Vaporizes are everywhere these days, be they the e-cig or the *cough* herbal variety *cough cough.* Most of them are poorly built, cheap-looking, and often have a lot of problems. But Cloudious 9 is on a mission: they’ve been out to make the best portable vaporizer around. And, once you set aside some convenience issues, they’ve succeeded.At first glance, the Hydrology 9 is… intimidating. Standing at a bit over six inches, it’s huge for a portable. And it comes with a ton of little pieces. Just about everything comes apart (which is actually a point in its favor, as it makes the cleaning process easier), but that also means that it comes with a bit of a learning curve. Once you’ve got the hang of it, though, the machine’s pretty straightforward.In the box, you’ll find a detachable mouthpiece (which features a one-way valve to help prevent spilling), a cap for the water reservoir, the glass wall for the reservoir, the base, and a cover for the oven. Each of these pieces has a couple of delightful surprises that showcase the ingenuity behind the Hydrology’s design. The oven, for example, included a built-in, rotating stirrer, so you can stir your herbs and get a more even burn without having to open the chamber and adjust it manually.But the biggest feature here is the water filtration. Water is meant to cool the air intake, making your draws easier. And from my experience, it really works. The Hydrology produces remarkably smooth vapor. Plus, when the unit’s on, it shines RGB LEDs through the water, creating a calming, diffuse light. And that’s just awesome.That water does cause some problems, though. The machine has to be taken almost completely apart between each session. After my first use, I forgot about it, letting the Hydrology sit around for a couple of days. When I returned, bacteria had clearly started growing in the water, causing a foul smell. After that, I had to take a bit of time to clean it thoroughly, and I’ve avoided repeating the mistake. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s definitely something worth noting. While Hydrology has a lot of advanced features, hygiene is essential, and there’s no way around that. It’s a bit tedious, but the team at Cloudious have taken great care to make the process as easy as possible.When I put it together the first time, I also had to tighten some of the pieces so hard that I was a bit worried the reservoir’s glass walls would shatter. But, once you get used to putting a little elbow grease (that is a little, not a lot) it’s not too bad.With an array of temperature settings, tools to adjust total air flow, and a suite of other features, plus the aluminum construction, the Hydrology feels like a premium, luxury product. And, at about $250, you’d hope so. It’s a joy to use, too, though its size makes it much harder to stow and use on the go, despite the claim that it’s a “portable” vape.The Hydrology 9 is certainly unique. I can’t think of any other water-filtered portable vaporizers, and certainly none that are quite like this. Everything about the machine makes it clear that its designers have an exacting attention to detail, and eye for aesthetics. But with some premium features and metal-and-glass chassis come a bevy of convenience issues which, while annoying, do little to degrade the overall experience.ProsExcellent build qualityRemarkably smooth inhalationsExcellent Battery lifeConsHeavy, not very portableCleaning can be a painThere’s a lot to set-upBottom LineThe Hydrology 9 is a water-filtered vaporizer that embodies high-quality design and engineering, but that comes at the cost of portability and ease-of-use.