Vaping Hidden Gems

Considering that vaping has been around for the past 10 years, plenty of different products have been released coming in so many different shapes and sizes. We are at the point where everything has been done now, from gimmicky ideas to bizarre designs from many different companies who are either growing or out of business. We often think of vaping as the here and now, concentrate on what is coming out rather than what is already available from the past and because of that, plenty of products remain unloved rather than being the prized possession of many vapers. At some point or other, there is always the best selling mods, from the Smok designs, to the Drag, to even Sigelei at one point. There is always a vaper who has what many to be a rare mod that was readily available at the time of release but it was simply overlooked. So it is interesting to take a look back at some of the more overlooked products that may still prove to be a big hit for vapers these days. What I want to do is look at products that were often overlooked at their time but still proved to be a fantastic purchase, even now. I want to explore the gimmicks, the great performers and simply great options now on a budget and see what mods you may have missed out on well worthy of a second chance. We will start with arguably the most –overlooked device in the past few years, from a company you may have already purchased from before.

Voopoo Alpha Zip

Voopoo are known for two of the most popular mods released in recent years with the Drag series (1+2) which has been their product leader for a fair few years now. The Drag was what catapulted Voopoo into the big league with the fantastic performing mod proving to be a big hit upon its release. The Drag 2 maintained the quality through the Gene chip that offered brilliant mid range performance that almost bridged the gap between top end and cheaper devices. When you think of the branding, it is almost synonymous with the drag name that emblazons the mods so many of the other products get overlooked in their shadow. However one device that people just didn’t notice upon on release was the Voopoo Alpha Zip in 2019.

The Alpha Zip was a brilliant device that took everything that made the drag popular and turned it into something far better. It uses the same Gene Fit Chip as the Drag 2 did, giving vapers the same performance levels and options. What was different at the time was that the body was a stainless steel as opposed to the average paint job on its bigger brother. It refines the performance into a more traditional style mod with a lovely looking panel design that was striking in the gold/silver combination. The Alpha Zip improved on many of the Drag’s flaws bringing out a very solid device that should have been more popular than what it turned out to be. The device superseded the revamped platinum series for the Drag 2 making this one of the most overlooked devices in recent years certainly.

You can probably pick this one up for cheaper than the second revision of the drag recently released and what is better is the Maat tank rather than the Uforce 2 comes packaged giving it an overall perfect kit to pick up and go with.

Smok TFV16 tank

Smok have had a colourful history when it comes to sub ohm tanks, veering from great to terrible upon each new release over the years. You can go as far back as the Smok TFV4 tank to see where the ambition lay with the company. Taking the sub ohm tank and adding 3 more coils for the bigger is better attitude, the tank was very much hit and miss, but it laid down where the future lay for Smok. Moving on from there and you saw not only the TFV series grow but other tanks become really popular, from the baby beast to the many incarnations of the smok tank released recently. So it is with great surprise that one doesn’t get talked about, but really should be , the Smok TVF16.

Continuing the TFV range, long since forgotten since the 12 alteration, the TFV16 sought to mix the old with the new, give you the old style tank with new coil technology and it works wonderfully so. The big coils offer fantastic flavour and coil life of 3-4 weeks with even sweet juices, dwarfing the lifespan for many other tanks. It comes with a bubble glass outside the EU offering 9mils of capacity and from the looks and design, it is very much reminiscent of their heyday in the V8 of the tank years prior. It is such a surprise that this tank has gone under the radar as much as it does with very few people knowing just how good the tank is.

If you want a sub ohm tank that combines power with flavour, coil performance and reliability and throws in a giant capacity as well, you can’t do much better than the Smok TFV16. Coming as part of a Smok kit or a stand alone, if you like to sub ohm this one will be perfect for you.

Joyetech Espion Tour

Joyetech have been involved in the vaping industry more or less since the beginning , always present without ever standing out. They are a great company with some wonderful products over the year but vapers have never really fell for them the same as the company of the month fashionable names seem to get. Joyetech are reliable, different and have always tried to strive towards something different, to push technology on. It was made really apparent back in 2018 with the release of the Ultex T80 kit with combined a single battery mod with something rather unique. The cubis max tank, offering coil-less technology utilising a heating plate instead was revolutionary and proved to be a very solid alternative to sub ohm tanks. It was cost effective, long lasting and performed pretty well, especially given the idea being fairly new. Vapers didn’t really fall in love the with idea however and it never went any further unfortunately, but from this idea came one of the most under rated kits of the past few years, the Joyetech Espion Tour.

The Espion tour took inspiration from a travelling device that offered to be cheaper yet as well performing as some of its rivals at the time. It combined two wonderful products into one kit and yet, no-one seemed to talk about it. The tank was the Cubis Max so it came with a wonderfully unique coil-less system but the mod was a whole other experience. It is a dual 18650w plastic device but its major selling point was….battery life. At the time of the Drag 2 and others, the Espion tour outperformed its competition by a day at around 50w, over two days worth of battery life. It is a fantastic cheap light mod that lasts for ages without changing batteries and would make a perfect travel mod to take with you anywhere. Look past the unpleasant (admittedly) bright colour and plastic case and you will find a kit that offers fantastic performance at lower sub ohm power levels.

