Cloud Chasing on a Budget

Introduction

Would you like to rip big without spending top dollars on sub-ohm tanks and mechanical mods?

Would you like to avoid the extensive reading on ohm’s law and just want to get started chucking mammoth billows of vapor ASAP?

Here’s a list of affordable pod systems, starter kits, and All-In-One devices that produce MASSIVE clouds (and a few cloud-chasing tips).

None of these options require batteries or complicated maintenance. They’re simple and user-friendly from the start.

DISCLAIMER: If you seek advanced cloud chasing tips, maintenance advice, etc. - this isn’t the place. This is beginner stuff you won’t be able to compete with at the cloud chasing nationals. This isn’t for professional cloud-chasing!


What is “cloud chasing”?

Traditionally speaking, it’s a competitive hobby to see who spits the biggest cloud between two participants standing back to back.

After both participants shoot their cloud, a group of judges decide who shot the biggest one. It’s quite simple, actually.

Cloud chasing competitions are held around the world and the winner takes a huge bag of cash.

These competitors dedicate heaps of money and time perfecting their craft. They become intimately acquainted with ohm’s law, battery safety, and a myriad of other technical things.

In other words — it takes a LOT of dedication. It’s not simply inhaling and exhaling a cloud of vapor.

It takes an incredible amount of practice and there is actual technique involved, believe it or not.


For example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZZSmFev0Zk



If you’re inspired to rip like that, you will receive some tips on that, too.

There is also a lot of backstory there, but let’s keep this brief.

For our purposes, we refer to cloud chasing as the simple, non-competitive joy of spitting enormous clouds.

Clouds so big, your immediate surroundings will look like this:


You will make the Weather Girl cry.

 

Immutable Principles of Cloud-Chasing


Before we dig into each pick, let’s consider a few principles of cloud chasing.

There are a few universal rules of thumb and general advice regarding the chucking of vapor that will undoubtedly increase cloud size and overall quality.

We’re ignoring RDA’s, batteries, etc. We’re only sticking with simple AIO / Starter Kits.

Got it? Good. Onward.

 

 

Inhale / Exhale Technique:

You want clouds so puffy, white, and perfect that it starts raining inside your house.

The first step is to breathe in and out a few times to warm up your lungs. Clear them out of old air and pull in some fresh oxygen.

Then, before you take a draw, raise your arms a little to expand lung capacity.

Pull slowly, nicely, and allow the vapor to overwhelm your lungs, and exhale just as slowly.
 
Exhaling too fast destroys the cloud. Try a smooth, consistent pull and release motion.

This reminds me of when first learning how to do the classic O-rings. You hear about making an “O” with your lips and pushing the smoke with your throat. It just didn’t work. Then, suddenly, I just got the hang of it.

This reminds me of that. Practice a nice cadence of pulling and exhaling until you achieve a smooth rhythm.

Practice until you get a “feeling” for it.

 

Loose Airflow:

With most of these kits, you are provided with airflow control in the form of a ring or knob.

A small twist can make a huge difference between shitty clouds and huge ones.

You know which ones I’m talking about, those shitty clouds that vanish as they comes out of your gullet. Compare that to exhaling continents of vapor as thick as pillows.

When keeping the airflow tight, you’ll receive better flavor, but when you open it up, it ramps up the cloud-production.

Each device has its own way of performing, so become acquainted with the nuances of airflow.

 

More VG = More Vapor:


We’re talking about e-liquid. The type of juice is extremely important. You’ve probably noticed PG / VG percentages on labels and website specs.

VG means vegetable glycerin. Derived from… you guessed it: vegetable oils.

It infuses the vapor with that smooth and thick sensation. VG is ideal for sub-ohm vaping and cloud-chasing.

But, if you’re craving a robust throat hit, I’d recommend higher PG formulations. Otherwise, a VG dominant e-liquid will produce massive vapor.

In our desire to reach maximum cloudativity, we should aim for high VG.

