Vaping Diaries #301: Wanderlust Vapor Interview (Vape Summit)

Wanderlust Vapor was getting a ton of attention at Vape Summit III from some very important people. My buddies Lionel from Influx E-Juice and Josh from Craft Vapery were raving about the company’s juices. Since I hold both of their opinions in high regard, I had to check out the Wanderlust Vapor booth. To my delight, it was a productive and delicious trip. Juice maker Pat Nguyen makes some delicious and inventive e-liquids that stand out with their complexity and unique ingredient mixes.

Let’s take Wanderlust Vapor’s Ruby Cream, for example. The market is flooded with strawberry and strawberry-based e-liquids, and I’m mostly bored with the flavor. Ruby Cream takes the strawberry-and-cream flavor (that has been done time and time again) and adds a brilliant spin on it with malt. While adding an additional ingredient sounds like a simple thing to do, getting the balance just right takes skill. Pat did a phenomenal job with this e-liquid and it absolutely delighted my tastebuds. The malt really makes Ruby Cream distinct. Hell, I’m going to take a break from writing this article just so I can vape some…

…and I’m back! Now, the Wanderlust Vapor juice that had Lionel and Josh amazed was Lime Apple Crumbs. Another pleasantly atypical mix, this juice blends apple cider, lime, and pasty flavors. While I’ve encountered several apple e-liquids, most of those juices used candied or natural apple flavors. I don’t recall many (any?) that used apple cider. It’s a drink that I love cold or hot, and I’m jazzed that it’s part of this complex and tasty e-liquid.

So yeah! I’m really glad that Josh and Lionel bugged me to check out Wanderlust Vapor. With juices like the ones it had at Vape Summit III, I expect Wanderlust Vapor to have a great future. Check out my interview with the crew below to learn more about the company, its current flavors, and what’s coming next.

Vaping Diaries #300: US Vapor Mods Ceres Interview (Vape Summit)

It was fantastic meeting US Vapor Mods owner Mike George and learning about the excellent Ceres mod from him. RPadholic N8R and I met the company in the elevator of the Las Vegas Marriott. After learning that Mike and his crew were nice people out of San Jose, I told them that I’d stop by their booth and check out their stuff. I’m grateful for that chance encounter, because the Ceres is one of the few tube mods at Vape Summit III that was truly exciting.

Made primarily from copper, with some stainless steel accents and silver internals, the Ceres is an incredible performer with several unique features. Those of you familiar with Roman mythology will recall that Ceres is the goddess agriculture, fertility, and motherly relationships. The mod that honors her name also uses it as an acronym: Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System.

The Ceres mod uses a unique switch that ensures maximum conductivity. With many mods that uses springs, electricity is lost through the spring. That’s not the case with the Ceres. In addition to great performance, the mod is also very convenient. The top cap uses a sliding mechanism that should accommodate all atomizers. The sliding mechanisms allows you to screw an atty right in, as opposed to most mods with adjustable contacts that require you to fiddle around depending on the atomizer and battery combination. Mike explains the performance and convenience features better than I ever could in the interview below.

In addition to talking about the Ceres, Mike also spoke about future plans for US Vapor Mods and an upcoming atomizer that he’s working on.

Again, I love the happenstance that occurred in an elevator at the Las Vegas Marriott. Without that chance meeting, I probably would have missed US Vapor Mods’ booth. As I alluded to earlier, I’m pretty bored with tube mods at the moment, but I was so impressed with the Ceres that I had to pick one up. Learn more about the mod and the company in the video interview below.

The Vape 48 Week 5: POET Electronic Nector’s Randy Freer

POET Electronic Nectar is one of my favorite e-liquid companies in the world, so I was thrilled that CEO Randy Freer was kind enough to stop by Vape Star Los Angeles for The Vape 48. The company makes several complex e-liquid blends that I absolutely adore and Randy is one of the nicest people I’ve met in the vaping business (or any business, really). More importantly for you guys and dolls, Randy is quite smart and interesting. To kick off this episode of The Vape 48, he gave an update on what’s happening with POET and talked about his involvement with the Njoy Artist Collection.

Many enthusiast vapers think of Njoy as a mainstream e-cigarette company that sells basic “cigalike” products. The Artist Collection is a series of e-liquids geared towards enthusiast vapers and made by some of the top juice creators in the world. As a fan of POET, I’m jazzed that Randy is involved with the Artist Collection and it was fun hearing him talk about the project.

