Volcano Tube Tank Review
Click the link above to view this product at the manufacturer’s website or click here if you are in Europe.
Update: In January 2012, Volcano made an announcement stating that future Tube Tanks would have cartomizers with 80-percent larger holes for more reliable e-liquid feeding. In May 2012, I finally got around to purchasing one of these improved Tube Tanks. I got the 7 ml version pictured below, which has chrome-colored plastic on the caps and drip tip and is outfitted with a single-coil 3.0 ohm cartomizer. As you’ll see, I find the new version of the Tube Tank to be significantly better than the original and have adjusted my rating slightly as a result. You can still see my original Volcano Tube Tank review archived below.
Because I experienced so many problems when writing my original Volcano Tube Tank review, I decided to fill the new one differently to avoid wasting e-liquid if it didn’t work. I removed the cartomizer from the Tube Tank and filled it with a syringe as I would a Boge cartomizer. I placed it on my ProVari Mini and made sure that the cartomizer actually worked properly on its own before adding and filling the tank. In this new version of the Tube Tank, the tank fed e-liquid reliably through the cartomizer’s punched hole and I was able to drain the tank successfully.
In spite of the fact that the Tube Tank now works properly, I have decided to raise its score only slightly, from 1.0 to 3.125. I’m finding that although this Tube Tank actually works, it has its own set of problems that make it a bit inferior to the Boge 510 cartomizer I so love. Because the Tube Tank has a much longer cartomizer, there’s a greater distance between the heating coil and your mouth. This means that the vapor produced by the Tube Tank is much cooler and less flavorful than what I expect from the Boge cartomizer, even though the Tube Tank’s cartomizer is of the same design. In addition, the draw of the Tube Tank is extremely tight. Between the tight draw and cooler vapor, I found it very difficult to detect the menthol in my test e-liquid — Volcano’s Menthol Burst. I also found the flavor quite flat and muted.
So, Volcano has definitely improved the reliability of the Tube Tank. If you bought it now, I think you could actually expect it to work, unlike the experience I had with the first-generation Tube Tank. That being said, although the tank certainly makes it possible for a heavy e-smoker to vape more often while refilling less, I don’t like what the Tube Tank does to the flavor of the e-liquid. Vapor production and flavor intensity are both significantly lower than what I get with the Boge 510 cartomizer. If you like your e-liquids a bit on the mild side, the Tube Tank might be right for you. For me, I’ll keep using my Boge 510s.
Original Volcano Tube Tank Review: Dec. 2011
The Volcano Tube Tank is the latest contraption to appear in the never-ending quest for more vapor, more convenience and more time between refills. It is available in two sizes. The smaller version holds 4 ml of e-liquid, costs $16.99 and is intended for the Inferno e-cigarette, while the larger holds 7 ml, costs $19.99 and fits the Lavatube e-cigarette.
The inner core of the Tube Tank is a large 1.5 ohm low-resistance cartomizer with a cotton gauze filling and a small hole at the bottom. The idea is that e-liquid feeds into the core from the tank through osmosis, keeping the core wet with e-liquid and giving you consistent vapor until the level of e-liquid in the tank drops below the hole; and even then, since the core holds about 1 ml of e-liquid on its own, you should still get plenty of vapor for hours after the tank is empty. Even for heavy vapers, a 4 ml Tube Tank should last about two days between refills.
I have to say that the Tube Tank is not a device that I think I’d be seen with in public. It’s wider than the Inferno battery and about three-quarters as long. In my opinion, it looks a little ridiculous. However, since I do the vast majority of my vaping at home, the appearance of the Tube Tank wouldn’t make much of a difference to me if it worked well. Unfortunately, I find it rather disappointing.
To fill the Tube Tank, what you are supposed to do is push the inner core down to create an opening at the top. Place a bottle in the opening at an angle, and fill the tank without getting liquid inside the inner core. Once you’ve put as much e-liquid in the tank as possible, push the core back up and fill it as you would a normal cartomizer. It takes about 20-30 drops to saturate the cotton filler; while doing this, be careful not to send liquid down the center tube. Place the included black Delrin drip tip on the core, place the Tube Tank on an Inferno or Lavatube e-cig and enjoy. That’s the dream, anyway.
Unfortunately, what I’m finding is that the Tube Tank just isn’t reliable. I filled it according to Volcano’s instructions, have topped it off several times and have even waited a few days to make sure the core is completely saturated; I consistently get a burned, unpleasant taste from the Tube Tank regardless of the amount of liquid I add. When I do manage to get something out of the Tube Tank that tastes as it should, I get almost no vapor.
My other problem with the Tube Tank is that, at present, it is only available with a 1.5 ohm low-resistance cartomizer as the center core. This is fine for the Inferno, but it means that if you use the Tube Tank with the Lavatube e-cigarette, you’ll only be able to push the power up to about 4.0 volts. Volcano has said that a high-resistance Tube Tank will soon be available, though.
Overall, I am quite disappointed with the Tube Tank. Although some customers have given it absolutely glowing reviews, I can’t get mine to work properly and really don’t care for the appearance. Not recommended.