Kanger Dripbox Intro
The Kanger Dripbox Starter Kit is an all-in-one squonk box.
What’s a squonk box, you ask? That’s vaping enthusiast slang for a bottom-feeder mod that uses a special RDA with an open channel in the shaft of the 510 connection. Rather than dripping eliquid onto the RDA’s coils from the top, liquid is held in a plastic bottle inside the mod, which has a cutout on the side to allow pressing the bottle, which then forces eliquid up into the RDA to saturate the coils. Basically, it’s dripping without the hassle.
Bottom feeders have a long history in vaping. They were very popular back in the days before high-wattage, sub-ohm vaping. I’ve used many squonkers over the years — REOs, Phids, Vapages, etc. I still own nine bottom feeders, and I have many bottom-fed RDAs in storage.
Now Kanger is running an old idea up the flagpole to see who salutes. The Dripbox is Kanger’s first foray into bottom-fed mods. It’s an all-in-one kit that comes in black, red, or white and contains everything a vaper needs in a squonker — the battery mod, two eliquid bottles, a bottom-fed RDA with two pre-built decks, plus a parts bag with extra post screws, two more coils, and the ubiquitous blue-handled screwdriver.
Kanger Dripbox Specs and Features
- Dimensions: 4-1/2″ x 1-3/4″ x 7/8″ (Including Subdrip RDA)
- Includes the Subdrip RDA and Dripmod
- 22mm Diameter
- Bottom Feeding Design
- Juice Delivery System
- May also be Top-Filled
- Wattage Output: 60W
- Voltage Output: 3.7V
- Minimum Resistance: 0.2ohm
- 7ml eliquid Capacity
- Use pre-built 0.2ohm drip coils or build your own
- Adjustable Airflow
- Subdrip RDA – Stainless Steel Casing
- Dripmod – Aluminum Casing
- Requires (1) 18650 High Amp Battery (Sold Separately)
- Micro USB Charging Port
- Low Resistance Protection
- Reverse Battery Protection
- Low Battery Warning Indicator
The mod itself takes a single 18650 that fits into a cylindrical slot inside the case and secures with a screw-on bottom cap. The cap is a smart design, with outer metal threads to secure the cap, but with another finger screw adjustment inside the cap to extend the contact and prevent battery rattle. Nice.
The box itself is simple, with a rudimentary internal chip that provides low resistance and reverse battery protection, and a single button for firing and five-click on and off. Kanger claims a 60-watt output, but my pass-through voltmeter indicated that the output was unregulated, with voltage under load dependent on the resistance of the atomizer coils.
An innovative feature is that the included RDA has a removable deck that screws into the base. Kanger includes two pre-built decks with installed coils and cotton wicking. The dual-coil setup came in at 0.23 ohms. In addition, pre-built decks will be available separately (about $6 for three coiled/wicked decks) for those who can’t or don’t want to build their own coils. Smart, and great for beginners.
The bottom-fed RDA is for a dual-coil build with a two-post design. Since the deck is designed as a replacement part, it’s not heavy-duty, but it’s adequate and can be reused for the vaper’s own builds. Holes in the posts are fairly small, however, so I’d guess that the largest diameter wire that could be used is 26-gauge, with roughly 2.5mm diameter coils. That’s what the pre-installed coils on both included decks looked like to my eye.
The eliquid uptake holes are on floor of the deck inside the RDA, so care must be taken that the wicks don’t block the holes. If eliquid is over-squonked — which I guarantee will happen — the excess won’t stay in the reservoir and flood the coils. Instead, as soon as the bottle is no longer pumped, any excess liquid not absorbed by the wicks will be sucked back down into the bottle. That’s a very nice feature not found on most bottom-fed RDAs, even very expensive ones.
One thing I’d advise is removing the RDA’s top cap when squonking. Seeing the liquid flowing onto the deck is helpful to make sure the wicks get saturated. That’s not required, but it’s good insurance against inadvertent dry hits.
Clearly, low cost and simplicity were high on Kanger’s design considerations for this kit. By its nature, squonking carries the inherent risk of wicks drying out, with dry hits and burned cotton as a result. Experienced vapers who squonk or drip learn to recognize when dry hits are imminent, but beginners may not. One would think that a temp control chip would be perfect for a bottom-fed setup. If this simple starter kit sells well, perhaps Kanger will come out with a more deluxe version built with higher-quality parts, variable wattage, and temperature control. As it is, however, the Dripbox is more than adequate for its price and design.
The Dripbox provides a high quality vaping experience with no fuss, muss, or fiddling. Just put in a battery, fill the bottle, squonk some eliquid, and vape.
Performance is surprising, almost shockingly good. While not up to the best dripping atomizers or tanks, this little box holds its own with no apologies. Flavor is on a par with any simple dual-coil RDA, which is to say, very good. Vapor production at 60 watts is more than ample. All in all, the Dripbox is a satisfying vaping setup.
Be aware, however, that — as with all unregulated mods — performance will degrade as the battery provides less voltage. Chain-vaping will drain an 18650 high-drain 20-amp battery relatively fast. When the vape starts to get anemic, which will occur when the battery reaches 3.7 volts — only half a volt down from the full 4.2 volt charge — either charge it via USB or, better yet, swap it out for a fresh battery. The difference will be immediately noticeable.
- simple, effective design with good ergonomics
- surprisingly good vaping performance
- the perfect squonker for those who don’t want to build coils
- ample bottle size (7ml)
- easy bottle removal and refill
- no leaking
- relatively inexpensive
- not really designed for mouth-to-lung vaping
- bottle latch held on with magnets; should be hinged
- no cap for spare squonking bottle
- rough threads on the battery cap
- unregulated voltage (vape quality goes down as battery drains)
- no variable power or temp control
- no overheating protection
Throughout vaping’s first decade, bottom-fed mods were essentially an American product. Europe produced some nice high-end squonkers, but China didn’t offer any until the last couple of years, and those tended to be badly made, cheap imitations. Kanger has taken a step in the right direction by providing a bottom-feeder kit that is well-designed and inexpensive, very simple, with performance so good that it far outweighs all the minor negatives.
As an old hand at squonking, I’m impressed. The Dripbox is perfect for beginning or intermediate vapers who’ve never tried a bottom-feeder and want to see what squonking is all about, and do so without spending a bundle.
The Kanger Dripbox won’t set the world on fire, but it’s a nice kit.
Recommended. [See the blue message box above.]