The Eleaf Tance Max is one of many pod based systems have recently been flooding the market in an attempt to lure the weary vape virgin into their clasp by any means possible through ease of use, maintenance and portability.
But sometimes the results prove to be average at best.
What Can We Expect From The Tance Max by Eleaf?
Now they are offering two new pod systems. The Tance with its 580mah battery, 2 ml capacity and 10w output and the Tance Max which offers double the specs of its younger sibling. It is the latter in this ins”tance” we shall be covering.
It is available as a 2ml (TPD compliant) version but for the purposes of this review I received the 4ml pod so all thoughts and opinions are based around this particular model.
This device is aimed at mouth to lung vapers. Unsure what that is? You can read our guide here.
Despite receiving this device free of charge my opinions are my own. So without hesiTANCE let’s move on with the review.. Just had to 🙂
What’s In The Box
- 1 X Tance Max Battery
- 1 X Tance Max Cartridge (4ml non Eu compliant)
- 1 X GS Air M 0.6ohm Head Mesh Kanthal (offering 8-20W output)
- 1 X GS Air S 1.6ohm Head SS316L (Offering 6-10W output)
- 1 X Type C Cable
- 1 X User Manual
- Dimensions: Width 31mm – Height 101mm – Thickness 20.5mm
- Weight: 87.5 G
- Integrated 1100mah rechargeable battery
- Max Wattage 15w
- Resistance range 0.3-3.0ohm
- LED battery indicator light
- Replaceable/refillable Pod
There are six colour options to choose from. Black and white are your standard renditions while Seablue, Geometry, Seashell and Trick all offer brightly splashed colours that are sure to raise an eyebrow or two.
Choose a style that matches your personality, I should have received Black 🙂
Always Use Protection
The Eleaf Max Tance features built in protections:
- If vaping time exceeds 15 seconds continuous output the device is halted and indicated by the led flashing twice.
- If short circuiting occurs the Tance Max will flash five times before you attempt to vape and if short circuiting occurs during a vape the led will flash three times to warn.
- When the voltage drops below 3.3v the device will flash 20 times and switch off. Time for a re-charge.
Design & Build Quality
The Battery / Body
The body of the battery is comprised of zinc-alloy and feels slightly heavier in the hand than I expected even without the placement of pod and vape juice.
The sides and bottom have a nice beveled chrome effect trim.
The two main facing sides/panels have a thinly etched white/grey mosaic effect that is easily picked up in normal light conditions and gives the battery something of a classy,elegant look.
All of this is fine but purely aesthetic.
The Tance Max features a rather generous 1100mah internal battery that can be recharged via the type C charging port,located on the bottom. There are two main benefits to type C connections over previous older types.
Charging time is dramatically reduced. A dead battery can usually be fully recharged within in an hour or so.
It’s reversible meaning there’s no wrong way of connecting, just stick it in! This makes it much easier for those with impaired vision..like me!
During the charging period itself the device will display a red led on the fire button. This will switch off when the cycle is complete.
A fully charged Tance Max will illuminate the following ways during use.
- 100%-60% Green
- 59%-20% Blue
- 19% or lower Red
- Continuous red flashing.Time to recharge.
Five clicks on the fire button will turn the device on. A further five clicks will power the device down. Pretty standard stuff and if you’ve been vaping any length of time you probably know the drill.
The pod is made of a toughened semi transparent plastic mould allowing you to see the current level of your e-liquid. The underside has a female threading to allow the insertion of your chosen coil type via the airflow control base.
There’s also a marking to denote its 4ml capacity together with that all important rotary seal fill port itself.
How to Change The Coil and Fill The Tance max
Both coils are reliant on the airflow control base and this must be attached prior to placing into the underside of the pod.
- Drip a few drops of e-liquid onto the exposed cotton of the coil.This is known as “priming” a coil and is important in ensuring a satisfactory vaping experience.
- Screw the atomiser firmly clockwise into the base of the pod
- Adjust the airflow ring counter clockwise to achieve the desired restriction.
- The Tance Max features a rotary sealing cap on the base of the pod for ease of filling. Rotate in the direction indicated by the arrow to open the fill port.
- Gently fill the pod with e-liquid through the fill port opening.
- Return the rotary seal to its closed position.
- Always leave a new atomiser coil to saturate for approx 10 minutes before use.
How Does The Eleaf Tance Max Pod System Perform?
Me, My Pod And I
Connecting the pod is achieved by three magnetic contacts seated within the battery. Just slip it into the top and a firm contact is made.
This docking is reversible so there’s no way of getting it wrong and a single led flash on the fire button shows the current battery status. Green,blue or red that we explained above.
