Do you ever get that feeling life is too mechanized, too controlled? What would our ancestors, who used herbs to connect with nature, think of the mishmash of chipsets and gadgetry that are vaporizers today? Hankering for a return to a simpler connection with my weed, I tried out the DynaVap M and OmniVap XL.
DynaVap is a Wisconsin-based company that designs and manufactures their vaporizers from scratch, all of them without a single electronic component. This return to basics stands in stark contrast with almost every other major vape producer today. Instead of a boxy, soulless design, DynaVap creates exquisite back-to-basics vaporizers that might even pass for works of art.
I have both the company’s most basic model, the original DynaVap M and its top-shelf device, the OmniVap XL. The 2019 DynaVap M is made of stainless steel and retails for about $70, but you can get the shadow for as little as $60. The OmniVap range is constructed of titanium and prices begin at $160. Its modular design allows you to add parts that can take the price north of $200.
Despite the big difference in price, I have found that the lower end ‘M’ pulls more than its weight and offers excellent value for money. On the other hand, the OmniVap experience is the premium choice, and vape connoisseurs will appreciate the subtle but tangible differences.
How does the DynaVap M Work? How Does the OmniVap XL Work? Read On.
Founder, owner and chief vape designer at DynaVap, George Breiwa is apparently a staunch traditionalist. If simplicity is the goal, Breiwa has it nailed – DynaVap devices are as close to minimalist vaping as you can get.
No matter which DynaVap model you use, all you have to do is load the herb, heat the device until you hear a click and then take a draw. A second click tells you that the device has cooled and is ready to be heated again.
Heat, listen for the click, Take a draw, Listen for the click again. Repeat — The end.
This simplicity is the result of a wonderful trick of engineering that Breiwa has applied in his designs that lets DynaVap eliminate electronics.
The cap has the added advantage of producing a small tactile clicking effect when you are heating your DynaVap.
That said, the clicks are not just critical to enjoying your vaping session but also for the wellbeing and longevity of your device (and whatever is in the bowl). When heat is applied, the first click tells you that the device is at the ideal temperature for vaping.
***Further application of heat will burn your herb and could potentially damage the device***
Naturally, the time it takes for your DynaVap device to emit the first click depends on the heat source and, where you heat the cap. I found that 5 to 6 seconds is a good guide to start when using my three flame handheld burner.
The device begins to cool as soon as the heat source is removed. When it cools to a critical point – usually about 15-30 seconds later – the device produces another click to let you know that it is okay to heat again.
Of course, it may be easy enough to miss the click and the gentle tactile feedback, particularly if you have company. My solution for this is to err on the side of caution and wait an extra 30 seconds or so. You will eventually get used to the timings, but accidents still happen to me six months on.
How to Load a DynaVap M or OmniVap XL
DynaVap devices are easy to load, especially if you are using dried leaf. Simply remove the cap at the end of the device and push the exposed tip into a container of herb. A small twisting motion will help scoop up the good stuff.
I have seen some people put their mouth to the stem and inhale to help with the take-up. Maybe it’s stating the obvious but only try that if your herb isn’t extra fine ground and dusty. Remember to replace the cap.
I usually fill it up to the top, then tap it down using the extractor tool on the cap. Just enough to make sure it stays when the device is tipped on its side.
If you press your herb down to hard, you will find that the herb near the screen doesn’t get vaporized as well.
If you are a fan of concentrates, Dynavap has just released the Dynacoil which is great for concentrates. If you haven’t got one of them a wick fashioned from degummed hemp fiber works a charm.
You could also just add a bit to your dry herb for some extra punch if you are okay with the little bit more cleaning that accompanies this method.
How to Heat a DynaVap M or OmniVap XL
With any DynaVap vaporizer, you need an external heat source. A standard lighter or even a stove can work, but a butane torch lighter is definitely the better investment. It delivers heat faster, gives you better control over the temperature and won’t leave ugly soot marks behind.
With the burner in one hand, hold the DynaVap in the other. Rotate the device as you apply the dark blue part of the flame to the last 1/3 of the metal cap.
Remember that only the side of the cap should be heated, not the end as you would with a cigarette.
