This is the first in a series of reviews where we look at the “new” range of sub ohm tanks that started to hit the market late last year, starting with the Aspire Atlantis.
The Atlantis comes from Aspire, a name I trusted from my days with the Aspire BDC tanks. They were a brilliant step up from CE4s but little did I realise at the time how quickly things change in the vaping world. There has been a massive shift in the market this year with the introduction of the new breed of sub ohm tanks and I hope this review will be of use to some of you who struggled like I did when I initially got this tank.
Like many vapers who started in the past year or so, my initial set up was an ego twist and a few CE4 clearomisers. They did the job, they got me off the stinkies and into this crazy world of vaping. But they simply weren’t enough - prone to leaks, inconsistent flavour, short life-span - overall not a great product. I moved on to Aspire BDCs after a month or so and they lasted me really well, until I was shown the Nature Vape tanks, I have been on them ever since.
Having not been able to get my sub ohming set up sorted the traditional way I couldn’t wait to try it out. I was never a heavy smoker so when I started vaping I went straight for 6mg eliquids and have stayed with that ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I can build coils. I do my own micro coils with no resistance legs for my NV tanks and I can happily coil a Kayfun - it was the act of sub ohming that eluded me. I understood airflow was key thanks to meeting Raguri at Vapefest last year and having a toot on his set up. “Suck before you hit the button” was his sage advice to me at the time. It still hurt though! I’ve had a few stabs at getting drippers to perform like I see others on the forum using them but I don’t have a huge amount of spare time and I was happy with my set up and the heat of the vapour produced by my initial attempts were disappointing to say the least.
Anyway, let’s have a look at what you get in the box. Like I said before, Aspire is a trusted name and the build of the item and packaging were as expected. For a cost of £30 the packaging wasn’t going to be spectacular but I am used to getting tanks in cellophane wrapping so a box is a step up in many ways. The kit comprises of the tank, already assembled with a coil in it, and a spare coil and spare glass in the under layer. Not a blue handled screw driver in site. Sweet! That’s all there is to it, no more complex than a second-level clearo in my opinion.
Before we go any further let’s have a nod to safe vaping, not that bloke from YouTube, but making sure you don’t have a mishap when using these tanks. Be safe before you use it, make sure your set up will handle very low ohm builds. Despite saying this, Aspire don’t help much - there are no warnings on the box about using it safely or guidelines for the type of set up required. We will put a guide up shortly about safe vaping with sub ohm tanks but in the meantime here’s a tip:
Tip 1 - Don’t be a plonker, make sure the hardware you use this tank on is capable of firing low ohm builds and that the battery in the device is capable of handling the amp drain required.
The bottom assembly is easy to unscrew and in the few weeks that I have been using it successfully I haven’t had to struggle to get it removed, unlike my Mini Nautilus which at times has been almost impossible to unscrew. Filling the tank is dead easy, just upturn the tank and go for it. Nice wide gaps between the coil head tube and the tank so will fit pretty much anything, glass pipette style, fat plastic nozzles - all worked with no spills. You can fill it up to the top by putting the coil into the top section of the tank when you fill and then screw the bottom back on.
The wicking material in these tanks is not silica based and will burn if not soaked with eliquid. I have heard that there will be new heads coming out shortly that are cotton but the ones I have use the same ceramic wicking material as the Nautilus Mini BVC heads and they do scorch when dry:
Tip 2 - When you fill the tank make sure you put a few drips into the coil head as well. Reassemble the tank and do a few draws through it without hitting the power button. Then leave it to stand for a minute or two before letting fly with the power switch.
Right then, this is going to be a piece of cake, pour in the juice in the tank, stick the tank on the mod, hit the button and I will be in cloud heaven... WTF! Hurt. This was at 20W, any lower than this and vapour production was utter rubbish. I had to be doing something wrong. I tried high VG liquids (70VG / 30PG) and it still hurt. Damn.
It took me a week or two to suss it. Nic level. Even at my puny intake of 6mg I needed to step it down a level to get a flavoursome vape. One of the things that twigged me to this was an increase in heart rate on using it. A sure sign of too much nic. Never enough to concern me or give me a headache etc, just enough to let me know that I was getting more of a nic kick than usual. So:
Tip 3 - When using any of these sub ohm tanks, if they are unpleasant to vape the change down your nic level.
Once I had this sussed it became fun to use. Glorious amounts of vapour. I have used juices ranging from 50/50 to 80VG/20PG and it handles them with ease, never had a dry hit. It has not leaked either, I have left it on its side on the desk or in my bag when going to work - even with the airflow wide open it hasn’t lost a drop.
