Whether you’re a seasoned pro with a desktop vape or looking to purchase a new gadget for your very first vaping experience, High There is here to help.
While it is similar to its famous predecessor, the Volcano Classic, the Hybrid has a few new features that make it stand out from both the pack and its earlier versions. Today we’ve put together a thorough Volcano Hybrid vaporizer review, in order to help you to decide whether this vaping method – and this particular device – could be the right fit for you.
Let us dissect the details and tell you more about the Volcano Hybrid further below.
Our Testing Methods
The internet can be a strange place, particularly surrounding the still somewhat taboo practices of consuming marijuana. With that comes a wave of fake news and misinformation, which can not only be off-putting, but potentially drive away those who could benefit from cannabinoid use.
With multiple long-time vape users and enthusiasts on the High There team, we seek to put any new product that comes into our testing labs through its full paces. We check for reliability, design considerations, ease-of-use, and we balance these points against overall price and competing models in the space.
Before we dig into our detailed review of the Storz & Bickel Volcano Hybrid, let’s look at a few of the things we think are important to keep an eye out when shopping for a new desktop vaporizer.
What to Look for in a Desktop Vaporizer
Here is our short yet comprehensive list of exactly what features you should be looking for in a desktop vape in general.
Accurate Temperature Control
Desktop vaporizers will always have one of two types of temperature controls:
On the whole vaporizers that use digital temperature control look better and allow the user to easily adjust the temperature control much more accurately, while the user feel of analog temperature controls can be more appealing to those who enjoy “dialing in” their perfect vape temperature.
While we generally prefer recommending digital temperature controls over over analog-controlled models, the downside is that they tend to be more expensive.
On a side note – it’s always important to monitor the temperature of your vaporizer, whether you go for a digital vape or an analog one. Overheating and electronics never mix.
If you’ve tried a desktop vaporizer, you’ll already know that these devices can have… very noticeable effects, even after just a few puffs. It’s not surprising as this is precisely what these models are designed for, and the extra features available on many of the newer desktop versions allow the right balance of vape quality to be struck.
It’s always crucial to ensure that the vapor quality is up to standard; there’s little worse than a device that leaves you without an adequate draw. The only problem with higher quality vapor is – yet again – the models become pricier.
Powerful Heating System
A heating system that packs a punch is expected as standard with a desktop vape. Always be sure to check how long it can take to heat up, as some devices take much longer than others – no one wants to sit around idle waiting to take that first draw. For this reason, it’s well worth considering a vape powerful enough to heat up quickly.
Multiple Intake Methods
There are a few options open to you regarding intake methods. The traditional way is via what is known as a “whip” – a hose-like device often seen attached to hookah-like devices.
While these work well, many users prefer a “balloon” – also commonly referred to as a “bag” – due to its appearance, easy transportation and lack of need for cleaning. Once a balloon is filled with vape it can be sealed and hit for up to several hours post-vaporization, preventing the need to keep your vape unit running.
Many vaporizers only come in one of these forms, but some offer multiple intake methods, which prove highly popular.
Fits Your Budget
A must when deciding on whether to take the plunge to buy a desktop vaporizer is the price. Any device you’re thinking about spending your hard-earned cash on should be affordable to you.
There is no point in stretching your wallet too widely on something you won’t use very often or something you simply cannot afford. And let’s be honest – though powerful, desktop units can often be a pricey option. If being a bit budget-conscious, it might be smart to ask yourself if a smaller, portable vaporizer can fit your needs instead.
Volcano Hybrid: In-Depth Review
Now that we’ve run you through everything you should be looking for in a quality vaporizer, let’s get into the specific details with our Volcano Hybrid review.
The Storz & Bickel Volcano Hybrid comes with the following, all included in the price:
- Volcano Hybrid Desktop Vaporizer
- 3x Easy Valve Balloon with Mouthpiece
- Tube System
- Loading Chamber
- Cleaning Brush
- Air Filter Set
- Herb Mill
- Power Cord
- Instruction Manual
As of the time of this article’s publication there are over 100 reviews on the Storz & Bickel website attesting to how good the Volcano Hybrid is, and while these sorts of review sections may not always be the most reliable source of information on a product, customer satisfaction seems fairly high where the Volcano Hybrid is concerned.
Now – let’s get into the details of exactly what the Volcano Hybrid can offer.
Ease of Use
The Hybrid comes with an Android app that puts the user entirely in control. The app is connected to the Volcano Hybrid via Bluetooth, where you can adjust the settings precisely as you want them, and all 100% remotely.
