Able to handle loose leaf, oil, and wax, the Atmos Astra (website) is a sleek portable vaporizer which promises to deliver a high quality vaporization experience at an affordable price ($99 at the time of writing!). After managing to obtain an Astra and playing around with it for the past week, I’ve decided to write my review here on VaporBlog!
The Astra came packaged with everything I needed to get started vaping including a cleaning kit, charging kit, 18650 battery, manual, and vaporizer. In terms of dimensions, the unit is cylindrical and measures 6.17 inches (15.7cm); definitely small enough to slide discreetly into your front pocket or purse. The unit feels solid in my hand, but also a bit heavy due to its metallic construction. In terms of design, the Astra’s metallic body resembles that of the Xmax V2, but with several design improvements including a new heating chamber as well as the addition of a microusb charge port. You can unscrew the middle of the unit to expose the battery, which is a 2000mAH user-replaceable 18650 found in other portable vapes including the Inhalater and Arizer Air. Recharging the Astra is easy, simply hook up a cable to the microusb port on the side of the unit. At the bottom of the herb trench a small screen covers five holes for airflow, and you can swap the herb trench for an included stainless steel bowl designed for waxes and concentrates. The Astra has five preset temperature settings marked on the unit (and indicated by LED lights), which are the following:
- 356F (180C)
- 374F (190C)
- 392F (200C)
- 410F (210C)
- 428F (220C)
After loading the herb trench with some finely ground cannabis, I put the top back on, pressed the power button five times to unlock the unit, and then let it warm up for a few minutes to reach the second temperature setting (374F). I soon began to take slow, steady hits and was greeted with a taste of vapor on my lips. Although the vapor tastes good, I’ve noticed that the Astra has a very tight draw thanks to the seven small holes it has in its mouthpiece, and this makes inhaling fairly difficult (especially with a full bowl). Moreover, if you’re a moderate to heavy vaper, I recommend cleaning these holes frequently using the brushes in the included cleaning kit to prevent blockups which would further tighten the unit’s draw. I also suggest using finely ground cannabis in order to improve the airflow. The Astra’s temperature range gives you a decent amount of flexibility with vapor production when using loose leaf, but I find it to be a little on the weak side for use with concentrates. In my experience, the Astra’s vapor output with liquids and waxes is much lower than what I normally get with my VapeXNail, and there seems to be a loot of residual concentrates leftover on the pad after a session. When working with concentrates, I recommend using the highest temperature setting to obtain the best results. Another thing that I’m a bit concerned about is the vapor path. When I exhaled into the unit (with an empty bowl), I could feel air coming out of the vents as well as the microUSB port, suggesting that the unit doesn’t have a sealed vapor path.
Cleaning the Astra is fairly easy with the included cleaning kit (brush down the mouthpiece as well as the herb chamber), just make sure to swap out the screens from time to time as they gradually become obstructed with use. The mouthpiece appears to be rubber and (because I’m not quite sure which is kind of rubber it is), I recommend not cleaning it with rubbing alcohol.
Overall, the Astra is a low priced vaporizer which works fairly well with loose leaf, but it also has a few downsides as well. Firstly, the tight draw might make things difficult for certain medical patients , and the vapor production isn’t as high as on some devices out there (especially when it comes to concentrates). Despite these drawbacks however, I would still recommend the Astra to those who primarily vape loose leaf and are looking for a solid portable vape on a tight budget!