Julia Hartley-Barnes

Mushy Stuff (feel free to skip if your heart is made of ice)

Ah, Romance. First of all I feel like I need to apologize to any readers that follow me on Twitter. I know I’ve been using my Spinfuel Twitter account (I don’t have a personal twitter account) to blast out #MarriedAtFirstSight tweets. If you’re anything like me you probably think all reality shows are cheap, unrealistic garbage. But there is something about this particular one that I just love! The producers are masters of ‘Manipulation through editing’, and they have me on pins and needles to see what this argument is all about.


I KNOW I’m being manipulated, but damnit if I just don’t think Doug Hehner isn’t the ideal man! (Not that I would actually know, I’ve never dated a guy, but he is what I think they ‘should’ be.) So, seeing this genuinely GOOD man meet his dream girl is fascinating and hopeful…if there is a guy on this planet that deserves a girl of his dreams it’s Doug. If Jamie IS who she is portraying herself to be, then these two people have the chance to have what Keira and I have…and that kind of relationship can last forever. I’m a romantic…so shoot me.

Anyway, in 3 weeks time we will all know if I am paying for a ProVari 3 and giving it away to a lucky winner, should this “instant” marriage work out. See, you now have an incentive to watch the show. (FYI network, Tuesdays, 9PM)

Vape Stuff

Of course, the ProVape Provari isn’t the only excellent electronic vaporizer on the market. (But it is highly coveted) There are my other favorites, the Joyetech eVic Supreme, especially the black one with a black Joyetech Delta tank on top (shivers) and my collection of ZMAX’s by SMOK and Sigelei. (SMOK is better). I enjoy them all, and after learning that cool trick from Smokenjoey, the one that starts off your vape at one power level and then decreases as your vape, allowing for a burst of warm vapor with a follow up of less cool vapor, gives an edge to the eVic Supreme.

Review Time!

Sidewinder by SMOKI’ve been using the SMOK Sidewinder that Jon at MyVaporStore sent me a couple of weeks ago. Because it’s a SMOK product I know it won’t fall apart anytime soon, so I was happy to put it through its paces. Plus, the sidewinder design is supposed to make a great ‘hand grip’ device. The sidewinder design also allows you to slap on something like the Aspire Nautilus Mini and stealth vape with great performance, quietly, secretly, without upsetting the zealots that could, at a moments notice, pull out a weapon and hit you with it because you dare to vape. (I’m only half joking here)

This $60 (!) APV packs a ton of features. Including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Variable voltage: Adjust the voltage output from 3.0 to 6.0 volts in 0.1-volt increments.
  • Variable wattage: Set the preferred wattage (from 3 to 15 watts) and the VAMO V2 will adjust the voltage automatically no matter what atomizer you use.
  • RMS Out: RMS provides a more accurate voltage output.
  • 510 Threaded: Compatible with 510 atomizers, cartomizers, Vision Ego Clearomizer 2.0, eGo CE4 PLUS V2, Vision Vivi Nova Tanks, Smoktech DCTank and Kanger Clearomizer
  • Uses one rechargeable LiMn IMR18650 battery. This device is not compatible with protected batteries.
  • Atomizer resistance check
  • Battery power check
  • Dimensions: 3-1/2″L x 2″W x 1″D
  • Cutoff Timer: When you press the power button to use the device for 10-15 seconds or more, the device will turn off automatically.
  • Atomizers at 1.2ohm or less, the screen will display LO Ω, which indicates that you need to use a new atomizer at higher resistance.
  • Atomizer short circuit the screen will display LO v.
  • Incorrect battery installation protection. The device will not work circuits will be protected.
  • Max current 5A
  • Minimum resistance 1.2 Ω
  • Thermal Monitoring
  • Correct Polarity Signaling
  • Heavy Duty Micro-switches
  • Vent Hole in Battery End Cap
  • Battery End Cap ‘fail safe’ designed to ‘give way’

That is a huge feature list for something that will set you back just sixty bucks.

The SMOK Sidewinder is small, but packs all the features you’d find in their ZMAX, and more. For instance, you can take the ohms down on your coils to 1.2ohms. That’s not sub-ohm territory, but 1.2 is getting down there. I did try to use the Kanger 0.8-ohm coils I got from MyVaporStore in a ProTank and it didn’t fly, the LO Ω, screen came up. I had to try.

In The Real World?

When I decided to review it (it wasn’t sent for review) I put on that critics hat and looked for good and bad points, taking into consideration that it’s an inexpensive APV. Still, if it doesn’t perform why would anyone want one, even if it were a ten-dollar device? So far, I haven’t found anything major to bitch about as an APV, but after several days of use I’ve decided it just isn’t for me. As much as I like a sidewinder design this one just isn’t very comfortable to use.

The display is kind of small, and it’s not OLED, but it’s easy to read indoors. Changing voltage or power levels (wattage) is easy as clicking the button, and working through the menu system is just as easy as the ZMAX or any other SMOK product.

Using A Sidewinder Design

One of the biggest advantages to a sidewinder design is that the two tubes form a sturdy bottom to prevent knocking it over with the slightest bump of a table or other flat surface. I liked that aspect of it quite a bit because I’m always, always, always, tipping my tube devices over.

