When I learned about the new SMOK Spirals Flavor Sub-Ohm Tank ($21.95 Element Vape) my first thoughts were along the lines of “Why would SMOK need to build a ‘flavor’ tank?” SMOK’s line of Sub-Ohm tanks are the best there is, all the way from the TFV8 Cloud Beast, Baby Beast, and Big Baby, to the SMOK Minos and Helmet tanks. All of them provide ample flavor, tremendous vapor, and are the most satisfying line of sub-ohm tanks on the market. So why a “Flavor Tank”?
NOTE* This review covers the SMOK Spirals Flavor Tank 2mL capacity. SMOK offers the Spirals Flavor Tank in a 4mL capacity, called the Spiral Flavor Plus Tank. The Plus tank is identical in all ways except for capacity.
To truly discover the potential of a “flavor tank” the user must vape with an eliquid in which the flavor profile is completely and utterly known to the vaper. Testing the tank’s ability to output the genuine flavor of the eliquid being vaped the user must have intimate knowledge of the eliquid. For me, the only way to gauge the flavor output of the SMOK Spirals Flavor Sub-Ohm Tank was to use both coils, a 0.6Ω dual core and a 0.3Ω dual core, with my current, favorite, all-day-vape; Kilo Black Series Birthday Cake eliquid.
Before beginning this review my favorite sub-ohm tank to use with Birthday Cake was the SMOK TFV8 Big Baby and the V8 Baby-X4 Quadruple Core, a 0.15Ω quad-coil design with a recommended wattage range of 45-60W (but can be used at 30-70W). In truth, all coil heads available for the SMOK Big Baby perform exceptionally well in both flavor and vapor departments, but the X4 quad gives me a heavenly vape experience at just 46W, saving me some battery life and eliquid consumption as a bonus.
The real question for me was whether either coil head from the SMOK Spiral Flavor Tank could exceed the results of the SMOK Big Baby and the X4 Quad. If the produced flavor was better than what my favorite sub-ohm could give me then by all means, the SMOK Spirals Flavor Tank would get my vote, hands down. But, what if it couldn’t? What if the new SMOK Spirals Flavor Sub-Ohm Tank couldn’t outperform the TFV8? What then would be the reason for making one, or buying one for that matter? And why build a Flavor Tank with a 2mL ejuice capacity? Is it because of the May 2017 date of enforcement for the TPD regulations in the U.K.? (more on the TPD later) These are the questions I had going in, and I’ll provide the best answers I can in this review. But first, let’s get to know the physical tank itself.
About the SMOK Spirals Flavor Tank
The SMOK Spirals Flavor Sub-Ohm Tank is a 22mm tank, so it should fit most, if not all, box mods and tube mods currently on the market. It has a very easy to use Top-Fill method, something it needed to have with its 2mL limitation. There are four (4) small airflow slots around the base of the tank. The only reason I can think of as to why the airflow slots were designed this way was to draw in outside air in a way to best hit the special ‘spiral’ coil structure that is supposed to aid in fast juice saturation. My first impression after seeing these airflow slots was that the ‘draw’ would be MTL, or Mouth to Lung, but that wasn’t entirely accurate. Wide open the airflow slots allow for Direct Lung, or DL, vaping, but somewhat tighter than a DL vape with any of the TFV8 tanks.
Inside the coil head the SMOK Spirals Sub-Ohm Tank utilizes an imported Japanese Organic cotton with several wicking ports for rapid saturation/wicking. Faster wicking is a fine goal, and with the Spirals tank it does work as advertised, but is it a laudable feature? Debatable.
The SMOK Spirals Flavor Sub-Ohm Tank makes a perfect companion for the SMOK Alien box mod. The Alien has a maximum output of 220W, but the size of the Alien against the size of the Spirals tank makes for one attractive set up. You sure don’t need all the extra wattage available to you in the Alien box mod, but from a size perspective they look good together.
Because of the small amount of wattage needed to vape the SMOK Spirals Flavor Tank all you need is a mod capable of outputting 40W or more. I decided to go with a smaller box mod than my usual trio of mods, where are the Lost Vape Triade DNA250, the Reuleaux RX300, or the G320 Marshal by SMOK. I’m in “review mode” for the new Joyetech eVic Primo, a dual-18650 lightweight mod capable of 200W. The small footprint of the Spirals tank looked good sitting atop the eVic Primo as well as the Alien, so I went with the eVic for most of the 5 days spent with the Spirals tank.
Wicking took place quickly, less than 2 minutes. With the TFV8 line of coils I allow for at least 10 minutes to saturate, and then another 30 minutes of climbing the wattage ladder to break the coil in. With the spiral structure of the Spirals Tank, that wasn’t necessary.
In any case, as I began to build up my vape it wasn’t long before I was well past the recommended wattage of 18W. In no time, I was vaping at 36.2W, and I felt there was more wattage to be had. Then it dawned on me to check the dual battery charge level and I saw that I had used up three-quarters of the batteries power vaping with another tank under review. I stopped and replaced the batteries, then began the wattage climb again. To my surprise, I found myself back up at 36.2W quickly, and even reached 38W before the flavor began to wane.
Because the 0.6Ω coil has a ‘recommended’ wattage of just 18W I went down the wattage ladder to that 18W and stayed there for half an hour. I wanted to discern the flavor output at SMOK’s recommended wattage to see if I could understand the reason behind it.
At 18W with the 0.6Ω coil the draw was stiffer, much more of a Mouth to Lung vape. The flavor was there, but the flavor did not ‘pop’ like it did at 36W. In fact, at 18W with a one-hour old coil there was more ‘cotton’ flavor than I expected. (there is always some cotton flavor with a new coil) As anyone would expect, at 18W the vapor production was much less than the tank/coil can produce at higher wattages.
