Vaping Reviews

The ASPIRE TRITON

This all new Aspire Triton tank introduces a fresh and new style of adjustable airflow control that will allow the user to really dial in on their desired airflow setting. The Triton also delivers the same style of airflow adjustment at the drip tip. So no matter if you want to mouth to lung or go straight to lung the all new Triton’s airflow control has you covered. Combine this with a convenient top fill method and our subohm coils and you have a truly variable tank system.

 

Aspire Triton Review and Comparison

This is a follow-up on the overview of the Aspire Triton that I posted yesterday on my personal channel. That video has been posted here too, so feel free to check it out.

REALLY like this tank. Great airflow, tremendous flavor, super easy to fill without making a mess thanks to the top fill system. If the RTA section is worth a damn, it’ll be killer.

I rip on the Zephyrus a bit in this video, but plenty of other reviewers really like theirs. Grimm Green just posted a review yesterday, thinks it’s a great tank:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPlgt…

Video From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNFbIf9OtFc

For me, it’s picky about wicking (real easy to get dry hits if you don’t do it right), and I don’t think the flavor’s that good. You know what they say about opinions though – the Zephyrus is pretty cheap so if you’re looking at it vs. the Triton you might as well pick both of them up and see what you think. For me, the Triton blows it away.

Triton Tank from Aspire
http://store.vaporgalleria.com/aspire-triton/

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DNA30 – What’s the Deal?

dna-30-chip

DNA. It’s not even a word, just a damned acronym, yet it’s driving the vaping world crazy. But what exactly is the DNA, and how is it different from the APVs (Advanced Personal Vaporizers) we already know? And furthermore, why is everybody losing their shit to get one?

What is a DNA?

The DNA is a chipset created by Evolv Vapor. In the simplest terms, it regulates power, delivers consistent output and provides functionality to your device. The chip is attached to a display screen that gives a readout of battery life, resistance, voltage and wattage.

The DNA chip has been through a few revisions. The most recent is the DNA30, which just so happens to have an output of 30 watts. What a coincidence!

OK, so What’s a DNA Mod?

A “DNA Mod” is a vaporizer that includes a DNA20 or DNA30 chip. They’re made by many different companies, and Evolv sells the chips to losers – I mean individuals – like us, so we can make our own DNA Mod. For this reason, the DNA Mod takes many forms (much like love and Decepticons).

Some DNA mods utilize an incorporated battery pack, and some use a high-drain 18650. Some of these allow for quick swapping of the 18650, but most are designed so that battery remains in the device until it’s dead. It just depends upon each builder’s vision.

All DNA mods that incorporate the DNA chip have the same features, so using different devices from different makers is a nearly identical experience.

Sounds Good, But Why Would I Want a DNA30?

The DNA30 allows you to use sub ohm and it holds the voltage through the battery life. DNA30 devices can regulate power down to .5 ohm. That’s a lot of power. But that’s just the beginning. If you set it to 19 watts (4.7v on a 1.1ohm coil) it’s going to put out 19 watts of power until the battery is dead. If you set it to 23 watts, you’re getting 23 watts, regardless of the resistance of whichever atomizer you thread. It’s also remarkably power efficient so your battery life is great.

DNA devices allow you to run at 10 amps, which means you can run lower ohm coils at a higher wattage. For comparison, eGos have 2.5 amp limit, the Provari V2 has a 3.5 amp limit, and the Vamo V5 and VTR are at 5 amps. And of course, mechanical mods are limited to the amp limit of the battery itself. Bottom line: you get lots of power from a DNA30, without sacrificing features, fit or finish (I’m looking at you, OKR box mods).

The DNA’s versatility means it works equally well with clearomizers, cartomizers, RDAs, RBAs. Whatever you got, it can handle. And boy, you haven’t vaped til you’ve threaded a high-end dripper to a DNA30!

DNA30 Features

Consistency
I set it to 20 watts and it’ll vape at 20 watts until the battery gives in to sweet, merciful death (sorry, gotta quit listening to Cradle of Filth).

Variable Wattage
Differing resistances and different coil styles perform better at different wattages. Some juices taste better at lower settings, while others are better higher. Being able to effortlessly adjust power output to match your current atty/juice combo is a beautiful thing.

Smooth Power, No PWM
Pulse Width Modulation rapidly cycles high voltage and zero volts, turning the coil on and off very quickly to produce a set wattage. This is what causes the “rattlesnake” sound in some cheaper VV/VW devices. Many people claim PWM produces a crappy vaping experience and pisses off poisonous snakes.

