Eleaf Nails It With The New iStick Power 2
The Eleaf iStick Power 2 kit recently landed on my desk. I was quite keen to try it, as I have fond memories of the original iStick. In fact, the battery on the first version was so good I know people who still use it now half a decade after buying it.
It’s the second device I’ve had recently for trialling, but the first didn’t make the cut for the blog.
The iStick Power 2, though, definitely makes the grade. Let’s take a look in more detail.
This is a box mod style device, with gentle curves and a stitched leather effect on a zinc alloy body. The result is a smart, modern and sophisticated look. It is quite a large device, though, and wouldn’t be suitable for people with small hands.
It also has a bit of heft. While I didn’t find it too heavy, if you’re used to a super light pod system such as the Caliburn G or Caliburn A2, you may find the extra weight a bit of a shock.
The 0.96 inch colour screen has a bright, snazzy design. The information is clear, well organised and easy to read – with the possible exception of the puff count and puff length counters, which are very small. (To be fair, these could easily be removed from most devices without affecting the user experience.)
There are advantages to the larger size of the mod.
The iStick Power 2 mod comes with a massive 5000mAh capacity. That’s not far off the capacity of two 18650 batteries, and very impressive for a fixed internal battery. With moderate use as an MTL device (it wasn’t the only device I was trying out), this battery lasted me days without needing a recharge.
Handily, the USB-C port is located on the side of the mod, so you can leave the device stand while charging. The device supports pass-through charging, so you can vape while it charges.
I am a huge fan of Smart Mode, as it helps prevent user error and extend the life of the coil.
In this device, Smart Mode limits the wattage range. For example, with the included 0.8Ω coil, the wattage starts at 15 watts and is limited to a maximum of 30 watts. Handily, when I forgot to lock the device and managed to pocket adjust the wattage, the fact that Smart Mode had limited the wattage meant the coil didn’t burn out.
I also like the fact that Smart Mode is on automatically. More tech-savvy users can easily turn it off when they want, while more inexperienced users can happily puff away without ever having to enter the menu.
The mod design is combined with the Eleaf GTL pod tank. This features a round pod design that uses a connector to fit to the mod. The connector has a 510 fitting, which means it will work with most mod devices. The pod tank itself will work with compatible pod systems such as the Eleaf iSolo Air.
I personally like a long drip tip with a Mouth-to-Lung device. I’m sure it is one of the reasons I used to enjoy the Aspire Nautilus Mini.
In fact, I recently ditched a device I was considering featuring on this blog. That’s partly because when I vaped it, my lips were pushed up against the metal of the tank.
There’s no such problem with the GTL pod tank. The pod features a long drip tip which allows plenty of room for your lips to settle around it.
I also really like the flexibility the airflow control gives you. On two sides of the tank there are five small holes, in true Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) style. A single hole will give you a warm but restricted vape, while five holes will give you an airier MTL vape.
But there’s more. Twist the airflow control round to the side and you’ll find two wide airflow controls which will give you a very airy MTL or restricted Direct-Lung vape.
I was using the iStick Power 2c alongside another device, and even with my usual Menthol I could get more taste from the GTL pod tank. The device also performed well when I increased the wattage to the maximum you can use with the 0.8Ω coil under Smart Mode (30 watts).
For the lower resistance coil (not included with the kit) I set aside menthol and used Wick Liquor Boulevard.
The 0.4Ω GTL l coil handled a VG:PG 80:20 ratio without a problem when I used the wattage recommended by Smart Mode (see more below). However, when I cranked it up to 60 watts (the maximum allowed under Smart Mode) I did manage to burn the coil out.
It’s a struggle to Direct-Lung (DL) inhale with this device, and it’s never going to be a true cloud machine with the coils currently available. As an MTL or restricted DL device, though, the kit is superb, producing a warm vape that is full of flavour.
What we don’t like…
There’s not an awful lot to dislike about the device. However, I do prefer a top fill tank to a bottom fill tank. I can see why Eleaf did this – the pod design and the long drip tip doesn’t lend itself to top-filling. Fortunately, the magnetic connection means it is fast and simple to pull off the tank, remove the tab and insert e-liquid.
I also managed to knock the top off a couple of times when putting it in my pocket. The tank does sit in a bowl design which makes it harder to knock off, but it would be nice if the magnet was a bit stronger. Fortunately, the tank is pretty tough – even a couple of bounces on a hard floor failed to make a dent in it.
One final thing – it’s also annoying that to change the coil, you have to empty the e-liquid.
Who is it for?
Whilst not an obvious starter device, the device is easy to use, and will be suitable for most vapers with a modicum of experience. The long battery life also makes it a great option for vapers who are on the move and can’t always get to a plug.
It does have the capacity to go up to 80 watts, but to me, it comes into its own as an MTL/restricted DL device. A lot of that is due to the long drip tip, which I find works better for Mouth-to-Lung than Direct-Lung. The resistance of the coils (the minimum resistance available with GTL coils is 0.4Ω) also limits it as a DL device.
The iStick Power 2 lacks some advanced functions such as custom curve mode and temperature control, which may put off those who enjoy detailed control of their device’s response. Temperature control vapers might be better off with the original iStick Power, which comes with TC mode, while vapers who prefer a wide power range should check out the upcoming iStick Power 2C, which provides up to 160 watts of power.
Do note the larger size of the Power 2 means it is not ideal for people with dainty hands.
Eleaf have come up with another impressive device in the iStick range which combines great aesthetics with superb battery life, great taste and excellent MTL performance. I can see this being my main MTL device for some time, and I’ll be adding the iStick Power 2 to my best vape kits round-up shortly.