So, ladies and gentlemen, how are we all today? I’m assuming you’re in the market for a new box mod if you’re reading this review? Or do you read all of my blog posts? I won’t be offended if you say no … I do have a tendency to go on a bit!
(There are affiliate links in this review, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click & make any purchases. Please see Disclaimer for more details.)
Today, I would like to talk to you about a sub-ohm box that I feel has been a little overlooked. This Vapor Storm Puma review comes courtesy of Vapor Storm, and they sent me this beautiful little box alongside the Subverter — the big yellow box that I didn’t think I was going to like that much. I even released a first impressions video on the Subverter, picking out all the flaws that I thought it had in the first week or so of using it. I assumed the Puma box mod would win the battle between the two — the one I reached for all the time. When you look at the size, design, specs, and everything else, it makes sense that the Puma would be the one for me.
The reality was very different.
Let me tell you why.
About Vapor Storm
Vapor Storm is a Chinese company that seems to make some pretty funky lookin’ box mods, tanks, etc., but they’re a brand I hadn’t heard of at all before they got in touch. They just weren’t on my radar. I don’t think they’re sold in *that* many places (or so it appeared when I finished my Subverter review), and that surprises me. Both boxes were fab little bits of vape equipment.
There are quite a few pretty decent looking bits of kit on the Vapor Storm website (which you’ll find HERE), and ECO Pro Hawk Kit looks pretty neat if you’re looking for a tank + box mod combined. I think I might add that one to my to-buy list. (The Forever Love one is beautiful! That print!)
In case you’re interested, the ECO Hawk Kit is currently sat in my to-review pile ??
(And yes, I like it.)
Vapor Storm Puma Review
I’ll kick things off with the Puma’s specs:
The box mod is available in 19 different colours/prints/patterns. Yes, that’s right … NINETEEN of them! Mine is simply titled “Blue”, but I think “Old Story” is super cute. That’s the one I would have ordered.
You can see all of the different designs here.
- Height: 80.7mm (no tank attached)
- Width: 43mm
- Depth: 40mm
- Wattage range: 5.0W – 200W
- Temperature range: 100C – 300C
- Voltage range: 0.5V – 8.0V
- Resistance range: 0.05-3Ω(power); 0.05-1Ω (TC)
- Modes (as I flick through them): VW, NI, SS, TI, M1, M2, VB (Bypass), CCW
I have absolutely no idea what half of those things mean. What the hell is VB Bypass? Or CCW? Or M1 and M2 for that matter? Thankfully, it’s all listed in the instruction manual. Yeah, I should probably take a peek at that …
I should also probably let you know that this review is based on VW mode; I only ever use the Puma on the VW mode, and only up to 60-80 watts at most. These funky, multi-functional, super-duper devices are WASTED on me, haha!
There’s a bunch of safety stuff — short circuit protection, overcharge protection, over current protection, over power protection, over discharge protection, and temperature protection. To be honest, I think all box mods should have these as standard. I’m not going to clap the company for having their safety specs in order.
Okay, fine, maybe just a lil clap then. ??
Well, you won’t be short of design/colour with nineteen of them on offer, but I do wonder if *that* many designs are really necessary. To me, it indicates that the Puma is relatively cheaply made — plastic, mass-produced, lightweight, and perhaps not that durable.
It might be plastic, mass-produced and lightweight, but I was wrong about it not being durable. The Puma *IS* durable. A lot more so than it looks, too. I’ve dropped mine on a concrete floor twice, it’s fallen off the couch and onto the floor about a hundred times, and it’s been bashed about in the depths of my handbag more frequently than I’d like to admit. Honestly, if my vape blows up it’s going to be all my own fault.
Drop-proof and scratch-proof? Yeah, I’ll give it that. None of the paintwork has chipped off mine and I’ve had it and used it pretty regularly for months.
It’s definitely one of the lightest box mods I’ve got in my collection. I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d like that at first because I worried the lightweight-ness would make it feel cheap and plasticky, but it’s not as cheap-feeling as you’d think. You couldn’t call it flimsy, and nothing rattles or shakes. Overall, it looks and feels pretty well made. That’s not what I was expecting.
