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Last Updated on August 4, 2017 by Team Spinfuel
I think it’s safe to assume we’re reaching the point of diminishing returns with vape products. Outside of adding battery space, e-liquid capacity, and – in a recent trend – LED lighting, there really aren’t too many obvious ways to innovate at this point in the game. So, when a product comes along that presents something unique, we pay attention. The HorizonTech Arco Sub-Ohm Tank caught our eye when the veteran vape outlet promised a new, proprietary coil structure designed to improve e-liquid flow to the coils, while reducing burning, singed filler and overall cotton degradation.
The Arco’s secret sauce? Flax paper.
A High-Fiber Vaping Solution?
At first, I was skeptical. After all, it wasn’t THAT long ago that ceramic coils were the be-all, end-all of vape innovation. Cotton was going the way of the buffalo, and soon we’d all be smashing grandma’s statuettes to rebuild coils. A few years later, and ceramic remains on the fringe of popular use (and safely in grandma’s china cabinet).
But after reading up on flax – enduring more than one article about heart treatments – I began to see why HorizonTech wanted to give this a try. The light, aerated nature of flax paper means it can retain more e-liquid than cotton alone, while also allowing for improved flow to the coil, and better flavor upon atomization.
Flax also has a much higher “burn point,” which means it can withstand today’s high-wattage devices, leading to longer coil duration, even in extreme use cases. Given the rising price of most replaceable coil systems these days, any way to improve longevity is welcome.
What’s in the Box Besides Flax?
The HorizonTech Arco sub-ohm tank makes a reserved first impression, with a nondescript box holding the tank, an extra coil, a few accessories, and little else. This is not a beginner device, and HorizonTech assumes (perhaps wrongly) that you already know your way around the mechanics of a sub-ohm tank, so instructions were left by the wayside.
But, for all the plain jane simplicity of the packaging, the 5ml Arco tank itself is a thing of beauty. Unlike the cheap paint jobs that adorn most stainless steel tanks, the Arco’s vacuum-plated glass and steel looks and feels like a higher-end product than it’s price tag indicates.
At 25mm wide and a little over two inches tall, the Arco will fit right in with your collection of modern sub-ohm tanks. But its standout sheen and ceramic-feel drip-tip will help you spot it quickly enough.
The installed glass section is darkened to match the color of the stainless parts of the tank, with just a logo-shaped cutout revealing the juice level inside. While it makes for a striking visual presentation, on my black test model, it became difficult to gauge e-liquid levels once they dipped below the bull-shaped cutaway. Switching to the included clear glass section made refilling much easier, even if the Arco doesn’t look nearly as sharp as a result.
Thankfully, refilling the HorizonTech Arco sub-ohm tank is a breeze, with a well-implemented fill system located right on the top cap, eliminating the need to awkwardly unscrew the tank when out in public. The fill ports are wide enough to accommodate most any e-liquid bottle, and there was little, if any condensation on these ports, even after heavy use.
The Arco’s bottom AFC works as expected, with three cyclops holes for plenty of airflow. The ring is plenty snug, however, and will likely never open on its own in pockets or bags. Though closing off the airflow allows for a semi-restricted MTL vape, this is clearly not the purpose of the Arco tank, and performance suffers for it. Best to crack a window and let this one run wild like it was meant to do.
Visually, the only thing I would change is the slightly obtuse logo placements on the top cap, which take away from the Arco’s otherwise sleek, mature styling. While it’s hardly a dealbreaker, with branding, less is usually more.
That’s a small knock against the Arco tank’s impressive eye candy. I used it on four different mods, and all of them looked like complete kits from the same company. Thankfully, the Arco performed flawlessly on all devices, as well.
The Arco at Work
Let’s get to the elephant in the room – is the Arco worth the flax-fueled hype? Rest easy, because the HorizonTech Arco sub-ohm tank has some of the best flavor I’ve experienced from a pre-made coil since SMOK introduced the TFV series a few years’ back. Unlike the muted, “almost there” flavor we’ve conceded to enjoying, the Arco gives near-RDA/squonker levels of satisfaction with every draw.
Using the installed Arco A6 Triple 0.2ohm coil at its recommended 80-90 watts, the flavor quickly got up to speed. Unlike pure cotton coils and their usual break-in, I felt like the stainless steel A6 only needed a few initial puffs to start moving the e-liquid through the coil, and within seconds, there was ample vapor clouding my office.
Since both included coils are stainless, I alternated between TC and wattage modes, and found zero difference in the experience. I also found the 80-90 watt recommendation to be a little reserved, as I noticed the Arco A6 flavor opened up even more at 100-110 watts.
I didn’t have quite the same experience with the other coil in the box, the Arco A4 Parallel Quadruple SS Coil, which is rated for lower wattage, but is purported to have more substantial flavor. Using the A4 under the same circumstances as its big brother, I found the juice flow wasn’t nearly as abundant here. Even at 70 watts, I found the flavor to be a little less vibrant, and the vapor to be thinner and wispier.
Make no mistake, the A4 is still a good coil, and I used it hard for two straight days. But since receiving the HorizonTech Arco more than a week ago, I’ve spent the lion’s share of my time with the A6 installed, and it’s still kicking after seven days of frequent use, and countless refills of heavy VG juice.
Some Closing Notes…
The Arco is a cool customer. Despite pushing the tank well beyond the coils’ stated limits, the glass, metal and Delrin all stayed within comfortable temperatures, and quickly cooled when I was done vaping.
Also, both coils proved to be surprisingly frugal with e-liquid consumption, at least when compared to the industry standard. Even with the flax paper construction driving more e-liquid to the coil, it’s hardly thirsty. Though you’re not going to get hours of vaping on one fill, you won’t spend half your evening squeezing a unicorn bottle, either.
Unlike many tanks that cross my desk, I will definitely invest in replacement coils for the HorizonTech Arco Sub-Ohm Tank, as they’ve proven to be long-lasting, strong performers. Whether that is because of the flax or simple, smart design isn’t clear. But the results are.
Maybe I’m becoming a broken record in these tank reviews, but I wish there was an RBA deck included in the box. My fingers are crossed one is on the way, as I’d love to see how the Arco performs with my own builds.
I’d also hate to see the Arco relegated to obscurity because people have moved on to the “next big thing” in vape coils. With RBA future-proofing, I could imagine using the Arco for years, not months like so many other devices in my collection.
HorizonTech Arco Sub-Ohm Tank Score
HorizonTech hasn’t caught my attention with a sub-ohm tank since it released the original Arctic many moons ago. But the Arco has quickly worked its way into my rotation, where I predict it will remain for some time.
AVAILABLE AT ELEMENT VAPE AT $29.95
HorizonTech Arco Sub-Ohm Tank Specs:
- Cotton and Flax Paper Liquid Guiding System
- Dimensions: 2-5/16″ x 1″ (Including Drip Tip and Threads)
- Diameter: 25mm
- 5.0ml e-Liquid Capacity
- Rotating Top Fill Design with Dual Fill Holes
- Vacuum Plated Glass Tank
- Stainless Steel Construction
- Wide Bore Delrin Drip Tip
- Triple Airflow Slots
- Adjustable Airflow Control Valve
- Arco Logo Glass and Replacement Clear Glass
- Flax Paper and Cotton Atomizer Head
- Arco A6 Triple SS Coil 0.2ohm Atomizer Head (80 – 90W)
- Arco A4 Parallel Quadruple SS Coil 0.2ohm Atomizer Head (70 – 80W)
- 510 Drip Tip Adapter