Freemax Mesh Pro review by junglist

Review Date: 
23.10.2018

Freemax Mesh Pro

Freemax were there at the start of the sub ohm tank trend: up until then, sub ohming was the pastime of a few vapers who didn’t mind messing with drippers and who knew their battery safety well.  Back in late 2014 we saw a raft of sub ohm tanks coming on to the market that used stock coils and allowed the everyday vaper to sub ohm to their heart’s content.  I had tried to sub ohm a lot around that time and had used drippers a lot, but it was really only with the introduction of these tanks that I really started to get some enjoyment from it.  We know from our forum members that for some vapers, mouth to lung vaping just didn’t cut it, it was only when they tried sub ohm vaping that they got an experience that was pleasurable enough for them to make the switch completely from smoking and vaping to only vaping – a complete cessation of combustible tobacco – result! So we have a lot to thank companies like Freemax for, without the pushing of this side of the market we might not have seen the amount of people in the UK switch that we have.

Back in March 2015 we reviewed the main tanks on the market at the time, the Kanger Subtank(s), the Aspire Atlantis and the Freemax Starre.  For me, the flavour and ease of use of the Freemax Starre (especially with the 0.5ohm coils) was the winner – the flavour and clouds from this tank was a firm favourite of mine for a good year or more afterwards.  

Later on from Freemax we had the Freemax Starre Pro, Freemax Starre Pure, The Freemax Scylla and the Freemax Starre RDTA.  All good in their own respects but nothing ground-breaking like the Starre was at the time.

The Mesh Pro has been out for a few months now, along with a slew of other mesh stock-coil tanks – so is mesh a worthwhile new trend or is it a case of the Emperor’s new clothes?  Let’s have a look and find out!

Freemax Mesh Pro Tank Specs

  • 25mm diameter
  • 2ml capacity with optional 4, 5 and 6ml glasses available
  • 810 drip tip
  • Made from Stainless Steel and Resin
  • Gold-plated adjustable 510 pin
  • Push button top fill opening

Freemax Mesh Pro Coil Options

The coils on the market for this tank are also compatible with the Fireluke, Fireluke Pro and Mesh Pro tanks – there are options for mesh coils and regular coils, four of each type:

  • Firelock Sextuple Coil – 0.15Ω (60-140W)
  • Firelock Duodenary Coil – 0.15Ω (80-180W)
  • Kanthal DVC Coil 0.25Ω – (50-100W)
  • Kanthal DVC Coil 0.15Ω – (60-120W)
  • Kanthal Single Mesh Coil – 0.15Ω (40-70W)
  • Kanthal Double Mesh Coil – 0.2Ω (60-90W)
  • Kanthal Triple Mesh Coil – 0.15Ω (80-110W)
  • SS316L Single Mesh Coil – 0.12Ω (400°F – 550°F)

What’s in the box?

We received the non-TPD products for review and to giveaway, I have checked UK stockists of the tank and the contents are the same although there were a few listings that did not show a replacement glass in the 2ml version.  One thing that really surprised me was the number of UK vendors who were selling the tank either with a 5 or 6ml bubble glass included or just the 6ml version on its own.  Seems like there are a fair few people out there ignoring the legislation completely...

The kit contains:

  • 1 x Freemax Mesh Pro Tank
  • 1 x Kanthal Double Mesh Coil (installed)
  • 1 x Kanthal Single Mesh Coil
  • Replacement Bubble Glass
  • Replacement O-rings

Mesh stock coils for vaping – what’s the fuss?

So, mesh coils.  Why has there been a shift recently to stock coils of this type?  I have used mesh only a handful of times, when used as a wick in tanks like the Nextiny and NextEra from VapeWareMods.  With these tanks, a mesh roll acts as the wick and the heating element all in one.  The change that we are seeing here is where the mesh is being used simply as the heating element (in the same way that a Kanthal or SS wire is used in most stock-coil tanks) and a traditional cotton wicking material is used in conjunction with it to vapourise juice that has been soaked into the cotton.  The benefits of using mesh over traditional round wire is that the ramp up time is much quicker, and, due to the larger surface area of the mesh compared to a coiled length of wire, it is much better at producing larger volumes of vapour when used in this way.

There have been some downsides reported with some earlier mesh coil set ups, they can produce killer dry hits!  I will admit to not having tried any of the earlier mesh coil tanks, and I guess I am thankful for not having had a dry hit from the Freemax Mesh pro, but I guess it goes to figure - the large surface area of the mesh covers a lot of cotton, these coils can fire at big wattages - hit that when it is dry and you will get an almighty lungful of burning harshness.  Fast wicking with these mesh coils is essential and this is where Freemax seem to have nailed it.