In My Hand
The Puma has a nicer design than the Subverter, with a curved shape that sits in the hand pretty nicely. The only real problem I had with it was that the tips of my fingers kept finding the edge of the battery cover. It turned into the bit I played with/twiddled, and I sometimes ended up pulling the cover off by accident.
This box mod is one of the more bulkier devices I own, and it’s definitely not the kind of thing that you can easily throw in the pocket of your jeans. It doesn’t fit in the pocket of my jeans and it looks a bit dodgy when it does. Like, is that a vape in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?
On paper, the Puma is everything I should and would want from a vape. The inhale seemed easier and smoother than the Subverter, you get more clouds, the shape is slightly better for your hand, and it doesn’t look so much like a Fisher-Price toy as the Subverter did. The buttons aren’t as clicky-noisy, and the battery panel doesn’t have a massive cutout design showing off all the ugly battery bits beneath.
In reality, however, I use the Subverter a lot more. Although I should like the cute blue one more, the awkward yellow one wins all the time. I actually love both Vapor Storm box mods and would highly recommend them both, but if the Puma broke I’d only be a little bit sad. I’m not sure I’d miss it all that much. If the Subverter died, though, I’d be a very sad girl. Heartbroken. That big yellow thing is my “big girl” box mod, ya know?
As previously mentioned, the Puma’s button is definitely quieter than the Subverter’s one. And OH MY GOD was that thing noisy as hell. I’ve never heard such annoying, clicky buttons. It’s obviously not *that* annoying, as I still use the box mod pretty regularly, but I do wish the button on the Subverter was as quiet as the one on the Puma.
To turn the device on, you click the power button (the big, round circle at the top, above the screen) fast five times.
To change the mode, hold the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons (underneath the screen) down at the same time. This makes quite the change from clicking the power button three times or whatever, but I don’t think it took me very long to get used to it. It’s not like I change the mode a lot … or ever.
A little square on the top right-hand side of the screen will start flashing once you’ve pushed both buttons for long enough, and you can then use the same buttons to move forward and back through the options. Just as a little note: I like that you can use the minus button to go back a step. I find myself circling through the options too fast on a lot of other devices, and it’s really annoying having to go through them all again just to find the one you want.
It’s just a little thing, but I like it.
The buttons are in the same colour/design as the rest of the mod, so I like that they don’t boldly stand out, but at the same time I almost wished they were black or a different colour. This wasn’t so much for the larger power button, but definitely for the smaller and slimmer ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons. They’re quite diddy.
Going through the different modes you’ll find: VW, NI, SS, TI, M1, M2, VB, and CCW. When you find the one you want, simply push the power button and you’ll be good to go.
What do those modes mean?
Pffft. Not a clue. I use VW – variable watts. I also laughed at VB and thought it meant Victoria Beckham for a moment. This review is based on VW, using it as a box mod for both sub-ohm (DTL) and mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping. I found some useful information on using CCW, which I learned to mean “Curve” mode, in Vaping Pogonophile’s review. Just in case you’re interested.
I already mentioned that I found myself playing with the edge of the battery cover and pulling it off sometimes, and I’m not sure that the two magnets (top and bottom) keeping the cover in place are as strong as they need to be. I pull the cover off a lot without realising, and it ALWAYS comes off when it’s in my bag.
The Puma looks better than the Subverter does, in my opinion, with a closed-in battery cover. I don’t find the ribbon-bit that pulls the batteries out quite as annoying as I did with the other one, bizarrely.
Like most other box mods, the Vapor Storm Puma does not come with batteries — it takes 2 x 18650 batteries. The ones I used in mine were XXX Extreme Vaping Power batteries, which you’ll find here.
Out of the two devices I was sent by Vapor Storm — the Subverter and the Puma — I preferred the screen of the Subverter. It was brighter, with more colourful features, and I found it much easier to read than the typical white-writing-on-black-background display offered by the Puma. I think the Puma’s screen was far too cluttered and squished-together. Not enough to stop me using it, but enough to annoy me just a teeny-tiny bit.
The 0.96-inch screen shows you a number of things. The mode is shown right at the top. Mine is always on VW — variable watts — so below the power, it shows the watts, battery capacity left in both batteries separately, and a list of other, smaller bits and pieces, such as volts, amps, ohms, and length of inhale in seconds.
