Arizer Solo 2 MAX Vaporizer Review

Arizer Solo 2 MAX Vaporizer Review

The Solo 2 MAX is Arizer’s strongest portable vape with their fastest heat up time, and highest price!

Table of contents

Arizer’s Solo 2 MAX dry herb vaporizer is a fantastic vape for all but the heaviest users, with some of the lightest, flavorful vapor you will find in a portable vaporizer. But does it outshine the other Arizer portables? The Solo 2 MAX has their strongest hybrid heating system and fastest heat up time, but also their highest price.

Arizer Solo 2 users will appreciate how discreet and user friendly the new MAX is, but they will love the fast universal charge port. The vape charges anywhere quickly, and you won’t have to search high and low for your proprietary charger! The new interface inverts when you flip the Solo 2 MAX upside down for bubbler use, and Dark Mode will get you through any dimly lit movie without notice.

The price of the Solo 2 MAX is 50% more than the Solo 2, with pretty much the same vapor quality. In fact, Arizer has four other portable vaporizers at lower prices that all vape similarly. While the Solo 2 MAX is currently Arizer’s most advanced portable vaporizer, will you choose it over the others?

Arizer Solo 2 MAX Vaporizer Review Front View

The Arizer Solo 2 MAX Dry Herb Vaporizer Review

The Solo 2 MAX pairs Arizer’s latest hardware and firmware updates with light, tasty and punchy vapor for their most compelling portable vape yet. The sessions should satisfy all but the heaviest users. With other less expensive Arizer options, which will you pick?

Pros & Cons

Pros 👍 Cons 👎
Excellent flavor Size and glass stems limit portability
Long battery life Not significantly better than Arizer Solo 2
Fast, universal USB-C charge port High price for an Arizer portable vape
Full-featured, on-board controls Heavy users will want a bigger bowl
30-second heat up time
Use while charging

Bottom line

If you’re all about the features and latest tech, the Solo 2 MAX is for you. If you’re all about the vapor, less expensive Arizer options will fit the bill.

Pristine vapor quality

My favorite thing about Arizer’s Solo 2 MAX is the light and tasty (but not weak) vapor. Granted, the vapor quality hasn’t changed much since the original Solo debuted in 2011, but each generation of Arizer vapes is a little better than the last, and is pretty refined by now.

Arizer uses only inert materials in the Solo 2 MAX’s, and it just works. The ceramic heating element, stainless steel oven and glass stem deliver a light and tasty vapor that still packs a punch. Your herbs only touch the glass vapor path, and the taste shines. I can easily and clearly detect the herbal flavors - floral, minty, sweet, etc - and am sometimes left to wonder why I didn’t taste them in my other vapes.

Bowl is on the smaller side

If you’re a light or occasional user, this bowl size is perfect. A typical pack is somewhere around one-tenth of a gram, but you could easily pack half that for a tasty micro-dose session. Someone with a larger appetite, like myself, can go through three to four bowls in one session, which I find takes too much time.

Don’t get me wrong, you can pack a larger bowl, but the taste will suffer from it. Pack it too tightly and one side can cook more than the other, and spoil the taste prematurely. Pack it too lightly and herbs can fall on the heater below and ruin the taste. I keep the pack on the lighter side and tamp it down just a little bit for top-notch taste.

30-second heat up time

The Solo 2 MAX gets to your desired temperature fast enough for anyone - usually within 30 seconds. This is pretty average by today’s standards, where slower portable dry herb vaporizers take up to a minute and faster ones can be ready instantly.

The Solo 2 MAX’s heat up time never slowed me down. On the test bench, the Solo 2 MAX reached 360° F in 28 seconds, 390° F in 30 seconds, and the top temperature setting of 428° F in 39 seconds. Set to 390° F, it got to temp in 30 seconds on a full battery and 39 seconds when almost dead.

