How to Sub Ohm and Blow Big Clouds of Vapor

Dave Kriegel
November 9, 2018

What is sub ohm vaping?

Sub ohm vaping, also known as sub ohming, is a style of vaping that produces large clouds of vapor. Sub ohm devices utilize low resistance coils that are less than one ohm, hence the name sub ohm. They also provide enough airflow suitable for direct lung inhalation. Sub ohming typically requires vape mods capable of putting out a minimum of 40 watts, but the higher levels can reach and exceed 200 watts.

Around 2014, sub ohm tanks began to dominate the market. Sub ohm vaping became the default standard for most new vapers until around mid-2016 with MTL coming back in style. Now the market is more diverse, with a broader range of vapes for every style of vaping.

The term sub ohm has evolved over the years with the technology. It typically refers to direct lung devices with coils that are 0.5 ohms or lower. Technically there are mouth to lung coils below 1 ohm found in devices like pod vapes, but those are not considered sub ohm because they’re low-power devices designed for stealth vaping.

Learn more about sub ohm vaping and cloud chasing in the guide below, and decide if it is right for you.

Advantages of sub ohm vaping

Aside from just big clouds, there are many other advantages of sub ohming over other styles of vaping.

  • Intense flavor: Sub ohm coils are capable of vaporizing a lot of e-liquid at a time, so your taste buds get hit with tons of flavor with each puff.
  • Warmer vape: Some vapers enjoy a warmer vape, which is easy to attain with sub ohm vaping, especially with high-wattages and low-ohm coils.
  • More airflow: Sub ohm vaping goes best with a direct lung inhale and unrestricted airflow. More airflow is necessary for cooling down the higher heat produced from the coils.
  • Big clouds: Blowing clouds appeal to many vapers. For the biggest cloud production, sub ohm vaping is a must. Sub ohm devices are a prerequisite for becoming a competitive vaper.

What is cloud chasing?

Cloud chasing is the act of blowing huge clouds with a vape. Cloud chasers are constantly trying to invent new ways to produce the biggest clouds of vapor. That means lower ohm coils, higher wattages and tons of airflow. Cloud chasing requires knowledge and experience in order to be done safely and properly.

Not all sub ohm vapers are necessarily cloud chasers, but cloud chasers are most certainly sub ohm vapers. Sub ohming is the only way to achieve such voluminous cloud production. Cloud chasing has become more accessible today with the popularity of sub ohm vape tanks because it doesn’t require as much knowledge as before.

Still, safety is extremely important! That means having a good understanding of Ohm’s law and vape battery safety. Cloud chasing can be fun and enjoyable if done properly and respectfully.

Best cloud chasing vapes

The easiest and safest way to start vaping and cloud chasing is to get a sub ohm vape pen like the Mig Vapor Morpheus. It comes with a tank and powerful battery all in one and is very easy to use, even for beginners. They make it very simple to get started right away, without having a ton of knowledge.

If you want something more advanced, the best combo for clouds is a high-wattage box mod paired with a rebuildable atomizer, preferably a dual-coil dripper. There are also rebuildable tanks that are geared for sub ohming and some great sub ohm tanks that don’t require a ton of experience to use. A lot of these modern subtanks utilize multiple mesh coils which allow for high wattages and rich dense clouds.

How to get bigger clouds of vapor

Use appropriate batteries: Shop for batteries with high amp ratings, suitable for high wattages.

Keep airflow all the way open: Most sub ohm devices come with adjustable airflow. Generally speaking, the airflow should be at its most open setting to achieve the biggest clouds for the atomizer you’re using.

Use max VG vape juice: While PG and VG both make vapor, the higher the content of VG in your juice will allow for the biggest clouds. Consider it high-octane fuel for your tank!

Use a mod with power above 40 watts: When sub ohming, you will want a lot of headroom for power. You likely won’t use it all, but being able to go up an additional 10 watts or so can make a big difference in your vapor volume.

Use a somewhat forceful and fast draw: Along with using unrestricted airflow, the speed and forecefulness of the drag will increase cloud production. A bigger and faster draw will also aid in keeping the coils cooler.

Use coils rated below 0.5 ohms: Low resistance coils that are 0.5 ohms and below can handle more wattage and generally produce bigger clouds.

Best coil builds for clouds

Here are some videos they will show you how to build coils for some serious cloud production.

In part 2 of Rip Tripper’s Cloud Chasing 101 series, he teaches you how to do a simple cloud chasing build and goes into more depth about proper inhale/exhale technique.

In this video, Twisted Messes shows you how to do his signature 26 gauge twisted dual coil.

Sherlock Hohms shows you how to do a cloud chucking fused clapton for cloud chasing.

