Arizer Solo 2 Review (Video)
Arizer SOLO 2 REVIEW
When Arizer first released the original Solo vaporizer in 2011 it changed what we expected for taste and satisfying vapor from a portable unit. Pocketable vapes were not as advanced as they are today and the Solo wasn’t perfect, but it set a new standard. Arizer admirably carried on three years later by releasing the Arizer Air with its smaller size and replaceable batteries.
We still wanted more, and now we’ve got most of it with Arizer’s latest release, the Solo II. There are still a few features we’d like to have seen (swappable batteries!) but the Solo II is a great update on a classic that is portable but not pocketable, long lasting, powerful, and most importantly delivers excellent, tasty vapor.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Arizer just keeps pumping out cool tasty vapor from everything they make, and the Solo II carries on that tradition. The ceramic and stainless steel heating delivers pure taste and the all-glass stems protect that taste while perfectly cooling the vapor. Arizer knows vapor and you’re going to love what you get out of the Solo II!
One of the biggest knocks on the original Solo is the restricted airflow. Almost every portable vaporizer on the market has some amount of restriction to keep us from inhaling too hard and overwhelming the heater, but the original Solo has more than most. For the last six year, Arizer has been incorporating little improvements into the Solo and Air vaporizers, and one of the newest upgrades is standard on the Solo II - the recessed heat jets. They look like dimples in the bowl and increase the airflow. Not a ton, but enough for me to notice, and they really work well when I pull the stem off the bottom of the oven just a hair.
BATTERY LIFE FOR DAYS
The Solo II comes to the plate claiming three hours of runtime, or about 50% more than the original Solo. We got just under that by a hair in our testing and can confirm that this is one of the longest lasting batteries in a portable vaporizer. It takes up to three hours to fully charge, which seems like a long time, but the Solo II can be used while plugged in after just 5 to 10 minutes of charging. I could go days with this thing on a single charge.
TOTAL ON-BOARD CONTROL
Right out of the gate you’ll notice the Solo 2 has a new digital display and three front buttons that give us access to all the new features - that’s right, full on-board controls so we don’t have to use a smartphone app. The biggest addition is the full digital temperature control from 50° to 220° Celsius, or 122° to 428° Fahrenheit, that is adjustable in one or ten degree increments.
You can now adjust the auto-shutoff timer from 5 to 15 minutes to match your session preferences, and the volume of the beep indicator can be turned down or all the way off. The display brightness can also be adjusted to high, medium or low for stealth situations. The Solo II turns on just like the original, but now the length of press required to turn it on can be set to 4, 6 or 8 seconds to protect you from accidental power ons.
SIZE AND SHAPE
The Solo 2 has a slimmer profile, as Arizer redesigned the guts of the Solo II to take .25 in off the bottom depth and .375 in off the top to go with an oval shape that feels much nicer in your hand. It’s still not something you are going to throw in your pocket when you go out, but the included belt-clip carrying case makes it a better travel companion when you need it. The Solo 2 has the same height and width as the original Solo, and they moved the charging port from the bottom to the back so we can now charge it standing upright. A seemingly small change, but it's a nice improvement.
Height 4.5 in / 11.4 cm
Width 1.75 in / 4.5 cm
Depth 1.38 in / 3.5 cm at top
Depth 1.19 in / 3.0 cm at bottom
Weight 7.4 oz / 210 g
30 Sec Heat Up Time
The Solo 2 brings Arizer into a new age of portable vaporizing with a heat up time under 30 seconds from it's more powerful heater. The internals were redesigned to take up less space, and now we can use the Solo II while charging without having to buy a separate charger or wait for a ¼ charge.
The Solo 2 comes with a comprehensive warranty that should take care of you for a long time. It has a 2-year warranty on workmanship and defects, a 1-year warranty on the battery (which is as good as it gets in the industry), and a lifetime warranty on the heating element.
Like all of our products, the Solo II is covered by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
Arizer Solo II Vaporizer
FOR BEST RESULTS
Here are some general tips to get the most our of your Solo II.
- Some like to suck the herbs into the stem bowl because it’s really easy, but I think Arizer has pretty much nailed the process with their instructions and I prefer their method of plunging it into the herbs and letting it grab them. This vape excels with whole flowers as well so try putting a whole piece in there for a tastier session!