Dry herbs only

The Solo 2 MAX was made for dry herbs only, not concentrates. There is no concentrate pad for the glass aroma tubes, so if you want to work around this, you can place a little bit of concentrate on the packed herbs. But be really careful not to let the concentrate run down into the heater below. I suggest you use concentrates with the Solo 2 MAX upside down (like a hamster water bottle), so anything runny just goes further into the glass vapor path (use a bent stem). It can get messy, but really packs a punch. I’ll tell you the best way to get all that reclaim back later in the Maintenance section.

Arizer air flow - improved but still tight

As Arizer portable vapes go, the Solo 2 MAX’s air flow is pretty open. This session vape comes with a water pipe adapter and can keep up with the extra demands from a bubbler, but the draw is probably too tight to please that kind of vaporist. I keep the Solo 2 MAX to dry sessions around the house or beach walks. That’s where it shines.

How you pack the bowl still has the greatest impact on the air flow with Arizer vapes. If I pack it lightly with a gentle tamp, I notice the subtle differences in air flow between units. But if I pack it tightly, all the Arizer vapes feel the same. I recommend a medium to coarse grind for the Solo 2 MAX. If you use a fine grind little bits can fly through the glass vapor path into your mouth.

Arizer Solo 2 MAX Vaporizer Review Inside the Heating Chamber

Battery life for days

The Solo line of vaporizers is known for long battery life, and the Arizer Solo 2 MAX is no different. I thought it was going to take me forever to fully drain this battery through normal use. I can confidently say anyone can get through days, if not weeks on a single charge.

Arizer advertises three hours of run time per charge with the Solo 2 MAX. I suspect this is possible with long, low-temperature sessions, like 15 minutes at 350° F. I got nowhere near three hours with my benchmark testing, though.

I test at 390° F, and take long, slow draws with sessions that average four minutes long. This wears down a battery as it spends a lot of time heating up for a lot of short sessions. Battery life means different things to different people, so here’s what I got out of a single charge on the Solo 2 MAX.

  • 21 sessions
  • 129 hits
  • 85 minutes runtime
  • Vaped through just over 2 grams of dry herbs

I’m not sure what to make of the large difference between my runtime results and Arizer’s runtime claims. My test results were tracked through personal use, and my style is hell on a battery. I usually end up with less than average battery life.

Arizer’s runtime claims are the same as they made with the Solo 2, but that heater is not as demanding on the battery on the Solo 2 MAX. It makes sense the battery life would be shorter. I think your results will be somewhere between the two reports. Regardless, I felt like the battery life on the Solo 2 MAX was great.

Fast, universal charging

You can quickly charge the Arizer Solo 2 MAX anywhere with a standard USB-C cable, and I was impressed with the results. The vape was ready to use within two minutes, and went from dead to 98% in just under two hours when charged with the cable and power supply that come with it.

You can also use the Solo 2 MAX while it charges, so there’s no excuse not to vape. The included power supply is rated for three amps, and charge times will vary if you connect it to a different USB-C power source.

Arizer Solo 2 MAX Vaporizer Review USB-C Charging

All the latest Arizer upgrades

For the Arizer fans out there who keep up with all the upgrades, I’ll make it easy. The Solo 2 MAX is an Air MAX in a Solo 2 body. Same hardware and firmware upgrades, just different battery solutions. For everyone else, here’s a breakdown of what Arizer did.

The most impactful upgrade (from the Arizer Solo 2) is the USB-C charge port - charge it quickly anywhere. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this. The Solo 2 is the last vape I have that makes me keep track of its barrel-port charger, and I always feel lucky if I can find it.

The firmware on the Solo 2 MAX looks and feels just like the Solo 2, but there are a few differences. If you flip the unit upside down to put it on a bubbler, the screen and controls will invert for a seamless transition. This is pretty cool, and I don’t know of another vape that does this automatically (other than the Arizer Air MAX).

Arizer Solo 2 MAX Vaporizer Review Upside Down with Inverted Controls and Screen

Dark Mode is a welcome addition for those that like to vape discreetly (more on that below).

The final firmware change is one that you can benefit from every time you use the vape. The duration of the press to turn the Solo 2 MAX on can be dropped all the way down to two seconds, instead of four. Who wants to press multiple buttons for four seconds to turn on their vape?

