The Volcano by Storz and Bickel and the VapeXhale Cloud EVO are both my top picks for desktop vaporizers. Desktop vapes are my preferred type of vaporizers; they don’t compromise raw power for portability.
Raw power is a good phrase to describe both the Volcano and the Cloud EVO. They both excel in delivering high quantities of smooth and enjoyable vapor.
The Volcano and the Cloud EVO are utilizing very different systems to vaporize your material.
The Volcano utilizes a powerful air pump and large balloons to achieve its vapor extraction. The vapor is stored in the balloon and can easily be passed around a group.
The Cloud EVO is using an all glass vapor path and is primarily a direct draw vape. The Cloud EVO is typically paired with a hydratube or a traditional glass water pipe.
I feel these two vaporizers would appeal to different people, so in this comparison we’re going to look at the features of each vape and compare them side by side.
The Volcano has two models, but for this comparison we will be comparing the Volcano Classic to the Cloud EVO.
To make the comparison easier to follow, we’re going to break it down into the following sections:
- Ease of Use
- Temperature Control
- Vapor Quality and Efficiency
- Build Quality
With all that aside, let’s jump right into our Volcano vs VapeXhale Cloud EVO comparison!
Ease of Use
In my opinion, ease of use is one of the most important aspects for vape ownership. Some units are hard to use or clean, and this can sometimes detract from the overall experience.
What we’re looking at here is how easy the vape is to use, and how easy it is to clean and maintain.
Ease of Use with the Volcano
The Volcano is overall one of the simplest and easiest vapes in my collection to use daily.
All of the vaporizer’s controls are right on the face of the Volcano.
There is a red “HEAT” switch, a green “AIR” switch, and an orange “CONTROL” light in between the two switches.
The “HEAT” switch is what powers on the vaporizer, and the “AIR” switch is what activates the high powered air pump in the Volcano which allows it to fill bags very rapidly.
The “CONTROL” light will glow when the vaporizer is trying to reach its set temperature, and it will turn off when the vape is ready to be used.
There’s a large rotary dial on the front the Volcano that has a 1-9 temperature range.
I’ve been getting good results with a regular coarse grind from my Santa Cruz Shredder, and I haven’t found it necessary to grind my dry herb more finely.
You have two options when using the Volcano for bags. There is the Easy Valve system and the Solid Valve system. In a nutshell, the Easy Valve is mostly disposable and requires very little maintenance.
The Solid Valve is the more permanent option. Its whole assembly can be taken apart to be cleaned, and you can simply replace the bags yourself instead of buying brand new packs of Easy Valve replacements.
To use, simply place either the Easy Valve or Solid Valve filling chamber on top of the unit, place your bag on top, and finally hit the “AIR” switch.
Once the bag is full, you can switch off the pump and take off the bag. It’s that simple and all you have to do from there is draw from the bag.
There’s no technique or anything required, bags are in my opinion the easiest way to introduce someone new to vaping as it requires very thought or prior experience to get good results.
The overall ease of maintenance with the Volcano depends on whether you purchase the Easy Valve system or the Solid Valve system.
I prefer the Easy Valve system simply from an ease of use standpoint. The Easy Valve filling chamber can be cleaned and the screens can be replaced. However, the bags are attached semi-permanently to the mouthpieces and they are designed to just be thrown away when they get too dirty.
People do replace the bags on the Easy Valve mouthpieces, which you can accomplish if the packs of Easy Valve balloons are too steep a price for you.
The Solid Valve needs to be taken apart to be cleaned. It does come apart into a few pieces and it is a bit of a process to clean.
Likewise, you can pick up a roll of Volcano bags and tailor bag sizes to your preference. You can make super small bags, or really big ones if you like vaping with friends.
This is overall the more economical option, but it does require more effort to maintain!
Ease of Use with the Cloud EVO
There isn’t much to getting great results with the VapeXhale Cloud EVO.
Like the Volcano, all of the Cloud EVO’s control is on the face of the device itself. There is a rotary dial similar to the Volcano but with no number range, and a simple on/off switch.
A coarse grind is preferred with the EVO from my experience. You don’t even necessarily need a grinder, the device excels with very coarsely ground material.
The Cloud EVO is both a direct draw vape and a whip style vape. The vape can be used with official VapeXhale hydratubes, or the vape can be inverted into a traditional waterpipe.
VapeXhale also offers a dry mouthpiece for people who don’t want to filter their vapor through water.
Typically, when people use a whip with the Cloud EVO, it is to hook it up to a smaller oil rig that won’t natively work with the Cloud EVO.
