Vape cartridges are one of the hottest offerings in the cannabis market for their ease of use, discrete nature, and portability. Progress in extraction techniques has enabled some truly stunning products to make it to cartridge form these days, attracting more serious cannabis connoisseurs to the vaping fold. Furthermore, vape cartridges are widely available, even in medicinal cannabis markets that do not allow smoking flower. Hitting this trifecta of appeal, to smokers old, new and in-between, has made vaping the largest expanding area of cannabis. For many newer cannabis consumers, vaping is the primary and preferred method of consumption.
In response to vaping popularity, the market has been flooded with generic 510 batteries, most looking like some variation of a ballpoint pen. Many of us have had one, and subsequently lost or broken it. When the Flagship Vessel vapes came across the review desk, we were eager to see what an elevated offering in the vaping space could do. How did Vessel hold up? We charged ours up and took them for a spin to find out.
The Vessel vape collection produced smooth, satisfying clouds, no doubt helped by the unique airflow design. Some vapes can feel like sucking on a thin straw; this felt more like taking a nice hit. One reviewer said it improved their experience with a budget-priced cartridge they were using on a generic battery previously. We appreciated the automatic shutoff feature helping to keep your battery lasting, and the lights hit a nice balance between being easy to see and easy to cover up with a finger for discrete hits. Also one of our favorite features was that the lights act as a battery indicator, so there’s no dealing with the surprise death that we’ve all been bummed by on generic vape batteries. The battery on the Vessel never gets the oils too hot and you don’t get that burnt flavor towards the end of the cartridge. For heavier consumers that like to take big rips, the tempered voltage keeps things smooth and tasty throughout.
Ease of Use
In terms of usability, the three-level heat settings will be intuitive to anyone who’s picked up a vape battery in the last few years, and just as easy to learn for newcomers. For anyone vaping rosin or other high-end carts, smooth heat distribution and ability to adjust temperature is crucial, and the Vessel delivered wonderfully. The recessed button finds your finger easily, and will keep it from being activated accidentally in a pocket (though it might be difficult for anyone with fine-motor skill issues, or in thick gloves).
The magnetic charger is a breeze, and if you’ve sprung for the charging stand, the convenience factor is hard to beat. Not only will it keep your vape upright to keep oils even in the cartridge, the drop-it-and-forget-it factor is really nice. Though their site mentions a few cartridge models that might not work on the Vessel, we were not able to find a single cart that didn’t fit or hit wonderfully. You might have to take the metal sleeve off to fit some of the non-standard sized carts (we tried one with a hexagonal bracket on either end that wouldn’t fit in the enclosure), but those are a rare exception, and it was nice to have the option to throw any cart on it.
Sleek, elegant and substantive, the Vessel is the most Cadillac-like of vape pens we’ve come across. The parts are very high quality. The metal sleeve that the vape fits into makes it look natural and discreet. You never realize until you’ve experienced it, but the small difference of covering a naked vape cartridge can go a long way in making the vape experience feel more sophisticated. It also has utility, to keep those precious glass cartridges safe. Anyone who has discovered a crushed glass cartridge on the ski lift knows the distinct sinking feeling. The colors are vivid, and don’t smudge easily thanks to the matte finish. The lights are soft, and won’t blind you at night like some other pens can. It’s the kind of vape you’d imagine a movie star hitting, with one reviewer even joking, “I don’t feel fancy enough for this vape.”
If we could, we’d label this section price, because the value is there. For the aficionado, or anyone more style-conscious, a Vessel vape is the type of thing you’d be proud to show off. However, for the moderate vape user, this might be a bit above their price range. We certainly saw a spectrum of response from the review team, with those who vaped more stating that they were more likely to spend on a quality piece. The $79 price tag is not a casual investment. However, the wood on wood editions gives an especially refined air, and feels deserving of the higher price tag. The heft, quality and sturdiness of all the Vessel devices speak to that as well. The charger is proprietary, so if you lose it, you’ll have to order another from the company, but it is more convenient and easy to use than any other vape charger we’ve seen. Overall the pen has a very “Apple factor” feel, where you might be paying a bit more, and are locked into a device ecosystem, but the overall higher quality and user experience might outweigh the price. You’ll probably want to grab a carrying case to protect such a nice vape, but that also makes the initial investment a little more. If you’re someone dropping $60-$100 on a rosin cartridge regularly, this feels like a no-brainer.
The Vessel is designed for anyone looking to elevate their cartridge experience beyond the usual. Though it has some of the same features you’d find on a more generic pen, they are all executed slightly better and substantially more refined. The unit is well designed and is built using premium parts. The wood is real wood; the metal is thicker and sturdier than anything else we’ve seen. In the end, you get what you pay for and this vape could last you for many years of use. If you tend to misplace your vape pens somewhat regularly, you might want to consider a lower price option, but if you’re looking to invest in a quality vape, look no further than Vessel.
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