So, here is the latest addition to the Dripbox family - the Kangertech Dripbox 160 - kindly supplied by the team at Vape Distribution Limited.
It comes as an all-in-one starter kit. You get the mod, the RDA and some prebuilt coils and decks to put into the RDA, plus a bag of bits. All you need to do is put a pair of 18650s into the base, fill the reservoir with your favourite juice, and you’re good to go!
... Or are you?
The Dripbox 160 offers 160w of variable wattage power from two 18650 batteries, various temperature control options and an extremely convenient squonker design.
This comes in the form of a 7ml on-board reservoir which you squeeze to push juice up into the RDA. Overall, I think it’s a great idea!
So, let’s get down to the device. After removing the Dripbox from its packaging, I removed the top cap from the RDA and found two extremely poor excuses for Clapton coils, unevenly spaced and bent along with cotton that looks like it was rammed in there with some force. It won’t do! I removed the original wick and straightened out the coils so they would heat up evenly and I wicked it up with some Texas Tuff Cotton.
I removed the 7ml juice reservoir, stored conveniently behind a magnetised door on the base of the device, and topped it up with my favourite juice at the time, Lemon Lush by The Demon Vaper. As always, I pre-dripped on the cotton and coils to speed up the wicking process, squeezed the squonk bottle on the device a few times to flood the deck of the RDA and that’s it. Put in two batteries and job’s done!
I set the device to 60w, it wasn’t enough, 80w... still not enough… 100w seemed to be a reasonable figure to vape at. Cloud production was good as was the flavour - nothing mind blowing, but it was acceptable. The airflow is adjustable by turning the top cap/drip tip assembly, and also allows you to select a highly restricted mouth to lung airflow option. Not something for me, but it may suit others.
One thing though, the power seemed to lack a bit of punch. The 100w didn’t seem like a true 100w -more like an 80-85w - so I transferred the RDA onto another device, fired it at 100w and it was so much better. This made me question the true power output of the device
The Clapton coils seem to spit and pop at whatever wattage you set them to, and rather inconveniently, due to the orientation of the air holes, the spits either went up my nose or on my chin. Because of this, I swapped the original coils for a pair of stainless steel coils coming out at 0.15ohm. This improved the flavour and reduced the spitback to near on nothing. Kangertech also provide you with a spitback protection insert which I use from time to time, but it does tend to mute the flavour slightly.
The temperature control modes seem to be a bit sketchy at times. The stainless steel mode sometimes fails to fire, as if it has sensed a dry wick, even when it’s fully saturated. I rarely use temperature control, so this doesn’t bother me, but to regular users of TC, it may be a big downfall of the device.
To conclude, it’s a great looking and feeling device. On paper, it sounds great too. But it lacks a vital, powerful punch in wattage mode. The temperature control modes are a bit hit and miss and the included coils are an absolute state. Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend it to absolute beginners. It’s better suited to people who are more experienced in coil building. It’s a nice, budget device to get intermediate vapers into squonking, but don’t expect to be blown away.