Kanger Subtank Mini
I’ve been vaping for a good little while now, and I’ve used many the AD. My first were prefilled cartomizers on the Blu rechargeable cigarette lookalike; those were, frankly, absolute garbage. Next came the prefilled-but-refillable cartomizers of the Halo G6 — a definite step up in capacity and performance.
After that came the Kanger T3 clearomizer, and again — bear in mind this was my very first step from cartomizers to clearomizers — it was another whole new paradigm shift in performance for me.
But then I got used to clearomizers, and moved on to devices like the Innokin iClear 30 series, then went back to Kanger for the Protank series… and I was profoundly disappointed. The Protank and Protank Mini had airy draw, which in hindsight would have been great, except that the performance that would have made lung hits worthwhile just wasn’t there. It was also about that time that Kanger started having… issues… with consistency in the quality of their atomizer heads.
When the Aerotank came around, things could have started looking up for my relationship with Kanger products. Except it didn’t — because I found myself dealing with those same old last-generation premade atomizer heads. That was the catalyst I needed to move into the world of rebuildable dripping atomizers.
Now, why have I just spent 200 words laying out all that history for you? So that I can tell you this:
For me, Kanger has finally made good. They’ve made good on all the potential that went unreached with the Protank and the Aerotank. Finally.
Today I present my review of the Kanger Subtank Mini. Let’s get down to specifics.
Specs & Features
The Kanger Subtank Mini is the 22mm iteration of the Subtank line and a perfect fit for your 22mm mod. The feature list is extensive and, contrasted against my previous experience with Kanger’s clearomizers, impressive.
We begin with a 510 connection, then move up to airflow control with three options — wide open, about halfway open, and just a sliver of airflow — each with a solid, clicky detent to lock them into place.
Next, we move to a pyrex glass tank which slips over a metallic structure (I have no information on whether the metal in the tank sleeve is or is not the same 304 stainless steel as the base assembly.) Finally, up top, we have an included standard 510 drip tip.
Moving on to features, the Subtank Mini is advertised as boasting a 4.5ml eliquid capacity, which is plenty, depending on the strength of liquid you use in this wee beastie. A note on that: I’ve found that while I can’t vape anything stronger than 6mg in an RDA sporting a 0.5 ohm build, I can vape up to 24mg comfortably — a puff or two every 5 minutes or so — in the Subtank Mini, depending on where I have the airflow and wattage output set.
And now we go to the standout feature (for me, anyway) of the Subtank Mini over any of its predecessors in Kanger’s output — not only does the Subtank Mini work in the same way any other clearomizer does, using premade atomizer coil heads (available in both 1.2 ohm and 0.5 ohm flavors), it also ships with a deck which transforms it into a Rebuildable Tank Atomizer.
I’ve seen it said that the build deck of the Subtank series is very reminiscent of that featured in the Kayfun series of rebuildable tanks. (As an aside, the Subtank standard version, Subtank Plus, and Subtank Mini feature this deck; reportedly, the Subtank Nano does not.) I can’t say from personal experience whether or not these reports are accurate; I’ve never owned, and never have had the opportunity to examine, a Kayfun-based RTA. But the sources which report this are accurate and reliable, and I have no reason to doubt their word on it.
The RTA deck for the Subtank Mini is a simple two post design with a wick channel to each post.
Disclaimer: In all honesty, I haven’t personally availed myself of the rebuildable function on the Subtank Mini just yet. I’m still working through premade atomizer heads. We’ll get to how those perform momentarily, but let’s first talk about the build quality of the device overall and the premade heads in specific.
Let’s spend a few brief moments on the build quality of this device. It is, in my opinion, perfectly satisfactory. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s exemplary or peerless or any other superlative that, frankly, I just can’t honestly use without having first compared it to its competitors.
So, again, what I can say is that it’s perfectly satisfactory. Coming back to a clearomizer after having been a dedicated dripper for almost a year, what I’m bound to compare it to is rebuildable dripping atomizers.
On opening the packaging and extracting the Subtank Mini from its restraints, I can say that I found it to be devoid of machine oil and in flawless physical and cosmetic condition. It was absolutely gorgeous, and looked and felt perfectly solid and without even the slightest defect.
The performance is, again, something I can compare only to rebuildable dripping atomizers. If I was to compare it to the clearomizers which I had abandoned in favor of learning to build coils for RDAs, there would naturally be no comparison — after all, I had — as just mentioned — abandoned those devices entirely for the not-inconsiderable frustration of tackling the RDA learning curve, so that should tell you what I thought of those old style clearos.
But the Kanger Subtank Mini changed my mind. While it doesn’t work well at the same wattage levels as its RDA equivalents, it delivers more than sufficient performance to assume a well-deserved place on my mod while out and about, a scenario in which eliquid capacity and convenience are at least as important as raw performance.
And where raw performance is concerned, the Subtank Mini is certainly no slouch. Dialing up the applied wattage and setting the airflow for half capacity, even 3mg strength liquids deliver stellar flavor, potent throat hit, and voluble vapor output.
On the other end of the nicotine strength spectrum, by dialing the airflow out to maximum and setting the mod to a low wattage output such as 19.5 watts, even 24mg strength liquids are… nearly tolerable. One or two puffs is about my limit at that strength, even well compensated, but it is doable.
So would I recommend the Kanger Subtank Mini? It depends on to whom the recommendation would or would not be extended. To those who, like myself, have abandoned clearomizers for the dripper scene and for whom convenience is an attractive feature.
For me, finding a clearomizer that can even remotely compete with an RDA is a huge deal. It makes an entire subcategory of vaping products relevant again, and here’s how: while an RDA may just outperform even a sub-ohm tank, it is — relatively speaking — tethered to either a static location where there’s plenty of juice to keep it wet, or tethered to a bottle of juice for that purpose. That means extra occupied space in a pocket.
The Subtank Mini sidesteps that problem by providing nearly-RDA-quality performance with greater economy of space.
So while I hear there are better sub-ohm tanks out there, the Subtank Mini from Kanger is perfectly adequate to the needs of this dedicated RDA user on the go.
Price & Availability
The Kanger Subtank Mini can be had from www.myvaporstore.com for $33.95 plus shipping.