I’ve used the Vapor Storm Subverter half to death, and you may recall the video I made for YouTube a while back. You’ll find it here if you didn’t see it, and I figured it was about time that it got its very own write-up. The Vapor Storm Subverter review is well overdue … especially considering I use it a bazillion times more than I predicted I would in my Youtube video.
(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.)
Vapor Storm got in touch with me to ask if I wanted to try out a couple of their newer box mods — the Subverter (yellow) and the Puma (blue). I said yes, and it wasn’t long before I found myself tearing opening the packaging and marvelling at the delights inside. And they really are colourful little delights, too.
About Vapor Storm
I’d never actually heard of Vapor Storm before they contacted me, but I’ve since done some research and it would appear they have a few devices on the market, some of which look pretty cute. (Have you SEEN the Rainbow Storm 100W? It’s fricking gorgeous!)
From what I can understand Vapor Storm is a China-based manufacturer, but that’s pretty much all I know about them. I have spotted a few other Vapor Storm device reviews online and they’re pretty positive, and I haven’t read anything particularly bad about the company. They also have a couple of other bits n’ pieces that I might be keeping a close eye on …
All about the shiny-shiny!
Vapor Storm Subverter Review
- Available in red, yellow/orange, and green
- Height: 90mm
- Width: 55mm (no tank attached)
- Depth: 27mm
- 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)
In the box, you get the device itself, a USB charger, and the instruction manual. I’ve not touched my manual since I got it. I only use it on power (watts), not temperature control, and I usually only really change from 10 watts or so (for mouth-to-lung vaping) to 40-50 watts (for sub-ohm vaping).
You DO NOT get batteries included. You’ll need to buy these separately if you don’t already have them at home, and you’ll need 2 x 18650 batteries. I like XXX Extreme Vaping Power batteries.
Okay, so, I had quite a lot to say about the way this box mod looked in the video, and it’s mostly because it looks just like a kid’s building-brick thing. Almost like a big lego brick. Every kid I encountered wanted to play with the device, wanted to touch the device, and kept reaching into my bag to get the device out. I don’t know whether it’s because my Subverter is bright yellow, or because of the size of it, or because it has those cool cut-out pieces on the side, but it just ATTRACTS kids.
I would not recommend leaving this device out when they’re running around. Put it away. Hide it. Otherwise, you will lose it to teeny-tiny wee hands.
Going back to that cutout design, it looks pretty cool but I’m not really a big fan of being able to see the batteries through the panel. I like things to be neater than that, all tucked away. Without sounding like a crabby cow, I don’t really see the point of it. Unless it’s for battery ventilation or whatever. The box looks “uneven” — one side with the cutout pattern over a yellow background, and the other with a pattern that looks right into the battery chamber.
In My Hand
I’ve got pretty small hands, so big devices are usually not that comfortable for me to hold. The Subverter, although large and bulky, is actually pretty easy and comfortable in the hand, and everything falls nicely into place so that the button is easy to find. Whether I use my thumb or pointy finger, it’s always in the right place and it always works. I like that. I can’t get my whole hand around it, obviously, so I wouldn’t exactly say it’s the daintiest or most conventionally feminine of devices, but I didn’t and don’t really care about that much. I’d rather have a bigger device with lots of power than a crappy device that doesn’t work.
(Cough, I’m talking about YOU, Artery Lady Q!)
Again, the button was something that I had a lot to say about in the video. It’s so big and so damn loud. The button is easy to find, but I actually think it might be the loudest, clickiest button of all the box mods I own. It’s totally unsuitable for certain situations and definitely not discreet. Nothing about the device is discreet. From the bright yellow colour to the LOUDEST CLICK IN THE WORLD, the device just screams, “I’m a vaper, okay?”
Do you remember those old-skool, button mobile phones? Like the Blackberry? Or my first phone — the Phillips Savvy? The buttons were so loud at night, weren’t they? I’d be trying to send a text message to my friend, late at night, without alerting my mum to the fact I was still awake, but the click-click-clicking would always give the game away.
“If you don’t put that phone down, I’m going to take it off you. Now get some sleep!”
That’s what it’s like every time I use the Subverter in a quiet place. Like, movie nights with my Mister. I click the button and he gives me that side-eye I hate so much.
“Can’t you use the blue one?”