The airflow is massive. I only tend to use it on the widest open setting and it suits me fine. The supplied drip tip works well too so no problems there either. With this much airflow this tank is designed to be straight to lung inhaled. As a smoker of 27 years I had never direct to lung inhaled but with vaping it is a good way of getting more vapour out of your set up. These tanks need - no demand - to be inhaled direct to the lungs. No taking the vapour into your mouth and then inhaling it in short puffs that simply won’t work. If you are finding the vapour too hot then this may be your problem. Without the suck straight to the lungs the vapour heats up too much and will be unpleasant and you won’t get large plumes of vapour.
Tip 4 - Be prepared to inhale the vapour direct to your lungs. If you don’t want to use this style of vaping then don’t buy these tanks.
So with these few little tips you should be getting a pleasant vape that doesn’t hurt and produces really good clouds. But there’s the last point to consider when looking at these tanks. It’s a simple equation, more clouds means more eliquid is being used and the more you use the more it costs. With USA premium juices costing up to £27 for 30ml (almost £1 per ml) you won’t want to be constantly sub ohming these juices, unless you are very wealthy. Even UK premium juices at half the price of the imports are going to cost you a fair whack. I can easily do 5ml a day when using only this tank, so at UK premium juice prices that’s going to cost me £2.50 a day - £17.50 a week. This is over double what I used to spend on tobacco and it doesn’t sit easy with me. Like a lot of you I have started home mixing and am happy with the results and this has brought costs down massively for me.
Tip 5 - Ask for a pay rise or learn to mix - these tanks consume juice at a really fast rate.
The tank looks really good, it is a well-crafted item and the component parts fit together really well. Height-wise it is only 4mm taller than a Nature Vape tank, it is even shorter than my old favourites the Aspire BDC. The Subtank Mini is shorter by a mm or two due to the protrusion at the top of the Atlantis. The tank fits nicely on all my box mods but have been mainly using it on my Smok XProM50.
Again a lack of detail on the packaging but looking closely at the coil shows 0.5 ohm with a recommended power usage of 20-30W. My set up has shown a consistent resistance of 0.5 ohm but I have been happily using the tank at a power setting of 35W with no problems.
Cleaning is a doddle. As mentioned before the tank is really well built and even though it has the same massive soft plastic seal arrangement at the bottom of the tank the same as the Mini Nautilus I haven’t had to resort to rubber bands to take it apart yet. The bottom assembly comes apart really easily, the only thing a bit tricky is where the glass tank attaches to the top cap. There is a serrated metal ring at the top where the tank is tightly held in place against another soft plastic ring to keep the tank from leaking. This needs a bit of a twist and a wiggle to get it out so that the whole set up can be cleaned.
Due to the amount of juice that gets sucked through this though I have never needed to clean it that much when changing juices. A good rinse of the glass and a dry with some kitchen towel and it has been fine to fill again and within a couple of good sucks the new flavour is coming through fully. Yes if you are using very strong flavours it may need more of a clean and even a change of coil to eradicate the flavour fully.
Coil life time
Coil life is good, I have run four tanks through it with three different liquids and it is still going strong. Replacement coils cost from around £1.75 so the same cost as most pre-made coils on the market. Make sure you factor in the cost of changing these every so often when you are looking at the affordability of this item.
Slight annoyance with the tank capacity, at 2.0ml it needs filling a couple of times a day for me so when at work I need to take a bottle out with me. Not a major concern but something to be aware of. There is a 5ml replacement tank out there which for £7 or so which I have toyed with getting but I am not convinced that I want the increase in size in my overall vape set up.
The flavour is good through this tank. I have been mainly vaping my custard ADV, I know the flavour well and the Atlantis does do it justice. I can’t say that the flavour is better than my usual Nature Vape set up @1.4 ohm / 10.5W with a mouth to lung draw. I have also thrown caution to the wind and put a ml or so of Five Pawns Castle Long in there. It was the only Five Pawns liquid that I had at 3mg as have been considering dropping a nic level for a while. Again the flavour from the Atlantis is good but really not a vast improved upon from my clearo set up. Maybe I have been spoilt with the Nature Vape set up, they really do provide amazing flavour.
You can get this tank for around $30 if you are prepared to wait a bit for delivery or for around £30 direct from a UK seller. If you want to sub ohm but don’t want to coil yourself then it is a really good option. If you are happy with your current vape set up then my advice would be not to change. You don’t need to spend more money on a higher juice consumption - but it is fun!
Another note, this excursion into sub ohming has got me interested again in this type of set up. Since getting the juice and mod set up working for me I have had success with RDAs that had laid dormant in the vape box since last year and I have also been using the YouDe Goblin and we’ll put a review up of that shortly.
There are a lot of other sub ohm tanks on the market too, The Kanger Subtank and its little brothers, there is also the Freemax Starre which has now hit the UK shores and we will get a look at that as well very soon - that one comes with 0.5 or 0.25 ohm coils…
I purchased this item from Ecigproseller - a relatively new seller based in ShenZen, China. We were also sent a unit free of charge from John at Hawk Vape - and we will give this away in a competition which you can enter here.