Please allow me to start this review with a warning. If you’re looking to get into vaping, but want to do all those cool cloud tricks you see on YouTube, the Eleaf Basal MTL Mod Starter Kit isn’t for you. Please hit the back button and check out a device like the Freemax Firelord Kit, a similar sized kit with massive cloud chucking capabilities. Or search Spinfuel VAPE for various sub-ohm, Direct Lung (DL) devices.
Okay, now that we’re all on the same page, let’s discuss the Eleaf Basal MTL Mod Starter Kit, which is a truly classy, high-performing Beginner Mod Kit – for people who want something more impactful than vape pens, and more reliable than disposable cig-a-likes. This simple, easy to use setup is an ideal opener for former smokers, new vapers, and MTL fans who want something distinctive and discreet.
This compact MTL device is designed for people who aren’t necessarily looking to draw attention to their vape devices, but also don’t mind when people ask about it. The striking gold exterior is refreshingly subdued, with a grooved pattern not unlike a higher-end lighter or mobile phone accessory. It’s stylish, but won’t garner stares if people see it in your pocket or purse.
In fact, at just 76mm tall and 15mm wide, you might even forget you’re carrying the Basal at all. It’s substantial and weighty enough to feel good in the hand, but feels no different than a small phone in the pocket.
The diminutive screen and controls match the design scheme to a tee – understated and out of the way. Though the Basal Mod features a 30-watt maximum output, chances are users will find their ideal range and stay there. In a nice touch, the screen locks, ensuring users won’t accidentally overheat their coils.
Plus, the operation buttons are all nearly flush, which also helps to stave off unwanted fires or adjustments.
Finally, the included Basal Tank is proportionately small, as well. It’s 15mm at the base, so there’s no overhang on the Basal Mod. However, the tinted glass section is bowed out a hair wider, so be careful if you are prone to tipping over Mods, or laying them flat on surfaces. Considering the entire setup footprint is 15mm wide, it’s prone to tipping, so we’d brace the Basal Mod when out and about.
Operating the Eleaf Basal MTL Mod Starter Kit
As a beginner Kit (or at least a basic emergency backup) the Basal MTL Mod is designed for the utmost simplicity. While there are standard wattage controls, atomizer resistance and battery life notifications on the tiny screen, this is by no means a “full-function” vape Mod by 2017 standards.
That said, making adjustments to wattage is easily done, even by the greenest newcomers. The firm operation buttons are highly responsive, and have a reassuring click when engaging them. In turn, the display is bright and easily legible, with no confusion to be had.
Likewise, the firm fire key is comfortable to use, but firm enough to confidently stow away the Mod without worry. The Basal ramps up fairly quickly, especially considering its 30-watt maximum, on a 1,500mAh battery.
Speaking of which, the Mod’s back panel seems like it’s removable, but as an internal cell Mod, should not be. Though 1,500mAh might not seem like enough capacity, the Basal proved to be a solid all-day performer, with strong results, even after heavy vape sessions. I imagine the casual vaper – likely using high-nicotine e-liquid – will be more than satisfied with the battery life.
And the onboard charging was also a winner. The Basal charged from near-empty to full in just under an hour, and at half capacity, it charged to full in less than 30 minutes. If you carry the companion USB in your bag, you’ll never be without a way to charge your Basal for use throughout a day.
Given the narrow form factor, users are best off using the included Basal Tank, which not only matches the aesthetics of the Kit, but also makes for an ideally balanced setup. If you wanted to, the solid 510 connection accepts other Tanks, and the Mod fires them well. But, unless you’re holding onto some old 510 MTL clearomizers that match the width of the Basal Mod, it’s probably not a great idea.
Finally, though this is a beginner device, the Basal contains more than its share of protection features, which help new users make adjustments without the risk of damaging equipment or push the Mod past its capabilities.
The Eleaf Basal Tank
The included Basal Tank brought us back to the days when the words “Vivi Nova” represented the pinnacle of vape Tank design. This narrow, diminutive atomizer is a perfect match for the Eleaf Basal Kit, and even serves to be a fairly strong MTL performer on other Mods, as well.
