Last Updated on January 26, 2018 by Team Spinfuel
I was really close to titling this review “MTL for the masses,” but logic prevailed and the more-reasonable “Innokin Zenith MTL Tank Review” is what we chose. Still, my original idea has merit, because with the Zenith MTL tank, Innokin (available now at Vapor Authority) has crafted a setup that makes authentic mouth-to-lung vaping both accessible and affordable for new vapers, and for those who prefer a more familiar smoking sensation.
The Zenith is a very different device than its MTL brother, the Ares RTA (reviewed here). But it’s arguably the better, pure MTL atomizer of the two. Let’s see how things panned out for the Innokin Zenith MTL tank.
Initial impressions of the Innokin Zenith MTL tank
As part of the newly coined “Platform Series,” Innokin has gone all-out to create unique, attractive vape tanks with the Ares and Zenith. But, where the Ares was all about curves and smooth lines, the Zenith is a touch wider and more angular than its companion RTA. If you can only buy one MTL tank today, and looks are important, I’d give a slight nod to the Zenith, but that’s up to preference alone.
One thing that doesn’t vary between these companion tanks is the quality of the packaging and informational materials, which are stellar for both products. The Innokin Zenith doesn’t have as many add-ons included, due to the nature of its replaceable prebuilt coils, but nonetheless, the clear labeling, pristine translation, and attention to detail make this presentation second-to-none.
The 24.7mm Zenith seems to be a touch wider than the companion Ares RTA, likely to accommodate different coil sizes, since the kit can be purchased in either a 4mL standard edition, or a 2mL TPD-compliant setup, for European buyers.
The hinged top-fill cap is wonderful, and gets even better after a day of break-in, as the snug slider locks itself open and closed with a reassuring snap and click. It’s simple to handle with one hand, but stays in place when pocketed. In turn, the wide fill port will accommodate larger bottle tips with ease.
Operating the Innokin Zenith MTL Tank
Though I may have compared the Zenith to the venerable Aspire Nautilus Mini (reviewed here) the Zenith is much easier to disassemble, clean and refill – things that weren’t ever that easy with the well-aged Nautilus series.
Taking the Zenith apart reveals a simplified tank system – well-machined and free of any manufacturing oil. Simply install one of the two included coil heads, prime them with e-liquid, reattach the top section and fill. The smooth threading and precise machine work mean there is practically no effort involved in getting the Zenith up and running quickly.
In the preview, I pointed out how the Zenith’s coil base/deck features anti-flooding and gurgling protection, accompanied by a liquid-feed closure to keep juice where it belongs, and not leaking through the airflow. Well, maybe it’s my untrained eye, but other than a small metal barrier near the coil, I couldn’t find other moving parts or protective measures.
That said, I can’t see oxygen, but I know it works. The Zenith proved to be 100% leak-proof and gurgle-free throughout my testing – even when I purposely filled it to the very top to see if I could make those things happen. Instead, every draw was equally smooth, flavorful and mess-free – on all available airflow settings.
One of the criticisms I’ve seen aimed at the Ares RTA is that the airflow is too loose to be considered a “true” MTL experience. This was not a concern with the Zenith, which is more restrictive on all AFC settings, and provides what I feel is a more authentic smoking sensation than its rebuildable companion.
In fact, I’d liken the draw to the afore-mentioned Nautilus Mini or the similar Kabuki, which was compatible with Nautilus coils. However, the Zenith MTL tank trumps both of those devices in flavor and vapor production, with smooth, warm draws on all available settings. I believe the reason for this lies in the coils.
Speaking of which…
Vaping the Innokin Zenith MTL Tank
Included in the Zenith box are a pair of two very different coil options. The first is a 1.6-ohm offering that is ideal for PG-heavy e-liquid and recommended for use with modern nicotine salt juices. Well, I was more than eager to give these juices a shot, since most of my test mods and tanks aren’t really designed for such liquids.
I grabbed a bottle of Mr. Salt-E blackberry liquid and filled accordingly. As a guy who only vapes 0-3mg of nicotine in my high-wattage devices, I was a little hesitant to dive in, but soon learned why more and more vapers are turning to these types of products. Though a little harsh for my untrained palate, I quickly learned to enjoy the short, immediate draws of this flavorful juice – even at just 10 watts.
The resulting vape was thin and cool, but abundant, and flavor was out of this world. However, I prefer a warmer vape, so I turned up the power to 15 watts and began to taste more nuanced elements of the liquid.
Even wide open, the coil provided rich flavor and satisfying vapor in each puff, and had no trouble keeping up with my chain vaping.
I swapped out the juice for a slightly thicker 50/50 blend and marveled at how well the coil handled more viscous juices. Though the flavor was comparatively weaker, the coil had no trouble wicking, even with the restricted juice ports. Very impressive all around.
Moving to the 0.8-ohm coil, I expected a much looser, more open draw, but was surprised to see there wasn’t much difference between the two. Yes, it was looser, and seemed to wick a little faster, but the only dry hits I got during any of my Zenith testing came from using the 0.8-ohm head at 18 watts. They weren’t horrendous, nor did they persist. But this was the only incident where the tank couldn’t keep up with my pace.
On both coils, the draws were suitably tight on any airflow. In other words – “true” mouth-to-lung experiences. Vaping the Zenith side-by-side with the Ares, I found the Zenith to be more consistently tight and authentic than the Ares, even with a variety of different high-resistance builds installed. The airflow is simply more restrictive on the Zenith, which might put it ahead in the eyes of those seeking a tighter draw.
A final note about the coils – they’re practically bulletproof. I’ve been using both heads interchangeably since receiving my test models, and have already ordered a bunch more. They haven’t stopped producing wonderful flavor and surprisingly abundant vapor since I first fired them up. I imagine they’d last even longer in regular everyday use – something I’m going to find out soon enough, when both my wife and I use the Zenith normally.
Wrapping Up and a Few Words About Our Celebrity Endorsers
When I started writing this review, I vowed to do so without mentioning Phil “PBusardo” Busardo and Dimitris “Vapin’ Greek” Agrafiotis – the noted vape personalities who helped design both the Ares and Zenith tanks. However, after thoroughly enjoying both devices these past few weeks, I need to mention their contributions to the project.
These two have long flown the flag for MTL vaping, and worked to create a more authentic, smoking-like experience, without the often-heavy price tag that comes from such devices.
Though it’s not personally my style of vaping, and no one atomizer will appeal to every vaper, the Zenith is a fantastic MTL-focused tank that delivers authentically snug draws. In fact, its more restrictive airflow control makes this an ideal “transition” tank for newcomers to the scene.
I commend Innokin for working with Busardo and Agrafiotis to create a truly unique vape device that should help new vapers better adapt to a better alternative, while being extremely satisfying for experienced vapers, as well.
Innokin Zenith MTL Specs and Contents
Innokin Zenith MTL tank specs:
- Capacity: 2ml (EU) or 4ml (Outside EU)
- Size: 24.7×48.9mm (2ml tank), 24.7×53.2mm (4ml tank)
- Clean hand coil replacement
- Twist top fill
- 1.6ohm coil head
- 0.8ohm coil head
Innokin Zenith MTL tank contents:
- 1x Zenith Tank (1.6ohm coil installed)
- 1x 0.8 ohm coil
- 2x drip tip
- 1x O-ring pack