When Oglesby & Butler introduced the IOLITE to the world it was the first fully portable vaporizer. No need for batteries or recharging, as it is fueled by butane and functioned via a flameless butane catalytic heater and regulated by a precision bi-metal thermostat. The WISPR vaporizer is the latest product from Oglesby & Butler and it's more than just IOLITE 2.0. O&B reached out to SF design firms Thing Tank and Sequitur Creative to help design the next IOLITE vaporizer. The WISPR represents a complete re-working of the look and the technology that made the IOLITE the world's best portable vaporizer.
At first look the WISPR has a boxy shape, comes in a variety of colors and has a retro look. It appears to be larger than the IOLITE, so I took some measurements with a caliper and found it to be only slightly thicker and a bit wider. After doing some some math with those measurements I found the WISPR is only .41 cubic inches larger than the original IOLITE. Some other cosmetic changes I noticed are the fuel window for checking butane level, the folding silicone mouthpiece, the activity light and the ability to stand the vaporizer upright or on any of it's 6 surfaces.
All that aside it's really the performance upgrades that I was interested in. The manufacturer touts the WISPR has an upgraded butane delivery system, quicker warm up times, a larger fuel reservoir and a longer vaping time. So, I tried one out to find out for myself if the WISPR is a better product.
The bowl on the WISPR has the same diameter as the IOLITE's, but the heating pin is longer and the bowl is deeper, so you can pack more in. The bowl is also much more secure than the original, which will keep it from falling off, which happened when I shared the IOLITE with new users from time to time. There is also a new starter that I like. Instead of the I/O switch and a starter button, the WISPR combines the two into a dual click starter button. Click it once to start the release of the butane and then another click down to ignite the gas. You turn it off by pushing the button up. I believe having to push the starter button up to turn off will solve the problem of turning it accidentally. I find the shape to be a lot less ergonomic than the IOLITE, but never the less the WISPR still fit's in my palm and is easily concealed. I found the the WISPR heats up faster that the IOLITE, but like the IOLITE it performs best when preheated 5-15 minutes. The vapor has the same taste as it does with the IOLITE, but it was a denser vape which is a definite upgrade! The flexible, folding silicone mouthpiece is a feature I also dig. It's great for storage and it pinches the tubing when folded which prevents vapor from escaping when you're taking a break. I found the mouthpiece still gets as hot as the IOLITE's did, but WISPR's body did not get as hot as the IOLITE's. The WISPR is also quieter than the IOLITE. After putting the IOLITE and WISPR head to head using several iPhone db meters I found the WISPR to be around 10 db quieter than the IOLITE. The WISPR also cycles less often making it even less noisy. Operating time has been extended from two hours with the IOLITE to 3 hours with the WISPR. I can't imagine using it for 3 hours straight but I'd feel confident taking it on a hike or short trip without bringing a can of Vector too.
After my trials I found the WISPR to be a better product than the IOLITE and worth the extra money for me. I do miss the ergo shape of the IOLITE, but relish the improvements made in the WISPR.