Examples of high VG:
Truffleberry by Milkman (70% VG)
Lemon Drops by Candy King (80% VG)
Key West Sunset by Kind Juice (100% VG)

Most of you chasing the big clouds should steer towards e-liquids with lower nicotine levels — 0mg when possible.

Considering the amounts of clouds you’ll be chucking, you’ll want to avoid overdosing on nicotine.

Or as it is scarily referred to: Nicotine Poisoning!

Medical News Today reports that e-juice nicotine is one of the most common forms to cause nicotine poisoning in adults.

I highlight this because when I first started vaping, and had no clue what any of the specs meant, I purchased a SMOK Nord AIO kit with a nicotine salt e-juice.

Without having a clue about what nicotine salt meant, I thought I could chuck and puff as many billows as my heart desired. I believed the harsh throat hit would go away or I’d get used to it. And guess what? I got nicotine poisoning!

I started feeling tremors and sweating profusely. Slowly, my breath crescendoed into a quick, staccato pattern that made my girlfriend panic and insist on calling for an ambulance. Luckily, after I puked my brains out, I felt much better.

Imagine the look of horror in her face when I purchased more juice the next day. The right kind, this time.

I’m just trying to have your back here and help you avoid this, because it certainly didn’t feel like a spa treatment.

Just remember, it’s all about that VG. Keep that VG percentage as high as a kite and you will have the power of Thor.

 

Coil Resistance:

To put it simply: The lower the resistance the bigger the clouds. Why?

The coils are the soul of your vape kit. When the resistance is low, you’ll reach higher temperatures fast – which means lots of vapor as quickly as it can billow into your lungs.

Coils with a resistance below 1ohms are called Sub-Ohm.

Also, these sub-ohm coils can withstand higher wattages. With high wattage comes outstanding cloudativity. But, since we’re not reviewing advanced kits, I will skip the wattage section and keep the information within the list picks.

Now, with these tools under your bet, let’s move on to the picks:

From cheapest to most expensive:

Orbit TF Pod System Starter Kit by Sense -- $22.99

The Orbit TF is small, portable, and compact – fits easily in your pocket.

You can get a lung hit with this bad boy. Enjoy an all-in-one experience on a silver platter. The coil is 0.6ohm Mesh which is sub-ohm and cloud-tastic.

I personally dislike the square look of it, but the lung hits are phenomenal for a pod kit.

It’s a very popular vape pod for a reason. You get great flavor and great airflow. A word of caution, though, you can accidentally block the airflow holes if you hold it a certain way.

Also, $22 for this? What a steal.

iJust S AIO Starter Kit by Eleaf -- $24.99

This one is a blast from the past, but there is a reason why it’s still selling like hot cakes.

The kit comes with THREE coils, and each coil is a sub-ohm coil. What company sends three coils!? I’m happy.

The battery boasts a massive 3000mAh of battery power. This means you can chuck billows as thick as pillows for hours. When depleted, recharge quickly and get back on that horse.

You will have to replenish the e-juice a lot between charges — just FYI.

It looks like your regular stick mod; it’s very nice and sleek, too. It’s one of my favorites.

If only Eleaf brought an improved iteration for the 2020 crowd, but a man can dream.

 

X-Force AIO Starter Kit by SMOK -- $25.99

The X-Force has that same look as the Orbit TF: a square-ish mod with a little spout protruding from it.

Subjective aesthetic preference aside, this puppy carries TWO 0.3ohm coils. Imagine nice 0.3ohm clouds of silky goodness.

The 2000mAh battery allows you to spit and chase clouds for hours before your next recharge.

Let’s not ignore the hefty, massive 7mL e-liquid tank. It’s fantastic. I give SMOK a hard time but they get some things right.

 

Whirl 22 Starter Kit by UWELL --$29.99

I love UWELL. Their products have never malfunctioned on me or let me down in any way (cough cough SMOK!).

Another pen-style mod similar to the iJust by Eleaf. The cool thing about this one is that it provides a pro-FOCS system which gives good flavor despite the massive cloud production.

The kit provides two 0.6ohm coils, which deliver delicous vapor. My only gripe is the 2mL tank.

