You're probably noticing more and more of these as their popularity increases. They are the luxury and sports car versions of electronic cigarettes with names like Provari, Tesla and Vamo.
Resembling something closer to a light saber than an e-cigarette, advanced personal vaporizers, or APVs, are turning vaping into an intricate hobby for heavy users. With all due respect for 510 “mini” e-cigs, there's a vast world of customization beyond the standard starter kits so we thought we'd offer some insight for those of you interested in stepping up your vape game.
Many smokers make the transition into vaping by purchasing a standard starter kit or disposable e-cig from one of many the brands we have previously tested and reviewed. They are widely distributed in convenience stores and gas stations and are nearly identical to a traditional cigarette in appearance. For the most part, mini e-cigs get the job done. They are able to closely replicate the action of smoking a real cigarette without inhaling the thousands of toxins contained in tobacco smoke. However, heavier smokers and vaping enthusiasts often move on to something more advanced and customizable.
The next step above a standard e-cigarette in terms of price and tech is an “eGo”.
First manufactured in China by Joyetech, eGo electronic cigarettes have been often replicated, so much so that the term is now synonymous with the larger battery size they offer.
Ranging from 650-1000mAh (as opposed to 150-380mAh for 510 “minis”), eGo batteries are popular with intermediate vapers for their longer lifespan and enhanced vapor production.
Aside from the battery size and cone-shaped atomizer casing, standard models don't differ too much from mini e-cigs in that they still use atomizers and pre-filled cartridges. This is where vaping starts getting fun. Since the first eGo hit the market, and especially in the last year, countless variations have been popping up almost daily. We'll include some of the more common improvements made to save time. Probably the biggest innovation to the functionality gives the user the ability to fill and refill their eGo with the flavored juice of their choice.
Similar in appearance to a basic Joyetech eGo, an eGo-T uses a refillable tank system to feed e-liquid to the atomizer through a 1-2ml cartridge that doubles as the mouthpiece. These are step in the right direction but they sometimes don't deliver enough liquid to the atomizer and therefore don't vape too well.
Enter the cartomizer. An eGo cartomizer is one of the most basic mods currently available and is a foundation for the more advanced personal vaporizers. As the name suggests, this variation combines both the atomizer and cartridge into an easy to use “carto”. A carto typically holds far more juice than most cartridges and is inserted into a tank that holds even more e-liquid! Cartomizers and tank combos can hold anywhere from 3.5-6ml, allowing for a longer vaping period in between refills. They also tend to produce more vapor with less drag than e-cigs using cartridges. Their ease of use along with carrying capacity make them a great choice for vapers looking to take the next step.
One other notable upgrade commonly made to eGo batteries is the option to adjust their voltage output. “Variable voltage” or VV allows the user to adjust the voltage of the battery from 3 to 5 or 6 volts, usually in increments of 0.1. Sometimes referred to as an “eGo Twist” or “Super eGo VV”, variable voltage batteries provide a more highly tuned vaping experience for intermediate vapers. Some of them even have a digital readout that displays the current voltage as well as puffs drawn and battery level.
Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APVs) and Mods
Here is what you've all been waiting for. They either make you full of envy or left questioning their existence. They are what the vaping community likes to refer to as APVs or advanced personal vaporizers and mods.
Although an e-cig mod can technically be just about any of the devices previously mentioned in this article, an APV most notably is an e-cig that requires a 3.7 volt, replaceable internal lithium battery and run up to 2600mAh.
Many of the newer models also offer both variable voltage AND wattage adjustment as well as downloadable software upgrades.
Essentially, some of the higher end mods and APVs are like mini computers that effortlessly vaporize e-liquid.
Advanced personalized vaporizers can vary greatly in price. In the image above, the Vamo on the left retails from $40-60 without batteries. On the right we have the Ferarri of AVPs: The Provari, which retails around $200 without batteries. Aside from these two bad boys, you may or may not have seen another, more rare type of e-cigarette mod around.
With an appearance similar to old school cell phones or walkie-talkies, an odd looking APV takes the form of a rectangular box. Box e-cigarettes (Box Mods) are more popular with DIY home modders than manufacturers as they are far less taxing on the wallet. They can also be set up to draw vapor directly from a bottle of e-liquid.
And that was your introduction to eGos and APVs. Keep in mind the examples used are only a fraction of what's available on the market. Feel free to add anything we may have missed in the comments.