What you won’t see under the hood is an improved heating element. Arizer claims the heater is stronger and more responsive, and they back it up with an included water pipe adapter. Other than slightly improved air flow, I struggled to notice much difference in the vapor production from the Solo 2 MAX compared to the Arizer Solo 2.

The water pipe adapter is a nice inclusion, but I still wouldn’t buy the Solo 2 MAX for water pipe use. It’s nice to have as an option, but there are better vapes out there for a water pipe, like the POTV Lobo.

Arizer Solo 2 MAX Vaporizer Revew Controls and Screen

Lots of settings to tweak, or not

The Solo 2 MAX now comes with more customizable session parameters than any other vape I know of (same as the Air MAX), and I changed every one of them! The settings are fine out of the box, and you don’t have to change anything.

But if you want to, this is the Burger King of vape menus - have it your way. It was nice to set everything once just the way I like it and never have to do it again. Here’s a breakdown of all you can tweak:

  • Alert Volume - set to High, Medium, Low or Off. I chose Medium.
  • Temperature Reached Alert - set to High, Medium, Low or Off. I chose Medium.
  • Session Timer - set the length of your sessions in one-minute increments from 5 to 15 minutes. I chose 15 minutes because I don’t like to be rushed.
  • Temperature Scale Toggle - Celsius or Fahrenheit. I’m in the United States so I chose °F.
  • Display Brightness - Low, Medium or High. I chose Low because it’s bright enough to see but doesn’t light up a room.
  • Turn On Delay - Adjust how long you have to press the buttons (2, 4, 6, or 8 seconds) to turn the vape on and off. I chose 2 seconds because I don’t like to hold those buttons down for long.

The digital display is fairly complete, given the options. At a glance, you can see the set temperature, actual temperature, and battery level. The only thing missing is a countdown timer to let you know how much time is left in your session.

Dark Mode explained

Sometimes a bright vape display can ruin the mood, like in a dark room watching a movie. For these moments, the Arizer Solo 2 MAX has Dark Mode. It took me a few tries to get the hang of it, but once I put in the time it was a pretty sweet feature.

  • Instead of holding down the Menu and Up buttons to power on, press the Menu and Down button to use Dark Mode. (You can also switch to Dark Mode while it’s already on with the same button command.) A small diamond will blink in the upper right corner of the display in place of the two-second countdown.
  • “Dark Mode” will display, before changing to a blinking square in the upper left corner. At this point the Solo 2 MAX is in standby, waiting for you to press a button to start the heater.
  • Press any button and a small + will blink in the bottom left corner while it heats up to the temperature you had for your last session. Once at temperature it will beep and a “Play” triangle will appear in the bottom right corner for a few seconds before going dark.
  • At this point, you’re vaping in the dark! The up and down buttons do nothing. But if you want to change the precise temperature control or anything else, press the Menu button and the main screen will light up until you are done.
  • Press the Menu button until the vape beeps to turn it off.

Dark Mode will still beep at you, so if you want to go silent and dark you’ll have to change some of your settings again. Although it’s big, the Solo 2 MAX can be a discreet unit in the dark.

ArizerSolo 2 MAX Vaporizer Review Dark Mode Explained

Impressive build quality

Arizer vaporizers have a history of being affordable with impressive construction, and that’s what we have with the Solo 2 MAX. Its predecessor, the Solo 2, is incredibly popular despite its large size and non-removable batteries, in part because of the manufacturing quality.

  • The oval shape and weight feel natural in the grip.
  • It’s not too big or too small.
  • The battery lasts for days, if not weeks on a single charge.
  • The buttons have a satisfying “click” to them.
  • The beaded aluminum finish is attractive and durable.

The Arizer Solo 2 MAX is available in one color, Carbon Black.

Arizer Solo 2 MAX Vaporizer Revew Construction Build Quality

Portable, not pocketable

The Solo 2 MAX will fit in just about any purse or bag, and maybe in your pocket, but doesn’t travel well due to its separate glass stems. The glass tubes are fragile and get hot, and the one included with this vape almost doubles the vape’s height when installed!

