These days it seems like there are way to many heat management devices available on the market to keep track of. In the last 5 years or so we have seen the Kaloud lotus, the Ingnis, the Provost, the Phoenix, the Brohood, the Quasar, and many more hit the market. So what gives? What's the deal with all these new products? Do they really replace the tried and true foil and coal system? That's what we will be looking into on today's post, the state of heat management.
Kaloud Lotus 1.0
Lets start from the beginning. In the early days of what we all know as modern hookah, your only real option was to pack your bowl, put a sheet or two of foil right over it, and poke some holes. No one was really complaining about it back then. With the lack of options came a certain complacency. Of course you had your metal screens that popped up every now and then, but they never really worked that well. It wasn't until 2013 that the first real mainstream alternative was brought to the market, the Kaloud Lotus. When the Lotus dropped, it changed the way people would look at heat management forever.
The Lotus does so many things that foil can't, and it solves problems we didn't even know we had. For one, it will elongate your session by allowing less air to pass over your coals, causing them to burn down at a much slower rate. It also makes managing your coals much easier, once you put them into the lotus your done, just smoke until the coals die out. The lotus provides a much cleaner session by keeping all the ash from your coals contained. The lotus features 8 bumps on the bottom to allow for even heat dispersion. This device also utilizes a vent system rather than holes on the bottom to allow for great air flow. I could go on about the features of the lotus but that's not what this blog is about, so lets look at some other innovations.
Next up we have the Oduman Ignis. In many ways this device is similar to the Lotus. Like the Lotus, the Ignis is a no foil device that you place your coals directly into and has a lid to retain the heat. The Ignis also has 8 bumps on the bottom to nestle into your tobacco, allowing the heat to spread evenly throughout your bowl. In addition to these shared features the Ignis also borrows the vent system that the Lotus utilizes, allowing for a nice open draw. The main factor that separates the Ignis from the Lotus is capacity. The Ignis can take 3 cubes with no issues where the Lotus has a max capacity of 2 cubes unless you MacGyver it with a coal stacked on top. This is a huge plus for anyone who likes high heat tobaccos or just likes to smoke on the hot side.
Up to this point we have discussed HMD's that eliminate foil from the equation. Now I want to talk about a device that works well with the addition of foil, The Apple on Top Provost. Originally designed to be used with the Apple on Top bowl, the Provost is a minimal HMD that utilizes holes on the bottom of the device. The provost is in a completely different category than the Lotus and Ignis for a few reasons. The main bulk of this HMD is the hefty lid. Where the other two devices feature a tub for you to put your coals in, the provost has a thin tray with it's own apple leaf grip (get it?). The lid on this device contains the vents, the walls, and even a second grip (with another nice apple leaf grip on it).
I mentioned that this device was intended for use with the Apple on Top bowl. When being used with this bowl there is no need to use foil as it sits right in the A.O.T. However, the hookah community has discovered that this HMD can be used with just about any bowl on the market, provided you foil the bowl first. "But why would I want to use an HMD on a bowl I've already foiled?" I can hear you asking. Well, there are 2 main reasons. The first is the length of your session. Like the other HMD's I've mentioned, the Provost will keep your coals burning hot longer by limiting the exposure to air. The second reason is the quality and consistency of your session. The Provost will heat your bowl evenly while allowing you to control the heat with the lid of the device. Many die hard foil users have picked up the Provost to save on coal and elongate sessions. The Provost works especially well with Tangiers due to its heat sensitivity and longevity.
All in all the Provost is a must have for almost any smoker due to its versatility and low price tag.
Now I'd like to take some time to talk about a brand new HMD that will be hitting the market in around a month, the Phoenix. Like the Provost, the Phoenix is in a different category than most of the other mainstream HMD's. This device doesn't use holes or vents on the bottom to allow airflow, but instead is the first HDM to use a phunnel style build that aligns with a phunnel bowl to deliver heat and airflow. I'm not quite sure how well this works as I have not had the chance to use it yet, but it's definitely something new to be sure. In addition to this innovation, the Phoenix is made of an aircraft grade aluminum and has a shiny finish. Top that with a four cube capacity (depending on the size of your cubes) and a design that will allow for use with smaller bowls (due to the groove on the bottom), you have a pretty interesting device that is worth keeping your eye on.
One thing I want to mention before moving on is the lack of a grip on this device. They have built this device to be manipulated with tongs, and they will even be releasing an exclusive set of tongs (sold separately) to allow you to pick the device up when hot.
Kaloud Lotus Plus
Moving on to another new device on the market we have the Kaloud Lotus Plus. I won't be talking on this device for to long as they have not changed a whole lot since the release of the original Lotus. To list some of the changes they have made we can start with capacity. The new Lotus is designed to be able to take 3 cubes (although my results have varied), where the old Lotus could not. Kaloud has also included raised semi-circles on the inside of the device to keep your coals from blacking out. The last change worth mentioning here is the vents, Kaloud has made them a bit wider which in theory should open up your draw even more.
Old School Foil
Last but certainly not least, we have good old foil and coal. Weather your using one layer of HD (heavy duty) or two layers of SD (standard duty) this is the bread and butter of heating your session. If your reading this blog than there is no need for me to explain how foil and coal works, I'm sure your already well versed. But with all of the new heat management innovations being brought to the hookah world it's easy to forget to go back to basics. So even if your an avid Lotus user or you cant get enough of the Provost, make sure to go back and stay in touch with the roots of hookah.
Thanks for taking the time to read this little blog post. If you liked it then keep your eyes pealed for some of the new articles I will be releasing later in 2018. And as always, Happy Smoking.