Golden nugget
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Golden nugget

January 1, 2016

Artery Vapor’s Gold Rush Kit is a winner.

By Mike Huml

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Consumers in every industry claim to always want something new and different, yet when that product is made available, it’s almost always divisive. In vaping, a product that deviates too far from the unwritten standards is either criticized or ignored because it’s too different. Every mod needs to have certain features: 510 threading, a spring-loaded pin, variable wattage, a box or tube shape. So the challenge that manufacturers face is how to make a device stand out from the rest in a vast ocean of vaporizers while not alienating their target market. The answer is small, incremental changes to the popular trends. This new kit has all of the standard features expected from a 50-watt TC box mod but with one major change: It’s the smallest box mod of its kind on the market.

The Gold Rush Kit is the breakout vapor device from a new manufacturer called Artery Vapor. It comprises the Nugget box mod and the 49er sub-ohm tank. The kit also includes a USB charging cable, an extra nickel coil and some replacement O-rings. A stainless steel version will be released first, followed shortly by a less expensive zinc version that is available in three colors: copper, gold and silver. The main selling point of this kit is the size—it’s incredibly small. The Gold Rush Kit will inevitably be compared to the Mini Volt from The Council of Vapor, which is of similar stature. Overall, the Gold Rush Kit is marginally smaller, but it offers a few features that aren’t available on the Mini Volt, such as temperature control functionality and 50 watts of power instead of the Mini Volt’s 40 watts. However, the Mini Volt houses an internal 1,300mAh battery, compared to the Nugget’s 1,000mAh.

The first thing to notice about the Nugget is its weight. It has a nice, solid feel to it despite its size but is by no means cumbersome. Nothing about it feels loose, rattly or cheap. Overall, the device is very well-made. The screen boasts a medium brightness that may be slightly difficult to decipher in direct sunlight, but it’s large enough to view and operate with minimal eye strain. Three buttons above the screen make for simple operation, even for beginners. Pressing any two buttons simultaneously will bring up the menu, allowing the user to change settings. The Nugget is capable of temperature control with nickel and titanium wire and is firmware-upgradable to allow for stainless steel temperature control in the future. The centered 510 connection features a spring-loaded, gold-plated copper positive pin that ensures any 22-millimeter atomizer will fit flush, although some taller tanks will undoubtedly look top-heavy. The included 49er Tank, however, looks proportional and slick atop the Nugget.

The 49er Tank is standard fare as far as modern sub-ohm tanks are concerned, which is to say it sports all the features one would expect. This includes top-filling, the ability to adjust or shut off the flow of juice, and adjustable airflow. The performance is perfect. While the vapor production obviously won’t match an extreme sub-ohm tank, such as the TFV4, or a rebuildable, even cloud chasers should find satisfaction. Airflow is more than adequate for lung-hits, and the flavor is definitely above average compared to other sub-ohm tanks in its class, such as the Kanger TopTank. The included APC coils perform extremely well, and break-in taste is virtually nonexistent. A standard 0.5-ohm Kanthal A-1 coil is preinstalled, while an additional 0.2-ohm nickel coil is included with the kit. Stainless steel, titanium and Clapton coils are available post-purchase. The coils’ lifespans are par for the course and are largely determined by the heat at which the user is vaping and the juice they’re using. A ballpark estimate would be one week for an average lifespan of each coil before it needs to be replaced.

