The Lotus and the Arizer Air are both affordable vaporizers that offer outstanding performance for their respective price points. These two vaporizers are coming in under $200, with certain lotus kits being as cheap as $100. This is a great comparison to be made as both of these vaporizers are very competitive with each other as we’ll soon learn in this comparison.
The comparison is going to be broken down into the following categories:
- Ease of Use
- Temperature Control
- Vapor Quality and Efficiency
- Pocketability and Discreteness
- Battery Life and Butane
And with all that out of the way let’s get into the comparison!
Ease of Use
The ease of use category will cover how easy the units are to operate and maintain for day to day use.
Ease of Use with the Lotus
Now the Lotus isn’t a hard vape to use, but it certainly isn’t an easy vape to use either. I find it isn’t hard to get vapor with the Lotus, but it does take a bit of a technique to get consistent results.
To begin with let’s talk about how this unit produces vapor this vape uses a typical; single flame torch as its source of power. This unlike battery operated vaporizers which use a battery to power some kind of heating element.
You also have to be mindful of your draw speed when using the Lotus as this is a convection heating vaporizer but we’ll go more into this in the temperature control portion of the comparison.
What the combination of torching and draw speed means from an ease of use standpoint is that this vape requires some practice to truly get the hang of.
When preparing a session for ground herb I didn’t find it necessary to do anything special with my herb. All I do is simply grind it up with a normal 4 piece grinder which many of you probably have already. Some vaporizers require to grind your material finely and luckily the Lotus isn’t one of those vapes.
Cleaning the Lotus is actually overall a really simple process. To clean the Lotus pipe I just remove the screen and soak it in 91% isopropyl alcohol and give it thorough rinse once all of the oil has been dissolved. For the Water Pipe Adapter I just use a few cotton swabs soaked in isopropyl alcohol and thoroughly clean the inside of the water pipe adapter. The Screens can either be replaced cheaply, burnt off with a torch, or they can be soaked in isopropyl alcohol as well. There’s no crazy disassembly required for this vape which is a big plus in my opinion.
Ease of Use with the Arizer Air
The Arizer Air is operated like pretty much every other vaporizer on the market. It has two LED’s on the front and a button on the front that allows you to power on the unit and cycle through the 5 different temperature settings.
Each of the front LED’s give you a little bit of information about what your vape is doing. The top LED will glow different colors according to what temperature setting you are on, and the bottom blue LED will flash or stay solid indicating whether the oven is heating up or that it’s at temperature. This LED will also turn red when your battery is running low.
Arizer gives you two options for stems, a short glass stem with a plastic tip, and a longer all glass stem. This gives the users some flexibility as to what they prefer. I typically use the longer glass stem, but there is something cool about the short stem that you all should know about. The black plastic tip of the short stem actually makes a perfect seal in a 14mm female glass on glass joint found on most typically water pipes. Great for someone who wants to occasional vape through their water pipe.
The Arizer Air has a lot of draw restriction, but this actually eliminates the need for any draw technique. The draw resistance makes it so you’re always pulling the right amount of air through the vape for optimal vapor production.
Like the Lotus you don’t have to do much when preparing your herbs. I typically just grind my herb coarsely, you can also grind finer for better vapor production if you so wish. You will need to add a mesh screen though as the glass screen built into the stems does not stop the finer particulates from being pulled into the stem or your throat.
Maintenance is super easy with the Air, just soak the glass stems in some isopropyl alcohol and you are done. You can also soak a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol and clean the oven but I haven’t found it necessary as it doesn’t get dirty with typical usage.
Which Vape is the Easiest to Use?
I found the Arizer Air to be easier to use overall. It doesn’t require any technique on the user’s part and I found its maintenance process to be much simpler.
The temperature control for both of these units are vastly different, in this section we’re going explain the ways you control the temperature with each of these vapes.
Temperature Control With the Lotus
This is the primary hurdle people needs to get over when learning how to properly use the Lotus. Unlike other vaporizers, it is all up to the user to determine how hot they vape their material. There is no heater or computer to regulate the temperature for you.
Before you start using the Lotus you have to first set how your torches flame is. Your flame should be as long as the distance between two points on the Lotus flower.
The temperature of the Lotus is controlled by the amount heat you apply to the hot plate on top of the vapor cap, and by how slow or fast you draw from the vape.
Let’s start with heating the Lotus with the torch you want to first without drawing from the Lotus, start preheating the hot plate for about 4 seconds as per Lotus’ instructions. Once you begin to draw from the Lotus you should then start moving the flame in a circle around the center of the Lotus.
