If the idea of a water pipe conjures a visual cue of dirty acrylic pieces or anything tie dye, prepare to be enlightened by the Hydrology 9 from Cloudious 9. Crafted from stylish aluminum and glass, the Hydrology 9 is a cloud of fresh air for those looking for a vape with built-in water filtration functionality. Is it the vape for you? Check out our review below.
The exterior of the Hydrology 9 is nothing short of sophisticated. Cloudious 9 have created a functional, water-filtered vaporizer with an elegant, minimal look. When you think of the words vape + water pipe, subtlety is the last thing that comes to mind. That makes the restrained beauty of the Hydrology 9 all the more appealing.
Going along with streamlined look, the materials that construct the Cloudious 9 are of the highest quality. The aluminum is spacecraft grade, so no need to be afraid of heights. Cloudious 9 selected this aluminum for the Hydrology 9 not only for its looks and strength, but also for its anti-rust properties.
The most important part of any water filtration devices is the glass that is used. Glass is the best material for these purposes because it will not impart any flavors on your vapor. It is also easily cleaned, unlike ceramic or acrylic. Hydrology 9 features a chamber constructed from Borosilicate glass. Borosilicate glass offers more resistance to thermal expansion than any other glass. What does all this mean? Simply put, the glass will not be affected by changes in temperature. This keeps the glass in the Hydrology 9 from becoming brittle.
Piggybacking on this complementing of the materials used on Hydrology 9, seems as reasonable a time as any to bring up the portability factor. While the materials are meant for both style and long-term use, they definitely carry a weight that comes with that. Like a lot of weight. It’s not that the Hydrology 9 is wholly unwieldy. It’s more a question of convenience. This is not a convenient unit to carry. Much like how you wouldn’t bring your turntable to listen to music on the train, many users will prefer smaller more discrete portable vaporizers for their daily usage.
The Hydrology 9 is based around a generously deep ceramic heating chamber. This ceramic heating chamber is located on the bottom to move air through the chamber for convection-style heating. To make the vaporization of your dry herb even more efficient, the Hydrology 9 includes an integrated stirrer to promote movement of the vaping materials. This stirrer is easily accessible from the bottom of the hydrology 9 portable vaporizer.
While this heating chamber is efficient at delivering flavorful hits, it feels a touch underpowered for a vaporizer of this magnitude. A higher-powered, quartz-lined atomizer would definitely produce denser vapor. It is also not suited for wax concentrates, which is a major limiting factor. While a concentrate pad could be added, the hydrology 9 lacks the horsepower for concentrate vaporization. Perhaps in the next iteration of the Hydrology 9 the folks at Cloudious 9 will address this issue. The lack of precision temperature control is also a disappointment for a vaporizer of this price.
Without a doubt, the most exciting aspect of the Hydrology 9 is the fully-integrated water filtration. The leak-proof seal is more than convenient, bordering on ingenious. A simple unscrewing of the Aluminum lid of the Hydrology 9 reveals the water chamber. When the aluminum lid is reattached, a ball bearing and rubber gasket seal keeps the water in the chamber, where it belongs. No matter how much you shake or rattle the Hydrology 9, the water is not going anywhere. This makes it much more convenient than standard water filtration attachments and a far cry more portable than regular water pipes. Though, take this “portability” with a grain of salt. While it is more portable than a standard pipe, it is far from the convenience of a true portable. There’s no way you are sneaking the Hydrology 9 into any event.
The Hydrology 9 portable water vaporizer features 5 different preset temperatures. While the exact temperature is not noted for each of the settings, there is a different color light for each pre-set temperature. The LED’s that correspond with the heat settings of the Hydrology 9: Blue, Yellow, Orange, Purple, and finally Red, this is the highest. All temperature settings were capable of producing tasty vapor, with the higher temperatures obviously sacrificing conservation of herb for cloud production.
CARE & MAINTENANCE
Water pipes don’t generally scream “responsibility” to onlookers. However, their upkeep can be quite more in-depth than most owners realize. With typical glass water filtration systems, it’s generally a pain to get all the nooks and crannies clean without fear of breaking your sweet glass. In this area the Hydrology 9 really excels. It is honestly the easiest water pipe to clean that this reviewer has ever experienced.
