Innokin iClear 30 Roundup

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Innokin iClear 30, 30S, 30B, and the iClear X.I.

Introduction – The Innokin iClear 30 and its lettered successors have made quite an impact on the vaping scene since their introduction in 2013.  For a little while there, it seemed like Innokin was releasing a new version of the iClear 30 every week or so.

But while the names may be confusingly similar, the devices themselves display some remarkable differences, both in internal configuration and in performance.  Today, I would like to take you through a brief but thorough overview of the iClear 30, iClear 30S, and iClear 30B to point out what is different, what is similar, what is good, and what is not so good.

In order to perform this comparative evaluation, I used a brand new specimen of each, filled with the same liquid: The Plume Room’s “M Type” in 24mg strength.  Each unit also sported an atomizer head of equal resistance, 2.1 ohms, and each device was powered on the same APV, the Innokin iTaste SVD running at 8.5 watts.

Each device was given 24 hours of exclusive use, both at my work desk and “out and about” Shall we begin?

Common Characteristics

Every model in the iClear 30 lineup has a few characteristics in common that I would like to set down here

*3ML eLiquid Capacity

*Metal base and top caps

*Plastic tank wall

*”Knucklehead” mouthpiece

*510 connection threads

While they display remarkable differences in internal structure, the above listed commonalities mark them all as clearly and instantly recognizable as related devices.  These commonalities also provide the vaper who has used one of the iClear 30 lineup before with a sense of familiarity and confidence when handling another model in the same line.

IClear 30

Build Quality, Specs, and Setup

The iClear 30 features a top dual coil with long wicks.  While the build quality and design are competent enough, the top coil arrangement was already somewhat long in the tooth even at the iClear 30’s introduction, with competitors such as the Kanger ProTank already demonstrating the greater performance potential of the bottom coil layout.iClear 30 - The iClear 30 Roundup - Spinfuel eMagazine

Filling the iClear 30 for the first time is accomplished by unscrewing the knurled top cap to expose the coil head and wicks.  A sort of rubber “nipple” covers the coil head.  The user drips eliquid along the inside of the plastic tank wall until the liquid reaches the top of each of the four wicks.  Generally, I would advise 2 to 3 minutes of allowing the clearomizer to stand vertically so that the wicks soak up the eliquid before the first vape from the device.

Performance

The performance of the iClear 30 is actually quite good — for a while.  When filled for the first time, the device puts out above-average vapor, delivers smooth and powerful throat hit, and produces competent flavor fidelity.

However, after the first few refills, the device has an unfortunate tendency to exhibit leakage and gurgling.  Performance beyond that point takes a serious hit until a new head is installed.  Now, I’m not quite sure what the issue is with that — it seems to happen regardless of which vendor’s eliquid I use, and regardless of what the liquid’s PG/VG ratio is, so I can’t say with any confidence whether the iClear 30’s heads are displaying wicking issues or whether the problem lies elsewhere.

With the iClear 30, I find that good performance is actually a source of disappointment due to how short-lived it is.

Real World Experience

In real world use, I tend to fill and use an iClear 30 only when I have nothing else available.  It is certainly a serviceable clearomizer — serviceable in the context of the word meaning, “I can make do with it if need be” — but the top coil design means that you cannot just vape it absent-mindedly, particularly when it gets down around halfway full.

Getting down near the halfway point, it becomes necessary — as it is with all top coil clearomizers — to do the “tilt and spin” maneuver to keep the wicks wet.  That is a workaround that, frankly, I do not miss at all.  Vaping is something I like to let my autonomous mind deal with while my attention is focused elsewhere.  That style of vaping just is not well served by the iClear 30.

IClear 30S

Build Quality, Specs, and Setup

The iClear 30S is an extremely well designed device.  The atomizer head for the 30S is similar to that of the 30 in that both use a long-wicked top coil arrangement; however, the 30S differs in that — if my eye doesn’t’t deceive me — the wicks are actually slightly longer than in the 30, and concealed within a ported metal sleeve.

In some respects, then, the 30S gives me the impression of being a hybrid between a cartomizer tank and a clearomizer.iClear 30 - The iClear 30 Roundup - Spinfuel eMagazine

Performance

Performance on this device is simply unparalleled by any other top-coil clearomizer that I have ever laid my hands on.  The iClear 30S performs like a bottom dual coil device.  Vapor output and throat hit from the 30S are phenomenal, and although flavor presence and fidelity could certainly be better, they are not what I would call subpar.

However, as with the iClear 30, performance does fall off over the lifetime of the head — though not anywhere near as quickly.  I have had 30S heads last from 5 to 6 refills before any deterioration in the performance becomes really noticeable to me, and a few more refills still “good enough” performance beyond that.

