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  1. I worry that with impending regulations, the juice market may look markedly different in the next couple of years - and given flavoured juices you get from vendors tend to stay good for a year at 70 degrees away from direct sunlight - I tend to stock up a few months ahead and make large orders when the sales run .. labor day, memorial day, thanksgiving etc. I always have a years worth on hand.

    I do have some frozen base nicotine and wouldn't mind DIYing at some point, just still really enjoying buying from these vendors for now...

    My favourite vendors:

    Current regular day in, day out vendors and flavours...
    • Alice In Vapeland - Great small selection of flavours and the packaging of their deliveries cannot be beat. You get hand done art in your box specifically for you, it's a fantastic personal touch! For flavours... Twas Brillig is a delicious blackberry cake, Zombie Apocalypse is a fantastic strawberry cupcake flavour that to me is exactly like a really nice strawberry milkshake. NOTE - AiV juice does not like to sit for more than a month or 2, so you may want to get an order every month so it is fresh. I had some and it did get decidely untasty after 2 months in a cool and dry shelf. Still they have fantastic service and flavors, just keep that in mind!
    • The Plume room - Great quality and juice is well packaged for delivery. My favorite tobacco flavours by far and away, like Candied Cavendish or Burley Candy. Their summer peach is also very nice, not overbearingly sweet. I have some blueberries and cream and cheery soda that I am going to be cracking open soon.
    • Space Jam - sold by eJuices.com I The Top eJuices plus Free Shipping - have a really nice apple/pear type flavor.. Astro. Could see this being an all day vape for folks, nice clean fruit flavour sweet but not obnoxious. I am curious about a couple of their others which I have waiting to try. Space Jam also did well in the dactyl free department.
    • The artist collection by njoy - wonderful complex flavours that are just stupidly delicious. Sacre couer may be my all time fave juice. Hedons bite is also wonderful.
    • Vaponaute - with the euro almost on par with the dollar its easy to order. Time will tell if that is true after new regs come in may 2016. I love their around the world collection, have made it theough the into the wild and on the storm so far. From the vape24 series, perfect day and crescent moon are delightful. From the creator of sacre couer, complex unique flavours.
    I still like these a lot, and vape them fairly frequently...
    • Charlie Noble - sold by eJuices.com I The Top eJuices plus Free Shipping - Raspberry ripple ice cream and commodore pearrey are fantastic dessert flavours, rich and creamy.
    • Heathers heavenly vapes - Shadow is a nice vanilla tobacco, Simple Pear is exactly that - clean pear flavour, just like the fruit not a 'candy' version.
    • Trippy Drips - sold by eJuices.com I The Top eJuices plus Free Shipping -Ruby Red is a great natural tasting strawberry, again like the fruit, not a candy version.
    • Ripe Vapes - Not a bargain vendor but their range is delicious. Available from ejuices.com. VCT is a smooth vanilla custard tobacco, Monkey Snack a nice peanut butter banana.
    Fantastic vendors, I just tend to not order so much these days as AiV and The Plume have become my go-tos. These 2 are still great companies with a lot of nice flavours:
    • ITC Vapes - great flavour for bargain prices. And they do employ lab testing on their range. Apple buns is a nice apple cake flavour.
    • Ahlusion LLC - Home - Great Michigan company. Shipwreck is a very nice tobacco, sweet and at least to me somewhat nutty. Autumn Mist is a nice apple/pear blend.. sweet but not obnoxious.
    Vicshalls and zarya2 like this.
  2. Kayfun Lite Plus

    I have my thoughts on this in a later post about my everyday devices. I recommend it highly :)

    Kanger Subtank mini

    The kanger subtank? No regrets there.I got a couple to vary flavour when I got the istick. I still use it with my sigelei minis as the travel/on the road/too lazy to figure something else out pair.

    It holds a decent amount of juice, hasn't leaked on me at any point and can take sub ohm or 1.2 ohm coils. For rebuilding coils and wicks I started with the kayfun lite plus and now use the RDAs, but it is nice the subtank has that option. My only negative is the occ kanger coils can be prone to making loud pops especially after a few hours of sitting idle. It does seem to vary by the box of coils and hopefully Kanger gets better quality control. It could be disconcerting at times, not enough to make me stop but still a wee bit jarring especially, in the morning.

