Council of Vapor is an American vaping hardware designer and manufacturer that markets both atomizer tanks and power mods. At 200 watts, the Tempest is Council of Vapor’s most powerful box mod to date, and their first to use three high-drain 18650s.
As of the writing of this review (18 July 2016), the CoV Tempest 200W TC Box Mod is available online for $66-80.
The CoV Tempest 200W TC Box Mod is thoughtfully designed and well-manufactured. The asymmetrical shape is ergonomically comfortable to hold, although I think it safe to conclude that the mod was designed more with right-handers in mind. Some vapers will like the shape and feel that the Tempest is a distinctive and attractive mod. Others may find the asymmetry a bit odd.
The pop-out battery clip is a nice touch.
The regulating chip in the Tempest is apparently the same as is used in the Limitless 200W TC box mod. I found the adjustment scheme altogether too wonky. Even something as basic as adjusting the wattage in power or temp modes requires the user to access a menu. Once memorized, the adjustment routines are OK, but a learning curve is required.
Temp control has settings for Nickel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel, but includes no option for adjustable TCR values. Yes, three choices are offered to adjust the “working modes,” which I presume to be the intensity of initial ramp-up — Standard (ST), Soft (SO), or Powerful (PO) — and three slots are provided for customized settings (M1, M2, and M3), but the lack of TCR adjustment puts the Tempest behind the curve of current TC chip technology. For instance, only a single temp control slot is provided for stainless steel wire, so no distinction can be made between 304, 316, and 317 SS.
The difference in vape quality between the three ramp-up settings was slight, but enough that I could tell.
At the current price point ($66-80), the Tempest may have considerable difficulty competing against similar triple-18650 TC mods, specifically the Eleaf iStick 200W and the Wismec Reuleaux RX200/200S. Both of those box mods give better performance in temp control at significantly cheaper prices.
Threading on the 510 connection seemed to me fussy and tight. I feared that cross-threading when screwing on an atomizer or tank would be all too likely. Users are well-advised to be especially careful about lining up the threads when changing atomizers and going very slowly at first.
The Tempest has no USB port, so neither USB-charging of batteries nor firmware upgrades are possible. Lack of USB charging is no big deal, as far as I’m concerned, but no firmware upgradability may be a serious consideration for some potential buyers.
In Power mode, the Tempest is a great performer. I tried the mod with numerous tanks from 40W to 120W, and the vape experience was terrific across the board.
Performance in temp control was something of a head-scratcher for me — sometimes great, sometimes not. I don’t use nickel or titanium wire, so I didn’t test the Tempest in those TC modes, but, with stainless steel coils, the performance I got in TC was mostly acceptable, given the lack of adjustable TCR values.
I did find that the temp control regulation cut down the voltage aggressively when the maximum set coil temp was approached. I had a hard time finding a sweet spot for temperature. Often, I’d take a draw and get no vapor at all. Then I’d wait a minute, vape again, and the experience was normal. This occasional cut-off in voltage happened after every 3-4 draws, and I was puzzled that it occurred at both low and high temperature settings. I’m not complaining that the TC performance was anemic; it was either really good or literally nothing at all.
Maximum wattage in temp mode cannot be set by the user. The chip automatically limits the wattage applied to not exceed the set temperature. Numerous TC mods operate this way, and I don’t regard it as a con, per se, but it is one less choice for user control.
Atomizer resistance cannot be locked, but the chip seems to remember the initial cold resistance. Whenever the TC settings are changed, the chip asks if the coil is new or old. Selecting existing/old coil reverts to the original resistance reading.
Overall, I loved the Tempest in straight Power (Wattage) mode. Temp control was too inconsistent for me, however.
I feel strongly divided about the Council of Vapor Tempest 200W TC box mod. On the one hand, the mod feels good, and I was impressed by its consistently superb performance in Power mode. On the other hand, the various criticisms discussed and listed above, especially concerning temp control, do lower my opinion of the mod.
Rather than concluding with a positive or negative recommendation, I’ll remain neutral and trust individual vapers to assess the CoV Tempest for themselves.