If you’re a frequenter of vapor shops or online forums, or maybe have just been researching your next e-cig purchase, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name “Volcano” thrown around. No, I’m not talking about the herbal vaporizer.
This Volcano is a fabricator of electronic cigarettes. Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, Volcano Fine Electronic Cigarettes has been around for nearly 4 years and is one of the more renown manufacturers that specialize in both standard and advanced electronic cigarettes.
So I had high expectations for their e-cigs and went ahead and ordered each of the Starter Kits: VOLCANO, MAGMA, INFERNO and LAVATUBE. In this Volcano ecig review I will present some of the pros and cons of the four different models and show just how all-encompassing the brand’s lineup really is.
Volcano eCig is your one-stop shop for electronic cigarettes and accessories. From beginners to advanced vapers, the Hawaiian brand has something for everyone. I did have some qualms, however it appears the development team has addressed my issues with the V-kit and Magma.
They did away with the atomizer bridge and tank on the Magma and instead revamped the V-kit's cartomizers with lower resolution atomizers for better vaping performance. What's left is the best of both kits combined into a redesigned Volcano Magma e-cig!
I didn't have any major issues with their Inferno or Lavtube devices and found them both to be excellent entry to intermediate level kits. This just goes to show how “da kine” Volcano's customer is and just how dedicated the brand is to producing quality e-cigs.
VOLCANO Starter Kit Review
Packaging and Design
Volcano packs a lot into a small but sturdy gift box with a magnetic enclosure. Included with each VOLCANO Starter, or V-kit, are two V-batteries, one V-pack PCC, a wall charger, mini USB cable, a separate USB charger and a 5-pack of cartridges in the flavor of your choice.
The V-pack holds up to 5 cartos, a fully pieced together e-cig, and two batteries, one of which can be charged by the box itself. Cartridges come in one of 10 flavors, although at the time of this review only four were available on the Volcano website. The batteries, gift box, V-pack and wall charger are available in either black or white, depending on what you choose for your kit color.
When assembled, the Volcano e-cig is only slightly larger than an NJOY King, just under 3 1/2 inches long. Overall, the design has a high quality, minimalist appearance and feel, aside from the cartridges. The cartridges are wrapped in a different colored “sticker” depending on the flavor. However, the wrapping had a cheap feel and was even beginning to peel off some of the units I tested.
Flavors and Vapor
In my opinion, this is where the VOLCANO Starter Kit falls short. Vapor production was extremely minimal and there was absolutely no throat hit with all three of the flavors I tried. This dumbfounded me. How could such a quality looking product perform so poorly? Were we sent faulty cartridges? Honestly, a few of them didn't work at all and didn't register when I tested their ohm resistance on a variable wattage battery. Because there wasn't much vapor without inhaling a huge drag, there wasn't much flavor either.
I had to get to the bottom of this. Luckily, the threading on the cartridges is 510 compatible so I popped them in a couple variable voltage batteries. Resistance read at 2.5 ohms, which seemed quite high for a mini e-cig. Upon setting the voltage around 4-4.5 volts, vapor production improved significantly with some (albeit not much) noticeable throat hit. The flavor was even a little more prominent. It seems as though the Volcano cartridges just don’t really match up well to the batteries. Maybe a lower resistance atomizer might do the trick.*
Anyway, heavy smokers would probably not find the vapor at all satisfying. If you can get past the lack of the vapor and are fine with no throat hit, here is a review of the 3 flavors we tested:
Pineapple Punch: This tastes like a mild pineapple milkshake, not too juicy and somewhat creamy
CooCoo Cocunut: The coconut was similar to the pineapple, only not quite as pronounced.
Milk Chocolate: This one had a smooth VG taste with a hint of chocolate.
Propylene glycol is listed as the main ingredient on each of the boxes of cartridges however there was no throat hit or enhanced flavor PG-based juice usually brings. We tasted a predominant VG blend with hints of each flavor. The odd thing about that is VG usually provides much more vapor than PG. If you are so inclined, Volcano has six additional flavors when in stock.
The batteries supplied with the V-kit are quite small and therefore aren't going to hold a long charge. Volcano knows this and thus states on their website that their V-kit battery will provide roughly 30-60 minutes of continuous vaping. Being this is a rechargeable kit that comes with a PCC, we didn't really care that the battery died after a couple hours of use. It charges rather quick and with a spare to boot, you shouldn't have any issues with battery life.
Update: The V-Kit has been discontinued and re-branded as the Magma Kit.
MAGMA Starter Kit Review
Packaging and Design
The MAGMA kit is packaged very similarly to the VOLCANO Starter Kit. Included with kit are 2 automatic draw M-batteries, 1 “tank-o-mozer” atomizer, 5 empty tank cartridges, 1 mini-USB cable, USB battery charger, wall charging adapter, an M-Pack charging case and a bottle of your choice of V-Liquid. Everything is packaged inside an elegant black gift box with magnetic enclosure.