Though this is a bottom-fill Tank, it’s easy to do so without much fuss. Those of you having flashbacks about screw ports and endless leaking can rest assured – Eleaf has made a thoroughly Modern version of a bottom-fill Tank, free of loose seals and puddles on your Mod. Through a week of heavy testing, the Basal Tank never leaked once.
But make no mistake, the Basal Tank is not a smaller version of your Baby Beast. This is a true mouth-to-lung atomizer, with minimalist 1.8mL capacity, and coils designed to handle thinner, PG-heavy e-liquids. Though we attempted to use our more-viscous juices, the Tank couldn’t wick fast enough for our testing, leading to burnt hits. Once we found a 60/40 PG/VG blend, it worked famously.
The Tank itself is well-designed, with a snug, MTL draw, even with the airflow control left wide open. The two included coils come in at 1.5 ohms and 0.75 ohms, respectively, but don’t be fooled – there is no sub-ohm vaping to be had here. The lower-resistance coil offers a slightly less-restrictive draw, but anyone looking for cloud production is in the wrong review.
That said, the coils both work extremely well, with the 0.75-ohm head proving to offer the better flavor and more substantial vapor of the two. The slightly looser draw allows for deeper hits, and ultimately more satisfaction per puff for those using higher-nicotine liquids.
Both coils are still going strong, despite a week’s worth of heavy use. Eleaf has replacement coils available for a competitive price, as well, making the Basal Tank and coil setup a value-oriented option for casual vapers and transitioning smokers alike.
My only wish? Slightly more capacity. Even with occasional vaping at low wattages, the Basal Tank emptied quickly. Sure, I was testing the device, but I found myself refilling more than expected.
Vaping the Eleaf Basal MTL Mod Starter Kit
Overall, we’re really impressed by the Eleaf Basal Mod Kit. Though the size and purpose might make it seem like a lesser device, there are few options that balance style, functionality and performance better than the Basal. And, while I wish the Mod was a little wider, to accomModate more Tanks, I also imagine Eleaf’s target audience for the Basal isn’t sitting on a pile of dusty old MTL atomizers in their closets, and will be thrilled with the included Basal Tank and coils.
The Eleaf Basal Starter Kit is available now at MyVaporStore.
Eleaf Basal Score
While a device like this might never replace my “go to” mouth-to-lung setup, I also found myself going back to the Basal MTL Kit long after I was done taking notes for this review. Not many devices get the same treatment. Having said that, if you’re not a fan of the mouth-to-lung style of vaping, this is not a Kit you would want to invest in.
Eleaf Basal MTL Mod Score: A-
Eleaf Basal Tank Score: A-
Overall Kit Score: A-
Eleaf Basal Kit Specs and Contents
Eleaf BASAL MTL Mod Kit Specs:
- Dimensions: 76.3 x 36.6 x 15.0mm
- Output Mode: VV/VW
- Output Wattage: 1 – 30W
- Maximum Charging Current: 2A
- Built-In 1,500mAh battery
- 15mm Ultra-Thin Box Design
- Portable and Easy to Use
- Efficient Charging
- Spring-Loaded 510 Connection
- Over-Charging Protection
- Over-Current Protection
- Over-Discharging Protection
Eleaf GS BASAL Tank Specs:
- Dimensions: 15 x 56.3mm
- Resistance Range: 0.6 – 3.0ohm
- 1.8ml E-liquid Capacity
- Refined Airflow Control System
- Optimized for MTL Vaping
- Durable Stainless Steel Construction
- Easy to Reassemble and Clean
- New GS Air Coils
- GS Air 0.75ohm Coil Head (8-25W)
- GS Air 1.5ohm Coil Head (8-20W)
- 510 Threaded
Eleaf BASAL MTL Mod Kit Contents:
- 1x Eleaf BASAL Mod
- 1x Eleaf BASAL Tank
- 1x 0.75ohm GS Air Coil
- 1x 1.5 ohms GS Air Coil
- 1x QC USB Cable
- 2x User Manuals
- Spare Parts