Even as certain countries, such as Uruguay, and a handful of US state have legalised cannabis, the plant is still illegal across most of the world. But if you have to get high on the down-low, or just want to throw exotic tobaccos into something, you might find yourself drawn to this sneaky Zippo lookalike.
The Indica is a fairly subtle portable vaporiser that packs a five-stage heater into a novelty-sized Zippo lighter form factor. It's a squat and sturdy device that holds about a quarter-gram of finely shredded herb under a door at the bottom rear, and houses a rubberised mouthpiece and heater control button under its flip-up lid. It measures a little over 7.6cm by 5cm wide and is just over 2cm deep. It weighs 154 grams, just slightly less than my ageing mobile phone.
Now for the bad stuff. First off, it's a bit of a pain to load. The chamber door is annoying to remove and even more troublesome to keep track of — the fact that it comes with a spare says a lot — plus unless you pack the crucible all the way up to its fill line, you've got to insert a tiny, obscenely easy-to-break metal spacer to ensure the herb heats evenly.
With a full load, you'll get around two dozen full draws before having to refill. The vapour quality is decent enough, a bit thin even on the highest setting, but it never quite tasted right to me. You will need to cycle it a few times right off the bat in order to burn off the plastic taste, and the tang of the rubberised mouthpiece never quite dissipates.
Just look at how much bigger it is than a regular Zippo
I guess I just don't get the design. I understand that its supposed to look like a Zippo lighter. But have you ever seen a massive Zippo in the wild, actually being used by someone? Of course you haven't. So if this form factor is as it is in order to camouflage the device's true purpose, it does a pretty poor job of it. There isn't a police officer on the face of the planet that wouldn't find it suspicious. And if you walk around in public putting your mouth on the sole part of a world-famous cigar lighter expressly designed to burn things, normal people will take notice. Plus, you can't even really do Zippo flip-open tricks. I mean you can, if you don't mind potentially flicking £120 worth of electronics across a room.
That said, once you break in the Indica, it's a decent portable vaporiser. Its 5-stage heater cycles between 170°C and 211°C degrees and is indicated by a small, colour-coded LED next to the selector button; it's essentially the same indicator system that we saw in the Arizer Air and is par for the course.
I was actually pretty impressed by its battery life, which relies on a pair of internal 900mAh Li-ion cells and charges via a micro-USB port. The standardised charging port is a boon because when you lose the charging cord — as you naturally will — you can just use any other micro-USB cable you have lying around. Even under near continuous use, the Indica kept going for well over an hour. And with less frequent draws, it ran for nearly a full waking day (14-16 hours).
The Indica is available in either a stainless steel or matte black finish for £120. And while you won't be fooling anyone with this vape, its sturdy construction combined with a Methuselah-esque battery life make the Indica worth a second look. But only if you're really into novelty vapes.