Introduction – VIP Tense Stick Base Kit
The VIP story begins in 2008 when it “introduced cartomizer technology to the UK”. Since then it has expanded into tanks and now mods such as the VIP Tense kit we will be looking at today.
I must admit that I was taken aback when I opened the box and saw this tiny, gleaming little kit staring back at me.
The VIP Tense falls into the companies advanced kits category but can it compete with other kits in the £50 price bracket.
There’s no denying the front and back panels are striking. Read on to see if anything else surprised me!
In the box
- VIP Tense mod,
- VIP Tense 0.5Ω atomizer,
- Additional 0.3Ω coil,
- Spare glass,
- Additional seals,
- Micro USB cable,
- User guide.
The kit is compatible with both the VIP Alpha (review coming soon) and Tense coil range.
Features and specs
- Size: 67 x 38 x 24mm (approx)
- Battery: internal 2000mAh
- Screen: 30mm (approx) OLED screen
- Output modes: Smart VW/VT (Ni 200/SS/Ti/TCR)/Bypass/CCW/CCT
- Wattage Range: 5W-80W
- Voltage range: 0-8.5V
- Temperature range: 100-315 C / 200-600 F
- Resistance range: 0.1 – 5.0 Ohms (in bypass mode)
- Continuous firing time: 10s
- Charging: via micro USB cable
- 510 connection: spring loaded, gold plated 510 pin
- Height: 30mm (approx)
- Diameter: 23mm (approx)
- Coils included: 0.5 ohm and 0.3 ohm
- Adjustable top airflow
- Threaded removable top fill
- Drip tip height: 10mm (approx
- Drip tip outer diameter: 14mm (approx)
- Capacity: 2.0ml
- Threading: gold-plated, non-adjustable 510 pin
- Available colours: black and grey
Design and Build Quality
On first impression the build quality seems good on the VIP Tense kit. The buttons are comfortable clicky and the fire button has a short throw. This kit is tiny and the tank sits flush to the widest part of the mod. So, if you want to swap it out you’d better have some tanks in your collection with a similar (23mm) diameter to the Tense tank.
The plastic and metal body of the mod provides a sense of quality. There’s a good bit of weight to it and doesn’t feel the least bit cheap.
Obviously, the screen is tiny but everything you need on a starter kit is displayed clearly. Your wattage/temp take up most of the screen space. With the battery meter, coil resistance and voltage drawn taking up the other half of the screen.
The plastic coating on the front and back panels help protect from finger prints and the triangle pattern provides a luxury appearance.
There are definite clean lines and a lot of time seems to have been taken on aesthetics. The chamfered edges provide a comfortable and secure grip to such a tiny mod.
The battery charging port is on the back panel, but isn’t covered, so this could allow for a build up of pocket lint over time.
The tense atomiser has a silver and black colour scheme, making it contrast with the grey of the mod. However, it doesn’t look out of place. The threading on all parts is smooth and well manufactured. The screw top fill adds a little security as it’s less likely to come open in my pocket compared to a sliding top fill.
Now I don’t have the biggest hands but the VIP Tense mod felt tiny even to me. The size and shape sit nicely in a closed grip, with the fire button being in easy reach. Firing was more from a tensing of my finger than a conscious push.
How Does The VIP Tense Kit Perform
I’ve used the VIP Tense kit every day on my commute for the last 2 weeks and I’ve been more than happy with it. I’ve even recommended it to some colleagues that are new to vaping.
I think this is where the VIP Tense is aimed. Someone looking for a discrete, first variable wattage device. Something that will give them the confidence they need to kick the stinkies for good.
The firing time was a little delayed but when it got there the flavour from the tiny 0.5ohm coil was amazing.
I was so surprised that I needed a closer look at the structure of the coil. I expected to find mesh as that seems to be a trend in stock coil tanks at the moment. Imagine my surprise when I saw a tiny Clapton shining back at me. I honestly didn’t know they made them this small! But they do and I’m glad of it, because it works bloody well!
