The Sidekick vaporizer is a conduction portable made by the creators of the SSV, 7th Floor. Based in Colorado all of their vaporizers are made in the USA. It comes with a 1 year warranty. Crafted from aluminum and powered by 2 removable 18350’s the vaporizer should last quite a long time. You will need to replace the batteries every couple months, and make sure you pair them when you first receive the unit. 7th Floor makes this super easy by including stickers you can apply to the batteries.
Ease of Use 8/10
The Sidekick is super easy to use. You hold the power button to turn the unit on. Select your temp, then press the power button once and away you go! The large oven makes it fairly quick to pack, and if you spill it is easily cleaned up with the included brush.
Another positive I feel like I should mention is how easy it is to clean in comparison to some other conduction vaporizers (the IQ and Pax are particularly difficult to maintain). A couple Q-tips dipped in 99% iso and you can get it clean within 5 minutes. The glass and steel parts can be soaked in ISO if you forget to clean your vape for a couple weeks, making deep cleaning simple!
Downsides include the latch to the battery door (It is not on a hinge, and instead comes off of the device) and the cap only coming off if you have the stir tool on the back. Luckily, 7th Floor painted the gear with white so you can see when the stir tool is in the back. If you have bad eyesight it would be hard to see though.
With a large conduction oven, the Sidekick vaporizer is not the most efficient on the market. I can fit 0.3-0.5g of material in it depending on the grind. It seems to extract well with the AVB coming out dark brown on temp 6. I find a fine grind to work the best, with a light packing. I fit around half a gram in the Sidekick when I did so. In comparison, the omnivap can use as little as 0.05g. I definitely feel more medicated with the Sidekick, but that is mainly due to the sheer amount of herb that goes into it.
Conduction ovens usually won’t taste the best. If you want great taste, go with convection for the most part. It does surprisingly well for a conduction oven at low temps though. The taste lasts through the entire bowl at low temperatures if you utilize the built in stir tool. At high temps the flavor fades extremely quickly, whether you use the tool or not.
The stir tool is very interesting. I don’t think it adds much convection, 7th Floor says to use it in between hits rather than during, but it definitely helps with the flavor. This could be due to the fact that conduction heats the herb from the outside, where the oven walls are hot, to the inside. This usually results in the outer herb having the terpenes boiled off first, and then you get that ‘popcorn’ flavor. By stirring mid-session you might be constantly exposing the herb that hasn’t had its terpenes vaporized to heat resulting in better taste. Definitely not scientific, and feel free to correct me! Makes sense to me though.
Stealth Factor 3/10
The Sidekick is not a stealthy portable. I’d put it under the same category as an arizer solo, mighty, or something similar in size. It doesn’t look like a box mod, and definitely would draw some attention. That being said, it has some of the lightest vapor I’ve ever seen due to the super long airpath and if you have large hands you might be able to palm it pretty easily.
As far as smell goes, during use it is about the same as every other session portable I’ve tried. When it comes to being off, it retains the smell like the pax and other conduction vapes do. If you’re trying to be discreet, I would clean it at least once a week.
I like the Sidekick based on the weight and how it feels in my hand. I was pleasantly surprised that holding it doesn’t feel awkward. It has a nice feel to it, is natural to hold, and I love the funky look. It did take some time to grow on me though! I’m glad they updated the screen. Prior to this year I saw many videos of it where the vape had to be held on its side in order to read the screen. Now you can just read it vertically, and it makes a lot more sense this way.
7th Floor programmed the Sidekick in an interesting way. To turn it on you hold the button, and to start heating you press the button once. For most vapes it is 3 or 5 clicks on, then hold the power to start heating (if you even need to tell the device to start heating, some just start automatically). I don’t think this is a bad thing, just different. I haven’t run into and issues at all. It hasn’t turned on in my backpack or my pocket.
The battery life is a little lackluster. I get around 2 (7 minute) sessions at temp 7 which seems super short to me. I’m sure at lower temps you can get more out of it though. I might actually need to replace the batteries, but having 2 sets I haven’t found the need to. They are pretty quick to swap out and the charge incredibly fast, approximately 25-30 mins.
Vapor Quality 9/10
Extremely smooth. With the extremely long vapor path the Sidekick is silky smooth. On top of that, it hits pretty damn hard. Using it by myself I could rarely finish an entire bowl in a session, and usually ended up couch locked. Without much visible vapor I was worried it wasn’t going to hit hard… but I definitely was wrong. It definitely works and proves that vapor output is not the only thing you should consider when purchasing a vaporizer. Don’t use it through water though. It doesn’t need it, and to be honest you won’t gain anything from a huge water piece. I haven’t tried their micro bubbler mouthpieces yet though.
On top of smooth vapor, there is almost no draw resistance. This makes it super easy to inhale your vapor.
It’s a little expensive for what it is. I think 140-150$ would be the right price for it. Conveniently Puffitup currently has it on sale for $150. 7th Floor has it listed for $230 ($200 with the current sale). $200 is definitely better than the $300 price tag it had less than a year ago.
You do end up paying a little more for American made products, but you also get superb customer service. The guys over at 7th definitely know how to treat a customer right and that actually will result in me purchasing a new wand for the SSV I have sitting around (bought it used and cracked the wand the day I got it) as soon as I can decide on a color!
The Sidekick is a great portable for someone that wants to stay stoned all day long, or for a medical patient that needs super smooth vapor. For someone trying to conserve herb, you should probably pass on the unit. I found that the batteries charged in less than 30 minutes from dead, and with the ability to rotate between the 2 sets you would be set all day as long as you had access to the charger. I will likely stick to convection portables, and desktops, including the SSV. I can’t wait to review the SSV as that unit is one helluva tank.
The carry case they include reminds me of the EMT pouches my buddy has and works very well. I love it, and now use it to carry most of my gear on hikes. You can fit the sidekick, all of your accessories, and batteries in one side and then use the backside for a second vape or your herb.
10:10 updated the review to include session time and how long it takes to charge the batteries