You’ll have to refill often if you’re chain-vaping. Even if you’re not chain-vaping, you’ll have to refill. I’m not a fan of that, to be honest.

The battery is only 1600mAh. I think it could be a lot better. Regardless, this is a good choice to pursue some clouds.

Stick Prince Starter Kit by SMOK -- $33.99

Oh, SMOK. My love and hate relationship with you will be one for the ages. Sometimes you surprise and delight; sometimes your coils are dead on arrival. Stop playing with my feelings and toying with my emotions. Just cut it out, dammit.

On the bright side, they do include a spare on this kit. This is a great starter system and the two included coils are powerful 0.17ohm V12 Prince-M4 cores.

I love these V12’s because of the flavor and the cloud-production. Just take a look at those coils! Those are some big balls right there!

I’d recommend using the convex glass with this puppy. Imagine 8mL of your favorite vape juice. It is possible to chase clouds for a long, long time.

Spend some time experimenting with its airflow ring and you will be surprised at what you’ll discover.

When you need to take a break from cloud chasing, you can twist that thing and optimize for flavor.

-

Okay, now we’re headed into more expensive territory. I believe these two are worth mentioning considering their cloudtastic capability, but you’re definitely dropping a few more dollars.

 

Twister 80W VW Starter Kit by Freemax -- $42.99

Whoa! This Twister guy brings 80W of glorious power. Remember what we said before? Sub-ohm coils benefit from high wattage because of how easily the coils warm up and shoot effortless vapor down your gullet?

This one brings it and brings it big!

The 2000mAh battery and 5mL bubble glass provide an extended cloud chasing experience. The wattage gives you more than you’re expecting.
I’d recommend spending some time playing with the dual slotted bottom airflow control. You can adjust for optimized flavor or cloudage baddasery.

I keep making up words.

The choice is yours, my friend. This is an article about cloud chasing, so let’s stick with that. Turn that airflow loose and allow the vapor to pour out in buckets.

Open that mouth and say “Ah!”

AEGIS Mini 80W TC Starter Kit by Geek Vape -- $57.99

Another 80W super mutant. This one packs more of a wallop and offers a lot more parameters against short-circuiting, over-currents, and whatnot.

That’s understandable, considering the strength of it.

For this price, you can afford plenty of amazing choices but this one makes the list because it doesn’t require batteries.

It runs on its integrated 2200mAh rechargeable battery and brings the big guns, indeed.

The coils are super mesh 0.2ohm X1 and 0.3ohm X2. With plenty of cotton to soak in your favorite juice, make sure to properly prime these two.

My only complaint is the 5.5mL capacity tank. But hey! Can’t really complain; 5.5mL is still plentiful.

 

Conclusion

So, you’ve made it to the end of this list. Let’s summarize what we’ve learned today in class.

Cloud chasing is a complicated artform that requires extensive knowledge of ohm’s law, mechanical mods, atomizers, coils, battery safety, etc.

In this article, we’re keeping cloud chasing in its basic form. Simply vaping for cloud’s sake without all the hard work of understanding the above.

Guess what? Most people don’t care about that, they just want to enjoy a good vape and kick back.

Sometimes, when you’re kicking back, you also wish the clouds were bigger, richer, more robust.

This is what this list is for. Now, you can get an idea for your next purchase or, perhaps, other options to increase the cloud-spillage experience you’ve been having.

To summarize:  

  • Inhale / Exhale Technique:
    Maintain a smooth inhale and exhale rhythm without forcing the vapor out or it will break the cloud.
  • Loose Airflow:
    Become acquainted with your device and experiment with its airflow adjustment capabilities (if any). You’ll be surprised at how much more flavorful, or “cloudful”, a vape can get with a few twists and turns.
  • More VG = More Vapor:
    Purchase e-liquid with higher VG percentages. If you seek big clouds, seek a huge VG percentage.
  • Coil Resistance:
    The lower the resistance the bigger the clouds. A lot goes into coils, but that’s the basic tenet.


Now, get your chosen weapon and start chucking.