Recently I’ve found myself searching for a tank that’s both easy to use and great on flavour and vapour, basically the holy grail of atomizers (Not too much to ask is it?). Does the Stratos fill those massive shoes?
The Stratos is a tank created by the “The Council of Vapor”. Designed in Los Angeles by a group of passionate vapers, their products are crafted in Taiwan. Founded in 2013, they have been creating a fair amount of buzz in the US and their products are now starting to filter into Europe thanks to Sky Throne Limited, owners of TruVape and Alchemy E-Liquid, who have won sole distribution rights in the UK and Europe and have kindly sent me this tank for review.
- Glass and stainless steel or glass and 24k gold plated brass finish
- 510 thread compatible
- Replaceable coil heads (0.8 Ω, 1.2 Ω, 2.0 Ω, 2.4 Ω)
- Adjustable Airflow
- Glass tank section
- Glass drip tip
The packaging for the Stratos is a dark, hearty wood effect with gold embossed print that certainly gives the product a sense of gravitas. I was quite surprised at the quality of the packaging for a product that sits in the £30-£40 range.
The real treat comes when you slide open the box and see the stunning glass and (in my case) stainless steel tank for the first time. I’ve got to say, it’s a beautiful piece of kit. Every line and edge machined perfectly so that the tank emits an air of quality. Council of Vapor obviously care about their product and go to great lengths to ensure it lives up to both their and our expectations. I was especially taken with the drip tip, the 45 degree angle on the top of the glass looks great!
I was also pleased to note upon opening the tank that there is already an atomizer inside the Stratos and therefore the atomizer in the box was a spare replaceable atomizer head.
One final thing to note, and it’s a “big” one, is that this tank is huge! At 76.5mm (with the drip tip) it stands almost as tall as my Vapourshark rDNA. While this may be a deal breaker for some, for me, the ability to fill around 3ml of e-liquid and not have to worry for the rest of the day is definitely a time saver and adds a point to the ease of use category.
Ready for Action
Filling the Stratos proved to be a simple task. The bottom of the tank screws off with enough tension to stop if coming apart in your pocket but not so much that you find yourself skinning your hands and reaching for the nearest tea towel.
Not quite so simple was the removal and subsequent re-insertion of the drip tip. For a moment I wondered if it was even supposed to come off as I was tugging away at it but after close inspection I realised that it does. A firm amount of very careful and obviously technical wiggling was required to get it back where it belonged but this may well be a foible with my particular tank and a few times of removing and replacing sorted it.
There’s plenty of space around the inner tube to fill both with syringe and straight from the bottle (that ease of use thing again!).
Having a coil head already in the tank was an obvious bonus but changing it couldn’t be simpler. Just twist the head out as you would with a nature vape and screw the new one in. The thoughtful people at Council of Vapour have even grooved the top of the atomizer to make sure you can get a decent grip.
While I’m on the subject of the coil head, these babies are on the large side too. Going back to my old friend, the NatureVape atomizer, the Stratos version stands at almost twice the height! One thing I would be remiss to exclude here though is that these atomizers are not rebuildable and a new pack of 5 will cost you somewhere in the region of £12, the actual head itself features a dual coil with ceramic wick which may account for some of the size. The sides of the coil head have liquid flow holes which, so far, have performed excellently. After a week of solid use I’ve not had a dry burn or gurgle from the Stratos.
Airflow is controlled by a series of four holes that increase in size ranging from very tight to light and airy.
I tested this tank on a number of different mods and batteries, but due to its size settled on my trusty Vaporshark rDNA.
The tank came pre-loaded with the 2.4 Ω coil and after a day or so of playing with wattages, I finally settled on 15 watts. For me this provides the perfect balance of flavour and vapour and adds a pleasing warmth to the e-liquid.
I’ve tried a few different liquids and settled on a tasty 50/50 PG/VG liquid at 12mg, but obviously this is down to personal preference.
How Does it Vape?
Unsurprisingly, this dual coil, ceramic wicked behemoth vapes wonderfully! I’ve found that a whole new level of complexity has been added to my Five Pawns Gambit that I never knew existed. The coil heads wick well and produce a decent cloud of vapour. You may not be cloud chasing but you’ll certainly be producing more vapour than most.
I may be a purist but I also firmly believe that a glass tank gives a better, cleaner flavour to any liquid and certainly has the advantage of not cracking when certain juices are added. In my eyes, beer from a can will never live up to the taste of the same from a bottle; and wine in plastic bottles? Don’t get me started!
Altogether I’d say that the experience of vaping with the Stratos is a satisfying one, once you get past the sheer size of the thing it’s a beautiful and functional piece of engineering. After months of knocking anything that isn’t my Kayfun, I’ve finally found something that produces a sound vaping experience coupled with ease of use and looks both fresh and smart.
If you love your coil building and small tanks, this may not be for you, unless (like me) you occasionally just want something that works well without the fiddle.
If you’re looking for a tank that boasts great flavour, vapour and price, I don’t think you can go far wrong with the Stratos and it has earned its place amongst my favourite vaping paraphernalia.
Please note that the Stratos in this review is the US version. The European version is rumored to look similar to a Kayfun but I haven't seen it yet.
The Stratos will be available to purchase soon from TruVape and will RRP at £32-£36 depending on finish.