Freemax were kind enough to send us a pack of each of the new mesh coils – the three Kanthal ones and the SS temp control one too.  When I opened the tank and looked at the pre-installed coil through the glass the first thing that struck me was that there was space between the top of the wick and the hole in the tank, I thought this was a duff unit so had a look at the pack of supplied coils, all of them bar the two single mesh coil heads (Kanthal and SS) don’t have this gap, but the dual and triple mesh coils both do. 

On further investigation, this is to help avoid those nasty dry hits - Freemax have designed these coils to allow juice to enter through these holes to help keep the main coils saturated.  The cotton you can see on the outside of the tanks on these two models is not cotton that is connected to the mesh coils, the coils are in the centre of the tank and the cotton they contact with don’t run around the outside of the tank itself.  Like I said, this design is purely to keep those coils as wet as possible to make sure you don’t suffer a mesh dry hit – the gaps allow juice to get into the middle section of the coil and keep the cotton around the coils well soaked.

So the potential for a dry hit from these tanks is low – but the benefits of the mesh coils are big, the increased surface area of the heating element gives some really great clouds and great flavour.

Design and Manufacturing

Enough about the coils!  Let’s have a look at the tank itself.  I think this is going to be a marmite tank for a lot of people, and the YouTube reviews of it that I watched either proclaimed it to be the ugliest tank ever or were fairly neutral about its looks.  We got the worldwide versions in for review and giveaway, these come installed with a fairly bulbous glass installed but the spare glass in the box is an even bigger bubble glass.  The installed glass gives the tank a capacity of 5ml, these tanks are big drinkers as I am sure you will realise, so you can use the bubble glass in the box to give you a 6ml capacity.  The installed glass looks pretty meaty, the bubble glass pushes it to another level of massive.  Bear in mind as well that this is a 25mm tank, so make sure you have a mod big enough to accommodate it if you are going to grab one.

The resin / Stainless Steel build is of a really good quality.  The matching top cap, drip tip and airflow rings in resin really help to keep the weight of the tank down and, in the brightly coloured versions, gives a very eye catching, distinctive look.  I don’t think the tank looks bad at all in some of the colour ranges, and there are 17 different designs to choose from at present!  Six of these are of the resin type that we were sent to check out, six more have a carbon fibre type design and five more have a metallic look with swirly cut outs. 

If discretion and stealth are your objectives, then due to the size and design of these tanks they probably aren’t for you – but then again if you want to be vaping at 70W plus with coils that run though liquid like V8 gets through petrol then discretion and stealth probably aren’t your thing anyway!

As usual with these bubble tanks, my main concern is always going to be breaking the glass when your mod falls over on the table or takes a tumble to the floor.  The glass is reasonably thick though so should withstand the odd drop, it’s going to break if you hit it at the right angle but so is any tank.  The installed 5ml glass is pretty level with the top cap and airflow control though so at least if it hits the floor level then it won’t be hitting straight on the glass, the 6ml bubble glass does protrude though so that’s the main one that the accident-prone vaper should avoid.

The tank came apart nicely every time I took it apart to try the different coils, the coil screws into the base section and then the top screws on, attaching to the top of the coil.  Everything screws together nicely, the O-rings on the top and bottom sections push into the glass nicely and everything feels snug and secure and I had zero leaks when using this tank.  All in all this is a well designed and manufactured tank and should last you a good amount of time.

Freemax Mesh Pro – Use and Performance

The Mesh Pro is a breeze to use and, as described above, the tank fits together really well and I had no jams when taking it apart.

The tank has an adjustable bottom pin as well – so if you find your resistance reading is jumping about when in use then that’s the first place to look.  You can undo the screw a bit to give you a bit of extra length and then try the tank on your mod again to see if it fixes the issue.  I didn’t have any connection issues on any of the mods that I tried it with but if you do get a connection issue then it is good to know you can give it a tweak.

Filling is easy as well – there is a red dot on the top cap, put your thumb against this and give it a push towards the middle of the tank and the top cap will push back to reveal the filling hole.  When you have pushed the top cap back take a look down the drip tip – you will see a little hole beneath the drip tip and this really helps with the juice bubbling back from the filling hole which is an issue with some tanks. When you fill the Mesh Pro, the air being displaced from the tank is able to escape through the hole under the drip tip, so keep the filling hole to bottom and tilt the top of the tank towards you and the air can escape easily.

The different glass sizes you can get for the tank (5ml fitted, 6ml included and others available for those that are interested) is a good feature – these change the aesthetics of the tank considerably and, if you aren’t a heavy vaper and don’t rip through 6ml every few hours then a smaller glass might save you a breakage and give you a slightly nicer looking set up.

