is one of the reasons why this vape is so durable.
But for the taste of your vapor and safety of your vaporizer, what really matters are the internals. The internals are made of:
- Ceramic (the heating element);
- Stainless steel (the oven), and;
- Glass (the stem).
As you can see, there's no plastic in the most essential parts. Plastic doesn’t have the best reputation in terms of vaporizer safety and flavor preservation. There are only 2 plastic vaporizers that score high on both safety and vapor quality, and those are the MIGHTY and CRAFTY, but both of them are quite a bit more expensive than the Arizer Solo 2.
The bottom line is:
The Arizer Solo 2 looks and feels premium, is sturdy as hell and uses high-level/high-quality materials both on the inside and outside.
Portability is not an area where Arizer portables ever shined. And the Arizer Solo 2 is no different, except in 1 area:
The battery-life: it’s insane.
But first, let's talk about its size and weight.
Size & weight
The Arizer Solo 2 is quite bulky for a portable vaporizer, and can definitely not be qualified as a true pocket-vape.
To compare: it’s not as big as the MIGHTY (to be fair, the MIGHTY is probably the biggest and bulkiest portable vaporizer), and it does physically fit in my pocket. But it's quite a bit bigger than most other portable vaporizers.
Keeping the Arizer Solo 2 in your pocket isn't very comfortable and this mostly has to do with its weight. It’s a very heavy vaporizer because it operates on a big and powerful battery.
Here are its exact dimensions:
- 4.5 x 1.7 x 1 inches (11.4 x 4.3 x 2.5 cm)
Its weight is:
- 7.4 oz (210g)
This is quite heavy for a portable vaporizer, and one of the reasons why it can't be qualified as a pocket-vape.
Discreetness of design
Discreetness and the Arizer Solo 2 are somewhat opposites. Different factors:
- Its size;
- The long glass stem;
- Its shape,
All contribute to the fact that it's hard to hide that you're vaping while using the Arizer Solo 2, or even hide the exact purpose of the device you're carrying around. Don’t even try to be stealthy with Solo 2, because you can’t.
The Arizer Solo 2 emits an average smell. The smell it emits will be stronger in closed or small spaces. And outdoors, anyone standing next to you will probably smell what you’re doing.
Don’t think you can vape secretly inside a toilet, thinking that no one will notice. In closed spaces like toilets, it will emit a noticeable smell.
If for whatever reason you absolutely need to be as stealthy as possible, keep the temperature low (below 356°F/180°C). This definitely helps with reducing the smell.
The original Arizer Solo is known for its long battery life.
The battery life of the Arizer Solo 2 is the longest of any portable vaporizer (yes, even longer than the Flowermate or the PAX 3).
What else can you expect with a 3400 mAh battery?
Here’s how long it will last you in a single charge:
- 2-3 hours, which equals to 10-20 sessions (depending on if you like short or long sessions).
Since the battery is not easily replaceable (you'll need to open your Arizer Solo 2 and replace it yourself), I highly recommend prolonging the battery's lifetime to the best of your ability.
Here are some tips on how to do that:
When you first get your Arizer solo 2, make sure to charge it fully before using it. This way you'll activate the battery to its full potential.
And if you want to prolong its lifetime, charge it often, but only charge it up to 70-80% and never let the battery completely die before you initiate the charge-up.
The heating element and air path
Let’s recap what the Solo 2 is made of:
- Ceramic (the heating element);
- Stainless steel (the bowl), and;
- Glass (the bowl and stem).
From a safety perspective, all these materials are completely fine.
Ceramic does get advertised as the safest material to be used in a heating element. And while it is safe when of the right quality and design, which I think is the case with any of the Arizer vaporizers, it’s not necessarily safer than an aluminum heating element.
The safest way for a heating element to operate is when it’s encapsulated by glass, like with the VapeXhale Cloud EVO. This way there is no chance of anything off-gassing or polluting your vapor, at least when we're talking about the heating element.
But even heating elements that aren't encapsulated by glass can be perfectly safe and function without any off-gassing. As of now (2019), we don't have any reason to think that the Arizer Solo 2's heating element is dangerous or off-gassing any chemicals.
The bowl that’s on the top of the vaporizer in which you have to click the stem, is made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is perfectly safe as long as you don’t let any resin build up over longer periods of time (resin can corrode metal if left alone too long).
If you're really paranoid, there is a way to operate the Arizer Solo 2 operate such that your herb isn’t touching the steel bowl. You do this by putting herb in the bowl of the glass stem, and compressing it slightly so it doesn't fall down into the stainless steel bowl. An added benefit of this method of packing is that you’ll have more convection vs conduction heating as well, which is better for flavor and efficiency.
Just make sure to always keep the stainless-steel part of your bowl clear of any resin. Resin is acidic and can potentially have corrosive effects on steel in the long term with constant exposure. And if safety is a top priority to you, just eliminate any risk by keeping your bowl clean.
About the glass stem:
Glass is the safest and most inert material of all materials that can be used in a vaporizer. And with the glass stem being a large part of your vapor path, 90% of the vapor path is made from glass.
