The Sidekick Vaporizer is the latest vape released by 7th Floor Vapes – a Colorado-based company who has produced epicly amazing products like the Life Saber and the Silver Surfer. I would call myself a fanboy, but there were 172 people who had pre-ordered before me…
The 7th Floor Sidekick is a conduction vaporizer. I was really hoping for a pure convection portable, as their other vapes are 100% convection and its really the way the industry seems to be shifting. 7th Floor did manage to work in some pretty cool features, like the stirring mechanism and the vortex cooling rod. It’s a session style vaporizer, which means you turn it on and it heats up and you use it for several minutes at a time. It’s powered by two 18350 batteries (700mAh). They include two sets of batteries and a charger. The second set comes in VERY handy. We’ve also put together a How to use page.
7th Floor Sidekick – What’s in the box?
– The Sidekick portable vaporizer (duh) with vortex cooling rod and stirring mechanism both pre-installed
– 2 sets of rechargeable 18350 batteries (four total)
– SODA EFEST Battery charger
– two pairs of color stickers
– 4 rubber battery caps to prevent pocket fires
– hand-made glass mouthpiece
– two cleaning brushes
– tiny screwdriver
– stainless steel oil can
– a Honey Bucket filled with coconut oil
The picture shows a chapstick thing, they scrapped that plan for the coconut oil.
The upper end
The top cap portion is held on magnetically. It’s all metal, and beautifully powder coated. It’s substantial, no cheap feelings here whatsoever. The stirring rod and screen are stainless steel. Everything is precise and heavy duty. Snapping it back on was a bit of a pain in the ass to get it right the first few times, but it became second nature within a day or two. The bowl can hold up to .5g of material – but it’s not a pleasant experience. It works best with .2g or less. It works best with medium grind, soft pack.
I think the top mechanism can be refined a bit for easier opening and closing. It’s not difficult to close, but there’s room for improvement.
The sidekick comes equipped with a hand-made glass mouthpiece. It’s the typical phallic shape that 7th Floor likes to slip us, but it works well. At first sliding it in or out was difficult. You HAVE to put the included coconut oil on it a few times. Once the inside is lubed, it feels great. I love the feel of it sliding in and out. Yeah, I just typed that.
Screen, Buttons & Interface
The buttons are metal. They’re just loose enough to rattle. Nice solid little click with each one. High quality components for sure. The screen is flush mounted and feels smooth. It’s bright enough for every environment I tested in.
It boots up fast as a logo flashes for a second or two before the default screen shows. No frills here – the screen shows you a timer, remaining voltage, and your heat setting. Heat settings range from 1 to 11 in half steppings for a total of 21 heat settings. Use the up down arrow keys to choose a temp setting. Tap the power button once to start your session. It will vibe when it’s ready.
The unit takes about 30 seconds to heat up at level 5 (375F.) It’s fast. Even at the higher temps – and this thing gets HOT. When the batteries’ voltage drops below 7, heatup time will be about 10 seconds slower.
The ABV comes out pretty dark with temps of 5 or above. Dark, but even. If you go the full 7 minutes, at 5 or above, your ABV will come out looking like coffee grounds. I haven’t actually tasted or tested the AVB from this device yet, it’s in progress and I will update at a later date.
Sidekick Cloud Production
I’m a ripper, taking big lungs-full. At temp 5, I get very satisfying clouds for about 4 minutes. I hit it pretty aggressively too. After the first 4 minutes, clouds are lighter until I bump the temp to 7. After a couple stirs, I’ll get a few more clouds. Vaping a fresh bowl at a higher starting temp will give pretty big clouds for the first couple of minutes, but fizzle out and taste bitter after 3 minutes.
Sidekick Vapor Taste
This is actually one of the best tasting portable vapes I’ve ever used. At nonaggressive temps, I get 5 minutes of great tasting clouds. This is GREAT for daytime use as well as observing the varying tastes of different strains. The vapor temp from the Sidekick always seems very cool. Even when running really high temps for the concentrates. I can feel the heat on my hand, but the long vapor path really does a great job of cooling the vapor. Even WITHOUT the Vortex cooling rod, the vapor is damn cool. I was really excited for the optional bubbler mouthpiece, but this thing doesn’t even need it!
Sidekick Build Quality
7th Floor Vapes makes great products and this one is no different. The outter shell is THICK aluminum. The top and bottom pieces are aluminum as well. The only plastic is the LCD screen and the battery cover lock (I really expected that to be metal too…). The internal has some plastic as well, but its really just to fill the gaps and hold the important stuff together.
The 7th Floor Sidekick weighs 8.59 ounces. It’s heft feels GREAT in either hand.
Vortex Cooling Rod
Ahh, this thing. I haven’t really made up my mind on this thing yet. I LOVE the concept. It’s freaking brilliant. Pro tip: take it out, set it in the freezer for a couple hours, put it back right before vaping. You’ll have a few minutes of nice icy vapor!