    Aspire Nautilus

    This is a great tank that holds lots of juice (5ml) and while not as new and exciting as the subtank/atlantis etc, is still a great option. The combination of Provari and Nautilus is especially fantastic. You won't be blowing clouds as big as with the subtank and other mods, but it is flavourful, satisfying and quiet. And if you are just starting out vaping the provari and nautilus might be an easier starting point.

    Just be sure to get the metal tank cover to protect the nautilus tank, the stock is just glass. For $20 or so you can get a replacement glass piece that has a metal patterned outer cover that will give more protection if you drop it.

    Aspire Atlantis

    A good tank, be sure to get the newer generation cotton coils for it though. It does really need about 40 watts to get the best flavour, at least for me. The general consensus seems to be in the 30 -40 range, so just enough to make my sigelei mini too weak for it. I think if I hadn't started using drippers AKA RDAs I would have gotten more use out of the atlantis.
  3. Ah, I love my hex ohm 2.1 I do, but it has atendency to make wee nics in the wrapping of my batteries. This can be dangerous for reasons others explain far more eloquently on ECF. I recently made an order with, Battwrap, PVC Battery Wrap - which are run by Illumn.com - Flashlights, Batteries, Carry Gear, Intelligent LED Lighting, and More! and was very pleased with the product and results.

    I got 120 wraps - various quantities of diff colors, sold in 10 packs - for 12 bucks including shipping. These are presized for 18650s. You do have to trim a wee bit off the top but if you are super lazy like me about this kind of thing, it is stil easier than sizing the whole thing out from scratch.

    The wraps are good quality too. Of course you can get 20 miles of wrap from amazon for 6 bucks and size it yourself, but for me the laziness factor was more than worth it.

    Here is how much I trimmed:

    IMG_2028.jpg

    The originals in their bag:

    IMG_2030.jpg

    Here is what I did:

    1. Carefully took off the old wrapper by running scissors over the body of the battery - GENTLy - just enough to cut the wrapper, then I tore the rest off.
    2. Trimmed the top off the new wrapper (without trimming it didn't completely shrink to fit)
    3. Slid on the new wrapper, holding the top black plastic disc in place with 1 finger, then the bottom of the battery with another finger -- leaving about the same extra space at the top and bottom of battery.
    4. Used a hairdryer to do the top most of the way first, so the black plastic thingie didn't go flying away.
    5. Then just rolled the battery around on an office chair using the hairdryer to roll it back and forth a few times. (The desk is all used up with puter bits and scrawled to do lists for my job, the coffee table covered in mods and juice what you going to do?!) Then did the rest of the top and bottom, and main body again until it was all smooth.

    When using the hairdryer don't scorch it just apply enough heat to make the wrap shrink to fit the battery. I found letting the hairdryer blow it around the chair also avoided scorching my fingers. Yes, laugh, go on... I'm comfortable with my manliness. I REWRAPPED A BATTERY FOOL! Anyways...

    End result:
    IMG_2037.jpg

    IMG_2040.jpg

    IMG_2036.jpg

    Now I don't have to worry about safety and the P3 seems to have confirmed success by no longer complaining about battery quality. (I think the nics were throwing it off).
  4. Why have a mod that takes removable batteries?

    This was important to me for a few reasons:
    • The mod if high quality might well outlast a fixed battery. So, for example, the istick once its battery is gone its all gone. The sigelei mini might outlive the lifespan of one battery.
    • Spares... It is easy to throw a couple of charged batteries in a wee plastic box (so they don't rub keys and spark) and then you don't end up stranded waiting for the mod to charge.
    • More control over the batteries you use
    • Long term more cost effective, though in the short term if you need a charger and batteries and a mod... it might end up being $40 - $70 more.
    • Better mods, ones with more power/features/2 battery slots for longer life... those tend to use replaceable batteries. Not all, but enough of them.
    • As new batteries come out you could get ones with a bit more Mah for example, and give your mod an extra wee bit of vape time before the next charge.
    • Can use the charger for other household batteries a lot of the time, like AAA.

    To be fair, the possible downsides...
    • A non removeable battery device can be a wee bit smaller
    • Don't have to worry about getting charger, finding right batteries, paying a wee bit more up front maybe.. if you get something that has a built in battery and usb cable
    • A bit simpler with the built in battery mods, maybe...
    For me it is absolutely 10000% better to have mods where I replace the batteries... I can get the safest charger plus batteries plus mod money can allow me. Every year I can get a fresh set and benefit from improved chemistry and capacity. And once you have paid $30 - $70 for a good safe charger, batteries are $5 - $8 a piece so very inexpensive.

