Aromatherapy – Atmos Astra Review
The Atmos Astra Dry Herb/Aromatherapy Vaporizer
by J. C. Martin, III
Price: About $110
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Purchased from Vaporizer Chief
If you are looking for a good quality vaporizer for aromatherapy oils or to use with marijuana, this is the type of device you need to look for. On the other hand, if you are looking for a new vaping instrument for e-liquids this is not the kind of device you need. As a Dry Herb Vaporizer the Atmos Astra is a fine machine, for the e-liquid vapers in the community, don’t bother to read on…
The Atmos Astra Dry Herb Vaporizer is a high quality, and fun vaping device, if you’re looking for a device to use with waxes, oils, (aromatherapy) and dry herbs, like marijuana (to get high). Trying to use this device with e-liquid is, well, it’s not the wisest use for it. I tried it with some ejuice and the experience was disappointing. But when used with oils, it’s a whole new experience.
Be sure to carefully read the included instruction manual upon the purchase of this device. The manual is straightforward and simple, yet necessary for proper operation of the device. A bit tricky to operate at times, the Atmos Astra does not require a press and hold operation for its activation button like most of the vaping instruments you may be familiar with. One must simply “unlock” the device with 5 clicks, then click the button 3 times in a row to select one of the five temperature choices. The steel cup heats up, producing vapor, and when the LED light blinks, inhalation of the vapor is then possible. This device should not be compared to an e-liquid vaporizer; and I’ll get into that below. I recommend using only the battery that comes with the device or one that the Atmos customer support line says is okay.
Within the Box
- ICR 18650 3.7V 2000mAh 10C Lithium Ion Battery, Removable
- Heating Chamber
- Liquid & Waxy Steel Cup
- Cleaning Brush Tool
- Packing Tool
- USB Cable
- Wall Charger
- User Manual
Specifications and Features
- Capacity/Battery Voltage: 18650 3.7V 2000mAh 10C/3.5V – 4.2V
- Charger/Output Voltage: 5.0V/500 mAh
- 3 Minute Power Safety Duration
- Low Battery Indication, LED Flashes 10 Times Rapidly
- Stainless Steel Liquid/Waxy Cup
- Ceramic Heating Chamber with Embedded Heating Element
- Initial Charge Time: 6 Hours
- Normal Usage Charge Time: 2 Hours
- 160mm Tall
- 24mm in Diameter
- 5-Press Lock/Unlock
- 5-Choice TC Selection, Light Indication
- 3-Press Temperature Selection Vapor Activation
- Non Hold-Press Activation Button
- Battery Heat Dissipation Holes
- Rubber Mouthpiece
Notions on the Atmos Astra Dry Herb Vaporizer
For those that are used to using dry herb vaporizers for waxes or herbs, you will enjoy this device more than people who vape with sub-ohm tanks or DIY RDAs. It works well for waxes, oils and dry herbs, however it does not really compare to vaping with devices that use coils and e-liquids. The activation button cannot be held down for 4 seconds or so and then released, as most vaping devices operate in such a manner. Just because the device works differently than, for instance, an 18650 mech mod, does not mean it does not do what it is made for. Once the LED light blinks, one can inhale a small, aromatic vapor produced by the proper materials. Does it produce large clouds of vapor? No, as it is not meant for cloud chasers and e-liquid. Will it evaporate waxes and herb, even pipe tobacco? Absolutely, and the Atmos Astra does have a many positive qualities when it comes to aromatherapy and for vaping pot.
The manual explains how to use the Atmos Astra. It comes with a USB Cable and a charger as well. The box includes tweezers, a packing tool, a cleaning brush, and some extra screens. The tweezers are of good quality and are necessary for convenient removal of the steel cup. Be sure to let it cool before cleaning the steel cup, as it can get hot from use. The device is sleek and stylish, perfect for those who seek dry herb/wax vaping. Most dry herb vaporizers cost well over $100 and can retail up to $240 or more, so the Atmos Astra costs less than many devices of this nature on the market. Two choices for wax paste vaping are available on the Atmos website and are the cigar and the tobacco essences. They are about $8 a piece for a small tube, about 10ml.
Vaping Dry Herbs and Waxes
I’ll admit upfront that I don’t usually use such a device, but I was very interested to experience this type of vaping. The idea behind this type of vaporizer is not to generate enormous clouds of vapor, but rather as a way to get the most out of various waxes and oils made with various aromatherapy ingredients. The health claims made by companies that sell these concentrated ingredients may be overstated, but I must admit that I did feel better, less stressful, while vaping with an oil blend from Essential Earth’s Passion blend. The Passion oil blend has 100% Organic Ingredients that include Yohimbe, Maca, Catuaba, Vitamin E and Horny Goat Weed. It also contains Propylene glycol (PG), in an organic oil base.