There are two airflow inlets on either side of the battery which are rather sizeable for a pod based system and are in direct contact with the adjustable airflow rings of the coil.
This ensures a rather airy mouth to lung experience, especially with the included 0.6ohm kanthal mesh coil set with the airflow fully open.
GS Air M coil (0.6ohm) Kanthal Mesh Coil Performance
I spent a day using the pre-installed GS Air M coil (0.6ohm) kanthal mesh to gather information on flavour quality,cloud production and overall battery consumption.
Zeus Juice Death By Bunny was used as it’s a vape juice I’m very familiar with. I know what to expect from the flavour notes. This is an 80VG/20PG ratio with a 6Mg nic level.
I was pleasantly surprised by the power that this 1100mah battery was supplying. The coil sprang to life almost instantaneously and cloud production was satisfying enough.
The flavour, however, was somewhat mute only providing glimpses of what I’ve come to know and love from this eliquid profile.
For me, The Eleaf Tance Max doesn’t work with the airflow control ring slots fully open.
Adjusting the ring down to three slots open provided a much more satisfying hit plus better flavour.
The Strawberry was now dancing around with the biscuit and cream and left a pleasant aftertaste on the tongue.
This device was now starting to show it’s true potential and throughout the day remained consistent for both cloud production and flavour.
It showed no signs of failure and easily kept up with the wicking on this thicker VG juice, right up to the point of battery exhaustion.
On that note I made the following observations.
- 3.5hrs use before the led changed from green to blue
- 3hrs use before the led changed from blue to red
- 1.5hrs use before the led changed from red to blinking red (recharge)
Eight hours of continuous use while chain vaping is very impressive and at no time was the Trance Max switched off. Therefore, a casual vaper can expect to get a full days use from a single charge.
You can also expect to deplete a full 4ml pod of juice before needing to recharge.
GS Air S 1.6ohm Coil SS316L Performance
The Eleaf Tance Max comes with a spare Stainless Steel (SS316L) coil head that allows an output of between 5-10W.
How does it compare to the more powerful kanthal mesh one?
Important! When you purchase the Tance Max the pre installed coil comes with an airflow control base which is basically the airflow control ring and a series of threads. You will need to unscrew this and attach to your new coil head before using it with the pod.
I must admit to being a passing stranger when it comes to stainless steel as a heating element so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
My experiences have been very limited so I decided to test it with an entirely different juice profile but one that I’m still familiar with. Vape Wild Stardust (3mg) with a 65vg/35pg ratio.
With the airflow slots fully open I experienced a very airy mouth to lung and a semi restrictive direct to lung vape.
In both cases the flavour was present but somewhat muted.
Reducing the airflow control ring down to a couple of slots allowed me to enjoy the candy elements of the vape juice much more and with just one slot open the melon and cucumber bounced to life.
Yet none of the test settings were providing the same level of cloud production inherent with the kanthal mesh coil.
One considerable factor to note was the increased battery lifespan.
- 8hrs use before the led changed from green to blue
- 5hrs use before the led changed from blue to red
- 3hrs use before the led changed from red to blinking red (recharge)
Battery life was literally double that of the more powerful kanthal mesh but there was considerably less cloud production, as would be expected from this type of coil.
Flavour was very good though and would satisfy a new vaper enough to keep them interested and potentially off the cigarettes.
Which PG/VG Ratio Works Best With the Eleaf Tance Coils?
I found the GS Air M 0.6Ohm coil to perform incredibly well with liquid ratios of:
While the lower powered GS Air S 1.6Ohm coil was producing best flavour with:
To summarise, the Kanthal mesh coil performed much better under relatively intense vape sessions both keeping up with the wicking, flavour and cloud production throughout the period I used it.
The Stainless Steel coil had occasional wicking issues and although flavour was there it was usually muted with a severe lack of cloud production.
Unsure why PG and VG is so important for your vape? Read our full guide here.
Thoughts And Opinions. My Stance On The Tance
My vaping journey began almost five years ago using plastic cig-a-like devices that used pre-filled e-liquid cartridges. You know, the ones with the glowing red tips to help replicate the smoking experience.
Almost five years on and pod based systems are the modern day equivalent while offering so much more versatility.
We’ve come much further on in the pursuit of quitting tobacco and no longer need to be reminded of the shape of a cigarette in order to do so. The success is down to portability, maintenance and ease of use, while weight and looks play their respective roles.
Pod systems offer all of these features with varying degrees of success.
So Does the Eleaf Tance Max Tick All the Right Boxes?
The design of the Tance Max is quite elegant and while heavier, taller and wider than other pods on the market it’s very pocket friendly and easy to hold.
The colour schemes for the panels are all striking and unique while the chrome trim around the sides and bottom is both bevelled and polished.
