I’ve been messing around with iClears for quite a while now and this review has been a long time coming. I don’t use them so much anymore, so they haven’t been at the head of the queue as far as reviewing goes, however I recently picked up my VTR, and have been using them a little more often, so I figured now was as good a time as any.
So if you don’t know what an iClear is, it is basically a top coil clearomizer, sort of like a Vivi Nova, however it has a lot more wicks than a Vivi Nova, and doesn’t suffer from chronic dry hits. It also has a dual coil setup, rather than a single coil, so it will generally produce more vapor than a single coil clearomizer would, and can have the tendency to hit harder. The downside with a dual coil setup is that they tend to suck your battery life quite a bit faster, so it’s really just a matter of personal preference.
It is setup to be super easy to use – just screw off the top and fill it up with juice. No guesswork involved. Changing coil heads is super easy as well – just unscrew the old one and screw in the new one. The good thing about these is that because they have so many more wicks, the coil heads tend to last a lot longer than what you might be used to with a Vivi Nova or Protank.
They also come with a built in swiveling drip tip. Some may like that, some may not.
What I DIDN’T like about the iClear 30
The overall appearance of it is pretty poor. The one exception is that the VTR was pretty much designed to hold iClears, and it does look really slick on a VTR, but on a more typical tube mod, MVP or eGo, it’s going to look a little clumsy, at least for me. With the big clunky tank and the million wicks all over the insides, it really doesn’t come off as being particularly streamlined.
I really do not care much for the swivel drip tip at all – again the exception being on the VTR. In general, I think swivel drip tips look kind of lame, so I guess I am biased on that one, but it would have been nice if there was at least the OPTION to use a regular drip tip, which there is not.
It is fairly expensive as clearomizers go. I get them on Fasttech for around $8, which is about as good a deal as you are going to find on these. At a brick and mortar store, you may be looking at well into the $10 – $20 range for just one tank. So unlike BCCs and Vivi Novas, it’s a little more pricey if you want to stock up on these. The coil heads are also fairly expensive in comparison to Vivi and Protank heads.
Last, I think the airflow is fairly tight on these. For a dual coil setup, you really need to have ample amount of airflow to get the maximum amount of vapor out of it, and the draw on these feels very tight and forced to me.
What I DID like about the iClear 30
By far the best thing about these is that they just plain work. They are solid, reliable and consistent. For new vapers especially, this is a very important feature. Personally I like Protanks FAR better than I like iClears performance-wise, but once I have coiled up a Protank, I am lucky if I get one refill out of it before something goes wrong and I have to recoil it. When I was using premade Protank heads back in the day, I found that it was really easy to fuck up your tank head by dialing up the voltage too high or dry hitting it, and I ended up going through premade heads pretty fast as well.
With an iClear 30, you won’t have to deal with ANY of that bullshit. I still have the stock head in my first iClear that I got at the beginning of the summer and it works just as good as the day I bought it.
I give these to my friends who don’t have the balls to try rebuilding their own stuff because I know there is no possible chance they are going to be able to fuck it up. I have tried to outfit my friends with Protanks in the past, and usually by the next time I see them, I need to fix their tanks. I have never had a single issue yet with an iClear.
Vivi Novas, on the other hand, are similar to iClears and cheaper. The big difference I have found is performance wise. I really don’t think the Vivi Novas come anywhere near the consistency and performance of an iClear. If you’ve ever used a Vivi Nova, you probably know that you have to constantly tip it to assist in wicking. I have never had to do that with an iClear. So there is no comparison between the dry hit potential of a Vivia nova and iClear. iClear is the clear winner.
So while performance-wise, these are maybe slightly above average for me, consistency and ease-of-use-wise, they are about as good as it gets.
Who are they good for?
Honestly, these would be useful for just about anyone. I even use them from time to time despite all the crazy advanced hardware I have to choose from.
Really, where these things shine are for beginners. I now always recommend these for beginners because it’s impossible to fuck them up. The last thing someone trying to quit smoking cigs needs is to be having constant problems with their e-cig. That is only going to be demoralizing and making quitting for good that much harder.
That is precisely why this is such a good device, because you can really depend on it.
From a performance point of view, these are good enough to satisfy me. They may not be perfect, but I would be able to vape comfortable on only iClears if I had to.
Where to buy?
Do I use them?
I do use them from time to time, although I only have one iClear 30 and iClear 30s right now, as I have given my other ones away to friends.
I keep one in my vape bag when I go as an emergency clearomizer, because it is the perfect thing to fall back on in a jam. I kept one along with a USB passthrough in my car all summer as well. They are perfect for that kind of situation. Also good if you’re going to be out drinking all night or doing some kind of physical activity like hiking and you don’t want to mess with a RBA or don’t want to risk losing a pricier atomizer.
The Bottom Line
Quality. Overall, the quality of these is not bad. I mean it isn’t built with super high quality materials or anything like that, but the actual quality of the wick and coils is very good, and for a piece like this, that is really what’s important.
Performance. These things are really pretty solid performing. Generally there are not any prebuilt clearomizers I would consider using myself EXCEPT the iClear. It’s really the only one I have used with any regularity in many months. That is saying a lot because I need pretty strong hits to satisfy me. I think if the airflow was maybe 20% better, they would be damn near perfect.
Ease of Use. Hands down, this is the easiest clearomizer to use. I have never had any problems with it, nor have any of my friends who use them and they are far less technical with e-cigs than I am. They fill easily from the top, they wick very good, and the coil heads are super simple to replace. Totally dependable and built to last.
Appearance. I think they could have done a lot worse, but I really am no fan of the appearance. I think the worst part of the whole thing is the swivel drip tip which is bordering on ridiculous. Sans-drip tip, I still don’t think it would match up great with a mech or a nice looking VV mod like a Provari, but it it doesn’t look any worse than most Vivi Nova style tanks.
Price. As I mentioned earlier, these things are slightly more expensive than some other prebuilt clearos, but when you consider the far superior performance and ease of use, I think it is well worth paying a couple bucks extra because it will probably save you money in the long run.
Overall. This is a really nice clearomizer. If you only use prebuilt clearomizers which a lot of people do, then you definitely need to try one of these. This is honestly all I have been recommending to people new to vaping, as of late. In fact, one of my closest friends had been fumbling with ecigs all year trying to find something that worked, and couple months ago I finally recommended he get an MVP and iTaste, and he has had no problems ever since. I think it is a near ideal setup for people who don’t have any interest getting into the more technical side of ecigs. It’s just a simple and effective solution. The only thing I would recommend differently now is to get a VTR and iClears, as the VTR was basically designed specifically to work with iClears and the look and perform excellent.
- Ease of Use