When I first started vaping about four years ago, one of the best things I did – and also one of the worst things I did – was purchase a pass-through. Initially, I thought the pass-through was great. I got lots of vapor from my cartomizers and a great deal more flavor than I was getting from regular batteries. Plus, I didn’t have to fuss around with batteries that either needed charging regularly or occasionally would die at the worst possible time. I loved my pass-through. I could sit at my desk and get great flavor. I could plug the pass-through into an adapter and run it from the cigarette lighter in my truck. What’s not to like?
Well, as it turned out, quite a lot. First of all, with the increased power which produced all of that wonderful vapor and flavor, I found my cartos dying more and more quickly. Secondly, if I wanted to get this vaping experience I enjoyed so much, I either had to remain cabled to my desk or hang out in my truck. I added USB extensions and bought powered USB hubs to run my pass-through from various locations around my home, but I still ended up feeling like a dog on a short leash.
Maybe the worst part about vaping with a pass-through is that, despite its shortcomings, it spoiled me with excellent vapor and flavor. In many instances, regular “stick” batteries just didn’t cut it for me any longer. Some batteries did okay for a while, but inevitably, as the charge began to wane, I would find myself getting less vapor with each draw and ultimately the taste would turn to nothingness. At that point, I either had to deal with a far less than satisfying vape, or return to my tethered position at my desk or in my truck and use the pass-through again. This was not an ideal situation and I found myself growing frustrated with the vaping experience as a whole.
After some research on the forums at ECF and other sites, I started looking for alternatives, mostly in the form of larger batteries from vendors I had not used before. I tried 10 or 12 different options from various sellers, but none of those proved to be a true solution. Some of the batteries I tried were bigger, but still didn’t really give me the good vapor and flavor I was craving. Other bigger batteries performed quite well, but they required completely different chargers, cartos and tanks than the KR808D-1 setup I had grown very fond of and had invested in rather heavily. Still other batteries worked great and initially worked seamlessly with my existing chargers and accessories, but then began to fail after a short time due to manufacturing issues or design flaws.
One vendor I purchased from had a really good product in terms of vapor production and flavor, and it even worked with my existing cartomizers, tanks, and chargers. Unfortunately, both batteries I purchased from that vendor began to fail within a week. They simply would not hold a charge. I sent these batteries back and the vendor sent me replacements. The replacements worked fine for another week and then they too began to exhibit charging failures. I sent these batteries back as well and again the vendor sent me replacements. Hoping the third time was the charm, I started using the new batteries and took special care to charge them exactly as the vendor suggested. I used only the chargers that came with the batteries, despite assurances that these batteries were completely compatible with other KR808D-1 chargers. I completely depleted the batteries each time and put them on the charger for at least 12 hours, despite the charger lights indicating the process had successfully completed well before then. Once again, in just about a week, one of the two batteries refused to hold a charge. The other battery lasted another couple of days, and then both chargers I had purchased along with these batteries failed. Frustrated, I threw the whole mess in the trash and went back to my less-than-satisfying “stick” batteries and tying myself to my desk with a pass-through.
Figuring I really had no other options after trying mods and big batteries and a variety of other suggestions, I stuck with this setup for the next couple of years. I’d use a pass-through at my desk and in my truck, and stick batteries when I was on the go. Over that time, I noticed the slender, more “cigarette-esque” stick batteries began to perform better and better. Better flavor, more vapor, greater longevity between charges. I still didn’t feel I was getting the same quality vaping experience from these batteries that I got from my pass-through, but they were a big improvement over the earlier batteries. Despite these improvements in battery performance, I still longed for a solution which would give me an excellent vape and could be used on the go.
Enter the Dial-A-Volt from Vapor4Life.
I received the Dial-A-Volt (DAV) several weeks ago from Vapor4Life and to say the least I was skeptical. It didn’t look significantly different from the other “big battery” options I’d tried in the past and my success rate with those batteries was very low. One noteworthy difference between the DAV and the other big battery options was the voltage adjustment function. I’d never used a Variable Voltage device before, so I was immediately curious as to how that aspect would perform.
In my use of the Dial-A-Volt, there were five main concerns of specific interest to me: Vaping Performance, Hand-Comfort, Long Term Durability, Charging / Battery Life, and Voltage Adjustment.
Vaping Performance: By vaping performance, I mean: How does it vape? Does it produce a good amount of vapor? Does it produce a flavorful vapor? Essentially, does it provide a vaping experience as good as I get with my pass-through?
