Prime Vaping with Prima
The Prima is Vapir’s first portable vape; its unique design, great looks and decent functionality drop it right into Pax 2 territory – with superior vapor quality. In short, it’s a real beauty that packs a fair punch.
The Prima arrives well packaged and with bright, easy to read instructions, which is always a good start. The device itself does not disappoint, its vibrant metallic blue and unique shape making an immediate impact.
Built from metallic-looking high temperature polymer, like the casing on the Volcano, the Herbalizer and a dozen others vaporizers. The stealth factor is not great; this is quite a large portable that can just about be palmed but I wouldn’t carry it in a back pocket.
The battery charging dock plugs into a wall socket or operates via USB. The battery itself is large for a portable, but powerful – 3200mAh. It slides off the Prima’s base easily and was ready to use with just 30 minutes of juice time.
A green light on the dock lights up to show it’s on, and loaded with the battery it turns red until fully charged, when it turns green again. Once charged, the battery slides back on the device with a slight click. Release is easy – there’s no locking device or anything like that.
On the Prima’s upper surface is the main on-off button. Holding it down for a couple of seconds switches it on and displays what temperature it’s set on (1-4 green lights). Press the On button repeatedly to cycle through the temperature settings:
1 light = 176-182 C.
2 lights = 185-190
3 lights = 193-198
4 lights = 199-204
Then hold the On button down to begin heat up; the selected number of lights blink until the temperature is reached.
Vapir recommend you set the heat to max and run the heat-up to auto-shutoff cycle 3 times to burn off any residues remaining from the manufacturing process. Actually, this is a good tip for any new vape.
I chose level 3 and began the heat up; 3 lights flash. As the lowest temp is hit, 1 stays lit while the other 2 keep flashing, then 2 stay lit and finally when level 3 was reached, all 3 lights are on and we’re good to vape. With a fully charged battery this took around 30 seconds (to Level 3), dropping to around 50 seconds on a lower charge.
All four lights flash green when auto-shut off is initiated (after around 5 minutes without use), then red and the Prima powers down. Press the On button twice to cancel shut off and extend your session. The same 4 lights indicate battery remaining; press the On button briefly and 1-4 lights glow green (when the device is switched off).
Cool Oven Design
Its magnetized oven lid pulls off easily, to reveal a mid-sized bowl of ROH certified brass, and snaps back snugly. There are vented airways to allow air into the oven and through the herb.
A rubber cap sleeve can be slipped over the oven, primarily for insulation from the oven’s heat though to be honest, overheating was not an issue. The Prima delivers a cool and flavorsome vapor and draws as easily as any premium handheld. I kept the guard on to reduce the chances of my Prima from scratching.
I found dry (pref. medium ground) herb worked best at 2-3 lights, but even at 4 the herb was efficiently heated without burning. I didn’t try concentrates, though Vapir recommends small dabs done at the highest temperature (to prevent saturation of the wire pad and dripping into the oven).
Convection + Conduction
The Prima uses a combination of true convection and conduction for even heat exposure, and has room built in for heated air to pass through the herb.
I did find that with a deep inhalation, the temperature of the oven dropped off before I’d finished the draw, and then took a few seconds to return to its level. While not serious, I’d say this was the only real flaw in this otherwise outstanding vape.
Battery life was good for a vape this size, and a cool feature is the ability to pre-charge and swap a fresh battery in about 2 seconds; slide out the used, slide in the fresh; easy (being well-made though, a spare battery is quite expensive).
The Prima comes with two extra wire pads and two extra screens, a large dry herb-loading scoop that works well. A cleaning tool, pointy at one end for removing the pad and screen from the oven, and with a small scoop on the other is perfect for loading powdery kif.
The included cleaning brush has a rubber wedge at the end, so it slides into the mouthpiece for storing when not in use and effectively cleans your vapor path every time you store it.
Basic cleaning with the brush is easy, and the Prima comes apart for an occasional full Iso clean. The mouthpiece and oven screen pop off and the steel tube slides out, leaving all parts of the vapor pathway accessible for a thorough swab down. This fully cleanable pathway is one of the great aspects of the Prima.
With the oven at the opposite end of the vape to the mouthpiece and a stainless steel tube connecting the two, the Prima’s vapor is relatively cool and nicely flavorsome. When clean, the vapor taste is good and fresh with very little leakage when the device is idling. The heating is efficient and even, leaving no dark scorched-herb spots.
A water pipe attachment is available; we’ve ordered one and will update the review or do something on water attachments for vapes in general, but even without trying it’s nice to know there’s a smart portable out there with such expansion.
At the premium end of the portable spectrum, the Prima is up there with the Crafty or the Pax2, and is priced accordingly. It’s a great looking, unique design, but despite the attractive exterior, it feels pretty rugged and sits well in the hand.