Adventures In Vaping

By the time I discovered the great vape from a bottom coil clearomizer, with a replaceable coilhead, I was neck deep in the fantastic STV Vivi Nova’s from Vision and I was in vaping heaven. Admittedly I’m big-time into the aesthetics of vaping, so I want my vaping gear to be attractive, sexy even, and very much not-at-all like a tobacco cigarette. The gorgeously colored STV Vivi’s on top of an eVicZMAX, or even the Bolt (unprotected as the Bolt is), brings a level of the aesthetics to vaping that’s pretty hard to resist.

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This article/review was originally supposed to be for the Kanger T3. It then morphed into an opinion piece on aesthetics of vaping, and then back to a review of the Kanger MT3, then back again to opinion. Finally, it is this; a hodge-podge piece that sort of, kind of, traces back my personal vaping from the days of cartomizers to the present, with a review of a couple of different products and ending up with a couple of endorsements for products I use every day. If I found myself back in the job as a photographer with no connection whatsoever to the vaping industry, the products I endorse below would remain the products I would use every day. – Julia

Flashback – Poof!

Cartomizer Tanks

When I graduated from the pencil-thin battery to the larger batteries of the aforementioned eVics and ZMAX’s, I also jumped from prefilled cartomizers to the Texas Tuff Tanks I used to get from VapeDudes. Although the Tuff Tank used a cartomizer (3ohm) at its heart, the pre-punched hole in the side of the carto allowed for a lot of eLiquid to cover the coils and deliver a much bigger punch than any prefilled carto, and the tank itself held 3ML of juice that you filled from a drilled hole into the side of the plastic tank. It was, and remains, the easiest cartomizer-based tank you can buy. I had a lengthy affair with the Tuff Tank, and once and a while I’ll still use this tank when I feel like getting some audible feedback. When vaped at higher voltages, the Tuff Tank puts out a lot of crackles and pops, which can provide a nice touch to a vape.

By the time I discovered the great vape from a bottom coil, replaceable atty head clearomizer I was neck deep in the fantastic STV Vivi Nova’s from Vision. Admittedly I’m big-time into the aesthetics of vaping, so I want my vaping gear to be attractive, sexy even, and very much not-at-all like a tobacco cigarette. The gorgeously colored STV Vivi’s on top of an eVicZMAX, or even the Bolt (unprotected as the Bolt is), bring a level of aesthetic to vaping that’s hard to resist.

This article/review was originally supposed to be for the Kanger T3. It then morphed into an opinion piece on aesthetics of vaping, and then back to a review of the Kanger MT3, then back again to opinion. Finally, it is this; a hodge-podge piece that sort of, kind of, traces back my personal vaping from the days of cartomizers to the present, with a review of a couple of different products and ending up with a couple of endorsements for products I use every day. If I found myself back in the job as a photographer with no connection whatsoever to the vaping industry, the products I endorse below would remain the products I would use every day. – Julia

Flashback – Poof!

Cartomizer Tanks

When I graduated from the pencil-thin battery to the larger batteries of the aforementioned eVics and ZMAX’s, I also jumped from prefilled cartomizers to the Texas Tuff Tanks I used to get from VapeDudes. Although the Tuff Tank used a cartomizer (3ohm) at its heart, the pre-punched hole in the side of the carto allowed for a lot of eLiquid to cover the coils and deliver a much bigger punch than any prefilled carto, and the tank itself held 3ML of juice that you filled from a drilled hole into the side of the plastic tank. It was, and remains, the easiest cartomizer-based tank you can buy. I had a lengthy affair with the Tuff Tank, and once and a while I’ll still use this tank when I feel like getting some audible feedback. When vaped at higher voltages, the Tuff Tank puts out a lot of crackles and pops, which can provide a nice touch to a vape.

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Wicks

Then, discovering the ‘wick’ type tank I dropped the Tuffy, for the most part, and moved on the Vivi Nova’s. The Vivi Nova’s gave me a great vape as well, albeit without the audible popping. As much as I love them, especially the ones from Vision called the STV Vivi Nova’s (or Neptune) with their deep colors of rubberized-paint-on-metal-tubes that slip over the plastic tube, it is difficult to maintain a great vape day after day or even hour after hour. Wick attys can be temperamental, and very often need to be tweaked (here are my tweaks).

