The Solo 2 is one of the most well-known portable vaporizers on the market from one of the biggest vaporizer brands around, but does it still hold up?
Arizer Solo 2 Highlights
- Massive battery life
- Glass vapor path
- Excellent reliability
What is the Arizer Solo 2?
The Solo 2 is a portable vaporizer from the Canadian company Arizer. It primarily leverages conduction heating to provide vapor directly via glass tubes which are directly loaded and inserted into the device. Arizer has been making high-quality vaporizers for many years, including the original Solo, which you’ll still occasionally see in the hands of die-hard fans.
Using the Solo 2 for the First Time
If it’s your first time using the Solo 2, be sure to give it a full charge before starting. While it may come with a little charge out of the box, it’ll help ensure you’re getting the best experience off the bat. It’s also worth giving the device a dry run with no material and the cap open for an entire heat cycle until it turns off automatically to help remove any residue from the manufacturing process. While Arizer has good quality control, this is always something you should do, and ideally, you can even give the chamber a wipe-down with some alcohol wipes.
How to Use the Arizer Solo 2
- Press the middle “M” button and the up button simultaneously until the Solo 2 turns on (6 seconds by default). If you’ve done it right, you’ll see the Arizer smile and hear a beep.
- To initiate heating, press the up or down button once. Then, further presses up or down can adjust the heat to your preferred setting. If you are unsure what to set in terms of temperature, the default setting is a good place to start, but a little lower, if you want to get started a little softer, will be just fine as well.
- Load some material into the end of either glass aroma tube and place it inside the heater. You can insert a tube before heating or after, whichever you prefer. The tube will preheat a little while the oven is heating. However, as the Solo 2 heats quite rapidly, it won’t make a huge difference either way.
- Inhale and enjoy! When you are no longer experiencing any noticeable vapor production, you may find increasing the temperature will extract a little more depending on what temperature you started your session.
- Once your session is complete holding the “M” button for a few seconds will turn off the vaporizer. It will also shut off automatically if left running too long.
Changing Arizer Solo 2 Settings
Pressing the “M” button while the device is turned on will take you through various menu settings. There is nothing too scary in there as it’s mostly pretty straightforward things like adjusting the auto-shutoff timer, notification beef volume, and the screen brightness, so don’t be too afraid of making adjustments. To change specific settings, use the up and down buttons with the setting selected to switch through the available options.
Loading the Arizer Solo 2
When you’re first getting familiar with the Solo 2, you may find yourself a little unsure of the best way to pack the stem, but there are a few things you can do to make it a little easier to get it just right.
One approach is the straw technique, where you place the stem into your ground material and softly inhale, sucking some material into the bowl. Another easy option is to push your glass stem into your ground material and softly twist it. Once your stem is loaded with material, lightly tamp it down with your finger so that the level is below the bottom rim of the tube to avoid any material touching the oven directly when inserted.
It can also be beneficial to tap off any loose crumbs as these can fall into the oven and char a little bit; this can be largely avoided by avoiding too fine of a grind. You can even avoid grinding at all, but when loading chunks of flower directly, it will be a little harder to ensure you are getting adequate airflow, so there’s a bit of a trade-off there when going that route. Using a medium grind is sufficient, or something more on the coarse side of things will be even better if possible.
How much does the Arizer Solo 2 Cost?
The retail price for the Solo 2 is around $189. However, it can be frequently picked up at a considerable discount, so it’s worth your time shopping around. It also tends to end up in some great combo deals and other things from time to time. You get a tremendously well-rounded and reliable vaporizer with everything you need to dive in. It’s hard to argue with the price, and it becomes even easier to recommend when it's on sale or combined in another deal that adds additional value.
Is the Arizer Solo 2 Well Built?
When looking at the Solo 2, you’d be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t the most aesthetically dramatic device you’ve ever seen. However, Arizer has managed to create something that, while simplistic in its visual design, is very well-built and highly reliable. Practicality is king here, and that’s just fine as it delivers on that impression in more ways than one.
Care is clearly taken when manufacturing the Solo 2. Everything coming out of the box feels polished, which is something you don’t often get in the price range this device usually occupies. Tolerances are fantastic across everything included with the device, and even the glass parts are of respectable quality, which is something you don’t always see. You are unlikely to find any irregular rough edges or anything as even the smaller additions like the tube caps don’t show any signs of quality control lacking, which is usually an obvious giveaway for this kind of thing.