The only conclusion I could reach for the performance of the 0.6 coil is that the outside maximum claimed by SMOK is conservative. If you decide to buy the SMOK Spirals Flavor Sb-Ohm Tank you’ll probably find your sweet spot at the outer end of the wattage range as I did, unless you are a Mouth to Lung vaper, perhaps then the 18-20W range would be fine, especially after the coil is broken in and the cotton taste is gone.
The additional coil, the 0.3Ω dual core has a wattage range of 20-45W, but is otherwise identical to the 0.6Ω. This coil head also exceeds the stated range. SMOK tells us on the side of the 0.3Ω coil that the recommended wattage is 35W, but for my vaping needs I found 49W to be about right.
Comparing the performance of both coil heads isn’t as straightforward as I thought it might be. Both are capable of higher wattages than SMOK indicates, and once broken in both coils produce a surprising amount of thick vapor. Nowhere near what the TFV8 line can produce, but a big part of that is undoubtedly the narrower drip tip of the Spirals Flavor tank. (SMOK’s official description calls it a wide-bore drip tip. It’s not.) That said, any vaper shouldn’t be disappointed in the amount of vapor produced. While I would give the nudge to the 0.3Ω coil for a warmer, slightly thicker vapor, both score about equally well.
Flavor from the SMOK Spirals Flavor Tank
I made sure to vape the Spirals Flavor Tank first thing in the morning, when flavor is its most accurate. Even with an all-day-vape like Kilo Black Series Birthday Cake, the intensity of the flavor is heaviest when it’s the first vape of the day.
Both coils delivered the same amount of flavor, and the same flavor. In other words, Birthday Cake tasted the same on 4 consecutive days with both coils. But here’s the thing; it could be the fact that I have been vaping regularly for 6 years now, or that I have lost some tasting abilities at my age, but the truth is, the flavor from this SMOK Spirals Flavor Sub-Ohm Tank is excellent, but no more so than any of the TFV8 tanks and coil heads I use daily. Another interesting point about these coils is that they consume less eliquid that any TFV8 coil, which is a nice thing for those of us that buy a lot of eliquid.
At $21.95 the SMOK Spirals Flavor Sub-Ohm Tank is one of the most affordable SMOK Sub-Ohms. A 5-pack of replacement coils are just $13.95. And, like the TFV8 Baby Beast it’s also just 22mm in diameter. That’s the good news, along with excellent flavor production and vapor production. I find the 2mL juice capacity an annoyance more than anything else… the SMOK Baby Beast, the smallest TFV8 holds 3mL. When I can get my hands on the Spirals Plus (4mL capacity) I’ll definitely pick up a couple of them.
The SMOK Spirals Flavor Tank includes a single-coil RBA Coil Head for optional
rebuildable capabilities. In fact, SMOK has preinstalled a single coil (0.5Ω), so all you need to do is add some of your favorite cotton and begin vaping. Because DIY RBA’s are completely subjective and reliable to the amount and kind of cotton used, all I can say about my vape experience with the RBA head is that it is a terrific DL (Direct Lung) coil that produces lots of vapor with the cotton I chose to use. (SMOK does not provide cotton)
I like this SMOK Spirals Flavor Sub-Ohm Tank, and I like the price. However, that doesn’t mean I will buy any more of them in the 2mL size. When faced with a choice between the TFV8 Cloud, Baby, and Big Baby line, and anticipating the upcoming TFV12 line, I can’t see myself making much use of this 2mL tank. If you are looking for a low-cost way to get into the SMOK Sub-Ohm tank line, then the price of the tank and the replacement coils fit the bill nicely. You will certainly enjoy both the flavor and the vapor from the Spirals tank, but no more so, and probably less than, any of the TFV8 tanks.
Color combinations available include Black/Stainless, Black and Blue, Black and Green, Black and Red, and a Gold version.
Final Grade: B+
“Marketed as a special, optimized ‘flavor tank’ the SMOK Spirals Flavor Sub-Ohm Tank, I believe SMOK fails to deliver something truly special. Instead, this is a very good 2mL sub-ohm tank that provides good flavor and good vapor production. You could do a lot worse than the Spirals tank, and spend more money doing so. But the fact remains; faced with a SMOK TFV8 Big Baby (24.5mm) and the SMOK Spirals Flavor (22mm) tank, I would choose the Big Baby every time. But that’s just me.”
One More Thing…
I wish I could understand the dumbass TPD regulations set to go into effect this coming May in the United Kingdom. Two of the stupidest regulations is the size limit of a bottle of e-liquid, just 10mL (talk about wasteful use of plastics and paper labeling), and the size limitation to tanks and other atomizers to just 2mL. If regulations like these had logic behind them maybe I wouldn’t see the TPD as just another profit motivated act of corruption between big business and government. Unfortunately, the real truth is, well, like I said, corruption.
Check out the SMOK Spirals Replacement Coils here.
SMOK Spirals Sub-Ohm Tank Features:
- 22mm Diameter
- 2mL Juice Capacity
- Superior Stainless Steel Construction Glass Reinforcement
- Flavor-Focused Structural Design
- Spirals Coil Structure – Large Sized Coil Heads
- 0.6ohm Spirals Dual Core – rated for 18 to 35W
- 0.3ohm Spirals Dual Core
- Spirals RBA Head – Single-Coil Configuration
- Threaded Top-Fill Method
- Quad Adjustable Bottom Airflow (small)
- Elongated Drip Tip
- 510 Connection
The SMOK Spirals Flavor Sub-Ohm Tank Includes:
- 1 Spirals Tank
- 1 0.6ohm Spirals Dual Core
- 1 0.3ohm Spirals Dual Core
- 1 Spirals RBA Head
- 1 Replacement Glass Tube
- Spare Parts
- Instructional Manual