Dual coil cartomizers have been around for a while now. However, there have been a scant few examples of dual coil clearomizers and, until now, no dual coil tank style cartomizers. Vapor Alley now has a solution for that problem in the VA Double Barrel clearomizer. Calling it odd-looking is generous, but, is it a crazy idea that just might work? Or is it just a gimmick? Find out in the VA Double Barrel review.
The Double Barrel appears to have been designed based on the adage “if one is good, two must be twice as good.” In essence, this cartomizer simply takes the insides of two bottom coil clearomizer and sticks them in a single oval-shaped tank.
The tank is shaped like an oval instead of round to make it a little smaller. If it were totally round it would be a pretty pudgy tank, thicker than a Vivi Nova or a DCT.
Inside there are two complete bottom coil assemblies, complete with air tubes. This means that the tank has a proprietary, rectangular drip tip to accommodate both cartomizers with one mouthpiece. On the bottom endcap, you’ll find a typical 510 connection, nothing unusual there.
Individually, each atomizer assembly is a fairly unique piece. They use a stem and cover over a coil, similar to the CE3 cartomizers Vapor Alley used to carry.
The tanks house about 4.5ml of e-liquid and are available in a rainbow of colors. End caps and drip tips are always black, no matter what color the tank.
In theory, this is just a different way to do a dual coil cartomizer so they should work the same way. In practice, that’s not really the case.
Because of their unique design, dual coils perform best at voltages way higher than their resistance level suggests. The doubles also weigh in around 1.5 volts. Try cranking one of these double barrels up to 5v and things will probably be a little unpleasant.
The best voltage I could muster without getting dry hits and a burnt taste was around 4v. Anything higher and it seemed like the device simply couldn’t keep up.
Performance isn’t actually that bad at the lower level. Vapor production and throat hit are pretty good, though not as voluminous or intense as traditional dual coils. Despite these being bottom coil configurations, the vapor is fairly warm as well. Bottom coils are notorious for producing a cooler vapor.
Flavor reproduction is not bad and lacks the taste that cartomizers with filler like the dual coils can sometimes leave behind.
I’d say that these were in general decent cartomizers. Except it seems that it has a problem wicking after some amount of use. I’ve tried these off and on for weeks, and the same thing seems to happen. After about an hour of use, I’ll start getting dry hits all of a sudden. If I let it sit for a while, or if take some primer puffs without turning on my e-cigarette it will get better for a while.
That doesn’t last long as the dry hits come back within a few minutes. However, if I let the double barrel sit for a day or more, it works great for a while.
I have to wonder if maybe it’s the coil design holding back the VA Double Barrel and not the concept in general.
Too Long; Didn’t Read
The VA Double Barrel brings the dual coil concept to bottom coil clearomizers. By just putting two of them in the same tank. It seems like a simple solution, but the execution seems to be less than perfect. While performance is good at lower voltages, it eventually seems to struggle to keep up. Higher voltages are just asking for a burnt taste. You can find these cartomizers at Vapor Alley.
- Good flavor reproduction
- Good vapor when working properly
- 4.5ml capacity
- Poor performance at higher voltages
- Wicking issues after extended use
Product: VA Double Barrel
Available From: Vapor Alley
Resistance: 1.5 ohm
Disclosure: I received this item for review purposes, I feature affiliate links for Vapor Alley.
Errol(10/31/12 - 5:34 pm)
The CE3 can be a great little vaporizer if one can get it to work to it's potential to where it can get all the juice it can handle without flooding. That's the rub, seldom are they there straight out of the box, many times they require trimming or adjusting the wicks and or coil, some times involving adjusting the center stem so it sits a little higher or notching it with a file. All this fiddling to make the wick holes just right so liquid can flow at just the right rate for whatever mixture you are using, thick or thin. But with patience they can be a fog machine at a reasonable price. If these dual tube units could be taken apart to get them flowing to their max in unison they could be quite nice.
Steve K(10/31/12 - 9:23 pm)
I have in my possession, an adapter that is pretty much the exact same thing, but lets you use your own cartos. Same design pretty much, so that's an option too. And yes, there are gaskets holding the end caps in place so you could take this one apart and fiddle if you were so inclined.. I just never tried.
Errol(11/01/12 - 4:58 pm)
Until such time as someone comes up with an atty with an attachment or built in unit that will consistently inject a measured amount of liquid on the coil, with the press of a button or simple pump action, a properly tuned CE3 is the closest unit I've found to simulate dripping without actually dripping. As good or better than many of the rebuildable atties now available that I have tried, five or six so far, I've lost count.
The adapter sounds more interesting than putting out the money for pre-built dual CE3. Do you have a link to a vendor selling them?
Steve K(11/01/12 - 5:19 pm)
Yep, you can get them at MadVapes (link)
Errol(11/01/12 - 8:18 pm)
Thanks Steve, got one on the way. Looked at a video review and it appears to do quite a job with creating vapor.
I've had a DID clone on my desk for about a week, maybe it will be the unit to change my thinking about rebuildable dripping atties. :)
BTW why doesn't your site remember me anymore? Used to be if I didn't post for a while I had to reenter my name and email but now it's every time. Your site won't let me log in or rejoin with my user name Errol?
Errol(11/01/12 - 8:22 pm)
Just dawned on me that the DID isn't a dripping atty, old age is confusing. Had no luck with either, rebuildable atties or tanks. Maybe the did will be different with a 500 SS Mesh wick. :)
Steve K(11/01/12 - 9:36 pm)
The login thing should be fixed, I've been making some backend changes and one of them apparently conflicted with the comment system.
Yes, the double barrel adapter basically turns any cartomizer or atomizer (standard width ones anyway) into a dual coil whatever. It looks a tad silly, but I tested it with a couple of 3.2 ohm cartomizers and it worked pretty well. I have my first review of a rebuildable atty coming out next week as well.
Errol(11/01/12 - 11:23 pm)
Look forward to it. If you get interested in mesh wicks BJ43 does some interesting testing to determine how well various 375, 400, 500 mesh wicks deliver. Very informative as well as interesting.