I find the Cloud EVO really needs to be set up at a “station.” With a hydratube on top of it, I am very uneasy passing it around a circle or something.
I personally just have my friends come up to the vape to take their hit instead of passing it around, but some people can find this inconvenient, so this is something to consider if you vape with a lot of friends frequently.
You do need a decent amount of lung power to get a good hit with the Cloud EVO. The average user will have no issues, however someone with very little lung capacity is going to have a hard time getting the Cloud EVO to produce substantial vapor.
Cleaning the EVO is really simple. I unplug the unit, soak a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol, and swab the inside of the 18mm Male joint on top of the unit while holding the EVO upside down. This way, I don’t allow anything to drip into the center of the glass bamboo, which is the name for the Cloud EVOs all glass vapor path.
The hydratubes can simply be cleaned like traditional water pipes. Simply fill it with isopropyl alcohol, shake it until all the residue is cleaned off the glass surfaces, and rinse with water after.
Whip Vape is Easier to Use?
Overall, I would say the Volcano is the easier vape to use. It requires very little thought and physical effort into drawing from the bags, and the general lack of maintenance with the Easy Valve just makes the Volcano very simple to use.
This section is going to compare the temperature control options of both the Volcano and the Cloud EVO.
Temperature Control with the Volcano
Heat level 1 is the beginning of the temperature spectrum starting at 266°F, and heat level 9 ends the spectrum at 439°F.
The temperature control and accuracy seem pretty good from my experience, using the provided chart by Storz and Bickel provides pretty accurate temperatures.
Temperature Control with the Cloud EVO
Since the Cloud EVO’s dial does not have numbers or anything, people typically refer to the EVO’s temperature settings based off where its position would be on a clock. For example, 12 o’clock would be the dial being set on the dead center.
The Cloud EVO has a temperature spectrum from about 200°F all the way up to 500°F.
Which Vape has Better Temperature Control?
Personally, I would call it a tie here. Both have similar means of adjusting temperature, and I can’t really think of any objective reasons why one would be better than the other in this area.
Vapor Quality and Efficiency
This section looks at the overall vapor quality that these vaporizers produce and how efficiently they vaporize your material.
When we talk about vapor quality, we’re looking at three factors: vapor production, flavor, and smoothness.
Vapor production is the actual quantity of vapor produced.
Flavor is obviously how well the vapor tastes and if it is a good representation of the terpene profile of the flower or concentrate you put in it.
And finally, smoothness is obviously how easily the vapor goes down your throat.
Vapor Quality and Efficiency of the Volcano
The Volcano utilizes Convection heating technology to vaporize your flower or concentrate.
The Volcano’s vapor quality has very different characteristics when compared to the Cloud EVO’s vapor quality since the Volcano is filling bags as opposed to directly routing the vapor to your lungs.
For starters, let’s talk about vapor production. The Volcano produces insane amounts of vapor when you go to 380°F and above.
The Volcano will fill bags with dense white vapor at this temperature and beyond. Everything under 380°F produces noticeable vapor, but not the crazy opaque white bags.
Flavor is also all around really good considering the vapor does sit in the bag a bit while it’s being filled and while it’s being passed around. Obviously some of the terpenes are going to condense onto the bag reducing the flavor, but this is only really an issue if you let the bag sit around for more than 2-3 minutes.
Ultimately, the Volcano’s vapor is very smooth and easy on the throat when you’re drawing from the bags. I found over 400° did produce some vapor that was scratchy on the throat, but for the most part the vapor from the Volcano is among the smoothest in the industry.
I found with both the Easy Valve and Solid Valve that .3-.4 is the optimal amount to load for the best results. The Solid Valve is better for doing small amounts like .2 than the Easy Valve as it accommodates smaller packs better.
The Volcano is a great extractor, but you do need to stir the load to evenly vaporize it. I found the Volcano to fully extract my material needing to stir it once or twice during a session.
The amount of bags you get is going to depend on a few variables, but I typically get 8+ potent bags per pack.
Vapor Quality and Efficiency of the Cloud EVO
The Cloud EVO is also a convection heating vaporizer.
The vapor from the Cloud EVO is a bit different than the Volcano’s given that it isn’t sitting in a bag between hits.
Vapor production with the EVO is pretty insane no matter where you are on the temperature dial. The EVO can fully extract a small load of flower in 1 hit at high temperatures like a concentrate hit if that’s the experience you’re looking for. That’s how powerful the Cloud EVO is and how much vapor it can produce.
