I won’t lie. I fully expect iJOY to send me a holiday card this year. Between my well-documented love for its polarizing RDTA Box mod, and my reviews of EVERY item in the company’s new Captain line of products, it’s clear that all things iJOY seem to be coming my way. Alright, maybe I haven’t been THAT friendly to this line. But to be honest, the Captains haven’t been THAT good, save for the impeccable iJOY Captain RTA, which is now my go-to rebuildable tank atomizer. The iJOY Captain S tank? Well, it’s a hair shy of being a world-beater in the vein of the Captain RTA, but it is LIGHT YEARS better than the original Captain sub-ohm tank, and that only means good things for this line of products moving forward.
Let’s take a look….
I’ll admit, I was skeptical coming into this review — and nearly sent it back to my editor, since my experiences with this series have been so hit-or-miss. That’s because the only change of note between the iJOY Captain S sub-ohm tank, and the original model, is the sliding top-fill cap (“S”= “slider”).
Well, this is what initially ticked me off. Was iJOY really going to gouge its customers for another investment in this series, after only changing the fill method? Did the designers account for the obscenely leaky design? Did they better secure the coil seating, so there was no movement and subsequent flooding?
Most importantly, is the tank capable of holding more than 1mL before drenching users’ hands in e-liquid?
Well, slap my tank and call me drippy – yes, yes it is. Somehow, iJOY managed to rectify the flaws of the Captain S’s commanding officer and created a sliding top-fill sub-ohm tank that performs without leaking. Emphasis on “perform.”
But let’s go back to the top and see what’s going on.
What’s in the Captain S Box?
After opening the standard iJOY clear plastic case, vapers will find the Captain S slide-fill tank, alongside the usual fare – spare glass, bag of extra parts, vape band and a pair of CA-series coils, which we’ll discuss later on.
One item of note is the somewhat-proprietary drip tip, which isn’t QUITE an 810, but it’s close. I tried swapping in a few other tips, and all were loose and insecure. The stock tip is great, but having a more open system would have been appreciated. The included 510-adapter softens the blow, but this is a tank that needs to be wide open, negating the 510’s usefulness here.
Examining the iJOY Captain S sub-ohm tank
At first glance, most users familiar with the Captain line of products will feel at home with the Captain S. The overall aesthetic is akin to the original Captain tank, and the Captain RTA, with the same heat dissipating groove above the base, the nicely knurled grooves on the moving parts.
Likewise, the Captain S has a very similar height to other editions of the series, and I actually needed a side-by-side comparison to note the differences. If anything, the Captain S is the leanest of the group, at 59.4mm high, by 25.4mm wide. It fit on every device in my collection without worry, and never made the mods seem top-heavy or unwieldy.
Also, the Captain S adopts its big brother’s 4mL capacity, gold-plated 510 connection, and the threadless coil design, which iJOY believes to be more secure against leaks and shorts. My first experience with this coil seating design didn’t go well, though. The lack of seal concerns me, as it’s likely to degrade and lose its snug fit over time.
The biggest difference is the slide-to-fill top cap, which is a nice addition to the series, and probably should have been the default fill method for the original Captain tank. This snug slider locks into place with ease, but is easily engaged with one finger, making refilling much easier.
Opening the top reveals a fairly wide opening in the rubber gasket, which should accommodate most of today’s bottles. I had a few problems with some droppers, as the liquid tends to form a seal, causing extra liquid to overflow more than once. It gets a little messy, so I’d recommend transferring juice to unicorn bottles when using the Captain S, or be ready to mop up some spills on the go.
Vaping the Captain S CA coils
The iJOY Captain S comes with two coils, the preinstalled CA2 dual-coil, which comes in at 0.3 ohms and a 60-80-watt recommended range. Also in the box is the CA3 triple-coil, reading at 0.2 ohms with a recommended range of 60-100 watts.
Though I’ve used one of these coils before, and struggled with getting a proper seal, I was eager to see how well the CA series would perform in the new Captain S. And I’m happy to report that the slightly modified design of the Captain S benefits these coils tremendously.
