The successor to the wildly popular Puffco Peak just dropped: the Puffco Peak Pro. From a distance, the Pro looks strikingly similar to the original Peak, but it’s been improved in almost every area. We spent a few weeks with the new Peak Pro, and are ready to give you our full review of this outstanding e-rig. Let’s see how it stacks up, and if it’s worth your hard earned $400.
Safe, tasty dabs
In case you missed it, the Peak Pro is the latest and greatest portable e-rig (electronic dab rig), a new category of concentrate vaporizer ushered in by the original Puffco Peak in early 2018. Portable e-rigs liberated connoisseur dabs from dedicated stations plugged into the wall to a palm-sized vape you can pass around the couch. The Puffco Peak Pro delivers tasty dabs anywhere in well under a minute, with no dangerous hot spots or flames.
Puffco Peak Pro Review: Almost perfect
The original Puffco Peak nailed it right out of the gate, and the Pro model addresses any shortcomings I could think of. The power management is better everywhere, and the fragile heating chamber has been strengthened and improved. My only complaint is the ceramic cup in the new chamber isn’t removable. When it stains, I won’t be able to clean it with a torch, or replace it with a new cup.
Durable, high-tech heating chamber
The biggest problem with the original Peak was the fragile heater, but this chamber is built to last. Puffco fixed it with a solid state design (it doesn’t come apart), but in doing so created a different limitation. Dabbing is, by nature, a messy process, and the ceramic cup is doomed to get dirty. Since we can’t replace the cup or remove it to torch it clean, we’re left with solvents and cleaners that have limited effectiveness.
If you want a pristine chamber, swab it clean after every dab, and soak it in alcohol as soon as it starts to discolor. I didn’t swab mine for a few dabs, and it’s a mess. Luckily, I don’t care, but I know some of you will, and it could cost you a new $60 heating chamber to correct it.
The improved heating chamber, also known as the atomizer, is 40% bigger than the original Peak. This sounds great, even though the old heater was already bigger than other e-rigs. I found this helped the oils boil off the bottom better, instead of gathering in the corners - a big win!
Finally, the Peak Pro heating chamber reads the temperature in real time and adjusts to your draw speed and hit size. Personally, I thought the original Peak was one of the best e-rigs at hitting and sustaining specific temperatures, so I didn’t see a noticeable improvement here. The reality is, the ceramic cup takes a little time to heat up and cool down, and I don’t think temperature monitoring in this setting does much for the typical ten second hit. If you tend to stretch your draws out beyond that, you might appreciate the extra control.
The bottom line is this heating chamber is much improved, but now you can’t affordably replace the cup when it gets stained.
Every power upgrade imaginable
Puffco seems to have thought of everything when it comes to powering the Peak Pro. Battery life is pretty good with 30 dabs per charge (we got 29 in our first test). Add USB-C and wireless charging, and you’re set. Spring for the extra Charging Dock and you could get 100 dabs before running dry.
My single biggest gripe about the original Peak was the omission of an auto-shutoff feature. It seemed like the charge in my Peak would never last through a night, as the battery drained when I forgot to power it down. Not only did Puffco fix this with the Dock, but what was a weakness is now a strength. I love wireless charging with my e-rigs.
Oculus carb cap
The new Oculus carb cap is pretty cool. It’s easier to use than traditional directional carb caps that require twisting to keep the oils from collecting in the corners. The Oculus cap has a glass top you can look through, and an air inlet that mimics directional carb caps without the fuss! It also has a built-in tether to hold the cap in place while you load it.
The only downside is the view isn’t all I’d hoped for. I love watching herbs and concentrates vaporize in a glass chamber - it can be mesmerizing! But the Oculus cap doesn’t show me all the action. It takes more lighting and magnification to get the gorgeous shots in Puffco marketing, and oils stick to the glass and obscure the view almost immediately once they vaporize.
Other than that, everything about the new carb cap is a welcome improvement.
Max control with the app
For deeper control, the Peak Pro has a smartphone app that’s available on Android through the Play Store, but requires a very simple workaround for iPhone users. On iPhone, I installed a Bluetooth enabled browser (Path Browser), navigated to a Puffco website (www.puffco.app), and it worked perfectly. The downside is Apple users need to have an internet connection for it to work, while Android users can enjoy the standalone app with just Bluetooth.
I’m pretty impressed with the smartphone app for the Peak Pro. It took me weeks to settle in and fully explore everything, but at no point was I overwhelmed with options. I like to use vaporizer apps with a set-it-and-forget-it attitude, usually tweaking my vape once and never coming back. The Peak Pro app worked perfectly in this respect, but was also intriguing enough to keep me coming back without feeling like I had to.
I tweaked every temperature setting, the boost time and temps, and the light effects. Afterward, I didn’t need the app at all. But I still used it on occasion to monitor hits and battery life. This is how an app should be. Everything I really need is accessible directly on the Peak Pro, while the app gives me luxury features I couldn’t otherwise have. Well done!
