Eleaf iStick Power 2C Kit with GX Tank: Colour Me Impressed!
It was 2011 and I was still labouring under the delusion that I can quit smoking whenever I liked – and despite several failed attempts via various mechanisms. E-cigarettes were still a new notion to smokers who unsurprisingly met the idea with scepticism – and I was one of those.
Eleaf was just established then and grew exponentially alongside the market itself in the next few years. I do remember back when I started to seriously explore e-cigarettes – in the days of eGo batteries and CE4 clearomisers – Eleaf was one of the main brands to consider along with a fair few brands from China.
Fast forward to today, over a decade later, Eleaf is still going strong in the e-cigarette market despite intense competition. Admittedly, they’re not really releasing new devices and kits at the same pace as other companies, but they remain a reliable choice for most vapers and for beginners in particular.
We are going to have a look at the Eleaf iStick Power 2C Kit today. The “GX Tank” in the product name does belabour its title but is an important differentiator versus the previous release of the same kit with a different pod tank (the GTL Tank). Without spoiling much of the review, this is because the GX Tank is able to accommodate coils for higher wattage vaping which I am sure will be a welcome change for DL vapers.
Packaging and Contents
I was sent the retail packaging of the Eleaf iStick Power 2C Kit with GX Tank that contained:
§iStick Power 2C mod that runs on dual 18650 cells (not included in the kit).
§GX Tank has a 5mL capacity.
§1 x GX mesh coil (0.2 ohms).
§1 x GX mesh coil (0.5 ohms).
§A USB-C Charging cable.
§Paperwork including a warranty card, user manuals, and warning card.
Salient Features include:
§Goes from 1-160W of power, scrolling in 0.5W increments and doesn’t round robin at min/max power level.
§Reads 0.1 to 3.0 ohms resistances.
§Has 2A charging via its USB-C port.
§Dimensions at 53 x 25 x 138 mm.
§Has a smart chip inside with power, smart, and voltage modes. Indeed, there is where I think Eleaf missed a trick in not including bypass and TC vaping modes.
§0.96 coloured screen.
§Coils are made with AST (austenite) steel, which Eleaf claims to boost flavour and lifespan.
Impressions and Experience
The kit comes in a black box with an outer sleeve designed with Eleaf’s trademark green around it and a coloured photo of the device in front. Kit contents, specifications, features, and manufacturer information are all printed on this sleeve. An inner box has the mod and pod tank sat on a compartmentalised foam tray, with kit accessories laid underneath. All in all, nothing extraordinary and just about what I expected from Eleaf and a kit within this price range.
Now, the mod and pod tank put together was actually much nicer than what I expected! They match perfectly and as a unit, are just the right size in the hand or even to slip inside a coat pocket. It has a nice grip and weight to it- very friendly for people with smallish hands like me!
A. GX Tank and GX Mesh Coils
Overall, the GX Tank is very nicely designed, especially in combination with the GX coils. The drip tip was comfortable to use, and I would say has a nice enough height that your lips won’t touch the top of the pod. On this aspect of the kit, I do have two things to point out. One is that it’s not a standard 810 drip tip, but rather one of those modified wide bore drip tips that have the o-rings on the tip itself. I did wish Eleaf used a standard drip tip to allow vapers to use their own. And the second one is that the way the drip tip connects with the pod does sometimes create a collection of condensate once left standing after several puffs. The latter is completely manageable though with just a good wipe if you’re going to leave your tank standing for a few hours.
The pod itself has a generous capacity and is easy enough to fill via its side fill-port. I didn’t have any issues with refilling. One thing I would say though is that because it’s quite tinted, it’s not that easy to see e-liquid levels in low light. But again, hold the pod up to the light and you’ll see your e-liquid very easily!
The plastic pod connects to a metal base that has the coil contacts, 510 connection (to the mod or any mods, for that matter), and airflow control. There are strong magnets at the base of the pod to make this connection, which is further enhanced by a click-and-lock system via grooves inside the metal base that lock with the base of the pod. As a whole, it secures the pod very well on this base which is important for this pod tank’s airflow control system.
Speaking of which, airflow control is achieved by spinning a metal ring with full stops and holes to let air into the pod from the bottom up. It had the right amount of tension to keep its position during normal handling and was quite effective in regulating airflow. I actually liked this system better than those employed in other pod tanks/pod kits (e.g., spinning the pod to control airflow) because I find that this gives me a more consistent airflow. Now, the airflow itself was quite plentiful especially with the 0.2-ohm coil, so much so that I vaped with this coil with the airflow about a third closed.