Passion Blend is supposed to help with loss of vitality. A “session” is a vape time of 5-10 draws from the vaporizer. After the first session I actually felt slightly invigorated, but not enough to discount a placebo effect. However, after 5 sessions of 10 draws each over the course of about 24 hours I believe I can discount the placebo effect because I felt very clear-headed, alert, and calm. I began to believe in this aromatherapy thing.
Next, I wanted to try an oil blend that would help with inflammation, a problem most people have in my line of work. So, I opened a bottle of Flex from Essential Earth and did several sessions with it. Flex contains 100% organic Ingredients including: Boswellia, Ginger & Skullcap. It also contains smaller amounts of Propylene glycol in an organic oil base. Again, after one session I felt very little, but after several sessions all that soreness I feel at the end of the night seemed to melt away. I have since started a regimen using these various oils to see if I can maximize the benefits.
I’m still not sure if all this couldn’t be attributed to the well known science of the placebo effect, but if it works, do I really care? I guess that depends on how expensive it gets. A 5ML bottle costs a huge $35.95, but thankfully you won’t go through this oil as quickly as e-liquid.
As for smoking/vaping marijuana, I don’t use pot, but I did want to check with a friend a friend of mine that does. Supposedly vaping pot in a vaporizes is a hundred times smoother and safer than rolling a joint and smoking it. No coughing, no harsh throat, and a better high is what to expect from using a vaporizer. In addition, because you don’t burn the leaves you don’t intake any of the potentially harmful ingredients from it.
After lending the Atmos Astra to my friend I can tell you that everything that you hear about using a vaporizer with pot is absolutely true. My friend, after using the device, went and ordered one for himself. I suppose that if I ever decided to start using marijuana I would go this route.
If you are an e-liquid vaper now and use a high wattage device and a low resistance, or sub-ohm tank, you undoubtedly see a lot of vapor production. If you decide to dry this type of vaping, using oils, waxes and dry herb, expect to see a fraction of the vapor clouds. This is all about what the ingredients do the inside of your body and mind, not producing large amount of vapor.
The included user manual describes the Atmos Astra’s warranty, however additional information in more detail is available on the Atmos RX website. The Atmos Astra comes with a 30-day manufacturer’s defect warranty, yet there is more. If you retain your receipt and register with Atmos, you can receive a five-year warranty for your device. In order to activate the 5-year warranty, one must purchase the product through an Atmos authorized retailer or directly from them. This means that if the Astra is bought off of eBay or other third party vendor, 5-year warranty registration is not possible. Remember to retain your receipt upon the purchase of the Astra in order to activate the 5-year warranty, and check out the details on the Atmos RX website. Atmos also offers a 1-year limited replacement program for the device and USB cable for a nominal fee, which covers the cost of shipping and handling.
About Atmos Nation, LLC
The Atmos RX website has an extensive about page, with links to other resources within their company. Atmos has over 35 patents and over 14 trademarks. They are a global leader in innovative designs and in-house manufacturing. Atmos Technologies exists in Davie, FL. The Atmos team prides themselves with remaining informed in regards to new products and being readily available to answer customers’ questions. On their website there exists a customer care number as well as a live chat line for people who have questions or concerns in regards to warranty information, products and/or product use. The Atmos Astra is not the only product worth mentioning in this review. Atmos manufactures a ceramic 510 connection RDA called “The Kiln” which can be used for dry herb/wax vaping and is able to be seen on their website.
In conclusion, the Atmos Astra is great for vaping dry herbs, waxes, and oils. If you are after huge clouds, instead of potential health benefits you will want to consider another device. As far as flavor goes, the device does allow for it. As far as the rating goes, I was not able to justify giving the Atmos Astra more than 4.5 of 5 stars. However, like I said above, this kind of device really should not be compared to personal vaporizers or sub-ohm tanks with regulated mods, as it is best for dry herbs, oils, and waxes. If you are in the market for a dry-herb vaporizer, compare the price of the Atmos Astra to other devices similar to it, and it may be just for you. Thank you for reading, and, as always, vape on.
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Atmos Astra 2 Review
Kit and Accessories
- Atmos Astra 2
- One plastic mouthpiece
- One glass mouthpiece
- Cleaning brush + Packing tool
- USB charging cable
Compatibility: The Astra 2 is compatible with dry herbs only.
Mouthpiece Options: The Astra 2 kit includes a shorter plastic mouthpiece and a longer glass one. Both can be replaced for a low price on Atmos’ official website.
