Before I joined the ranks of Spinfuel VAPE, my mod collection was pretty thin. An SMOK Alien here. An Eleaf iStick 50. And a few other throwaways. But there was one special device that graced my desk – and continues to grace my desk to this day – the original Revenant Vape Cartel collaboration. So, I threw elbows and knees to get to the front of the line for its stylish follow-up, the Revenant Vape Cartel BLAQ resin mod.
The original remains one of the most-reliable, durable, and outright beautiful resin box mods available today. And, judging by the steady (and still lofty) price it takes to own one, it’s clear people agree with this assessment.
So, knowing this combination of timeless form and proven function is still a hit with high-end vapers, Revenant, Cartel, and Vaporesso (which makes the onboard OMNI 2.2 chipset) decided to add a new layer of style and re-release this resin mod as the Revenant Vape Cartel BLAQ.
And it’s absolutely gorgeous. (In case we haven’t mentioned it yet.)
In 2017, it seems like every company on Earth is releasing a resin mod. But these guys set the tone a while back, and in my opinion, they’re still the ones to beat. I mean, there’s only so much a company can do with swirled, multicolor resin, but the color “choices” are all subtle and mature, rather than gaudy.
Notice I wrote “choices.” That’s because, once again, Revenant and Cartel are making the purchase of the BLAQ a complete crapshoot. Whereas most resin mods are able to be purchased with a general idea of which color is coming, the limited-edition, “collector” nature of these mods means your $150-200 purchase is left entirely to the vendor.
Other than the slightly altered resin color schemes, the only difference is the metal framework of the BLAQ, which is… (three guesses) … black! But amazingly, this seemingly minor difference gives the BLAQ an entirely different look.
This is good, because the rest of the Revenant Cartel BLAQ is identical to its older brother. Not “similar.” Not “a lot like.” This is an identical device, from soup to nuts, top to bottom. And for those fortunate enough to experience the original, this is very good news.
Beauty Beyond the Resin of the Revenant Vape Cartel BLAQ
True to form, the BLAQ is a testament to simple but gorgeous design. It’s a standard box mod shape – one that might even be considered too large by modern standards. Today’s mods are usually aimed at ergonomics and unique design. The BLAQ is comfortable, with soft, velvety resin and curved edges, but at the end of the day, it’s a box in the truest sense.
That said, it’s a damn well-made box. Atop the mod is a sturdy, stainless steel 510 pin – perhaps a little TOO sturdy, since several of my tanks had slight gaps when screwed in completely. The same thing happened on my original Revenant Cartel, but over time, the pin started giving a little more, so I’m not too concerned.
One thing that might be a concern is the 26.2mm width. Because I don’t think it’s quite accurate. Most of my 24mm atomizers sat flush, while the 25mm tanks had slight overhang. Nothing tragic here, but for the first time in a while, I’m thinking the design might be a little – dare I say it – dated.
The rest of the BLAQ is standard issue – monochrome 0.96-inch OLED screen, firm aluminum fire key, three-button operation setup, and a bottom-positioned USB connection for firmware upgrades and charging.
However, the chipset is something else. Yes, the OMNI board is a little long in the tooth, but it’s still one of the premier basic operating systems available, featuring Smart Variable Wattage Mode, Nickel, Titanium, Bypass, SS316, and TCR. This mod also has Vaporesso’s Customized Curve Wattage mode (CCW) and a Customized Curve Temperature (CCT) mode, which allows users to craft heating curves in wattage mode, as if they were using temp control.
In the past, this board has been tricky to use in temp control, but we’re hoping firmware upgrades and a few extra years of development means the BLAQ won’t suffer from the same finicky nonsense. I DID notice the Smart Variable Wattage – which detects the coil type and resistance and sets a proper start point – was more accurate than on the original Revenant Cartel, so we’re encouraged.
A lot has happened since the Revenant and Cartel released their first resin mod, and buyers are much more discerning about how they spend those vaping dollars. It’s going to take a lot more than a pretty resin mod body and black metal frame to stand out on shelves. With most companies, we would question the purpose of the BLAQ as we head into 2018.
But we also know the pedigree and performance of the original Revenant Cartel has us REALLY excited to revisit a very bright spot in vaping history. We’ll be putting the BLAQ through some serious testing this week, and will get back with a full report soon!
In the meantime, the Revenant Vape Cartel BLAQ is available now at Element Vape, our premier partner for review products.
Revenant Vapes Cartel BLAQ Specs and Contents
Revenant Vape Cartel BLAQ 160W Resin Mod specs:
- Collaboration by Vaporesso, Cartel, and Revenant Vape
- Dimensions: 92.5mm by 51.2mm by 26.2mm
- Dual 18650 High-Amp Battery – Not Included
- Wattage Output Range: 5-160W
- Voltage Output Range: 0-8.5V
- Min Atomizer Resistance: 0.15ohm
- Temperature Range: 200-600F
- Supports Ni200 Nickel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel
- Power Modes: VW, 3VT, TCR, BYPASS, CCW, CCT
- Customized Curve of Wattage (CCW)
- Customized Curve of Temperature (CCT)
- Timeless Design
- Heavy-Duty Stainless Steel Frame
- Unique Full Dyed Resin Body
- Intuitive 0.91 Inch OLED Display
- Four-Button Operation
- Oversized Firing Mechanism
- Hinged Battery Door Cover
- MicroUSB Port
- Spring-Loaded Gold-Plated 510 Connection
Revenant Vape Cartel BLAQ 160W Resin Mod contents:
- 1x Revenant Cartel 160 Mod – BLAQ
- 1x 510 Resin Drip Tip – Color chosen at random
- 1x Micro-USB Cable
- Instructional Manual