I quickly opened the 0.3ohm coil to see if the clapton was a trend for VIP. It wasn’t, but what I did find was a dual parallel wrap. The performance was good, but I much preferred the flavour from the 0.5ohm coil.
The menus and modes are accessed by a 2 second sequential press of the menu button. I know that vapers aren’t constantly changing modes, but this method of changing modes seemed to take a really long time. Coupling this with the tiny menu button made this even more fiddly.
The tank itself looks really well put together and with the inclusion of more advanced coils you get a really good vaping experience. My only gripe is that you don’t get to experience vaping the VIP Tense tank at higher wattages.
So even though the Tense mod will take you up to 80W, the tank itself is stuck in the starter arena at around 35W. Not a big deal though especially if you are looking for a standard device.
This is where the tank lets itself down. There’s no resistance at all as it rotates around 360 degrees. I had to check the AFC every time I took this kit out of my pocket and because it’s sits flush to the drip tip even my beard made a sneaky adjustment for me.
Fill Me Up
The tank is simplicity itself to fill. There are no kidney holes to contend with simply unscrew the top and dump your liquid in up the max line. Oh, and don’t forget to adjust your AFC when you’ve put the cap back on…did I mention the AFC is loose!
The inner chamber of the tank would make you think there’s a standard sized coil inside. The 3 juice holes are evenly spaced around the chamber and they are massive and allow an unrestricted feed to the tiny coil inside.
You get an extra glass piece in with the kit, which is a good thing as you’ll probably break the original trying to remove it to clean. The O ring holding the glass to the base of the tank is so big it would be better calling it a washer. This glass does not want to be removed. Which in turn, provides extra security from leaks and that I can live with.
Replacing the coil is a little on the tricky side for this sausage fingered ginger. I found that I needed to use my other halfs finger nails to grip the base of the coil and remove it. The coil fits nice and snug with a push fit in the inner chamber. Just make sure you’ve got finger nails if you want to replace them quickly.
In all honesty, I don’t think the VIP Tense Stick kit will be leaving my side in the near future. It’s discrete enough that it doesn’t bulk out your pocket and with the little wonder coils it’s packing the flavour and cloud produced are near perfect for me.
What Did I Use?
When I was trying the Tense out with the airflow set for Mouth to Lung (MTL), I decided to see how it would perform with some FAR NS20 Nic Salts.
Tipping 2ml of Neon Green Slushie (65VG/35PG) probably wasn’t the best idea for someone who normally Direct to Lung (DTL) vapes at 3mg, but I can’t believe how clean the flavour was.
Unsure what DTL and MTL Is? Read More With Our Guide Here.
The lime was so prominent and juicy that even with the massive nic kick I enjoyed every puff I took. I even took some lung hits with this liquid, but we won’t talk about that.
The second liquid I paired was from Cheap Thrills’ WONUTZ range. This liquid comes in at a 70VG/30PG ratio. I always like to see how a cinnamon profile will work, especially with stock coil tanks.
I’ve got to say that both of these coils worked amazingly at the 35W I settled on. Not only did the cinnamon smash you with its warmth, but the buttery smoothness was so moreish that kept using it in the tense for the remainder of my testing.
I was impressed by the wicking in this tank. Even though the coils are tiny, the juice holes in the centre chamber are huge. This allows the juice flow keep pace with some quite vigorous chain vaping on my part without any dry hits.
With the Tense tank being top airflow I wasn’t expecting any leaking. Couple that up with the massive bung at the base of the tank and you’ve got a pretty secure little system. As the tense lived mostly in my car it tended to roll around from time to time. With this in mind, I’ve experienced no leaking at all from this little beauty.
- Stunning design
- Fantastic coils
- Airflow control
- Coils don’t make use of power range
- Menu access is time consuming and clunky
If you want a starter kit that delivers a bit more than the competition, then here you are.
It’s discrete and full of flavour. The price point of £48.99 seems a little steep for a starter kit, but the ability to use the VIP Tense in multiple modes means it will last as you progress through your vaping journey.The coils have a good life span and deliver on performance.