To prime these coils before vaping I did the same as I would do with any other stock coil tank.  Firstly, make sure that the coil is screwed down nice and tightly onto the base of the tank. Then get your bottle of juice, apply some to the outside wicking material that you can see on the outside of the coil and then put a few drops into each of the coil holes themselves inside the tank.  Once you have a good bit of juice on there, you can screw on the top cap and glass and use the top filling mechanism to fill your tank with juice.  Give it a few good primer pulls (suck on the tank without pressing the fire button on your mod), leave it a few seconds and then do it again, you should see some bubbles rising in the tank which shows that the wicking material is getting full of juice – and then you are good to go!

From my experience with these coils, they all needed a tank or three through them before the flavour reached its peak so don’t let the first few draws disappoint you in terms of flavour.  The really good thing about these coils though is the lifespan though and I’ll take a bit more of a look at this shortly.

One note about the packs of replacement coils that I got – many of them had the O-ring loose in the packet or in completely the wrong place on the coil.  On the coil you will see two notches above the bottom screws on the coil – put the O-ring in the top one to make sure you don’t get any leaks!

Individual Coil Performance

Included with the Freemax Mesh Pro you will get a Kanthal Double Mesh coil installed in the tank and a spare Kanthal Single Mesh coil in the box.  vWe were also sent the Kanthal Triple Mesh and SS316L Single Mesh – so let’s have a closer look at each of them now.

Kanthal Single Mesh

This is the least rowdy of the group, it has a resistance of 0.15Ω and a recommended power range of 40-70W.  As mentioned earlier in the review, this coil does not have spaces in the wicking material around the edge of the coil, this is because this is the wicking material that the coil comes into contact with.  At 40W this is an OK vape and will suit those of you that don’t want or need a huge cloud and the vapour is luke-warm.

Chain vaping at 70W is just about possible but it does give a hint of burn for me so if you plan on hitting this tank a lot then you might not want to use it at its max power rating.

I found this coil worked best for me at around 60W, the flavour was good, and the vapour production is medium in terms of sub ohm tanks. This tank seems noisier when the single coil is installed, not too sure why this would be but if you don’t like a noisy vape then it might be best to avoid these coils.

Kanthal Double Mesh

These coils have a resistance of 0.2Ω and a recommended power rating of 60-90W.  This is my favourite of the three traditional non-SS coils – the vapour is thicker than the single coil and the flavour is up there with anything else that I have tried.  Coil life-span is pretty good too, I used mine solidly for a week and it is still going.

Kanthal Triple Mesh

These coils have a resistance of 0.15Ω and a recommended power rating of 90-110W.  The vape from these coils is thick and dense the same as the Double Mesh coils, but in all honesty I didn’t notice in any difference in terms of the level of flavour.  If you want to push out a hotter vape and increase the volume the vapour over the dual coil that comes with the mod though you might want to give these a try!

SS316L Single Mesh

These coils are built for temp control vaping, they have a resistance of 0.12Ω and a recommended temperature range of 400-530F.  I tested these on a Lost Vape Therion, the tank has considerable overhang on this mod, it isn’t the prettiest of pairings!  The temp control worked flawlessly and a temp of 500F gives a really good vape.  Coil lifespan is up there with the dual coil, it is only these two coils that I have spent a good amount of time with and I haven’t reached the point of wanting to change either of them yet so as long as you prime your coils well and don’t ramp up the power too much you will get good value for money from these mesh coils.

Conclusion

I was really impressed with the Mesh Pro.  The options in terms of glass sizes and coils that you can use, the ones Freemax sent us and the Firelock range, give a great amount of options.  The top fill is really clean and easy, one of the best top fills that I have used in terms of ease – the only downside is it could do with a bit more resistance to the push opening to make sure that accidental pocket or back knocks don’t push it open and cause a leak.

The coils are long-lasting, much more so that the traditional round wire stock coils that I have tried in the last year or so.  On the double and triple coil heads the flavour and vapour production were really, really good.  I don’t think you will find a set up that is any better.

Taking it apart and cleaning the tank is a breeze, the only downside with potential leak issues was down to some of the replacement coils not having the O-ring properly fitted, so as long as you keep an eye on these then you should have a leak-free vaping experience with this tank.

The only downside that I can really level at this tank is the cost of replacement coils in comparison to rebuildables.  A three pack of coils will set you back anywhere from £9-15 – so make sure you shop around for the best price if you go for one of these tanks.  Three coils in a pack isn’t a huge amount, but the lifespan of the coils is far better than most – so overall this isn’t too expensive an option, especially when juice is at its lowest price ever.  The cost-conscious vaper could happily live with one of these tanks, keep the sugary juices to a minimum and a pack of three coils could easily last a month or so.

So there you have it – Mesh coils for the win – definitely worth a try if big clouds and big flavour are your thing.  You can check out all the designs and more info on the tank on the Freemax website here - http://www.freemaxvape.com/meshpro/.  Freemax sent us six of these tanks, I only used one in testing so that we could give away as many as possible!  If you like the sound of this then we are giving away three of these tanks on our competition page here and two on the forum here.  Good luck apes!!