Show and Tell
One quick look at the bright, clear display tells you everything you need to know. No cycling through menus, series of clicks or meters. Future versions will even tell you when you’re being a drunk asshole and it’s time to go home.

The Lock Don’t Stop
Let’s face it. Not all mechanical mods have trustworthy locking rings. If you’ve ever had one fire in your pocket accidentally, you’ll appreciate the DNA’s 5-click locking. I can see the ad campaign now… “The New DNA30 – Guaranteed Fewer Trips to the Burn Unit!”

Less Explodey
No worries about discharging the battery to dangerous levels. When you get down to 3.2V, it won’t fire. And it prevents shorted coils from firing, as well.

Just Charge it!
Most DNA devices charge by micro USB, so you can charge at your desk, in the car, or in wall plug, without removing the battery. My Nitecore barely sees use anymore, and my mods are always charged. Shocking!

It Just Works
If you’ve ever used a wonky Vamo, SID or Lavatube, you know how important this is. Over six months, using five different DNA mods, I’ve had to disconnect a battery to reset the chip precisely once. Reliability may not be sexy, but it keeps the vapor flowing.

Yeah, You Want One Now

And I don’t blame you. Since the DNA and I made a love pact, practically every other mod – VV, VW or mech – is gathering dust (it’s not you, it’s me, baby!). I get consistency, dependability and killer battery life with better performance than a mech. It’s the best of all worlds, and it’s hard to go back to anything else (even my beloved ProVari). Some say it’s the future of vaping. But the future is now, baby…

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Give ’em the Bird! A Bird’s Nest Elixirs Review

birds-nest-elixers

Bird’s Nest Elixirs is one of the many new premium juice alchemists popping up to sate a vaping world crazy for the high-quality juice. But with so many options out there, is it worth your time? Funny you should ask, because I reviewed seven of their flavors just for you!

Fanfare

Great with a Guinness or other heavy ale. The tobacco is mild, the bourbon implied. It’s difficult to pick out any individual flavor. I sense a hint of citrus on the exhale, but I think my mouth is fooled. Dry, clean exhale, very smooth on the draw. Flavorful, but not intense. A great choice for an All Day Vape.

Good for: A couple with big choices to make

Goes well with: old musty books, fake Waterford crystal from Sam’s Club and cassette mixes.

Lyric

Another flavor with an implied citrus finish, though Bird’s Nest claims there’s no citrus in there. The strawberry is present in the undertones of the base. This is a lovely flavor, but competes with food and drink. Best enjoyed between meals. Good for summer – perhaps on a trail or under a veranda.

Good for: a girl named Tara

Goes well with: nature stuff, big floppy straw hats, pretentious parasols

Uproar

My issue with citrus is it overpowers every other flavor and the juice often comes off acidic. Uproar does not suffer that fate. There’s just enough vanilla base to balance the orange. Expertly balanced and satisfying in a dripper or Kayfun style atomizer. Mixes well with wheat beers and IPAs. BNE recommends two-week aging, and I can confirm this juice really does improve over time.

Good for:a girl named Lisa

Goes well with: fish, sushi, things with tentacles, bad sci-fi

Maestro

There’s a carmel implication, despite the fact this is a coffee hazelnut flavor. Winter spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) are present, but not overwhelming. Like many of Bird’s Nest’s flavors, there’s an inherent complexity that challenges the palate, but this juice is less delicate than their others. I’m not picking up a lot of coffee… at least not real coffee. Perhaps more of a carmel macchiato with spice. The hazelnut becomes evident with repeated draws. A delicious vape!

Good for: a guy named Forrest

Goes well with: Afghans, caftans and wool scarves

Reverie

I have been trying to decipher this flavor for two months, and it’s still a mystery. The mildly sweet cream is promising on the draw, but it’s an odd exhale. I still don’t know what to make of this juice, and I admit I’m disappointed every time I fill my Kayfun. That’s not to say it’s bad, it’s just not my thing. Comes alive at higher power settings in an dripper.

Good for: people who don’t write for onVaping

Goes well with: honeysuckle dreams, goldenrod peasant tops, a broken jet ski

Harmony

Delicious honey with a coconut undertone. Build yourself a nice dual coil and crank this one up to release a savory flavor experience. Tastes great in a Kayfun, but like most of Birds Nest’s juices, you’ve got to give it a spin in a dripper. After two months, I’ve yet to tire of this one.

