Portability and discretion, often the two most sought after requirements when selecting a vaporizer. Considering the amount of time spent outside the home, the needs for a portable unit has become increasingly popular. Enter the Indica Vaporizer, a new high-end portable unit which caters to enthusiasts who value build quality and sleek form factor.
Before removing the unit from its packaging, I took a moment to examine the wooden exterior. If presentation helps set the expectation level, then seeing the Indica’s lacquered wooden storage container will be the first of many smiles. I took a chance to speak with the Indica designer about the packaging. He remarked, often end-user throws away boxes, creating unnecessary waste. By choosing a wooden housing, the Indica makers help protect your unit as well as provide a ‘stash box’ for your herbs and tobacco.
Unpacking the contents, the Indica unit is the first piece of equipment inlaid on a black felt insert. While not the size of a traditional Zippo lighter you can see where the design drew inspiration. The reflective finish and minimalist product branding lend to the Indica’s appearance of an oversized lighter. To offer our readers context on size, the Indica likens more to the dimensions of a traditional cigarette pack. Using the Indica in public should not present issue as the purpose is disguised well. However, since it likens to a lighter/ drinking flask you may be questioned why you are consuming lighter fluid. Fair warning, folks. Loading the device is done through a side compartment located on the left of the device. Affixed with a magnet, the door is easily removed by pressing downward and lifting the lid up. The bowl or herb loading area is larger by portable standards holding upwards of .3 grams (tightly packed/ micro grind) when not used with a provided spacer. We recommend using .2 grams as to not impede airflow and vapor production. To accommodate users with lower tolerance or persons who desire less herb intake, the Indica provides mini spacers to reduce surface area of the bowl. A recurring issue with portables with large bowls has been a requirement for aftermarket screens or spacers. The Indica does it right in this regard, by providing the user with the required spacer to vaporize small loads. There are 5 different heat settings to choose from, each represented with a different colored indicator. With context to a lighter, the Indica designers chose to place the temperature selection/LED indicator where one would normally strike the flint. Holding this button for 3 seconds activates the unit, followed by pressing twice to change desired heat settings. The designer elaborated on F.C. bit further regarding the heater:
…the heating format is a PCB designed to cover the entire stainless steel chamber and radiate inward. This allows us to keep your temperature constant with very little fluctuation.
It is no surprise the Indica’s oven is driven through conduction heating. Therefore, the oven continuously heats herbs regardless of whether the user is physically drawing vapor. The stainless steel air path runs from the oven through the top of the device and is covertly enclosed in a stainless steel cap bearing resemblance to a lighters ignition source. The air path narrower in comparison to similar convection vaporizers, so users should expect restriction while drawing. Adjacent to the airpath and typically where the flint would be found is the activation button/ LED indicator. Charging the device initially does come with some precursors and the guide recommends you charge for 12 hours. After which the unit only requires a 3 hour charge cycle for approximately 1.5 hours of continuous use(duration varies based on temperatures selected). After approx. 10 minutes of a single heat setting, the device will automatically shutoff conserving power. The Indica is charged via USB Mini 5 port at the bottom of the device and for convenience may be connected to any USB Type A connection or with the provided wall adapter. In addition, the device may be operated while charging, should the battery cells become depleted.
I am impressed with the taste and vapor quality the Indica is able to achieve in such a small package. Heat settings Cyan(340F) and Blue(358F) allow the user to appreciate the taste of their herbs. While settings Green(376F), Purple(394F), and Red(412F) allows for visible vapor plumes consistent with other top-tier portable vaporizers. The device has the temperature range to appreciate the flavor of your herbs, as well as the heating power to satisfy the most stringent “cloud chaser” needs. Heat up time is listed at 60 seconds, but as with all portable vaporizers consider your ambient temperature(with lower temps, requiring longer heat up duration). While heating to temperature, odor from herbs is faintly detectable. Packing the unit requires precision, as the bowl is deeper than it is wide. Fortunately, the Indica team provides users a vape pick that helps push herbs inside the bowl. While packing, be mindful of the lid grooves. These recessed portions have a tendency to trap herbs, but are easily removed with the provided Indica vape pick. Removing the contents from the Indica, again requires the provided pick or toothpick. Since the Indica holds upwards of .3 grams a typical user may only need re-load the Indica while at home. I found using the Indica with .2 grams and one spacer yielded ideal results. Loaded and powered off, the unit does not emit noticeable odor from herb contents. Coupled with the hinged lid, the mouthpiece typically with faint traces of odor is concealed fully for the user.
Portable users often cite problems with smaller loads producing wispy vapor. The Indica team took this issue into consideration and provided customers with three spacers. These metal spacers help reduce the surface area, allowing for thicker and more consistent vapor draws. Spacers may be removed conveniently with the provided Indica vape pick. Moving on to the units metal enclosure, while in-use, the Indica does radiates heat. In a real life scenario, a user may be inclined to run the device concurrently for more than 1 session. I found that on the red heating setting, after 25+ minutes of constant run-time, the Indica became very warm to the touch. After 30+ minutes of usage the unit became very warm/hot and after 40+ minutes of constant use, we recommend users not operate their Indica and allow it to cool off. In an everyday scenario with a group, I think we might expect 2 to possibly 3 sessions in succession. Since the unit was only warm to the touch during that duration, I feel the Indica passed my test. Furthering the heat discussion, the lid containing the herbs and metal spacers are extremely hot and should not be removed until the Indica cools down; I would recommend using the Indica vape pick to fully remove both. Cleaning the Indica–a task easily done, but not a chore which impedes the units functionality. Since the power and heat selection components are not in the immediate air path, keeping a routine schedule of maintenance is not a pre-requisite for the Indica. This feature is great for users who are less meticulous with cleaning and worry about resin inhibiting performance. While cleaning, I noticed the air path appeared small, but my generic cotton pipe cleaners easily fit within the paths circumference. The stainless steel mouthpiece covering the stainless steel air path unfastens for convenient cleaning as well. Using a cotton swap with ISO on the bowl and lid removed the final traces of herbs from the device.