Air passing over the electronics
Initial user tests have shown that there is air passing through some electronic parts of the Arizer Solo 2.
Especially over some plastic cables, and they are near the heater. But it seems the heater is very well isolated and I doubt whether the plastic cables get hot enough for any off-gassing. But still, this could definitely be an issue if you're obsessed with health.
And it breaks my heart because I LOVE this vape, but this is exactly the reason why I wouldn’t recommend it to you if safety is a top priority for you.
Next up the…
Vapor Potency (9)
If you're looking for a powerful vaporizer, the Arizer Solo 2 definitely fits the bill.
Even though the original Arizer Solo and Arizer Air did pretty well for themselves in this area, the Arizer Solo 2 improved leaps and bounds in this area.
The Arizer Solo 2 produces huge and milky hits that hit like a truck, and does it almost as consistently as the MIGHTY (the MIGHTY is the most consistent portable vaporizer that I've ever used).
You can clearly see this looking at the temperature-meter of the Arizer Solo 2 when taking strong, long-drawn-out hits: the Solo 2 doesn’t drop in temperature. This shows this vape’s heater is really, really powerful, and very consistent in keeping the temperature in the right spot, no matter how you use the Arizer Solo 2.
For comparison purposes: the clouds that the Arizer Solo 2 produces come close to clouds of the Boundless CFX, CRAFTY, and MIGHTY (these 3 vapes are the hardest-hitting portable vaporizers).
It seems in portable vaporizer-land, hybrid vaporizers are the hardest hitting vaporizers. The Arizer Solo 2 is mostly a conduction vape with a little bit of convection heating depending on if you use the glass bowl (inside the mouthpiece) or the stainless steel bowl. Since most people use the Arizer Solo 2 with the regular stainless steel bowl, for most people the Arizer Solo 2 will be a conduction vaporizer. But this doesn't take away anything from its power: no matter what bowl you put your herb, the Arizer Solo 2 produces impressive and hard-hitting clouds.
And you don't have to rip your Arizer Solo 2 either. You can also sip it slowly on lower temperature settings for a true connoisseur's experience.
If you want to go for those huge rips hits, you’ll be glad to know that attaching the Solo 2 to a bubbler is easy. I highly recommend getting a bubbler if you like to vape at high temperatures.
With a bubbler, you can 2-3 monster rips and completely obliterate your bowl.
The bottom line is:
If you’re looking for a portable heavy hitter, the Solo 2 will 100% fulfill your needs.
Tip: If you attach the glass stem immediately onto the bowl, while the Solo 2 is heating up, you will get more potent hits starting from the first draw.
Vapor Flavor (9)
One of the strong points of the original Arizer Solo, is the flavor of the first few hits.
When it first came out in 2012, the taste was better than almost all portable vaporizers. And even to this day, the flavor of these first few hits is up there with the best tasting portable vaporizers like the Firefly 2.
The glass stem definitely contributed to this.
But here’s the catch with the flavor of the original Arizer Solo:
After these first few hits with the original Solo, the flavor deteriorates quite noticeably. Not in a dramatic way, but enough that you will distinctly notice it.
Also on the highest temperature settings, the flavor tends to be harsh with the original Solo.
So how does the Solo 2 compare?
Here’s the good news:
The flavor doesn’t deteriorate anymore with Solo 2. That amazing taste of ‘first few hits’, continues way deeper into your session than before.
This means the Arizer Solo 2 is up there with the best of the best in terms of flavor like the Firefly 2 and the MIGHTY (the Firefly 2 is still King though IMO!).
Then for the bad news:
On the highest temperatures, the vapor still is harsh. It might be too harsh if you consistently vape at those high temperatures, that's why I recommend getting a bubbler if you're a high-temperature vaper.
You already know the Solo 2 is a hybrid vaporizer, which means it’s a combination of convection and conduction heating.
Generally speaking, convection is better for efficiency than conduction for all 3 types of efficiency:
- Threshold-efficiency (what’s the minimum amount of herb you need to produce proper vapor);
- Session-efficiency (how much herb gets baked and potentially wasted while you’re not drawing);
- Extraction-efficiency (how even and how quick do the goods get extracted out of your bowl).
Well, as it turns out:
The Arizer Solo 2 is super-efficient in all 3 of these 3 different types of efficiency.
You can easily micro-dose, you can get proper hits with just 0.05 grams of herb.
You can take pauses during your vaping session without wasting noticeable amounts of herb.
And you don’t need to stir or go for long drawn out sessions to extract everything out of your herb. The ABV is very evenly cooked and as said before, you can obliterate a full bowl in just 2-3 drawn-out hits.
Ease of Use (8.5)
One of the things that I LOVED about the original Solo, is that it was truly a simple and straightforward vaporizer.
Just get your herb in, turn on the temperature, wait until it's heated, and start drawing.
No special drawing techniques, no stirring, no excessive cleaning…just simple.
The Arizer Solo 2 definitely continued this trend and even improved in some areas.
Besides the general tips on using any vaporizer, I don’t have many tips to optimize the performance of the Arizer Solo 2.