The pod in combination with the coils did not give me any leakage whatsoever, always a major pro! Starting with the GX 0.2 ohm coil (50-80W), I just need to say that I was really impressed with the quality of this coil in DL! The flavour was pure and punchy(8/10) and is up there with the best I’ve had from a stock mesh coil. It’s especially impressive given that it’s not that big of a coil. No dry hits and it vapes consistently, I can’t really pick any fault with it. At the time of writing this review, this coil was still going strong at 1500 puffs, so coil life shouldn’t be an issue. I vaped with this coil at 60W for the right combination of flavour, warmth, and cloud density to my liking.
The GX 0.5 ohm coil (25-45W) was also as impressive in DL despite the lower wattage range. Of course, this means that the vape will be relatively cooler than the 0.2-ohm coil, but I found that it didn’t really take away anything from the quality of the vape. Flavour is on point (8/10), and I preferred using this coil with fruit-flavoured e-liquids at 40W, with airflow a third closed.
As a unit, I don’t really have any issue with the GX Pod Tank and its coils. In fact, I can see myself using this on other mods I own!
B. iStick Power 2C Mod
Now then, this mod looks really classy! That was my first impression of it when it came out and I still think the same to this day. It has a smoothly finished metal frame (zinc alloy?) which is complemented well by a patch of stitched leather, adding to how comfortable it is to use. Eleaf also kept branding to a minimum, with just “Eleaf” and “Power” printed in the classy font on each side of the metal frame. It just looks so elegant and grown up, a refreshing change in my eyes in this day and age of mods coming in loud colours.
Another great feature worth pointing out is that although it’s not made with plastic, the mod is also quite lightweight, even when loaded with batteries. Eleaf really thought out the ergonomics of this mod, and they passed with flying colours!
Up top is the 510 platform that can accommodate atomisers with a diameter of 24mm and below. You could probably get away with 25mm atomisers but I wouldn’t recommend going bigger than that.
The USB-C port is on one side of the mod, and the battery door is at the base of the mod.
The battery door with vent holes is on a hinge and is locked/unlocked via a sliding action. Time will tell whether the door will last over repeated use, but one thing I did notice is the lack of added grooves to help grip the door when sliding in/out. I wished Eleaf put in a little more of the texture on the door to help with grip, especially for people with grip problems or for when we get E-liquid on our fingers sometimes.
Battery polarities are clearly marked inside the mod and as well as on the door itself. There’s even a designation for “A” and “B” batteries!
The front of the mod has the fire and adjustment buttons that are all very clicky and have no play whatsoever. The fire button is big and protruding enough to find without looking at the mod. The coloured screen is also at the front and displays a plethora of vaping data such as mode selected, lock/unlock status, remaining life of A and B batteries (represented as one diminishing bar for each cell), power/voltage level selected, puff counter, duration of puff, and ohm load. It’s quite a lot of information to fit such a small area but the screen was easy enough to read as it’s clear and bright.
Performance-wise, the mod fires quickly and hits hard, as I like it in DTL vaping, and manages battery life quite well (and charges batteries quickly too). However, there are a couple of things that I noticed to be a little off, and these are the displayed battery life remaining and inconsistent resistance readings. Perhaps it’s because of how battery life is presented on the mod screen but it tends to show a little more battery life than there actually is. As for the inconsistent ohm load readings, I found the resistance reads to vary anywhere from 0.01-0.04 ohms. Again, both aren’t deal-breakers in my book, but worth noting to you all just the same.
Operating this mod is very easy to pick up:
§Five clicks of the fire button = on/off.
§Three clicks of the fire button = lock adjustment buttons.
§Pressing + and – buttons simultaneously = access the menu where you can select the mod mode, see your puff monitor for the last 7 days (and also reset your puff counter), select the UI colour displayed, reset the mod to default settings, and check the mod ID.
§The fire button and – button = activates/inactivates stealth mode, which is always a nice feature to have in a mod.
All in all, it’s a mod that’s easy to use, practical, ergonomic, and of good quality. As said before, the only limitation for me is that its chip doesn’t offer additional modes of operation, which really would have been nice to have especially when using this mod with other atomisers.
Overall: Yay or Nay?
For its price and the quality of kit on offer, the Eleaf iStick Power 2C Kit gets a resounding Yay from me!
I highly recommend this kit for both experienced and beginner DTL vapers for the vape quality it offers and its ease of use. The flavour from the GX coils is some of the best you will get from stock mesh coils of this size.
As a cherry on top, this kit is truly pleasing to the eye and is just amazingly comfortable in the hand, like it belongs there!