On the hardware side, Randy brought a pair of small 18350 tube mods and a pair of box mods to chat about. He’s been thrilled with the stealth-vaping combo of the Monake Vape Calvert mod and the Praxis Vapors Derringer atomizer. The Damascus steel Element Mods 18350 prototype he brought was absolutely gorgeous. On the box mod front, Randy has been enjoying the Vapor Shark rDNA and the Sigelei 100. My hardware pick was the original Youde Tech Goblin, one of the best rebuildable tank atomizers I’ve tried as far as vapor production goes. Since the time this interview was filmed (February 2015), Youde has updated the Goblin and addressed the capacity shortcoming I mentioned in the video below. If you’re a cloud chaser that wants some capacity, the Youde Goblin is a compelling choice.

On the juice side, Randy brought four e-liquids from Proper Vape. He was enamored by the complexity of these juices and how they used tobacco as a complementary flavor. I brought Vader from Cyber Liquids (a delicious cookie dough juice) and Don Pedro from Bizarre Juice Supply (a wonderful dessert and tobacco blend).

Check out my chat with POET Electronic Nectar CEO Randy Freer for an update on his excellent company and to learn more about all the products mentioned above.

Vaping Diaries #298: Ripple Works Modulo Interview (VapeCon Manila)

There were a ton of box mods on display at VapeCon Manila 2015 and the most unique box mod I saw was the Modulo from Ripple Works. A modular box mod, the Modulo can accommodate dual-18350 or dual-18650 batteries. The battery receptacles can be hot swapped, allowing for some nice versatility. In 18350 mode, the mod measures 65mm high, for a nice and powerful stealth setup. When maximum power and battery life is needed, the Modulo measures 95mm high. While the modular aspect of the Modulo is its most obviously unique feature, I loved its simple and elegant style. Ripple Works co-owner Bong Lising spent some time with me at the show to tell me about the Modulo.

The Modulo’s body is made from T6 aluminum, with delrin inserts that aid in heat dissipation. All the contacts are gold plated, allowing for excellent conductivity and corrosion resistance. The contacts are adjustable, allowing the use of nipple-top and flat-top batteries. Lastly, the firing button is insulated and Bong guaranteed that it won’t accidentally shock anyone.

One of the advantages of the Modulo’s design is that it’s expandable. Bong promised some unique add-ons for the device in the future. While he wouldn’t say exactly what they would be, I’m going to guess that a phone charging module will be released. That seems to be an easy module to make and one that many vapers would find useful. My “wish” module for the Modulo is an SX350 add-on. While I love my mechs, I’ve been vaping mostly regulated devices in 2015 and I’d love to see what Ripple Works can do with the SX350 chipset.

As I mentioned in the intro, VapeCon Manila 2015 was pretty much box mod heaven. I saw loads of cool boxes, but the one I wanted the most was the Modulo. The features are unique, cool, and versatile. The aesthetics very much appeal to me. And it appears to be a well-crafted device. The Modulo is hitting shelves in small quantities now and I hope I can get my hands on one. In Internet speak, “Want!!!”

The Vape 48 Week 4: The Force Vapors Eric Trotter

The Force Vapors CEO Eric Trotter and I chatted back in February for this episode of The Vape 48, filmed at Vape Star Los Angeles. Eric has a number of cool things going on with this company, many of which I’ll get to see next week at The Vape Summit III in Las Vegas. On the juice side, he’ll have two new flavors that will debut at The Vape Summit. The Force Vapors is partnering with Cloud Kicker Society for some excellent t-shirts. Last year, The Force Vapors had some awesome box mods that Star Wars fans loved; I sorta kinda expect an updated version next week…that may or may not appeal to fans of Jedi masters…but that’s just conjecture.

On the juice side, Eric brought SBP by Turncoat Industries. He doesn’t vape a lot of juices that he doesn’t make himself, so I was intrigued by this southern bread pudding e-liquid (and also because it’s southern bread pudding!). My juice picks were a pair of complex and layered e-liquids from Tasty Cloud Vape Co — Stay Gold and Skyline. The former is a mix of apple, caramel, vanilla, and tobacco, while the latter blends pineapple, cake, coconut, and hazelnut. I liked Skyline, but loved Stay Gold.