What really sold me on the STV Vivi’s and what really moved me away from the Tuff Tank were the replaceable attys. Buying the STV Vivi Nova Tank System meant getting 3 atty heads at different ohms, 1.8, 2.4 and 2.8. Although I would use all three, I prefer the 2.8ohm so I could bump the wattage and voltage up and, with a 50/50 mixed eLiquid I could get more vapor than I ever could with a carto based tank and a powerful throat hit as well.

Bottom Coils

After several weeks of vaping with the Nova’s I was asked to review the Kanger T3. Believe it or not, I’m not the type of Vaper that has to reach out and try every new thing that comes along (although it is fun!), unless I’m reviewing it, so the Kanger T3 was out there for a while and I ignored it. Before the T3 I was using a larger battery device 95% of the time, and didn’t have much use for eGo style batteries for my personal vaping.

If it wasn’t for the Spinners I had gotten from MyVaporStore I doubt I would have tried them (the Kanger’s) on my own. Without an eGo-to-510 adapter the Kanger T3 wouldn’t work on any of the larger batteries I used most of the time; the Lambo, Bolt, ZMAX, eVic, and so on. Finally, when I did start using the Spinners I discovered the glory of using a bottom coil Kanger.

Carto – Long Wicks – Bottom Coil

The bottom coil Kanger T3 has a lot going for it. It seems to have the best solution yet to consistent high quality vaping. The short wicks coiled up at the bottom of the unit, the replaceable feature of the atty, and the ease of filling (unscrew the atty from the bottom, pour in the eLiquid, screw on the atty and you’re ready to go.) all go a long way toward putting out the ultimate combination of great flavor, throat hit, and vapor production. Of course, there is always room for improvement so I imagine future versions and brand new products will provide an even better vape. But for now, this seems to be the cream of the crop.

Bottom Coil setups allow you to vape thicker eLiquids too, providing a warm vape with thick clouds of vapor and really delivering all the nuances and complexities of some sophisticated eLiquids from the high-end eLiquid brands. And I think it is this ability to deliver the great, true taste of the eLiquids that are the biggest seller for me, although I certainly don’t discount the other features and the aesthetics.

Bottom Filling

When I was vaping with the carto-equipped tanks like the Tuff tank, I would always wind up losing a couple of milliliters of eJuice when the cartomizer would burn out. There’s no easy way to pull out the cartomizer and replace it without draining the eJuice. If you’re really careful you can always attempt to pull out the cartomizer just enough to free up the liquid and pour it back into the bottle, but you’ll still lose some juice. The STV Vivi Nova was a godsend when it came to changing out the atty head and not losing much ejuice along the way, (though you still lose a bit). With a bottom coil it’s a non-issue because you simply unscrew it from the bottom, lift it out and replace it. No loss of liquid at all because the atty slips into the center post, never touching the reservoir of eJuice. And because the coils are on the bottom and the wicks are short and cropped the atty remains soaked in eLiquid until nearly all the juice is gone.

Kanger T3/MT3 and the Spinner

For a few weeks my main vaping setups were a purple and a green Spinner and a Kanger T3 on each, soon to be replaced with the Kanger MT3. The variable voltage of the Spinner (review here) and the bottom coil goodness of the Kanger T3 produced such a great vaping model that to this day it is the only setup Keira uses. In fact, this particular setup is so successful at delivering such a great vaping experience that MyVaporStore has assembled their own kit consisting of the Kanger and the Spinner.

During my testing of the eVic, and the Anytime CVI, and even the ZMAX Rev 2, I used the Kanger T3 quite a bit. You’ll need to buy an adapter to use them like this, but at around 4 bucks it’s a good product to pick up for the times you want to use an eGo-threaded device on a 510 larger battery. Anyway, I found the Kanger T3 to perform great with these batteries.

Enter the painted up hussies, the Kanger MT3

One of the best features of the STV Vivi Nova, to me anyway, was the rubberized paint over the metal tube. They look beautiful. I remember thinking that I wished the Kanger T3 would do the same thing and make a T3 with the same metal tubes painted with same rubberized paint, along with the two viewing windows on the side. Before I could complete my original review for the T3 the MT3 showed up on scene. I guess wanting that metal tube cover was a widespread wish among Vapers because it didn’t take long to produce them and get them out on the shelves.

