For the last few months, I’ve been using two side-fill tanks from Valley View Vapes: the polypropylene 5ml Triple V Jumbo and the pyrex 7ml Triple V Sidewinder. Both tanks are high-quality products sold at relatively low prices ($9.99 and $34.99, respectively). They’re backed by great customer service and there’s a fun community based around these tanks. I’d definitely recommend either of them to any vaper, but there are some distinct differences that could make one a better choice for you. Cue the Degeneration-X music as I break it down.
Why Polypropylene and Pyrex?
A lot of the tanks available on the market are made from polycarbonate. Some e-liquids — cinnamon and citrus flavors, in particular — can cause polycarbonate tanks to crack. Polycarbonate tanks can also retain flavor, making them a poor choice for people that like to try different e-liquids. Both polypropylene and pyrex can stand up to cinnamon and citrus flavors. While polypropylene doesn’t retain flavor, it can retain smells. Pyrex doesn’t retain either. For most vaping situations, I prefer pyrex — it looks great and is easy to maintain. That said, I usually bring a polypropylene tank with me if there’s a chance I’ll be really drunk (I’m a clumsy drunk). Both of these tanks are durable, but like any glass, the pyrex tank can crack if it’s abused. While I don’t think it looks as nice as its pyrex cousin, the polypro tank can take a beating.
Why Use a Side-fill Hole?
The obvious answer is that it’s easier to fill. The polypropylene tank has a small fill hole. It’s a snap to use with a syringe. The pyrex tank has a bigger refill hole, which I like better. It’s big enough for most dripper caps and dripper bottles. Many longtime vapers find refilling standard tanks a snap, but side-fill holes can be advantageous for them too. When you refill a standard tank, you cause the grommets or caps to wear. The side-fill hole helps grommets and caps last longer.
Silicone Grommets vs. Aluminum caps
Each has advantages and disadvantages. The grommets hold the cartomizer snuggly, making them a good choice for people that pocket their vaping devices. They’re also cheap to replace. The one issue I have with grommets is that they can retain the smell of fragrant e-liquids. It took a long vodka soak and a lot of rinsing to remove the W&A Sasparilla smell from my grommets. Since the grommets are close to your nose when you vape, having a fragrance that’s very different from what you’re tasting can be a disconcerting experience.
Aluminum caps are more expensive, but most people think that they look better and it’s easier to slide cartomizers into them. Unlike the grommets, they don’t retain odor. However, they also don’t hold cartos as snuggly. People that place their vaping devices in their pockets or purses need to be mindful of the cartomizer sliding around. Personally, I prefer the caps, but I appreciate what the grommets offer (especially when I’m being a clumsy drunk).
Both of these tanks are superior products that are cheaper than the competition. For $9.99, it’s hard to beat the 5ml Triple V Jumbo. It’s a durable tank that can handle any juice you throw at it (though I don’t recommend throwing juice at your tanks). If you can swing it, I recommend spending a little more on the pyrex tank with aluminum caps. It’s also a durable product that can handle all kinds of juices, but has a nicer look and feel. The glass is easy to wash and maintain, while the caps make changing cartomizers a cinch.
If you have questions about either product, head on over to the Valley View Vapes web site and submit a question to Ray. He’s one of the best vendors out there and provides outstanding customer service.