While they're a gentler way of smoking, vaporizers have traditionally been associated with guys in college who eat Cheez-Its while listening to "YYZ" on repeat. But thanks to more-precise heating elements, sleeker designs, and the addition of rechargeable batteries, the devices — which use conductive heating elements to warm dried herbs to temperatures hot enough to extract the active ingredients via smoke-free vapor — are easier to operate and travel with.
Some you charge via USB, like a phone, others require fuel, but all require very little effort: Load your herb of choice, press a button, and inhale as you would from a pipe. While not technically a healthier way of toking up, vaporizers are free of the harshness that accompanies conventional ways of smoking. We scoured the market, and here are the best options.
The Ascent lets you dial in temperature (from 38 to 430 degrees) to account for different herbs. Its chamber flips out and fits either loose leaf or concentrates; its retractable glass pipe provides a smooth draw. Testers liked the palm-friendly size, long battery life, and high level of control, but hated how dirty the Ascent's rubber chamber became and found its vapor weak. [$250; davincivaporizer.com]