The Hydrology 9 Vaporizer and the Arizer SOLO 2 were two of the most popular vaporizers released in 2017. When released the Arizer Solo 2 and the Hydrology 9 were in the mid tier price range for a good dry herb vape with the SOLO 2 at $239 and the Hydrology 9 at $249. Four years later in 2021 these two two herb vaporizers are still some of best selling around. Even better they have come down in price quite a bit, both to $169. While there are similarities, both offer a different approach in their concept. So read on to see which vaporizer is better suited for you.
We decided to compare the Hydrology 9 and Arizer SOLO 2 as they are primarily at home vapes. Both semi portable and easy to take from room to room or outback on the patio, but you are not going to be able to throw one of these in your pocket on a moment’s notice and leave the house, even as cool as the SOLO 2 belt clip is :). Both vaporizers provide excellent vapor for someone looking for a quality and affordable unit for at home herb vaping.
Arizer SOLO 2 Packaging
The packaging on the SOLO 2 Vaporizer is a bit bulky, There is not really much that comes with the unit which requires all the packaging, but Arizer is more known for their great vaporizer devices versus their packaging design – ala the Firefly 2+ and PAX 3 and their Apple like packaging in the quest for the title “ Iphone of Vaporizers”. As a matter of fact the Original Arizer Solo comes in a plain brown box, so the SOLO 2’s packaging is a major upgrade. Packaging is kind of overrated in my opinion and minimalist packaging can make the vaporizer cheaper to produce.
Everything in the package came nicely compartmentalized. If the Firefly 2+ is like opening up an Iphone then the Arizer SOLO 2 is like opening up your grandma’s Jitterbug phone. Everything laid out nice and simple. So easy a caveman could do it.
Hydrology 9 Packaging
The packaging on the Hydrology 9 is equally as bulky, but a bit more streamlined. The unit is cool looking in a science apparatus way. Out of the box my initial thought was wow this vaporizer is heavy (weighing in at a 1 pound) and how in the world do I use it ? It looks like what plutonium would come in and the lighting, which permeates the water, drives this home even more.
Arizer SOLO 2 Accessories
The Solo 2 comes with what you need and something you don’t need at all. Two glass tubes which are your mouthpiece and herb chamber. A Potpourri dish with some botanical blends for Aromatherapy usage. We tried out the aromatherapy dish with the botanical blend and it was pleasant but not something I would ever see myself using. Another bonus Arizer throws in the Solo 2 is a carrying holster for your belt buckle !?!?! I do not know who uses this, but hit us up on Instagram with your best belt Arizer SOLO 2 belt buckle shot and we’ll come up with something cool for you.
Hydrology 9 Accessories
Opening up the Hydrology 9 Vaporizer you can see that the Bong Vaporizer is the star of the show. There are not many accessories beyond the needed charger and cleaning kit. They did throw in a scooping tool and a cleaning pic which helps greatly with the cleaning the deep and narrow chamber.
Arizer SOLO 2 Chamber & Vapor Production
The chamber size on the SOLO 2 can be kind of misleading as you input the herb in the draw and then in the chamber, not directly in the chamber. This creates a great fool proof seal. You can fill up to around .2 grams with good vapor production lasting throughout the session. From this you can get about 12 good hits at 390 °F . A huge benefit to the SOLO 2 is you do not need to load a large amount, even with a small amount your herb will bake evenly and give good vapor production. .
It’s important to not grind the herb too fine for the Arizer Solo 2. You will get small particulates in your mouth and the draw resistance will be rather strong if you pack a fine grind too tight. Arizer actually does give you secondary catch screens for this dilemma should you want to try it out with a finer grind or some kief filled herb. This is just not something I would recommend.
Hydrology 9 Chamber & Vapor Production
The Hydrology 9 has a chamber of roughly the same volume, but is shaped in a narrow and long way. This design was intended to have as much of your plant in contact with the heating element. The Hydrology 9 will give off 4 – 6 good hits on about .2 grams. Playing around with it I was able to finish all my herb with 2 hits on the highest temperature setting, and those were some large hits.
Both vaporizers bake your herb evenly throughout the session. The SOLO 2 does not need to be stirred or repacked during the session as with other vaporizers. The design of the chamber and the base of the glass mouthpiece (as well conducting heat) provide a good even distributive bake.
the SOLO 2 does a better job of baking your herb evenly throughout the session. The SOLO 2 does not need to be stirred or repacked during the session as it does with vapes like the Davinci IQ2. The design of the chamber and the base of the glass mouthpiece (as well conducting heat) provide a good even distributive bake.
The Hydrology 9 has built in stir tool on the chamber cover to address the uneven bake issue and make it so you don’t need to unload and repack. This is done via a knob on the outside of the chamber cover. And moves the inside herb to the outside to be in contact with the conduction heating element.
The Arizer SOLO 2 will give you more puffs and mellow vapor hits which you can enjoy over a longer period of time. If I am doing something else which requires my intermittent attention, I am going to go with the SOLO 2. The SOLO 2 can stay on for up to 15 minutes without auto shut off and the vapor created when waiting a minute before my next hit is fantastic.
