Aspire Zelos 3 Kit & Nautilus 3 Tank Review
Here’s a closer look at the all new Aspire Zelos 3 Mouth To Lung (MTL) vaping kit which comes bundled with the latest Nautilus 3 tank, spoiler alert; this is one of the best traditional mod and tank MTL kits I’ve tested, Aspire nailed it.
Aspire appear to be on a roll with some superb products in 2021 and the Zelos 3 kit ticks all the boxes for Mouth To Lung (MTL) users, this kit features the latest version of the Nautilus 3 tank which takes the popular and readily available Nautilus range of coils, Aspire have done the smart thing with this bundle as it should appeal to new and experienced users.
· 3200mAh battery
· VW/ VV/ Bypass/ TC/ TCR/ CPS modes
· Outputs of 1-80W
· TFT Colour screen
· Type-C 2A quick charging
· 2ml tank
· Adjustable airflow
· Press-fit coil installation
· Compatible with all Nautilus coils
· 1.8ohm BVC and 0.7ohm mesh coils included
Some of the features that stand out are; internal 3200mAh battery which is more than ample for over a days worth of MTL vaping, all the modes to satisfy experienced users, the mod is capable of going up to 80 watts which will suit every Nautilus coil I can think of and also suitable for many more other tanks of your choosing, it has proper 2 amp fast charging via USB-C.
The sturdy and no nonsense box has that classical Aspire cleanness, there’s an outer sleeve which has cut-outs to help you remove it easily, sliding this off reveals the mod & tank.
All the included extras and manual are underneath this layer and Aspire have added a handy little tab to aid removing this, a small thing but a nice touch, it certainly beats shaking the hell out of the box! Here’s what you get in total:
·1x Zelos 3 Mod (3200 mAh)
·1x Nautilus 3 Tank (2.0 ml)
·1x Nautilus BVC Coil 1.8Ω (9-13 watts)
·1x Nautilus 2S Mesh Coil 0.7Ω (20-25 watts)
·1x Type-C Cable
·1x Spare Drip Tip
·1x User Manual
·1x O-rings Pack
The contents are pretty normal for a starter kit, the inclusion of a different 510 drip-tip was very welcome and the choice of 2 different coils turned out to be the perfect choice to show off the Nautilus 3 tank fully. The manual is a fold out pamphlet which is multi-language and covers all the information you need to get going, to be fair the kit is very simple to operate that I didn’t find the need to look at the manual, but it’s there should you run into any problems working it out.
Looking at the mod and tank for the first time was a bit of a pleasant surprise for me, I had only seen images and I wasn’t quite expecting the luxury feel of the kit, Aspire have achieved a really nice look and feel to this kit that feels quite high end, the mixture of Zinc alloy and Aluminium alloy for the mod gives it a pleasing weight to it, not heavy and not light if that makes any sense, the Nautilus 3 tank is made from stainless steel and adds a bit more weight but it is well balanced and feels just right in your hand.
Looks & Ergonomics
The styling is contemporary and looks pretty classy with the contrasting 2 colour design, the top and bottom sections are made from Zinc alloy which add some nice weight and solid structure, the middle section keeps the weight down by using Aluminium alloy. The screen side is well laid out with a good sized OLED colour screen, the fire button is positioned well and it feels very tactile, the adjustment buttons are also well positioned near the base which never get in the way while vaping but you can disable them if it is an issue for you, underneath those is the USB-C port.
On the top is the spring loaded 510 tank connection which protrudes slightly and prevents any ‘atty rash’ (where you tank base scratches the top of the mod), it will comfortably accept up to a 28mm tank, the included Nautilus 3 is 24mm. The base features a physical On/Off switch which is an excellent feature for safe storage in your pocket or bag, the base also has battery ventilation holes for additional safety.
It’s only when you have the tank fitted and hold it in your hand that you fully appreciate how good it feels in your hand, the curved body is so comfortable and the shape of the controls and screen section make it feel intuitive while vaping with either your thumb or index finger.
Nautilus 3 Tank Review
The new design of the Nautilus tank is much different to the previous versions, gone is the dome shaped top and cage style as Aspire have gone with a more traditional exposed tank design with a much more convenient sliding top-fill cap, it is also larger at 24mm diameter, TPD restrictions mean it will only hold 2ml of eliquid but for those that don’t have to adhere to TDP rules (lucky sods) the capacity is around 4.0ml with the straight glass (non TPD version will also include a spare glass section).
Stripping the tank down is easy and all unscrews counter-clockwise, once stripped I noticed a rather clever internal valve in the coil housing, there a little spring loaded inner cover that closes as you remove your coil (obviously opens when you insert one) which means you can change your coil while the tank still has eliquid inside, changing your coil is fairly simple, unscrew the base (the bit with the airflow ring) and simply pull out the old coil and push in the new one then screw the base back on.
The ‘glass’ section on the TPD version is plastic with a much smaller inside diameter to limit it to 2ml capacity, this will only go back on in one direction as the base is wider to slip over the O-ring, once everything is back together then you can fill up the tank via an excellent sliding top-fill, simply slide from where the clear Red arrow is located to reveal the fill port, this is large enough for most bottles BUT the TPD version is a bit trickier to fill as the excess plastic gets in the way, using 50VG/50PG eliquid wasn’t too bad but things got messy with thicker 70VG/30PG as the liquid struggled to clear the tight gap.