Even the unboxing experience is rather nice, but a minor gripe some of you may have if you’re someone that likes to store your vaporizer back in the box is that while the tiny boxes for individual parts provide a great first impression, packing things back into the original box can be a little challenging.
What Comes in the Box?
- Portable Micro-Heater
- Charger / Power Adapter
- Glass Aroma Tube (90mm)
- Glass Aroma Tube (110mm)
- Glass Aroma Dish
- PVC Travel Tube w/Cap (90mm Size)
- PVC Travel Tube w/Cap (110mm Size)
- PVC Travel Tube w/Cap Aroma Dish Size
- Belt-Clip Carry Case
- Silicone Stem Caps
- Stainless Steel Filter Screens (x4)
- Stainless Steel Stirring Tool
- Aromatic Botanicals Sample (not in all regions)
Can you use the Arizer Solo 2 with a Water Pipe? You can indeed use the Solo 2 with a water pipe, bubbler, etc. However, this isn’t provided in the out-of-the-box experience and will require the purchase of an optional water pipe adapter (WPA). Thankfully, these are reasonably priced and readily available from Arizer and most retailers stocking the Solo II.
If you find the airflow limited when using the Solo II with a water pipe, you can increase the airflow quite significantly by lifting the adapter slightly away from the bottom of the oven in the heater. As a result, you can have a relatively good experience combing the Solo 2 with water cooling, and it’s great that this is an option for those looking for a little more flexibility when using their vaporizer.
Is the Arizer Solo 2 Portable?
The Solo 2 and most other Arizer portable vaporizers (excluding the ArGo) provide reasonable levels of portability. Still, they all suffer from one of the things that actually makes them great to use, the glass vapor tube. While you can pretty easily slip the Solo 2 into a moderately sized pocket, the problem is you’ve still got to carry around a glass tube, which, as you can imagine, isn’t the most rugged thing in the world, even though they are made well in this case. The glass vapor path is one of the things to love about the Solo 2, but it just doesn’t make it super easy to throw in your pocket and head out for the day.
The design itself poses a few challenges in terms of portability. Still, Arizer goes to decent lengths to make this experience a little better for those that need portability by providing a belt clip case and caps for the tubes so they can easily be loaded up and taken with you without being loaded into the device. However, all of this requires a little extra effort. The included case is also fine, but a different format that’s a little more casual would have been nice; it does look a little utilitarian. However, if you’re someone that ends up loving the Solo 2, you’ll learn to look past these minor issues. It’s by no means horrible for portable use, just not as convenient as some alternatives, and that includes some of Arizers other devices, such as the ArGo or even the Air Max, with its slightly smaller form factor helping it out a little.
Does the Arizer Solo 2 have Good Battery Life?
Battery life with the Solo 2 is exceptional. It can literally clock in around 3 hours of run time which is frankly absurd (in the best possible way) for a portable vaporizer. With vaporizers costing much more than this one commonly only achieving around an hour, this is really an exceptional plus for the Solo 2.
However, when talking about Solo 2 battery life, there is a couple of downsides. Firstly, the charger. There’s no USB to be found here, so you’re left with a bit of a chunky wall unit with a barrel plug, nothing crazy, but nothing that you’re likely going to want to drag around with you. Secondly, the charge times aren’t super fast, so you can expect around 3 hours for a full charge. While both of these are certainly not ideal and do slightly let down the potential of this device, it’s easy to ignore, given the battery life is likely to last out the day for most users easily. So provided you don’t forget to put it on charge at night and don’t misplace the charger in that cable tub nightmare we all have somewhere, you’ll be just fine.
Is the Arizer Solo 2 Easy to Clean?
Cleaning the Solo 2 is very easy. As most of the residue will accumulate in the glass tubes, this makes cleaning it pretty straightforward. Some vaporizers can be quite challenging to clean, with vapor contacting many different parts of the device. Yet, the design of the Solo 2 makes cleaning a pretty problem-free experience, which at the end of the day just makes it easier to avoid putting off, and if anything, given the residue is very evident due to the glass, will help motivate you a little more to keep it clean avoiding that out of sight out of mind mentality that’s easy to fall into at times.
