The Arizer SOLO 2 and Boundless CFX are two of the best selling mid-tier portable herb vaporizers currently on the market. Both the SOLO 2 and CFX are easy to use, provide good vapor output and are reasonably priced. Both released in 2017, have been on the market long enough to earn Arizer and Boundless Technologies a mainstay reputation. While the Arizer SOLO 2 and CFX are both similarly priced and equally popular, they offer two different experiences and for two vaporizers of equal popularity could not be more different.
Neither comes with anything special about the packaging. Making the packaging too much of an unboxing experience can add design costs as can having your packaging made from a cool hemp carry case like the G Pen Roam.
The differences between the two vaporizers are evident right out of the box. While the Solo 2 has glass stems to draw from, the CFX has a broad plastic mouthpiece which swivels up and down. The CFX is equipped with a stainless steel pod to vape concentrates, while the Solo 2’s bonus addition is a potpourri dish with some Lavender. The SOLO 2 is laid out in an easy to understand fashion, while the CFX makes the assumption you’ll figure it out yourself.
Arizer SOLO 2
- Boundless CFX Vaporizer
- Oil / Wax Pod
- Charger (AC/DC)
- Charger (USB)
- Stir Tool
- Cleaning Brush
- Owner’s Manual
Dimensions & Design
The Arizer SOLO 2 adds a digital display making it sleeker than the original Solo but with the same sturdy heft. At 4.5” inches tall (without the glass stem) and 1.75” inches wide, this is a compact unit that you can feel the quality of in the hand. It has a thick metal frame and a more solid, cylindrical feel than the CFX.
The two glass stems which come with the SOLO 2 are 3.5” and 4.3”
The boxier CFX is a bit taller, much wider, but about the same weight as the Solo 2 (5” x 2.8”). It is constructed of food grade lightweight plastic with curved grooves for grip and houses a display screen 3 times bigger than that of the Arizer SOLO 2.
Loading & Ease of Use
The Arizer Solo 2 is unique in that it has an external glass vapor path (this is Arizer’s design for their Air 2 and Argo portable vaporizers as well) the glass stem is your herb chamber and your mouthpiece. Simply pack the end of the glass stem, push it into the heating chamber and you are ready for a session. Hold the main button and up arrow to turn on the unit. You can then adjust different settings by pressing the main button and up arrow.
Adjustable settings include volume, display brightness, temperature scale, auto shut-off timer (5-15 minutes) and power-on countdown (4, 6, or 8 second). To adjust each setting simply click the up and down arrows.
To load the Boundless CFX, remove the mouthpiece (twist the end with the logo ¼ turn counterclockwise and pull up) and fill the chamber. Twist the mouthpiece back on and swivel the mouthpiece out – the CFX is locked and loaded.
The digital displays, despite the difference in size, offer much of the same controls and features: Both units have similar temperature ranges. The CFX has a temperature range of 100℉- 430℉ and the Solo 2 has a temperature range of 122 ℉-428 ℉. Both provide exact temperature control within their ranges.
Most notably, the CFX has a colorful dashboard-style screen with a fixed 5-minute session timer. The Solo 2 ends your session after 10 minutes (which can be adjusted anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes) but that is not displayed on the screen. The CFX has haptic feedback while the Solo 2 has a beeping noise which can be silenced. The CFX display screen is the easier of the two to navigate as it does not require the home button sequencing to move through all the settings.
Chamber Size & Sessions
The Solo 2 holds up 0.25 grams of herb, but you’ll want to likely only pack .2 to avoid draw resistance. Best practice is to fill the end of the glass stem directly from your grinder by using it as a scoop. Do not overfill or pack too tight, this leaves room for the recessed heat jets in the stainless steel chamber to function more effectively. Sessions with the Solo 2 will generally produce 8-10 quality draws and it heats up in about 30 seconds.
Boundless CFX is more versatile with its spacious ceramic chamber. It will effectively vaporize up to a half gram and heats up quickly (20 seconds). Whether you are looking for just a couple hits or a lengthy session (15+ draws), the CFX will accommodate and can easily be turned on and off using the same herb, albeit at a loss to flavor.
Both the Arizer SOLO 2 and Boundless CFX call themselves hybrid conduction/convection. This is a tad misleading as the majority of heat comes from being in contact with the Ceramic heating element on the CFX and the Stainless Steel Heating element on the SOLO 2. While there is hot air being drawn through the herbs with the CFX as you pull and the SOLO 2 has a stand off distance with the glass providing a barrier from your herb to being in direct contact with the stainless steel, they remain mainly conduction vaporizers – but I do understand the marketing angle and yes they are not 100% pure conduction.
