You probably didn’t need us to tell you this – but blowing huge clouds when you vape is a lot of fun. When you started vaping, it was simply about finding an alternative to cigarette smoking with the potential to be less harmful. Many people who switch to vaping, though, eventually find that vaping has become more of a hobby for them than a simple means of nicotine replacement. For some, vaping even becomes a passion – and if that statement rings true to you, you’ve probably dabbled in a bit of cloud chasing during your time as a vaper.
The best thing about cloud chasing is that it is more fun today than it ever was before. In the past, you really needed to build your own coils if you wanted to experience the biggest clouds that the world of vaping had to offer. That took some people out of the cloud chasing game by default, because coil building is an activity that some people find incredibly tedious. Sure, you could get bigger clouds if you built your own coils, but that would be close to 20 minutes of work, and a sub-ohm tank could get you almost all of the way there with none of the effort.
While rebuildable atomizers have certainly enjoyed plenty of mainstream popularity within the hobbyist vaping community, sub-ohm tanks remain – by far – what most vapers use.
As you’re about to learn, there has never been a better time to use a sub-ohm tank – and that’s because the technology powering these tanks has advanced so far in the past couple of years. Sub-ohm tanks have gotten so good that most people don’t even know how to build coils capable of competing with the pre-built coils that they can just screw in and use.
It used to be that an RDA with a simple dual-coil build could easily generate bigger clouds than any sub-ohm tank. Thanks to newer developments like mesh coils, that’s no longer the case. A modern tank can blow away any simple RDA coil.
Most people decide to chase clouds for one or more of these three reasons.
Let’s suppose that you find yourself at a vape shop browsing the selection of tanks. None of the models are familiar to you, so you have no idea which one you should choose. How do you identify a cloud chasing tank? All that you need to do is look at it, because everything about a tank that’s designed for big clouds is, well – big!
So, how do vape tanks produce such impressive clouds? It all comes down to the design of their coils, and today’s vaping manufacturers use two different techniques to develop coils for big clouds.
These SMOK TFV16 coils use between one and three mesh strips to achieve their cloud production.
Mesh coils really had their day in the sun in 2019, and it’s likely that they will overtake traditional wound vaping coils in popularity in 2020 because many people agree that they’re better than traditional coils in every way. Using a strip of mesh rather than a round wire makes it possible to create a coil with high surface area and low mass. Mesh coils have incredible cloud production. They operate quietly. They even last a long time – and all of those benefits come with very reasonable wattage requirements. Learn more about the benefits of mesh coils.
These SMOK TFV12 Cloud Beast King coils use multiple wires to achieve their cloud production. From left to right, these coils have 12, eight and six individual heating wires. Note the much higher wattage requirements compared to the mesh coils above.
The other way to make a cloud chasing coil is with round heating wire – but not with just one wire. A cloud chasing coil uses two or four wires twisted together, and that’s just a starting point. Some coils have as many as 12 individual heating wires all working at the same time. You can get some very impressive cloud production with a coil like that, but the power demands of such a coil will be high due to the metal mass involved. You’re not likely to get good performance out of a coil of this type unless you have a dual-battery mod with a wide power range.
We’ve reached the point of the article that you’ve been waiting for. Learning how vape tanks produce those enormous clouds is lots of fun, but what you really want to know is this: What’s the best vape tank for cloud chasing in 2020? When you read the vaping forums, you’ll see a lot of people debating this very topic, and there’s a good reason why there is no consensus in the vaping community about which tank is the best on the market. It’s because they’re all so good!
If you buy any modern vape tank, you’re going to have a wonderful experience – so there’s no need to stress out over your purchase. There are a few tanks, though, that stand out above the rest.
Built by the undisputed flavor leader in vape tanks, the Valyrian 2 is the first Uwell tank made specifically for using mesh coils. The Uwell Valyrian 2 has single-, double- and triple-mesh coils available along with a traditional quad-coil head for those who prefer wound coils. Even with the triple mesh coil installed, it’s stunningly quiet during operation – you can’t hear anything but the air moving through the vents – and it produces some very impressive clouds. This isn’t necessarily the biggest fog machine on the market, but true to Uwell’s reputation, its flavor quality is unbeatable.
Vaping with the Freemax Mesh Pro is a bit like putting a V8 engine into a Pontiac Fiero. It might look a little silly, and it won’t be especially comfortable – but it’ll get you there fast. The Mesh Pro is the oldest tank on this list, but it’s an important one because it was the first vape tank to use double-, triple-, quadruple- and even quintuple-mesh coil atomizers. If you use this tank with even just the triple-coil head, you’d better believe that it produces some crazy clouds. The Freemax Mesh Pro isn’t without its problems. The sliding lid opens a bit too easily, and the tank’s threading is pretty finicky. You’ll get a “no atomizer” message from your mod if you don’t screw the coil in very tightly. If you want big clouds, though, the Freemax Mesh Pro is the tank to have.
One of the problems with modern vaping coils is that, as incredible as the coils themselves have become, we still haven’t found the ideal replacement for cotton as a wicking material. Cotton produces a nice flavor, but it isn’t very efficient when it comes to transporting e-liquid from a tank’s reservoir to the coil. Cotton also burns easily. Rayon, on the other hand, is a great transporter of e-liquid. Horizon opted to use rayon fibers from bamboo for its single-mesh and dual-mesh Falcon King coils. You may find that the bamboo fibers in this tank’s coils enable you to inhale longer and more deeply without experiencing dry hits. You may also find that your coils last longer before you need to replace them.
The SMOK TFV series ushered in the era of modern cloud chasing tanks but began to fall behind in the past year or two. The SMOK TFV12 Cloud Beast King – released in 2017 – was the 12-wire tank alluded to above. In terms of vapor production, it was definitely the world’s most impressive tank at that time – but its power requirement was so massive that it simply wasn’t practical for most vapers. The smaller TFV12 Prince was more successful. To create the TFV16, SMOK went back to the drawing board and decided that the best way forward was to grab on to the mesh coil trend. The SMOK TFV16 looks and feels like a TFV tank, and its new single-, double- and triple-mesh coils match the vapor production of the TFV12 Cloud Beast King with much lower power requirements.
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