Last Updated on August 7, 2018 by Team Spinfuel
Vaptio Capt’n Kit
Note*This review for the new Vaptio Capt’n Starter Kit is not the Capt’n and Paragon Tank Starter Kit announced in our Giveaway. We will provide a separate review in the near future for the Paragon Sub-Ohm Tank.
The Vaptio Capt’n Kit Review
Over the last year I’ve made a lot of tongue-in-cheek comments about vape companies having defense lawyers on retainer for copyright infringement, thanks to devices that leaned a little too closely to trademarked designs and characters. Today, after reviewing the Vaptio Capt’n Kit, I’m no longer joking – these not-so-subtle stabs at pop culture will only hurt the industry in the long run, proving of course that China ever starts taking copyright laws seriously.
I really hate starting a review in this manner, but I feel like it’s the only way to approach the Vaptio Capt’n – a mod, by the way, that would have stood on its own merit without the superhero branding. Is the Capt’n sharp looking? Sure! In fact, it’s the best-looking mod in the growing “Heroes” series yet. But that’s no excuse for blatantly thumbing the eyes of Hollywood, simply because they’re a Chinese company and will likely get away with it.
And it’s no excuse for lowering the maturity level and making mods that might appeal to children. This industry is at a crucial point for public acceptance, and efforts like this do nothing but set vaping back to the level of “dangerous, wild west” items. Embarrassing, Vaptio.
That said, let’s dive in and see what the Capt’n Kit brings to the table besides a very familiar logo. At first glance, the mod DOES successfully convey the look and feel of the modern Captain America/Avengers uniform, right down to the accurate blue hue and authentic font from the movie series. It might even be more accurate than iJOY’s Avenger mod – not a compliment, just an observation.
You’ll also notice how compact the Capt’n mod really is – especially since it hits a legitimate 200 watts on just two 18650 cells. There’s a lot of technology under the hood of this diminutive device, and it’s clear that Vaptio is becoming a force to be reckoned with as an elite vape device manufacturer. Not only does the Capt’n look really sharp, but it works tremendously well, to boot.
But it’s not all great. Notice I said the Capt’n hits a legit 200 watts. That would be more than enough, if it wasn’t for the 220 watts Vaptio advertises. I couldn’t get the Capt’n to do much past 200, other than throw warnings on the regular. I wish Vaptio had been a little more conservative with its marketing – a mod this small doesn’t need to boast 200+ watts, because it’s already impressive for what it does.
Another concern is the front-facing buttons. While the logo shield fire key is more than adequate, the oddly designed, integrated up/down control buttons seem cheaply done. They’re built into the exterior frame and seem like they’ll bend and warp before long.
Finally, the 510 connection is shunted forward toward the front of the Capt’n mod, when a centered position would have allowed for a considerably wider range of atomizers to fit without overhang. To be honest, it also looks a little awkward, even with the included Capt’n tank attached. Nothing terrible, but not ideal, either.
Ending on a positive, the Capt’n mod has the same 1.3-inch full-color display as the Super BAT (get the Super BAT at Element Vape) device, which is a very good thing. Though I’m a little surprised Vaptio didn’t customize it to complete the superhero theme (though there is a screensaver option that matches the vibe), the display and menu system are highlights of this series, and I encourage people to check out how easy it makes things for newcomers.
Not only is the menu system accessible and intuitive, but it’s also fully featured. The Capt’n has the usual slate of wattage, temperature control, bypass and TCR/memory modes, but also offers a smart wattage setup with selectable preheat levels, alongside custom wattage curve and custom temperature curve settings that are far more advanced than we usually see at this price range.
What’s even better is that these modes all work perfectly, with precision levels that far surpass most mods in this category. The custom curve modes are particularly impressive – even with the onboard system being the only way to manipulate them. (If there’s a software-based solution we haven’t seen it yet – let us know, Vaptio!)
On the flip side of the coin, the included Vaptio Capt’n Sub-Ohm tank is just passable at best. Similar to the company’s Frogman atomizer series, the Capt’n doesn’t do much to justify its place as a standalone device. For starters, the tank and Frogman coils simply don’t offer much flavor and vapor production, plus they take a ridiculously long time to break in, leaving many users to wonder if the initial flavor is actually what they can expect.