Real World Experience

In real world use, the iClear 30S provides a stylish image paired with (when it’s new or new-ish) very solid performance.  The one area where this particular device lets me down a bit is in “flavor creep” — due to the extra long, metal-sheathed wicks, changing from one flavor to another is an exercise in asking the question, “Will it blend?”

For example, if you vape a strong fruit flavor until the 30S is “empty”, then fill the 30S with a tobacco eliquid, you’re still going to taste that tobacco flavor is going to be “tobacco-plus-fruit” for anywhere from “a while” to “throughout the whole tank’s worth” of the new flavor.

IClear 30B

Build Quality, Specs, and Setup

Moving on to the iClear 30B, we have a completely different ballgame.  Internally, it is a bottom mounted dual coil sporting four short, thick wicks.

Unlike as with the iClear 30 and iClear 30S, the iClear 30B is set up for first time use by turning it over and unscrewing the bottom cap.  After that, the procedure is simply to fill until the eliquid is a bit below the central airflow tube.  Then screw the bottom cap back on and give it that good two to three minutes for the liquid to saturate the wicks, and you’re ready to go.iClear 30 - The iClear 30 Roundup - Spinfuel eMagazine

Performance

Of all the three devices reviewed in this piece, the iClear 30B is the one that produces the greatest vapor density and volume, the smoothest, strongest throat hit, and the most vivid and true flavor.  It also does all this for the longest period of time between atomizer head replacements.

The lesson it seems that Innokin had yet to make with the iClear 30, and was only starting to make with the iClear 30S, they finally really grasped as of the iClear 30B.  Bottom coil is really the way to go.

With a short-wick dual bottom coil, performance deterioration and flavor creep are not quite “things of the past”, but they are greatly diminished in comparison to the long-wick top coil sporting 30 and 30S. I have one 30B that has been running on the same head for 2 months of regular (if not heavy) use, and it is still performing very well indeed.  That is what I call serious improvement in the line.

Real World Experience

In real world use, the 30B is just the way to go.  A solid, good-looking device really delivers on style and performance.  Frankly, I would say that the iClear 30B is such an improvement over its predecessors that those predecessors could be discontinued and I, at least, would not miss them.

I find that a single fill of the 30B gives me a solid day’s worth of vaping — not merely due to the generous 3ml capacity but also due in large part to the excellent performance.  While I find myself puffing away on a 30 or 30S for a good five or ten minutes to satisfy my craving, a few good, long drags from the 30B are all it takes.  So, a fill lasts longer and goes farther.

Recommendations And Conclusion

I don’t think it will come as any surprise to learn that my recommendation for which of the iClear 30 series to invest your hard-earned money in is the iClear 30B. There is just so much to love about this device. Style and performance of the iClear 30B, in my opinion, add up to a rock solid value that should please any vaper.iClear 30 - The iClear 30 Roundup - Spinfuel eMagazine 

BONUS: Although not technically a member of the iClear 30 line, the brand new iClear X.I. is the successor to the iClear 30, 30S, and 30B.  While the iClear X.I. is not yet widely available, it will be released over the next two weeks.  We have had a couple of them here for 10 days or so and the changes coming to the 3ML capacity tanks by Innokin are extensive with the iClear X.I., to say the least.

The iClear X.I. is, unlike the iClear 30 line, a Pyrex glass tank.  The official capacity is 3ML, but you can get in one of two more milliliters before reaching the top post.  It is a Bottom Feeding Replaceable Dual Coil setup. The replaceable Dual Coil Head allows to keep your wick constantly saturated and delivers an accurate flavor profile for every juice we have tried with it.  The one we received with the iTaste 134 Mini does not have a rotatable drip tip, but you will have that option when they are available.  In fact, you can replace the drip tip altogether and use one of your own.

Out of all the iClear 30 lineup the 30B is definitely the one to go with now, but when the X.I. becomes available later this month, you will see that it outperforms every other iClear by a mile.

3 comments

  • My fiance had an iClear 30 as his first tank. Not even a month’s use, it stopped working. It wouldn’t read right. Even after changing the coil, it kept reading sub-ohlm and wouldn’t fire on his MVP. pretty frustrating.

    Like

    • That’s damned frustrating, and I’ve experienced that frustration with Innokin products myself since the time this article was published. The problem is, I can’t even tell you whether it’s the tank or the MVP. Innokin’s products, particularly the iTaste VV and the MVP series, have a habit of working fantastically… for about a month. After that, issues swarm the things like rats. Firing button becomes unreliable, resistance checking becomes unreliable.

      I can’t and therefore won’t recommend Innokin to anyone at this time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it was the tank… this time. He got a new tank (eleaf ) and its working great. I hope the MVP doesn’t crap out. That joker was too damn expensive!

        Like

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