If you must travel with it, use the stem caps and plastic tubes that come with the aroma tubes. They hold the herbs in and protect the glass, even if it feels bigger in your pocket. Or, better yet, splurge for a wood stem from Ed’s TNT. They’re durable, have a bigger bowl, and mate with 14mm glass bubblers.

My favorite glass stem is a short, bent stem with cooling dimples. It cools the great tasting vapor well and has a low profile - I highly recommend it!

Dimensions:

  • Height (without stem inserted): 4.5“ (113mm)
  • Width: 1.7” (44mm)
  • Depth: 1.4” (35mm)
  • Weight: 7.5 oz (213 grams)
  • Long glass stem length: 4.3” (110mm)

Arizer Solo 2 MAX Vaporizer Review In Hand

Arizer Solo 2 MAX vs Solo 2 vs Air Max

These vapes are more alike than different, and your decisions will come down to what subtle differences you value most in a vape. At the time of this writing, the POTV prices for these vapes were:

  • Solo 2 - $134.95
  • Solo 2 MAX - $199.95 (TBD, but let’s go with it)
  • Air MAX - $184.95

Based on those prices, I think most of you will choose the Solo 2. It’s wildly popular and the great vapor quality is just as good as the newer models.

If you go with the Solo 2 MAX, it’s probably due to the increased air flow and USB-C charging port. That’s what most Solo 2 users wish their vape had.

I’d choose the Air MAX over the Arizer Solo 2 MAX. It has a much smaller footprint with a replaceable battery, the button layout is better, and it’s a little more affordable.

What’s in the box

  • Arizer Solo 2 MAX dry herb vaporizer
  • Long Glass Aroma Tube (110mm) with PVC Travel Tube
  • Frosted Glass Aroma Tube (Water Pipe Adapter) with PVC Travel Tube
  • Two Stem Caps
  • Stir Tool with PVC Travel Tube
  • Screen Pack
  • USB-C to USB-A Cable
  • 3 Amp Power Supply

Arizer Solo 2 MAX Vaporizer Review What's in the Box

A few gripes

There is no perfect vaporizer, and there are some things I would change about this vape. I would add haptic feedback to the Solo 2 MAX. It would pair perfectly with Dark Mode, which makes no sense to me with beeps. If I don’t want to be seen, I probably don’t want to be heard, either.

I don’t get the lack of a session timer on this vape. It’s even more vital when I can lengthen the session all the way out to 15 minutes. The longer the session, the harder it is to tell how much time is left.

Replaceable batteries have been on our wishlist for 13 years since the original Solo released. All the Arizer Airs and the ArGo have it, so why not the Solos?

Warranty

Arizer covers any workmanship and defect issues for two years, with a one-year warranty for the battery. The heating element has a lifetime warranty. Like all of our products, the Arizer Solo 2 MAX is covered by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

For best results

The Arizer Solo 2 MAX is pretty straightforward and keeps you on the rails with precise temperature control and a regulated draw speed. The digital temperature control ranges from 122° F to 428° F (50° C - 220° C). (Once you’ve packed your herbs into the stem, you’re ready to get started.

1. Hold the Menu button and Up arrow until the vape turns on.
2. Press the Up and Down buttons to adjust the precise temperature control (if this is your first time, try 390° F). This will activate the hybrid heating system.
3. Insert your loaded stem into the heating chamber.
4. Wait for the beep.
5. Take your first draw.
6. Continue with your hits until you’ve had enough, the taste gets stale, or the vape turns off by itself.
7. Turn the vape off.
8. Remove the stem and empty the bowl (I blow it out).
9. Blow out any herbs in the heating chamber.

Where you can really alter the sessions is with your bowl pack, so we’ll concentrate there. If you buy an Arizer vape, you’re primarily looking for great taste, and how you pack the herbs makes all the difference. Pack too tightly and the draw will be difficult. Pack it too loosely and the herbs come into direct contact with the heater below and scorch, instantly ruining the taste.