Wrapping things up with hardware, Eric brought the Vicious Ant VariAnt Ti Slim. A sleek, beautiful, and versatile box mod from the Philippines, it’s been one of Eric’s favorite vaping devices for the last few months. I brought a box mod that’s not nearly as cool, but quite versatile and very affordable — the Sigelei 150. In a very short time, the Sigelei 150 has become one of my favorite “beater” mods.

Check out my full chat with The Force Vapors Eric Trotter below for more details on everything mentioned above. He’s a cool guy that makes some great juice!

Vaping Diaries #297: Psywar Fabrications Interview (VapeCon Manila)

Psywar Fabrications is known for its aggressive products — both in terms of style and how they vape. I’ve covered the company’s Onslaught atomizer in the past and still use it today. At VapeCon Manila 2015, Psywar Fabrications was showing off four new products. The company’s arsenal at the show was comprised of the Assault and Fierce box mods, as well as the Onslaught H21 atomizer and Purge red copper tube mod. Psywar Fabrications designer Manuel Torrejon and marketing consultant Dave Arenaje walked me through the products.

Let’s start with the box mods. The Fierce box mod is made from ironwood and accommodates two 18650 batteries. The bottom caps are easily adjustable with fingers, allowing the mod to use both flat-top and nipple-top batteries. The Assault box mod has the burly looks people expect from Psywar Fabrications. It uses a single 26650 battery and includes an adapter for an 18650 battery. The top of the box has a cutaway for an atomizer.

The Purge tube mod is made from red copper and features some beautiful engravings. According to Manuel, each tube takes two hours to engrave, making the Purge difficult to make.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Onslaught H21. A “Onslaught Mini” of sorts, the H21 has a smaller designer for improved flavor. The air holes have also been modified for what should be a superior vaping experience. Under the cap, the posts have been improved. After using the Onslaught for several months, I really like the way it vapes and am looking forward to seeing how Psywar Fabrications improved on the design with the H21. Hopefully the quality control issues I had with my unit were addressed too.

Check out my chat with Manuel Torrejon and Dave Arenaje for more details on these Psywar Fabrications products and to see them up close.

Vaping Diaries #296: Highwind Innovative Designs Interview (VapeCon Manila)

As I was walking through VapeCon Manila 2015, Highwind Innovative Designs’ booth caught my eye with a pair of atomizers — the Diferion and Ruzgar. Company designer Rey Panaligan walked me through the features of these atomizers. First up is the Diferion. This rebuildable dripper uses a unique four-post setup and handles airflow in an atypical matter. While flavor fiends should love the way this RDA vapes, cloud chasers will be surprised by the maximum airflow. For an atomizer designed with flavor in mind, the Highwind Innovative Designs Diferion has a lot of cloud potential.

One of the best looking rebuildable tank atomizers (RTAs) that I’ve ever seen, Highwind Innovative Designs’ Ruzgar stands out with its handsome style. It uses a quartz glass tank, allowing vapers to enjoy any type of juice. According to Rey, the Ruzgar uses a leak-proof design and won’t suffer from the spills many RTAs suffer from. Covering it all up is a metal sleeve that gives the Ruzgar a classy appearance.

In an industry filled with many “me too” and copycat products, it was cool to see some unique atomizers from Highwind Innovative Designs. I was very impressed by the looks of the Diferion and Ruzgar, and intrigued by the potential of their respective designs. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on these atomizers to see if they work as excellently as I think they will. Check out my chat below with Rey for more details on these Highwind Innovative Designs atomizers.

The Vape 48 Week 3: Craft Vapery’s Joshua Krane

Here’s a very long and very cool conversation I had with Craft Vapery president Joshua Krane. The chat was filmed at Vape Star LA in late January, but due to several videogame consulting projects and a personal issue that had me out of the country, I didn’t get a chance to edit it until now. I apologize to Craft Vapery and Josh for the delay, but most of all I apologize to you loyal RPadholics because Josh had a lot of excellent things to say in this conversation.

In addition to giving an update on Craft Vapery, Josh spoke about an issue that’s very personal for him — the difference between vapers and people that vape. For numerous reasons, he wants people and companies to make the distinction. You need to watch the video for the full story on that particular topic. Josh and I also spoke about some of the things the vaping business needs to do in order to grow up and becoming more legitimate. Some of the those issues parallel what we experienced in the videogame business (Josh and I are both G4tv alumni). As expected, Josh was an outstanding guest that had loads of interesting things to say.

