From pod mod to… pod tank?
Hilo Vapor has produced the Hilo, a new pod mod with a massive 10 mL pod tank and inbuilt atomizer, battery life of 1700 mAh, and five flavors to choose from. The inbuilt coils have a 0.25 ohm resistance and the device puts out 5 – 40W of power, depending on your battery life.
The Hilo is one of a new generation of large capacity pod mods – Mistic 2.0, Xolo, and the Kimsun Air10. If pod mods such as Juul, Phix and the Von Erl targeted the transitioning smoker, then these larger cousins are truly “set it and forget it” devices. Let’s vape on the Hilo and see what’s what.
Disclaimer: We received the Hilo from Vapor DNA for the purpose of this review.
Hilo Vapor Gallery
Hilo Vapor Specs and Features
- Hilo mod or “battery”
- h. one pod / disposable atomizer
- USB cable
- User manual
- Build material: aluminum alloy with textured coating
- Height/length/width: 102 mm x 48.7 mm x 25.2 mm
- Weight: 138 grams
- Coil resistance: 0.25 ohm
- Output wattage range: 5 – 40 W
- Battery capacity: 1700 mAh
- 5 LED battery life indicator
- Overtime/Low voltage/Short circuit protection
- Pod volume: 10 mL
- Pod nicotine level: 6 mg/ mL
- Available flavors:
- h.one (mint)
- h.two (sugar cookies and milk)
- h.three (strawberry milk)
- h. four – (fruit juice blend)
- h. five – (creamy tobacco)
At first glance the Hilo looks like what might happen if a 90’s mobile phone had a child with a Vype Pebble. It’s small, compact, and features only one button. The Hilo is made from aluminum alloy, but what you feel in the hand is a silky smooth rubberized finish. Your antenna – I mean driptip – is built into the chunky pod, which contains 10 mL of e-liquid. Five different flavor pods are available, and all of them come with 6 mg/mL nicotine strength as standard.
At first, when I opened this up, I was confused. How is the pod attached to the mod? Where are the 510 connections? What’s with this inbuilt drip tip? I hadn’t seen anything quite like the Hilo before. But actually, Hilo has an identical twin – the Kimsun Air10. Judging from the pictures, every single feature is identical, down to design features, specs and even its weight!
In their promo video for the device, the sun shines down on a diverse cast of pretty young things vaping on the edgy pod mod. Welcome to Hiloville 2.0, where cigarettes are a thing of the past! Language has also been banished, and the characters are only allowed to say “Hilo” to each other. Well, almost. The Hilo will keep you fresh, interesting, and is the perfect wingman. Since it’s that good, we better vape on it and see how it performs! /sarc
How it performs
The Hilo is a pod mod that behaves like a sub ohm device. Airflow is very open and at first glance, non-adjustable. However, if you hit the fire button with your thumb, your forefinger tends to naturally block the air vents. I opened up the h. one pod and it looks like it uses a similar airflow system to the Nautilus X (U-Tech), meaning the airflow comes down through the U-shaped chamber, hits the coils and passes back up through the drip tip. The Hilo only features a single coil, but it does make for a smooth vape.
The Hilo packs 10 mL of e-liquid into the pod and for its overall size, that is no small achievement. Battery life is rated at 1700 mAh, which elevates the Hilo out of the pod mod category and into the class of mini box mods. You can expect a day, or more, of solid use before needing to charge. How long will a 10 mL pod at 0.25 ohms last you? Assuming light to moderate use, I would say 5 days.
Like its relatives the Kimsun Air 10 and the Mistic 2.0, Hilo features a closed pod system with disposable atomizer. I get that this system is supposed to reduce waste from plastic e-liquid bottles. But really, is a disposable pod system like this a sustainable solution? I would argue that we, as vapers, have a responsibility to reduce waste, not add to it! And besides, a lot of people re-use their bottles. Finally, I wonder what the markup is on 10 mL of liquid and an atomizer coil? The tank can be jimmied out of its housing, but the pod itself is almost certainly hack-proof.
Vaping the h.one (mint) pod was good, but nothing spectacular for me. The menthol flavor is refreshing on the throat, but I didn’t feel it in my sinuses. It would have been nice to try the other four flavors, but Hilo ships as a single combination so I can’t comment on them.
Price-wise, it’s not that bad – the Hilo ships in separate combinations and sells for $49.99 on Hilo’s own website, while a replacement pod will set you back $9.99 a pop. That’s 10 bucks for 10 mL of e-liquid, where you’ll pay almost $15.99 for 2.8 mL from Juul, and $22.99 for 4.5 mL from Phix.
- No leaking or dripping
- Impressive vapor and battery life
- Wasteful packaging
- Airflow is easy to block depending on how you hold the device
- Pods can’t be hacked
- Disposable non-reusable coil
- Will a 10 mL pod be TPD compliant?
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about a closed system pod mod for sub ohming. The Juul/Von Erl/Phix/Bo One crowd are tiny devices, with even smaller pods. By their very nature, they feel disposable. Their bigger cousins such as the Hilo are disposable too, but here it feels wasteful. I just can’t get down with throwing out a 10 mL tank/driptip/atomizer every week. Call me old fashioned, but I love the rituals of vaping – pairing a great atty with a reliable mod, experimenting with different combinations, wattages, coil types, and e-liquids. With Hilo, all that customization is sacrificed for the sake of convenience. What you end up with is a closed, not-to-be-hacked-with system that offers you five flavors and instant convenience.
But, if you don’t like those flavors, I guess you’re SOL since you can’t refill it. For some this may not be an issue, but for me it means that I can’t recommend it.