In fact, by the time they DO break in, the coils have probably already gone through half their lifespan. By the time I reached a comfortable experience, I only enjoyed a day or two of performance before having to toss it and start over. These aren’t the worst coils I’ve ever used, but they’re not up to the level of quality we expected here. Fortunately, the Paragon Sub-Ohm, also available in another Capt’n starter kit model, is said to be a superior sub-ohm tank.
My suggestion is that Vaptio stick with the Capt’n Vape Mod with the Paragon Sub-Ohm Tank. I appreciate their desire to make a completely unified kit, but the Capt’n tank is just unnecessary and underwhelming.
I have to be honest (and redundant) here – I really wish I wasn’t so irked by Vaptio’s blatant ignorance of copyright law, and their desire to appeal to pop culture instead of mature, respectful design. I guess I’m actually saying I wish I wasn’t so invested in the future of this industry. Because without the Captain America trappings, the Capt’n mod is pretty damn impressive for such a small device.
Even though the proprietary chipset doesn’t QUITE hit the advertised mark, up to 200 watts, the Capt’n is smooth and stutter-free, with precise, “aware” temperature control that seemed to detect liquid levels and adjusted itself effortlessly before dry hits took over. I almost never vape in temp control modes these days, but moments like this remind me of the promise these modes once offered to vapers. (If only it was more practical.)
In wattage mode, the Capt’n did an admirable job of recognizing new coils and maintaining steady coil resistances. I never felt any pulsing, nor did the mod ever misfire – at least below 200 watts. At more reasonable wattages, the Capt’n handled every atomizer I threw its way, from mouth-to-lung relics to sub-ohm giants, and the mod felt “right” in every scenario.
And that’s part of the mod’s charm. Despite its tiny footprint, the Capt’n design allows large and small tanks alike to look natural and balanced atop the mod, which should broaden its appeal well beyond the Comic Con crowd Vaptio seems to be courting with this line of devices.
Finally, it should be mentioned that the Capt’n also has VERY respectable battery efficiency. Even when trying to push things beyond its natural capabilities, I admired how the mod continued to push out power and performance, while sipping away at the battery capacity.
This is truly a tale of two perspectives. Had Vaptio just made a pocket-friendly, compact powerhouse mod with no questionable branding, I’d be happily throwing an A- score atop this page (those quirks and iffy tank would have prevented an A+, no matter how much I liked the device). I genuinely enjoy using the Capt’n, and wish I wasn’t SO staunch in my belief that vapers need to be more responsible… because I refuse to take it out in public, for fear a child might see me using it and recognize the logo.
For all its good qualities, the Vaptio Capt’n kit will likely be remembered as “that Captain America mod” or “another superhero vape product,” rather than as a punchy, potent little device that could appeal to a wide range of users.
Vaptio, please take this review as a call to action, and leave the silliness behind. Because underneath the capes and spandex your mods are heroes on their own.
Vaptio Capt’n Kit Specs:
- Size: 126mm * 33mm * 42mm
- Material: Zinc Alloy+ IML Technology
- Juice Capacity: 2ml/4ml
- Output Mode: VW/TC/Smart/CCW/CCT/Bypass
- Battery: 2*18650 Battery (not included)
- Output Wattage: 10-220W
- Screen Size: 1.3inch Color TFT, 240*240 ppi
- Firing Speed: 0.005s
- Resistance Range: 0.1-5.0ohm
- Coil Type: Frogman W2 0.4ohm (30-80W, best at 45-65W)
- Frogman W8 0.15ohm (60-80W, best at 50-110W)
- Filling Liquid: Screw-to-open Top Refilling
- Adjustable Airflow: Bottom
- USB Charging for Current: DC 5V/2A
Vaptio Capt’n Kit Contents:
- 1× Vaptio Capt’N Mod (No Cell)
- 1× Vaptio Capt’N Atomizer
- 1× USB Cable
- 1× Manual