The Hydrology 9 Vaporizer on the other hand will have you laying down clouds like you have never seen. I would akin the Cloudious9 contraption to be one of the vaporizers most like smoking. The factors at play in making the Hydrology 9 a more robust producing vaporizer are the chamber design, the physical force the water adds to your draw and the temperature options being much higher than on the SOLO 2 with the SOLO 2 vape maxing at 430 °F and the Hydrology 9 being able to hit 460 °F
Hydrology 9 vs SOLO 2 | Vapor Quality
The Hydrology 9 has an unfair advantage when it comes to comparing the vapor quality. The vapor quality of the Arizer SOLO 2 is great and for $169 it’s probably the best there is on a new vaporizer, but it is not filtered through water giving it a cooler feeling on the senses.
The texture of the SOLO 2 is a very robust and milky vapor which gives good flavor and (if not taking long draws) will not cause any harshness on the throat.
This flavor you get in the SOLO 2 is much better, as it’s not lost in the water filtration like it is with the Hydrology 9, but here you have an incomparable cool and smooth vapor, especially for the large hits the Hydrology 9 can give off, but you are adding the complication of adding water and then losing the flavor of your terps in that water.
If you are not lucky enough to live in a warehouse full of vaporizers, charging can be a certain pain. No one wants to wait an eternity for their vaporizer to charge.
The major downfall of the great output you get with the Hydrology 9 is the battery. The Hydrology 9 has a 2000mAh internal battery which takes a little over 2 and a half hours to charge, and with one charge you can get around twelve – 5 minute sessions.
The SOLO 2 battery life is pretty crazy, although it takes 3 hours to fully charge the battery will last for three hours non stop on. When you think about how many sessions that is, well I do not know either, but fair to say the SOLO 2 battery life wins handedly.
The one thing I will say is that the SOLO 2 is going to be more of a casual vaporizer around the house whereas the Hydrology 9 is more of a session sit down vaporizer. So the sprints you get with the Hydrology 9 are going to probably equal the intake of the SOLO 2.
Ease of Use
Using the Hydrology 9 is awesome, prepping it for use though is much more of an undertaking. Once you get the hang of it, it’s no more a task than prepping your favorite water pipe, however still more of a task than a dry herb vape without water.
The SOLO 2s user interface is super easy to understand. Press the Power button and the UP button and hold to turn on, from there toggle up or down to hit your desired temperature and let her rip. The SOLO 2 heats up in under 20 seconds so you are ready to go in a Jiffy as well. – The Hydrology 9 takes about a minute and a half to heat up.
The easiest to clean of the two is going to be the Arizer SOLO 2. The Hydrology 9 breaks down into a few more pieces which makes for a greater cleaning effort needed and the shape of the chamber makes a deep clean a bit hard with the base of the built in stir tool on the Hydrology 9 gunking up over use. while it is nice that you can break the Hydrology 9 down and throw it in dishwasher, having to do so every 30-50 uses is a huge pain. It is probably one of the most involved vaporizers to deep clean.
The SOLO 2 on the other hand is one of the easiest vaporizers to clean and requires no deep cleaning ever. The chamber on the SOLO 2 is easily wiped out with a Q tip and some Isopropyl. The hardest part of cleaning the SOLO 2 is the glass mouthpieces. We do recommend cleaning them every 15 uses or so as the build up will make a deep clean that much harder in the future. My favorite way to clean the arizer SOLO 2 glass stems is to soak in Isopropyl and sea salt for an hour and then boil in hot water. The same way you might clean any of your other glass.
Don’t even think about hopping on the bus or bringing one of these to a concert. Both vaporizers are at home portable – from room to room and to your patio, but The Hydrology 9 is a hunky beast, and at 7 inches 1 pound in weight, will pull your pants down if you’re not wearing a belt. The Arizer SOLO 2’s 2 inch and 3 inch glass mouthpieces are also not the most ideal for slipping in your back pocket before hopping on your bike.
In comparing the Hydrology 9 and the Arizer SOLO 2, if one has to win the portability contest it would be the SOLO 2 for the pure fact it is smaller, lighter and has less moving parts
Hydrology 9 or Arizer SOLO 2 | Choosing Your At Home Portable Herb Vaporizer
You are really buying into two different vapor experiences here. The aesthetics, packaging and the use of the Arizer SOLO 2 are well laid out and easy to understand. Like an electronic appliance, before the world went and got itself in one big damn hurry. The digital readout of the SOLO 2 has more in common with a cell phone from the early 2000s than the crazy smart phone bluetooth vapor apps of today. The Arizer SOLO 2 is well designed well ; simplicity meets quality.
The Hydrology 9 Vaporizer provides more of a social and fun experience when vaping. This is a total session vape meant to be used when you are devoting your time to vaping and watching a movie or hanging out with pals.
Another demographic I would strongly recommend the Hydrology 9 vaporizer to would be the individuals switching to vapor from smoking for more health related reasons. We get a large amount of phone calls daily from customers who say they have smoked for 20 – 30 years and it’s time to stop and switch to cannabis vaporizers for health reasons. The Hydrology 9 is amongst a few vaporizers on the market which can emulate that satisfaction of combustion using glass.
Either way both vaporizers offer up something for every consumer looking for a quality mid priced home portable unit, all while being very different. Check them out at To the Cloud Vapor Store. Both come with a 60 Day Trial Period and Lifetime Trade ins for store credit