Performance of both the Nugget and 49er Tank have been surprisingly good. The Nugget’s temperature control works as intended with a slight browning of dry cotton when set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When taking longer drags, there’s no sense that the device is cutting on and off, a shortcoming of many early or cheap temperature control devices. The buttons are responsive with good tactile feedback, and there’s no noticeable delay between pressing the fire button and the atomizer firing. The Nugget performs exactly as a 50-watt box mod should, with no inherent issues or missteps. The only downside to a mod of this size is the battery life. At 1,000mAh, a full day’s use shouldn’t be expected with the 49er on top. For those using sub-ohm atomizers, this device will primarily be for light users, or used as a backup device or traveler. For those interested solely in mouth-to-lung vaping under 15 watts, the Nugget offers battery life similar to most eGo batteries. However, the small size is the main selling point here, and out of all the features that could have been sacrificed to achieve that small size, battery life is the least offensive. Keep in mind that the Nugget can still be used while it’s charging, so a dead battery isn’t the end of the world. In order to save battery life, the Nugget includes numerous options for automatic shut-off. The user is able to choose how long the device is idle before automatically powering down, from 10 minutes to 90 minutes. This setting can also be turned off so the device can be picked up and used immediately, regardless of how long it’s been idle.

Sub-ohm tanks have been undergoing small changes since their inception over a year ago. While basic functionality remains the same for the most part, features like top-filling and juice flow shut-off are becoming standards. The 49er Tank retains these innovations and provides an experience that keeps up with more established brands. This is a perfect example of Artery showing perfect restraint, which is a smart move considering this is their debut atomizer. Adding anything else would have been a huge risk, and instead, they’ve ensured the widest customer base by including the most recent tried-and-true features. Artery claims that the 49er Tank holds 2 milliliters of e-liquid, but in reality, it’s approximately 3 milliliters. A 4-milliliter version is also planned. The 49er isn’t very well-suited to mouth-to-lung hits even with its airflow closed off completely, but the lung-hits are very satisfying and flavorful. Like the Nugget, the machining is hands down among the best for sub-ohm tanks. The entire tank can be disassembled for easy cleaning, and all the threading is amazingly smooth. None of the parts ever bind up and get stuck or feel crunchy. Stainless steel and glass construction ensures durability and gives the tank a sleek look, particularly when attached to the Nugget. The base of the stainless steel drip tip is Delrin to reduce heat transfer, and the tank effortlessly keeps up with even the thickest liquids when chain-vaping. Conversely, each pull is smooth with absolutely no gurgling or spitback. Artery knew exactly what they wanted to create and achieved it. The 49er Tank not only suits the Nugget perfectly but would work well with any mod capable of 30 watts or more. Finally, the coils just work. There are five total options, and each is a vertical coil design with organic cotton wick surrounding it. Again, nothing revolutionary here, but that’s not detrimental. It’s a design many consumers are comfortable with, and coupled with the quality of the tank, the performance of these coils is sure to impress.

All in all, the Gold Rush Kit from Artery is a winner. Few people will perceive this as a primary device, but that may work in a retailer’s favor. This is a kit that can easily be sold to anyone, regardless of whether or not they need something new. The small size and great performance of both the mod and the tank will appeal to almost every vaper. On the other hand, it can also be sold as a top-quality starter kit. The operation is easy enough that beginners will require minimal instruction in its use. For those looking for a mouth-to-lung option, any 510 tank will work on the Nugget, and eGo clearomizers are compatible if paired with an inexpensive 510-to-eGo adapter. In addition, advanced vapers may enjoy the Nugget as a novelty, as it would work well with short RDAs such as the Derringer, particularly if built with 26-gauge or thinner wire. Fifty watts should be more than enough in that application.

The Gold Rush Kit has the potential to appeal to vapers of all levels and interests. The trick is to market it in such a way that it fills a need for each and every vaper. For beginners, it’s a great starter kit that could serve as their primary device. For intermediate users, it’s a complete kit with an excellent sub-ohm tank and temperature control functionality and is best-suited as a travel or backup device. For enthusiasts, it pairs perfectly with shorty RDAs, and while the performance will be on par with their expectations, it’s sure to be a conversation piece because of its unexpected size compared to the clouds it can produce. For all users, the size of the mod and the kit as a whole will certainly draw attention, and the quality is there to back it up. The Gold Rush Kit from Artery Vapor creates an excellent first impression and should have a place on every store shelf.

 

Category: Editorial Archives, Huml

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