This kit may be a little harder to come by these days but at only 18 months old, it will still be readily available for a decent price so if you want easy carry around mod then this will excel in terms of battery performance.

Aspire Feedlink

When it comes to Aspire, you really think of MTL devices and not much else these days. They have flooded the market with many different pod system devices over the last year that the spirit of the Nautilus has well and truly been rand into the ground. That is not to say these devices aren’t worth your money because they are of a high quality, that is the least you can expect from Aspire but they just aren’t the same as back when the Nautilus reigned supreme for years almost. Aspire also laid claim to being the very first company to take vaping into sub ohm terratory with the release of the Atlantis, which then followed a high standard in vaping with the Cleito following just a couple of years later. So what if I told you there was another Aspire product that largely flew under the radar but for both quality and performance rivals some of the best? Enter, the Aspire Feedlink.

Back in December 2017 Aspire released the Revvo tank, a disc shaped coil tank that worked by naturally tipping your vape to saturate the coil. It provided good flavour, good coil life and it seemed to be the start of something new and great but the idea didn’t really go anywhere. Partly because it was outperformed by some of the best sub ohm tanks of all time released in the same year but it lacked the same draw as previous tanks did. When the Revvo was re-released in a kit 5 months later however, the real hidden gem was found alongside it in the box. The Aspire Feedlink is a semi mech mod device that is capable of matching up to 80w in power using a single 18650. The body is made from metal, it had built in protections and it came with Aspire’s only ever attempt at making a squonk device. The device is small yet weighty, it is simplified for more basic vaping and it came with the revvo tank built in with squonking capability. The Feedlink however was a fantastic little device for anyone who wanted a basic squonking set up or who wanted one that would be very travel friendly. It proved to be the perfect gateway into trying squonking without having to learn all the ohms law that usually comes with it. For anyone who does understand about rebuilding then it can prove to be a very high quality device for on the go, without having to concern yourself with adjusting your vape.

You can pick this up still but if you want to try squonking or want a simple yet excellently made device for your favourite squonk RDA then this one will be a very good addition to your collection. The tank may be an afterthought to you but the mod is as good as anything in its field for simplicity.

Horizontech Arco 2

It is funny to include this company in a list of under rated vaping devices because, well they are just not associated with such a standard. Since the Falcon released Horizontech have been at the forefront of the sub ohm market with hit after hit being released. The Falcon King was a great update to the original tank and the Falcon 2 has taken the flavour and performance of the original and made it even better. The thing is, you have heard of these tanks, the Arco, not so much. What if I told you that Horizontech was making quality products before anyone had really heard of them? They had pedigree before they were crowned as kings of Sub ohm and the Arco 2 was proof of this.

The Arco 2 came with everything that a vaper could want from a sub ohm tank yet no-one seemed to talk about it. It was a sub ohm tank with good capacity, great coil performance and most importantly, coil technology. Long before the falcon brought its F coils containing Flax paper, the Arco did it first. Releasing at a time when tanks such as the baby beast, cleito and the released Crown 3 were dominating headlines. The Arco 2 was a massive improvement on the original in every way. For the most part it was the foundation for Horizontech to truly perfect the sub ohm design but for its time it was as good as anything on the market. It may now be outclassed by its older brothers from its parent but the Arco 2 still stands up as a pretty decent sub ohm tank for flavour, especially at the right price.

If you want a cheap cheerful and most importantly quality vape then the Arco 2 still may be worth a pick up , even if it is just for a collection of the very best of vaping over the years.

Wotofo Elder Dragon

Wotofo are a name in rebuildables that can hold its torch to anyone else. The company that released products such as the recurve, profile and serpent has hit after hit in its arsenal with rebuildable vapers. However it is one that largely goes under the radar that is the surprise hit of them all, with some saying it was better than the recurve, the Elder Dragon. At the time the recurve was one of the most popular RDA devices on the market and everyone talked about it like it was the best money could buy. A collaboration between Mike Vapes and Wotofo, the recurve was popular a year after its release and it seems like the nautilus years earlier, would dominate its field for many more to come. However the release of the Elder Dragon was criminally under appreciated but it provided an RDA that potentially matched the recurve for both quality and more importantly, accessibility. The Unique design of the RDA was a selling point all on its own but the Elder Dragon brought something that its elder brother didn’t, ease of use. The single deck and postless RDA combined easy building with large airflow and it became a fantastic little tool for anyone wanting to start building coils in a dripper environment. With a clever airflow technique that took it underneath the coil for additional flavour, deep wells for over filling and squonk compatibility, this little gem was largely forgotten yet still stands up against anything else out there.

The Elder Dragon may not rival some of the very best in its field for seasoned builders but the ease of use, great flavour, smooth airflow and wonderful design make this a wonderfully hidden gem that is still probably available for a good price. If you have ever thought about getting into drippers, you can’t get much better than the Elder Dragon.

 

That is just some of our hidden gems here at Drip Hacks that still provide value for money even years after their release. Let us know if you have ever owned one of these and give us your thoughts. Alternatively let us know your hidden gems and maybe one day we will feature them ina hidden gems part 2.

 

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