Vape Forward and the VaporFlask Lite – A Review
This review of the Vape Forward Vaporflask Lite is the first of four Vape Forward products we will review. In the coming days we will bring you in-depth, unbiased reviews for each of the Vape Forward devices, including the Vaporflask Stout, Vaporflask Classic, and even the remarkable VF Atomizer. Today is all about the Vaporflask Lite, a 75W TC box mod that looks and feels like it was made by a top American manufacturer. But more on that later.
Vape Forward is the new iteration of VaporFlask. Working with WISMEC, Charlie Kauss and his team have substantial resources at their disposal working with WISMEC. Resources that allow the Vape Forward team to build remarkable vaping devices of exquisite quality at prices VaporFlask could never offer its customers.
So far, the Vaporflask line of vape gear has surpassed all my expectations. And trust me, as someone who has spent way more money that I should have on the several dual-18650 VaporFlask models, including the Vaporshark Vapor Flask, these new devices are of higher quality, yet cost a lot less. I suppose that is the power that comes with partnering with a giant manufacturer run by men and women that love vaping as much as anyone can.
Co-Branding and Partnering
WISMEC builds the Vaporflask products for Vape Forward, and WISMEC builds and co-brands some Jay-bo products. WISMEC also builds products for Beyond Vape. These true partnership and co-branding efforts that have produced amazingly good products for vapers, without cutting corners or forcing partners to make sacrifices on features or quality control. I spoke to certain people at WISMEC before the company began working with some of the best, most creative people in the industry, and the mission statement by WISMEC is being actualized exactly as planned. Both Vape Forward and WISMEC are proud of the products introduced so far, with good reason.
The Vaporflask Lite – $79.99
While WISMEC may be the company that manufactures the Vaporflask line, make no mistake that these devices are truly the result of painstaking work of the Vaporflask team. As someone that has used plenty of devices under the WISMEC name I can tell you with certainty that these Vaporflask devices exceed the standards of quality and craftsmanship of WISMEC devices like the Presa and Venti. Not that they are not excellent devices in their own right, but the Vape Forward products do have the edge on quality and design aesthetics.
The Vaporflask Lite is a single, removable, 18650 battery vaporizer with 75 watts of power output. The Vaporflask Lite also features variable temperature technology that supports Nickel, Titanium and Stainless Steel coils. Additionally, the Vaporflask Lite features upgradeable firmware (current version is 2.00), easy to navigate user interface and a reliable, durable, hinged battery door that makes swapping out batteries a breeze.
Below are the “official” features and specifications for the Vaporflask Lite. Some of the highlights to consider include the ample number of vent holes on the bottom for battery safety and venting of gasses, the Mac compatible software and firmware upgrading, and the low range of resistance for coils. As it stands today, this is truly state-of-the-art.
Features & Specs
- Maximum Output Power of 75W
- Temperature Control System with Upgrade Function
- Optional TC-Ni/TC-Ti/TC-SS/VW/Bypass Mode
- Replaceable Cell and Rotatable Bottom Cover
- Milled Stainless Steel Adjustment and Fire Buttons
- Stainless Steel Threaded, Spring-Loaded 510 Connector
- Size: 23.4*42.2*85.2mm
- Thread Type: 510 thread
- Cell type: High-rate 18650 cell (discharging current should be above 25A)
- Output Mode: TC-Ni/TC-Ti/TC-SS/VW/Bypass Mode
- Output Wattage: 1-75w
- Resistance Range: 0.05-1.0ohm for TC-Ni/TC-Ti/TC-SS mode
- 1-3.5ohm for VW/ Bypass mode
- Temperature Range: 100-315°C/ 200-600°F (TC-Ni/TC-Ti/TC-SS mode)
- Colors: silver, black, red, white, and royal blue
- Firmware upgrade V2.00 adds the TC-SS (specifically for SS316 coil) and TCR (Temperature Coefficient of Resistance) modes, which change the resistance range: 0.05-1.5ohm for TC modes. Which allows you to manually adjust the TCR Value
The Vaporflask Lite in white is the device I’ve been using for almost a month. The first things I noticed about it was the balanced weight and the smoothness of the body. This is no ordinary vaping instrument. The attention to detail, the fine accents, and the precise machining of the parts are truly extraordinary for a device that costs under $80, or even twice that. The ultra-smooth finish, the stainless steel buttons, the perfect fit of the glass display window, are just a few of the things that caught my attention at the outset.
The curved design fits the palm perfectly, and rests in the middle of the palm while providing easy access to the fire button and two adjustment buttons.
The strong, durable, battery cover swings out to allow easy access to the single 18650-battery. Vape Forward has designed this battery door as an extension to the entire device, not some add-on, metal or plastic door. The battery cover has a nearly seamless appearance, and after more than 250 battery changes it operates and fits exactly as it did on Day One.
During the time I spent with the Vaporflask Lite (I still use it daily), I have used every tank and RTA I own with it. The resistance range is 0.1-3.5W in variable wattage and Bypass mode, and 0.05-1.0W in TC mode covers virtually any tank or RDA on the market.