While some may consider this a bit gimmicky, it’s hard to deny that it is convenient to be able to adjust the temperature of your session without having to reach the vape, but for those interested in more manual control of their device, the buttons on the vape itself are easy to use and will work just as well. It’s also worth noting that these are easier initially and take less time to use/set up than the smartphone app.
Surprisingly, this Volcano vaporizer doesn’t come with an iOS app, which not only has disgruntled some keen desktop vapors but has also automatically phased out a large percentage of potential customers. That means if you’re an iPhone fan? The Hybrid might not be the best option for you.
It’s hard to miss the new Volcano Hybrid, thanks to the almost iconic shape that Storz & Bickel have implemented on the Volcano Classic (also known as the Volcano Digital). It has a sleek, modern display that features integrated touch buttons that respond well to the touch.
You’d be wrong for thinking this vaporizer is all style and no substance, though. Created using stainless steel, the Hybrid features Storz & Bickel’s trademark durability, meaning it will stand the test of time even with heavy use.
Speaking of heavy, this is a very sizeable piece of kit, weighing in at 6.5lbs – more than 2.5lb heavier than the Classic. Nothing dramatic, but worth noting if weight is a concern for you.
In short, the build quality and design of the Volcano Hybrid vaporizer ensures a quick setup for drama-free inhalation, and a design that’s meant to last through even consistent, heavy use.
Like the Volcano Classic, the Volcano Hybrid offers a fantastic deal of precision when it comes to choosing the temperature of your session. However, where the Volcano Hybrid Vaporizer really comes into its own lies in the choice of temperatures on offer. While the Volcano Classic offered 266°F – 446°F, the Hybrid boasts temperatures of between 104°F – 446°F – a much lower end than many competing models.
It’s worth mentioning that the Volcano Hybrid vaporizer combines both conduction and convection heating to serve up a much-reduced heat-up time. Now it only takes up to two minutes of heat-up time to get entirely going, thanks to the quality of the heating mechanism within.
There are two separate intake methods with the Volcano Hybrid vaporizer, and both attachments come with the device (there’s also an easy valve design, so it takes little time to set up). Choose from either the whip or balloon, both of which, in our opinion, provide extraordinary hits.
The balloons can hold the vapor for close to eight hours, which makes it great for a solo chilling-out session when you want to relax and take your time. The whip (pictured above) comes highly recommended for when there’s a group sesh going on, and you want to pass around; combined with the built-in easy swivel function of the Hybrid, taking puffs with friends is as easy as it gets.
It’s already been well-established in the vape world that the Storz & Bickel Volcano Hybrid offers unparalleled vapor quality, with the Volcano Classic being, well, a classic for a reason.
Because the Volcano Hybrid is more prominent in size, it has the power to back up exquisite results in terms of workflow within the filling chamber, leaving the user with a heady, flavorful vape. The quality isn’t diminished whether you decide on using the whip or the balloon; the results will be the same powerful, immersive hit whichever way you go.
With the balloon attached to the Volcano Hybrid, the vapor cools due to there being a larger surface area to expand into, and the whip’s length means the vapor has time to cool down as it travels through the attachment toward the mouthpiece.
Even better is the zero-draw resistance on both methods with the new Volcano – a draw feels natural and unhindered, making the experience easier for those who might have diminished lung capacity (such as medical marijuana patients).
The Price Tag
So far, so good, right? You might have now decided that thanks to the Volcano Hybrid’s largely superior features, it is most definitely the desktop vaporizer for you. And, it can be – just at a cost.
The major snag with the Volcano Hybrid is its higher-end pricing. And while it is warranted given the quality of the device, there’s no getting around the fact that this is a pricey piece, and one that might be better seen as a long-term investment than a quick impulse buy.
How much, you ask? Coming in currently at just shy of $700, the Hybrid cannot be accused of being cheap. However, if you’re serious about your vaping game? There’s a reason Storz & Bickel’s Volcano series is synonymous with vaping, and if looking to purchase a high-end model that will last we can’t offer many other complaints beyond the steep price tag.
Volcano Hybrid Stack vs. Other Desktop Vaporizers?
We have covered a range of other desktop vaporizers, and, while they do the job very well, we can’t help feeling that the Volcano Hybrid is something very special indeed.
What must be kept in mind is that, without the premium cost, vape quality often dwindles. There aren’t many desktop vaporizers that seriously give the Hybrid a run for its money, but there are perfectly acceptable models that are cheaper.
