- Manufactured By: The Kind Pen
- Manufactured In: China
- Designed In: New Jersey
- Dry Herb
TruVa Mini+ is the newest kit from The Kind Pen, a vape manufacturer based in New Jersey that launched operations back in January 2013. The company offers portable vaporizers and vape accessories suitable for wax, oil, and dried herbs. Today we will be taking a look at their newest handheld vaporizer to hit the market, the TruVa Mini+, which currently retails for $159.99.
For those unfamiliar with the TruVa Mini+, it is a tiny yet powerful vaporizer that is based off its predecessor and big brother, the original TruVa vape. Built for vaporizing dry herbs in sessions (i.e., set it and forget it), the TruVa Mini+ offers users a temperature range of 350 – 435°F and interactive Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) display making it easy to set the device to your desired temperature.
The Mini Version of the TruVa Vape
Despite the device being relatively light-weight from all of the plastic pieces, the aluminum shell and stainless steel accents on the TruVa Mini+ make the vape feel durably constructed. Design-wise, the TruVa Mini+ definitely has its pros and cons, most of which are similar to other handheld or small conduction vaporizers.
Generally speaking, in the couple of weeks that I’ve owned the TruVa Mini+, I haven’t had to worry about it breaking… not even when I toss the device into my backpack with much heavier items. This is a relief as many of the other handheld vaporizers I have come across in recent months, at least at similar price points, tend to have some part/piece that is prone to breaking.
I like that the TruVa Mini+ has a separate power button located on the side of the device. To turn the vape ON/OFF, simply press the power button three (3) times fast. When activated, the OLED screen on the front of the TruVa Mini+ will light up and display the temperature the oven is set to heat up to. If you prefer a hotter or cooler temperature than the temperature that is being displayed, tap the plus (+) or minus (-) buttons on the front of the device to adjust accordingly.
Although the vaporizer has a smooth finish on a majority of the device’s exterior, there are some really rough edges located at the top of the vape where the mouthpiece connects to the rectangular aluminum tubing. It’s not a big deal, but it does cost this vape some style points and leaves me wanting more from the Kind Pen’s design department.
Too Much Plastic and Stainless Steel For My Tastes
The one downside to the mouthpiece… and it’s a big downside… is that it seems to get really hot at any temperature over 350°F — especially with continued use. When I looked online to see if others were experiencing similar issues, I came across another review from a person on Grass City with the username TbonePdx that says “Seriously, it’s too hot to use after the first pull unless you replace the mouthpiece after every hit.”
My experience with the TruVa Mini+ mouthpiece wasn’t as extreme nor negative as he makes it to be. I will say though that after a minute or so of vaping, the mouthpiece does get hotter than you may have expected/wanted, making the overall vape experience a little bit of a buzzkill at times.
In future models, I’d really like to see a longer (maybe expandable?) mouthpiece that is constructed of 100% glass or ceramic. Also, I think extending the vapor path altogether with additional heat coils could help cool the vapor a lot before it even reaches your lips. I understand that each of these suggestions would increase the size & weight of the vape, but I also think the upsides of an improved vapor flavor profile, cooler draws, and a non-toxic air pathway would be well worth it.
Speaking of the mouthpiece area, I really like that the TruVa Mini+ uses a magnetic mouthpiece cover/cap. Not only does this keep your mouthpiece from getting dirty when in storage/your pocket, but the magnetic feature helps you from losing the cap altogether and adds a level of sophistication to an otherwise boring piece.
Battery Indicator: Great Concept, Lackluster Execution
When taking a look at the inside of the TruVa Mini+, you’ll will find a rechargeable (but not replaceable) battery that should last anywhere from two to four hours on a two hour charge.
Despite it’s extremely small size, the TruVa Mini+ battery is powerful and will heat up the oven to your desired temperature impressively quick. Having said that, I have experienced some issues with the battery — specifically the battery level indicator on the OLED screen on the front of the unit.
For example, my TruVa Mini+ will sometimes show 1 or 2 bars remaining battery life and then just die suddenly, without any warning whatsoever — like it was receiving some sort of false-read. To test this theory, I charged the TruVa Mini+ for 3 complete hours and the device’s OLED showed a full bar indicating the battery was fully charged. However, after just one (1) session that lasted about five (5) minutes, the battery lost 1 of the 4 bars (~25% or more of its charge). When I turned the unit back on, it showed a full bar again, but then other times it will show 3/4 bars. It seems to be completely random. Maybe the temperature of the room/vape influences the battery read-out, I’m not entirely sure…
Getting The Most From Your TruVa Mini+ Vape Session
As always when vaping dried herbs, I recommend starting your session by taking a couple of draws of vapor at a very low temperature (325°-335°F). Then each draw thereafter, steadily increasing the temperature until the herb is kicked. You’ll know when the vape session is nearing its end when the flavor of the material goes south and gets very bitter/harsh.
You know it’s not 100% convection heating because you can smell the herb getting baked in the oven before taking a draw. True convection-only vapes require hot air to be pulled over the herbs before the material gets heated (ie. herbs are heated by airflow not direct contact). The TruVia is more of a hybrid of both convection and conduction heating technology.
To avoid having the material over-heat or heat unevenly, I frequently shut off the vape and remove the cap to stir the product around during my sessions. Unfortunately, this step is required more with a vape like the TruVa Mini+ than with other larger, convection-only style vaporizers that heat herbs with hot air versus direct contact.
The Kind Pen markets the company as a convection vape, but because the chamber that houses your dry herbs gets hot and touches your material directly, I’d argue that the TruVa Mini+ actually utilizes a mix of both conduction and convection heating technology.
One nifty feature built into the TruVa Mini+ that you may not know about is that you can lock your temperature setting in place by tapping the power button just once after setting your desired temperature. This helps from accidentally changing the temperature between draws, which is surprisingly easy to do. For those that prefer one exact temperature every time they vape, the TruVa Mini+ does have a built-in feature that automatically remembers the last temperature used before the device was powered off, which I think is great.
Worthy of mentioning, the TruVa Mini+ only comes with a USB charger — no wall charger is provided. Because of this, you’ll need to have access to a nearby computer to charge this vape. The Kind Pen does include a helpful poker tool (good luck not losing this!) and a cleaning brush for the TruVa Mini+.
Overall, the TruVa Mini+ is well-constructed, mind-numbingly easy to operate, and has the potential to create large vapor clouds. Plus, the manufacturer offers a really great lifetime warranty on all parts — a no questions asked policy. However, some of the drawbacks, like the the overheating plastic mouthpiece, lack of flavorful vapor, and neurotic battery indicator leave me hoping that the next version of the TruVa will address these issues.