The fire button is small but raised and clicky. It’s also very easy to find when in poor light conditions so much so that the only time I found myself looking at it was for battery status.
Airflow Inlet Holes
The airflow inlet holes on either side of the battery are quite large and with the airflow control ring slots fully open it is possible to achieve a direct to lung vape although this isn’t something I would recommend.
Type C Charging
Type C charging is an absolute doddle to use being reversible and there’s no longer any need to check which way you are attempting to connect.
Changing coils is easy but make sure you’ve drained the pod because you will lose any excess which makes for a messy and frustrating experience at the best of times. The pod itself is made of a tough reinforced plastic that is tinted but still allows for juice levels to be visible.
Filling the Pod
Filling is made pain free and simple by way of the rotary seal cap that just needs to be moved in the direction of the arrow to open the port. With it tightly shut I experienced no leaking at all which is a major plus point in my eyes.
Three strong magnetic contacts combined with secure tolerance ensure that the pod snaps securely in place whichever way you slot it in. Likewise, dialling in those airflow settings is as easy as pie.
Within seconds you can be enjoying an airy mouth to lung with plenty of cloud, the next a stealthy flavour filled draw on your favorite apple pie..
The Eleaf Tance Max is a veritable workhorse when it comes to battery performance and has to rate as the best 1100mah cell I’ve ever come into contact with! Eight hours continuous use under intense vaping periods with no loss of performance is one thing, but to manage sixteen while using the ss coil is truly remarkable!
Is this all starting to sound like a gush fest? Pah! Really sorry if you thought I was the eternal optimist. For that I make no apologies. There are issues.
As much as the bevelling and curves look fantastic from an aesthetic point of view Eleaf have decided to extend them to the base of the device, meaning you won’t be able to stand this upright on a desk for example.
The chrome plated finish has received a few noticeable scratches after a few days extensive use and the OCD sufferers out there will notice finger print after finger print.
The micro etching to the decorative panels also picked up dirt and dust but nothing that I couldn’t remove with a handy wipe. This is the nature of engraving, unfortunately.
The mouthpiece of the Trance Max has to be the worst, the ugliest and most uncomfortable I’ve encountered on a device of this nature and truth be told it resembles a ducks bill!
It effectively throws off the entire symmetry of what the rest of the device is trying to achieve looks wise. I felt like I was attempting flute lessons for the first time. Yup! That bad!
The rotary sealing port is also not going to be to everyone’s taste because of how small it is and if you have both poor eyesight and a distinct lack of fingernails (that would be me!) you’ll have a difficult time opening it. I would also question its ability to function after a while because it looks relatively delicate and fragile.
Nowhere in the supplied instruction manual does it mention that the coils must be attached to the airflow control base before installing them. I had a blonde moment (or grey in my case) figuring out what was going on and thought I had received an incomplete renditioning of a GS Air S coil!
So it’s gonna be pretty important that you don’t lose that small control base.
OK, so let’s go over those positive points first.
- Battery performance is easily the best I’ve encountered on a pod system
- Extremely comfortable in the hand as well as pocket
- Just the right amount of weight and solidly built
- Strong and reliable magnetic contacts.This pod ain’t falling out!
- Type C charging is fast (It took 1.5hrs to charge when tested)
- Raised fire button that can be found without the need for looking
- No leaking issues
Now me.Being Negative Neil.
- Mouthpiece is extremely ugly and uncomfortable to use
- Chrome trims around the sides are a fingerprint magnet and are prone to scratching after a short period of time
- Contoured base means you can’t stand the Tance up when not in use
- Airflow inlet ports are a little on the large side
- Fill port hole will not be suitable with some of those larger dispensing nozzles
The burning question is this.. Would I personally buy the Eleaf Tance Max Pod System?
Eleaf have made one big mistake with this design and that is the Air Inlet Hole system found on the sides of the battery.
I feel they are just too large in order to achieve a well balanced mouth to lung experience which I feel the Tance is set up for.
Flavour production is improved by restricting the airflow ring slots down to around one or two but cloud production is then severely compromised. To compound the issue, when fully open the cloud production mimics that of a standard all in one vape device but flavour is diminished.
There’s no real common ground, there’s no setting I could find to honestly keep me coming back indefinitely.
Would i recommend the Tance Max Pod System?
The design, build quality and battery life especially are going to appeal to those virgin vapers I mentioned at the start of this review. It’s an incredibly portable system and there have been absolutely no leaking issues whatsoever.
The rotary sealing cap although fiddly does the job. I would, however also recommend the GS Air M kanthal mesh coil over the GS Air S coil for overall performance.
For someone starting out on their vape journey this is a device that will more than suffice. Until the next pod system comes along… 🙂