Every tank and RTA, and every coil head and coil builds I used with it worked perfectly. The only tank I used where I felt I might need more wattage was the Horizon Krixus, which ‘sweet spots’ at 80 watts. The Krixus performed beautifully at 75 watts though, and for the rest of them there was plenty of wattage to spare.
With some of the Tanks and RTA’s I used in Temperature Control (TC) mode I took advantage of the adjustable wattage feature and adjustments to the temperature, which allowed for every tank and RTA to perform at its peak.
Vaporflask Lite Basic Functions
Fortunately, each Vape Forward Vaporflask comes with an excellent manual for proper operation. Nothing can replace a good manual written in perfect English, but to illustrate how easy it is to use the features of the electronics inside, I’m going to go over some of the basic functions.
The Vape Forward Vaporflask Lite is a 5-button on/off device.
Entering into Wattage Mode or Temperature Mode
With the Vaporflask Lite ON, click the fire button 4 times quickly. This gets you into the Menu system where you can use the adjustment buttons to move through the various modes; wattage, Bypass, TC-NI, TC-Ti, TC-SS, and so on.
Changing the Wattage setting while in TC mode: Click the fire button 3 times quickly. The largest numbers on the screen changes to wattage readings and you can increase or decrease wattage in TC mode by using the adjustment buttons. Find the setting you want and click the fire button to get out.
Changing from Centigrade to Fahrenheit is very easy – in whatever mode you happen to be in, increasing the temperature with the adjustment button will take you to the maximum temperature, click one more time and you will change from C to F, or F to C.
Further instructions on the menu operation can be found in the manual. For now, I think the above gives you a proper example of how simple it is to navigate around.
VF CT Software
The software and firmware upgrades and updates are available for both Mac and PC.
Mac Users: When you go to install the software you will probably be met with a Security Alert that tells you the software cannot be installed because it isn’t supplied from a secured source. To fix this, go into the System Preferences and click on Security & Privacy. The first window you see is “General”. At the bottom you’ll see “Allow apps downloaded from:” and 3 choices. The default on Macs is “Mac App Store and identified developers.” Since WISMEC and Vape-Forward are not identified developers for Apple, choose the “Anywhere” option. You’ll be cautioned about your choice, but go ahead and choose it. When you done installing you can go back and change it to the default setting. And you should, in order to prevent installation of malware.
Now you’re ready to install any updates that come out for any Vape-Forward device.
Note* When you download the software for the first time you’ll click the Update button and it will navigate to the folder containing updates for all Vape Forward devices. In this case, choose the Lite zip file. If you already have version 2.0 firmware you don’t need to do this, if you don’t, choosing the zip file will update the Lite in about a second. Before detaching your device, Exit the software, then detach the USB cable.
The Version 2 update allows for manual TCR input. To get into the manual TCR adjustment menu, you have to do the following:
With the device off, hold the fire button and up for four/five seconds. You can navigate between the three memory presets, hit fire on which one you want to adjust, then you will be in the TCR values field. Then the up/down buttons adjust it for you. Click the Fire button again to set the value. Only set the value when you are certain of the TCR value you want. For instance, the TCR Value for the new Tungsten-equipped Horizon Krixus is 0450.
Accessing TCR function: With the device off, hold the fire and up button for 5 seconds. Use the fire button to access the number adjustment and the up button to adjust. Hit the fire button again then the up button allows you to navigate through the memory settings.
If there is such a thing as the ‘perfect box mod’ it would be this. You can tell immediately that the gang at Vape Forward designed and built a device where the top priority was to build the best device possible. Holding it, working with it, and using it tells you that no detail has been overlooked. In fact, an observation I made early on, and continued to make, was that left overnight, or a day or two, the battery charge did not decrease enough to notice. I own some devices that will practically drain overnight in standby mode, or simply leaving it left on and placed on a desk or table, but the Vape Forward devices stay charged when left on and alone. Battery management is outstanding.
I cannot stress enough the quality of the workmanship of the Vaporflask Lite, as well as the other Vape Forward devices, including the VF Tank. Every nook and cranny fits together will zero tolerance, the finish is glorious, and the display is a brilliant OLED screen covered with a superior glass panel. When the display is off the entire display area is completely opaque. The fire button and adjustment buttons are silky smooth in appearance and function. I cannot remember any device in 4+ years that feels as expensive and ‘precise’ as the Vaporflask line from Vape Forward. And as far as the electronics inside the Lite are concerned; I can’t think of a device that offers more, and operates as flawlessly as this one. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great devices on the market, with plenty more to come, but right now, there isn’t anything about the Vaporflask Lite that I don’t like.
At $79.99 it would be disingenuous of me to not recommend this device to anyone looking for a moderate maximum wattage, VW/TC box mod.
Coming up; Julia is currently reviewing the Vaporflask Stout (100w) and Tom is reviewing the Vaporflask Classic (150w). Both reviews should be complete very soon.