It usually takes less than 10 seconds to produce the first click, which tells you it’s vaping time. If you don’t hear the click, remove the lighter, and let the device cool down, then start over.
Vaping with a DynaVap M or OmniVap XL
There is one fundamental operational difference between the DynaVap M and OmniVap XL – the air intake.
With the M, you control the air intake by either covering part of or all of the air hole. I personally leave it uncovered on both devices. I have seen some vapers use tape to cover the intake hole, then poke holes in the tape. This allows them to get a consistent draw without having to use their finger. The downside is that you cannot adjust the air volume (and cloud thickness) mid-session or mid-draw as some like to do.
The OmniVap XL incorporates a unique design that allows you to control the airflow by simply twisting the mouthpiece. The twist makes the condenser travel closer to or further from the tip, changing the ratio of air to vapor inside.
Some users like a long, slow, steady draw with the hole completely open (me) while others will cover the port lightly or intermittently. An open port gives thinner clouds, and a restricted port delivers thicker ones. It may take new users some time to understand their devices and decide what level of air intake suits their smoking style.
Besides the airflow control and a small change in flavor due to the titanium on the Omni, there is virtually no difference between the clouds produced by the DynaVap M and OmniVap XL
What’s in the Box?
|DynaVap M||DynaVap OmniVap XL|
|Plastic travel tube||Plastic travel tube|
Right off the bat, let’s make it clear that DynaVap makes excellent vaporizers. The beautiful patterns that have been machined, etched, and hammered into both the M and the OmniVap models are exquisite. The smooth, refined finish is evident on every surface and in every component.
The DynaVap M is constructed of medical-grade stainless steel while the OmniVap XL features Grade 2 titanium. Titanium is the superior choice because it is lighter and stronger, absorbs heat quickly and then dissipates it rapidly, too.
In a vaporizer, these thermal properties mean that the device is ready to vape sooner and is safer to handle. However, the actual difference in time saved is negligible.
Each device has four main parts: cap, tip (contains the chamber), condenser, and mouthpiece. Deconstructing and reassembling them is easy, and the parts fit together with precision. The OmniVap has only a single moving part, the rotating mouthpiece for adjustable airflow while the M is entirely devoid of one.
|DynaVap M||DynaVap OmniVap XL|
|Midsection||Medical grade stainless steel||Grade 2 Titanium stem|
|Condenser||Standard||Omni XL Titanium Condenser|
|Mouthpiece||Medical grade stainless steel||Grade 2 Titanium Mouthpiece|
|Oven||Stainless Steel Tip||Titanium Tip|
|Diameter||10 mm||10 mm|
|Total Length||92 mm||109 mm|
I would say the absence of electronic components is a pro for vapers. There are fewer parts that can develop a problem, wreck your vaping plans, or cost you a stack of cash. At no point did I ever miss having a digital readout or smart app telling me how to vape. (Truth be told, I hardly ever use them once I set my preferences on electronic devices anyway).
The bottom line is that the DynaVap M and OmniVap XL are very well-made, reliable and feel premium. Top marks for build quality.
As previously mentioned there is very little difference between the devices when it comes to vapor quality and flavor but how does the vapor quality on the Dynavap range compare to the rest of the vaping world? Very well indeed.
Both the ‘M’ and the Omnivap produce some decent clouds for such a small device and they are extra potent. The flavor is exceptional for the first 2 draws then it begins to dip, sometimes appearing smokey which initially made me think I’d set it on fire but on removing the herb it is clearly just vapes weed.
Overall I am super impressed with how the device performs. It doesn’t compare to my Tubo Evic or VapeXhale in this department but it is a lot more practical and still packs a punch.
Portability & Discretion
If portability and discretion are high on your list of criteria for a vaporizer, both the DynaVap M and OmniVap XL are excellent choices for their slim, sleek silhouettes. There is one downside, though – the intriguing designs are a magnet for curious eyes!
Being just 92 mm and 109 mm in length for the M and the OmniVap XL respectively and only 10 mm in diameter, they are easily concealed in your hand or pocket. Even the dynastash I have is ENTER DIMENSONS and glides in and out your pocket with ease. DynaVap has released a stealthier version of the Dynavap M called the Shadow M which is almost black.
