Cloudious9 are onto something here. The makers behind the Hydrology9 vaporizer are trying to bridge the gap between two popular methods of inhalation — and their first attempt was nearly a home run. Ideal for people who like the experience of smoking out of water pipes, the Hydrology9 offers a healthier way of inhaling your favorite dried herbs without the negative side effects of smoking.
What To Expect From The Hydrology9
With its quality construction, integrated stir-tool, and stylish design, there is a lot to like about the Hydrology9.
The device produces smooth vapor draws, especially when set to the two lower temperature settings (i.e. blue & yellow settings — see heating instructions below for more). The water inside the glass chamber begins to bubble and makes a slight rumbling noise each time you inhale from the glass mouthpiece. It really does feel like you are using a water bong — the only difference is that you aren’t smoking with the Hydrology9, you are vaping.
A leak-proof water filtration system soothes and cools your vapors, although the water does seem to take away from some of the flavor. Having said that, it does a fairly good job at keeping each draw of vapor from becoming harsh or over-heated, even after multiple draws on higher heat settings; ultimately, it’s a trade-off that probably won’t matter unless you are putting top-shelf, terpene-rich herbs into the device.
For those lazy moments, the built-in stirrer is a nice addition that makes it easy to keep each vapor draw tasting fresh without the need of doing more than spinning the base of the unit once. Before getting the chance to try the Hydrology9, I assumed the stir tool would be tough to turn or get stuck often (similar to a grinder), but it’s built well with minimal friction making the twisting/stirring action shockingly easy.
Some Areas For Improvement
No vape is perfect. The Hydrology9 has a lot going for it, but it also has a few areas in which it can be improved. Some of the things that I’d like to see in future models include:
- A similar device from Cloudious9 with convection heating rather than conduction heating, even if that means it has to be a desktop vaporizer instead of a portable vaporizer.
- The Hydrology9’s five preset temperature levels are vague (i.e. manufacturer does not provide exact temperatures at any heat interval). It’s not a huge deal as the present levels are all relatively effective at getting the job done, but it would be nice to know exactly what temperatures were responsible for when you find your favorite vape routine.
- Cloudious9 could consider using a more intuitive lighting sequence to designate the 5 various temperature settings to make them easier to understand and remember (i.e. purple (lowest), blue (low), yellow (middle), orange (high), red (highest) would make more sense than the current order in my opinion).
- I’m not sure how possible it would be without requiring a complete redesign of the device, but I’d love to be able to reposition the air-intake hole found on the base of the unit to be higher up, towards the top of the unit, that way it is harder to accidentally block the hole with your hand when taking draws.
- Having a digital display on the front of the unit showing the current and set temperatures in °C /°F would be a welcomed addition.
How to Use The Hydrology9 Vaporizer
The Hydrology9 is packed full of features, but it’s still a snap to use. To begin using the Hydrology9 vaporizer for the first time, follow the following 6-step process:
- Remove bottom cap/stir tool by turning the piece counter-clockwise.
- Load your freshly ground herbs into the oven, being mindful not to load past the top line. Note: Do not pack too tightly or over-grind your material.
- Replace cap/stir tool by twisting it back into place.
- Now unscrew the mouthpiece, and after ensuring all parts are tightly screwed down, fill the reservoir halfway through the top portion. Note: For the best flavor/vapor quality, try using distilled/filtered water without any impurities.
- Re-attach the mouth piece once the device is filled with water.
- Turn on the Hydrology9 by tapping the white button three times fast. Note: The device’s LEDs will light up green and red when the unit is turned on and off, respectively.
The Hydrology9 vaporizer has five (5) preset temperature settings that can be controlled by tapping the white button one time (per heat setting) when the device is turned on. In doing so, the vaporizer’s LEDs will begin flashing, lighting the water’s color in accordance with the selected heat setting as outlined below:
- Flashing Blue – Heating towards the 1st degree (lowest temperature)
- Flashing Yellow – Heating towards the 2nd degree (low)
- Flashing Orange – Heating towards the 3rd degree (medium)
- Flashing Purple – Heating towards the 4th degree (high)
- Flashing Red – Heating towards the 5th degree (highest temperature)
- Solid Green – Ready for inhalation (desired temperature reached)
With continued use, the Hydrology9 becomes easier and easier to use without the need for instructions. However, even after using the vape for a couple of weeks, I found it hard to remember what color lights refer to what heat settings as they aren’t exactly intuitive (e.g. Why is purple after orange but before red?), so be prepared to keep your manual near-by. In fact, if you plan on buying the Hydrology9, you may want to go ahead and bookmark this post now.
The Hydrology9 is programmed to automatically begin heating to the selected temperature. Because of this, you’ll want to select your target heat setting from the get-go (right after you turn the device on) to avoid heating to the wrong temperature. The time it takes for the Hydrology9 to heat up varies depending on the selected heat setting. From my experience, the unit tends to heat up in about one (1) minute, which is a tad slower than some of the other portable vapes on the market.
The Hydrology9 is a session-style vaporizer. Once the heating chamber reaches the set temperature, the temperature will be maintained for 120 seconds before the Hydrology9 goes into “standby mode,” giving you 2 minutes to vape dried herbs continuously. Standby mode is represented by a blue flashing light which signals the end of a single session. To start another vape session, press the white button once and repeat the process of selecting your desired temperature setting.
The Hydrology9 Requires Regular Cleaning & Maintenance
It’s important to note that the Hydrology9 does require more upkeep than other portable vaporizers that do not utilize as many parts (or water for that matter…). On the upside, the chambers do come apart fairly simply for easy cleaning and maintenance.
To clean the Hydrology9, simply unscrew all the parts and clean all non-electronic parts with a microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol. Rinse all non-electric items with water to remove all traces of the alcohol. Allow all of the pieces to dry completely before putting them back together and/or using the vape. Note: Never bring the oven portion of the Hydrology9 near moisture.
After reviewing vapes regularly, you start to feel like they are all pretty much the same. The Hydrology9 shatters this misconception with its refreshingly new concept of mixing a vaporizer with the best features of a bong. The result: a truly unique and rewarding vape experience unlike any other. Reminiscent of the days of lava lights, this nifty hand-held vaporizer produces extremely smooth vapor draws, is very efficient, and the LEDs light up the water making it a fun device to use as well. However, the Hydrology9 vaporizer’s large size, heavy weight, and water-requirement makes it less-than-ideal for vaping on the go; because of this, I think of it more as a desktop vaporizer than as a portable vaporizer.