Lavatube Starter Kit Review

High Power Variable Voltage Vaping

Until recently variable voltage (VV) devices have been expensive. Kits have gone for $250 and up. For me, even with the savings of not buying cigarettes, that price was just too much to pull the trigger. Things have changed though and new variable voltage units have been coming out. The very cheap options didn’t work too well though. Honestly they didn’t work better than the standard batteries, which cost less and had better quality. All that changed when the Lavatube was released, a well built, full featured, variable voltage ecig.

Lavatube

 
Why care about Variable Voltage?

As the name implies, in a variable voltage device you can adjust the voltage output going to your tank, atmoizer or carto. It’s such a simple concept but the effect is massive allowing you to tailor the vaping experience to your own personal tastes and that makes a huge difference. You no longer need to spend money just trying to find that right resistance level on your atomizer or cartomizer to fit your battery and your preferences. Whether you buy a 1.7ohm SmokTech Cartomizer, or a 3.0ohm Boge Cartomizer you can quickly adjust the voltage to provide the vapor warmth and amount that YOU like.

Not only can you change the voltage, you can really crank it up for a high voltage experience, something originally reserved to DIY contraptions or USB passthroughs. Higher voltage results in warmer and denser vapor.

I’ve also noticed different liquids have their own sweet zones for flavor. The flavor profile can change drastically depending on how hot they are burned, from no flavor at all to providing a rich taste. That juice you got with no discernable flavor may just need a little more power to make it shine.

 
Initial Impressions

Frankly this thing is great. It’s built quiet well with an aluminium body that’s strong yet light. The finish is durable, I’ve dropped it a few times now and there’s some small blemishes but it’s still black, holding up well and not chipping. The buttons are sturdy, they don’t bounce around and each press gives positive feedback.

 
Main Features

There’s two small buttons that allow you to adjust the voltage and a small display that lights up nice and bright once you start messing with the unit. When you adjust voltage you’ll see the voltage readout on the screen. Voltage levels can be set in .1 increments from 3.0 volts all the way to 6.0 volts.

Lavatube ButtonsThere’s a third small power button which will allow you to turn the unit on or off to prevent accidental usage when storing. Additionally there’s a really cool feature that allows you to see the resistance, in ohms, of any attached accessory. Press the power button once and a resistance readout will show up for a second or two followed by the current voltage setting. This really helps you learn your preferences and dial in voltage to your liking since many cartomizers and atmoizers can vary by a few tenths of an ohm. Something I’ve noticed is the resistance can sometimes give you advanced warning when a cartmizer is on it’s way out. If the resistance consistently is going down or up with slightly lower performance you can be sure that carto is on it’s last legs.

Tip: Use 2.5ohm to 3.0ohm cartomizers at higher voltage settings for best flavor and vapor. They contain more surface area on the heating coil than low resistance cartos and the higher voltage allows you to take full advantage of the Lavatube.

The screen also contains a battery level indicator with 5 battery levels that shows a realistic and predictable indication of how much power is left. Finally there’s a large rounded button to the side that actually activates the battery and lets you vape. It’s positioned well for your thumb when the unit rests in your hand and it doesn’t activate the screen light, which is well thought-out.

 
Even More Features

I just covered a lot of features, but that’s just half of it. There’s more behind the scenes stuff going on in the circuitry. Most noticeable is the vaping consistency. If you’ve used other batteries, you probably noticed that the first hits off the charger are strong and the final hits before it dies are very muted. The first thing you’ll notice with the lavatube is that the last few hits are the same as the first hits. The built in power regulator in will keep your vaping consistent. This is probably the second most significant benefit you get from the Lavatube over any other less expensive battery.

Some of the remaining features you may not notice but they’re just as important and keep you and the unit safe. The unit is protected against shorts, so when your atty or carto fail the Lavatube won’t. This also includes an amperage limit which won’t allow you to go beyond safe voltage levels on low resistance cartomizers. It’s also designed with polarity protection that keeps it safe if you put the battery in reversed. Battery over-discharge monitoring will keep your batteries working for a long time. The batteries used by the Lavatube will not recharge fully is they have been drained below 3.2 volts and the Lavatube considers this a fully drained.

 
What Else is there?

Pricing on these kits is very reasonable for what you get, especially when you compare it to the pricing of other starter kits. For $100 and under you can get an amazing vape stuffed with useful features that only enhance it. There’s also savings in replacement batteries. The Lavatube reuiqres a highdrain IMR 18650 battery which can be found online in numerous places ranging in price from $6-$10 dollars and will last many recharge cycles. Lavatube kits usually come with a rechargeable battery, a charger, and most also include a drip tip, atomizer and carry case.

 
So What’s Wrong With It?

Incase you haven’t noticed before, it’s usually at this point in all reviews, after you’re drooling over something, where the devastating paragraph or two spills everything that’s wrong it. To be perfectly honest, there’re aren’t many downsides to the Lavatube. In fact there’s only one downside to the Lavatube and that’s its size. It’s on the big side. I’ve used it now for a couple of months at least and there’s no other real flaws that come to mind.
Here’s the Lavatube next to a standard 650mah Joyetech eGo battery.
Lavatube vs Ego Size Comparison

 
The Rundown
Advantages of the Lavatube Kit:
Adjustable Voltage: I can’t convey how big a plus this is for the Lavatube. No matter what resistance cartomizer, atomizer, or tank you buy you can personalize your vaping experience.
Consistency: No noticeable drop in performance from fresh charge to an empty battery.
Price: For what you get, compared to other variable voltage devices, not only is it cheaper but it works extremely well.
Battery Life: A large battery last a significant amount of time. I charge mine once every 48 hours, where as my ego goes on the charger daily.
Build & Quality: While it might not be as nice as high-end variable voltage vaporizers, its a solid piece. Made from aluminum, the buttons and finish are both durable.
Resistance Check: Extremely useful feature. One button press gives you a resistance readout of whatever is attached.
Disadvantages of the Lavatube Kit:
Size: This is really the only single true downside. It’s wide and it’s long. It takes up space in your pocket (or purse) and while it sits well in the palm there’s a good amount sticking past your hand.
Charger: It’s bigger, more like the ones you use for rechargeable AA batteries. Not really a problem, but it’s not something you can throw in your pocket. There’s no option to charge via USB either like almost all small kits.
Endcap: Sometimes it may take a second or two to get the threads lined up when swapping a battery because of the spring pushing back.
Click, Click: The main button click is very positive but comes with a distinctive click. It’s not that load but I notice it when I’m trying to be stealthy though.

I’m being really critical in the last three disadvantages just to find something else that’s wrong with it. They really haven’t caused me any issues or annoyances. This is by far the best ecigarette you can buy for the money.

Note: There are various versions of the Lavatube and I’ll be posting links to the ones I find. There’s slight differences in features and larger differences in the way those features are used.

 
WHERE TO BUY

Original Lavatube has been discontinued. Updated version listed below.
Volcano LAVATUBE v2.5 Kit

One thought on “Lavatube Starter Kit Review

  1. I just purchased a Lavatube……I put one of the two batteries on charge. The red light comes on……it has been almost 4 hours,still red. Im wondering if I have a dud?

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