Initially, I bought my Smocan System in hopes of having a discreet way to transport and consume cannabis while on the go. Therefore, my product review will focus on the product’s value as determined by its portability, discreetness, and usability. Then, I will compare the value of the Smocan to its cost.
The Smocan System is an all-in-one storage container for smoking on the go. It is lightweight, coming in at 0.3-pounds (i.e., 4.8-ounces). It is a long, cylindrical container. It is 4.6-inches long, 1.25-inches in diameter with a 1.25-inch circumference. The Smocan System is also water resistant, odor resistant, and modular; and, each module has a specific function.
The main module is called the body. The body module has built-in storage for a glass one-hitter pipe, a steel cleaning rod, and a “Mini-Bic” lighter. The Smocan System comes with a glass one-hitter pipe and steel cleaning rod; however, consumers must buy the “Mini-Bic” separately. The grinder module has two (2) pieces: a male and female grinder piece. The male-grinder piece is attached to the bottom of the body module. Below the two-piece grinder module is an extension module, followed by a screen module and then a kief-catch module. If needed, the female-grinder piece, the extension module, and the screen module can all be removed to shorten the total length of the Smocan System.
Although removing pieces technically makes it lighter, I don’t personally think it’s a noticeable difference. However, removing the extra pieces makes it significantly easier to carry in smaller pockets and/or small purses. I don’t have one to confirm this assumption, but removing the extra pieces might make it small enough to into a larger coin purse.
Due to its size, shape, and portability: the Smocan System is very discreet. Personally, it reminds me of a small, portable flashlight. Although there is descriptive text on the canister (i.e., the word “Smocan” printed on the cap of the body module), the print is small enough that it’s hard to read from a distance.
Additionally, as mentioned earlier, the Smocan System is water and odor resistant. As a result, I have been able to carry the Smocan System around with me for an entire day of bus rides and transfers without ever feeling paranoid that someone could smell the cannabis inside of it. In fact, as I write this, I have my Smocan sitting next to me. It has some pretty smelly cannabis inside of it right now. When I was playing with the modules earlier, I could easily smell the flower. But now that it’s closed up, I can’t smell the flower at all.
All in all, the Smocan System is very user-friendly. There are no complicated parts: each module screw into the module above and/or below it. The body module, which contains the built-in storage, is set up in a way that makes it easy to retrieve and put away the glass one-hitter and the steel cleaning rod.
My only issue with the Smocan System is its grinder. The grinder works really well, but I don’t personally enjoy the sound that the grinder makes. I don’t know if it’s an issue with all Smocan Systems, but because each module screws into the other modules around it, sometimes the threads on the seal of the grinder module produce a squeaking/squealing sound that makes my head hurt. It could be attributed to loose herb getting into the thread; however, mine has squeaked/squealed since its first use.
Regardless, once the herb has been ground up, the Smocan System is set up in such a way that it’s simple to load the glass one-hitter pipe. All I have to do is push the tip of the pipe into the mound of freshly ground herb until it can’t collect anymore herb. After I brush off any excess herb that didn’t fit into the pipe, I smoke the single hit. To clean the pipe, I push the long end of the steel cleaning rod into the mouth-piece of the pipe which pushes all of the ash out of the tip of the pipe. I repeat that process until I’m done taking hits.
COST VS VALUE
I bought my Smocan System on sale for $45.75 in April 2017. The company that sells the Smocan System — A Lifestyle Technovations — was having a sale in celebration of 4/20. However, the normal sales price ranges from $60 to $87. The Black and Lavender containers sell for $60 while the Orange, Blue, and Green containers sell for $87. At the time of this article (December 30, 2018), the Orange, Blue, and Green containers are on sale for $60 as well. There are three (3) shipping options: Standard Mail ($6.50), Priority Mail ($11.50), and Express Mail ($27.50). Taxes seemed to be included in the list price, so consumers can expect to pay anywhere from $66.50 to $93.50 if they choose Standard Mail shipping.
I understand that it’s made out of brushed aluminum (or at least it appears to be made out of brushed aluminum, I couldn’t actually find the material description) and that it comes with a glass one-hitter pipe, and a steel cleaning rod. It also has silicone O-rings to keep each module water and odor resistant. However, I simply do not use it often enough to justify the cost. Honestly, sometimes I feel guilty for spending ~$46 on it because I rarely use it. But that has nothing to do with the product itself, and everything to do with my dislike of the heat associated with non-water pipes. On top of that, the glass one-hitter is shorter than most spoon pipes, so there’s even less time for the heat to dissipate. In my opinion, it seems to be as hot as the last inch of a joint.
Also, even though the container is discreet, smoking cannabis isn’t very discreet. Cannabis smoke has a smell, no matter how faint or far away it is. As a result, I still don’t feel comfortable smoking it while in heavily populated and public places.
On the other hand, the Smocan System is perfect for road trips and other travel-related adventures. It is also useful if you (a) have your own vehicle in which to smoke; and/or, (b) you can distance yourself from large groups of people when you’re smoking outside. In fact, I wish I had thought to grab it yesterday when I went to my husband’s holiday work party. We were at a bowling ally in Spokane, and instead of simply sliding my Smocan System into my coat pocket, I took the time to pack my grinder, spoon pipe, tongs, and lighter into one of my stash bags. With everything in the stash bag, I couldn’t discreetly fit it into my pocket. Initially I took it into the bowling ally with me, but eventually, I asked my husband to take it back out to the car because it was too bulky. Then, when I went outside to smoke, I had to unpack everything, try to balance the grinder on my leg, and carefully attempt to pack a bowl. Although the spoon pipe hits aren’t as hot as the glass one-hitter, it would have been a lot easier to use. And quicker!
So I’m split on the cost versus the value. On one hand, the Smocan System is incredibly convenient, portable, and discreet to transport. On the other hand, it doesn’t disguise the smell of cannabis and the hits are really hot. Personally, I don’t go out with friends very often. Most of my time in public I’m either waiting for the bus or riding the bus, usually with other people around me. If I went out with friends more often, I think I would actually use it more often.
If I hadn’t been able to get my Smocan on sale, I don’t think I would have purchased it. I just don’t use it enough to justify spending $66.50 on it. However, for people who would use it more often, the Smocan System doesn’t cost much more than any decent spoon pipe or water pipe (in my experience). Plus, it comes with a grinder, a steel cleaning pipe (which can also be used as a toker poker in a pinch), and a glass pipe. My current grinder cost about $15 on its own, but it’s neither brushed aluminum nor odor resistant.
For my personal usage, I don’t think the Smocan System has been entirely worth it. But for more avid or frequent users (I’m looking at you outdoorsy people), it could be a really good solution for discreetly smoking on the go. There’s nothing to charge, it’s self-contained, and it’s easy to port around.