Originally, cloud chasing was done almost exclusively with low-ohm coils on a mech mod. Eventually builders realized they could use two strands of wire to create an ultra-low resistance coil, with tons of surface area, which eventually gave way to twisted and parallel dual coil builds.

Cloud chasing has advanced with the popularity of powerful regulated mods and exotic coils. Cloud chasers no longer need to build to the specifications of their device and batteries. Now they can just chuck big, beefy coils on any regulated high wattage mod, giving them more freedom than ever before.

Dual coils are standard for clouds but many vapers have taken that to the next level with triple and even quadruple coil configurations. This cuts the resistance down and greatly increases surface area. Fused claptons, aliens and other exotic builds are also very popular these days for cloud chasing.

What is competitive vaping?

In competitive vaping cloud chasers compete with each other to see who can create the biggest clouds and pull off the best vape tricks. Just like any hobby or sport, some people are going to be competitive, so cloud chasing is no exception. Competitions are held all over the world for cash prizes and endorsement deals. The US is home of many of the bigger cloud comps like the VC Cloud Chasing Competition, with the prizes ranging from custom gear and sponsorships, to thousands of dollars in cash.

Competitive vaping started as a way for vapers to express themselves and spread awareness about vaping. These days, it’s rampant in nearly every major city. Professional vapers gain fans, money and sponsorship deals through these meet-ups at local shops and vape conventions. Social media sites like Facebook and YouTube have played an instrumental role in the popularization of competitive vaping.

Public spaces are not meant for cloud blowing unless there’s reason to believe it won’t cause a problem. For example, at an outdoor concert with a tolerant audience. In general, most non-vapers don’t understand what the vapor is or isn’t, so it’s advisable to not literally put it in their faces.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dave has always had a passion for helping people quit smoking. As a former smoker himself, he knew how hard it could be. As soon as he learned about vaping, he instantly became obsessed with it and helped many people stop smoking. Vaping360 has given Dave a platform to do this on a much larger scale, by educating the public about the wonders of vaping. When Dave is not writing he is either listening to music, performing it, or cruising around on his Penny board.


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Joey Gilbert
Joey Gilbert

can I use a 18650 3.7V 11.5Wh 3200mAh Li-ion Rechargeable Battery for sub ohm vaping?

Alex Kendell
Alex Kendell

Hi @disqus_7amvL80bRj:disqus , sorry for the late reply. It normally comes down to what your battery’s max AMP output is. Normally with high mAh battery’s you have a lower AMP output, I am guessing you have the Nitecore 18650 as there are not exactly a lot of 3200mAh battery’s on the market at the moment. Now the nitecore you have has a max AMP output of 4amps, that is not enough for vaping under 1.0 ohm. If you where to use a standard 0.5 ohm coil at 30 watts you would be using around 7.7 amps. That is already a… Read more »

Joey Gilbert
Joey Gilbert


Sam loops
Sam loops

Hi I have a question about sub ohm I want to know if I buy joyetech ego one or the aspire cf sub ohm battery with the non removable battery or others just like that are those the same as Mechanical mod with removable battery are the joyetech and aspire are little safer then the Mechanical mod. I just trying to say do i need to follow the same rules as.

Chris Kendell
Chris Kendell

Both of those you mention were made to use with sub ohm tanks, so are safe to use. They work like mechanical mods. Mechanical mods with hybrid caps are the ones you need to stay away from when using sub ohm tanks.

I would take a look at this regulated tube mod by Apollo:

You can adjust the wattage up to 50W and it fires down to 0.2ohm. This is in my opinion far superior when using a sub ohm tank, as you can adjust the wattage unlike those you mention above!

Hannah Lee
Hannah Lee

Okay so I’m VERY new to the vape community and am looking into buying an eleaf istick 50W (50 being max wattage). I’m not buying a kit just the battery so the world is my oyster as for choosing the tank. I’m leaning towards the Atlantis 2, but my question is what would be the best coil to use at 30W?

Chris Kendell
Chris Kendell

Hi Hannah! Do note that the Atlantis 2 will be a direct lung style inhale, which if you are coming from smoking is something you might not be used to. If you want a mouth to lung style draw I would look at something like the Nautilus Mini. If you are happy with a direct lung inhale, then the Atlantis 2 is a good tank, although Aspire are launching a new one next month, which will be a top filler, so might be worth waiting on that. If you want the Atlantis 2 the 0.5ohm coil will work well at… Read more »


hey how many mls would you be able to use on the nautilus minis coils before you need to change em

Chris Kendell
Chris Kendell

Hi Casey. This is a difficult question to answer as it comes down to many factors. You can probably get 2 weeks from one coil with medium usage.


I was recently given a IPV4S and a herakles by sense tank. Are these two safe together? Ive been reading about and realised the batteries in the set is not safe to use (ICR18650-26F samsung). Can you advise what battery I should purchase for the set up I have? Thanks!

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