Once you started drawing from the Lotus and see or feel vapor starting to form you need to be very mindful of how fast you draw. A slow draw will produce hotter vapor and will give you denser vapor while a faster draw will give you lighter and more flavorful vapor.
With the Lotus there is no peak temperature, it will get as hot as you want to heat it. What this means is that you can push you herb on the brink of combustion to achieve large 1 hit extractions from a water pipe if you desire,
The Arizer Air Temperature Control
The Arizer Air offers its users 5 different temperature settings which can be adjusted with the up and down arrow button on the front of the device.
- Level 1 (Blue) – 356°F
- Level 2 (White) – 374°F
- Level 3 (Green) – 392°F
- Level 4 (Orange) – 401°F
- Level 5 (Red) – 410°F
Unlike the Lotus anyone can set a temperature and enjoy a session, you don’t have to learn a technique to heat up the Air. This is also allows the user to get more accurate temperature control.
Who has the Best Temperature Control?
I would give it to the Arizer Air, you can easily adjust temperature on the fly with no technique needed.
Vapor Quality and Efficiency
This category is going to compare each units vapor quality, and their respective efficiency with how well they extract all of the active compounds out of your material.
The Lotus’s Vapor Quality and Efficiency
The Lotus as we stated earlier is an butane powered on-demand convection heating vaporizer. At it’s current price point of under $200 it offers some of the best vapor production and vapor quality you can get for its price bracket.
There are a lot of methods of using the Lotus which include the standard Lotus pipe and the water pipe adapter which works on a multitude of glass pieces. For this comparison we’re going to be looking at primarily the Lotus pipe though.
The Lotus offers pretty smooth vapor even with the Lotus pipe. The Lotus can definitely choke you up, but I found it was more due to the sheer volume of vapor moved into my lungs rather than the vapor itself being harsh. I personally cannot stand the Arizer Air on the maximum setting, however I do not have any issues enjoying the Lotus’s high temperature vapor.
If you go easy with the torch and lightly heat the hot plate I have found you achieve some really flavorful hits that rival high end units like the Firefly 2 and the Crafty. There’s a lot more technique to getting lower temperature hits as opposed to getting the bigger high temperature hits. Once you get the hang of lightly heating the Lotus you can achieve really smooth and flavorful vapor from this vape.
I found consistency was an issue I had when I first started using the Lotus. Applying consistent heat and keep a steady draw takes some skill, but I found you build the skills to use the Lotus fairly quickly.
The Lotus only needs .1 of coarsely ground material to sufficiently fill the bowl for vaping. Hands down I would say this is the most efficient vape I have used so far. If you are looking to extract every last bit out of your flower the Lotus is the vape you are looking for. Since you get right on the line between vaporization and combustion, you’re able to truly extract everything out of your flower.
The Arizer Air’s Vapor Quality and Efficiency
Unlike the Lotus, the Air is a session style vaporizer that primarily uses conduction heating to vaporize your material.
When using the the Air I found temperatures 1 through 3 are great for all around enjoyment, most people gravitate towards heat level 3 as their preferred setting. It offers outstanding vapor production, and great flavor. I personally like to stick to the first two settings primarily, and I like to finish up on temperature setting 3 typically.
I found the vapor overall to be pretty flavorful and smooth. Vapor production is also really good, the Air produces some nice clouds! However I found the vapor a bit more scratchy on the throat as opposed to the Lotus.
Each of the Arizers stems holds about .2 of ground material. This unit also does a good a job at efficiently extracting all of the active compounds out of the flower you load into it.
Which Vape has Better Vapor Quality and Efficiency?
I would say the Lotus has superior vapor quality and efficiency. It takes some practice to master getting consistent results with the Lotus, and once you get there it truly delivers a wonderful experience.
Pocketability and Discreteness
The pocketability and discreteness category will go over how easy these units are to transport on the go and how discrete their designs are for public use.
The Lotus’s Pocketability and Discreteness
The Lotus cap itself is just under 2 inches in diameter. The short stem and 5 and half inches long while the long stem is 6 and a half inches long.
The Lotus is comfortable in the hand to use, but it is by no means a discrete vaporizer.
When you’re using the Lotus it resembles a pipe. Someone’s going to know something’s up if they see you using this. This is a vape I use at destinations like a friends house, the forest, a festival, or anything like that. Walking around town and using this vape is obviously a very bad idea.