- However you pack it, the next step is to tamp the herbs until they are below the edge of the bowl. The point is to not have the herbs touching the oven when inserted or they might singe and affect the taste.
- You can either put the stem in the oven before you turn it on, while it is heating up, or after giving it a little longer to fully heat soak. The longer you leave it in the oven the thicker the first hit will be and the quicker taste will diminish.
- If you find the draw too restrictive, pack it with less herbs next time. But you can also lift the stem up just a hair so it is just above the bottom of the bowl. This will really open up the air flow, to the point where I was going slower than the top end!
- If you don’t overpack it you won’t need to stir, just keep hitting it until the vapor stops or you’ve had enough.
- Remove the stem after the session so the oven doesn’t get too dirty, and blow out the herbs in the stem...the sooner the better for cleaning purposes.
- Play with the session parameters...I changed almost all of mine! I like to change the turn-on timer to as short as possible, or 4 seconds.
CLEANING & MAINTENANCE
Cleaning is easy, especially if you don’t overpack your stems and get the bottom of the oven dirty.
- If you get the oven dirty, just lightly soak a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol (91% alcohol and up works best) and rub the dirty spots while holding the unit upside down to keep alcohol from dripping into the unit.
- Then be sure to do a couple of burn off sessions by turning the Solo II on high and letting it run until it auto-shuts off. Do this until the alcohol smell is gone because it will taste nasty if you still have any alcohol in there.
The stems will collect almost all of the oils and buildup and is where you will focus your cleaning.
- Soak the stems in isopropyl alcohol for an hour or two. I like to soak mine in a glass tray. Then rinse them in hot water until all the debris comes off.
- Repeat as necessary and rinse them thoroughly before using so you don’t get that nasty alcohol taste.
- Make sure they are dry before using.
- If you’re not a vegan and like to reclaim your oils, a cool trick is to boil the dirty stems in milk. Then you can make chocolate milk and drink it.
SOLO VS SOLO 2
The Solo 2 is smaller than the original, heats up 4 times faster, delivers 50% more battery life and gives you full on-board session controls. It also comes standard with all the little improvements made to the original Solo over the years such as the recessed heat jets. The oven and stems are the same so all the accessories for the original Solo will work with the Solo II except for some of the exotic charging stands since they moved the charging port. I found the vapor quality from both units to be indistinguishable, so if you're all about the vapor you won’t need to upgrade. But if I was in the market for a new vape, the improvements in the Solo II make it my choice unless you are trying to save a few bucks.
You should expect the Solo II to be easy to use with great vapor and all the features you wished the original had. It’s big for a portable so don’t expect it to fit in your pocket, but it works great as a cordless at home vape and perfect at a small party or with a group of friends. The bowl is on the small side so heavy users might need to go through two or three loads, but average users will get really good efficiency out of it.
WHO’S THE SOLO 2 FOR
The Solo 2 was made for anyone wanting great vapor quality in a portable unit at a reasonable price. It’s perfect for around the house, hiking, smaller parties, and the vapor quality should satisfy on a daily basis. If you’ve been waiting for the Solo to have more features, a quicker heat up time and better airflow, your wishes have been granted!
WHO’S THE SOLO 2 NOT FOR
The Solo II is not for those wanting something that fits in their pocket, and it’s not an all-in-one, pull-out-and-vape solution with its separate glass stems. Since the bowl has a volume of less than 0.15 grams, some heavy users that don't like re-loading often might prefer a vape with more capacity like the Boundless or PAX vaporizers . And if you’re all about the vapor and don’t care about heat up time, size or features, I see no need to upgrade from the original Solo.
Recently the trend has been for manufacturers to design a catalog of vapes that hit different needs instead of trying to make one that does it all. I like how Arizer is focusing on something powerful for the home, something stealthy for on the go, and something in between. The Solo II hits that in-between market like the Mighty and the Minivap for something that is portable but not pocketable, and does it really well while staying affordable.
Arizer has been listening over the years as the Solo II addresses almost every shortcoming of the original Solo. It’s smaller, has a longer battery life, heats up quicker and has features like full digital temp control. It’s still not pocket friendly, but that’s what the Arizer Air is for. The only features I wish it had are haptic feedback, replaceable batteries and a session timer display. Other than that it’s a nearly perfect redesign of a classic vape!