It seems like IJOY has been very busy lately, with a lot of focus on big, sub-ohm tanks, powerful mods (like the Zenith 300W), big RDTAs and RDAs. Amidst those titans, it’s easy to overlook the relatively tiny ELF MTL tank.
The ELF MTL tank is just what you might expect from the name: a smallish 2 mL tank that aims to provide the elusive mouth-to-lung draw that is especially important to many ex-smokers looking for the analog experience. Many have tried to replicate the perfect MTL draw and many have failed. It’s especially frustrating for the MTL vapers, and the search can get expensive.
I realized that this tank is designed much like the Nautilus 2 and takes the Nautilus Mini-type coils. I don’t have that tank, so I will review this as is.
First impression is that the ELF MTL is a nice little tank. Made from stainless steel with a gold plated 510 pin, the fit and finish are very good. The little ELF has pretty good heft and everything lines up as it should.
Capacity of the ELF is 2 mL, so it is EU compliant. Normally I would call this a negative, but I expect that 2 mL of liquid will suffice for an MTL tank running at lower wattage. I don’t expect it to drink liquid.
The ELF has a single row of graduated air holes in the base, with a ratcheting (clicky) AFC ring. The smallest hole is so small I won’t even try to measure it, but it looks no larger than a half millimeter, maybe smaller. The remaining holes gradually increase in size to about a millimeter or so.
The review sample is brushed stainless steel with a black sleeve and the curved drip tip is a swirling resin that is predominately red and green with hints of blue. The ELF looks great.
The tank will accept any standard 510 drip tip, but you likely won’t want any other after trying the supplied tip – it’s smooth, rounded shape has an incredibly comfortable mouth feel. I’m using the supplied tip.
Lastly, I am encouraged by the supplied coil resistance values: one 0.7Ω coil and one 0.5Ω coil, which means I can likely get long battery life from a small single-cell mod, maybe all day.
This should be simple.
I mount the ELF to my Smok O-sub 40W mod and fill it with some max VG custard with 3 mg nicotine. I want to check the MTL performance right out of the gate, so I set the mod for 15 watts using the pre-installed 0.7Ω Nautilus-style coil. I click the airflow ring to expose only the smallest hole and wait a few minutes for my coil to saturate.
First hit and I am happy to report that the ELF gives a faithful MTL hit. Not too warm, good vapor and flavor with decent throat hit. I open the AFC to expose the next largest air hole (two holes exposed) and take another drag. I’m getting a bit less warmth and throat hit, but the ELF is still restrictive enough get a nice MTL draw with decent flavor.
With any more than three of the air holes exposed, I find that the ELF is no longer effective for MTL vaping. Fully opened, with all five holes exposed, the ELF gives a very restrictive direct lung hit, but it is obviously not suited. Just for kicks, I “crank” the wattage up to 30 watts, with the air wide open and take a vape. It’s warm, with a bit more vapor but after a few more hits my custard is starting to take on a caramelized flavor, yeah, almost burnt.
Well, I had to try it.
Aesthetically the ELF reminds me a lot of the SMOK Helmet tank, but with a narrower drip tip. Both are 2 mL tanks that have a metal sleeve covering the tank, and the Helmet I own is the same black and stainless color scheme. The difference is the ELF’s ability to provide a true MTL experience while the Helmet will not.
The cynics among us probably noticed that I only had one “dislike”. You may argue that it doesn’t hold enough liquid, it doesn’t do direct lung hits, it doesn’t give clouds for days… and you would be correct. I would answer by reminding you that the ELF is not intended to be used for any that, and urge you to stay away. For its intended use, I truly cannot find a negative.
True to its name, this little tank excels at providing an honest MTL draw, but can also be opened up for a restrictive lung hit. Again, it’s not meant for lung hits – but it can be done.
The ELF is simple to use, doesn’t leak, and is perfect for those that don’t want to fuss with pod mods or are tired of throw away cig-a-likes. Maybe even mom or dad, who are struggling to quit analogs. With some higher nic liquid, and a brief introduction they will be on their way to a hassle-free vaping experience that does a decent job mimicing a draw similar to smoking. Once again, this tank is desinged just like the Nautilus Mini 2 and has the same pros/cons. From the various prices I see online, the ELF is a little bit cheaper retail than the Nautilus Mini 2, but there are sales that make the difference even greater in favor of the IJOY ELF. Take that for what it’s worth.