How to Clean the Arizer Solo 2
- Separate the stem from the device if you haven’t already
- Using a cotton bud wet with a bit of isopropyl alcohol or an alcohol wipe, clean the walls of the heating chamber to remove any built-up residue
- In a similar fashion, wipe out or rinse your glass stems with isopropyl alcohol or, in a pinch, some warm water
- Ensure the heating chamber and the stem are completely dry before using the device again. It is also a good idea to run the device briefly without any material to help reduce the risk of missing a little moisture or alcohol left over from the cleaning process.
Can the Arizer Solo 2 Produce Good Vapor?
The glass vapor path provides unfettered flavor, which is the first thing you’ll notice if you’re coming from a vaporizer with a more obstructed vapor path or one made with other materials. Vapor production is also quite good, it’s by no means extreme, but this isn’t really what you should expect from a vaporizer like this one. Performance is solid, and you can go back to it again and again for a great experience. If you’re someone that enjoyed longer, laid-back sessions, the Solo 2 should make you pretty happy.
The addition of the longer glass stem is a welcome one, so if you’re finding your hits a little warm with the smaller stem, you’re covered. However, the smaller stem shouldn’t bother most people either, and it’s sufficiently long that you shouldn’t find yourself struggling to use it. As for which is best, it’s purely a preferential thing, try both and see where you land. Arizer also sells a curved stem; this is worth checking out if you’re looking for something even smoother without going the water cooling route.
For those looking for fast extraction and high-airflow clouds, there are other vaporizers that are more suited, but if you want someone that values taste, consistency, and enjoys a relaxing session, the Solo 2 will provide just that.
Is the Arizer Solo 2 Good for Microdosing
The Solo 2 is a great device for more casual vapers that often have lower tolerances or just those that prefer to keep their sessions to a minimum, or even just a hit or two. One of the best ways to microdose with the Solo 2 is to start by pre-heating it, placing your packed tube into the oven for a quick hit, and then removing it again. If you’re sitting at your desk or have another flat surface handy, it’s easy to turn your stem upside down and let it rest until you’re ready to go back again for a little more. If you’re on the go and can’t keep removing the packed tube, lifting it away from the oven just slightly will assist it in cooling down a little quicker, which you should find is a sufficient alternative to completely removing it.
One of the challenges many portable vaporizers face when attempting to use them for microdosing is that the oven can cook your material if it retains too much heat after turning it off. However, as you can remove the tubes, and they cool down relatively quickly, this isn’t an issue for the Solo 2 and makes it an excellent choice for microdosing, especially with the smaller but still decently sized bowl.
Can you use Concentrates with the Arizer Solo 2?
Using concentrates with the Solo 2 is not recommended, nor is it practical for a variety of reasons. However, if you’re just aiming to add a little extra something to your flower, you’ll be able to get away with sandwiching a little in the middle; just be sure you’re using a minimal amount as you really don’t want it melting into your oven and potentially into the device itself.
In short, if you’re a regular concentrate user, this isn’t the vaporizer for you, but if you just find yourself giving your flower a nudge from time to time with a little extra something, you’ll be fine; just approach doing so with care.
Is the Arizer Solo 2 Good for Beginners?
If you’re looking for something you can safely recommend as a first vaporizer for a family member or friend that is new to vaping, the Solo 2 is an excellent choice. So often, it can be challenging to find vaporizers to recommend to people in situations like that, which are reasonably priced while still being reliable and easy to use; this ticks all those boxes quite well.
So if you want something to recommend that should be easy enough to manage, even for older people in your life that may struggle a little with technology, they should be able to wrap their head around using and maintaining the Solo 2 quite quickly.
Arizer Solo 2 Pros
- Fast heat-up time (~20 seconds)
- Impressive battery life
- Excellent tasting vapor
Arizer Solo 2 Cons
- Not the most portable
- No USB charging
- Relatively restrictive airflow
Is the Arizer Solo 2 Worth Buying?
While the Solo 2 isn’t the newest vaporizer on the market, it’s still extremely popular because it does a lot of things right. It’s just a solid device that is easy to recommend to someone unsure where to start. While it lacks some of the bells and whistles you can see with some more expensive vaporizers, you really aren’t left missing out on anything crucial, everything you need to get vaping is provided, and it just works again and again.
If you’re a first-time vaper or someone with a lower tolerance, this device is even more well-suited due to the more relaxed approach to extraction. Of course, there are plenty of other options for people looking for aggressive vaporizers with rapid extraction and massive chamber capacity. But, for just about everyone else, the Solo 2 is a fantastic option, especially if you’re looking for something you can depend on daily and integrate into your routine.