Likewise the whole kit I find hard to cram into my pocket. I find it necessary to bring a backpack with me since I can’t fit the whole Lotus accessory kit in my pocket.
The Arizer Air’s Pocketability and Discreteness
The Arizer Air is a pretty small vape, resembling some larger vape pens or e-cigs. The Arizer Air with the all glass stem is about 7 inches tall in height.
I find the design of the Air to be really comfortable to hold and feels very natural to grip and hold.
The vape fits well into most pockets and I found it best practice to separate the stems from the vape when the vape is in your pocket.
If you’re careful you can get away with the stem being installed in the vape, but you must be careful as you don’t want the glass stem to snap in your pocket!
Which Vape is More Pocketable and Discrete?
I found the Arizer Air to overall be more pocketable and discrete. Resembling a large vape pen, this is a more feasible option for public discreet use as opposed to the Lotus. Likewise it is much easier to transport than the Lotus.
Battery Life and Butane
Both the Lotus and the Arizer Air differ greatly in how they power their respective heaters. The Arizer Air uses a battery like most other vaporizers as its source of power while the Lotus uses butane as its source of energy.
Using Butane with the Lotus
Since the Lotus doesn’t use a better you don’t have to wait around for a battery to charge or anything. Filling your torch takes under 15 seconds and only has to be down every day to every other day for a heavy user. This does mean that you have to periodically purchase butane.
One large can of butane costs me under $15 and sufficiently fills both of my torches for about 2 weeks. If you’re not a really heavy user the butane will last you longer.
The Arizer Air’s Battery Life
With typical usage I found you’ll get about an hour of usage with the Arizer Air, you can extend the battery a little bit more if you’re like me and prefer to stay on the lower end of the spectrum.
The Arizer Air uses a replaceable 18650 style battery, you can purchase extras from Arizers website if you wish to extend your battery life further, or replace your existing battery.
The Arizer Air is charged with charged with their standard DC plug that also works with the solo. If you have multiple batteries, I would think about picking up an external charging station like the Haze v3 offers standard.
From a dead battery I found the Arizer Air took about 2 hours to fully recharge from its DC wall charger.
Which is Better, a Battery or Butane?
Honestly in this case they’re about equal. The Arizer Air offers replaceable batteries which means you can bring a bunch with you on a long trip or something like that. Likewise you can bring butane with you and that would effectively be an alternative to bringing a bunch of batteries. Ultimately I find butane more convenient, but one or the other isn’t objectively better.
This section will briefly go over the warranties on each of these units.
The Lotus’s Warranty
Lotus offers a 3 year warranty on the vapor cap itself, with exceptions for cases of “physical abuse or severe overheating.”
Lotus also offers warranties on both their standard model 226 hot plate and their 234 high-temp hot plates.
The Standard model 226 hot plate which we reviewed is covered for 1 year with exceptions of punctures and dents from foreign objects.
And due to the extreme temperatures the model 234 cap is expected to face, it is only covered for 90 days with exceptions of punctures and dents from foreign objects.
The Arizer Air’s Warranty
Arizer offers it’s a users a lifetime warranty on the heating element, and a limited two year warranty covering defects in the materials or workmanship. Please note that the batteries and glass are not covered by the warranty.
Who has the better warranty?
I would say the Lotus has a slightly better warranty, though by not much. If arizer covered the batteries I think they would have nudged out the win in this category for me personally.
Conclusion, Which Vape is Better for You?
As we just learned each of these vapes have qualities that are better and worse when compared side by side with both of these units.
The Lotus would be great for someone looking for an on-demand heating vaporizer, you can pick it up and set it down without the need to dedicating time to a full session.
Likewise the Lotus also offers some of the best vapor production I have ever experienced in a vape in general. The Lotus when paired with a water pipe holds it’s own against the licks of the Cloud EVO with an experienced user. If you’re willing to learn how to use the Lotus it won’t disappoint you, it offers great all around vapor production, flavor and smoothness. With that said it will require a bit of guidance if you wish to use this vape with some friends which is something to take note of if you typical vape with friends.
I think the Arizer Air will appeal more to the typical user. It’s a session style vaporizer which you typically sit down for at least 10-15 minutes at a time to vape.
The Air also has no learning curve at all, you simply inhale from it with no fuss, any of your friends can pick it up and use it immediately with no guidance. If you’re looking for a well performing vape that works with little to no effort on your part, the Arizer Air is a great option for you.