Using the Vapor Storm Puma
I found the Puma box mod to be very reliable — it never broke down, didn’t mess around and show me the “check atomiser” message that I seem to get a lot from other box mod + tank combinations, and was a real joy to review. Out of the two, I felt like this one had the easier, smoother inhale, which I know doesn’t make a lot of sense. But when I used the same tanks on both devices, with the same juice and watts, airflow the same, I just found the Puma box offered an easier and smoother inhale. The Subverter required a bit more of a tug. That makes sense, right?
You know how with some vape devices, you need to click the button and then give it a moment to wake up and start functioning? Well, there’s none of that with the Puma box mod. It just works, like, right away. Boom, fire, ready to vape. I think other vapers call it “fast fire”. I like to call it a “sharpshooter”. Why? Because I’m weird.
I also think the Puma offers a slighter quieter vape, too, even with the same tank, juice, airflow, etc. At the same time, the Puma also seemed to offer up more in the way of clouds than the Subverter did. Again, I used the same tank, same eliquid, same coils, and same wattages on both devices, but the Puma pumped out more vapour. As a result, I often bump up the watts on the Subverter to compensate and this means that my batteries run out quicker. The batteries always seem to last longer in the Puma than they do with the Subverter, and it’s the higher wattage that does zooms through the power quicker.
The main tank I used when road-testing this box mod was the Aspire Cleito EXO + 0.4-ohm coil. I also used the Jac Vapour Series-S22 tank + 0.5-ohm S-Coil, and later on, Vapor Storm’s Hawk tank + 0.2-ohm coil. I have no problems to report. There was some occasional leakage with these 6ml spare tube with the Hawk tank, but I think that was an o-ring related problem. The review for that is coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
Vapor Storm Puma Review — Conclusion
Mister best-ecig said to me: “If you had to give one of the box mods away, the Subverter or the Puma, which one would it be?”
My answer: “Neither. They’re both lovely. Don’t make me give them up.”
And that’s the truth of it. I love bits of both of them. I almost wish I could merge the two devices together, but I probably still wouldn’t be happy because I’m me.
The button on the Puma is quieter and better in my opinion, and I also think it vapes smoother, easier, and quieter. It fits nicer in the hand than the Subverter does, although I don’t like the screen as much. It’s all a bit squished-together and cluttered for my liking. I think it makes the information difficult to read, especially with just a quick glance.
I’m not the biggest fan of the actual style/pattern of the box mod, but that’s such a personal thing that I’m not even sure it’s worth mentioning. If I had purchased this and not been sent it by Vapor Storm, I’d probably have gone with “Old Story” because it looks newspaper-esque. I wasn’t impressed with the battery cover popping off every five minutes though, and it happened more the longer I had and used it. I’m almost at the point of throwing a hairband around it to make sure the damn thing doesn’t ping off.
At a push — and a serious push at that — I could probably give up the Puma. I’d miss the Subverter way too much. It’s funny how that worked out, huh? I always thought the Puma would become the permanent addition to my collection, but it’s the big, ugly, yellow brick-thing after all.
I like Vapor Storm’s Puma, but slightly less than the Subverter. The battery cover ping-off annoyed me too much.
I’m giving it 4 stars out of 5 ⭐️
- Feels great to hold
- Easy-to-find button
- Device is easy to use
- Shows capacity of both batteries separately
- Hasn’t broken
- Offers various modes (if you’re into that kind of thing)
- Quieter button than the Subverter
- Easier, smoother inhale than the Subverter
- I’m not the biggest fan of the pattern/design
- Quite a bulky design
- Battery cover pops off far too easy
- Up and down buttons are a little difficult to find
- Screen is fussy and cluttered — not easy to read
Fancy checking out the big, yellow Subverter? You’ll find that right here > Vapor Storm Subverter Review.
I found the Vapor Storm Puma box mod in the following places:
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*Prices & information correct at time of writing.
HONESTY POLICY: The Vapor Storm Puma and Subverter box mods + ECO Hawk kit were sent to me by Vapor Storm for a review. I did not pay for these vape products. I was not paid for my review and I will not be paid for my HONEST review. All opinions are mine and in no way influenced by affiliate status, store, brand, or manufacturer.
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