Kanger Subtank – The Review
At the end of this review I’ve made a video that demonstrates how to use it and to illustrate the vapor production it is capable of.
Spinfuel, and this author, wish to express our gratitude to the fine people at Ave40. Without their help we would not have been able to get our hands on the devices talked about in this review. As wholesalers and retailers Ave40 offers original products at pretty fantastic prices, with 3-4 day delivery too.
As we bring 2014 to an end we are looking to the future of vaping with a very positive attitude. Notwithstanding what may happen with respect to how government will attempt, or not attempt, to stop or curb the Tsunami that is the ever growing vape community, some new, and radically different hardware has been released, and is still being released this month, that has improved what we refer to here at Spinfuel as “the quality of the vape” so much so that the only conclusion we can come to is, the future of vaping is bright indeed.
Comparing the end of 2103 and 2014 we see that manufacturers worldwide (but mostly China) have retooled their factories, and their products, and have practically reinvented the art of vaping®.
New, smarter batteries like the eVic Supreme, a major push toward ‘wattage’ (power) with the IPV 3, The GOD 180, and the multitude of APV’s that put out 20w-50w under controlled and safe circuit boards, devices from the IPV Mini, Sigelei 50, Aspire SubΩ, and even the new P3 (Provari v3) and many, many more, are prime examples of how the industry has responded to new challenges.
In the eliquid delivery systems (tanks, clearomizers, glassomizers) we’ve seen the same kind of advances that we’ve seen with the ‘battery’ side of the industry.
Pyrex glass is being used in the majority of clearomizers and glassomizers today. New advanced coil heads, and SubΩ coil heads have turned the vaping industry upside down. What was once the expertise of the ‘rebuildable atomizer’ in tanks and drippers is now a reality for the masses.
Flavor and vapor being created with the new devices were impossible for the mass market just 12 months ago, yet they are quickly becoming the mainstream vape experience* today. (Naturally, when I say mainstream I do not mean the cig-a-like segment of vaping, but rather the fast growing segment that comes after the cig-a-like experience)
A prime example this month is the outstanding performance of the Aspire Atlantis and its companion battery, the Aspire Sub-Ω battery. Flavor and vapor production from these two devices perform at RBA/Mechanical levels yet are far less expensive and far less risky to use. Less than $70 will set you up with both devices and whisk you into a whole new level of vaping.
Enter the Kanger Subtank
When you think about it the arrival of the Kanger Subtank really shouldn’t be a surprise. All year long Kanger has focused on its glassomizer line so intently that we’ve seen new “Aerotanks” and “GeniTanks” that show massive improvements with each iteration. Weeks before the release of Kanger Subtank the massive, dual atomizer Aerotank Turbo was released and it certainly set the stage for what was to come next.
The Everything Tank
What Kanger has done with the Subtank will be hard to follow, for Kanger. Other companies will respond and respond quickly to the release of the Subtank. We can expect new tanks from Joyetech, Aspire, Innokin, and others, that will, at least, offer than same features of today’s Subtank.
When the Aspire Atlantis was released the vape community did a massive “Whoa” (Insert Keanu Reeves impression here), and with good reason. A real 0.5-ohm coil head sitting in a high quality Pyrex glass and stainless steel tank that actually worked as well as anticipated.
Huge clouds of vapor and exquisite flavor from almost any eliquid was now available to vapers that wanted nothing to do with building coils or ‘dripping’.
While the Atlantis by Aspire was being prepped for its debut the engineers at Kanger were about to do the Atlantis one better. Unlike the Aspire glassomizer the Kanger Subtank would offer both a rebuildable coil and deck, and a drop in coil head, making the Subtank the first hybrid tank…it is both a fully functioning RBA and a fully functioning Glassomizer. And everything about it makes me think it’s going to be very difficult for Kanger to name a to it down the road, although I’m sure they will.
The Kanger Subtank is priced at around $45, a bit more than the Aspire Atlantis, but it offers a lot more than the Atlantis. Once you see the Subtank in person, feel it, use it, and handle all the components you just might be surprised that the cost of the Subtank isn’t in the $100 range.
Here’s what you get when you buy the Kanger Subtank:
1 x SUBTANK
1 x OCC: 0.5 Sub Ohm / Range 15 – 30 W
1 x OCC: 1.2 Ohm / Range 12 – 25 W
4 x RBA Coil (Organic Cotton made in Japan)
1 x RBA Tip Connector
1 x RBA Base
1 x Screw Driver
2 X Screws
1 x Manual
1 x Beauty Ring (From Φ25 to Φ22mm)
The Subtank serves two segments of the vape community, those that want to build their own coil (including dual coils), and those that wish to use it as a glassomizer. As for those of you that want the glassomizer first but would love the option of building your own coil, or at least experiencing what RBA vapers experience, Kanger has included dual coils in a perfect wrap, already secured to the posts in the rebuildable base.
All you need to do is cut two strips from the supplied Japanese organic cotton, fluff them out once threaded through the coils, saturate with your favorite juice, fasten it to the base of the tank, fill the tank with 4.2ML of juice (using the prebuilt self-contained coil heads the tank allows a full 6ML of juice) and vape.