Essentially a mini version of the eGo-T, the MAGMA is a 3-piece device that uses automatic draw to produce vapor. The unit consists of a battery about 2.5 inches in length, an atomizer and a refillable plastic tank that doubles as a mouthpiece. When assembled, the MAGMA is slightly longer than a 100 style cigarette. It is an all-black device with a gold ring at the base of the atomizer and a tip that glows red when in use.
Flavors and Vapor
The MAGMA somewhat improves upon the vaping performance of the basic V-Kit. Using Volcano’s premium e-liquid, it produced significantly more vapor which had a mild throat hit. However, the tank-o-mizer system seemed to dull down the flavor of the juice. While the vapor didn't taste bad, it didn't have that in-your-face juiciness some of the more gourmet e-liquids provide. Additionally, the atomizer heated up quite a bit when taking heavy drags. It wasn't really an issue, just something to note.
With the MAGMA, you’re going to get about an hour of continuous use per charge. That lasted us about 5 hours of heavy usage and with two batteries plus a portable charging case, you should have no problem running out of juice to power your e-cig. As for charging, a depleted battery becomes fully regenerated after about an hour of charge time.
Update: Since this review, Volcano has discontinued the Magma version we tested and re-branded the Volcano V-Kit under the Magma name. The kit combines the old Magma battery with new, lower resistance cartomizers.
INFERNO Starter Kit Review
Packaging and Design
Volcano moves into the world of eGo style batteries with its INFERNO Starter Kit. Their best selling personal vaporizer includes not one, but two eG0 pass-through batteries, one being 650mAh and the other 900mAh. Packaged in a stylish silver and black gift box, the kit also includes a wall charging adapter, mini USB cable, tank system with carto and drip tip, a pack of 5 single-punched, 1.5 ohm cartomizers, bottle of e-liquid and a sock to hold your INFERNO on the go.
Design wise, the INFERNO is a nice change-up from the solid colors of most eGo batteries. It has a chrome base coat with a cool pixelated white gradient running down the top half and a cone adapter for the tank. The cartomizer tank and drip are clear with the volcano logo printed on one side. At the base of the battery is a chrome cap with the INFERNO logo printed on the bottom. Simply unscrew the cap to reveal the mini USB charging port. When assembled with the 650mAh battery, carto tank and drip tip, it is about twice the size of the MAGMA but isn't much heavier.
Flavors and Vapor
Being a higher powered eGo style battery with the tank/cartomizer system, the INFERNO is a significant upgrade from the “mini” style electronic cigarettes. It’s also a manual powered device, meaning you click a button before inhaling the vapor. This will save you some breath as it makes the atomizer easier to draw vapor from. Five clicks of the button will turn the battery on or off.
Vapor-wise, the carto tank system provided us a thicker and much more flavorful vapor. I was able to exhale relatively thick clouds of vapor and actually taste the flavor of each juice used during testing. It holds about 3.5mL of e-liquid which lasted me well over an entire day.
Both the 650mAh and the 900mAh batteries performed equally. The 650 lasted us almost a full day of vaping while the 900 went an entire day without requiring a charge. And since both have the pass-through option, you can charge and vape simultaneously from either your car (with USB car adapter purchased separately) or a laptop computer.
LAVATUBE Starter Kit Review
Packaging and Design
And now for the Granddaddy of the Volcano eCig product line, the LAVATUBE Version 2. Like many e-cig mods, the tube is packaged inside a compact box that is nearly identical in size to that of the Tesla or Natural mod. The kit also includes a black cushioned carrying case, one 1600mAh 18650 sized battery, a charger that holds up to two batteries, 7ml clear tank with 3.0 ohm cartomizer and drip tip, and a bottle of e-liquid of your choice.
In my opinion, Volcano improved the design of the second version by leaps and bounds over the first. The tube is a bit on the larger side, however it feels lighter and much sturdier than the V1. It’s made of aluminum and has an anodized finish, giving it a nice grip and feel in hand.
The LAVATUBE is also available in a variety of colors including blue, pink, red, gold, grey, black and chrome. For the second version, Volcano increased the size of the power button, making it far easier to use. And as with the Inferno, 5 clicks powers the device on and off. Overall, the second version resembles a Silver Bullet mod but has the additional two buttons for variable voltage adjustment on the fly.
Flavors and Vapor
This thing is a beast! With the ability to read the ohms of any attached atomizer, the user can then adjust the voltage accordingly to produce a customized draw. Save power with the lower resistance dual coil cartomizers by adjusting the output to around 3.5 volts and puff thick clouds of vapor. Or crank up the voltage on the standard resistance cartos to anywhere from 4-6V to experience the full flavor of your e-liquid. The only issue we have is with the cartomizers.
While flavor and vapor production is fine, vaping using their cartomizers give me a slightly scratchy feeling in my throat. It's not a throat hit but just more of an extra dry feeling.
Being a variable voltage mod, battery life on the LAVATUBE will vary from user to user. The kit includes a 1600mAh AW IMR high drain LiMN battery that should last anywhere from half to a full day, depending on the voltage setting and how often you vape. I get about 6-8 hours of vaping at 4.2 volts.
Read some of our similar reviews if you're looking for products comparable to Volcano e-cigs. Here's an updated V2 Cigs review, VaporFi review, and Green Smoke review.