The preinstalled CA2 was an outright performer in the Captain S tank, with a ridiculously fast break-in time, and almost immediate production of warm, thick clouds at just 60 watts. Using a max-VG juice, the thirsty coils operated at full capability within just a few puffs, rewarding me with tremendous flavor alongside room-filling vapor production.
I pushed the CA2 to 80 watts, and noticed the flavor began to dip at the top level of its range, but vapor remained warm and plentiful. Backing it down to 70 watts gave the perfect balance of heat, flavor and vapor, and I kept it there for the duration of its life cycle.
The CA3 was an even better companion for my style of vaping. Though this one has an increased wattage limit, I enjoyed it most at 75 watts, producing even stronger flavor and vapor than the CA2.
Interestingly, the CA3 proved to be a better marathon runner than the lower-powered CA2. Both coils performed for nearly 10 days before degradation took hold and flavor began to ebb, but the CA3 lasted longer, with heavier use, under more extreme wattages, and handled it all like a champion. If I’m buying new coils for this tank, the CA3s are my first choice.
Note: Because of my poor first experience with the CA coils in the original Captain sub-ohm tank, I decided to use each of these in that tank, to see if my leaking and flavor problem was rooted in the tank itself, and not the coil. Sure enough, once in the original Captain, I saw an immediate drop in flavor and vapor, and had a more difficult time seating them properly, leading to additional leaks through the AFC ring.
It’s clear that iJOY knows what its doing, and that the original Captain suffered from a flawed tank design, and not bad coils. Vaping the CA coils in the Captain S was an entirely new – and altogether more positive – experience throughout.
Though the CA coils are thirsty, in this combination, the juice consumption is well-worth the expense, as the clouds and flavor are among the best I’ve had from products in this category.
Other notes from vaping the iJOY Captain S
I have to say that, if I did indeed receive a flawed product with the original Captain sub-ohm tank, iJOY has more than rectified the problems with the Captain S. More specifically, it has pretty much eliminated them.
The iJOY Captain S never once leaked. Not when overfilling through the somewhat narrow port. Not when the coils began to degrade. Not when filled with the airflow open. The tank’s AFC and base remained bone dry through every possible scenario. And believe me, after the messy experience I endured with the original Captain, this was an occasion worth celebrating.
Using the Captain S on a variety of mods, I never once had any issues with jumpy coil readings, or misfires of any kind. The tank sat perfectly flush on most devices, and any gaps that happened were negligible at most. Whether dialing things down at 50-60 watts, or pushing the higher limits of the coils’ capability, the Captain S held things down like a champion.
Never once did I suffer muted flavors or wispy cloud production with the Captain S; the coils and overall design made for fantastic vape quality throughout my testing.
The only ongoing issue I have is iJOY’s claim that the grooved channel nearly the base is for heat dissipation. Even at 70 watts, the Captain S gets hot quick. Not to the point that you risk burning yourself or damaging the device, but it definitely sits on the wrong side of uncomfortable. It’s a rare black mark for a really strong tank.
The Wrap Up and Score
The iJOY Captain S sub-ohm tank is one of the most surprising reviews I’ve done to date. I came into this expecting a rehash of the original Captain debacle, and came away a genuine fan of this product. While the Captain S doesn’t quite reach the flavor and vapor heights of the RTA edition, for convenient, rock-solid, effortless vaping, this is a high point in iJOY’s flagship series.
iJoy Captain S Score
iJoy Captain S Specs and Contents
iJOY Captain S Tank Specs:
- Capacity 4 ml
- Diameter 25mm
- Sliding top fill
- Thread-Less Coil Head Design
- Delrin Widebore Drip Tip
- Gold-Plated 510 Connection
iJOY Captain S Tank Contents:
- 1x iJOY Captain S Subohm Tank
- 1x CA2 coil 0.3ohm (60-80W pre-installed)
- 1x CA3 coil 0.2ohm (60-100W)
- 1x Replacement Glass
- 1x 510 Drip Tip Adapter
- 1x Vape band
- 1x Warranty Card