The digital Arizer Extreme Q Vaporizer, a remote-controlled vapor tower, comes in at a fraction of the price and performs a very decent job while being being sturdy and convenient to use in its own right. Does it contain all of the bells, whistles and stellar build quality of the Volcano? No. Does it cost less than $300? Yes.
Ultimately what you need from a vaporizer should determine what sort of features you require and, thusly, just how much you’re willing to spend; unless you absolutely need “the best of the best”, options like the Arizer mentioned above can be a worthy substitute if you don’t want to drop a small fortune on getting high.
The Hybrid offers fast heat-up times, quicker fill times than most, and an easy-to-use valve system. But it ain’t cheap. If this is something that you can comfortably afford, we think you might take away from our Volcano Hybrid review that this device could be the perfect type of desktop solution for you.
How to Use the Volcano Hybrid Vaporizer
Using the Hybrid is relatively straightforward. While some reviews have found the size to be quite intimidating, in our view, usage was not a problem due to this.
Firstly, remove either the balloon or whip attachment, whichever you are using. Remove the top of the loading chamber by unscrewing it and add your choice of dry herb. Just ensure you don’t pack too much in it. If it is concentrates you prefer, put a bit onto the drip pad and add that to the filling chamber instead.
Then replace the top of the filling chamber, reattach your valve balloon or whip, and the Hybrid will be fully ready to use.
How to Buy the Volcano Hybrid
Given the price of the Volcano Hybrid, in-person shopping will likely require hitting up a more high-end specialty smoking shop or dispensary; however, for those who prefer purchasing online, you can buy the Volcano Hybrid directly on the Storz & Bickel website.
Is the Volcano Hybrid worth the price?
There’s no getting away from it – the Hybrid does not come in cheap. As a premium option, though, is it worth the price tag? In our opinion, yes, the Hybrid is worth the money. Although a significant investment over a typical vape, the Hybrid could be one of the best desktop vaporizers that money can buy.
It’s made to last, so it will run for years and years (don’t forget that there is a three-year warranty in place if anything goes wrong, but it should last longer considering its superior composition and design). As well as this, both concentrates and dry herbs are catered for with no issues, its temperature control offers complete precision, and its vape quality is just about as good as it gets.
So, if you are a potential customer with money to spend on the best-of-the-best? We don’t see any reason to hesitate – The Hybrid is likely as good as you’re going to find.
Are desktop vaporizers better than portable vaporizers?
In terms of vapor quality, yes. Unlike portable devices, a desktop vape is all about performance and power. And, they come with the most advanced technologies.
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with portable vapes, they don’t compare when it comes to the quality of a hit. Desktops are also much more efficient and easier to share amongst friends when chilling out.
How do I clean the Volcano Hybrid?
It’s really important that the Volcano Hybrid vaporizer, or any desktop vape, is thoroughly cleaned regularly. This not only helps to ensure that the device is in tip-top condition but having a well-maintained and clean Hybrid will deliver the best possible vapor quality.
There are a few things you’ll need in order to clean your Hybrid:
- Somewhere to soak the chamber, like a tub
- Cotton swabs
- Isopropyl alcohol
Though you should always follow manufacturer’s directions when attempting any maintenance, a quick overview of cleaning is as follows: Disassemble the chamber and the plastic parts on the side, and then soak all the metal parts in the alcohol for around five minutes. As for the attachments, the balloon or whip will only require a quick dip.
You might also be wondering how often to wash your Hybrid. While there is no right or wrong answer, it usually depends on the frequency of usage. As a general indication, when you start smelling herb that seems stale or dry, it’s time to get the device washed and cleaned.
Are desktop vaporizers safe?
As a long-time fan or perhaps a newbie to desktop vaporizers, you might be wondering how safe they are. There’s a lot of information out there, and a lot of it is confusing regarding how safe smoking vapes in general really is.
However, there is good news.
A landmark study has suggested that vaporizers are healthier than smoking in the traditional way. This very study examined the Volcano Hybrid as part of its experiment and concluded: “The results indicate that vaporization can deliver therapeutic doses of cannabinoids with a drastic reduction in pyrolytic smoke compounds. Vaporization therefore appears to be an attractive alternative to smoked marijuana for future medical cannabis studies.”
What marijuana fan doesn’t love a desktop vape? While this Volcano vaporizer most certainly isn’t the cheapest option out there at the moment, it produces a smooth, delicious quality vape. For those looking for a top-of-the-line vaporizer to replace a conventional smoking habit, the Hybrid is hard to beat.
We hope our Volcano Hybrid vaporizer review has given you a better idea of exactly how the Hybrid stands up against the competition, and warrents its price tag.