Familiar, updated style
The original Peak and the Peak Pro are clearly siblings. In fact, it could be hard to distinguish the two from across the room. The Pro’s glass is a little slimmer, and the curves between different finishes are slightly different. The overall shape and colors are the same, with matte finishes replacing the shiny ones. The power button is easier to press, and the light has moved from the front to the back. At the end of the day, the original Peak was beautiful, so fewer changes are better here.
Hard shell travel case and new accessories
The Peak Pro travel case has been improved, as well. It’s still a hard-shell case, but is easier to use with a magnetic clasp and a handle on top. Inside are two storage compartments for cotton swabs, the power cord, and a couple small accessories. The Peak Pro slides into a custom fit mold, and you don’t have to take the glass off this time around (like the original Peak travel case). There are two more slots for the dab tool and the carb cap. Once again, Puffco has improved something that was already really good!
A couple more accessories are available out of the gate. The Travel Pack comes with an extra oculus carb cap and tether (already in the Peak Pro package), a curved silicone mouthpiece, and a backpack that slides over the glass and holds cotton swabs. I love the curved mouthpiece, but don’t use the backpack much. (Maybe that’s why my atomizer got stained easily!)
The standout accessory is the new Power Dock. It charges up via USB-C, and charges the Peak Pro either wirelessly or through a USB-C cable. I got one full charge from it wirelessly, and about one and a half charges through the cable. But that’s not all the dock does. It’s shaped to cradle your Peak Pro and hold it in place, even while picking it up by the Peak Pro glass.
Would you like your Peak to start heating up as soon as you pull it from the dock? Ready Mode can do that for you. The dock can even double as a traditional power bank, powering your other electronics.
Is the Peak Pro worth it?
Some will complain about a $400 price point, but I think it’s pretty reasonable. The original Peak debuted at $400 (which I thought was a little high) and recently dropped to $300 (which feels right to me), so an improved Pro model for $400 makes sense.
Purists will point to the lack of new tech with frustration, and they’re right. There’s nothing earth-shattering under the hood with the Peak Pro. It’s a simple heater under a ceramic up - nothing new like induction heating or convection dabs. But they’d miss out on the joy of older, dependable technology that’s highly refined.
Everything about the Peak has been improved for the Pro model. The glass works better, the chamber is more durable, the firmware is more accurate, and an entire suite of custom tools are at our disposal with the smartphone app. There’s a big difference between the original Peak and the Peak Pro. Expect a Peak vs Peak Pro article from us soon, but the bottom line is I think the Peak Pro is more than worth the extra $100 over the original.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Cleaning and maintenance are pretty simple, and are about what you’d expect. Swab the chamber after each dab, and soak other parts in rubbing alcohol for deeper cleanings. The real question is how important it is to you. I probably swab after every three or four dabs, and my ceramic chamber is stained from it. If you want a pristine chamber, swab after each dab.
How often you soak the chamber in rubbing alcohol will also depend on how spotless you want it. Mine is a little yellow everywhere, and I probably could have avoided that with more frequent alcohol soaks. Once it was stained, though, I found it impossible to remove. I think clean freaks will have some work cut out for them to keep it spotless. Messier people, like myself, will find a happy medium and accept some discoloration.
We’ll have a complete blog post on this later, but here are a couple things to get you going. Take advantage of the wireless charging even if you don’t have the Charging Dock. The dock is a little pricey, but the Peak Pro works with other wireless chargers, so give it a shot! Also, check out the app. You don’t have to use it to fully enjoy your Peak Pro, but I was happy with all it let me do, and I changed more settings than I thought I would.
Who’s the Puffco Peak Pro for?
Judging by the initial response, a LOT of people! It’s stylish, effective, and ahead of the pack. My only complaint is the non-removable cup. Everything else is incredibly well thought out and executed. Even the iPhone app workaround gets it done better than what other manufacturers have come up with. Honestly, if the price doesn’t discourage you, go for it. It’s almost perfect.
Who’s the Puffco Peak Pro not for?
The Peak Pro sits at the top of the price pyramid, so it’s not budget friendly by any means. It also takes longer to heat up than other e-rigs. It’s not slow, but for those that need to quickly medicate to avoid suffering, the 20 second heat up time can feel long. Clean freaks might struggle with the non-removable ceramic cup. Although it lacks some of the features of the Peak Pro, the XVAPE Vista Mini 2 heats up in just a few seconds, is a fraction of the price, and cleans up easily.
The Puffco Peak Pro has us excited. When the original Peak released, we only sold dry herb vaporizers, and we didn’t like the $400 price point. Earlier this year, we added the Puffco Plus to our catalog, and then the Peak after the price dropped to a more reasonable $300. This time around, we’ll be there from the beginning with the Peak Pro. The price makes more sense now, with all the needed improvements and the full-featured smartphone app.
This vape feels like it’s ready to pick up where the Peak left off. The market is different now, though. The Peak had no competition for a while as others caught up, but the Peak Pro will have to overcome a crowded market with lots of options, including the new Dr. Dabber Boost Evo.