Logically the firing button is in the right place, but if you have small hands you might have to practice holding it and pressing the firing button at the same time. The problem is that no matter how you hold it you fingers have to reach around the tubes in order to use your middle finger (the longest finger) to fire it. Trying to hold it so you can use your thumb is just uncomfortable as hell. People will normal or large hands won’t have a problem, but petite hands, it’s another story. Button action is solid, with a slight ‘click’ sound. Working through the menu system is pretty much the same as other SMOK APV’s, turn it out, hold the + and – buttons down to get into the options and use the + or – buttons to go from Voltage to Power, then using them to increase or decrease the settings.

Nautilus Mini

My Co-Op recently purchased a case of Nautilus Mini’s, so for personal vaping it’s the only tank/glassomizer I’ve been using for personal vaping, and I have to say, using it on the Sidewinder it makes a great pairing. The Nautilus Mini doesn’t fit flush to the Sidewinder, but unless you are a real stickler for that kind of thing it’s fine.

My bottom line assessment of the SMOK Sidewinder would have to be that for $60 you’re getting a lot of value. SMOK makes many APV’s with pretty much the same “OS” and feature set, but this is their first sidewinder design, and they did a fine job with it. Like I mentioned above, it’s not a device I will use much anymore so I have gifted it to Jason and he just loves it.

Personal Stuff

The eLiquid Review Team has been very busy of late, and some of the labels we’ve reviewed, and are still reviewing, have turned up some awesome juice finds. Ju-Ju Vapor’s Blueberry Pie is now in my rotation, as is Tasty Vapor Frosted Oatmeal Cookie and Mr Good Vape’s Honey Baby, as well as Suicide Bunny’s Mothers Milk . These are all in my rotation, meaning I’m spending serious money keeping Keira and I supplied with our 12-14 favorite eliquids for personal vaping.

A couple of weeks ago we received an email from a reader that asked if we might consider sharing the names of the eliquids in our rotation. It seemed like a good idea and it is something we are working on for our new Spinfuel eMagazine Evolution. But, why wait? Here is Keria and I’s current rotation of eliquids…

August 2014 – Week 3 (In no particular order)

Mountain Oak Vapor – Chai Tea Latte

Mountain Oak Vapor – Vanilla Dreams

Ginger’s eJuice – Gingerbread Chai Latte

Rocket Fuel Vapes – Limerick

Rocket Fuel Vapes – Dolly’s Blue Ribbon

Suicide Bunny – Mother’s Milk

Tasty Vapes – Premium Vanilla Custard

Tasty Vapes – Frosted Oatmeal Cookie

Ju-Ju Juice – Blueberry Pie

The Vapor Girl – Valkyrie

G2 Prime – Vazilla

G2 Prime – Drunk Monkey

Hurricane Vapor – Mango Milkshake

Mr. Good Vape – Honey Baby

Julia's Choice AwardThese flavors are what we’re vaping this week. Next week we will most certainly drop a few and add a few, depending on new discoveries and old favorites. Our “collection” of eliquids totals 82 as of right now. We wind up tossing away about 1 bottle  week due to shelf life. If we find an eliquid we can’t get enough of we buy a lot of it, and sometimes that craving will simmer for a while and then just go away. We had about a quarter of a bottle of G2 Prime Vazilla left over from a 120ML bottle we bought a few months ago and rediscovered on Monday. By tomorrow it will be all gone. If we’re still on a Vazilla kick we’ll order another 120ML bottle with all hope that we’ll use it all before it expires. Most of the time our bottle purchases are 30ML. We are planning on buying the largest bottle possible of Suicide Bunny’s Mother’s Milk next week.

The ProVari 3

It’s been a few years since the last ProVape ProVari upgrade and the new ProVari 3 looks to be a killer evolution of the current ProVari. I can’t wait to get my hand on one for myself, and one to giveaway just in case my Jamie/Doug thing works out.

The new ProVari has been updated throughout, including Variable Voltage improvements and the addition of Variable Wattage. The chip, the board, and even the external materials are supposedly improved in a big way.

I can just imagine how long and how hard the boys at ProVape have been working on this major new ProVari. I don’t have any information on pricing, but I’m betting the price is either the same as current ProVari’s or no more than a few bucks more. ProVape is not known for profit gouging, the profit margin on a ProVari is a whole lot less than the margin on mass produced APV’s from overseas

And finally, after spending a few days in the Keys with Keira, we were off again to New Hampshire looking for office space. We’re hoping to move Spinfuel eMagazine, lot stock and barrel, back to New Hampshire in early 2015. Of course, we said that in 2012 too and it didn’t happen. Our visit there showed us that the economy must have been getting even better because office prices are higher than ever. So, who knows?

We stayed in Boston in our apartment and drove up to New Hampshire every day. We looked as far south as Nashua and Salem and as north as Concord. We visited Dave and Angel in Meredith as well, and they are doing fine. Dave is growing his beard again, and Angel looks as beautiful as ever. I think the new climate is doing her good. But, she has never been through a New England winter and if this coming winter is anything like last winter, she’s in for a big surprise.

We’re back in Florida now, so I’ll try to get back to once a week column. Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or two.

Keep Vaping!


Oh wait, the Giveaway, I almost forgot the Giveaway!! Okay, so here it goes.

Prize: A Black Spinner 2 ($32.95)

How To Enter: Leave a comment below and tell me the kind of person you would consider your ideal mate. I’ll  write down the names of each commenter on post-it notes, put them in a box and draw out a name next Friday. That person will win a brand new, factory sealed, genuine Spinner 2 1600mAh. – Giveaway Begins now!