One aspect on the design I would like to mention is their incorporation of a magnet at the base of the unit. This magnet allows for the oven lid to be secured while you reload the Indica. A simple feature, but integral to saving the user the frustration of misplacing their lid. Finally, I would like to comment on the exterior finish of the Indica. The reflective surface and subtle logo certainly add to the style and high-end nature of this product. It does attract fingerprints however, and bearing that in mind I would love to see a matte or black version of the Indica in the future.
I ran three full battery tests on two separate production line units. The results live up to their sticker claim, an excellent job credit to manufacturer:
- Cyan setting: Received 11 cycles(avg. of 10 minutes before auto power-off). Total duration after a 3hr charge was approx. 100 minutes.
- Green setting: Received 10 cycles(avg. of 10 minutes before auto power-off). Total duration after a 3hr charge was approx. 90 minutes.
- Red setting: Received 9 cycles(avg. of 10 minutes before auto power-off). Total duration after a 3hr charge was approx. 80 minutes.
Thoughts on Results? If you are looking for a vaporizer that can be used throughout the day, the Indica’s battery results are among the best to date in the portable industry. Combined with an ability to function while charging, I am pleased with the continued usage options offered by the Indica Vaporizer. I spoke to the designer regarding the average amount of discharge/recharge cycles users could expect from their Indica?
After he thoughtfully provided the specs for their 2x 900 mAh batteries, we concluded that users could expect an average of 150-250 full charge/discharge cycles from their unit.
This news left room for a follow-up question regarding battery replacement and product warranty. The Indica team reported initial release units will not have replaceable batteries; however the concept is being considered for the future. To give their consumers piece of mind, the Indica team provides a 1 year warranty which covers battery faults and issues.
The Indica is intended to perform over 6 cycles on RED through it’s entire Warranty period. Performance less than this, constitutes eligibility for replacement.
What’s in the Box?
- 1 x Lacquered wooden container. Slide out cover with Indica logo burnt on the top
- 1 x Indica Vaporizer
- Weight: 159 grams or 5.61 ounces
- Dimension (inches): 3.15 tall x 2.008 wide x 0.906 deep
- 0.2 grams (Recommended capacity, loosely packed, coarse grind w/ spacer)
- 0.4 grams (Max capacity, tightly packed, micro grind w/o spacer)
- 1 x Instruction Manual
- 1 x US Wall Power Adapter with USB input
- 1 x Male USB Mini 5 port to Male USB Type A
- 1 x Velvet protective pouch
- Accessories Kit
- 1 x Wire brush cleaner
- 1 x Replacement Indica oven lid
- 2 x Indica vape pick
- 3 x Metal spacers
- 5 x Pipe cleaner
- 5 x Screens
Blue – 181C or 358F
Green – 191C or 376F
Purple – 201C or 294F
Red – 211C or 412F
Cost and Availability
The Indica Vaporizer has a MSRP of $199.97
- Domestic shipping to the USA is FREE.
- International shipping is available at the determined rates.
- For ordering information, product details and accessories: Please visit the manufacturers website.
The Final Verdict
If you are in the market for a portable vaporizer, desiring something that looks great alongside your smart phone and designer shades… The Indica has got your back. Masking the appearance as a lighter lends to the devices discretion. The Indica’s performance rivals other portables in $200 price range. The flavor quality and vapor production will make this device an easy favorite for fans of flavor and cloud chasers alike. The build design is solid and accidentally dropping the unit, would not have adverse effects on performance. The weight and size dimensions make it convenient for carrying in your pocket. The capacity options provided with the spacers allow for both large and small bowls, something which I am personally a fan. Coming from a manufacturing industry background, the Indica team has taken years of experience to bring their vision to the portable vaporizer community. Active research, producing beta units, taking feedback from the community and turning this vaporizer into an iterative project all show the dedication poured into the effort. Earlier versions of the unit had maximum heat settings below 400F. By engaging the community, the designers gathered feedback requesting higher heat output and implemented those changes. The proof is there, making a device that meets the specification of the community and you have made a vaporizer I want. The Indica excels where many of my other portables units falter and has proven to have a place in my regular rotation.
- Taste is excellent, no evidence of combustion.
- Vapor produced is very dense.
- No need to mix herbs, evenly browned ABV at finish.
- Durable enclosure & Compact design.
- Over a hour and a half of active run time.
- Functions while recharging & May be recharged via USB.
- Removing herbs requires the vape pick.
- Oven lid and spacers are hot if removed after a session.
- After three 30 minutes of continuous use, the unit’s exterior is hot.
Unboxing and Usage Video
Former Usage Video I produced while working at another blog