    Resources
    Most folks seem to lean towards xtar chargers these days so I might try that if the nitecore were to unexpectedly die. The nitecore had a lot of good reviews though and has a lot of protections built in.

    Battery Safety

    Thanks to Baditude :) ... Great info
    Summary:
    Stick with good vendors like Illumn.com - Flashlights, Batteries, Carry Gear, Intelligent LED Lighting, and More!
    Stick with brand names like Samsung, LG, Panasonic
    Sony make some great batteries but be extra sure to get those only from illumn or others recommended on ECF.. since people love em there are a lot of fakes.
    Look for continuous discharge rating, pulse rating and any battery claiming to be over 20Amps.. it is probably a lie.
    Baditude likes this.
  5. From left to right:

    • istick 30 watt
    • Sigelei mini 30 watt and Kanger subtank mini
    • Provari Mini 2.5 with standard 18350 battery
    • Provari 2.5 with 18650 extension cap and Aspire Nautilus tank
    • Provari 2.5 with 18650 extension and authentic Kayfun lite plus

    smallIMG_1852.jpg

    Close up of istick beside sigelei mini

    smallIMG_1854.jpg
  6. Finding the nic mg

    Talking to the folks at the local vape store, I tried 18mg and even on the evod 2 - a low power device indeed - I was coughing up a storm. Maybe the 70% PG didn't help either, but when I dropped to 12mg I was able to enjoy the vape without coughing endlessly.

    First Device - Kanger Evod 2

    The Kanger Evod 2, I got a starter kit with 2, the charger and some coils for about $30 from a local vape shop. This is a nice get your feet wet device, and unlike the istick, I don't regret it at all. Now, maybe some of that is because it was what convinced me vaping could work, maybe there's a wee bit of sentimentality there. But, I just feel like 2 devices, charger, coils... for what I paid it was a good deal.

    The device itself is very small which is nice in lots of ways, but in two critical ways, I outgrew it within a few weeks...
    • It's small, so filling can be a little annoying
    • It's small, so the battery would never get me through a day
    Before I started using drippers (aka RDA ... rebuildable drip atomizers) I would still use them to sample juice, but as I moved on to higher power devices the wee evods were not accurate enough for that. However, if I am going to a fancy dinner or a wedding or some such, the evod 2 still gets slipped in a pocket. It is very good for that.

    Second Device - iStick 30

    The istick 30 I got again from a local store for $65. This is the one vaping purchase I do regret. Not awfully so, and it was still the equivalent of a carton of my old camel filters... so not too bad. But, it just never felt like $65 worth of electronics to me. I think if it had been under $40 I would not have blinked.

    The good:
    • It is very compact
    • Easy to use options...
    • Super easy to use, seriously...
    • Display is good
    • Decent battery life
    The bad:
    • Once the battery has run through its set amount of recharge cycles the whole thing is trash.
    • The fire button rattled when the unit was shaken, and it would sometimes not register a click when pressed. Just felt tacky for something costing what it did.
    • A couple of times at 29 watts the unit got very hot overall. And on doing some battery research, since I was considering going to a replaceable battery style anyways... well, right or wrong, the heat of the mod did not feel reassuring to me.
    • The supplied charger plug got extremely hot while charging, now for example, watching video on a laptop for a few hours.. it will get crazy hot too. However, the istick adapters heat with the button rattle and heat at 29 watt ... all of it ... it just worried me a bit more. Sure I could have used a different one, but come on, $65. Grumpy face!
    • Took a while to charge from the usb.
    I did end up getting a second to use while the first was charging.

    A few weeks later...

    Then shortly after, I found ECF and reviews and a wonderful world of information. I would like to think, largely thanks to this forum I am a much more informed consumer now.

    When I buy other things, anything else really, I do a lot of research, I think I hadn't started that with vaping at that point simply because I did not realize the amount and variety of options that were available. That first store had a small selection indeed.

    Now, I mostly wanted a device with removable battery so I wouldn't be left without a mod if regulation messed with the market after my istick had fufilled its mission. So I was already looking to move on anyways. Plenty of folks on ECF have had great luck with them, and they sell a LOT. So take my safety worries with a grain of salt. Just my personal somewhat emotional feedback.

    Just know there are some great options out there for similar cost, without a rattle, so... ;-)

    Why have a mod that takes removable batteries?