On the hardware side, Josh brought the Monake Vape Calvert mod and the Praxis Vapors Derringer RDA, while I spoke about the Kanger Subtank. Josh brought a number of e-liquids to talk about  — I was particularly grateful to learn about the excellent Njoy Artist Collection. My juice choices were two bottles from Evaper8’s Straight Drippin’ line.

One of the issues that I brought up was being disappointed with vaping coverage on my favorite tech sites. I mentioned The Verge as a tech site that I love, but could be doing better coverage on vaping. Between the time the video was filmed and the time I posted it, The Verge’s coverage has gotten better, but it’s still not great; the site has covered more areas of vaping and in some cases has done a very good job, but some of its stories had poor reporting and there’s a segment of the market that The Verge continues to ignore.

As I mentioned, the video below is long, but please watch when you have the time. Craft Vapery is the best e-liquid subscription service in the business and its president had fantastic things to say in this episode of The Vape 48.

Vaping Diaries #295: Smiley E-Liquid Stephen James Interview

An atypical Southern California juice company, Smiley E-Liquid stands out with its easy-to-follow menu and straightforward juices. While many SoCal juice companies use complex formulas and ornate names (that sometimes have nothing to do with the actual juice flavor), Smiley’s offerings are easy to understand. Jolly Apple tastes like an apple Jolly Rancher candy, Vanilla Dream tastes like vanilla, Morning Espresso tastes like coffee, etc.

While many vapers enjoy Smiley’s straightforward approach, these juices were made with mixing in mind. The company offers something called the Juice Bag, which includes a 15ml bottle of Vanilla Dream, six smaller bottles of Smiley’s other flavors, two mixing bottles, and a recipe card. The card has a number of recipes that were concocted by Smiley employees and fans of its juices. While you can enjoy a single Smiley flavor on its own, the Juice Bag allows vapers to craft more complex juices. Adding a social twist, vapers that come up with unique blends can email their recipes to Smiley and have their formulas included in upcoming cards.

I’ve had a number of Smiley juices on their own and played around with my own mixes (for the record, most of my blends sucked). While I generally enjoy complex and layered e-liquids, I completely understand and appreciate the company’s approach. At two of the vape shops that I frequent, these juices are wildly popular. At one store, Smiley’s savory flavors (Vanilla Dream, Morning Espresso) are very popular. At Vape Star LA, where the interview below was filmed, Smiley’s candy flavors fly off the shelves.

Check out my chat with Smiley vice president Stephen James to learn more about the company’s approach to juices, learn how the company got started, hear descriptions of some of its flavors, hear about upcoming seasonal releases, and learn about the Juice Bag product.

Vaping Diaries #294: Vicious Ant JC Reyes Interview (VapeCon Manila)

It was a pleasure checking out Vicious Ant’s new products at VapeCon Manila 2015. Vicious Ant has been one of the most popular Filipino vaping companies in America for quite some time. With products like the Prodigy atomizer, VariAnt box mod, and Goliath RDA. It’s easy to understand why.

First up, JC showed me the Prodigy, which is a hybrid atomizer specifically designed for the Phenom mod. In addition to its distinct looks, the Prodigy has a swiveling top cap, that allows for easy dripping. Instead of taking off a top cap or drip tip to refill, a simple swivel will do. This is particularly useful in crowded situations where you might lose a top cap or drip tip (i.e. being drunk in a busy bar). As a vaper that’s clumsy, I thought the Prodigy’s top cap design was brilliant, though I wish the atomizer came with standard 510 threading.

For vapers that like insane power, the VariAnt is one of the best box mods around. This bad boy can hit up to 350 watts. While I rarely venture beyond 40 watts, several of minds cloud-blowing friends love hitting triple-digit wattages. The VariAnt is perfect for fogging up a room.

An ideal complement to the VariaAnt or any 26650 mod is the Goliath RDA. This large atomizer accommodates up to eight coils, allowing vapers to create some insane builds. It looks perfect on the VariAnt, but also looks great on 26650 tube mods.

During the interview, JC mentioned the possibility of a DNA40 add-on for the Phenom. That product has been released since the interview and is called the Phenom Evolution. You can learn more about it, as well as the Prodigy, VariAnt, and Goliath in the VapeCon Manila 2015 video interview below.