Here’s the thing, though. I think I prefer the experience WITHOUT it. There’s less draw resistance without the cooling rod. And I seem to get more and better vapor without it. With the rod installed, the vapor taste towards the end of the session seems to get bitter, faster. I think the cooling rod itself can be improved to make it really kick ass. The entry holes are small, and every corkscrew on it has two big ridges where the molds from manufacturing didn’t line up. I may try to file mine down and optimize the airpath, but at $300 I shouldn’t have to.
Sidekick Draw Resistance
In case you’re scanning for this and didn’t read the last paragraph…
Without the vortex cooling rod, there’s very low resistance. About like pulling in air through an empty pen tub.
Add the cooling rod, it has a little bit more – about like the pen tube has been all chewed on at the end. Gross mental picture right? Even with the cooling rod, it’s not bad. Still less resistance than any Flowermate.
I’ve been starting each day with a fresh pair since day 3 with this thing. Day 2 left me disappointed at 1 AM when I learned that 6.4v is the magic number. Anything lower and the device turns off. A fresh charge is 8.3v according to the screen. I’ve been getting three full 7-minute sessions on a full charge without a problem. The 4th session is a gamble, though. When using concentrates, the batteries go much quicker because the temps are higher. It’s really interesting to watch the voltage go down while using the vape, though! The more you hit it, the faster it drains.
The double vibrate seems to suck a bunch of power, I wish it were more subtle. If the vape is sitting on a desk, it makes a shit ton of noise. You have to hold onto it if you’re trying to be a vape ninja.
Cleaning the Sidekick
This is absolutely my favorite part about this vape. Right after a session is the best time to clean it. Everything is still hot and the resins are still soft and pliable. Remove the top cap and set it down. Turn the vape upside down over a trash can or ash tray or mason jar. A light tap on the side of the unit usually clears the whole bowl. Grab a kleenex or a small piece of paper towel and wipe out the silicon gasket above the bowl. A light twist is all it takes. Now take that same tissue and wipe off the screen on the top cap. I hold the top cap in my left hand with the stir rod facing my right hand. I hold the tissue in my right and grab the stir rod, giving it a light twist – making sure to push the tissue against the screen too. A couple twists and its all clean! I can cache a bowl, clean it up, and repack a new bowl before the effects of the previous bowl have set in. To me, that’s VERY important.
For deeper cleaning, the screen and stir rod are easily removed to soak in alcohol. A Q-tip cleans out the bowl, although the stains are more resilient compared to other ceramic ovens. There’s a rubber gasket on the front to clean out the space UNDER the bowl (the intake) – I’ve only cleaned this twice and both times it was relatively clean already. The Vortex cooling rod removes for easy cleaning. And BOTH of the metal sleeves in the vapor path are easily removed as well. The handle of the included wooden brush works perfectly for removing the metal tubes. A splash of ISO alcohol and a quick shake and the tubes are clean. There’s also a silicon and metal U-shaped connector that connects the two vapor path tubes. It pops out and is easily cleaned with alcohol. The deep cleaning process for this vape takes about 5 minutes and I’ve been cleaning it every two weeks (with 3 or 4 bowls vaped per day). I LOVE how easy it is to clean (both deep clean and clean/repack)
Using the Sidekick with Concentrates
I haven’t really been a fan of concentrates in any portable vape to-date; however, the Sidekick’s super high temp settings really change things up. At temp settings 9 and above, the Sidekick’s oven is hot enough to REALLY pull some vapor from waxes, shatters, crumbles, and oils. I filled the included ‘oil can’ up to its cutout with blueberry crumble. At temp setting 10, I had 5+ minutes of dab-like draws. (and then a 5 hour nap)
Things I would change
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this vape. But there’s a couple things I would change.
– Calm down that vibrator. The two pulses it gives when it reaches temperature are pretty extreme. It’s not a phone. It’s not going to be warming up in my pocket. It’s in my hand, or on my desk. The vibe motor is a bit loud and it will make any loose parts rattle (like the bottom battery cover, or the front buttons). PLUS, that vibration eats up precious battery life! I usually use a couple different temps for each session, that’s a lot of vibrations.
– Removable batteries are awesome, but having the option to plug in the Sidekick and charge it would be sweet. I’m no electrician, but I assume this is possible somehow?
– make the bottom battery cover fit better. It rattles with the vibe, and sometimes it’s tricky to get the lock fully latched. Mine is an early unit – so perhaps this has already been improved?
The Sidekick is a powerhouse. It’s a great vape for rapid-fire session type of stoners. Cashing the bowl and packing another is reminiscent of the smoking days. I love that I can low temp vape a Sativa during the day while at work, and then turn up the heat for an indica at night to put me to sleep. It’s extremely well-made, and it’s a powerhouse. Sure it’s conduction, but it’s the Fucking Mercedes Benz of conduction. Long smooth air-path, metal parts, great vapor. This vape kicks the ass of anything else conduction. Pick it up from the manufacturer here or from Puffitup.com.
With a one year warranty (5 years on the chamber) – the Sidekick is a great.
Our Sidekick vaporizer was bought and paid for with our own money. This is not a paid review.
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