(He’s referring to the Vapor Storm Puma with its much quieter click.)
It’s not just the actual power button that makes a phenomenal click; the up and down wattage buttons are just as bad. They also stick out quite a fair bit too, so the wattage is easily changed without you realising. There have been quite a few times that I went to use the device and the watts were either a lot higher or lower than I’d usually have it, and I’m guessing that’s when something hits the buttons by accident. They should have a locking feature like the Jac Vapour Series-B DNA 75W has. I actually think the lockable watts/buttons idea is a bloody genius one. The Subverter could definitely have used it.
One further point about the buttons before I forget — they’re SUPER sensitive. You click the up button just a tad and the thing jumps up from 5 watts to 40 watts in the blink of an eye.
The Vapor Storm Subverter box mod takes 2 x 18650 batteries [NOT included], inserted beneath the cutout panel that comes away from the rest of the device. I’ve already mentioned that I didn’t like the way you could see the batteries through the panel, but that’s a personal thing. It doesn’t affect the way the device vapes or feels in your hand.
There’s a piece of ribbon in the box that I’m assuming sits beneath the battery and is used to get them out, but I feel like it’s a little too long and I ended up having to cut mine down a bit. It kept hanging out of the box, despite my repeated attempts to curl it back inside. When I did manage to tuck it back in, you could see it through the cutout panel. Again, this is just a design feature I didn’t like … I think it looks a little messy and not quite finished. Or like there’s a bit missing.
While we’re on the subject of batteries, the Subverter apparently has a feature that prevents one battery from being charged up more than the other (fast balance charging: DC 5V/1.5A), when you charge them up inside the device. Imagine my surprise when the screen showed one battery at 15% and the other at 12% … Although to be fair, I can’t promise they weren’t slightly skew-whiff before inserting them into the box. I don’t really understand it, though. I’ve not had the batteries for that long, and they’ve never been used one without the other. How come one battery has a few percent more in it than the other??
(I guess that’s what happens when you charge batteries up in a device rather than an external charger. I’ve learned my lesson.)
As a final note, I feel the panel itself actually comes away from the main bulk of the device far too easy. There are just a couple of magnets holding them together, and I don’t think the magnets are that strong. There were more than a few times I reached inside my bag and the removable panel had come loose, leaving the batteries exposed to everything inside my handbag.
Again, more lessons learned: don’t throw the vape in the bottom of my handbag. I should know better really.
The Subverter has a 0.96-inch colour screen, and the main colour part of the screen — the wattages — changes colour depending on how high you’ve gone. If you’re mouth-to-lung vaping at say 5-10 watts, the watts will show in green. Set it to start sub-ohm vaping at 40 watts and upwards and the numbers turn a pale yellow shade. Hit 80 watts and above and the yellow colour gets stronger, and will finally turn to red. When you actually press the button and use the box, the numbers turn red (like you can see in the photo below). I don’t vape 80 watts and upwards, so I don’t think I ever went up that high. The box mod does goes up to 200 watts, though.
> Do YOU vape that high? Doesn’t it feel like your lungs might explode?!
Hilariously, the image Vapor Storm displays on their website show the colour-changing process along with batteries that appear to be at different levels … Like, isn’t that one of the things they specifically mention is a feature about the device? “Fast balance charging: DC 5V/1.5A”? One battery not charging more than the other? You’d think they’d have at least thrown in batteries with the same full-level before creating those images.
Source: Vapor Storm
I preferred the screen on the Subverter over the Puma. I felt the latter was really cluttered and quite difficult to see, but I didn’t have any of those issues with the Subverter. Everything is clear and easy to read. It’s kinda like the Fisher-Price version of vape devices. The screen is big, and it has those bright primary colours. Even the button is massive. I’m compelled to say it would be great as someone’s first “proper” box mod, but it’s not actually any easier to use than any of the other devices I own; it just looks like it should be.
(It’s actually not that difficult to use at all.)
Using the Vapor Storm Subverter
I’m actually using the box mod right this very second, in between bouts of typing, and I’m rocking it with the Aspire Cleito EXO tank + 0.4-ohm coil. I have Cream Custard by Halo Vapour Co in the tank (3mg, 70/30 VG/PG), and I’m vaping at exactly 44 watts. I think this tank and box together are my favourite combo, although I have used the Series-S22 tank by Jac Vapour on it quite a lot, and occasionally the Innokin Scion tank. I’m having the hardest time buying coils for the older, original model, sadly. I think I’m going to need to upgrade to the Scion II tank soon. (Do you have it? Rate it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments below!)
