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Last Updated on June 27, 2017 by Team Spinfuel
IJOY Captain Sub-Ohm Tank Review
Oh captain, my captain, why has iJOY gone astray? After a middling experience with the iJOY Captain PD270 Box Mod, I was tasked with crafting a separate review for this companion sub-ohm tank, officially known as the iJoy Captain Sub-Ohm Tank.
Approaching it with an open mind, I hoped my initial negativity towards the Captain Sub-Ohm were skewed a bit by an underwhelming experience with the PD270 box mod. But, alas, those first impressions were lasting ones, as iJOY missed the mark once more. Let’s see why…
The iJOY Captain Sub-Ohm tank is a top-fill 25mm device with 4ml e-liquid capacity and a proprietary thread-less coil setup that is easy to use … and unfortunately, easy to misuse.
At first glance, the iJOY Captain Sub-Ohm definitely looks appealing. With a huge, threaded top-fill port, vapers will have no problems filling with virtually any juice bottle or dripper around. And the deep groove above the tank’s base was designed to improve heat dissipation, which is a nice touch on a device catered to higher-wattage vaping.
The sloped, wide-bore drip tip is decent enough, but I actually preferred using the included 510 adapter for improved flavor, especially when things started heating up at higher wattages.
The bottom-seated adjustable airflow ring is snug but easily adjusted, and even allows the Captain Sub-Ohm to be used for moderate restricted-lung vaping, though that’s not likely with the crowd iJOY is targeting. It all works fine, in this regard, but is “fine” enough these days? For my dollar, not at all.
Change for change’s sake?
When taking apart the tank, all the familiar elements are in place, with one exception – the thread-less coil
system. In an effort to differentiate the Captain from similar tanks, iJOY took an honest stab at solving coil fitting issues. By eliminating the threading and instead moving to a snug, seated design, the (included) CA2 dual and CA8 octuple coils simply press into place, with no concerns about poor threading and subsequent firing and leaking problems.
That is, if they work. Unfortunately, while sliding each coil into the device was indeed effortless, and the o-rings on each coil seemed to hold them firmly in place, my test coils seemed to have unintended gaps, which remained no matter how many times I took them out and reseated them.
Using a 70/30, VG/PG e-liquid, and only filling the tank halfway, with the airflow closed, the Captain leaked uncontrollably for the first 10-15 puffs. Once the liquid level dropped, the leaking slowed, but the stained paper towels remained.
Moving to a max-VG liquid, filled to the same levels, there was notably less leakage, but I still found myself mopping up droplets around the airflow throughout each tank.
Swapping out the installed CA2 (fused Clapton of Kanthal AND two Stainless Steel wires!) coil for the CA8 (octuple, 4x dual coils, all Kanthal) made no difference, as the tank only seemed to stop leaking when falling to ridiculously low levels – almost as if no vacuum is evident inside the tank.
Under these circumstances (and the fact that the tank swallows juice like a castaway downs fresh water), users will have to fill nearly as often as they would re-juice an RDA, completely eliminating any convenience offered by the 4ml capacity.
And, in a final kick in the pants, these coils are your only option. There is currently no compatibility with other iJOY device coils, nor is there any RBA deck on the horizon. In this day and age, I firmly believe RBA decks should be included with a tank of this size and price. Perhaps a more traditional coil build would help the Captain shine a little brighter, but it looks like we’ll never really know.
But when it works?
During those all-too-rare moments when the iJOY Captain Sub-Ohm was firing without leaking, the tank offered a perfectly adequate vape. The vapor production is on par with most other devices in this category, and the flavor is there, if not a little muted at lower wattages.
Turning up the power, both of the coil heads seemed to perform better, with each landing in a similar sweet spot around 70-90 watts. At these levels, flavor was a touch more nuanced, and vapor more abundant. But there was nothing spectacular about either. And, knowing how this particular e-liquid is supposed to taste, these puffs were dull and lacked any of the juice’s intended flavor profiles.
The tank was designed to pair with the companion Captain PD270 mod, which offers much higher power output. So, I pushed the CA8 coil to 110 watts (just 10 watts higher than recommended), and almost instantly regretted it.
In one puff, all flavor had disappeared, replaced by a harmonious blend of cotton, silica, caramelized e-liquid, and pure regret. Plus, as an added bonus, the leaking increased from the airflow slot, creating a sizable puddle on the top of my mod.
No, the coils weren’t rated for such power. But no one could expect such a precipitous drop in performance, when pushed a mere 10 watts above its specs.
It should also be noted that at 110 watts, the Captain Sub-Ohm tank was uncomfortably hot, both on the mouthpiece and the body, making me question the purpose of the deep groove below the glass.
You might want to learn to DIY e-liquid
The Captain Sub-Ohm is a thirsty sub-ohm tank. This, in itself, is not newsworthy. Most of today’s high-performance tanks go through juice fairly quickly. But the Captain is far and away the worst offender in my collection.
By comparison, SMOK’s Beast product line looks downright frugal. Within 3-4 puffs, e-liquid levels drop noticeably. And within mere minutes, I was grabbing for my bottle and filling once more.
If I could actually utilize the full 4ml, it might not have been as frustrating. But when the tank only can handle 1-2ml per fill without leaking, it was – again – no different than using an RDA, minus the flavor, of course.
A lack of purpose?
It can be argued that the vaping world is reaching a bit of a saturation point, and doesn’t need another sub-ohm tank. But we all know there’s always another company building supposedly better mousetraps. And to be fair, there are still innovative tanks being made. The aforementioned SMOK TFV12 Cloud Beast King, the Eleaf Melo 300, and even the Joyetech ProCore Aries come to mind. (and that’s just the mainstream sub-ohm tanks on the market)
However, the Captain isn’t one of them, as it offers nothing more than adequate performance and substandard flavor, while being one of the most juice-thirsty tanks created to date.
In the end, if you’ve never owned a sub-ohm tank before, there’s a good chance you’re going to love the Captain. It looks alright, is a good match for the Captain PD270 mod, and offers enough cloud production to keep new vapers happy.
But for experienced vapers the Captain tank offers nothing they haven’t seen before, and provides a fraction of the flavor people have come to expect from such devices. The flavor simply doesn’t match up to the massive juice consumption, and the lack of any RBA option ensures I’ll likely put this one on the shelf and wait for the next contender to come along.
Available Now at Element Vape for $27.95
Score – D-
Tova St. Claire
iJoy Captain Sub-Ohm Specs
- 25mm diameter
- Threaded top-fill system
- 4ml e-liquid capacity
- Threadless coil design
- Sloped 810 Delrin drip tip
- 510 drip tip adapter
iJoy Captain Sub-Ohm Includes:
- 1x iJOY Captain sub-ohm tank
- 1x CA2 fused Clapton coil (installed)
- 1x CA8 Octuple coil
- 1x replacement glass tank section
- 1x 510 drip tip adapter
- 1x spare parts pack
- Warranty card