The quickest route to Flavortown is to pack the stem with whole herbs instead of a grind. The taste is naturally stronger, and the herbs won’t fall onto the heater below. But this makes your first several hits weaker, and the session longer, so you have to adjust your expectations.

For thicker vapor out of the gate, grind your herbs first. Arizer recommends a coarse grind, and that works for me, especially if you’re chasing flavorful vapor. Then stab the stem into the herbs to fill the bowl, and gently tamp the herbs in place. If you can hold the stem upright and the herbs don’t fall out, you’re doing good. Just make sure there is at least one millimeter of distance between the herbs and the edge of the bowl to avoid that scorch.

Simple maintenance

The Solo 2 MAX is incredibly easy to maintain. Almost all the oils and gunk build up in the stem, and you only need to soak it in rubbing alcohol**. You should rarely have to clean the oven, unless you leave your spent herbs to sit in the vape after it’s cooled.

Our Cleaning and Maintenance Guide is coming soon, but until then, make sure to empty out the bowl after it’s spent, and brush any bits of herb out of the oven. If you do this, you’ll rarely have to clean anything more than the glass aroma tubes.

**Better yet, boil the dirty stem(s) in milk and make a hot cocoa that will put you to sleep!

Who is the Arizer Solo 2 MAX for?

The Solo 2 MAX is for the flavor chaser that loves Arizer vapor quality and wants the latest model with the fastest heat up time. The vapor is rich, and so is the feature set. Arizer Solo 2 owners that want more air flow and a better charge solution will find it here.

Who is the Arizer Solo 2 MAX not for?

People who vape through a lot of herbs may find the Solo 2 MAX frustrating. The small bowl and slow-cook-approach are great for relaxing sessions, but not for quickly medicating a heavy user. Budget shoppers will find similar vapor for much less money with the Arizer Air SE ($89.95). If you like what you see in the Arizer Solo 2 MAX but want to save a little money, look at the Air MAX, which adds a removable battery to the equation, but also slower heat up times.

Conclusion

I really like the Arizer Solo 2 MAX vaporizer. It feels like a very refined version of my original Solo and I’ll bet Arizer is pleased with this iteration. I don’t think it’s going to sell like gangbusters out of the gate, however, given the retail price. At $199.95, it’s 50% more than a Solo 2, but not 50% better. If the Solo 2 MAX price ever drops to $150 or lower I think it will sell really well.

My favorite Arizer portable vape is the Air MAX due to the removable battery, button layout and price. My second favorite is the ArGo for its price and form factor - the glass stem is recessed into the vape. The market, however, continues to flock to the Solo 2, and I don’t see that changing until either it’s discontinued or the Solo 2 MAX enjoys a good price drop.

Arizer Solo 2 MAX FAQs

Q: Is the Arizer Solo 2 MAX worth it?
A: The Solo 2 MAX is a fantastic portable device with excellent taste for the money. If the price is out of your range, check out the Solo 2, which has similar vapor quality and excellent manufacturing quality for a lower price.

Q: How many hits do you get from the Arizer Solo 2 MAX?
A: I got 129 hits across 21 sessions out of a single charge vaping at 390° F with long, slow draws and sessions that average four minutes long. That’s good battery life!

Q: How smelly is the Arizer Solo 2 MAX?
A: All vaporizers will smell with use, especially if you don’t clean them regularly. The Arizer Solo 2 MAX is no different, but it has a cover for the oven and tubes for the glass stems that help keep odors in place.

Written by

jerry stickstones

Vaporist, vape beta tester, vape reviewer. I like to vape, talk about vapes, and think about vapes. Sometimes I dream...about vapes.

Vape discussion

Previous

The Best Desktop Vaporizers of 2024: Buyer's Guide

A complete list of the best Desktop Vaporizers, thoroughly tested and selected by our Vape Experts to give you the...

Next

Introducing the Tinymight 2 Purple Heart Vaporizer

A durable purple wood finish, accompanied by a few key add-ons, brings a fresh new take on this exceptional vaping...

Starting at
SHOP NOW