Even if you’ve never touched wire before you can enjoy the vape of an RBA in minutes, down to 0.3Ω. Afterward, should you want to, you could pop out the RBA section and screw in the coil head (.5ohm or the included 1.2ohm) and use it as a glassomizer.
The Kanger Subtank is made from food grade stainless steel. It’s design features precise, finely detailed cuts and etches that scream quality. When I first opened a Subtank box the tank gave the impression of being an expensive scientific instrument more than it did a device for eliquid.
The Kanger Subtank is heavy, twice as heavy as the Atlantis, and taller as well. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is, without a doubt, the best tank on the market today. But that doesn’t always equate to being the tank you need, or want, to buy. For as terrific as it is, there are ample negatives that need to be considered before plunking down $45 for one.
In the video below I give you a look at various parts of the Subtank, and demonstrate the vapor production with a 50:50 PG:VG eliquid at 6mg nicotine. As you will see, the performance is hard to beat. But, is it difficult to use? Is it top heavy? What kind of maintenance does it require? All good questions, so let’s talk about that.
Is it difficult to use? No, not if you want to use it exclusively as a glassomizer. When used as a glassomizer it is no more difficult than any other. It’s when you convert it to an RBA that it becomes somewhat more difficult for vapers that do not rebuild their atomizers. So, whatever your experience now, today, will dictate the difficulty you’ll have with it. But, handling is another matter.
Handling the Subtank is cumbersome at first. I don’t think you can quite understand just how big it is until you’re holding one. It is taller than the Aerotank Turbo, but thankfully the diameter is perfect for most tube and box mods. You do not need a 26650 device for it to look “right”. Still, it will take a few refills to develop enough muscle memory to make it feel normal, so handling it in the beginning must be done with care.
Is it top heavy? On just about everything, yes. Certainly the larger your battery the less top heavy it will be, but unless you’re using a full size tube or box mod it will be top heavy in the extreme. Let’s put it this way, you don’t want to use an eLeaf iStick with it. The iStick’s 20W will power the 1.2ohm coil, but it won’t provide a ‘great vape’ with the .5ohm coil.
Maintenance will depend on how you use it. All tanks and glassomizers require some maintenance. Example: my wife came to me to the other day telling me that her iStick was no longer reading the atomizer in her Council of Vapor Stratos glassomizer. After verifying the problem I went about cleaning every contact on both devices with Q-Tips and alcohol and when I was done I had 3 Q-Tips that looked like I had just cleaned one of my cats ears, but the iStick was functioning properly again. Using the Kanger Subtank as a glassomizer you’ll have to treat it as any other glassomizer.
If you use the Subtank as an RBA there will be a bit more maintenance involved. The RBA component will require cleaning, as well as the contacts on the tank. I’ve found that when using an RBA the ‘gunking up’ happens more quickly than when using a glassomizer, so that must be considered.
The Bottom Line
As someone deeply involved in the industry I am thrilled beyond measure with both the Atlantis and the Subtank. These two tanks bring with them a much better vape experience for anyone that owns one, and this is just the first version of these major advancements. By this time next year I imagine we’ll talk about the Atlantis and Subtank with bemusement at our enthusiasm for them. What seems special today, tremendous flavor, and vapor that can blind you from seeing your computer screen with every drag, will be an everyday experience. How do I know this?
I cannot reveal things that I know today about a couple of devices that will soon, very, very soon, hit the market. But, what I can say with certainty is that where we are headed is bringing the flavor and vapor of the Atlantis and Subtank to smaller and smaller devices. Inside of a month you’ll know what I’m talking about. Until that time expect great things to happen to each of our ‘vape experiences’.
Should you buy a Kanger Subtank?
That depends. If you are buying it just to have the latest and greatest than by all means have at it. You’ll be very impressed with it, even if you don’t wind up using it regularly. If you are currently using an Aerotank or one of the better iClear tanks, or some other glassomizer, and you don’t mind the size and weight then yes, sure, try the Subtank, I’m sure you’ll love it. If, however, you’ve tried the Aspire Atlantis and found it too big, or you didn’t enjoy the sub-ohm experience, then you’ll probably like the Subtank even less. It’s bigger, more complicated, and almost $10 more expensive. My advice would be to wait for a couple of months.
As for myself, I choose the Aspire Atlantis over the Subtank for a couple of reasons. Flavor and vapor using the .5ohm coil in each tank reveals an almost 99% identical vape. And although with the Subtank I can use the 1.2ohm coil, or go with the RBA, it’s just too big to use everyday. I’m the “Spinner and X.Jet guy”, and it was easy to trade my Spinner and X.Jet’s for the Aspire SubΩ battery and Atlantis. Handling is very similar, but the vape experience is vastly superior with the Aspire combo. I take the Aspire “kit” with me everywhere now, something I just would not do with the Subtank and some larger APV. I love the Kanger Subtank, it’s just not an everyday tank for me, but it may be for you.
John Manzione | Publisher.
*vape experience – A term used here at Spinfuel that simply means the period of time, and the flavor/vapor we see and taste each time we are actively vaping.
The Cold Open Subtank Demonstration