I found the flavor from the Cloud EVO to be superior to that of the Volcano. I feel the Cloud EVO produces a much stronger flavor, and I feel the flavor it produces is a better representation of the flower or concentrate you put in it.
The vapor can get a bit rough especially as you climb up in temperatures trying to get more vapor production. The hydratubes do a good job at conditioning the vapor before getting to you, but it can still be a little scratchy on the throat after a large hit.
You load your material in the stainless steel mesh baskets called Easy Load Bowls. Each one holds anywhere from .1-.5 of ground herb.
My preferred method is packing just enough for one large vapor bong hit. It produces fresh vapor every hit, and the vapor never tastes woody or anything with this method.
If you load an Easy Load Bowl up with a lot of material, it will still vape evenly and nicely, but the flavor will start to taste kind of woody after the first few hits of the session if you vaporize above 12 o’clock on the dial.
This is ultimately why I like the Cloud EVO for solo or small group use. You can load small amounts for just yourself, or you can load slightly more for yourself and maybe a friend.
The vaporized material that comes out of the Cloud EVO will have pretty much nothing left on it. The Cloud EVO is a very thorough extractor and will use every last bit of your material.
Which Vape has the Best Vapor Quality and Efficiency?
I would hand this to the Cloud EVO for having the better overall vapor quality and efficiency. The Volcano comes in very close, but I found the Cloud EVO just produced slightly better all around vapor.
Build quality is looking at the overall quality of materials used in the design, how it was put together, and its overall durability.
The Volcano’s Build Quality
The exterior of the unit is constructed out of stainless steel, with any plastic portions being a very high quality durable temperature resistant material.
All of the switches on the unit feel substantial, and the temperature control dial has a satisfying amount of resistance and feels quality as you turn it.
The Volcano is the type of vape that will last for years with no issues. It has proven reliability in the vaping community, and has been touted as a workhorse for people who need a reliable vape that works everyday.
The Cloud EVO’s Build Quality
The Cloud EVO is sporting some type of heat resistant polymer that makes up its exterior.
As we established before, the vapor path of the Cloud EVO is all glass. The all glass vapor path can pose some issues from a build quality standpoint.
While the glass won’t magically break, it is very likely to break in the event of a tragic accident like it being dropped or falling over with a hydratube on top of it.
Speaking of hydratubes, those are obviously all glass as well, which can easily break if you drop those or knock them over.
If you’re a really clumsy person, the EVO may not be for you.
Which Vape has Better Build Quality?
The Volcano is definitely the winner here.
I wouldn’t say the Cloud EVO has bad build quality because it doesn’t, it’s a quality unit. But it is fragile and requires the same care that an expensive waterpipe would need in making sure it doesn’t get knocked over or anything to break it.
This section will go over each vape’s warranty.
The Volcano’s Warranty
The Volcano has a 3 year warranty on defects and flaws in the materials or workmanship of the vaporizer.
3 years is pretty good coverage compared to other vaporizers on the market currently. It could be longer, but in general the Volcano is one of the most reliable vaporizers on the market.
The chances of you actually needing to warranty your Volcano are very slim.
The Cloud EVO’s Warranty
VapeXhale is offering two different warranties on the Cloud EVO.
The VapeXhale 3 Year Limited Warranty covers the EVO for defects in the material or workmanship of the vaporizer itself.
This warranty does not cover any of the glass for accidental breakage.
The VapeXhale 3 Year Platinum warranty covers the following:
- 1 accidental breakage of an EVO
- 1 accidental breakage or damage of a Hydratube not including limited edition glass
- VapeXhale covers all shipping and all associated fees for repair
- Prioritized scheduling for warranty servicing
Which Vape has the Best Warranty?
I would say they’re about tied, they more or less offer the same standard warranty.
Conclusion: Which Vape is Better for You?
Ultimately, I think it comes down to whether you’re going to be vaping with large groups or not.
If you’re going to be vaping with 3+ people often, the Volcano is a great investment. The Solid Valve is very manageable to load for a solo user, and Storz and Bickel does offer a filling chamber reducer for the Easy Valve if that’s your preferred bag system.
Nothing quite beats the ease of use with bags when vaping with friends!
The Cloud EVO would be great if you think you’re going to be vaping alone primarily and maybe with another friend here and there.
Being able to easily load very small amounts of material makes the EVO very ideal for a solo user.
Also, if you like to vape through water, then you will want to go with the EVO. There are many different options for vaping through water with the Cloud EVO.
Looking to buy either of these units and want the best price?