Gadgets for humans

Review: The Atomic9 is an amazing loose-leaf vape under $60

Keep it loose on a budget

Cloudious9 is set to launch its innovative, inexpensive Atomic9 dry-herb vaporizer. I’ve had my mellow hands on a review unit for the last month and I’ve been nothing but impressed.

I almost exclusively consume cannabis using a loose-leaf vaporizer. I prefer flower over concentrates or cartridges, but combustion ruins the flavor and (literally) burns through your herb much faster. Unfortunately dry-herb vapes are typically expensive and most of them just copycat each other. The Atomic9 is different.

First off, it doesn’t cost as much as most dry-herb vapes. At $59.99 it’s the least expensive loose-leaf vape I’ve used, but it is not cheap. Right off the bat it reminds me of the Pax 3 – the gold standard for loose-leaf vapes with a price to match.  Like the Pax3, the Atomic9 is a quality device that feels solid and well-designed. I don’t feel like it’s going to break under normal use and it looks great.

But the comparisons between the $200 Pax 3 and the $60 Atomic9 stop once you get past the build quality and pleasant appearance. The Pax can be operated via an app, holds a lot more herb, and can also use liquid concentrate. The Atomic9 has a built in scoop, an on-device temperature indicator, and a patented new oven that heats herb thoroughly without causing the device to get too hot or requiring a giant oven.

The short version is this: the Atomic9 is the perfect vape if you’re a light-use consumer who only imbibes “a bowl or two” a day. The small oven is enough for one person to get about three two-minute sessions per load. I found that around the fourth or fifth session the battery needed recharging. This makes it ideal for short trips, vaping on your break, or using right before bedtime. But if you’re a heavy-use consumer you’re going to want to something with a bigger oven and more battery life.

The Atomic9 is a fantastic vape, however, and if it suits your consumption level it’s definitely worth checking out. Whatever the company’s done with it’s patented new heating technology works, and it works well. I found myself exhaling visible vape clouds at low and medium settings, and even at the highest settings the taste remained full and smooth. In the entire month I used it, not a single flake of herb was burned or singed. And, in my opinion, the effects were as clean and long-lasting as any similar products I’ve tried, including both portable and tabletop dry-herb vapes.

I like how innovative the Atomic9 is. I can just picture a group of engineers standing around looking at a product mock-up all thinking “Yeah, that’s cool. But how can we make it cooler?” Like many vapes, it’s operated with a single push-button that turns it on and off and operates the temperature control. Unlike most vapes, it has a built in scoop that’s operated by a slider along its side. This makes it easy to load – especially if you don’t want to get your fingers sticky.

It also has a display on the side with the temperature settings, whichever one you’ve got selected will light up giving you a quick indication of what temp you’re at. I like having the actual numbers, which translate well from my use of previous devices, so that I can try and regulate how much vapor I can get out of a single load. Rounding out its features are a hinged top/mouthpiece that seems pretty easy to keep clean and a standard USB charging port.

I do have a few qualms about the Atomic9. As I mentioned, it’s not a party gadget. This thing can’t keep up with more than one or two light users. And it’s a bit of a pain to pick flakes of herb out of some of the grooves around the oven. Otherwise, this is the best value in dry-leaf vaporizers I’ve ever seen.

Even as a heavy-use consumer I still want to keep one around as a back-up. It’s the one I toss in my pocket on the way to the beach or for a long walk. I like it that much. The Atomic 9 holds its own against much more expensive products and comes away looking like an innovative champ at just $59.99.

The Atomic9 will be available in “early October” on the Cloudious9 website. Stay tuned for our upcoming review of the Tectonic9 vibrating grinder from Cloudious9.

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Published September 30, 2019 — 21:56 UTC

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