    This was important to me for a few reasons:
    • The mod if high quality might well outlast a fixed battery. So, for example, the istick once its battery is gone its all gone. The sigelei mini might outlive the lifespan of one battery.
    • Spares... It is easy to throw a couple of charged batteries in a wee plastic box (so they don't rub keys and spark) and then you don't end up stranded waiting for the mod to charge.
    • More control over the batteries you use
    • Long term more cost effective, though in the short term if you need a charger and batteries and a mod... it might end up being $40 - $70 more.
    • Better mods, ones with more power/features/2 battery slots for longer life... those tend to use replaceable batteries. Not al, but enough of them.

    What I use now...

    At home mod and tank...
    • A Provari 2.5 with the 18650 extension cap and genuine Kayfun lite plus tanks, for when I'm home and not using the Vectors.
      • The Provari has outstanding build quality - the highest quality feel of any of my devices.
      • Easy to use.
      • Pairs well with the Kayfun.
    • The Kayfun lite plus...
      • I think $80 is a very fair price for the quality.
      • Not too hard to build with once you get used to working with the wee parts.
      • I never got the clear mid tank piece to work without leaking and switched to using all metal. Now I tell if the tank is empty on that first slightly burnt taste, use a blunt syringe to refill, always just do 4.2ml... works well. I do prefer the look of the all metal too.
      • I really like the fact that I am not dependent on a vendor to keep getting coils, the running cost is very low in terms of cash, I probably have invested several hours in figuring it and out and trial-and-error first builds & wicks though.
      • Luckily I get to work remotely 5 days a week at least for the foreseeable future. I have heard that changing temps can cause leaks with the kayfun, so I have been using the sigelei mini and subtank mini when I have to go from AC to hot car that cools down again.
      • Still haven't had a vaping winter yet, if I couldn't vape in my home office I don't know if the kayfun would be a great all day tank option going from heated rooms to sub zero car parks and then back to heating again. I guess I could test this now with the summer extremes but I don't have to so haven't, at least not yet anyways.
    The Provari 3 is also a nice looking device, I just stuck with the 2.5 since it saved some money and I don't need to go below 1ohm when I am using the kayfun or nautilus. If you are worried about having room to grow, a Provari 3 and say nautilus tank gives you more options down the road.

    Out and about mod and tank
    • A sigelei mini (30 watt, removable single 18650 battery, $33 from element vape online) -- I feel like this is a really solid wee mod for the price. No rattles, good buttons, feels like it cost a little more than it did. A good size too.
    • The subtank mini lives on the sigelei mini and I keep them ready with plenty of battery capacity and juice for when I run errands / have to go downtown etc...

    At home, savouring the flavour...
    • A hex ohm version 2.0 and sigelei 150 watt with a couple of vector rdas.
      • The vector has been a great first RDA for me. No leaks, easy to build on, very forgiving. The flavour is a definite step up from the other devices, a bit "fuller" and more nuance.
      • I like that it will last a long time, came with spare parts and again I am not dependent on a vendor for future consumables.
      • Easy to swap the wicking out on, especially compared to the teeny tiny Kayfun.
      • Great quality for its standard price and I got it on a major sale.
      • The hex ohm feels great in the hand, love the size, simplicity, that big old button. Appreciate the fact its made by a small(ish?) company in Austin.
      • The sigelei feels like a quality device, a bit more square than the hex, but still comfortable in the hand.
      • The sigelei has good buttons, informative screen, simple.
      • The sigelei can be had for $65 right now which feels like a bargain. I have a couple of extras as backups, I tested them for a day and packed them up again to go with the rest of my vapocalypse supplies.
    There is something a little "soul-less" / "boring almost" with the sigelei compared to the hex... but considering the price, it is a reasonable trade I think. I would never get backup hex ohms, for example. The price of the sigelei makes it a good option for such hoarding/stockpiling/responsibly keeping myself far from camel country.

    And the sigelei 150 just like the minis, have been good to me so far. They feel like well made devices. No rattles! :)

    Random other stuff...
    Most folks seem to lean towards xtar chargers these days so I might try that if the nitecore were to unexpectedly die.

    1 other random piece of advice... If you try subohming be sure to use lower nic juice that normal, since a 3mg juice will feel more like a 9 or 12 on a 0.5 ohm coil.

    This is a great friendly place, enjoy!
    zarya2, Citation and Le$$ like this.
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