Good for: a lady named Sarah

Goes well with: Vox amplifiers, high-end plastic dinnerware, airport magazines, fond memories of distant friends

Verses

You like pipe tobacco? This is a serious tobacco flavor. Warm, with just a hint of apple and a slight peppery undertone. Lots of vapor and a dry exhale. I actually like this on a lower power setting in a dripper to bring out the smooth richness. This is a seriously strong flavor with a satisfying throat hit. Tobacco fans need to try this bold blend.

Good for: a man with “The Third” at the end of his name

Goes well with: well-worn slippers, a globe bar filled with mid-range scotch, facial hair

 

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My Favorite Atomizer & Mod Clones

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I’m not here to fan the flames of the clone debate. Whether you loathe or love clones, they’re here and they’re here to stay. So I’d like to point out some of the better knock-offs I’ve had the pleasure of using over the last year. Because if there’s anything worse than a knock-off, it’s a shitty knock-off.

EHPro Kayfun Lite+ Atomizer

ehpro-kayfun-lite-plus

What it is
A 1:1 clone of the King of the RBAs, the Kayfun Lite+.

Why I Like it
Everybody makes Kayfun clones these days. But EHPro makes the best Kayfun clones. Yes, even better than the Russian 91%. The first few rounds of the EHPros were good, but the newest are practically perfect. Plus, the packaging is better and they give you more goodies. All for 1/3 the price of an authentic Kayfun Lite+, and less than half the cost of a Russian 91%.

ToBeCo Aqua Atomizer

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What it is
The Aqua was supposed to be the Kayfun Killer. I’m sure you heard it: “Better Flavor! More Vapor! Better Airflow!” But after some initial excitement, it’s been mostly forgotten.

Why I Like it
OK, so the Aqua never really became the revolutionary atty it was supposed to be. But that doesn’t mean it’s not great. It is, if you possess two things: the patience to build it right, and $180. What? Yeah, that’s what the authentic ones go for. Yes, I bought one, and yes, I’m kinda pissed about it, because the ToBeCo clone is just about the same thing for the price of a couple cocktails.

AIOS Atomizer

aios-atomizer

What it is
The authentic AIOS is a tank system that uses gravity to deliver juice to your coil via mesh or SS cable. Think of an upside-down gennie. It works damn well, but is only available as a Chi You hybrid.

Why I Like it
The real ones are near impossible to find and too expensive to be limited to only using with a Chi You. This $16 clone gives me the opportunity to mess around with one of the best and most unique tank systems out there without spending a fortune.

Taifun GT Atomizer

taifun-gt-rebuildable-atomizer

What it is
Imagine a hybrid of a Kayfun and an RDA (or a Fogger that actually works).

Why I Like it
Taifun GT atomizers cost around $180 and only sold in Europe. That pretty much puts me out of the market for a genuine one. And that’s a damned shame, because I believe the Taifun is the only RBA that can give the Kayfun a run for its money today. It’s a damned good system that hasn’t become very popular, and I can’t understand why (read more about the Taifun GT in my review of RBAs here).

Immortalizer RDA

immortalizer-rba

What it is
An odd dripper. It’s designed for use with flat ribbon kanthal and has limited airflow options.

Why I Like it
Despite the Immortalizer’s limitations, it still delivers the best flavor of any RDA I’ve ever used. (But you wanna make clouds? Forget it.) I liked it so much I bought the real thing (a standard practice for me when I find a clone I really, really like). And upon building the real thing, I discovered that the $12 clone is damn near as good as the $80 authentic. I hate when that happens.

Astro Mechanical Mod

astro-mech-mod

What it is
A versatile, solid telescoping mechanical mod with a great 510 connector.

Why I Like it
Well-made from good materials with excellent fit and finish. A flexible all-around mod that can do pretty much anything you wanted for around $20. This was the best fasttech mod clone I’d ever had. Until…

Panzer Mechanical Mod

panzer_mod_by_mcv

What it is
A badass. That’s what it is.

Why I Like it
I have to admit I’ve never used a real Panzer, but I’ve read numerous reports that this thing is nearly perfect. It feels solid enough to batter down a drug lord’s reinforced front door and it hits about the same. Low voltage drop, excellent threads, accurate machining. It’s pretty damned awesome.

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Three Months with a Protovapor XPV – An In Depth Review

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I was fortunate to order the new DNA30 version of the Protovapor XPV back in February, before Protovapor was overwhelmed with orders and underwhelmed with supplies. How does this unique DNA30 mod perform? Read on…

What is the Protovapor XPV?

protovapor-xpv-dna-30

The Protovapor XPV is a DNA-equipped personal vaporizer. The original XPV featured an Evolv DNA20 chip. The next version implemented the DNA30 when it debuted in early 2014.

The XPV is hand-assembled. The body is constructed of aluminum, with various bits and flair made of plastic. It has a relatively large firing switch that can be ordered in smooth or clicky versions, and in several colors. In fact, the aluminum body, as well as the plastic trim can all be ordered in a variety of colors. You can also choose whether you want a pocket clip or not.

The device has a simple 510 connector (more on this later) and a choice of 18650 batteries, including Sony 2600mAh US18650VTC5, AW 1600mAh 18650 or LG 2500mAh 18650HE2. They are soldered in place, and considered not user-serviceable, unless you really trust your skills with a soldering iron. The XPV charges via micro USB (mostly DNA30 devices do) and includes a charge indicator light. Yay!

What’s Good About the XPV?

Because it’s made of mostly aluminum, the XPV is light. It is also relatively compact, measuring in at 115mm x 24mm x 24mm. From there it’s relatively standard DNA fare. If you’ve used one DNA device, you’ve pretty much used them all.

Battery life is quite good with any of the 18650 options, and should get most vapers through the day. If you’re like me, and either in front of a computer or in the car all day, the USB charging feature is very handy. My XPV rarely goes under 50% charge.

Waiting for a custom mod is a drag. Protovapor goes to great lengths on their site to publicize their waiting period. When you place your order, you know how long the wait will be. This is a very good thing, and I wish more companies in the vaping world did it. From what I’ve heard from other owners, Protovapor usually hits their deadlines. (Mine was two days late, but who’s counting?)

So What’s Bad?

Aluminum is light, but not particularly sturdy. I have yet to drop my XPV, but I can’t imagine it would react well to pavement. Typically I wrap my high-dollar mods, but with all the recesses, creases and bits of extruding flair, I can’t imagine getting a wrap around this thing. For this reason, I chose the extra safety of the pocket clip, but the XPV is still rather fragile.

One way the XPV differs from most DNA devices is it uses a rocker switch for wattage up/down. In theory, this seems like a good idea. In practice, not so much. The mushy, inaccurate rocker is right below the firing switch, and inadvertent wattage changes occur frequently. “But wait,” you say! “The DNA30 has a wattage lock feature!” It does indeed. However, to enable the wattage lock, you press both up and down buttons simultaneously. The choice of rocker switch means this feature can’t be used on a device that really needs it.

Some of the plastic finish on the XPV seems to be 3D printed. After just a few months, those pieces are dirty and beginning to show signs of wear. Not good. Not good at all.

This is nit-picky, I realize, but I hate the placement of the readout window. When firing, you’ve got to flip the mod around 180-degrees to check your battery/resistance/whatever. It just makes more ergonomic sense that the readout window would be on the same face as the switch.

OK, deep breath. Let’s talk about the 510 connector, where the XPV really struggles.

Failure to Connect

The XPV’s 510 connector isn’t bad, per se. It’s just… normal. And that’s not good enough on a $200 device with a 2-3 month waiting period. Protovapor recently introduced a much-improved 510, but that’s too little too late for the devices that have already shipped (and they have turned down my request for an upgrade).

The XPV has been around for a while, and it was well-known that the connector had the problem many do – the pin pushes down little by little until it no longer makes contact. Thankfully, this is not difficult to remedy. Just remove the four screws from the top of the device and it’s very simple to push the pin back into place. But again, this is simply not good enough for a $200 mod. And it’s even more frustrating that the makers knew about this problem. Hell, they even ship you a tighter o-ring to use around the pin that MIGHT fix the problem. Why they didn’t install it themselves before shipping is a mystery.

Conclusion

I was thrilled when my XPV arrived. I had a few other DNA mods, but this one was smaller, more tote-able and just seemed “different.” After a few months, the XPV has worked its way into my daily carry rotation, nudging out my ProVaris, which are doing a great job sitting in a vape stand, weeping with loneliness. The XPV is simply convenient. It fits in my pocket, has great battery life, can be charged at my workstation, and most importantly, it’s got that DNA magic.

However, this is a flawed device. The old connector is flat-out bad. For $200, I should not have to disassemble my device and futz with the firing pin. The new version shipping with an improved connector will be better, but that’s not the only flaw. As I mentioned previously, it’s also fragile, the plastic pieces are cheap, and the wattage selector switch is a poor design.

Bottom Line

The Protovapor XPV is a decent mod, but not worth $200. What it does well is a product of the DNA chip, and there are more and more high-powered, variable-wattage options out there every day. For the price of an XPV, you can do better, or you can pay less and get a device of similar quality. I would recommend passing on the Protovapor XPV.

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Back to The Dripper

magma-rda

That crazed man approached, his head a frozen explosion of white cotton candy. Gesturing madly in his lab coat, he said to me, “Marky, we’ve got to go back! Back to the Dripper!”

“But Doctor, that’s impossible. The power necessary to fire that coil… too many jigawatts…” I half queried, half-exclaimed.

The congenial madman closed in, squaring his eyes to mine. Gripping my shoulders, he replied, “No. Not jigawatts. In fact, 30 watts is going to be plenty for where we’re going.”

Seduced by Simplicity

I admit it. I got sidetracked. You might even say I was seduced by the siren call of the RTA. The Kayfun, Aqua, Taifun… they drew me in. Especially the Kayfun. So buildable, so reliable, so versatile. As the days went on and the clouds blew by, I found myself using it almost exclusively.

Then one day I needed a dripper. While working on a review of several juices, I realized I needed to swap out flavors quickly and repeatedly. I dusted off the trusty Igo-W, TOBH and Atomic. You won’t believe what happened next.

OK, you will believe it. See, I was reminded how great it is to drip.

You Want Flavor? You Want Vapor?

When I think dripper, the first thing that comes to mind is flavor. There’s a reason for that. Even the best RTA just can’t compete with a dripper for pure taste sensation. Look, the Kayfun has great flavor (the Aqua even better). But when I want to really taste the juice, it’s got to be dripping time. And once you get used to a well-built RDA, it’s hard to be entirely satisfied with even the best RTA.

Furthermore, I’d become so accustomed to the tank lifestyle, I forgot what it was like to really blow clouds. A well-built Kayfun produces enough vapor when I’m at work or out in public, but at home, I want to paint the room with clouds. There’s still only one true king for cloud creation, and that’s the dripper. Even the baddest gennie doesn’t compare.

Let’s Get Nuts

As easy as it is to build a Kayfun, SQuape or Taifun (Aqua, get the fuck out of here, you complicated bastard), an RDA is easier. And it’s fun. There are fewer fiddly bits to fiddle, and you get instant payoff.

And when you want to get really crazy, the RDA is the most convenient coil-building platform. Twist that kanthal and build yourself a clapton coil. It’s gonna work great on an RDA. Quad coils? No problem. Octo-coils? You can do that, too! Vertical parrallel barrels? Why the fuck not?

Kickass Mods Make Kickass Clouds

In that time since I had really used an RDA I acquired some pretty kickass mods, capable of putting out more than the typical 4.7 volts of a mechanical. The great thing about a DNA20/30 or an OKR mod is you don’t NEED to build a sub-ohm coil to get great performance. Or you can if you want to. The versatility of this new wave of regulated mods makes dripping even better than I remembered.

I’m here to witness – you haven’t truly vaped til you’ve fired a killer quad-coil build on a 50 watt box mod.

Designs to Perform

Once, I was satisfied with my humble Igo-W and Immortalizer. But things have changed, baby. The newest generation of RDAs offers so much more. More deck room for unique builds. Unique and creative designs for easy quad coils. Deeper wells for extra juice. More airflow (don’t assume drilling airholes is automatically necessary).

The TOBH might be the best all-around RDA I’ve used. With FUNCTIONAL cooling fins (sorry, Patriot), a deeper juice well, and a removable top cap, it’s just about perfect. That top cap might be my favorite feature. It means you don’t have to take off the entire cap to refill, which means less juice all over your mod and/or hands.

The Nucleus is the RDA completely rethought and redesigned. There is no build deck. There’s a “core” that is removed from a central shaft (sounds tech-y and hot, huh?). You then build dual or quad coils (just go for quad) onto the core, and reinsert it into the body. Super easy, and it provides a huge juice well. Plus, you get to feel like a nuclear engineer.

But my current favorite RDA is probably the Magma, though it has one significant drawback. Designed for dual coils, lengthy wicks dip into a deep juice well that is partially chambered. It’s a delight to build and performs fantastically. My only issue is the top cap is screwed on. Filling through the drip tip hole is possible, but I prefer to remove the cap, which typically nudges the airflow ring out of place. Give me a Magma with a press-on top cap, and I’m ready to declare it the perfect RDA.

We’ve Got to Go Back!

Are you sold yet? If you haven’t enjoyed some RDA love recently, I urge you to go back and visit. In today’s Aerotank, Nautilus and Kayfun dominated world, it’s easy to forget that dripping is still the purest, most satisfying form of vaping.

 

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Yosikadiri ADV Review

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ADV_03ADV_09

The ADV is a variable wattage mod hand made by Yosikadiri Mert Lim in the Philippines. It currently features a DNA30 chip and is powered by dual 3400mAh Panasonic 18650 batteries in parallel for 6800mAh total. USB charging is built-in and can be used as a passthrough.

ADV_08

The striking mod is made by hand from anodized aluminum, and shows a great deal of care in its construction. Dimensions are approximately 55 x 90 x 20mm, and every bit of inside space is utilized. The firing switch is beefy, and appears to be the same high quality button used in JCMS mods.

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ADV_07ADV_06

The ADV uses a standard 510 connector, but newer models feature the superior Fat Daddy Vapes connector.

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Performance is typical of any DNA device. The real difference is in the construction, style and hand feel. While flaunting exotic curves and textures, it feels very comfortable when gripped.

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ADVs are sometimes sold in lots to US vendors, or can be purchased directly from the builder. If you’re looking for DNA performance, extensive battery life and a design that goes beyond the typical block of aluminum, the ADV is a fantastic mod.

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iPV2 Box Mod Review

ipv2

You saw it coming. I saw it coming. We all saw it coming. The variable wattage box mod has gone mainstream and that means it’s also become affordable.

A few years back, the DNA box mod was an expensive, highly-desired unicorn that only the well-connected and/or wealthy could acquire. Getting your hands on one involved knowing the right people or getting on a waiting list and fronting a bunch of money (unfortunately, I fell into the latter camp).

But then the cloners showed up. First they developed the SX350, a DNA-like chip. Then they cloned the DNA chip. And finally, the Hana Modz clone poured into the market. Suddenly, everybody could have a high-powered VW box mod. And once DNA-style chips were plentiful, the floodgates opened.

Today, there’s some sort of DNA box variant everywhere you look. The competition is fierce between true DNA boxes, such as the Vaporshark and Hana, vs. blatant Hana clones, and original Chinese designs. The iPV2 is the latter.

So What is the iPV2?

Looking like the offspring of a Hana and a Vaporshark, with a little Hammond project box thrown in, the iPV2 is a compact 50-watt box that uses an 18650 of your choice to generate vapor. It retails for around $100, making it affordable to the vaping masses.

Power goes from 7 to 50 watts, and will fire between 0.2 and 3.0 ohms. In other words, plenty of power and flexibility for even the cloud-chasers.

The iPV2 is one of the first Chinese box mods to be designed from the ground up. Using a YiHi SX330v2 50 watt chip that can be charged via USB, it takes no design chances, but it gets a lot of things right, bringing a great vaping experience to the masses.

Control, Meet Freak

The controls are rather standard – with one notable exception – a fire button that doubles as a 5-click on/off switch and up/down buttons. If you’re familiar with Vamo controls, you’ll be fine here. But it does include one new interesting (or rather baffling) twist. Next to the 510 connector is a dime-sized touch-sensitive firing pad. Basically, if the device is “awake,” you can fire your atty by just placing your finger or thumb over the pad.

Why would you want to do this? I have no idea. It seems a bit clumsy, and offers no real benefit. I suppose this is for the weary vaper who tires from pressing a button all day long. But hey – thanks for trying something new, PIL. Thankfully, the function can be turned on or off.

Otherwise, the iPV2 is a straightforward aluminum box mod. It’s 21mm wide, so most attys will sit nearly flush. The venerable Kayfun Lite fits quite well. The 510 connector is not great, but it has an adjustable pin, which alleviates many headaches. It’s beyond time this becomes a standard practice.

The OLED display is not amazing, but it’s bigger than a DNA display and seems to use no battery power whatsoever. It gets the job done.

But How Does it Vape?

In daily use, I find the iPV2 just about perfect. Less bulky than a Hana or OKR box, but not so oddly tiny as a Vaporshark. It fits in the pocket nicely, and simply works. The best part is at $100, I don’t feel like I need to wear velvet gloves when handling it. It is now my go-to daily driver.

The one problem I’ve encountered is very occasional spikes in wattage. This produces a very hot, often dry mega-hit that is no fun at all. For some reason, I got these fairly regularly the first few weeks of use, but I haven’t had one in quite some time.

Do you have your own thoughts on the iPV2? Leave your own review here.

To Buy or Not to Buy the iPV2?

If you’ve been waiting for a powerful box mod that won’t empty your bank account, get an iPV2 now. I can’t think of a single reason not to… unless you want to wait for the inevitable power boost. It’s a good time to be a vaper.

Check out the Project Sub-Ohm iPV2 here.

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Six Seasonal eLiquids to Vape Through the Holidays

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Whether you’re bashing skulls on Black Friday, suffering through a family gathering of total strangers, or confused and shivering in a snow bank after a lost weekend of debauchery, it’s nice to partake in seasonal flavors this time of year. And with each year the list grows. Here’s a few to jingle your bells, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Bumble Bee Vapor – Ode to Ichabod

What they claim: “All the sweet and savory flavors of autumn, including pumpkin, vanilla, caramel, and a light spice, to create a devilishly delicious fall blend.”

So how does it taste? This is a respectable representation of a pumpkin pastry, but I find it a bit muted. If you’re someone who doesn’t like overly powerful or grossly sweet juices, this is your pumpkin head. I enjoy the carmel and vanilla undertones, but give be more of that, please. It’s good, but the blend is not quite there. I actually prefer this one in a tank, rather than a dripper, for some reason.

Holiday Juice Rating: Four and 1/2 golden rings.

Seduce Juice – Peppermocha Latte

What they claim: “Peppermocha Latte will make you think you’re sipping on your favorite coffee shop’s famous holiday treat with it’s warm, creamy chocolate and coffee blend, mixed with just the right amount of sweet peppermint.”

So how does it taste? The ad copy nailed it. This is as close as you can get to a peppermint mochaccino drink without dumping some sugary coffee in your tank (don’t try it. It doesn’t work). I’m not big on menthol, but time and time again, Seduce has shown they can do menthol right. A welcome visitor from faraway minty lands.

Holiday Juice Rating: My bells are sufficiently jingled.

Boosted – Rear Diff

What they claim: “Somewhere between a rich, creamy pumpkin pie, and a pumpkin spice latte, Rear Diff captures the very essence of the holidays in taste, aroma, and even the warm, fuzzy feeling you’ll get while vaping it.”

So how does it taste? Rear Diff (despite its odd name) is easily my favorite holiday flavor. There’s simply no contest. This is one I would vape winter, spring, summer or fall. Reminiscent of a pumpkin cupcake with rich, creamy frosting, it brings out the essence of the season (eating delicious desserts), without being overpowering or tasting like a quick one-off recipe to appease the seasonal crowd. And the vapor production is fantastic. I’ll be stocking up to get me through til this one’s offered again next Fall.

Holiday Juice Rating: Dripping in a winter wonderland.

Seduce Juice – Holiday Spice Cake

What they claim: “Will remind you of your grandmother’s cooking, with it’s fresh baked, nutty cake, aromatic holiday spices, and gooey, creamy frosting.”

So how does it taste? Oh sweet Krampus, what is this dollar store spice rack shit I just inhaled!? It’s an unfocused mish-mash of vague spice, with precious little cake, and certainly no holiday cheer. The label says Holiday Spice Cake, but it’s more like Nutmeg and Lighter Fluid. A rare lump of coal from the fine folks at Seduce. They got one thing right, though – it does remind me of grandma’s cooking… when she was cooking meth.

Holiday Juice Rating: I got scrooged!

Alice in Vapeland – Punkin’ Tumble

What they claim: “A delightful pumpkin cake rolled into a sweet vape!”

So how does it taste? There’s just something odd about AiV’s juice that I have never been able to put my finger on. I was once a dedicated customer, but as my vaping tastes and habits evolved, I found there were better options for me. That’s not to say Punkin’ Tumble is bad. It’s OK. It’s fine. It’s perfectly vapeable. But there are simply better pumpkin spice flavors out there.

Holiday Juice Rating: The creepy, uninvited second cousin at the dinner table.

P.O.E.T. – Rotolo di Zucca

What they claim: “A savory, spicy pumpkin bourbon e-liquid blend that will warm the cockles of your heart.”

So how does it taste? Robust, hearty pumpkin essence with a broad bourbon streak. It’s balanced very well by a spice undertone and manages to be savory without being overly sweet. It’s got a pleasing complexity that keeps finding its way into my RDA. Drip this one for sure!

Holiday Juice Rating: It’s a Festivus miracle!

Bonus Holiday Juice Shoutout!

While not advertised specifically as a holiday juice, Birds Nest Elixir’s “Maestro” is a creamy hazelnut coffee blend with a dash of winter spices. It just so happens to go dang well with a starry winter evening.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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The Cloupor T5 – My $100 Mistake

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Did I need another mod? No, I didn’t, but has that ever stopped me? Has it ever stopped you?

