When Dr. Dabber sent us their SWITCH to try out, they also sent us their cool new Aurora concentrate vaporizer pen. Technology has come leaps and bounds from where it was when these style of pens hit the market a few years back. We received the special edition Aaron Kai x Aurora Kit. The dab pen, as well as the packaging, were all designed by artist Aaron Kai, who also owns the cannabis oil brand, Permanent Holiday. The version of the pen we got in the mail had blue waves all over it and came with a matching carrying bag, all of which was packaged inside of a unique paint can (with matching wave designs.) The package also came with a paint can opener, which made unboxing the Aurora a more interactive experience. The Aaron Kai x Aurora Kit comes in at a price tag of $99.95.
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[caption id="attachment_15325" align="aligncenter" width="601"] Source: @aaronkkai via Instagram[/caption]
How To Use
The Dr. Dabber Aurora doesn't really innovate on any dab pen technology (more on this later), so if you've used one before, you'll probably be able to figure out how to use it pretty quickly. The Aurora is comprised of four parts that are held together magnetically:
To use the Aurora, remove the mouthpiece and airflow chamber from the battery and heating chamber. Drop your concentrate into the heating chamber directly onto the coils and reassemble your pen. Click the button (it's in the shape of the Dr. Dabber logo) five times to turn the pen on. Push it three times to change the power level. The button will glow a specific color based off of which power setting the Aurora is on:
It'll take a couple of uses for you to figure out which setting you prefer, so experiment with different heat settings, different size dabs, and different types of concentrates to figure out what setting is optimal for the sesh that you're looking for.
Once you have your preferred heat setting, using the Dr. Dabber Aurora is as simple as holding down the button and taking a pull.
High Experience: 7/10
When I smoked out of the Dr. Dabber Aurora, the high was definitely good (like you would expect with most dab pens) but what really threw me off was the flavor and the harshness of the hit. Obviously, there isn't any sort of filtration system on a dab pen like this, and the heating chamber is pretty close to the mouthpiece, so I wasn't expecting the perfect smoke, but I also wasn't prepared for how harsh the smoke actually turned out to be. I tried the Aurora on all three power settings to try to optimize the temperature for flavor, but I was still a little disappointed. The first pull I took was on low heat, which tasted great and was incredibly smooth. However, it wasn’t quite producing the size hits I wanted. As I turned up the heat to try and get bigger clouds, the drop-off in flavor was astronomical. In addition to that, you could really taste the coils burning the wick (even in the first low temp pull that I took which tasted the best.) Maybe this would be excusable if we were still in the year 2015 and didn't know any better. But with plasma technology and direct contact-free combustion technologies innovating the way we think about dab pens, the Dr. Dabber Aurora falls short of being my preferred method of dabbing on the go.
Look and Design: 4/5
The Aaron Kai x Aurora is very aesthetically pleasing to look at and has a very chill vibe attached to it. Anyone you see smoking out of one instantly looks like they're puffing on an island breeze (until you see the face they make when they taste the coil.) I definitely appreciated the continuity of design across the pen, the carry bag, and the paint can (although it was a little annoying using the included paint can opener to pop the lid off and actually get to the pen), but in terms of the design of the actual hardware, nothing, in particular, stood out to me. If I were to see the product sitting in a case without the carrying bag and the can beside it, I'm not sure it would catch my eye enough to inquire more about it.
Build Quality: 2/5
Unfortunately, a lot of the issues that I had regarding the smoke experience and flavor stems directly from the fact that there isn't anything innovative about the way the Aurora was constructed. The choice of heating element (direct coil with wick wrapped around it) was a big negative. The wick was a lower quality than what I would have used, and this quickly became very evident based off of the burnt flavor that accompanied every hit, including the first one. However, there are some redeeming qualities to the way this was constructed, mainly two things:
Because of the two redeeming qualities that I mentioned above, maintenance is pretty easy. A simple wipe down with a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol will do the trick. The only reason this doesn't get a 5 for maintenance is because of the wick inside. No matter how much you clean your Aurora, once you use it, it's always going to have that burnt taste to it.
In conclusion, the Dr. Dabber Aurora functions great for its intended purpose of consuming concentrates quickly on the go, but if you are a hardcore concentrate user like myself pursuing the best taste and flavor, not just the most convenient high, the exposed coil just seems like an aged concept that doesn't measure up to modern dab pen technology.