Product: Vision eGo Clearomizer (Also known as the Stardust)
Resistance: 2.5-2.9 Ω
(Also available in 2.1-2.4 Ω version)
Suppliers: Safercigs and GotVapes
Price: £5.20 – Safercigs, $5.95 – GotVapes
(Prices can be reduced using discount codes sourced from one of the e-cig forums)
I know I am late to the party with this review, but I think that these things are so good they are worth shouting about.
Ok, I will get this out of the way right now – I have been using these exclusively since I bought two from Daz at Safercigs and four from GotVapes a month ago. Prior to buying these Vision eGos, I had been using a standard atomizer/cartridge setup on my eGo batteries. I found that whilst these met the requirements of generally producing a good amount of vapour and acceptable throat hit my problem was the constant need to refill with e-liquid or swap out cartridges during the course of a day. For me this is a real problem as I typically drive about five hundred miles a week, which meant I needed to find a better solution.
I then stumbled across the above video review of the “Stardust” by Romastino in the UKVapers forum, which told me I had to try these. The one Romastino reviewed came from the first production run and had quickly sold out. A few users were raving about these because of their vaping qualities, but also because they could be taken apart for cleaning and re-wicking (See YouTube videos here and here for info). Following the Chinese new year Gotvapes had stock of a second batch in for about 3 hours – from which I managed to order four and had to wait for them to be shipped across the pond. In the meantime Safercigs announced they would be stocking these and, as it turned out, Daz ran safercigs from the same sleepy Dorset town that I live in. I contacted Daz and he very kindly went out of his way to meet me for a beer in our local pub to provide me with a couple of stardusts and a bottle of the legendary e-liquid RY HI-5 (a review to come later). I don’t think you can get better service than that! So I had these two a good week before the four arrived from the states.
So what are they like? Well, to put it bluntly, they are the nucking futs! Don’t get me wrong, they are not perfect, but they are pretty close! These things have a capacity for around 1.4-1.6 ml of e-liquid, which means on a typical day I only have to re-fill it once or twice. Filling is a really straightforward process. There is no need for needles as has been the case with many previous clearomizer styles. It is just a case of unscrewing the incorporated drip tip (being careful not to lose the small clear O-ring on it) and, whilst tilting the Vision eGo, fill straight from a standard e-liquid bottle. The only thing you have to be aware of is not to fill too quickly and get e-liquid down the centre whole that the coil sits in. However, if you do, a quick blow onto a piece of tissue will clear it. Aside from that there is no other way for e-liquid to escape. I have had no leaks whatsoever from the top or bottom of the eGos (I have from the tank body but I will talk about these later…). Visually, I think that these look very good. I like being able to see the liquid and I think it looks quite classy on an eGo battery (well in comparison to a cartomizer and cone anyway). I have noticed that more people have stopped and stared when I use this in public than when I used cartridges and atomizers though, so if you are shy about vaping you might not want to use these. The only thing that I think lets them down in the looks department is the e-liquid measurement scale. I am not sure what the point of it is? Not only does it give the stardust a bit of a medicinal look, but the scale starts where the plastic tank is sealed to the metal body of the clearomizer. In other words, below where the liquid even starts! I hope that future versions might have this removed, but even if they don’t it wont stop me using them.
So what does it vape like? Well the truth is, excellently. The flavour of all of the e-liquids I have used in these have improved, they are much clearer than using cartridges and atomisers. So much so in fact, that using a cheap e-liquid that I previously thought was OK has now become impossible to vape. A nasty aftertaste has become apparent that just isn’t there when I load a cartridge with it instead. So it does mean I have become even more picky about my e-liquids than I was before! In terms of vapour production; well, my wife has commented on more than one occasion that I have created a “fog” in our lounge – suffice it to say its more than enough! Interestingly the throat hit is also much greater, I was finding previously that I would use liquids at 24mg or higher most of the time. However, since using the Vision eGo I have dropped to 18mg and still find I get a really nice “punch” from it. The only minor thing to note is that because of the location of the wicks (at the top of the clearomizer) means that you do have to change your vaping style. I find that if you do not tilt the stardust horizontally every few draws you can get a dry hit. Not a problem, in fact I have subconsciously taken to tilting between draws whenever it is in my hands. Another criticism that people have waved about these is the fact that you can only use the drip tip that accompanies these. I personally find that I now quite like it. The shape feels comfortable in the mouth and it is solid enough that I can hold it with my teeth for short periods, whilst using two hands to type. One thing to note bout all these traits is that initially they may appear to be under-performing. However, these do need ‘breaking’ in. After a couple of refills the true performance of these comes through.
So what about longevity? I managed to lose one after it and the battery it was attached to fell out of my pocket on a country walk after a couple of days use. Of the others, I still have one that is unused and one that I have had to “retire” the other three are still going, to differing degrees. On the whole these things seem to last a really long time, if you give them a clean and dry burn when they are starting to lose vapour production they come right back to life. From a vaping point of view even the retiree still works, the problem there is a cracked tube, which is leaking. Sadly three out of the four I have used have leaked in this same way. Two are still going with a few wraps of PTFE tape around the crack. This is a temporary measure until the next pay-day at which point they will be chucked (although I will keep the small O-rings off the drip tips as spares). All of the leaking eGos are from the GotVapes batch, which according to internet rumor mills, were rushed through production following the Chinese new year holiday and have suffered as a result from stress fractures when the tubes were pushed onto the body with too much force. This problem is not apparent in the original run of these so I am inclined to believe this, which is why it has not put me off buying more as I would assume that this has been rectified in newer stock. The one that I have used from Safercigs has not developed this problem to date (14 days and going strong) so given that and the excellent customer service I received (buying vaping gear over a pint!) I know where I will be purchasing more from in the future.
Ok so these are not the cheapest things available, but I figure that if I can get at least a fortnight’s solid vaping out of one of these then it is bloody good value for money, particularly when a quick rinse and dry burn brings them back to as new performance. However, since I bought these I gather there have been a couple of changes to the design including the addition of a metal “pip” in the top. Steeljan has a video on youtube, which shows you the differences if you want to know. Conspiracy theorists would say that this is to stop people turning these into a cheap rebuildable, whilst others would say it is an addition to stop people flooding the centre whole when filling. Whose right? I don’t know and either way I am not sure I really care. I don’t see myself rebuilding these things if I can get what I see as value for money out of these before binning.
So final thoughts? Well I have used these exclusively for over a month now and I can definitely state that I love them. I can’t see myself switching anytime soon as they tick all the boxes for me – looks good, easy fill, large enough capacity, vapour “fog”, good throat hit and most importantly great flavour. I will be buying more from Daz at Safercigs given the difference in quality between vendors. I am also keen to try the lower resistance version and get some of the different colours he has arriving. Although saying that, I am curious about the Imist that he has too…