The answer to that last question is: Yes. It does provide an experience which is always at least equal to – and many times superior to – my pass-through. The Dial-A-Volt produces clouds of vapor and, more importantly to me, it produces truly good clean flavor, especially on a tank or Smileomizer. It does fine on regular cartomizers as well, but it really shines when used with a larger refillable option. I was more than satisfied with both the vapor production and the flavor. The DAV is just excellent in this regard.
Hand-Comfort: Some of the “big battery” options I tried from other vendors made me feel like I was vaping a big metal flashlight. Would the Dial-A-Volt be any better?
Like the other big batteries I’ve used, the DAV is of significant size and weight, and it doesn’t look anything like a cigarette. Despite its size, however, it does not feel unnatural or heavy in my hand. It does feel substantial, but the increased size and weight is balanced in such a way that these attributes are virtually unnoticeable after a couple of uses. Again, although it looks very much like other big battery options I’ve tried, V4L’s Dial-A-Volt has proven superior to the offerings from other vendors and manufacturers.
Long Term Durability: As I’ve described, my personal success rates with other big batteries was not great. Many of them didn’t perform well right out of the box. Others did fine for a few days and then began to fail. So how does the Dial-A-Volt hold up over the long haul?
I’ve had the Dial-A-Volt now for just under three months, and over those weeks of usage I have not had one single issue with the product. Not once has it refused to charge or failed to fire. Additionally, I have not experienced the loss of power or flavor which typically occurs with smaller batteries as the charge drops off. I charge the DAV, twist on a tank and I’m all set. Throughout the charge, from the first draw to the last, the DAV produces lots of vapor and wonderful flavor, and it produces them both very consistently.
Charging / Battery Life: If I have a complaint about the Dial-A-Volt, it is in the area of Charging and Battery Life. The DAV does many things so very, very well, but it does stumble a bit in the charging / battery life department. I only have one of these units and I very much look forward to using it. Unfortunately, while a single charge does last several hours for me, it regularly takes 10 to 12 hours – and sometimes longer – to recharge it. Because it does perform so well in every other respect, and because it takes so long to charge, I tend to hold off on using the DAV until I see how my day unfolds. If something comes up and I have to be out and about for several hours, I want the DAV ready to go. This is the battery I take with me when I know I’m going to be away from my desk and can only reasonably take one battery along. Unfortunately, because of the lengthy recharging cycle, I don’t use it as often as I’d like. I feel like I have to hoard it. I don’t want to use it too early in my day as then it will be unavailable to me later when I might really need it. And, like my experiences with the pass-through previously, the Dial-A-Volt does such a good job with vapor production that many of my other batteries seem wimpy and almost lifeless by comparison.
Voltage Adjustment: As the name indicates, the Dial-A-Volt is a variable voltage device. I’ve seen other implementations of an adjustable voltage function for e-cigs, but most of them seemed very unwieldy. Admittedly, I’d never tried a variable voltage device personally, and the reason I hadn’t was because when I looked at how the voltage had to be adjusted, I’d think: Changing the voltage looks like such a pain in the ass, I’d never use it.
Thankfully, Vapor4Life’s Dial-A-Volt makes voltage adjustment easy and intuitive. Using a wheel on the bottom of the device – The “Dial” – the voltage can be adjusted in increments from 3.3 volts to 4.8 volts. I liked this idea very much, as I’d found some of my preferred juices taste better at higher voltages, while I find other juices more enjoyable at lower voltage levels. The position of the dial, however, gave me pause. With the dial on the bottom and with it being so easy to turn and adjust, would the dial be constantly spinning in my pocket when I tucked it away between uses? As it turns out, the dial on the bottom of the DAV is just tight enough to stay exactly where I put it without being so tight as to make it difficult to use. The dial’s precision design makes voltage adjustment very easy and something I very much enjoy.
So, would I recommend the Dial-A-Volt to a friend? Yes, I certainly would. While I have not yet had the opportunity to try the Vapor Zeus, from my experience thus far I think the Dial-A-Volt comes closer than anything else to capturing the excellent flavor and vapor production of a pass-through. And, it does these things while eliminating the need to be tethered to a desk or outlet. The one complaint I have is in regard to the battery life and charging time. While I do get several hours of use between charges of the Dial-A-Volt, I am still somewhat frustrated by the hours and hours it takes to recharge. My advice? Try one. If you find you like it, bite the bullet and buy a second one. That way you can keep one on hand, charged and ready to go. If you’re like me, the Dial-A-Volt will spoil you with its vapor and flavor production, and regular batteries will no longer completely satisfy your vapor craving.