- The shorter mouthpiece is the better choice for portability but it is also quite comfortable to vape from. That is because it extends slightly to form a tapered shape that feels good but fails to adequately cool down the vapor. I would be disappointed if it were the only mouthpiece, but luckily there is a better option.
- The longer glass mouthpiece isn’t particularly travel-friendly but you won’t mind once you start inhaling from it because it has all the benefits you expect from a glass mouthpiece. The neutral material keeps the flavor pure and the long airpath keeps the vapor cool. The extended glass mouthpiece is easily the better one and it is a nice option for a portable vaporizer.
Design and Features
Overall Design: The Astra 2 is a pretty good looking device with a lot of practical touches. It looks a little like the key fob of a luxury car at first glance, and it feels just as good. The metal parts are made from anodized, scratch-resistant stainless steel so it’s pretty durable, and it has a nice finish that isn’t too glossy. Rubber grips on the shoulder of the device make holding it feel comfortable.
Ceramic Oven: The Astra 2 has a sizeable ceramic oven that can hold 0.3 grams of herb. That’s a pretty good size for solo users and the wide shape makes loading much easier. Also, the ceramic material keeps the herb, and the vapor it produces, pure.
Feature List: My only problem is that the temperature control buttons are a little too low on the device to be controlled while holding it in one hand, placing them just below the power button would have been ideal, but this is a minor problem overall. The Astra 2 gives users feedback through the OLED screen, the haptic feedback feature, and the lights around the control buttons. They keep you well apprised of the Astra 2’s heating, temperature, and battery status at all times. This is a feature set that I would be impressed to see on a dry herb vape that costs $100 more than this one.
Ease of Use: Rounding out the design feature list is the fact that it is easy to remove and replace each mouthpiece when you want to load the chamber or switch them out. The Astra 2 is only four inches tall and about an inch wide so portability is very high, as long as you use the plastic mouthpiece. The glass mouthpiece is better but it limits the travel-friendliness of the device.
Build Quality: The Astra 2 is made from stainless steel and rubber so it’s pretty rugged. There is some nice weight to it as well, so it’s a pretty solid feeling device.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Since it essentially consists of just two parts—the body and either mouthpiece—the Astra 2 is pretty easy to clean. The chamber can be cleaned using either the included cleaning brush or a q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol. The shorter plastic mouthpiece can be easily cleaned by soaking it in a bowl of isopropyl alcohol, but the longer one needs a little more care.
You can clean the glass part of it using the brush or iso soaked q-tips, but you should soak the plastic part in alcohol. All of that cleaning only takes a few minutes, which makes the Astra 2 one of the more low maintenance vaporizers around.
How to Use
- Push the tip of your chosen mouthpiece forward to expose the herb chamber, load your herb, replace the mouthpiece.
- Press the power button 5x times rapidly to turn on the Astra 2, the device will vibrate, and the OLED screen will light up.
- Choose your temperature using the up/down arrows, once the temperature has been selected, press the power button once to begin heating. The word “heat” will appear on the OLED display.
- Once the temperature has been reached, the Astra 2 will vibrate and the word “warm” will appear on the screen.
- Inhale from the mouthpiece to start vaping.
The official user manual is located on this page.
Temperature Range: The Astra 2 has a granular temperature range of 300°F to 435°F.
Performance and Vapor Quality
Vaporizer Performance: The Astra 2 heats up in under a minute despite being a pretty small vape. It also doesn’t get as hot as smaller vapes do, so the performance is pretty solid for a vaporizer this size. Smaller vapes usually run hot because they have less space to circulate and distribute the heat that builds up during operation. As a result, they tend to get hotter than larger vapes while in use. Fortunately, the Astra 2 manages to avoid that problem.
Vapor Quality: The vapor is hot and harsh when using the plastic mouthpiece. The reason is that it sits directly over the herb chamber so the vapor doesn’t get any time to cool down. That’s why the longer mouthpiece is better, it’s increased length helps to cool down the vapor and the glass material keeps it cool and pure. I was surprised and impressed by the amount of vapor this tiny vape produces. If you want to get the highest amount of vapor from the Astra 2 then set it at 385°F. The flavor is good, better than most weed vapes of this size, but it won’t trouble larger, more expensive vapes.
Battery Performance: The Astra 2 has a 2200 mAh battery that lasts for a little over an hour of non-stop vaping, that’s good for about five to six sessions before it needs a recharge. That recharge does take about three hours though, which is on the long side even when you take the small size into account.
The Atmos Astra 2 was a pretty solid mid-tier weed vape when it launched. Can it still keep up—or beat—the competition? Read the review to find out.