The Kanger MT3 is a bit heavier than the T3, which is to be expected. It is noticeably heavier and when it’s screwed into a normal 650mAh eGo battery its very top heavy. On a Spinner it’s a much better fit. The Spinner is both longer and thicker (1300mAh) than the everyday eGo battery, and heavier. Together they make up one heavy setup, but the vape is incredible.

Kanger sells the replaceable heads in only one resistance. That resistance is rated between 2.4-2.6 ohms. Testing the heads reveals that latitude to be accurate, some of the heads I have are indeed 2.4 ohm’s while others are 2.55 to 2.6 ohms. Kanger has officially gone on record late in 2012 to say that the lower ohm heads weren’t performing up to snuff, and once they had a handle on it they would begin selling different resistances. As of today that has not happened. Strange. Still, the heads that are available run right about 4 bucks at most places and $2.99 at MyVaporStore.

The last thing I want to mention about the MT3 specifically over the Kanger T3 is that the metal tube will run you about 60 cents more. They are identical products except for the metal tube, so it’s a purely aesthetic decision. Also like the T3 the drip tip is permanently affixed so you can’t pop it off and put your own drip tip, such as the amazing custom made tips at Molehill Mountain Art (review). I’ll admit that it would be nice to be able to do so.

Real World Encounters

A few days ago I passed around 5 Spinners with the Kanger MT3 clearomizer and every staffer loved the performance they got from them. Even though the attys are all rated the same it was funny to see that everybody had their own voltage settings figured out. I did pass them around empty and told them to put whatever eLiquid they wanted in them and I’m fairly certain that was the reason for the varying voltage settings. I even got John involved yesterday and he used some FanceeJuice MeeseTracks and was running the Spinner at 4.8 volts, the maximum setting.

We keep several eGo to 510 adapters around so after I used the Kanger’s on the Spinners myself for a while I switched over the larger batteries. To be honest there wasn’t really much of a difference, although bumping the wattage on the eVic to 8.5w and running the resistance at 4.5 with Johnson Creek’s thin juice Vanda produced a very warm vapor as well as a huge amount of vapor. (The vanilla in the Vanda was also intense and silky) (Vanda Review)

In the end however, I decided to stay with the Vision STV Vivi’s on the larger battery setups and save the MT3’s for the Spinners. My reasoning was simple; they just looked better. And to me, looks count for something.

Buying Advice

The Kanger T3 is a popular clearomizer. It has a stellar reputation and it’s well deserved. The warm and flavorful vapor it puts out is unmatched among the clearomizer product line. If you haven’t tried one yet you should, just don’t forget to pick up an adapter if you intend to use it on non-eGo batteries. The new Kanger MT3 is one of those products that add a layer of aesthetic to your vaping and if you don’t mind a heavier Kanger T3, and you do want a great looking clearomizer sitting atop your battery then the extra 60 cents is worth it. The two viewing windows on the side allow you to keep an eye on your eJuice level, something that is critical to me. The Kanger MT3 will replace my T3’s because they look and feel great, and provide the same great vape of the T3. If you think along the same lines as I do then you’ll love the Kanger MT3. On the other hand, if you don’t care about the metal tube then the extra cost probably isn’t worth it.

Pros and Cons between the Kanger T3 and MT3:

PROS: Good Looks Only 60 cents more (on average)

CONS: Heavier than the T3 60 cents more (on average)

Bottom Line

Why wouldn’t I suggest to you that which works for me? I use the Vision STV Vivi Nova on my larger batteries and the Kanger MT3 on the Spinners. If you like the eGo style battery and want to use the Kanger MT3 than by all means pick up a VV Spinner with the Kanger MT3 because they make a great matching set, both have the awesome rubberized paint jobs and Spinner is Variable Voltage. If the metal tube is a non-issue then the Spinner/Kanger T3 kit is the way to go. And, if eGo batteries aren’t for you, well, the Vision STV Vivi Nova has the same great looks has the Kanger MT3, but it isn’t a bottom coil, so maybe you just might want to pick up the adapter and get the best of both worlds.

I would enjoy hearing from you guys about your experience with any of these products. Suggestions, complaints, praises, or anything else you want to say helps build a dialog here. So, what say you?

Julia Barnes