Nautilus 3 initial impressions
Overall I much prefer the Nautilus 3 over the previous bell dome versions, especially the easy top-fill which is just right, sliding is easy but tight enough that it hasn’t accidentally slid open when shoved in my bag or pocket, having the option of drip-tips suited my tastes, I preferred the narrow curved one but both work well, the pre-installed one felt similar to a ciggie and more suited for RDL (Restrictive Direct Lung) vaping, they are a 510 fitting which means you can use other drip-tips of your choice, the adjustable airflow on the Nautilus 3 is near perfection, easy to adjust and the airflow range is excellent; from a really tight MTL up to a reasonably loose RDL.
Menu & Navigation
The Zelos 3 mod has plenty of features which should satisfy most experienced users but simple enough for beginners too, out of the box new users won’t really need to change anything except the Wattage and Airflow to suit their tastes, the screen is bright and clear but the smaller details are quite hard to read if you have older eyes or require reading glasses, the main information is just right though.
As previously mentioned; new users will be more than happy with the default settings but as you delve deeper into the menu then there’s plenty to satisfy experienced users, though the majority of functions more suit rebuild-able tanks (RTA’s) rather than stock coils, I haven’t drilled too far down into these functions, Bypass mode worked exactly as it should (think of it as a mechanical mod style which applies voltage straight from the battery to the resistance of the coil) and Voltage mode was interesting as it went up to 8.4 Volts! I haven’t tested the top end out but it’s handy to have it there should I ever decide to try a beefy coil in an RDA.
Beginners might wish to play around with the Brightness & Colour options to customise their screen but the default Blue was quite nice, the screen brightness is more handy than many folks appreciate, the thing is; once you have set everything up and locked the adjustments then there really is little need to look at the screen other than to check the battery status, lowering the brightness right down will improve your battery life considerably.
Onto the good part; the vape! With any new coil fitted it’s important to prime the coil by filling the tank and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes to saturate the cotton fully, if this is not done then you will likely get a ‘dry hit’ which is simply the coil burning the dry cotton, with the 1.8 Ohm fitted and primed I took it for the first vape…..
1.8 Ohm Nautilus BVC Coil
The coil range is 9 to 13 watts for the 1.8 Ohm, I started off at 10 watts I found after a few draws the flavour came through really well as the coil bedded in and eventually found the sweet spot between 11.5 to 12 watts, I was more than happy with this vape quality, the flavour is superb and the draw is one of the smoothest I’ve tried, it wicks well and keeps up with reasonable chain vaping without any dry hits, the mod is simply faultless and fast to fire, the performance and feel of the mod matched the tank and to say I was impressed would be an understatement, I really love this kit right off the bat.
0.7 Ohm Nautilus 2S Mesh Coil
This coil is rated between 20 to 25 watts and suitable for MTL to RDL vaping, you will get a proportionally more intense vape from this coil, roughly double the power and juice consumption compared to the 1.8 Ohm coil, the vape is somewhat different as it is mesh which is generally faster to heat up and delivers full on flavour, this suits someone that has ‘smoke breaks’ as you can get more of a nicotine fix in a shorter time, perfect for that morning vape or after a flight etc. Bear in mind that this coil will roughly half the battery life draw for draw but in theory you vape less so it balances out.
This kit is bloody impressive all round, the only thing I don’t like is the plastic TPD tank but that isn’t Aspire’s fault and if you know where to look you can find a proper glass section to replace it, it’s somewhat larger than a lot of MTL kits but I like it for that and has become my main MTL vape since reviewing it, the Nautilus coils are already one of my favourites and it’s great to see that Aspire have kept with this widely compatible coil range.
The Zelos 3 mod and the Nautilus 3 tank are strong contenders alone but they are such a good combination as a kit for beginners and experienced users, the included coils are a perfect cross section to find which style suits you best or indeed both work for varying your vape, I’m pretty sure I will be buying another Nautilus 3 tank so I can have the 2 styles to hand and the 24mm looks good on my Aspire MIXX.
·Nautilus 3 tank gives a superb smooth and flavourful vape.
·Zelos 3 mod is high quality and ergonomic.
·Good functionality for experienced vapers.
·Easy operation for beginner vapers.
·2 Amp fast charging.
·A perfect partnership.
·Value for money.
·TPD ‘glass’ is pants.
The only con I could come up with is the 2ml TDP tank section, this isn’t a deal-breaker and easily fixed, I’m in no rush to replace it though as 2ml is fine for my MTL needs and looks fine with liquid in the tank, I would be really surprised if any MTL user doesn’t enjoy this kit though the size might put off some that prefer smaller vapes, not that it’s huge, I still find it compact and pocket friendly and I love how it feels in my hand, Overall I think Aspire have raised the bar with this kit, modern functionality that won’t date.
·Build quality: 9/10
·Vapour production: N/A (not for cloud lovers)
·Ease of use: 9.5/10
Overall Score: 9/10 – A quality MTL vape kit.