If you forgot these general tips let’s recap quickly:
- Since it’s a hybrid vaporizer, mostly leaning towards conduction, grind your herb between medium and fine;
- Pack your bowl loosely compressed;
- Draw slowly and controlled for at least 5-10 seconds;
- Use the right temperature for your desired effect.
If you want to skew the heating mechanism more towards conduction-style heating for whatever reason, simply pack your herb inside the stainless-steel bowl instead of the bowl at the bottom of the glass stem.
I’m not sure why you would want this other than testing things out like going for as big as possible hits or taste the difference between conduction and convection…because if you do this, you will risk heating your herb unevenly (herb at the bottom of the stainless-steel bowl will get cooked harder than herb elsewhere).
One small but noteworthy improvement over the original Solo are the buttons:
They’re easier to use.
This is where the Solo 2 hugely improved over the original one.
The original Solo had quite some draw-resistance. It was borderline annoying…and especially in this day and age with tons of options for free-flowing vaporizers like the MIGHTY….
You could wonder…
Why go for a vape which when you use it, feels like sucking through a narrow straw?
Well, you don’t have to worry about this with Solo 2.
I wouldn’t say it’s completely free-flowing like the MIGHTY, but it comes close.
There’s only one part which leads to cleaning downtime: the glass stem.
Resin does build up over time and to keep the taste clean, you need to keep your stem clean.
The stainless-steel bowl needs to be kept clean as well, but that costs you literally 30 seconds:
Just brush it out after every session and clean it with an ISO alcohol-dipped Q-Tip every couple of sessions. If any resin has been building up there, clean it up with an ISO alcohol-dipped Q-Tip.
There's nothing else left to clean.
Temperature Control (9.5)
Vaporizers can have 3 different types of temperature control:
If you want full control over the effects of your vapor, you’re going to need a vape with precise temperature control.
Guess which vape fulfills that requirement: the Arizer Solo 2.
Lately, the trend in vaporizer-land, with the newest vaporizers, has been to force the user to use a phone app to control the temperature.
I don’t like this trend and I’m glad Arizer kept this functionality on the unit itself. The temperature is controllable with the buttons on the unit.
You also get a wide range of temperatures:
- 120°F – 428°F (50°C – 220°C);
This means you’ll even be able to vape some well-known herbs with a low boiling point like Lavender or Lemon Balm.
If you’re mainly looking for light effects and smooth flavor, don’t go higher with the temperature than 356°F(180°C).
And if you’re looking for those dense, milky clouds that will send you to a different world, go for at least 392°F(200°C).
When you want to learn everything there’s to know about vaping temperatures, check out this guide:
What about the heat-up time?
Well, the original Solo was slow. But the Arizer Solo 2 is fast. It heats up in 20-30 seconds.
Reputation and Reliability (9)
Arizer has been around for a long time and is one of the companies which strongly contributed to making vaporizers more mainstream.
Arizer is known for:
- Great quality products, for a modest price, and;
- Stellar customer service.
The original Arizer Solo is the most reliable portable vaporizer there is. That beast of a vape lasts 5+ years easily. This does not necessarily mean the Arizer Solo 2 will be the same, but looking at Arizer’s track record we can cautiously assume it will be.
Except for the warranty on the heating element, which is for a lifetime, the warranty is not that special:
- 2-year warranty on workmanship and defects, and;
- 1-year warranty on the battery.
Pros and Cons & Conclusion
The Arizer Solo 2 is a beast of a vaporizer. I currently (2019) rate it as the best value for money vaporizer.
It improved in literally every area a vaporizer can be rated on compared to the original Arizer Solo (except for reliability because too soon to talk about that).
I highly recommend the Arizer Solo 2. It’s a worthy sequel to one of the most successful portable vaporizers of all times: the Arizer Solo.
If you’re someone who:
- Has a high tolerance;
- Is looking to quit smoking joints/blunts, or;
- Needs a reliable daily driver for a modest price,
The Arizer Solo 2 is an amazing pick.
Where to buy the Arizer Solo 2:
Arizer Solo 2 Tips and Tricks
How to grind your herb:
For best results:
Grind your herb between medium and fine.
This generally works best for hybrid vaporizers.
If you’re looking for a grinder I would recommend a nice 2-piece Space Case Grinder.
How to pack your bowl:
Pack it loosely compressed. And only pack the bowl which is at the bottom of your glass stem.
Don’t pack the stainless-steel bowl on top of your unit because this is too close to the heater (unless you want conduction heating with uneven cooking).
How to draw:
I like to take slow, long, and controlled sips.
But there isn’t any specific draw-technique which works better.
How to Attach a Bubbler to the Arizer Solo 2:
If you want to go for them huge milky hits, without burning your throat…
Any type of water filtration will be highly helpful.
Attaching the Arizer Solo 2 to a water filtration system or a bubbler is in fact, extremely easy and convenient.
All you need is a simple filtration system like the:
Or a cheap and effective bubbler like the:
And if you get a bubbler, an 18mm GonG to connect your Solo 2 to your bubbler, like: