We’ve asked our staff and guest contributors to tell us about their favorite, well… current favorite, vape gear (box mods, tanks, etc.) and vape juice (e-liquid, e-juice). The reason is simple; what do people, who have access to nearly all the vape gear and vape juice that’s available, use in their daily personal vaping.
Even though a good reviewer sees a lot of positive things in a new box mod or tank, it doesn’t automatically follow that he, or she, will use it beyond the review period. Columns like this one, or Tom’s favorite, or even Dave’s favorites, will hopefully help newer Vapers, or Vapers who are just overwhelmed by all the choices that are out there (for now anyway), guide them through the maze.
Today, Drake Equation from VapeBeat, sent us this very interesting column this morning extolling the virtues of the devices and the vape juices he currently enjoys. So sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, and read up on what Drake is using, and why. And tell us what you think in the comment section below – John Manzione – Publisher
My Favourite Vape Juice and Mod/Tank Setup?
Understand that while my favourites are my favourites today, that could change at some point. New products are released all the time, and you never know when something new will come out that will have me rethinking my current choices.
When it comes to choosing a mod or a tank, you are quite literally spoilt for choice. There are thousands of options (and I really do mean thousands) out there, vying for your hard-earned cash.
But all that choice is confusing. Which do you choose? What brands are best? Do you really need 200W of power? What does the “W” actually stand for?
These are all questions you should already have answers for in your head.
I learned the hard way, wasting hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars on faulty mods, leaky tanks and odd-tasting vape juice between 2012 and 2014. Back then, I just assumed that this was part of the journey — that all new vapers had to wade through a mountain of crap before they found what they were looking for.
Long story short: I wasted a lot of money on that stuff, and that pissed me off. Nowadays, though, things are a bit different. I run a vaping site that deals with news and reviews, so I’ve tried my fair share of new products.
Standards, generally speaking, are a lot higher than they were back in the day. Innovation is happening at an impressive rate, and more and more brands and products are launching every month. Brands are also well aware now that they cannot get away with scrimping on anything.
If they do, they will get torn apart by vloggers, bloggers, and vape enthusiasts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and even Spinfuel VAPE. Bad products mean bad press, and the net result is poor sales and reduced profit. And nobody wants that – just ask UWELL.
Vape Brands That I Trust
Brands like Vaporesso, EVOLV, Volcano, SMOK, VaporShark and Wismec have all been in fine form in the past 18 months, pumping out solid release after solid release, despite the efforts of EU bureaucrats and FDA stooges to cripple the industry.
I used Wismec mods, namely the Reuleaux RX200S and Reuleaux 2/3, pretty much exclusively in 2016. As for tanks, I ran either the Herakles Pro, SMOK TFV8 or UWELL Crown. That was basically me for 12 months.
RDTA & RDAs
I do dabble with RDAs and RDTAs every now and then. I’m currently testing GAIA’s Cthulhu RDTA, but for my normal, daily driver, I tend to stick to Sub-Ohm tanks, as they’re less fiddly and don’t leak as much.
I’m here because I don’t want to go back to smoking. That’s why I vape. I like good flavors, decent cloud production and coils that last at least seven days. I don’t like messing around with wires and I hate manually wicking with a passion. Yep, I’m lazy. Shoot me.
During the back end of 2016, I was sent a bunch of Vaporesso products: a few sub-Ohm tanks, a few mods, and some of their new EUC coils. I’d never used anything made by Vaporesso before, but I had been hearing lots of good things about their Tarot Pro, so I was intrigued by the box of goodies they’d sent me.
The mods they sent me (the Tarot Pro, Nebula, Attitude, and Tarot Nano) were packaged well, looked great, and performed like champs. I used them all pretty extensively, but ended up sticking with the Nebula, as it supported larger battery cells.
The Vaporesso ESTOC sub-Ohm tank (this is what’s bundled with the above mods) is not an eye-catching setup. Honestly, it looked a little, well… pathetic sat next to my SMOK TFV8 — kind of like a Prius parked next to an BMW M6.
But in practice, the ESTOC tank was brilliant: small, unassuming, and utterly consistent in its performance. It’s only a 2ml tank (thanks, TPD) but produces some of the best flavor I have ever managed to coax from a non-RDA tank. Seriously, I own a lot of tanks, and this $10 sub-Ohm tank is the one I use most.
Finding the Winning Formula and Sticking With It
I don’t tend to switch things around once I’ve found a winning combo, which, at present, is the Vaporesso Nebula paired with either the Vaporesso ESTOC tank or the Cthulhu RDTA. I do really like the SMOK Alien 220W mod, as well as Innokin’s new MVP 4 and SCION tank. But I don’t see myself switching out the Nebula and ESTOC combo anytime soon.
Why? Three reasons, really:
1) Vaporesso’s OMNI board is damn amazing, with features so complex, it wouldn’t look out of place inside a smartphone. Seriously, read up on it – it’s brilliant.
2) The company’s EUC coils (which produce excellent, precise flavors, big clouds at low wattages and, best of all, last longer than Ron Jeremy on sedatives) are super easy to change and don’t cost anywhere near as much as SMOK’s.
3) Vaporesso, like SMOK, seems to know and genuinely care about what modern day vapers want from their products. Both spend a lot of money on R&D and when you use their products, it shows. Everything just clicks into place and works perfectly. I love both brands, to be honest, so it is hard to say which is better. It’s like comparing BMW to Mercedes or Audi; they’re all quality.
With vape juice (or e-juice if you prefer), things are a little less organized. I get sent gallons of the stuff for review on VapeBeat, so i’m rarely able to go out and browse for new brands and flavors. Having said that, I do have a few favorites when it comes to vape juice; anything by Mad Hatter, AUSTER, Cloud Freaks, One Hit Wonder, Dinner Lady, ANML, and NAKED to name just a few.
How to Find Your Perfect Vape Juice
I keep my nicotine level nice and low, around 3ml, and like my e-juice mixed in an 80:20 ratio (VG/PG). Prior to running VapeBeat, I used to frequent a lot of vape shops and try a lot of flavors and styles of vape juice.
You meet loads of cool people doing this and get to find out about lesser-known e-juice labs and brands. The vape community is huge now and there are so many impressive independent labs out there. Look out for these guys, as they’re a lot cheaper than more “mainstream” brands.
Finding them is tricky, but they’re 100% worth their weight in gold. If you need a little help, here’s a link to a spreadsheet which lists of hundreds of awesome e-juice brands, complete with discount codes and pricing.
Drake Equation is a technology journalist who runs VapeBeat, which provides the latest news on vaping and reviews of every vape-related product you can think of.