The only real disadvantage DynaVap devices have when compared to electronic ones is the need for an external heat source. A small lighter can work too, but you will probably prefer to have a proper butane burner. It will make the full kit less inconspicuous but get the job done faster.
Ease of Use
Having to carry a separate heating device can be a pain, so non-electronic vaporizers are automatically at a disadvantage when it comes to these criteria. DynaVaps design though, allows you to heat it using anything hot enough. I have a friend who has reported heating it on the side of a BBQ by holding it against the hot metal surface. So when I say anything, I mean anything.
A Little hack I thought I’d try was to use my Dr Dabber Switch as an induction heater for the Dynavap and it works surprisingly well ha.
Additionally, what a DynaVap lacks in self-sufficiency, it more than compensates for with portability. Both the DynaVap M and OmniVap XL are pencil-thin and, by comparison, will make box mod users look like they are holding a brick to their face.
The ‘spin as you heat’ method DynaVap encourages may take some practice. I would suggest you get the hang of heating and spinning the device without putting any herb inside first. (This will help you familiarize yourself with the sound and tactile feedback of the clicks too) Switch to the good stuff once you have the confidence to handle it.
I personally nailed the heating with the ‘M’ first time, but the ‘Omni’ took a few attempts. The margins on the Omni between perfect and on fire are slightly smaller, so bear that in mind.
Cleaning and Maintenance
DynaVap recommends emptying the chamber and giving it a quick clean after every session. Remember to wait until the device has cooled, though.
Dump the consumed herb out into your AVB jar and use the built-in extractor on the cap to remove the stragglers. A quick blow on the mouthpiece will help. For a good clean, the company suggests simply disassembling the vape and immersing the pieces in a cleaning solution. It cautions against using alcohol or flammable liquids here, especially with the titanium models.
I use boiling water from the tap with dishwashing liquid. A soak and a shake will do the job.
And I use pipe cleaners or something similar if I have a lot of build-up.
After that, shake drain and rinse, then leave out to dry before reassembling. The bare-bones designs greatly simplify cleaning and maintenance, especially if you keep at it regularly.
The Final Puff on the DynaVap M and OmniVap XL
It was really eye-opening to have both the most basic and the top-line models from the same company and to compare them side by side. From the very first time I used them, it was obvious that the OmniVap XL was the better model.
Cost-wise, the starting price of $50 for a DynaVap M is ideal for anyone who wants a no-nonsense vaporizer. At more than triple the price, the OmniVap XL is a connoisseur’s luxury. Choose it if you want the adjustable air intake control. Personally, I can live without it and not notice.
In terms of vapor thickness, flavor, and general enjoyment from my weed, both devices are great with the OmniVap leading slightly. To be able to deliver a similar level of quality right across its entire range is a fantastic achievement for any company in any industry. DynaVap has done well.
The other standout is the company’s steadfast adherence to a no-electronics policy. How far we have all come from our first spliffs to the slick, high-tech vaporizers we use today. I certainly couldn’t have predicted this modern digital dance of smart apps and electronics, but DynaVap’s simplicity appeals to my inner hippie.
The benefits are obvious. Fewer moving parts and a complete absence of electronic components means that there are fewer things to go wrong. There are no cables, LED displays, and batteries to fix, charge, or replace. By cutting down on what goes on inside of a vape, DynaVap has been able to build slimmer, sleeker vaporizers that are both portable and discreet.
It’s a winning strategy all around.
Other Articles and Reviews to read…
- How to make THC Vape Juice at Home
- How to talk to your kids about Cannabis
- Davinci IQ Dry Herb Vaporizer Review
- 6 Perfect Cannabis Strains for Vaping
- 29 Legal herbs you can use instead of cannabis
- Does Vaping Weed Give You the Munchies like Smoking?
- Can Dogs smell Cannabis Vaporizers?
Both devices are well built, and vape your herb efficiently producing excellent vapor that will have you wondering if you have set it on fire.
Overall I would highly recommend these vapes to anyone looking for a quick and powerful hit while on the move or at home.
All it really comes down to when chosing between either device is the price. If you have $200 burning a hole in your pocket you certainly wouldn't be disappointed spending it on the omnivap XL. However, if your budget doesn't stretch that far, the 'M' is more than satisfactory when it comes to performance.