Vaping marijuana isn’t particularly new. For decades, dedicated stoners have innovated and perfected tabletop vaporizers, which superheat cannabis and cannabis concentrates to provide a cleaner, more intense high. However, tabletop vaporizers have long been difficult for the average stoner to use — they are expensive, bulky and complex, and they can’t easily be transported or used on-the-go.

Fortunately, the most recent decade has introduced portable vapes, small and lightweight vaporizers with surprising power. If you are interested in buying a portable weed vape for yourself, here’s what you need to know about styles, features and brands.

The Difference Between Vape Pens and Portables

To vaping outsiders, the terms “portable vape” and “vape pen” might seem interchangeable — but to those who prefer to use vapes for weed, there are important distinctions. Though both are handheld and easy to travel with, vape pens and portable vaporizers are much less alike than they seem.

First, vape pens are smaller and sleeker, taking the shape of a thick pen. These devices are designed for convenience and concealment; they often come with pre-filled cartridges, lack fussy controls and fit easily into the palm of the hand or a clothing pocket. Though cartridges can come in different strengths and flavors — perhaps even filled with hemp, CBD or some other non-psychoactive cannabis substance — users are all but guaranteed the same experience with the same products through a vape pen.

In contrast, portable vapes tend to be more robust in almost every way. Though some portable vapes are small and discreet, they can in fact take almost any form, from looking like a wooden box to mimicking asthma inhalers and travel mugs. Portable vapes typically boast a large number of features, which users can adjust to ensure the perfect vaping experience. For instance, advanced heating systems in portable vapes use convection to super-heat air that in turn heats the substance in the vape’s chamber, which prevents combustion and provides a smoother, more enjoyable flavor. Speaking of chambers, portable vaporizers can contain pre-filled cartridges like vape pens, but they can also contain non-e-liquid substances like cannabis concentrates and even flower. This further allows portable vape users to customize their experience to their needs and wants.

There are pros and cons to both vape pens and portable vapes. Regardless of your preference, here are a few of the best options on the market right now:

3 Best Portable Vapes of 2020

Mighty. The name of this portable vape is no lie. Mixing both conduction and convection heating techniques and a built-in vapor cooling system, this rig provides extremely high-quality vapor but is easy enough for beginners to use.

Arizer Solo 2. The Solo 2 provides wonderful vapor quality in about 20 seconds flat, but even more astounding is the vape’s strong battery, which allows vapers to use the rig non-stop for three hours — longer than any other vape on the market.

Firefly 2+. The best smart vape available today, the Firefly 2+ is fully adjustable through an intuitive smartphone app, making it look incredibly sleek without compromising functionality. One of a lineage of high-quality portables, the 2+ is easy and fun to use.

3 Best Vape Pens of 2020

Kandypens Rubi Vaporizer. Just four inches long but with a full 1 milliliter of refill capacity, this pen is leak-proof, backwash-proof and charges through a micro-USB. Even better, it is remarkably streamlined in look and has a lifetime warranty on its battery.

MIG Vapor Canna Blast. Equipped with ceramic atomizers, which help to preserve concentrate flavor, this pen is best for cannabis connoisseurs looking for an entry-level vape at an affordable price point.

Bug RX. Unlike most vape pens, this one is refillable, giving you a bit more control over the type of juice you can enjoy, saving you money on cartridges and eliminating some of the waste associated with vapes. You can try liquids of different viscosities and cannabinoid dosage to find the perfect experience.

You can find these portable vapes and more online at your favorite vape or weed store, or you can talk to dispensary workers in your area for more personalized recommendations. You shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different pens and rigs; vaping is a wide world, especially when it comes to weed, and it might take time to find your perfect fit.