I tried Vapor Storm’s Subverter and Puma box mods side by side — same juice, same tank, same coil, same watts — to see how they compared when you actually vaped using them. These were my findings:
It’s easier to inhale on the Puma than it is this one — the Subverter. Everything was the same (there’s no changeable airflow on the Aspire Cleito EXO tank), so I honestly can’t tell you why that is, but there is a noticeable difference between the two. The inward draw was met by more resistance with the Subverter.
I also found that the Subverter seemed to produce a little less vapour than the Puma did. Again, I can’t explain this and I don’t think it makes much of a difference to ‘vape enjoyment factor’, but it was definitely noticeable. If the Puma delivered 100% vapour, the Subverter would have sat at about 70%, perhaps 80% at a push. But I found myself vaping at higher watts on the Subverter than I did on the Puma to compensate. I like big clouds from my sub-ohm vape. The Subverter delivered just about the right amount, but I think the Puma went above and beyond.
If you want an easier draw with boosted clouds, I’d suggest picking the Puma instead.
Vapor Storm Subverter Review — Conclusion
I actually thought the Subverter might have been a tad too big for my hands when I first took both Vapor Storm models out of the box, but it doesn’t sit as awkwardly as you’d think in the hand. Because of the way it looks — big and bulky, like a proper “big boys vape”, I tend to take it out when I want to look like a “proper” vaper. Ya know, rather than a little “girlie” vape pen. If I were going to a vape event, for example, I’d take this box. I kinda feel like I’m part of the ‘club’ when I use it … Or is that just lame?
I also thought the device was a bit too Early-Learning-Centre-simple, or just looked that way. That was just a bit of early first-impressions judgement, though. The device is no more simple or confusing than any other; it just gives off the impression that it might be super easy to use because the big buttons and bright-coloured screen make it that way.
I was actually super judgemental about the Subverter when I first got it, but it’s become an absolute favourite in my collection now. You just need to take a peek at some of my eliquid reviews and see how many times I’ve used it to test the juice! (Usually with the Aspire Cleito EXO tank because that thing is a BEAST for fine flavour.)
Eliquid: Gloop Hazelnut Cookie, review coming soon || Get it from: ECigaretteDirect
There were no leaks. The box mod never malfunctioned for no reason. I’m not so sure the Subverter was responsible for the different battery levels but instead highlighted the problem, so I’m not going to mention it again. (Even though I just did.) There was the occasional atomizer-related message, but that was mostly with the Smok Helmet tank. (A temperamental bugger from start to finish.)
? I’m going to give this Vapor Storm Subverter review 4 stars out of 5! ?
I like the Subverter. I like using it. Loads. Despite the stupid, loud, clicky buttons and occasionally pinging-off battery cover. Definitely a decent and fairly durable box mod, though. Mine’s been through a lot and survived to tell the tale!
Would I buy the Vapor Storm Subverter again? If my one broke, I’d be really heartbroken. I would absolutely replace my box if I broke it. Despite thinking I wouldn’t like it that much, it’s become my go-to vape for the biggest and best sub-ohm clouds and flavour. I very rarely use it for mouth-to-lung vaping, though. In fact, I don’t think I ever have.
Would I recommend the Vapor Storm Subverter to you? Yes, but probably not if you were in the market for a small, discreet mouth-to-lung device. This one’s a cloud-chucker, and it’s a good one. Just remember the clicky buttons. If they’re likely to annoy you (or you’re easily annoyed), I’d give it a miss. They are very clicky.
- Actually feels very nice in the hand
- Easy-to-find button
- Simple, bright & eye-catching design
- Colourful screen is easy to read
- Device is easy to use
- Shows capacity of both batteries separately
- Doesn’t break easily
- Works great – no usage problems
- Offers both watts and temperature control (if you’re into that)
- Annoyingly loud clicky buttons
- Very sensitive buttons
- Very big and definitely not discreet
- Kids are DRAWN to it
- Battery cover comes off a little too easy
Check out Vapor Storm on social media:
*Prices & information correct at time of writing.
HONESTY POLICY: The Vapor Storm Subverter + Puma 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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