Even still, it is a more in-depth cleaning process than the average vape. With most modern wax pens, the user need only run a burn-off cycle of the atomizer and a quick wipe. The vast majority of portable dry herb vapes will require nothing more than a brushing of the chamber. This makes the Hydrology 9 a much more “needy” vape maintenance-wise.
While buildup is rare, due to the low tar content in vapor, it is recommended to drain the water when you’ve finished your session. The Hydrology 9 can be easily disassembled, making the task less of a chore. Simply drain & dry and target any problem areas with a q-tip soaked in isopropyl alcohol. A light brushing of the ceramic chamber is recommended after every loading. This simple upkeep will ensure the longevity of your Cloudious 9 vaporizer.
WHAT WE LIKE
The Hydrology9 offers the most literal interpretation of the classic water filtration device currently available in the vaporizer market. While there are many attachments and add-ons, nothing quite beats the simplicity of adding water and vaping. No mess, no fuss. The quality of the build rests any anxieties we may have about mixing water with electronic components. The fit and finish definitely feel like something that will hold up well to usage and seems less likely to break when your bud gets too blown and drops it. The vapor quality of the Hydrology 9 is very solid and while you don’t get precise temperature control, the LED’s are a nice stylistic touch.
WHAT WE LIKE, LESS
While we do like the LED’s as mentioned above, it is a little disappointing to not see precision temperature control in a vape of this price range. While this unit is the most portable water-filtered vaporizer, it’s still on the large size for a portable. It’s on the size spectrum of the Storz & Bickel Mighty vaporizer or the original Arizer Solo. The Hydrology 9 is definitely portable enough to take with you, but it’s not fitting in your pocket. Unless you’re still rocking those JNCOs your mother threatened to throw away. Lastly, while we love the design, it is a far cry from discrete. However, if you’re looking for discretion, a vape pipes with LED-lighting and a stylish design meant to catch looks probably wouldn’t be the first thing that crosses your mind.
WHO IT’S FOR
People who want a vaporizer that has built-in water filtration will enjoy the Hydrology 9 and that’s about it. The largest drawback of the Hydrology 9 is its niche functionality. While vaporizers with bubbler and other water-filtration adapters are more complex, the user also has the ability to remove the water filtration device. The Hydrology 9 possesses no such ability. You either have a big heavy vapor pipe, or a DRY, big, heavy vapor pipe.
WHO IT’S NOT FOR
If you’re not committed to having all water pipe, all the time, then the Hydrology 9 is not for you. If you’re looking for something that is more functional and offers a greater variety of vaping operations as well as portability, there is a list of vapes that might be more suited to your needs. This offering from Cloudious 9 serves up a great visual treat, as well as a conversation piece, but if you could only have one vape, the Hydrology 9 would not be your first choice.
The Hydrology 9 completes the task it was intended for with efficiency and style. That task is the water filtration of your vapor, nothing more, nothing less. While the Hydrology 9 arguably achieves this task greater than any other solution, its scope is somewhat more limited than other vaporizers in this price bracket.The leak-proof design of the Hydrology 9 makes it more portable than any other water-filtered solution, vaporizer or otherwise. Just don’t expect to use wax concentrates or CBD extracts or precisely adjust temperature. All in all, it offers a very attractive solution for users who are used to more analogue forms of consumption and really want a showcase-quality vape.
How do you feel about water-filtration in vapes? Is it necessary? Do you think it improves the quality of the vapor or size of the clouds? Are you hyped on the Hydrology 9? Let us know in the comments below.
William Updyke is a writer and creator at The VaporNation Blog, an online publication providing the latest news, advice, and opinions on the vaporizer industry. His articles are enjoyed by a monthly readership of over 60,000, while his instructional videos on Vaporizer Education: The Official VaporNation Channel have been watched over 120,000 times.
While he didn't attend vape college, per se, William does know a good vaporizer when he sees it. A vape enthusiast for the past four years, he has a deep understanding of the heating styles, materials, build quality, and functionality that separate decent vaporizers from great ones. You can read his reviews and how-tos for helpful and trustworthy information about the latest devices, trends, and practices in vaping.
William graduated from the University of Montana before moving to Los Angeles, where he writes weekly blogs about vaping and hosts a Clippers podcast. You can read his articles on Leafly, Inked, and more.