The only other odd quirk we noted: The up-arrow button is on the left of the power button, and the down-arrow button is on the right, and it always felt backward. The Grasshopper has thick, potent vapor, quick heat-up times, charming tactile controls, a lifetime warranty, and an inconspicuous design—but it gets quite hot, and its charging setup and battery life aren’t the best. The Stainless Grasshopper heats up instantly and delivers potent vapor that’s more concentrated than that of the AirVape, and that, combined with a slim pen-like housing, makes a product that’s more portable, more discreet, and easier to use quickly on the go than our other picks.
Although this model has remained available throughout spring 2019, a main drawback has been inconsistent availability since its release in 2016. But the company backs each unit with a lifetime warranty, and its product gets great reviews in spite of all of this and its high price—proof that the unique Grasshopper, which is honestly the most fun to use of our picks, is really a satisfying item. The pen-shaped device is a departure from a lot of the vaporizers we look at. Instead of digital buttons, tactile controls manage the activation and temperature. To turn the heating element on or off, just click the back of the device like you would any retractable pen. Around the clicker is a rotating, five-step knob that controls the temperature. The LEDs toward the other end are blue when ready, red when heating, and blinking red when the battery is low. It’s charming in its simplicity, and it packs a punch with each puff.
The Grasshopper’s proprietary charge cord works well but is not as convenient as a universal connection. Plan on using this silicone mouthpiece cover, even if it does kind of ruin the design. Subtle plus and minus engravings by the clicker—aka the power switch—adjust the temperature. The Grasshopper’s proprietary charge cord works well but is not as convenient as a universal connection. Plan on using this silicone mouthpiece cover, even if it does kind of ruin the design. The mouthpiece unscrews to reveal the chamber underneath. But it’s pretty narrow and tends to be a little messier to fill than the AirVape X, which has a concave rim to catch errant flower crumbs. The Grasshopper is a convection vaporizer, so it heats the air you inhale, vaporizing the contents into concentrated clouds that taste delicious. Sweet notes of orange popped from our sativa-dominant hybrid flowers, whereas our other picks left us with just a faint citrus flavor or general sweetness. The potency of the Grasshopper’s vapor stood out when we did side by side tests with the AirVape over the course of a week. Using the same indica strain, Birthday Cake, a few puffs on the Grasshopper matched the effects you’d get from the AirVape in three or four times as many draws. The Grasshopper’s number-one flaw is that the metal mouthpiece (the pen tip) gets incredibly hot during use. The Grasshopper ships with a silicone mouthpiece cover, and we consider this to be a requirement for day-to-day use. But it pretty much ruins the look and prevents the Grasshopper from fitting in its box, if that’s where you want to keep it. Hopper Labs (the Grasshopper’s manufacturer) sells a Performance Front-end that works with water pipes; we haven’t tried it. Unscrew the mouthpiece on the Grasshopper to reveal the chamber. It can fit up to 0.3 gram, depending on how you grind your material. The only parts of the Grasshopper that require cleaning are the combustion chamber and the front-end mouthpiece. Both pieces routinely require a brief brushing out (no cleaning tool is included) but the device generally doesn’t get as dirty or resin-y as the AirVape. The mouthpiece has an even simpler design than our other picks’. It screws off and has a flat metal screen recessed inside, which is easy to clear out with a damp cotton swab. If you’re ambitious you can use isopropyl alcohol, but after a year of use, we haven’t cleaned it thoroughly and have had no problems. With no space for a charging port, the Grasshopper has an inductive and magnetic charging cord that connects around the clicker and plugs into any standard USB charger. It’s charming but not as convenient for travel as a multifunctional Micro-USB cord. There is no indication during use of how much battery life remains—although, on the charger, it blinks green when it’s full.
The charging cord is proprietary and, at $35, a little pricey to replace. The Grasshopper’s custom lithium battery is removable and two are included in the box, so you can bring a spare if you’re worried about battery life—a nice compromise and an option that the AirVape lacks. Simple, tactile controls make the Grasshopper charming to use, although its minimal display-free design leaves no room for details like battery life. The Grasshopper comes with a lifetime warranty, and its design has had ups and downs (and some changes) over the years. Early on, in 2017, customers experienced reliability issues. We’ve had a great experience with our test units and have found the company responsive and reassuring in interviews about these problems, for what that’s worth.
If you try a Grasshopper and have issues, feel free to give us feedback about it. The high-capacity Firefly 2+ quickly produces more intense, tasty vapor than competitors, and it’s attractive and easy to clean—but it’s expensive, and it buries critical info in an app. If you’re looking for top-notch vapor or want something that’s easy to pass to friends, we recommend the Firefly 2+.