Both of these portable vaporizers pump out vapor with ease and not much of a learning curve as one would experience with something like the Firefly 2+. The Solo 2, with its all-glass path, produces more flavorful and refined hits. The glass stems work perfectly and reliably every time for clean, tasty vapor.
The SOLO 2 will also be your best bet for micro-dosing with smaller amounts as the narrow glass filling chamber accommodates partial packing.
The CFX is most notable for the dense vapor clouds it creates. You will want to pack it at least half full for best results as it is not an ideal vaporizer for micro-dosing. This unit heats flower with much greater power and a larger surface area giving off more robust vapor production. The mouthpiece is also designed for greater pull over the SOLO 2 with no draw resistance. This larger output does come at the expense of flavor with the CFX not able to match the tastiness or soothing texture offered by the SOLO 2.
Although the CFX does come with an oil pod for dabs, it is less than an ideal session and concentrates can really ruin the longevity of a mid tier herb vape such as the CFX. Given you can just pick up a Boundless Terp Pen for $29.99, we recommend using the CFX as the SOLO 2 – herb only. But hey, if you are feeling frisky once in a blue moon, the concentrate option is there.
If you are looking to smooth your vapor an extra level both the SOLO 2 and CFX have after market water pipe adapters. In the video above we are using the Arizer Air / Solo Water Pipe Adapter which lets you plug your vaporizer into any 14mm female port for use through a water pipe.
The Arizer SOLO 2 uses an internal dual 18650 battery (3400mAh) which is a beast of a battery. It charges fully from dead in about 2 hours and will give you about 2 hours of use. Expect about 20 long sessions out of this battery. You can even use the Solo 2 while it’s charging. The only detractor is that it only uses AC power so you cannot charge it with a USB cable.
The CFX allows you to charge with a USB or an AC wall charger. It will charge in under an hour with the wall charger and about 2 hours with the USB. The CFX is also powered by internal dual 18650 batteries (2500 mAh) The CFX battery will give you about 14 – 18 five-minute sessions and unfortunately does not offer pass-through charging.
Interestingly enough two similar model vaporizers the Boundless Tera and the Arizer Air 2 offer removable 1850 batteries, which lets you mitigate any downtime by just having some back up spares on hand. Regardless of this the Boundless CFX and SOLO 2 have such good internal batteries, they remain the most popular vaporizers respectively in Boundless’s and Arizer’s line up.
Practical Use / Portability
The Solo 2 is an ergonomically designed vaporizer that functions great for it’s primary task. The glass stems are easy to work with and the sessions are consistently high quality.
The portability however of the SOLO 2 unit is questionable, mainly due to dealing with the glass stems. It is much better as a living room or workshop unit as you cannot easily throw the SOLO in your pocket.
The CFX is designed for on the go. Though it is bulky, you can turn the mouthpiece in and carry it around pretty easily. It is also very easy to empty and refill and is lightweight, factors which are vital when you are looking at an out of the house portable vaporizer.
While the Arizer SOLO 2 is more intuitive out of the box once you get some sessions in with the two units, the CFX is easier to use session by session.
The SOLO 2 is more practical for my grandpa and the CFX better suited for my surf hippie cousin.
Upkeep & Cleaning
The Solo 2 is very easy to clean and maintain. Simply soak the glass stems in isopropyl alcohol, wipe off residue with a q-tip and rinse clean. The metal chamber usually just requires a few twists of the cleaning brush and you are ready to go. Rotating glass stems allows for a clean vapor path every session.
The CFX is a little harder to keep clean. The mouthpiece breaks down into several pieces before you can effectively clean it. The chamber can be brushed clean or wiped with a cotton swab and some isopropyl alcohol. You must also clean the area around the top of the chamber as that gets messy as well. In this category, the Solo 2 wins without question given the design not permitting much mess.
These two vaporizers are very different in design and function, both with sought after qualities. Mainly vaping at home, the all glass vapor path of the Solo 2 and its consistent flavorful draws won me over.
The ease of use and upkeep make it such a dependable unit for your home and just because you cannot easily pocket it, does not mean you cannot take it for a quick walk or to the back patio.
The CFX is going to be for someone who wants a vaporizer which can more closely replicate the larger clouds of smoking. It is definitely the more transportable unit and much better for group sessions. The concentrate chamber, unfortunately, does not work very well and can be difficult to remove. It is also quite a chore to clean the mouthpiece. Besides those issues, the device is outstanding for vapor output gives you a similar experience to the coveted Mighty+ Vaporizer at half the cost.
Boundless CFX Specs
Arizer SOLO 2 Specs
|Dimensions||5" x 2.8" x 1.1"|
|Temperature Range||100 °F - 430 °F|
|Dimensions||unit 5.5" x 1.75" glass 3.5" & 4.3"|
|Temperature Range||122 °F - 428 °F|