T5-A

Being that I’ve become a stale, boring RDA/box mod guy with no interest in mechanical mods, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to acquire a something that wasn’t in a rectangular form of some sort. You know, jazz up my scene a bit! Enter the Cloupor T5, with its slight curves, monotone darkness, and mostly ergonomic design. It clocked in at 50 watts (enough for me) and had a host of other fine features, including adjustable 510 connector, USB charging, removable battery, and a big, clear, comprehensive readout behind sexy, smoky plastic. I was sold.

I was aware that some folks have had bad experiences with Cloupor, but my Hana clone (shhh, don’t tell anyone) is a Cloupor, and it has performed well for a long time. How bad could the T5 be? With transaction done, the wait was on.

Upon arrival, I was fairly impressed with the packaging and extra goodies (a screwdriver, charging cable, and a generous helping of spare screws). Considering Chinese manufacturers are known for cutting corners in any way possible, especially packaging, I thought they did a decent job.

And that’s where the fun ended.

I dropped in a fully charged 18650, and that’s when it struck me. Yes, the battery was changeable, and yes it was USB-chargeable, but because of the design, neither of these features meant much. Changing the battery requires removing three screws and securing a baseplate that is oddly finicky. So quick swaps “in the field” are not really doable. But even more frustrating is the USB charging.

The charging port is on the bottom of the mod. Yes, the bottom. You know, the part that rests on whatever furniture or structure happens to be holding up your mod so that it doesn’t fall into the molten core of the Earth. That means charging requires setting it on its side. You see where I’m going with this? Cylindrical things roll. And because its on its side, any attached tank or RDA is prone to leaking. So charging the damned thing means removing the atomizer and plugging it in somewhere it won’t roll away. To make matters worse, the base plate I mentioned earlier is so thick that an extra long micro USB plug is required. Nice of them to include one, but I soon discovered the plug at my workplace was not long enough, and neither were the majority of the others I owned. So much for desk charging or pass-through (oh – did I mention they specifically discourage pass-through use?).

But back to the story!

With brand new T5 in hand, I jetted away for an exciting day of errands and strip malls. I was vaping relatively happily as I drove along, until I suddenly realized there was no vapor. Now that’s a problem. I looked down to the screen, and there was no readout. I did the 5-clicky thing to turn it back on. Nothing. Five more clicks. Zilch. I pulled off the road and pulled up a manual, which told me there was a “stealth mode.” Had I inadvertently triggered it? Nope. To get to the point, it just turns out that in any kind of sunlight whatsoever, the display disappears. Like totally. Especially if you’re wearing sunglasses.

But wait, it gets better. This is when I also discovered one of the many frustrating tendencies of the T5. That is, a propensity to simply shut down for no reason. I mean, to give credit where due, it always turns back on, but how annoying is that?

Very annoying.

The answer is, very annoying, but not so annoying as returning home from two hours of vaping at a measly 11 watts to discover my fresh 18650 at 20%. What!? Sigh… I would only discover later that the T5 has a glitch that causes both piss-poor power management, and an inability to correctly display remaining battery power. The thing chews through batteries, and then to spit in your face, it also tells you there’s less left than there really is. The good news is, when it tells you you’re at 20%, you’re really somewhere between 40-50% (entirely unscientific guesstimate). The bad news is, you really do have to charge the thing a lot. It does not get through a typical day the way an authentic DNA30 will – or even a decent DNA30 clone chip, for that matter.

But wait, there’s more. You may be aware that the Cloupor T5 has an upgradeable ROM. You may also have heard that this upgrade was an unmitigated disaster. I was prescient enough to stop at the last minute, but many others weren’t, and they ended up with bricked devices. Cloupor promised a fix for the upgrade, then simply told their customers they would not be issuing a fix, and instead using these lessons to improve the T7 and T8, which I can only assume are some sort of hopelessly faulty terminator cyborgs.

Normally in these writeups I conclude with a “buy or don’t buy?” section, but I feel that’s not necessary here. If you haven’t gotten the picture, well…

T5-B

If you can’t say something nice…

I will say one nice thing. Hell, I’ll say a couple nice things. Despite the T5 being a little thicker than I expected, I do like using it. It’s got a nice hand feel and it accommodates any atomizer. I’ve never had a single problem with the connector, and that’s one of my big pet peeves these days (just say no to non-adjustable 510s!).

But my favorite thing about my $100 mistake – and the main reason I bought the damned thing – is using it with a 28mm RDA. I was very jealous of the 26650 monstrosities that could use these giant RDAs. The T5 was supposed to be my solution. And it really does work well with the 28mm Magma. I mean, it looks cool, and vapes well, and you’ve got juice for days with them wells the size of a man-made lake.

But would I do it again? Hell no.

Add your own review of the Cloupor T5 here.

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